Top Chef

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Hate the Sin, Love the Dinner

We leave Port Charles and make our way to the Kenmore Pro Kitchen. Prep begins. Sam tells us that he's Sicilian, and Sicilians get angry. Not to stereotype or anything. He's doing a spicy shrimp ceviche with chili popcorn, which sounds pretty tasty, but he's apparently associated anger with hot and spicy food. It's fine, but not especially inventive, to my eye. Betty says that she hasn't ever done the soups that she's doing for this dinner. The graphic tells us her soups are carrot and fennel, red pepper and beet, and white onion. I'm not sure any of those sound incredibly exciting, much like her big green plate of vegetables was just a big plate of vegetables. As Betty pushes her soup through the big cone strainer thing (here's where I am not Keckler), Ilan tells her that it needs to be thinner. For Michael's part, he thinks Betty needs to "get off the soup," since she already did the Friday's thing with tomato soup, and people are going to start thinking she's kind of one-note.

Cliff has decided that greed means "overly bountiful," so his idea is to make a bouillabaisse with lots and lots of seafood and a Thai curry broth. His idea seems to be that the bouillabaisse will be kind of overstuffed, like a chicken noodle soup with too many noodles. Only with fish. (Oh, shut up.) Elia is just really pleased by the lack of restrictions in this challenge, and interestingly, she's responded to this total freedom by deciding to do an incredibly simple dish -- roasted chicken, which she is preparing by slathering it with butter. She also seems to be preparing some tomatoes for roasting. Marcel says that for lust, he's doing a cherry tart. Yes, step up and use all your cherry/lust/tart/sex/virgin jokes right here, because they'll only cloud your vision from here on out. The graphic adds that it will have cherry gelee and cherry foam. And whipped cream and chocolate, but really, it's all about the foam, undoubtedly. He explains to us that he's "not a very lustful person," but he thinks lust goes with food. I'm not sure what it means not to be a very lustful person, or to specifically bring that up about yourself, but it's a good way to get teased. Let's see if that materializes! Ilan says that because gluttony is so easy, he "should go home right now" if he can't do a good job with it. Agreed! He's starting with some little funnel cakes, which are an interesting idea. Funnel cake is delicious, and I can imagine funnel cakes being part of a really cute dessert, but even I could have told you that you don't want to deep-fry funnel cakes and then carry them around in Gladware for hours. The best things like that in the entire world are at the Minnesota State Fair, and you know why? Because they fry them right in front of you and hand them to you. In fact, that's why the state fair mini-donuts are so good. They fry them right there, pull them out, put sugar on them, and hand you the bag of them while they're still too hot from the oil to eat. If you took those state fair mini-donuts, and you put them in Gladware, and you carried them around for three hours, they would no longer be any good. Ilan should know this. He apparently does not. His graphic calls this "Decadent Chocolate Dessert With Fried Funnel Cakes." That is weirdly nonspecific, except for the funnel cakes. I don't know who comes up with the names, but it's... yeah, it's weirdly nonspecific. "I still haven't decided quite what I'm making," he interviews, "but it's going to be awesome." Boy, that's the way all great projects start, isn't it?

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