Top Chef
Higher Steaks

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Who Shot JR?
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

After Chuy's elimination, the cheftestants are back at their suite, hanging out on the balcony. The guys are hanging out, smoking, and the ladies are in a separate group. One of the guys notes that they are outnumbered by the women, and they need to step it up. Please don't give the producers any ideas for a Men Vs. Women season. Chris Moto points out that he doesn't care about gender or whatever; he just wants to concentrate on making good food. Great point, Chris Moto. But you might also want to concentrate on a new hairstyle, because that topknot business is the pits.

Quickfire Challenge. The cheftestants enter the kitchen and find Padma, who introduces their guest judge Dean Fearing. Heather gives the requisite talking head about how he's awesome and respected and classically trained. Can we just assume by now that every guest judge is a culinary genius and save ourselves those thirty seconds? Paul interviews that he went to school at the Cordon Bleu, where they are cooking, so he's very familiar with the kitchen, but he feels like it's almost more pressure because everyone assumes he has an advantage and will do well. Well, I guess better that attitude than being cocky.

Dean Fearing is the most chipper guy ever. He reminds me of Huell Howser. Look him up on YouTube if you don't get the reference. Anyway, Padma explains that, in this challenge, they will test their skills as sauciers. Fearing explains that this is the most prestigious position on the line, and Nyesha interviews that she would love to be a saucier, because it's artistry. Grayson interviews that she's not worried because she's worked as a saucier and she's classically trained. They draw knives to learn which of the mother sauces they'll be using (béchamel, espagnole, Hollandaise, tomate, and veloute). Once the sauces are assigned, Padma explains that the challenge is to make a new sauce based on their mother sauce. The winner gets immunity.

Chris Hollywood says that he's starting by making his roux (butter and flour), which is the base of many of the mother sauces. It's true; make a bad roux and you make a bad sauce. I have burned my roux and had to start over so many times. Grayson says that she's feeling saucy. Get it? Paul says he has espagnole, which is beef or veal stock-based, and he's adding lemongrass and ginger. He's concerned, since he hasn't made a mother sauce since culinary school. Ed has béchamel, which can be kind of bland all on its own but takes on other flavors really easily. He's adding in a vegetable, in the form of cauliflower. I don't know about that one. Wouldn't you want something with a stronger flavor? It's all so...white. Beverly has espagnole and she explains that she's taking a risk by making it avant garde, but she doesn't explain how she's doing that exactly.

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