Top Chef
Freezer Burn

Episode Report Card
Keckler: D+ | Grade It Now!

Colicchio arrives for his Sniff 'n' Sneer and learns that Howie and Sara M. plan to freeze their marinated shrimp raw. "It has to go from frozen to shrimp cooked in ten minutes," Colicchio reminds them doubtfully. Over at Casey and Dale's station, Colicchio notes their use of tinned artichokes. I like how he says "tinned," instead of "canned," it's very WW II England when people were living off tinned fish paste and vegetables. Now THAT could be a challenge -- cook a gourmet meal, using ration booklets. They often ate whale meat, you know.

Colicchio moves on to Brian and Sara N., and Brian tells Colicchio, "We're going to keep it light -- do a little bit of chicken rigatoni and we've got a nice little name for it." Of course you do. MALARKEY! takes over and beats, "It's called TROJAN…CHICKEN…RIGATONI!" Colicchio looks slightly nervous as he asks, "Is something going to come out of this pasta?" Yeah, all of Brian's personalities. At once. "Yeaaaah!" MALARKEY! continues, "It's LOADED with surprises!" Over with Joey and Hung, Colicchio specifically gets Hung to explain how he knows the secret to the challenge's success is to freeze everything individually, including the sauce, which should be chopped up so it spreads out. CJ and Tre confirm to Colicchio that they are definitely cooking everything separately and will freeze every component separately.

Outside the kitchens, Colicchio wonders how Casey and Dale's turkey-pork meatballs fit into the Mediterranean diet and then comments that Brian and Sara N.'s "surprise" probably means they don't know what they're doing. No, it's just that MALARKEY! is the only one who knows what they're doing and he's not in a sharing mood. Colicchio notes that Hung and Joey's styles are very different. Colicchio restates how all the cheftestants really had to pay attention to how the Bertolli frozen bags were put together in order to succeed in this challenge.

Back in the kitchens, it's very clear that Joey and Hung aren't communicating even when they're trying to talk. Hung is talking way too fast and basically in shorthand, and Joey keeps saying, "What?" and leaning forward to hear him. Hung tells us that he's constantly reminding Joey what they have to do for the freezing process. He wanted to put the pasta sauce in a thin pan to spread it out and then freeze it, so it could be cut up into chunks. Joey tells us that Hung is annoying him, but it's clearly more like Joey can't cook and talk at the same time. He has to close his mind to Hung so he doesn't chop off his finger or something. Poor Joey. We cut back and see that Joey -- or someone -- has divvied up the entire cooked pasta meal into individual plastic Gladware containers. Joey holds a spoonful of pasta sauce over the container. Hung tries to intercede, quickly reminding him how they talked about spreading the sauce out to keep everything frozen separately. It's a losing battle and also one that Hung has already given up. Joey ladles sauce from the pan right on top of the pasta servings. Joey tells us he just wanted to make sure he and Hung were safe with their food in the containers. Time ticks down and the teams pack things into plastic bags while Casey has an orgasm over her meatballs. After CJ approves of his cooked chicken, Tre cracks a joke about "black folks" knowing how to cook chicken. Tre notes that he and CJ are the only team that continues to cook and freeze everything separately. "We are the only people who decided to apply the IQF technique," Tre says. I thought the IQF Technique was banned by the Geneva Convention. Sure enough, it looks like everyone else is packing freezer bags of cooked and combined meals. Howie bitches some more about Sara M. Casey lends a hand to Brian and Sara N. and runs full-tilt with the remainder of their plastic bags to the freezer as the final 23 seconds tick down. What would have happened if she had tripped and fallen and not gotten another team's meals into the freezer?

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Top Chef




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