Top Chef
Freezer Burn

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

The teams dish their meals into tasting cups, and customers eventually drop by to sample everything. Rocco stops by and Casey explains, "This is a turkey and pork meatball and it's orecchiette pasta, which is also known as 'ear pasta.'" Okay, first of all, I don't think Rocco DiSpirito needs to be told what orecchiette is. I mean, I know he's fallen from grace, but give the guy a little credit. Second of all, "ear pasta" sounds disgusting and like you'd expect wax to be in the sauce. Casey explains that their pesto is actually not a traditional basil-pine nut pesto, but instead is made with spinach and almond. Very interesting. They also have some garden vegetables in the dish. Rocco asks if they tasted the dish. They both have. Rocco pauses and asks how they would rate their own dish. Dale says eight-and-a-half, and Casey goes with "a solid nine." A customer comes back to grab one of Casey and Dale's meals to go. "With Casey's charm, we just had a very magnetic table," Dale explains.

Gail samples Sara N. and Brian's pasta. I note that the "Trojan Horse" name is dropped in the explanation. Their dish is chicken rigatoni with kalamata olives, peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and rosemary. Sara N. explains they also include a separate "flavor pack" that has fresh pine nuts, parmesan, and parsley. A-ha -- that's the Trojan Horse surprise! Gail wants to examine how the flavor pack works and Brian shows her how the flavor pack is in its own bag inside the frozen bag.

Padma checks out Howie and Sara M.'s Mediterranean shrimp pasta with fennel, Pernod, and a sun-dried tomato vinaigrette. Howie stirs big blocks of stuck pasta around the skillet. "You left it all whole like that?" Padma asks. Howie bullshits something and Padma dumps the remainder of her tasting cup. Hung gives Colicchio a taste of their chicken and tri-colored fusilli with garlic and sun-dried tomato sauce. Colicchio asks how much they cooked their pasta. Joey mutters, "When we were packaging everything last night, we just put everything together." Okay, but that wasn't his question. Joey tells us, "Being in Top Chef, you have to adjust situations. We just failed on execution of the frozen pasta." But honey? That was the challenge, so you "just failed" the whole thing. Hung makes sure to tell Colicchio, "I would definitely individually quick-freeze everything," which makes it appear as though Colicchio just asked him what he would do differently. Colicchio remembers that Hung talked about doing just that yesterday and asks what happened. Hung says, "I tried to do that, but it didn't happen." Joey tells us Hung was trying to blame him for everything, "With me, to get a point across, you have to get a little aggressive."

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Top Chef




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