Top Chef
Po’ Boy Smackdown

Episode Report Card
Career Fare

Nina freaks out to finish her revamped dish and rolls it out second. She presents to the judges a homemade fettuccine with charred calamari, pine nut gremolata and crab meat. She says it represents the moment she realized that it doesn't have to involve 10,000 flavors and simplicity is the best way to go. The judges concur that the calamari is right and the pasta is cooked perfectly. Yay, Nina!

Brian is up next; telling all the judges this time about how he got burnt out four years ago then got re-inspired by these flavors. He wisely omits the info about the DUI. He offers his chicken anticucho with twice cooked potatoes and feta walnut pesto. The judges are none too thrilled with the chicken breast featured in Brian's dish. They say it's heavy and boring. Someone finds a raw potato, not even cooked once.

Carlos goes fourth, telling the judges about his braised pork belly with sweet potato puree and a chipotle tamarind glaze. He says it's from when he first opened up his restaurant. All that matters is the flavor. The judges definitely like this one better than that damn chicken breast.

Nicholas whines about not being able to execute the dish he wanted (with quinoa that was not burnt to shit.) He shares his approach to modern carrot cuisine and yellowfin tuna to the judges, mentioning that his crispy quinoa didn't work out. Padma says the sauces are great and the dish is sophisticated, but Emeril and Tom agree that the dish is under-seasoned. Even the Café Reconcile at-risk youths don't like this dish. One of them says, "I mean, it's not nasty or nothin' but … it's too gooey." I'm thinking Nicholas may be at-risk next.

The chefs don't get to watch the monitor in the stew room this time. Padma brings them all to the judges' table. After Emeril thanks them for inspiring these kids, the first chef under fire is Nina. Nina talks about how she had to adapt because of the kitchen heat. They tell her it worked out; the pasta was perfectly cooked. Brian's dish, however, was too heavy and inconsistent. Also, why boneless skinless chicken breast?

Shirley's dish was great—if this is her voice, they like the sound of it. Gail calls the broth breathtaking. Nicholas shifts his weight anxiously. Carlos tells the judges proudly about his pork belly and how it's his signature dish. He also has some choice sass for Jon Favreau saying, "you're doing a movie but my life is real." The judges liked Carlos's signature dish, fortunately for his real life.

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Top Chef




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