Top Chef
Tribute Dinner

Episode Report Card
Kim: B | 1 USERS: A+
Mom's Home Cooking

The diners and judges arrive. Emeril talks about how, if he were cooking in this challenge, he would make Portuguese kale soup, inspired by his mother. Chris Moto and Heather come out to serve first. Padma introduces the judges: Tom, Emeril, and Patti Labelle, and they're joined by two of Patti's friends. Chris Moto explains that he was inspired by his grandmother, who made steak dinner every Friday night. He made lemon-pepper steak (with an A-1 glaze, which sounds horrible, but I have A-1) with baked potato and vegetables. Heather made beef stroganoff with herb spaetzle and roasted wild mushrooms, inspired by her mother, who made a lot of one-pot meals. Emeril likes Chris Moto's idea but isn't crazy about the A-1 sauce. Patti likes the vegetables and the presentation. When it comes to Heather's dish, Emeril isn't even sure what the meat is because it's so tough and inedible and Patti jokes, "It's Bigfoot." They all laugh. Emeril compares it to hotel banquet food.

Sarah and Paul are serving next. Sarah is worried that her plate isn't colorful and pretty enough, especially compared to Paul's lovely plate. Will the judges care? Paul explains that his grandmother taught him how to cook, and she used to make chicken adobo, so he made quail adobo and ginger rice with green mango salsa. Sarah explains that her grandparents cooked together, with her grandfather making his own sausage and her grandmother cooking stuffed cabbage, so she combined the two and made pork sausage stuffed cabbage and spinach with browned butter. Tom likes the clean flavors in Sarah's dish, and is impressed that the cabbage doesn't taste heavy. Tom really can't say enough good things about the dish. They like Paul's dish, especially the use of mango and herbs. Patti says that she normally doesn't like quail, but she loved this. Also, I think Patti wants to do it with Tom Colicchio.

Chris Hollywood is rushing to get his salmon cooked, and he notices that there is albumen on his salmon. That's the white stuff that comes out of the salmon if you cook it too quickly at a high heat. I've seen that, but I never knew what it was. You learn something new every day. Anyway, Chris tries to wipe it off and hopes the judges won't notice. Beverly thinks that her ribs are delicious, and they have a great Korean flavor. Beverly serves Korean braised short rib with edamame scallion puree and hon shimeji mushrooms. Chris Hollywood serves sockeye salmon with confit potato and brown sugar glazed carrot puree. Patti thinks Chris's carrot puree was good, but the salmon was just salmon, nothing special. Tom doesn't even like the puree, because he doesn't think it tastes like carrots. And the judges do notice the albumen, and thinks it's unappetizing. As for Beverly, the judges love her food, texture, color, everything.

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