Top Chef
Po’ Boy Smackdown

Episode Report Card
Career Fare

With very little time to let Choi's saucy words sink in to the bread of their attitudes, the chefs are introduced to the next challenge. Padma says the next guest judge is also in the food truck world … on the silver screen. Essentially, he knows nothing! It's Jon Favreau and he's the director of "Chef." He tells the chefs they'll be cooking using only what they can find in the dumpsters of the French Quarter, and after an awkward half-laugh from Padma, he admits he's kidding. Roy Choi is still unbelievably disappointed.

Favreau plugs his upcoming movie, which is about a chef who has lost his culinary voice so he opens up a food truck and finds himself on a cross-country food trip with his son. So was this the whole point of Roy Choi's lecture? To get them in the mood to promote "Chef" better? Jon Favreau says he reached out to Roy Choi for help with the movie and there's lots more talk about feeling passionate and finding your food voice.

The elimination challenge is to create a dish that represents a career turning point. They will serve the dishes at Café Reconcile, which is a local charity that teaches at-risk youth culinary skills. Jon Favreau invites the chefs to do some "research" for the film with him and join him, Emeril, and Gail on a tour of New Orleans food trucks. Roy Choi pipes in that he will change his flight, just in case we forgot that he's there and he's the food truck king.

The chefs sure get to go out and eat a lot this season. I suppose the price they have to pay are all these heavy, deep conversations they have with the judges. For instance, Brian confesses to his career "low point" when he turned to the drink and got a DUI. Shirley admits that she only recently found her culinary voice on the show in an early challenge (the Vietnamese shrimp challenge).

To blow off a little extra steam that night, the chefs draw and label a picture of Chef Roy Choi and throw darts at it. I'm torn about this reaction because while I agree it's funny, it's also a little immature and rude. But you don't get to the Top 5 being nice, maybe. Right, Stephanie?

The next day, Nina shares that her turning point was working for Scott Conant, and she plans to cook aagnolotti dal plin, an elegant and simple pasta dish. Scott Conant taught her that simple is often the best way. Nicholas is making carrots like, five ways. It's a Nicholas Elmi original idea that he came up with when they were doing tasting menus at his restaurant. Typical asshole turning point.

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Top Chef




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