Top Chef
First Impressions

Episode Report Card
Keckler: A+ | Grade It Now!
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Tastes Like Chicken

As they do their usual deliberation, Padma again harps on the fact that even if Brian's fried rattlesnake tasted good, anything is good when fried and he didn't do justice to the "stupendous" ingredients. Bourdain argues, "There was not a single egregious food crime on that plate." They all agree that Dale's alligator was tough, and Colicchio thinks Dale's taste level is also suspect in this case. Colicchio is not impressed with Clay's backtracking. Gail thinks he had a good concept, but couldn't pull the trigger. "He pulled the trigger forty minutes early and he ended up with prison chow," Bourdain says. Colicchio's first reaction was that the chops were inedible. "Those chops, that was like economy class on, you know, Air Cambodia," Bourdain zings. In the back, Clay jokes he needs a punching bag and a shot of whisky. Colicchio thinks there is no excuse for Howie leaving the frog legs off the plate. Gail really liked the risotto, which makes her think that the frog legs would have been equally as good. Padma sums it up, "What is the greater crime, though, leaving something off the plate?" "Or Clay's dish," Colicchio chuckles. They deliberate some more over Clay and Howie. Based on his risotto, Colicchio thinks it shows he has potential. Bourdain appears to be saying that Howie flat-out failed at the task. I started to wonder if there were hard and fast rules that would disqualify Howie for not serving both proteins, but after two seasons, I think we've learned that the rules on this show are malleable and there's very little that will get you thrown off. Except maybe a full-Nelson.

The four losers are brought back before the judges and there's some reminding of why they all failed, but in the end, Clay is knifed. Poor Clay. He hugs the cheftestants goodbye and tells us he has already made some really close friends. Aw, Clay is totally the type of guy to think that after such a short time. The other cheftestants applaud him and he packs up his knives. "If I could learn anything from my father, it's to go with your heart and to do what you know is right. But I think he already knows I'm a Top Chef. Either way, I don't need a fancy title," Clay says.

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Top Chef

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