Top Chef
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God Save The Hot Dish

CJ tells us that his sauce broke and the only way to bring a sauce back is to add fat, something they aren't allowed to do. He plates his tuna casserole in rings and notes that it made a "big, muddy, gross mess." True dat. "I hate my dish," he tells Hung, and we see a flaky chunk of cooked tuna fall pathetically off the stack. Ugh -- the whole thing has the shape of something he just schllloomped out of a Friskies can. It doesn't help that the tuna on top looks like something that would drive my cats wild with delight.

Okay, we are about to see what ended up being my favorite part of this whole episode. The expressions on the judges' faces -- mainly Colicchio's and Padma's -- were PRICELESS! Most of these dishes ended up being nasty piles of catastrophe, and you can watch them both have obvious reactions as soon as the plates were set down in front of them. CJ walks out into the dining room and greets the judges, "Hello chefs and Padma!" Should that have made me crack up as much as it did? That Ted Allen is considered at chef and Padma isn't? Poor Padma. She doesn't seem too put out by it though. She's probably high. CJ made his tuna casserole with whole wheat pasta, yogurt, and that previously-mentioned flax seed and black sesame seed tuile. There are green beans in there, too, and a greenish sauce that looks like what happens in diapers after a full jar of strained spinach has been consumed. As Padma starts to tentatively prod at the dish -- thinking she'd prefer a dish of her fried toe right about now -- Colicchio gazes at it, like he just can't bring himself to taste it. It really does look unappealing. CJ himself said it best when he called is a "big, muddy, gross, mess." Padma notes, "It tastes like health food." "It's very grassy, greeny," Ted Allen agrees. "And mushy…" Padma adds. Colicchio thinks it's an idea that "went south." Yes, south of Disgusting with a stopover at Fairly Vile before arriving at Generally Quite Repellent.

Sara M. is still drama clubbing over her chicken. She brings out her dish, and speaking of disgusting -- her pool of grey-brown mushroom sauce with those red and yellow chunks looks like a stream of sick. Like what might happen if you ate raw chicken. Which this isn't. Apparently. Colicchio furrows at it confusedly, and Padma squints out a "The hell?" look at her fellow judges. Classic. Sara M. explains that with her Chicken à la King, she marinated the chicken overnight before grilling it, the puree of mushroom sauce is on the side, as is a pile of couscous (instead of rice), and a watercress salad. Her dish doesn't remind any of the judges of Chicken à la King.

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