Top Chef
'50s Food Flashback

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

Hugh didn't like CJ's kebabs, because they were underseasoned and the lamb was mealy. Tom guesses that CJ sous-vided the lamb and Hugh agrees. Tom also hates the pilaf, because the mix of rice is off and it's soggy. Back in the kitchen, CJ is bragging to Josh and Brooke about how he's playing to win. He might want to do less talking and patting himself on the back and more cooking, because his mouth is writing checks that his spatula can't cash.

Emeril thought Bart's steak was just okay, but meat expert Naomi thought it was cut poorly. The grandsons thought Josie's giant potato was fine, but it needed to be hotter and Padma wanted a crisper exterior. It's tough to fuck up a baked potato (unless it's uncooked and given Josie's experience with the turkey, I guess that was a possibility). The judges have nothing but praise for Kristen's mushrooms and wonder how she managed to keep the excess moisture out of them. Tom can't say enough good things about them.

Weird interstitial. The baked potatoes are gigantic. That's about all there was to that segment. Light week, I guess.

And finally, we move on to desserts. Danyele and Eliza had some trouble before sending it out getting the sherbet to freeze up and avoid sending out a dessert you can drink. Danyele made vanilla ice cream and Royal Hawaiian supreme. Eliza made mint sherbet and fresh frozen Hawaiian pineapple parfait. Padma thinks that all of the desserts are '50s, especially the mint sherbet. The judges don't have much to say about the desserts except that they are sweet and period appropriate. I don't think these two will win or lose. They're solidly in the middle of the pack. Danyele's seem to be marginally ahead of Eliza's, if anything.

Overall, the judges thought there was some great dishes, but a few misses, and they have to send some people home. Hugh brings up Chrissy's salad, which was nothing like the original, and was a bad salad to boot. Hugh then brings up the squab, which was poorly butchered and overcooked. Padma hated CJ's kebabs even more, and Tom adds that they were both tough and mushy, which seems like a difficult trick to pull off. Padma brings up Josh's soup, which was way too salty, and didn't have enough cheese. The Canlis boys and Naomi are excused so that the judges can get down to business.

The cheftestants sit in the Stew Room and various people assure Josh that his soup was great. Brooke does say it was a little salty. Padma walks in and asks to see Stefan, Tyler, Lizzie and Kristen. Once they assemble in front of the judges, Padma tells them that they are the top four. Stefan and Tyler are notably relieved. Hugh tells Tyler that his dish was clean and straightforward. Padma tells Lizzie that her herring was flavorful and balanced and Tom admired her audacity to include a saltine. Tom asks Kristen if she was worried about having two side dishes. Kristen says she was, and didn't think her dishes were difficult enough. Tom and Padma assure her that she did a great job and they've seen similar dishes go very wrong. Emeril tells Stefan that they were impressed with how Stefan respected the product and kept it simple. Hugh announces that the winner is... Kristen. They all seem actually happy for her. I'm just psyched that being relegated to a side dish didn't mean that she got overlooked. Stefan is really happy for her. A little too happy. I think Stefan has a Jamie-style crush on her.

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