Tonight's Top Chef preview: The fantastic four duke it out in Napa

Cooking on a train:



Hope you do your best today:



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Well, Top Chef fans, we've left Vegas and are now in the final stretch of this competition in Napa. What does that mean for the final four? I'm betting on some wine-themed challenges. It also means that we're getting rid of one cheftestant in tonight's episode. (Because there couldn't be four in the finale, that'd be utter craziness!)

We're down to the four that most people assumed would make it this far from the beginning of the season. Yes, Jen gave us a scare for a few weeks there with her extreme lack of self-confidence and ability to put out decent dishes, but she has gotten her groove back and is representing a strong female force in the finale (let's hope). There was no question that Kevin and the Voltaggio brothers would make it this far, with their numerous challenge wins that were due to their confidence and solid performances. (Jen, you might want to take some notes from these guys.) Here's hoping their challenges in Napa are ones that will genuinely showcase their skills and not be some hokey and superfluous contests to see what other products Bravo can throw in our faces. (Quickfire Wine, anyone?)

It looks like they'll be cooking on a train tonight for their Quickfire Challenge, their key ingredient being...grapes! (Who called it? Moi.) From the video below, it looks like the chefs need to get their sea, um, train legs or else someone is bound to spill something or possibly cut off an appendage. Still in the gambling spirit from Vegas, I'm betting on either happening. Who knows - maybe Kevin will accidentally set fire to that already flaming beard of his on the wood fire stove or Mike will slip with a scalding hot pot of liquid in his hands, dumping it all over himself. Ah, wishful thinking. Hey, Fabio cut himself pretty badly last season and it made for some good dramatic editing by the producers. I'm not a sadist, I'm just hoping for some sort of action or drama in these final two episodes because goodness knows the show needs it.

Who do you think will be sent packing tonight? Leave your comments below and be sure to check out the preview videos.

Tune in to Bravo tonight at 10 pm EST/9 pm C, check out our own live Tweets during the show (Jeff: @TheStew, Katie: @culinarypirate), and listen to our podcast here tomorrow! (You can now download on iTunes and check out Jeff’s Top Chef Flickr page.)

Videos after the break:

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