Top Chef

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Ho No

Now it's time for the second course. Stefan goes first, and explains that he has a pan-seared squab with braised cabbage, schupfnudeln (hand-rolled dumplings), foie gras, and grape jus. I feel like this dish is totally Stefan, and that he did the best job cooking something that really represents his culinary point of view. Carla explains that she was going for refined comfort food, so she made sous-vide New York strip steak with seared potato in a merlot sauce. I think she said that the steak was grilled as well as prepared sous-vide, but it was hard to tell. Hosea explains that his dish is seared scallop with foie gras on pain perdu, served with apple preserves and foie gras foam. Oh, that foam. I blame Blais for that one.

The diners dig in, and Gail quickly asks if everyone is finding Carla's sirloin to be tough. Colicchio blames it on the sous-vide. Ti Martin compliments the sauce, but both Colicchio and Toby point out that the dish doesn't seem like Carla at all. Fabio doesn't think it was a winning dish. In contrast, everyone loves Stefan's squab, and Gail points out that it gave a good sense of who Stefan is as a chef. Gail adds that Hosea's dish is incredible as well. Rocco whines that he's tired of eating foie gras. The thousand people that got laid off this week in New Orleans (and everywhere else) all rise up as a nation and beat him about the head with a rack of lamb. Shut up, Rocco. Just when I was starting to like you. Branford Marsalis wins me back as he chuckles that he could never get tired of eating foie gras. So it looks like Hosea and Stefan were a tie for this course, with Carla bringing up the rear. Stefan may have had a slight edge in terms of praise.

Back in the kitchen, the cheftestants are prepping to serve their final course. Carla puts her soufflé batter into tiny cups and sticks it in the oven. Hosea interviews that Stefan did a dessert for his final course, and Hosea didn't, so that could be the difference between winning and losing. Stefan interviews that he thinks it's bullshit that Hosea's not doing a dessert.

Just before plating, Carla watches her miniature soufflés in the oven, and notices that they are bubbling because the oven is too hot. She interviews that she forgot to turn the oven down, so the soufflé boiled and curdled, and she realizes that she couldn't serve it. There are only four minutes until service when she makes this discovery. She realizes she needs to serve everything but the soufflé, but the soufflé was what brought the whole dish together. It's really heartbreaking as you see Carla realize that there's no coming back from this and there's no way to fix it in the two minutes she has until service.

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Top Chef

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