Top Chef
Guilty Pleasures

Episode Report Card
Keckler: B | Grade It Now!
Cold Stone Chillin'
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

I planned on having a special cocktail for Joey's specific departure, but since I was already experiencing a cocktail bottleneck last week, I totally forgot to place it. Luckily, because Sara N. is the last New York-based cheftestant to go, I can still get away with this cocktail tonight.


2 ounces bourbon (I prefer Maker's Mark or Booker's)
1 ounce vermouth
2 dashes bitters
Maraschino cherry

The Stir:

Combine the first three ingredients in a shaker filled with ice, stir with a long-handled spoon, and strain into a cocktail glass. Add the cherry and toast Joey and Sara N.

It's morning and time for the cheftestants to react to Joey's departure from last week. Brian -- who, in this episode, really doesn't even need my help in appearing crazy -- tells us, "Joey's departure was very emotional." And then his voice gets all Joey Russo as a possible fifth Brian takes over and gabbles, "Yo, yo, yo -- you know?" Another change, as a normal-voiced Brian clarifies, "Joey's definitely going to be somebody who is going to be missed a lot in the house." Dale and CJ talk about visiting Lia, Camille, Joey, and Sara N. in New York after the show is over, and then apropos of nothing, Dale wiggles in his seat and tells us, "I'm still, like, the short, fat, gay kid that was teased in junior high, and I'm very happy I made it this far." Howie tells us that Joey was a good guy and that they had forged a friendship across their "initial difficulties," but that it's not good to get too close to anyone. He then makes sure to add, "If it's them or me, it's gonna be them."

In the Top Chef kitchens, Cold Stone Creamery has set up shop with a table and a silent Cold Stone Creamery worker who keeps her head down as she mixes ice cream on the slab of marble. Standing with guest chef and foodie hottie Govind Armstrong, Padma tells the cheftestants that they have forty-five minutes to create an original mix-in flavor for Cold Stone's sweet cream flavor. Learn from Cold Stone's mistakes: cake batter equals nation-wide salmonella outbreak. In the midst of the ensuing Food Flurry, Hung performs true to character as he scampers back to his station and drops things on the floor. Howie tells us that the sweet cream flavor would go well with berries: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Meanwhile, Hung's not just going for broke, he's going for gross. He frenetically chops up cauliflower. CAULIFLOWER! ["I thought that was a chef thing. I thought maybe you'd know." -- Miss Alli] And tells us that he's going for texture, because "any monkey can make fruit berries and add nuts and make it taste good." Right, because making something taste good, that's for sissies. I mean, why make something yummy when you can make something utterly disgusting? I should note that this is the second time Hung has mentioned monkeys. However, this time it's not his monkey, it's just any random monkey who happens by on the street. Monkeys are very important in Hung's personal culture. It's his only real currency. In fact, a woman is said to be worth her weight in monkeys and a man's wealth is measured by the size of his monkey. And think of how wealthy he must be with a name like "Hung." Dale talks about how all over the place Hung was with his white chocolate cauliflower foam. Okay, this isn't Catalonia and El Bulli Creamery, Hung. This is strip malls and Cold Stone. Teenagers do not want cauliflower foam. Teenagers don't even want cauliflower. Time ticks down, and Tre makes icky faces over Casey using Sriracha chile paste in her ice cream. I'm getting heartburn already.

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