Top Chef
Cooking By Numbers

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Eating On The Dole

In the back, Lia tells Team Tuna and Team Pineapple that their presence is requested at the Judges' Table. Starting with Team Pineapple, Colicchio says they are there because the "desserts were all pretty bad." Dale defends their decision to do a dessert course because not doing one, he thinks, would have made them look inexperienced. Creelingly, Padma wants to know who suggested pineapple. Dale cops to being the one to suggest "something tropical." "You jumped on a big sword with that decision," Ted Allen says. Aside from pineapple having enzymatic difficulties with stabilized desserts, what is the problem with that choice exactly? Is it too acidic on the palate? Is it hard to pair with other flavors? I'm confused by the whole "Pineapple is culinary DEATH!" tone here. Barton G. calls their attempt a "hodgepodge" and says, "The flavors weren't there, the TEXTURES weren't thereā€¦" You know, Barton G. looks too well-preserved to me -- his hair seems dyed and his face looks like it's been smoothed with glycolic acids. The kind of glycolic acids typically found in PINEAPPLES! Maybe that's the problem! Barton G. equates pineapple with his weekly age-fighting facials! Note to cheftestants: stay away from papaya, too. Sara M. explains that she thought she could pull if off, but then she ran into the Top Chef albatross that is powdered gelatin. "So, why would you chance something?" Barton G. asks. "Because I'm a chef and if you try to be a good chef, you always know you're gonna to chance." "You don't chance to an audience who is going to make or break you," Padma zings. Colicchio points out how silent Camille has been. That's her natural state, Colicchio, didn't you know? Camille sort of stumbles and stutters her way through some explanation of something. She thought the texture of her cake was "fine." "It was rubbery and it wasn't very good," Colicchio contradicts. Camille explains that her original product, one she was quite happy with, was more like a muffin. Colicchio says, "It's not made with corn cake, it's made with a genoise," and then repeats FOR THE SIXTIETH TIME that he doesn't get why they did something they weren't familiar with.

Leaving Team Pineapple alone for the moment, they turn to grill Team Tuna. Howie and Joey From New York re-express their opinions about their individual dishes and once again Bravo has transposed the images. Howie was not totally happy with his dish, but Joey was happy with what he did. Colicchio says the real reason the team is there is because Casey's dish was "really weak" and he wants to know if Casey gave it her all. Stone-faced, Casey says automatically, "I put forth a great effort in this dish." Padma asks if she tasted her own dish. Casey cops to the fact that her dish was under-seasoned and cites the lack of sufficient soy sauce as the cause. However, she doesn't blame anyone except herself for not remembering to add more salt. Howie and Joey From New York reveal that they didn't taste the dish until after it was served. "But she's got IMMUNITY," Padma says, getting a bit stonedly stroppy, "Why wouldn't you TASTE her dish before it went out?" Howie knows he shouldn't have trusted Casey and admits he clearly made an error in judgment. "A drastic error," Padma corrects him. Casey's eyes are filled with tears now and she does that side lip biting thing to keep it from trembling dangerously. Casey finally says, "I just WANT to say, you guys have laid SUCH a GUILT blanket that I can't really explain what I feel for these people right now. Because having Immunity? Is really not worth it in a sense of one of these people have to go home because MY dish was the worst." Drama, drama, drama! Padma sends them away. As they walk out, Colicchio shakes his head in irritation. I just noticed Sara M. is wearing a sarong instead of chef pants -- does she always do that?

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