Top Chef

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Buy Me Some Peanuts and…Tuna Tartare?

The judges show up to eat, and here are the dishes:

Kelly's dish is an open-faced crab cake BLT with sweet potato fries. Tiffany's dish is an Italian meatball sub with fennel, basil pesto, and fresh mozzarella. Amanda made yellowfin tuna tartare with fennel, Meyer lemon, and fava bean puree. Amanda knows that it's a risk to serve gray tuna to Rick Moonen and Eric Ripert, but she hopes that they will judge on flavor ahead of appearance, because she knows it tastes good.

The judges sit in the stadium seats and try the first three dishes. Rick says that it takes "baseballs" to serve raw fish in a stadium. Ripert says that the appearance it turning him off before he even tastes it, but Tom thinks that the vegetables that came with it are prepared perfectly. They move on to Kelly's dish, which Rick likes, but Padma finds a bit salty. Tom points out that it will definitely sell beer. These crabcakes are making me THIRSTY. And finally, talking about Tiffany's dish, Rick thinks that she took the classic meatball sub to the next level. Ripert has a little trouble eating it, since it's big and messy, but Rick advises him to just take charge. And seriously, if a meatball sub is neat, it's not worth eating in my book.

Back at the concession stand, everything has smoothed out and service is going well. Ed and Angelo are joking around with one another and feeling good about things. Angelo interviews that everyone is positive except for Kevin. I think Angelo should share some of his Robbins wisdom with Kevin. I think that would go over REALLY well.

The judges go back for the other three dishes. Angelo made sweet glazed pork on lobster roll with sweet sesame pickles. Kevin serves chicken kebab with Romesco sauce, shoestring fries, and smoked paprika aoli. And Ed made shrimp and corn risotto fritters with jalapeno aoli.

The judges return to the stadium seats to taste. Rick likes Ed's fritters because they are crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside, and they stayed hot throughout. Tom points out that the corn is sweet, and he also approves. Back at the stand, Kevin explains that he's not sure why his dish isn't getting more orders, and he plated it with the shoestring potatoes on top to give the dish some crunch. Ripert says that the chicken is moist but he doesn't like the plating. Some of the guests point out how long the skewers are and how it's impossible to eat it without impaling your mouth on the skewer. One of them also supports my theory about trying something new and interesting, so why would you order chicken? Finally, they talk about Angelo's sandwich. Ripert and Tom both don't like the bun, which they think is too much bread. Rick says that there's nice heat but no finish. I don't even know what that means, but he's the expert. I guess it tastes the same from the time you put it in your mouth until the end?

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Top Chef




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