Top Chef
A Shock at the Space Needle

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Veterans' Day

Lizzie, Carla, and Chrissy serve next, and Carla proves that she does in fact has an indoor voice as she introduces their food: poached salmon with seasonal vegetables and buerre blanc. After serving their food, Carla is cleaning up her knives in the kitchen and she cuts her hand and runs around yelling, "I cut, I cut, bad cut!" The medic comes by and puts pressure on it; she doesn't seem to need any stitches. Can you imagine if she actually did? The drama? Anyway, the judges eat their food and think that the salmon is cooked perfectly. On first bite, Colicchio points out that the salmon is underseasoned or possibly not seasoned at all, but Padma points out that the buerre blanc is so flavorful that when you eat them together, it all works out. After trying the first two dishes, the judges are impressed with the level of cooking and hope they're in for more like this.

The next two teams rush into the kitchen to cook. We've got the Veterans, CJ, Josie, and Stefan, and then Jeffrey, Brooke, and Bart. For the second team, Jeffrey is cooking the fish, Bart is cooking the sauce, and Brooke is cooking the vegetables and garnish. That seems like a good division of labor as long as each person is comfortable with their chosen element. Jeffrey explains that he grew up with military parents, which was tough, but it taught him discipline.

Stefan can barely keep himself from giggling as he explains that the quail breasts are tiny, and he's used to working with bigger breasts, but he's going to make it work. CJ has made a cherry sauce that he pronounces, "not super rad," and Josie concurs, so they have to figure out how to fix it, since it's a main component of their dish. Josie notes that they don't have a ton of cherries left, but says that she'll figure something out.

Jeffrey has cooked the fish and it looks overdone. Brooke notices, but I don't know what you can do once the fish is overcooked; they don't have more fish or time enough to redo it. Isn't that a Victorian poem? Had we but halibut enough and time? Anyway, that will probably be the only Marvell reference you read in a recap this week. Brooke interviews that the halibut was seared on both sides, which isn't the way that she would do it. It's not clear if she told Jeffrey his was bad or not. Both teams plate and garnish and head out to serve. Brooke notes that the height of the building is freaking her out more than serving the judges.

CJ, Josie, and Stefan serve first. Stefan is nervous being in front of the judges; he says that Tom will score a direct hit, and Gail makes him have "shveddy armpits." Their final dish is quail breast with confit spot prawn, cherries, and porcini. Gail doesn't taste enough cherries, and Tom and Emeril think the quail and the prawns are both overcooked. Tom Douglas comments that the judges are really tough, but when the dishes are all pretty good, you have to nitpick.

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