Top Chef
'50s Food Flashback

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Parfaits and Calf Liver

John is getting ready to send out the entrees for the judges. Carla is walking around muttering to herself loudly as usual and Stefan tells her to shut it because he can't hear anything. Meanwhile, the servers are bringing the squab back into the kitchen because it's undercooked. It's not clear how much of this information makes it back to Carla; we do see John tell her that the last squab was "a little rare," but that's it. She's too busy arguing with Stefan to listen anyway and as much as I hate John, it's not his job to sit Carla down and talk to her about the doneness of her dish. It's also not clear how much of the squab Carla is testing as it comes off the grill. John tells her about another rare bird and Carla passes the information on to Sheldon and Bart through the tiny slit in the wall. I'm not sure what the fuck Carla is doing all this time. Presumably, her squab is all prepped and just needs to be fired as needed. So is she just standing around arguing with people?

The judges next get the entrees and sides, and John introduces them. Sheldon made fresh Hawaiian mahi mahi and Carla made whole milk-fed squab. Micah had a side of mixed vegetables and Stefan and Kristen put their dishes together: calf's liver and French fried onions. Bart cooked double cut New York steak, and Josie baked gargantuan baked Idaho potatoes. CJ served shish kebab with pilaf, and finally, Kristen made the oft-discussed French mushrooms. Time to eat!

The diners like Sheldon's mahi mahi, which they call "bright and fresh," but Tom notices that he left the blood line on and it shouldn't be there. Maybe in the '50s, they didn't remove the blood line? Just kidding. One of the owners tells how his grandfather used to pack the mahi mahi in suitcases of ice to get it to Seattle from Hawaii and get the Pan Am flight attendants to transport it. Moving on to Micah's vegetables, Hugh thinks some are underdone and some are overdone, but Naomi points out that he picked the correct blend of vegetables for the '50s. It kind of looks like a side dish in a TV dinner, which is probably period appropriate.

Padma likes the squab and the sauce especially, but Hugh and Tom have issues with the way it was butchered and Naomi thinks it's overdone. Sounds like the pendulum swung too far the other way. It does look a mess. Naomi thinks Stefan's calf's liver was totally '50s and Tom and Emeril love that Stefan respected the product and kept the dish simple, with good seasoning. The grandsons love Kristen's onion rings, which are hot and crispy but not too heavy.

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