Top Chef

Episode Report Card
Carla Sparks: B+ | 172 USERS: D+
The Last Luau

They go shopping at the Whole Foods in Hawaii, and a local market. Nina is worried about doing a dessert, but she has a nice ice cream recipe in her back pocket for this exact purpose. Nicholas is still burnt from being asked if maybe he should resign after a deplorable performance late in the game with immunity. In the kitchen, Travis realizes there's no ice cream machine. It's time to think.

At Nicholas's restaurant, his men get to work on the crudo, scallop noodle, and cured duck. Nina arrives at her kitchen, panicking to come up with a dessert without ice cream. She assigns Stephanie to craft some fancy Italian doughnut. Shirley works on the appetizer as Stephanie also does the pasta course. Travis is making swordfish.

Back in Dude Kitchen, Tom and Emeril stop by for a visit. Nicholas says he's going to do a redemption dessert, the panna cotta he got burned for earlier in the competition. Tom asks him if he is at all intimidated by Nina's flagrant use of spices and seasoning. Nicholas doesn't really answer that with more than a platitude about "throwing it all away and cooking."

Tom and Emeril visit Nina to play some mind games with her about her dessert. She refuses to be toyed with and sticks to her guns (her second guns, after there wasn't an ice cream machine for the first set). As time runs out, Nina is most worried about the pasta dish Stephanie is working on, especially the baby goat that's cooking. These are the things one does not wish to know about their food.

There's still more time for reflecting, as Nina and Nicholas head back to the suite for a glass of wine with Tom and Emeril. Tom is wearing his casual straw fedora to ask casual questions like, "what didn't get done?" Then, Nina and Nicholas's families walk out to join them. They all hug and sit down for a meal with Casual Tom, who couldn't be bothered to dress for this reunion.

We learn more about their histories and families, mainly Nick's, who it seems can't shut up after a glass or two.

The day of the final service, Nicholas is all hopped up on adrenaline. Brian trusts him as a leader and as an executive chef. Nick preps his servers by telling them his restaurant is named after his wife, Chris. "Service will be relatively intense," he tells these fearful staff members in Hawaiian shirts.

Meanwhile, Nina is anxious to check on the goat. So far it is not nearly tender enough. While the goat gets braised and cooked down, she encourages her servers to taste the bread and butter for the service, which is garnished with a little curry salt. At Nick's restaurant, he wants to stage a tasting of his dishes but he's missing a few servers so he claps his hands together a few times in anxious rage, then fires them without their knowledge. He's being a real asshole already.

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Top Chef




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