Top Chef
'50s Food Flashback

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Kim: B | Grade It Now!
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Parfaits and Calf Liver

John yells out for someone to give him tape so that he can set up "an expo line." Everyone ignores him, as they should, because why doesn't he get off his ass and walk around and find his own goddamn tape? John continues doing what he likes to do most, which is give people instructions.

The judges and guests are seated. They show Chrissy dressing her salad and there is a LOT of dressing on that lettuce. It looks pretty weighed down. Now, look -- I like a heavily dressed salad, but I don't think a real foodie would eat it that way, since it would drown out the taste of the vegetables. As John tries to get the food out on time, there is some confusion with Josh's soup. It's not clear to me if the confusion is John's fault or Josh's fault, but they seem to get it settled fairly quickly.

The food is served and, of course, the appetizers are first. The judges this week are Emeril, Tom, Padma and Hugh Acheson, with guests Naomi Pomeroy and the Canlis brothers. Tyler made a fresh crab leg cocktail. Lizzie made marinated herring, which is served with plain saltine crackers. That's ballsy. Josh made the oft-mentioned French onion soup. John's dish is steamed clams Bordelaise and Chrissy made the overdressed Canlis special salad. Finally, Brooke made seafood salad a la Louis.

The judges dig in. The judges think Tyler's crab leg cocktail shines, because it's time period appropriate and he really let the crab shine. Josh's soup, on the other hand, has some problems. It's too salty and not hot enough. The judges want to see the cheese bubbling and it's congealed and just sitting there. One of the brothers point out that diners would have a problem with the soup, because you need a spoon, and then a fork and a knife to eat the crouton, because it's hard. The judges think the seafood is cooked perfectly in Brooke's seafood salad and that it's a quintessential '50s dish. Moving on to Chrissy's Canlis salad: Emeril points out that it's overdressed and the croutons are soggy. Tom thinks she used the outer greens from the head of lettuce, so they were wilted to start out with. It seems like she made a few mistakes: used the outer greens, overdressed them and then added hot bacon and the heat further wilted the greens. Plus her dressing was underseasoned. Yikes. Naomi thinks Lizzie's herring is her favorite dish so far and Emeril loves the saltines. Tom and Emeril both have mild praise for John's dish; it doesn't matter because he has immunity anyway.

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