Top Chef

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Let the Bons Mots Roll!

Hosea made roasted figs and peaches with honey and balsamic. Novelli once again calls it interesting, which is about the only comment he ever makes. Ariane presents her crepe with fruit and offers to add whipped cream. Novelli REFUSES the WHIP! He thinks it's over-whipped. Ariane looks like he slapped her in the face. Or elsewhere. She is stunned at his refusal. Ariane is upset that Novelli is "picking apart everybody's dessert." Um, he's a judge? That's what he's supposed to do? Jamie presents her napoleon, which also contains stone fruit. Novelli calls it -- you're never going to guess -- interesting. Carla finally presents her baklava with chocolate and bananas and explains how her bananas didn't freeze, so she had to change it up last minute.

After telling everyone how interesting their dishes are, Novelli has to announce the winners and losers. The first loser is Carla, and she nods knowingly, because she wasn't happy with her dish either. The second is Ariane, because he felt it was missing a twist. The third is Jamie, because the cheese was overpowering. Jamie interviews that she knows her dish wasn't good, but she feels defeated. The winners are next. First is Radhika, because he liked her combination of flavors. The second is Leah, because of her balsamic vinegar. The third is Jeff, who just gets a "well done." I don't know if it's a language barrier, or if he's just dull as dirt, but this would be a lot more interesting if he had more specific criticisms. Novelli finally announces the winner -- it's Radhika! She wins immunity for the next elimination challenge, but not cookbooks or anything like previous winners. I'm sure she's devastated.

Padma swings right into the Elimination Challenge. First, she tells them that Toby Young will be taking over Gail's judging spot for the rest of the time in New York. Fabio has heard of Young, and calls him "a badass food critic." Isn't he more of an enfant terrible minus the enfant part? I read his book some time ago, and I just remember that he came off as a horrible asshole. On purpose, but still. Padma tells the cheftestants to take the night off, and the competition will begin the next day.

That night, the cheftestants sit around and discuss Toby Young, and how tough it will be to impress him. Eugene takes the opportunity to call his family. He explains that winning the show would allow him to better his life and his family's life.

The next morning, the cheftestants eat breakfast and prepare for the challenge. Radhika is psyched to have immunity, and admits that she feels some guilt over it, but she knows it's "a chef-eat-chef world." The producers totally jizzed in their pants over getting that quote out of her. They'll be using that clip in promos for YEARS. Colicchio shows up, and Fabio is all concerned about how messy their place is, for real. Everyone gathers in the guys' apartment to find out about their challenge. Colicchio explains that they want the cheftestants to show off their food, so this challenge will be judged blind. They will have to create a dish for a family-style meal, and there are no other restrictions or twists. Fabio explains to us that a blind tasting doesn't mean a blindfold, but it does mean that the judges won't know who made which dish while they're eating it. Although blindfolding the judges might be interesting for a future challenge. Why not? Colicchio drops the bomb that they'll be eliminating two cheftestants this time, and also that there will be a group of culinary experts joining the judges at the blind tasting. Because the kitchen they'll be using is kind of small, they're going to split up into two groups by pulling knives, and Radhika gets to choose which group she wants to go with. She explains that she decided to choose the group that didn't include Stefan, because he makes things stressful in the kitchen.

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Top Chef

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