Top Chef
Twelve Days of Christmas

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Cooking the Carols
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

The morning after the last elimination, Ariane wakes up without an alarm, and feels great because she's won the last two challenges. She thinks the key is to keep it simple. Eugene, on the other hand, feels like he's "dodged a bullet" because he's been on the bottom a few times now, but he knows he can do better. He thinks he needs to cook what he knows, which is Pacific Rim cooking, and cook from the heart. We'll see how that works out for him.

The plucky strings of humor let us know that it's time for another round of "Those Wacky Euros, Starring Fabio and Stefan!" Stefan thinks they are "the dynamic duo" but Fabio doesn't know what that means. Then Stefan jokes that he woke up and found a shoe in his ass, after the ass kicking the judges gave him. He finishes his breakfast task, which is carving a frowny face in a watermelon, and says it represents how he felt yesterday. Fabio thinks the watermelon looks like Stefan, because it doesn't have hair. And this has been another installment of "Those Wacky Euros Starring Fabio and Stefan". See you next week.

Hosea uses the product-placed cell phone to call home and check in on his father, who was recently diagnosed with cancer. Hosea's sister answers and doesn't really say much, probably because she's on speakerphone, but also because what can you say? Hopefully, this is not the only opportunity Hosea has had to get news on his father's condition; this is just the only one he allowed to be filmed for the cameras. Hosea explains that his father didn't want him to miss this opportunity, so he came to New York, but after the show has ended, he hopes to go home and be with his family. Does his family live in Colorado? Or are they elsewhere? Hosea wants to do well because the competition is a positive force in his life right now, and probably sort of distracts him from something he can't do anything about right now anyway.

Quickfire Challenge. The cheftestants walk into the kitchen, which has been decorated for the holidays. Padma explains that their challenge is to create a holiday dish in forty-five minutes using only one pot. Radhika is freaked out, because she says that she usually uses like ten pots. Padma brings in the guest judge: Martha Stewart. The cheftestants are impressed and surprised. Ariane is especially psyched, because Martha does it all, AND she's from Jersey like Ariane. I feel like Martha would like to forget that she's from Jersey. Not that there's anything wrong with Jersey, but it doesn't really fit with Martha's creation myth, you know? Leah also likes Martha Stewart, because she's "bad-ass." Is it just me, or does Leah looks stoned most of the time? ["It's not just you." -- Angel] Martha tells the cheftestants to "make it simple, but not too simple." What does that even mean? That's one of those things that sounds profound but if you asked Martha to give a specific example of a dish that fits the mantra, she probably couldn't. And since when has Martha ever kept it simple? Martha claims to be a fan of one-pot cooking, like she has to do her own dishes. If I didn't have to do my own dishes, I'd be making elaborate meals every night.

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