Top Chef

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Salty Gnocchi

Mike I. continues to make it all about himself, as he claims that Robin is burning HIS tuna, and he's stressed and he's worried and blah blah blah. Instead of being a human being and perhaps talking to Robin about how she's cooking the tuna, he just complains and whines and whatever. Sick of him.

Ashley interviews that Eli oversalted the gnocchi, and she's worried, but it's not like you can UNsalt them at this point. Ash and Michael know that their fish is overcooked, but given what happened to them, they're lucky it's not raw or rubbery.

After a commercial for Macy's, the cheftestants bring out their food and introduce their dishes, which are:

Eli and Ashley: grilled spot prawns with red beet crème fraiche sauce, gnocchi, and kale.

Robin and Mike I.: marinated mushroom and pickled Asian pear roll with seared tuna and scallop.

Laurine and Bryan: halibut with sherry-chorizo vinaigrette, yellow corn cake, and avocado mousse.

Kevin and Jen: BBQ Kobe beef with cardamom, tomato, and ginger broth.

Michael V. and Ash: pancetta-wrapped halibut with egg yolk ravioli, asparagus, and fennel salad.

The judges help themselves to the food, and there's not much talk as they dig in. Some of the chefs point out that Michael's pancetta was slightly undercooked, even chewy, while the fish was slightly overcooked. Tom doesn't like the pairing of egg yolk and halibut either. Bryan and Laurine's halibut is said by all to be better than the other halibut dish, based on how it's cooked and the flavor profile.

Now it's time to bitch about Ashley and Eli's dish: it looks pretty, but the gnocchi was overly salted, and the prawns were undercooked. Oops. Jen and Kevin's beef is great, and Jen's broth adds a great smell and flavor to the dish. And finally, Tom reports that Mike and Robin didn't seem to work well together, and yet their dish turned out pretty good, so he can't fault them too much.

The cheftestants sit around and wait for the verdict. Eli keeps talking about how awesome their dish's concept was, and even Ashley seems kind of annoyed with him. He does seem like the type that would need constant validation. Michael frets over whether his halibut was overcooked, and Ash interviews that if they get called out, it was Michael's dish, but admits that perhaps he was blinded by Michael's skillz and didn't oversee the dish as much as he should have. Bryan tries to comfort his brother and assure him that the dish is fine, but Michael ain't having it, because he knows that he sent something out that isn't as good as his usual standards.

Weird interstitial. Mike I. sits there and rolls his eyes while Robin just talks and talks and talks and cleans up their workspace. He could help her clean. Then he wouldn't be subjected to her for so long; once their space is clean, he could go kiss up to the Volt brothers some more.

Judges' Table. Padma comes in and asks to see Laurine, Bryan, Jen, and Kevin. They are immediately told that they are the top two teams, and then the judges try to figure out which team member was responsible for which component, since the winner is individual. On their team, Kevin was responsible for the meat and Jen was responsible for the tomato broth. For the other team, Laurine explains that Bryan did the fish and came up with the concept for the chorizo vinaigrette, while Laurine executed that and the polenta/corn cake. Tyler announces that the winning dish is Kevin and Jennifer's beef, and the best part was Jennifer's sauce, so she wins. And she gets a $10,000 gift card from Macy's. That is so much better than the prize Kevin got last week. Jen points out that it's her first Elimination Challenge win, too.

The winners send in the losers: Michael, Ash, Eli, and Ashley. Once they are gone, Kevin wants to talk about Michael and Ash's dish, to try to understand what went wrong, but Bryan kind of blows him off and says that he doesn't want to talk about someone else's dish behind their back. He kind of sharply says to Kevin: "You didn't try it, did you?" Kevin seems chagrinned. I get what Bryan was saying, especially since it's his brother, but he could have been less of a dick about it.

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