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This Wednesday, April 17, viewers were able to witness a legendary Top Chef event: the black box. This year, the challenge was huge. The dish that the candidates had to reproduce was created by double MOF chef Guy Krenzer.

To add even more pressure, the event was eliminatory. Losers of the first event, Marie and Shirley then faced each other. Helped by their brigade but also by their team leader, everyone worked to save their teammate. Ultimately, it was Shirley who left the adventure. If the young woman was able to count on the help of Dominique Crenn and Stéphanie Le Quellec, Hélène Darroze was absent during filming. But why ?

The challenge was huge on Wednesday for Stéphanie Le Quellec and Dominique Crenn who attended their first black box as jurors. Moreover, before entering the arena, the two chefs had not understood that they were going to have to cook, as Glenn Viel laughed during a press conference. The chefs could not count on Hélène Darroze to explain the mechanism to them since the latter was missing.

Indeed, the chef at the head of Marsan did not participate in the black box, which is unfortunately becoming a habit: “I’ve been missing it for two years. I regretted. I was sick of it!” entrusts the chef to Tele-Leisure. Indeed, as a reminder, during the 2022 edition, Hélène Darroze was absent from filming “for personal reasons” according to the channel. The chef had just lost her father Francis Darroze in November 2021. She was therefore unable to participate in the black box test. Last year, the leader did not have a red team, she then took care of the hidden brigade and only returned in the quarter-finals with Danny Khezzar. She was therefore unable to participate in the black box. As the saying goes “never two without three”. This year again the chef was unable to be present

Contacted by Télé-Loisirs, the producer of the competition Virginie Dhers explains that the chef: “had professional obligations in his restaurant in London”. It must be said that this year was a real challenge for production in terms of organization. “This year, given that we have six brigade leaders, each with establishments and significant professional activity, it was more complicated in terms of planning compared to previous seasons when we had four leaders.

So it happened that not all the chefs were together for certain events of this 2024 season. “Obviously, there are two or three moments in this edition where Philippe Etchebest or Hélène Darroze are not there because it was complicated to make all the agendas coincide. But the fact that they are three chefs gives us flexibility: if Hélène Darroze was alone at the head of a brigade, it would have been complicated to justify her absence.”


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