Top Chef
Napa's Finest

Episode Report Card
Keckler: B+ | Grade It Now!
Truffle Pigs
Oh my god, I think they killed me with all the Kenmore-appliance-flogging in that food flurry. Harold's not there to cook junk food, Tiffani doesn't want to change what a corndog is, Lee Anne likes to take everyday food and make it her own, Dave spazzes and runs through the kitchen. Tiffani doesn't think Dave will be around much longer. Well, you're wrong, aren't you, bitch? Dave will do what he's gotta do to get it done. And HELLO! Someone is using Chimay Red in something they're making. Sign me up for a piece of that! I mean, Chimay White is the best, with Chimay Blue coming in as a close second, but when it comes right down to it, anything Chimay is the shit-may. Time's up.

Starting with Harold, we learn that he has made an Ecuadorian ceviche (shrimp, calamari, Clementines, lime juice) with popcorn cakes. As the judges taste, Harold asks, "Taste like popcorn?" It does, apparently. "Got my Pop Secret in the Kenmore microwave." Oh, Harold. You stooped. Colicchio congratulates him on his dish. Tiffani looks impassive. It's amazing how much bitchier she can look when she has virtually no expression on her face.

Tiffani presents her chorizo and duck sausage corndog with Camembert cream dipping sauce. Given the opportunity, I would bathe in Camembert, and I do love chorizo and duck, but the three of them together sort of cancel each other out in terms of richness. There's just no need for one when you have the other. It's like wrapping Kobe beef with lobster. Just let the one flavor sing its loudest without being shouted down by another flavor of equal intensity. "It's really good," Colicchio says, and they move on.

Lee Anne shows off her gourmet hotdog. She made a Japanese seafood hotdog with spicy mustard and lotus chips. They sample, nod appreciatively, and move on.

As they move on to Dave, he confesses his distress to us that he had a sloppy plate of nachos. He tells the judges that he got "overzealous" in trying to make everything from scratch, "but the flavors are going to be there." He always has a story or an excuse, doesn't he? Dave presents his Seafood Nachos with Fire-Roasted Tomato and Papaya Salsa along with an Avocado Crema. He also made refried black beans and took scallops and quickly cooked them and put them on the chips. Okay. So, I'm not a top chef, but fire-roasting tomatoes and papaya doesn't take all that long. Next, you whiz them in the Cuisinart and season into a salsa. Avocado Crema? Isn't that just raw avocado and buttermilk or sour cream or something that you didn't actually milk the animal for and drain yourself? Scallops quickly sliced and cooked? Five minutes. The only thing I wonder about is if he actually took dried beans and soaked them before cooking them and then refrying them himself. But hey, Rosarita's refried black beans in a can? Damn delicious. Also? Easy. Maybe he was actually dumb enough to make the chips himself? Who knows. They thank him.

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Top Chef




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