Top Chef
Mississippi Mud Bags

Episode Report Card
Carla Sparks: C | 23 USERS: B
YOU GRADE IT
One Fish, Two Fish

John Besh tells the chefs that the etouffees that were the most successful were the ones that coaxed maximum flavor out of the shells. Carrie, Nicholas, Stephanie, and Carlos have the least successful dishes and barely smothering anything. Brian’s luscious sauce, Nina’s flavorful handmade pasta, and Shirley’s velvety broth were hits. Shirley wins the challenge and immunity, securing her spot in the top six.

Padma moves things right along saying that New Orleans is a city that never needs an excuse to have a party. Since this show is one that can turn anything into a theme, it’s a great fit. For this occasion-less party, the chefs are cooking a dish highlighting two different kinds of seafood for 200 guests at Mardi Gras World. Padma faked them out at first, telling them there will be 1,000 guests. That is too many. As a treat, John Besh cooking for them that night at his home.

Chef Besh cooks for them home-style and allows all of them to admire his beautiful hair and wife. They sit around the table and talk about feelings and John Besh tells them about cooking from the heart.

The next day, instead of getting proteins from Whole Foods, the chefs hop into this giant seafood truck. It’s just sitting out there in the parking lot and it’s a little eerie. Nina gets wahoo and shrimp. Shirley decides to do tuna and Amberjack ceviche with an Asian flair. Nicholas is doing oysters three different ways. Brian is doing swordfish and shrimp sauce. Stephanie has chosen oysters and tuna, while Carrie is making oysters and flounder and possibly tuna. Carrie is poaching her fish and turning it into a fritter, which Shirley doesn’t think is showcasing the local seafood.

Nicholas chooses to shuck his own oysters, which is time-consuming. Carlos is trying to redeem his fish slicing techniques and asks Nick for a sharper knife but Nicholas doesn’t help out. Later, he decides to lend Carlos his sharp knife, which is a precious wedding gift. Shirley is also working with keen knife cuts for a cold dish, like Nicholas and Carlos. Time is running out and the chefs work on putting their dishes into little plastic cups and plates.

The crowd streams in and fills up the tent set up for a no-particular-reason-party. The judges come in to have a beer and discuss the pitfalls of this challenge. Tom advises failing big rather than being stuck in the middle, but that could just be the beer talking. Stephanie is batch-frying her oysters, which is causing a very long line at her station.

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