Top Chef

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Let the Bons Mots Roll!
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

The morning after the Christmas non-elimination, Fabio is cooking himself "the breakfast of a-champion - Spam, and pork, and bean." It's nice to know that even Top Chefs slum it with Spam every once in a while. Eugene still hasn't gotten over being in the bottom three; he really doesn't think he should have been there. Feel like this might be a recurring problem? Melissa, on the other hand, is starting to crack under the pressure of being in the bottom three. The music goes from sad to happy as Hosea says that he's thrilled to have won the last challenge. Stefan is not at all intimidated by Hosea, and thinks he could cook circles around him. Stefan has a lot of talk but I haven't really seen the goods to back it up yet. I mean, he's a decent chef, but it's not like he's won every challenge and really wowed the judges or anything. Jamie is feeling down and missing her peeps at home, but it just motivates her to win even more.

Elimination Challenge. Padma introduces the guest judge, Jean-Christophe Novelli, who will apparently be starring in his own Bravo show called Chef Academy. Let me tell you, this dude has all the on-camera charisma of a wet paper towel. A French wet paper towel. That show of his will be thrilling! Then again, it's not like Padma is all pep and vigor. Radhika recognizes Novelli as an "acclaimed pastry chef" so she knows this challenge will have to do with desserts. Padma explains (like it's news) that people want to know more about the food they eat, including calories and other nutritional information, so it's important for chefs to figure out ways to make their dishes healthy. So this challenge will be to create "a sweet treat." The challenge is sponsored by a diet soda that I don't really want to mention by name and give them more free advertising, especially because it's not one that I personally enjoy and so I don't want them to, like, send me a free case or anything. Of course, there is a catch, Padma announces. This causes Melissa to bug her eyes way out, like is she really that surprised? That there's a twist? Anyway, the catch is that they can't use any sugar. For maximum visual drama, some poor PA had to load up a cart with all the sugar in the pantry so that Padma can roll it out of the kitchen. It's sort of like when Oprah rolled in the red wagon of fat on her show. But the opposite. Eugene is not confident about his dessert ability. I don't get why this is so hard -- they can use honey, right? They don't mention if they're allowed sugar substitutes. You'd think they are, since that's what's in diet soda.

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Top Chef

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