Top Chef
'50s Food Flashback

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Parfaits and Calf Liver

Kristen goes back and has to send out Carla, Chrissy, CJ and Josh. Those four stand in front of the judges and Padma tells them that their dishes were underwhelming and two of them will be going home. Josh is told that his dish was almost inedibly salty and it was cold. Josh can't believe that the soup was cold and blames it on John and his faulty expedition (expediting? Expedititorium?). Chrissy is told that her salad was soggy and the dressing didn't have enough flavor.

Tom tells Carla that her squab was poorly butchered and overcooked and he wonders if it came out the way she wanted. Carla says sadly that she got to try the last one and Tom and Padma interrupt her like, "WTF are you talking about that you only got to try the last one?" Carla explains that she didn't actually cook her own food and she did check it a few times. Padma's jaw literally drops. Tom points out that, as chefs, they often have other people cooking their food for them, but they know that ultimately they are responsible for the dish and it needs to be checked and rechecked until it's perfectly done. And would you really want one of your competitors cooking your food? Perfect opportunity for sabotage. I don't think that's what Sheldon and Bart did, but it just seems like a bad idea all around.

Finally, CJ is told that his lamb was mushy and Padma asks him if it was what he wanted. CJ says that the grilling wasn't charring it enough, so he sous-vided it too. And then grilled it, hoping that some of the edges would get charred and thus not be mushy, since it's not like he had enough lamb to redo the whole thing. Tom is aghast and wonders why CJ would do that, since it's not remotely period appropriate. Emeril says that the lamb was dry and the marinade didn't come through.

Tom doesn't think that any of these were cases of chefs having problems with the period. They were all technical issues. CJ says that he shouldn't have used a sous-vide and it was a mistake, but it shouldn't send him home. That's his whole argument? My dish was bad and it was my fault, but it wasn't THAT bad? Josh's argument is basically, "It wasn't my fault" as he continues to taste John. Did John add extra salt to your dish? Chrissy made the dressing as close to the original as she could based on only a description, but that doesn't explain the overdressing. Carla has no defense. Then they do that new thing where they each do an interview about how they don't want to go home. Filler.

Tom tells them that their dishes wouldn't have been good in 1950 and they're not good today. Ouch. Two people are going home and those two people are Chrissy and Carla. Wow. I don't know if they are necessarily the worst chefs, but they did both get stuck with dishes that they didn't really want and that no one else wanted. I'm not saying it's because they were women, but there does seem to be a sexist streak running through this particular group along with a cockiness factor between John, CJ, Josh and Micah all bragging about how awesome they are. So far only John has been rewarded by the judges and I for one can't wait until he gets his ass handed to him, hopefully by a woman.

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