Top Chef

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Let the Bons Mots Roll!

Weird interstitial: Everyone makes fun of how much trouble Fabio had with the pasta machine. Fabio, meanwhile, explains how easy it is to make pasta. The footage we're watching suggests otherwise, although it does seem to be the pasta machine's fault, and not his.

The judges arrive at the table, and Hosea wonders about the "group of culinary experts" who will be joining the judges in tasting their food. Radhika tastes her bisque but she worries that it's too bland. The other cheftestants give instructions to the waiters, since it's a blind tasting and they can't serve their own food. Group B arrives at the restaurant only to discover that they are the food experts who will be joining the judges. So each group gets to taste the others' food. I have to say, I didn't see that one coming. I didn't speculate on it all that much, but I also didn't see it coming. Everyone is still worried about the new judge, Toby Young.

Group A's cheftestants walk into the room and discover Group B sitting there. Padma reminds them that it's a blind tasting. Hosea doesn't like the idea of their competitors judging the food, because he thinks they will try to make the food seem bad in order to make theirs seem better. That doesn't make sense though; they also know that if they are too harsh, Group A will probably respond in kind. Group A returns to the kitchen and discovers a closed circuit TV so that they can watch their food being tasted. They decide that the diners don't know they are being broadcast, which is kind of evil, but I kind of love it. Stefan doesn't like the bisque at all, and Colicchio agrees that it's heavy-handed. Toby Young pulls out the index cards he prepped ahead of time with some ZINGERS and says that the UN should have looked in his bowl of bisque for the weapons of mass destruction. Look, I love a zinger as well as the next gal, but I prefer when they're A) spontaneous and B) timely. That joke would have been way funnier about three seasons ago. What next? Is he going to make a joke about Britney shaving her head or President Bush choking on a pretzel? And also, his desire to release a bon mot overshadowed his ability to actually critique the food. Like what didn't he like about the bisque? I still don't know. Regardless, everyone reacts like he's the reincarnation of Dorothy Parker, but I guess they're used to the judges being a little more gentle. I have no problem with the judges telling it like it is, but I also think it's important to give specific criticism: "Your food sucked" doesn't really help anyone. Carla jokes that she wants Gail back.

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Top Chef

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