Top Chef
Unhappy Customers

Episode Report Card
Keckler: C+ | Grade It Now!
Foaming at the Mouth

After a long wind-up, Padmadala tells them the name of the QF is the Kraft Gourmet Snack Challenge. They have to recreate snacks using Kraft Mayonnaise, Zesty Italian Dressing, or Kraft Original Barbecue Sauce. Kraft Mayonnaise is different from Miracle Whip, right? Because Miracle Whip is the nastiest. ["Ooh! I get to be the expert at last! Yes, Kraft has a mayo wholly separate from disgusting Miracle Whip." -- Joe R] Cliff comments this will be difficult for him because mayonnaise is not usually used in gourmet cooking. I assume he's differentiating jarred mayo from homemade mayo? I mean there's aioli, which has come to be synonymous for any flavored mayo, but was originally only supposed to be specifically garlic-flavored mayo. But making your own mayonnaise or aioli is pretty gourmet. And time consuming. And annoying. All that careful whisking to emulsify the oil, vinegar, and egg yolk together? Painful. Yakura blathers a bit before the cheftestants are sent off to Food Flurry. Son of Sam sort of unintelligibly tells us how much he loves mayonnaise. His parents sent him to culinary school and spent a ton of money and he came out with a deep love for mayonnaise. Marcel explains he's doing lamb kabobs with curry mayo and smiles at us, "Everybody loves meat on a stick." Mike tells us, "I love mayo, man, I'll eat it right out of the can." What scares me more, that Mike EATS mayo out of a can or that he eats mayo out of a CAN? He's going to make a crab-brie quesadilla with a mayo salad, and he's very proud of it. Ted Ilan is making napoleons and is attempting a Zesty Italian foam specifically to make fun of Marcel. Wow, he's really obsessed with Marcel, isn't he? I mean, he just can't leave the kid alone! Seek help, Ted Ilan. Time's up.

Marcel tells us, "In all honesty, I looked around at all the other dishes and I have the utmost confidence." In what? What a weird place to cut him off -- they could've taken that sound clip from any episode. Yakura tries Marcel's lamb kabobs and calls them "fantastic." Moving on to Cliff, Yakura chews over his plate of steak tartare with mayo, cornichons, and plums and says, "Very nice." Son of Sam explains that since he's from the South, he decided to do a take on the lobster po'boy sandwich. He made pickled peaches by marinating them in Zesty Italian dressing and then combined them with chili-tempura-battered shrimp on bread with barbecue aioli. Yakura calls it, "Interesting!" Mike presents his brie-crab quesadilla, which he garnished with a chipotle salsa. Mike calls it, "Chipoltay." "Chipotlay," Padmadala corrects. "Chipoltay," Mike repeats. "ChipotLAY," Padmadala laughs again. You'd think Mike could get "lay" right. But maybe he only understands it in past tense. The other cheftestants laugh at Michael's verbal shortcomings. Yakura asks, smiling, "You think seafood and cheese... ?" "I like it," Mike says quickly. "All right," Yakura smiles. I suppose this isn't the right time to tell Yakura of my deep and abiding love for Crab Rangoon? All other cheese and seafood combos I could do without, but Crab Rangoon is swoon-worthy. Especially when it comes from The Lotus in Minneapolis where they sometimes add curry to the cream cheese. Of course, given that Crab Rangoon are not traditionally Chinese -- possibly invented by Victor Bergeron of Trader Vic's -- I'm sure Yakura would sprain his nose sneering at my obsession.

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