Top Chef
Snacks On A Plane

Episode Report Card
Keckler: B- | 1 USERS: A+
Chopping Broccolini

Casey's hair in some of these interviews is so over-roll-brushed, it looks like a really, really bad Rachel Green wig. She tells us she was a bit worried about her veal medallions cooking all the way through. Presenting her dish, Casey explains her "very lightly grilled veal medallions" with a cremini apple-brandy sauce and cauliflower gratin made with gruyere. Bourdain and Colicchio have nothing bad to say about this dish, even as Colicchio holds his knife and fork chopstick-style in one hand. What was that about? Congressman Jimmy talks across the aisle to an elite flight attendant about how they would normally stay away from strong vegetables like Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Padma leans over and adds, "You want to give them something that's gentle on the tummy." She's really hysterical. Casey high-fives Dale in the galley and tells him, "You rock."

Padma thanks all the elite flight attendants for their help, and strides back to coach to tell the waiting cheftestants that the results were "really mixed" and she'll see them at Judges' Table. Casey really wants to get to New York, as does CJ, who says he's talented enough that New York is the place he "should" be.

Judges' Table. After some of the usual preliminaries -- which, gratifyingly, included Bourdain saying that it is really hard to cook on a plane -- the judges talk about all the dishes. They mostly liked Dale's, but note that he didn't plate all the necessary portions; hated Brian's hash specifically and dish overall; loved Hung's sea bass; loved Casey's creative, daring veal; thought Sara's couscous was "scary" and really disliked her salmon; and dump all over CJ's overcooked Broccolini. On that subject, Colicchio opines that CJ's veg never should have been served. Pfft! Like they'd ever let him get away with that! If he hadn't served the Broccolini and explained that it wasn't up to snuff, they'd totally rip him for not making it right in the first place! They're so inconsistent on this show that I just have a hard time taking certain judgments seriously. Bourdain says he's scraped prettier things out of the garbage. He has, you know -- it was a special at Les Halles, "Le Déjeuner des Déchets."

In the back, the Brians say, "So, no matter what happens today, kids, we've all had a good ride." All four of you. "Yeah, it was a pleasure meeting you guys," CJ agrees. "Same here," Sara adds. Hung's just thinking, "Whatever, I don't even remember any of your names. I'm just here to win." Padma calls back Hung, Casey, and Dale. In front of the judges, the three cheftestants are congratulated for having the three top dishes. "Dale," Padma says, "it was deeeelisshhhhous, Dale." Bourdain needs to add that it wasn't "the most creative thing in the world," but it was a crowd-pleaser. Padma asks Dale about the missing serving, and Dale cops to miscalculating his portions and getting the number seventeen stuck in his head when it should have been eighteen. Next, the Continental Congressman praises Hung's choice of sea bass, before Bourdain heaps praise on Casey's veal dish. The Continental Congressman names Casey the winner, and she gets two round-trip "business-first" tickets to anywhere in the world Continental flies. Niiiice! She can bring her new laptop on the plane! Casey tells us that she knows she was "firmly in the middle" when the competition started, but now she's on a roll and it feels good.

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