Weird interstitial. Mike shows Dale and Antonia how to make gnocchi, and Antonia admits that she actually learned something. I really thought Mike was going home after that segment.
Stew Room. Mike is dissing Tiffany's antipasti, because it wasn't a plate of meat and cheese. After this judging session, can everyone just agree that Mike is not an expert at anything? Padma comes in and asks to see Antonia, Carla, Fabio, and Tiffany. Mike thinks that must be the bottom, because they all had their food made ahead of time. Oh, excuse me. I didn't know this was Top Chef a la Minute. My bad. I thought the dishes were judged on how they tasted, not how they were made. What an idiot. Blais, student of the show, is worried that they called in bottom first last time, so they wouldn't do it twice in a row. He needs to take some anti-anxiety medication.
Judges' Table. These four had the best dishes. Tiffany starts crying, and Padma asks why she's so emotional, and Tiffany says it's been up and down, especially after last week's Marcel-saster. Colicchio praises Antonia for leaving a good thing alone, and keeping it simple. Lorraine Bracco loved that Carla put the Parmesan in the soup. Colicchio thinks Fabio cooked his chicken nicely, and Bourdain says that his polenta cheered Bourdain up after the previous course. Lorraine gets to announce that Antonia is the winner. Antonia couldn't be more proud, but Fabio can't believe he lost, especially since he thinks that Antonia made a French dish. I love the looks on everyone's faces when Antonia announces that she won: shock, dismay, anger. Mike says again that Antonia's dish was really easy. It doesn't MATTER! It tasted good and it fit the challenge. When are they going to get that? And frankly, a perfectly steamed mussel is NOT that easy. Gah. The sexism among some of the remaining male chefs is killing me. They can't believe that a GIRL could cook good food. Now I want one of the women to win the whole thing. I would have been fine with Blais or Dale, but fuck them.
Anyway, the bottom three are Dale, Mike, and Tre, all from the execrable primi course. The pasta fucker-uppers. Mike tells the judges that he knows his pasta was bad and undercooked, and he feels terrible about it. Bourdain tells him the pasta was tough and improperly sauced. Mike explains that he didn't use boxed pasta because the standard was so high. Colicchio tells him that his pasta had too much egg in it, which is interesting because it's the first we've heard that the problem might have been in the mixing and not the cooking. It wasn't that Mike managed his time improperly; it was that he screwed up the proportions of the ingredients, which is a bigger sin in my mind. Dale knows that his pasta wasn't great either. Colicchio says that there wasn't enough sauce either, and Dale says he felt rushed at the end and didn't finish properly. Lorraine thought the dish was just blah and bland. Tre thinks that the risotto was cooked properly and the problem was that his vegetables were cut too big. Colicchio says he's wrong, and that the risotta should spread on the plate, and not stand up stiff. Tre claims he was trained differently but Colicchio isn't having it. Then Tre says that it looked stiffer because of the serving dish he chose, but Padma points out that when they spooned it onto their plates, it should have spread out. Nice try, Tre. No dice. Bourdain adds that putting the textural issues aside, the garnish and vegetables were too much, and overpowering, and they couldn't taste the risotto enough.