Top Chef
Rebuilding New Orleans

Episode Report Card
Carla Sparks: C | 25 USERS: B
The Good, The Bad, The Ceviche

As is required with anything mentioning New Orleans or even Louisiana, the chefs spend time talking about Hurricane Katrina and reflecting on the devastation. Justin evacuated and came back to find everything trashed, so he is also excited to cook for the volunteers. Anyone who says they aren’t is just a douche.

All the teams are feeling confident about their menu and experience. Something’s going on with Bene, though. Bene resents being asked to hand other chefs batter and greens, calling it the role of a sous chef. And sometimes when chefs don’t feel like they’re being respected, they throw a wrench into the gears just to say it was their wrench. So yeah, Bene is a ticking time bomb.

Over on the surfin’ Blue Team, Jason and Nicholas are taking the lead trying to make sure Patty and Bret don’t screw up too bad. Jason has also taken it upon himself to be the charm of the team, asking some volunteers, "So where are you guys from? Are you from New Orleans? Were you affected is that why you’re volunteering?" and it’s so obvious he isn’t listening. But it’s important that this experience make Jason feel like he’s doing something good.

Padma, Gail, Tom and Susan Spicer arrive at the work sites and split up to try the food. Ceviche, ceviche, ceviche! The Yellow Team is up first, serving Carlos’s favorite word – ceviche -- with shrimp. Carrie and Aaron put together beef and pork curry empanadas. Carlos and Aaron put together Tilapia tacos with a chipotle aioli. The judges and volunteers like the empanadas and ceviche. But quit ramming those tacos down our throat, Carlos.

The Blue Team (Jason’s team) serves next. Jason worries his rolls are getting soft, but he just can’t help that the ladies want more. "I love quinoa," a volunteer tells Jason. Totally hitting on him.

Jason puts forth a salmon hand roll, Nicholas did a grilled shrimp, Bret made a coconut ceviche and Patty made a tuna slider. Gail and Tom do not seem super impressed with the blue team’s food, and how could they be when everyone is living in Jason’s glorious, Adonis-shaped shadow? It’s what makes the ceviche so cold.

The Red Team serves their mix of Caribbean and Southern flavors to Tom and Gail next. Janine worked up a cold gazpacho (not a ceviche, ten points from Gryffindor), Justin made a lobster and crab fritter. Nina and Bene made a jerk chicken sandwich and Michael made a burnt honey ricotta for dessert. The judges’ reviews are mixed but the volunteers’ reviews are all positive, just like their attitudes.

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