Starting with Lisa, the chefs explain their fruit plates. Lisa used the very top of the pineapple, which is... nice, but very hotel buffet-y. She cut the pineapple into thick wedges that won't be easy to wrangle without it getting really messy. Her strawberries are predictably fanned, but her figs are nicely pared into tulips. My biggest complaint is that her orange -- which she turned into a flower and adorned with a raspberry -- not only looks like a horrible fifties throwback, but also couldn't be consumed without shoving your chin and nose into it. Lisa says, "I had no plan." That much is obvious. Falkner asks what the point of the pineapple top is. Lisa just wanted to start big and get small. Wrong answer, because Falkner has "always had a little bit of an issue with just having something on the plate unless you can eat it or eat out of it." Stephen says, "When I saw the pineapple top, I just started laughing. Rule number one in culinary school: never provide any dysfunctional garnishes ever. If you can't eat it, don't put it on." Actually, rule number one in culinary school is don't horribly, brutally, accidentally murder someone to death with their own paring knife when they sneer at your work with an overly gelled coif. But he is right, don't put it on the plate unless you can put it in your mouth.
Brian's plate isn't much better. He also has a pineapple top plopped down in the midst of sliced fruit, and additionally, he's shaken cinnamon or something all over the plate. One of the chefs at my culinary school would have shrieked, "MESSY!" grabbed his plate, dumped fruit and all in the drain, and scrubbed it down. He hated extraneous chopped parsley, chocolate shavings, and the like. At least Brian has a sense of humor: "I too believe that you shouldn't have something on the plate unless you can eat it -- that's why I put that there." They all laugh, but Falkner rebukes him for putting out something less than stellar. "Well, it was the twenty-third hour for me, all right?" Brian says. Falkner says a Top Chef doesn't think about hours, they just put out the best. And then they take credit for the cakes their actual pastry chefs put out, right, Elizabeth? Cynthia's sparse plate of pomelo slices and papaya seeds doesn't go over that well either. Tiffani tells us that Cynthia's plate looked like art, but you couldn't sit down and eat that art.