Top Chef
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God Save The Hot Dish

The Elks and their families file into the dining room as the cheftestants continue to cook and prepare their dishes. Sara M. explains that she wasn't going to cook her Chicken à la King in cream, so she was skewering and grilling the meat. We see her go to the convection oven with Howie and she asks someone to turn the oven up to 300°. Okay, her back is to us, so we can't actually see that she's calling out that command at that particular time. She could have shouted it at someone -- Hung, whomever -- earlier and they spliced it in. There's just no certainty about that particular aspect of Ovengate, Part the Second: The Reheatening. Sara M. then announces -- at a later date we're told -- "I need to check on my chicken." The camera follows her to the chicken because somehow it knew what she would find. Or, given that there's a whole unlit range with empty skillets, this is a retake to illustrate what the cameras didn't originally capture. In such a small kitchen, I really doubt the range would be off and the skillets clean if the cheftestants were still cooking for the challenge. At any rate, Howie is back at the convection oven with Sara M., and she notes that the oven isn't very hot. Sara M. tells us, "Apparently, the oven was on cool-down." Sara M. curses as she and Howie move her chicken to the lower oven. As Sara M. again announces that someone turned the oven to cool-down, we have shots of Hung and his perfectly cooked chicken. "I roasted my chicken, they were done, I turned it off. Sara should have checked to see if it was on," Hung tells us. Well, sure, but there's absolutely no reason why Sara M. would think, in a professional kitchen full of trained restaurant chefs, that an oven would ever be turned completely off when service was still going on. That just doesn't happen. Hung never would turn an oven completely off at Guy Savoy just because he himself was done with something. Never. Sara M. asks Hung if he turned the oven to cool-down when he turned it off. "I didn't turn anything," Hung lies. But you turned it OFF, that's turning SOMETHING. Hung, I don't think you have a chicken leg to stand on here. That was a dickish move, and one completely unworthy of you. At this point, we have seen nothing that shows you have anything to fear from Sara M. in this competition, so why engage in sabotage or complete and utter thoughtlessness? When Sara M. explains to Tre, who is helping her plate her dish, that the oven was on cool-down, he leans forward to get a closer look (or sniff) at the chicken. With all this hullabaloo, you'd think her chicken was going to be denounced by the judges as undercooked, right? Wrong. This is the extent of the drama and nothing more comes of it.

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