Top Chef

Episode Report Card
Chuck: A- | Grade It Now!
Beat This Meat

Stephanie's beef tenderloin with salsify puree, wild mushrooms, and apple sauce strikes Padma as "really gorgeous", while Harold seems impressed that he wants to finish the whole dish, and Hung loves it. What about Ilan, hater of tenderloin? Sadly, we may never know (unless, of course, we spend twelve seconds online, which we are not going to do). Offering words of encouragement, Colicchio seems to be enjoying his role in the kitchen, and Antonia enjoys having him there, in the trenches with the cheftestants as opposed to glaring at them from across the judges' table. She's serving a bone-in rib eye with fennel and cipollinis, along with a shallot and potato gratin served in individual baking dishes. It's the kind of food she -- a self-proclaimed "super picky eater" -- would like to see at a steakhouse. Her colossal steak would not look out of place at a restaurant for giant people -- and this being Chicago, "giant" is open to interpretation. Ilan adores the fattiness of the cut, although he's slightly put off by the incredible richness of everything on the plate. It's Rick's favorite, as he feels it's the "most rounded", by which perhaps he means fattest. As service ends, Stephanie feels confident in her performance -- she doesn't think she could have done anything better -- and while Antonia hopes she'll be headed to Puerto Rico, "Nobody knows". Except for all of us.

Spike commemorates the final trip to the stew room by opening a bottle of wine, although Lisa contends that she could use a Xanax (you and me both). She opts for beer, and offers a truly heartfelt toast to their hard work and lasting bond. Uh, too bad everyone hates you, Lisa. Padma interrupts the revelry to call all five to the judges' table, where Colicchio has transformed himself from jocular co-worker back to stern-faced magistrate. Harold, Ilan and Hung have vanished, leaving Padma, Gail and Rick to join Colicchio in crushing someone's hopes and dreams. Padma starts with Richard, who almost falls for her "How did you feel you did?" trick before telling her to just get the hell on with it and tell him how he did. Had he made the appetizer before? Yes. Would he put it on his menu? With a few tweaks. Tiring of this silly cat and mouse game, Rick steps in to offer some actual feedback: "It was a brilliant dish for me", he says, marred only by too few sweetbreads, but one of his favorite dishes of the evening. The main dish, on the other hand, was inconsistently undercooked (Gail). No mention of the deconstruction, but Richard's safe.

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Top Chef




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