All of the cheftestants are brought before the judges, and Colicchio says that Casey, CJ, and Sara's dishes fit their criteria for the Elimination Challenge. Michael gets to name Casey as the winner as well as hand over her prize: a black MacBook Pro. Holy what?! Aside from the obvious Apple jokes, what does that have to do with cooking? Or cheffing? Well, whatever the reasoning, I hear those black MacBooks get pretty hot, so she should keep it well away from her floatation devices. Much celebration and squeeing. Colicchio then excuses the top three and launches into his ReCrap (tm SeeingI) of the remaining four. Nothing new to see, nothing new to hear, moving along. FINALLY, Padma tells Howie to pack his knives and go. Howie nods, says a perfunctory, "Thank you," and marches out of the kitchen. The other cheftestants follow, although Brian seems to hang back a bit.
In the back, the remaining cheftestants applaud and hug Howie. He tells us that he's not necessarily that proud of how he's acted to certain people there because he viewed everyone around him as an enemy. I think Dale's crying. Sara hugs and kisses Howie. Aw. "But the reality of being a chef is that, cooking is a team sport. Today for the first time, I felt like we really were a team. I don't have any regrets -- I stand by my decision. No matter what happens, I am a good chef and all anybody has to do to know that is come taste my food."
Next week: Top Chef hits the road and Bourdain is back to peddle the McCoyian, "This is Top Chef, not Top Fill-in-the-Blank."