Top Chef
Piggin’ Out

Episode Report Card
Carla Sparks: C | 17 USERS: B
Porks and Knives

The diners applaud, then mosey over toward the food to graze on that 300 lb. hog. Yum, pig parts. I don't see a photo of the pig or a memorial set up anywhere around the Bayou Barn. I'll remember you, pig. Ha ha, I just realized they had to cook the pig's asshole. Posthumous revenge!

The judges head for the stations, Padma dressed in a chambray jumpsuit that only Padma Lakshmi could wear. Brian plates first, with a "porchetta" with oyster mushrooms; the judges like it. Sara made a pork dim sum and it goes over well. Justin's wood-roasted pork breast taco comes up short, while Carlos's taquito is different and good. It has that hip tang, I guess. Awww, I miss you Dr. John. I'll name the pig after you. Both gone too soon from this show.

Shirley's food also goes down smooth, and while the plebeians like Louis's popcorn pork or whatever, Tom does not. Stephanie made a braised pork belly and she feels it's incomplete. Padma likes every aspect of it except the pork belly. Travis's "Casian" food is good but he didn't make his own noodles. Carrie made "crispy trotters," which is a fancy way of saying fuckin' feet. What part of the feet could it be? I don't want to know. I long for the time when we were all laughing and making hot sauce.

Nick folded together some pig neck and it is "super rich." Nina's pig's head ragu is spicy and the heat keeps coming. The Boucherie masters are polite about all the dishes, in the name of community.

The judges gather before the monitor to hear Tom say this is the most enjoyable food he's had in eleven seasons. He appreciated the multi-ethnic quality and authenticity in the dishes. Shirley had a good dish, Nina's stew did not fall flat after all, Brian's pork and Carlos's taquitos were also good. Justin's meat was dry, though, from being scalded by the flames of hell. Justin gets defensive and I like him less. Louis is also struggling, alongside Travis and his store-bought ramen noodles. Stephanie's dish isn't flavorful enough. The monitor turns off and Justin gets real butthurt about the leanness of the meat. How dare he say that about the porcine Dr. John (RIP)!

Nina, Shirley and Carlos are called to the Judges' Table first. They had, of course, the best dishes. Shirley made some kickass dumplings and was happy to do it, inspired by her heritage. Carlos was also inspired by his family and his soup and taco combo killed it. The judges declare that, by a very narrow margin, Carlos is the winner.

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Top Chef




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