Top Chef

Episode Report Card
Kim: B | Grade It Now!
Sunset Lounge? Isn't That a Don Henley Song?
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

How have I never noticed before this that Jeff winks at the camera in the opening credits and the editors put in a little "ting!" sound effect? That is awesome.

Morning. Hosea's reading a book on the balcony (and how refreshing to see someone on a reality show reading a book for pleasure), and Stefan comes out and asks if he's almost done. Hosea says he's almost halfway done, just like the competition! I would think that was scripted, but it seemed pretty genuine. Carla interviews that it seems more like psychological warfare than a cooking competition at this point, and gives the example of Ariane, who got thrown under the bus by Hosea and Leah at Judges' Table. I get what Carla is saying but A) Ariane could have stood up for herself more and B) I'm not sure what everyone expected Hosea and Leah to do. Carla's the only one who will flat out tell the judges, "I screwed up!" and while that may be noble, it's also not the smartest move strategically. I don't think the judges were fooled - they just determined that Ariane was ultimately responsible for her own food, and should have refused to cook the lamb if she didn't know how to prepare it properly. Radhika also thinks that Leah and Hosea were responsible.

Back out on the balcony, Hosea says that when he gets home, the first thing he will do is see his girlfriend. Hey, here comes Leah! That conversation quickly ends. Leah interviews that she feels bad this morning about what happened with Ariane. Fabio and Jeff magically appear on the balcony and Fabio says that Ariane "got the big shit stick." Leah coolly says that Ariane didn't stick up for herself and then interviews that this is a competition and people will be leaving, and you have to learn to move on. I never would have predicted that they would be setting Leah up as the season's villain. Or co-villain with Stefan.

Quickfire Challenge. The cheftestants enter the kitchen to find Padma with the guest judge, Stephen Starr, a very successful restaurant owner. Hosea explains that Starr owns a lot of Asian restaurants but is mainly know for his success in the biz. Padma announces with a great deal of enthusiasm (especially for her) that Starr's presence means that it's time for RESTAURANT WARS! The cheftestants clap and smile, because they've been waiting for this. Starr reminds them that success comes from not just the food, but also the d├ęcor, the service, and the ambience. For the Quickfire, they will create one dish to showcase their prospective restaurant concept. Starr will pick his two favorites. The winners don't get immunity, but they will be the owners of the two restaurants for the Elimination Challenge. Padma tells them that they have thirty minutes and can use whatever they can access in the kitchen, and sends them on their way.

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Top Chef




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