Top Chef
Snacks On A Plane

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

Time ticks down, and the Brians wonder where CJ is and if he's packing up his cart the way the rest of them are. The Brians tell us they are worried about CJ at this time, and note that Hung was cleaning his knives. Dale tells us, "No matter what, you don't let the person next to you go down. Even though this is a competition, I want to have my dish be evaluated next to someone's whose is complete and doesn't lose it on a technicality. At this point I'm starting to realize that Hung is not a team player, I think that's wrong, I think it shows no integrity. There's much more to being a chef than just a pretty plate that tastes good." Meanwhile, Casey has asked if CJ needs her help, while Hung shrugs to us, "CJ never asked for my help, so I'm cleaning my station." I had a flash of Hung lying on the floor bleeding from a barbecue fork wound and CJ shrugging, "Hung never asked for my help, so I'm cleaning my station." Time's up and as the buzzer goes off, the cheftestants hold their hands high above their heads. Whatever CJ's issues were, all of the cheftestants seem to have gotten all their dishes safely in the carts.

A large hangar door opens and the sun shines in behind the shadowed cheftestants as they walk in. You can almost hear the soundtrack from The Right Stuff. Standing, like, REALLY far back from the judges (in order to get a long shot of the 777 Boeing jet?), the cheftestants are introduced to guest judges Tony Bourdain and Jimmy Canora. Who is Jimmy Canora? Well, I'm glad you asked, because apparently he's "of the Continental Congress of Chefs." And now we know where Padma got her vocab, so it wasn't toilet paper after all. Probably. Also, "Continental Congress"? Hee! Padma next introduces the aforementioned "travel experts," and in march a long line of flight attendants. Excuse me, elite flight attendants. The Brians excitedly wave -- count 'em! -- four times at the elite flight attendants. He's going to need some Excedrin after all those Brian changeovers.

The cooking begins with the Brians and Dale. Dale takes over one galley, the Brians another. Dale wrestles with various doors, while the Brians worry over their "package" being "tightened just right" in order for it to "fit in there just right." Ahem. Brian calls CJ in for some service help and then distributes his New York strip steak with purple Peruvian potato and lobster hash. Given my delicate stomach, I don't think I'd ever want to eat anything, you know, purple on a plane. I'm just saying, you have to look at that shit when it comes up again. The judges comment about the size of the serving, which Bourdain tells us was "Fred Flintstone on a plate -- like a Brontosaurus Burger." One shot we get does make the steak appear to be about three inches thick and seven inches long. Colicchio comments that the lobster is overcooked. "Yeah, I didn't even know what it was," Bourdain mutters. Brian TOLD you it was lobster -- what kind of chef are you?! Meanwhile, they managed to get Colicchio's whole ensemble in this shot -- from the top of his Kangol hat to the bottom of his leather shoes. And you know what? I don't just see Colicchio skin in those shoes, I see Colicchio heel. The man is wearing leather slides. SLIDES! Is he, like, allergic to socks? And I thought that espadrilles or huaraches would be the worst it could get this season. Meanwhile, I'm happy to note that if we have to see Colicchio heel, at least it's clear he owns a pumice stone. Padma comments to Congressman Continental that her steak is overcooked.

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