Top Chef kitchen. Padma introduces them to Gail, who tosses her hair back and looks smug. I just can't make myself like her. There's something in her demeanor that is so snotty and self-satisfied. Also, why does she never seem to smile in publicity shots? She's always looking mean and haughtatious. I assume she's attempting to look challenging. Too bad she just looks like a bitch. ["It's no surprise that I love her, right?" -- Joe R] By choosing knives, the cheftestants are divided into two groups -- black and orange. Padma points out stacks of wooden crates and explains that they each contain five ingredients. "Your challenge is to create a delicious and original dish with the Kenmore-Pro appliances using all five ingredients." The Orange Group will cook first and the Black Group will be participating as tasters and judges. The Black Group will pick their top two and their bottom two, thus deciding who goes to the Judges' Table. Then they'll switch. Otto quails at the prospect of cooking for fellow chefs. The Black Group leaves the kitchen. Harold looks sulky and crabby and not at all like someone who recently won one hundred-thousand dollars. Has success spoiled Harold Dieterle? The Orange Group has two hours to create tasting portions with the five ingredients.
The mystery box contains snails, artichokes, peanuts, potatoes, and processed cheese slices. Awesome. "Oh, fuck," Marisa tells us and hacks at an artichoke. For all her bathing suits, bustiers, and use of sexuality, I think I like her. Suyai admits to being totally thrown by the task. Food Flurry. Ted Ilan tells the cameras that he has absolutely no idea what he's doing. "Very important, must refrigerate cheese when using cheese products," Carlos says with mock-seriousness. Food Flurry. Ted Ilan asks if Suyai is all right. She's not. Ted Ilan feels very bad that Suyai got so emotional about the task. Well, we know what Coldickio thinks of emotions!
While she's dicing onions, Marisa slices her finger. "Great," she says, rolling her eyes and grabbing for wads of paper towels and the First-Aid kit. Heh, that was my reaction when I sliced off the top of my finger while prepping for a catering gig. It's an annoyance. I didn't care that I couldn't quite stop the bleeding, I didn't care that it hurt like a mo-fo -- all I cared about was not losing any time. Oh, and also searching through the twenty pounds of sliced onions to make sure my fingernail didn't make its way into the spring onion-scented rice. Carlos sweetly comes over and says, "I don't know what I'm doing over there, so I might as well help you out." Aw. For all his four-star swaggering, I like him. "This is what happens when pastry chefs handle sharp knives," Marisa jokes as Carlos bandages her up.