Top Chef

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Best of the Best

Tre made cured wild King salmon, grapefruit gelee, and salted macadamia cookie. Jen comments that she thought the toast (or cookie, as Tre called it) overpowers the flavor of the salmon. Interesting that we're not seeing a lot of the judges' comments here, but maybe they are picking cheftestant comments that represent what the judges said and/or are controversial.

Tiffani created a dish that was crispy branzino, black olive pappardelle, and spicy fennel. Spike likes the Mediterranean flavors, but Mike is thrown off by the kimchi marinade. Did she use one? Who knows? Anyway, Mike thinks that the flavors are different and challenging, but not in a good way.

Stephen created three dishes: lobster harumaki, Kumamoto oyster sabayon, and deconstructed crab soup dumplings. Dale L. thinks the flavors were swampy and muddled, and Jamie says that it's not for her, both in presentation and flavor. Bourdain proclaims that there are other cheftestants who could have solved the problems that made Stephen get eliminated in the first place, but Stephen didn't do it. So he failed. Period. Stephen admits that hearing that hurt a little bit.

Fabio's dish was handmade caserecci, crawfish and crab stew. So it's a tomato-based sauce over fresh pasta, and it's served on a sheet of parchment paper that has been browned on the edges. It looks heavy and has a ton of fried basil on top. No, like a ton. Bourdain says he really hates it, and he keeps tasting it to make sure he does hate it as much as he thinks. He says that it looks like "an inside-out animal." Wow, it kind of does. It's very heavily sauced, to the point of being soupy. And while I sometimes eat my pasta that way at home, if it were fresh pasta, I would think you wouldn't want the sauce to overpower the pasta that way. Fabio interviews that he finds Bourdain's comment stupid, and he's going to tell him so. Because that will... do nothing in the grand scheme of things. You go, Fabio! How dare Tony Bourdain judge your food? It's not like he's got a ton more experience than you, and was hired to... be a judge. Of your food. Hmm.

Before they discuss Elia's dish, Fabio finds her sitting alone in the kitchen. He tells her what Bourdain said about his pasta, and then urges her to come watch them dissect her food. Because that will convince her. Elia says that she can't deal with it. I'm a little concerned about her putting herself back into the public eye if she's such a fragile flower. At the end of the day, it's one dish. It's not like she's standing in front of them, naked, and asking for a physical and emotional critique, but she's acting like she is. Elia made red snapper steamed in ti leaf with snapper jus. Jamie says that the fish was kind of raw, and Dale thinks it tastes like she gave up, and the jus is watery. Antonia pulls a face at how harsh the comments are, and Tiffany is worried for her friend.

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Top Chef

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