Top Chef
Into The Fire

Episode Report Card
Keckler: C+ | Grade It Now!
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Food, Fire, and Frog Legs

Colicchio arrives for his Sniff 'n' Sneer. At first I thought he was wearing a blue denim shirt, but then I realized it had too many buttons -- it's actually a chef's coat. I hate chef's coats that aren't white, they look retarded. Colicchio and Marisa laugh over her cut finger and Colicchio advises, "Keep your fingers out of the way." That's real helpful. Colicchio wonders how Elia feels about the ingredients. "I hate the cheese," Elia says quietly. Heh. Elia tells us, "I didn't know what to do with the American Cheese, which is this funky product that shouldn't exist." Hey! It's my grilled cheese sandwich favorite! (Don't tell my bosses at Ye Olde Stanke Cheeseshope, though.) However, pairing it with escargot is pretty stomach-turning. Colicchio moves on to Suyai who makes the mistake of being honest with him. She tells him that she has never cooked worse in her life. Colicchio asks her if she thinks it's a good idea for her to tip her hand to him. Well, I don't know, Coldickio, what do you expect? You're in the kitchen, sniffing and sneering, how can Suyai really hide what's going on? Do you want her to lie? Suyai tells him she doesn't know what else to say. Outside the kitchen, Colicchio sneers that given Suyai's lack of confidence, it's going to be hard for her to finish in the top ten.

Time's up. Carlos presents his Artichoke Potato Cake & Escargot, Coconut Sambal (Indonesian and Malaysian pepper-based condiment) Peanut Sauce. That's how Bravo's graphics department describes it, but since they use ampersands far too liberally, have questionable punctuation, and constantly spell things wrong, I don't have much faith in their description. It looks like a cheese-topped cake but I'll buy that it's made up of artichokes and potatoes, because those could easily get bound together and cook evenly. It also looks like there might be an escargot perched on the top of the cake and off to the side, there's a snail shell filled with something liquid, perhaps the Sambal Peanut Sauce? Carlos explains that the thing on top is actually a "fire-roasted artichoke" and says there are fennel seeds in the escargot. I still don't know where the escargot is -- maybe in the shell with the sauce? After tasting, Josie tells us she was disappointed in Carlos' seasoning, especially since he introduced himself as a four-star restaurant owner.

Next is Frank, who explains that he made raviolis and stuffed them with escargot, American Cheese, and artichoke hearts. The pasta is served saturated in a potato and bell pepper peanut sauce and topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano. Artichoke leaves decorate the exterior of the plate, which makes the presentation appear very amateur. Because it's hard to see the pasta through all the sauce, the whole thing looks like something out of The Gallery of Regrettable Food. Definitely looks like a sixties dip with that edging of artichoke leaves.

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