Top Chef
Superbowl Chef Showdown

Episode Report Card
Kim: A- | Grade It Now!
Keep It Simple, Stupid
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

The producers managed to slip at least three product placements into the first five seconds of footage, so applause there, guys. Look, I get that networks have to make money; frankly, the more money Bravo makes, the more secure my gig is, so it's in my self-interest to hope they do well. That said, there's product placement that doesn't interfere with the program but still puts the product in a good light, and then there's product placement that makes the show feel like an infomercial. And we're about to see some of the latter. Carla makes some oatmeal (spoiler alert!) as she muses to the camera that she dodged a bullet in the last challenge, and she hasn't really shown off her classical training, since she's been making desserts in almost every challenge.

I bet you've been wondering what's going on with the Leah/Hosea relationship. No? You weren't wondering? Too bad, because it's time for an update. Leah interviews that she and Hosea kissed, and she regrets it, and she's trying to move forward and focus on her cooking. Happily, that's about the last mention of it this week. Over breakfast, Hosea, Leah, Fabio, and Stefan discuss who got the shitstick at Judges' Table. I only mention this because there's a callback later in the episode. Hosea interviews that Stefan is winning a lot of challenges, and Hosea kind of wants to see Stefan taken down a peg, especially since the number of cheftestants is dwindling. And this is a zero-sum game -- Hosea has to hope someone else falls down on the job so that he can step over his or her corpse and rise to the top, especially since the majority of the people left in the competition are at least competent and mostly talented. Or at least have shown they have the ability to win challenges.

Quickfire Challenge. The cheftestants enter the kitchen and find Padma with Scott Conant, who just earned a three-star review from the New York Times for his restaurant Scarpetta. The part that cracks me up is that Padma only holds up two fingers when she says three stars. I wonder how many takes they did before they were like, "Whatever, no one will notice. She kind of stuck her thumb out so we'll count it." Padma explains that, in honor of the Super Bowl, the cheftestants will be completing a challenge based on a grid, like your office pool. Which, by the way, won me zero dollars, so I'm bitter. Anyway, the chefs will pick a square blindly, and then Padma will reveal what ingredient and food group intersect at their chosen square.

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Top Chef




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