Top Chef

Episode Report Card
Kim: A | Grade It Now!
It's Up to The Egg At This Point

The judges move on to Bryan, and Gail says, "I totally fell in love with Brian's ravioli." That's what she said. Tom brings up the seasoning issue again. Chiarello was impressed with the degree of difficulty, and thinks Bryan delivered. Then they discuss Kevin, and how he took simple ingredients and produced a ton of flavor. Backstage, Kevin pretty much admits that he knew the judges wouldn't like the texture of his beef, so he called it toothsome so that they would think it was done on purpose. And sure enough, Tom says that Kevin can spin yarns all he wants but the bottom line is that the texture wasn't great. Backstage, the cheftestants agree that it's a tough decision for the judges, whereas in past seasons, it's been easier because, as Michael puts it, "there's been enough shite on the table."

The cheftestants are called back in to face the music and find out who's going to the finals. Tom says that their high expectations were met, but they can only bring three to the finale. Chiarello says that the winner of the challenge used the local ingredients well and seasoned the food "as close to perfectly as possible," so it's Bryan. Wait, Bryan? After Tom complained again and again about how his food wasn't seasoned properly? What the? Bryan seems pretty stunned as well.

Tom announces to the three that are left that they all made great dishes with something small missing. Kevin's beef was slightly stringy, Michael's egg was undercooked, and Jen seemed unsure and let the fire die out. HORROR! Shouldn't they be judging based on the food they were served, not the food that was originally promised? Anyway, Padma tells Jen to pack her knives and go. That's kind of horseshit. I mean, it's always tough for us at home to judge, because we don't get to taste the food, but it seemed like they were all praise for her food and suddenly they got mad that she didn't grill the duck. I actually blame the editing, since you know the judges deliberate for hours and it's the editors' job to craft a narrative that makes sense from that footage. And according to Tom's blog, Jen's duck dish was so salty that it was inedible. It would have been nice to have that mentioned near the end!

So our final three are Kevin, Bryan, and Michael, which will be awesome. Any combination would have been good. I just would have liked a little more explanation of what was so much more wrong with Jen's mistake than the others'. Jen hugs them all goodbye and leaves. Bryan goes to shake Michael's hand, and Michael rips on him for not hugging his own brother. That's the first time Michael actually cracked me up. He should make fun of his uptight brother more often.

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Top Chef




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