Top Chef
Don't Be Tardy for the Dinner Party

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Padma gets right to the Elimination Challenge. Three neighbors in an exclusive neighborhood are having a progressive dinner party, and the cheftestants will be catering. One house will serve appetizers, one will serve entrees and one will serve desserts. John Besh warns them that these couples do a lot of entertaining and will have definite ideas about how the food should taste. In other words, "These people are rich and high-maintenance and you must cater to their bizarre whims." Ty-Lor interviews that he's cooked for Bill Gates and other rich people (I mean, once you've cooked for Bill Gates, don't all other rich people pale in comparison? Although I kind of imagine that Bill Gates eats, like, ramen noodles and eschews anything with flavor.) so he knows what the expectations will be like.

Padma divides them into three groups based on how they're standing in line. Chris Moto, Paul, Whitney (who?), Lindsay and Sarah will be cooking appetizers. Beverly, Chuy, Michelle, Nyesha and Ty-Lor will be cooking entrees. Dakota, Grayson, Chris Hollywood and Ed will be cooking desserts. Dakota interviews that she can't believe that she got stuck with dessert again. Yeah, except that since this is an individual and not a team challenge, you really could make any old thing and call it dessert. It doesn't have to be sweet. It doesn't have to be a cake. There are savory desserts. Get creative, girl!

The cheftestants leave and check into their hotel. It's some kind of luxury suite, and they're excited to see such a nice place. Then they head to meet the couples hosting the dinner party. Chris Moto compares the neighborhood to Wisteria Lane. It's nothing like Wisteria Lane. First of all, the houses are a lot nicer and older. And it's not a dead end. I don't think he actually watched Desperate Housewives. He just heard of it one time. [Note: I briefly thought he was making a reference to the Season 7 finale progressive dinner party, but something tells me he's not a DH superfan. -- RS.] Anyway, the couple hosting the appetizers is Kim and Justin Whitman. They seem the most normal. Their house is very nice but it's not like Carmela Soprano style overly decorated. Whitney interviews that she grew up poor so this is a whole new experience. Finally, we learn something about Whitney! So all I know now is that she's bland and she used to be poor. Turns out Kim is an entertaining and lifestyle expert and has written books! In fact, she wrote a book about throwing a party for your dog. Okay, enough about her. Well, we do need to find out her likes and dislikes for menu planning. She wants her food to be a conversation starter and she doesn't like bell peppers, cilantro, or things that give you bad breath or get stuck in your teeth. Chris Moto wonders if she's open to unique presentations and she says she's really not. Chris asks if he could use flavors she knows but present them in a unique way. She clearly wants to say no but feels pressured to say yes.

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