Top Chef
Food On The Fly

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Nuke it Up A Notch

Katie Leebot entreats Chefferson to give his overall impression of the chefs, "Were there any real disasters?" Chefferson fingers Candice's gazpacho as being a stand-out disaster, "Just an overpowering nacho cheese taste, and I would be hard-pressed to eat the whole bowl." Yeah, well, I was hard-pressed to eat my whole plate of overcooked, over sauced pasta at your place and guess what? I didn't! Stephen grins at this castigation, and Candice tells us she was embarrassed. Chefferson's winner of the Gas Station Challenge is Lee Anne, hands down. People clap heartily. Lee Anne looks humbly happy. Chefferson's highest praise is that he never would have known her "spiedini" came from a gas station.

The Elimination Challenge is to create gourmet entrées that can be reheated in one of their KENMORE microwaves. The next day, the chefs will be reheating their dishes for a group of women from the Oakland-East Bay Junior League. The women are a mixture of working moms and homemakers, so they need to make good food fast. Oh, dude! I just remembered -- this is yet another episode where Stephen just writes his own condescending pomposity! Remember how he was "educating" the women? Harold's not happy about the challenge. He tells us, "I'm a restaurant chef. I want people to come to the restaurant and allow myself and the rest of the staff to take care of them. I'm not into this challenge at all. Right from the get-go. I'm not into promoting reheatable, microwaveable food."

The chefs shoot across the Bay Bridge to Berkeley Bowl to shop. Candice is still burning over Chefferson's critique of her hot gazpacho. Tiffani tells us that since they were cooking for a bunch of women, she would appeal to them with fish and started thinking about escolar, "It had the fat content that I wanted in order to hold up in the microwave." Stephen looks for masa (dough used for corn tortillas. Masa harina is flour made from dried masa). "I decided to do a tamale in the Oaxacan style that probably these women from the Junior League weren't too familiar with, so you know, a little education for them," he says. Well of course! Because if there's one thing you can say about Junior Leaguers, it's that they never travel to any of the more popular destinations. And they're such unsophisticated shut-ins that they also never eat out at Milagros or Tamarindo Antojeria, and especially not at La Flor Oaxaca in luxuriously beautiful Carmel.

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Top Chef

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