Top Chef
Leaving New Orleans

Episode Report Card
Carla Sparks: C+ | 48 USERS: C
YOU GRADE IT
What's Old is New Orleans Again

Nicholas has been given yet another chance. When will enough be enough? Shirley lightheartedly calls him an asshole in the stew room, and we learn that Nicholas's father has Parkinson's and it still doesn't really excuse his asshole-y behavior. Carlos is feeling like the dark horse of the competition, but he's "not here to make friends." Yes, people are still saying that without irony.

The Top Four walk into the kitchen to see Padma, Tom and Gail. This means it's a big deal. Padma says it's the last QuickFire in New Orleans and while immunity is off the table, they're giving away a car. "Another car?" Shirley asks, having won the last one. This QuickFire will have two parts. Gail and Tom have each devised a challenge. Gail's is an amuse-bouche challenge: creating the perfect bite on a cocktail fork. It's crazy! That challenge will eliminate two chefs. The other two will move on to Tom's challenge.

The chefs get to work in their 20 minutes. Nina starts in on a marinated shrimp bite. Nicholas calmly works on a take on steak and potatoes. Shirley is also working on steak, but hers will be with a sweet and tart cherry sauce, among other things. Carlos is constructing a spicy shrimp. Nicholas grills Shirley about whether or not she turned up the fryer and he's being such a dick for no reason. Carlos adds mango as everyone struggles to add every ingredient to these tiny cocktail forks.

Carlos is first, with a grilled mango with shrimp and chili glaze. Nick has a beef deckle (haha what is that) with aged balsamic and purple potato chips. What a fancy guy. Shirley's Jenga game quickly falls apart as the judges lift their forks. She made tataki style flank steak with black pepper cherry and crispy onions and mint. Nina presents a shrimp escabeche with potato aioli and pickled shallots. The judges liked all of them, but Shirley's wasn't on top and Nina's was a little greasy. Gail sends Carlos and Nicholas to Tom's final round.

Tom's macho battle of the ages is to feature either pepper or eggplant, Tom's favorite vegetables. Nick and Carlos race to the plate to claim their produce and Nick gets the eggplant and brags about being on the track team. Ugh, he's such an ass. He gets to work on eggplant two ways. Carlos is making roasted red pepper soup, promising to call it Red Toyota Corolla Soup on his menu if he wins this challenge. How humiliating for everyone involved. Have some dignity and don't call it that, Carlos.

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