Top Chef
Po’ Boy Smackdown

Episode Report Card
Career Fare

I'm impressed that Top Chef has stayed in New Orleans this long. It seems like in previous seasons they were all too quick to ditch the season's title location. I'm also impressed with Nicholas's audacity to say he cooked well enough in a Quickfire he almost lost to Shirley, to send Stephanie home. Shirley is back in the stew room, as upset as we've seen anyone on this show. Nicholas looks emotionless because he's the asshole.

Nina admits she isn't sure she'd give immunity up, either. It's down to the wire now, so someone good will go home every time. For the next Quickfire, the chefs are greeted by Roy Choi. Brian tells us Roy Choi is the king of the food truck, and I believe it if his cool clothes are any indication. Padma says he's known for his "rebellious style" and Roy Choi tells the chefs about how he reinvented the whole tortilla thing in L.A. Tacos are to Los Angeles as po' boys are to New Orleans, so this challenge is all about making a po' boy.

Padma asks the chefs for their own take on a po' boy. Shockingly, immunity is still in play. The chefs start working on their ingredients as Nina tells us in an interview that it's actually quite difficult. Shirley is, of course, doing a Chinese po' boy, using catfish. Carlos is doing a Mexican po' boy. Nick gets to work on a New England fried shrimp po' boy. Brian is ready to face off against fellow Korean Roy Choi by using Korean flavors for his creation. Nina wants to represent the Caribbean.

Nicholas's overflowing fried shrimp spicy po' boy is up first and Shirley looks on, casting doubt on her own sandwich. Her Chinese catfish po' boy is first. Padma says the catfish isn't overdone and that's good, but Roy Choi is very quiet and studious. He's pretty serious for a guy wearing such a stupid looking hat. Oops, I mean cool. The hat is cool.

Nina's fried mahi po' boy offers the flavors of Saint Lucia and pickled onions. Brian is greeted happily by Roy Choi, but will his sandwich get the same reception? Carlos's Mexican po' boy is hard to read, as Roy says he's very picky about his Mexican food. In the end, Choi says the chefs missed the boat on this challenge. He's very critical for a food truck guy, and even tells them, "y'all fucked this shit up." Padma stifles a giggle. I don't know how I feel about this guy.

Roy Choi says the sandwiches lacked soul; they were thinking too much as chefs. Then he goes down the line and tears each chef a new one. Choi wants a po' boy to be more in your face. Unenthusiastically and reluctantly, Roy Choi pronounces Shirley the winner. He sulks as Padma awards her with immunity. "Hopefully my words will kick you in the ass," Choi says.

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Top Chef




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