Top Chef
Mississippi Mud Bags

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

The judges visit Brian’s station first, and he has prepared a Swordfish with a shrimp and sweet onion puree with a fennel Daikon relish. Brian notes that while cold dishes are safe, you have to hit a home run with only seven contestants left.

Nicholas is visited by Padma and Hugh next. His dish looks nasty in that cup. He presents oyster leek soup, oyster champagne emulsion, and oyster green apple yogurt with cured Amberjack on top. Hugh says it’s technically sound but not exciting. A party-goer says she is not impressed with Nick’s soup and her friend says he gives points for foam because he’s from 2006.

Carrie’s flounder croquettes with an oyster emulsion are next. Carrie worries that her fritters don’t feature the fish enough. Fritters are for scraps. One person at the Seafood Council party says she’s allergic to seafood. Why the fuck would you even go to that party, then? Maybe she’s someone’s wife.

Shirley’s tuna and amberjack ceviche is examined next. The guests really like it, as do Hugh and Padma. Nina serves her dish to Tom and John Besh next. It’s a marinated wahoo with salsa verde, tomato sauce and pickled vegetables. Chef Besh says it’s seared perfectly, and the diners comment on the personality of the dish coming out. The Seafood Council talks to the chefs next, schmoozing and laughing at their own jokes like a bunch of jerks.

Carlos’s Amberjack ceviche hits the judges’ palettes next with its shrimp relish. Hugh Acheson says it’s under seasoned and needs acid. Tom wants to see it cut thicker. Stephanie and her fried oysters and tuna are up next. Tom and John seem to like it. When all is said and done, John Besh says the diversity of the Louisiana seafood was highlighted. Meanwhile, Nicholas discovers that Carlos hasn’t taken the best care of his precious, sharp knife, leaving it out with dried and crusty pieces of fish stuck to it. This is why we can’t have nice things, Carlos.

Nicholas is a real brat about it, and acts like the noble victim. He’s just so tired of being nice and he’s not going to do it anymore.

Back in the stew room, the chefs rehash their experience on the water and then turn their attention to the monitor with the judges’ forced conversation on it. They say all the dishes were good but they wanted to see more seafood. John Besh said the ceviches were very safe, but Nina’s was good and they like that she chose the wahoo. Shirley’s ceviche was also solid and highlighted both fish used. They also like Brian’s dish and his perfectly cooked swordfish. Stephanie pulled off a fried oyster. Carlos’s dish is problematic, not highlighting the fish enough. Nicholas has some conceptual issues, and some trouble showing personality in the oyster trio. Carrie’s croquette didn’t show off the flounder at all.

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