Top Chef

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Pros and Conch

The final four head in to see what the judges thought. The judges are still wearing all white and kind of look like a bad movie version of Mount Olympus. Especially Padma. Tom says that they managed to keep the sand out of their dishes, which deserves accolades. Antonia was proud that she made her own food, especially since she bombed the previous challenge. Lorena thought it was great, but Tom wishes she had cut the conch bigger so that the flavor wasn't masked, and that she had cooked the fish consistently. Oh no! Antonia's biggest fear! Inconsistently cooked fish! Padma thought it was a little too conventional and predictable. Antonia says that's her style of food, and she executed.

Blais hopes that his dish was unique. Padma compliments the noodles, and Tom admits that he thought it was really pasta, and it led to a great, unique dish. Gail notes that he didn't go local in either ingredients or flavor profile, but it worked anyway. Lorena thought his conch was perfect, but his lobster was undercooked.

Tiffany thought her dish was great, and it made sense to her. Lorena loved the whole thing, especially the cilantro. Gail loved the idea of the chowder, and that she used the conch two different ways, but she wonders if the chowder was supposed to be cold. Tiffany says it was supposed to be hot, but it was windy when she was plating. She doesn't mention that she finished plating too early. Tom liked the dish okay, but thought it was a little sweet. Must be all that coconut milk.

Mike tried to embrace the challenge and use local ingredients. Gail loved the pineapple and that the dish was interesting. Tom thought the banana leaf lent a smoky flavor to the fish, although he didn't love the butter that Mike used, as that isn't really part of the local flavor profile.

The cheftestants leave. Mike is disheartened; he thought he had a great dish and feels like he got a smack in the face. Because of the butter? The judges discuss the food, starting with Blais. Gail points out that he connected where he's from to where he is right now by making a Hamptons dish with Caribbean elements. Colicchio liked the flavors and the twist with the sweet potato noodles. Lorena thinks the lobster was inconsistent though. Blais, back in the Stew Room, doesn't believe that his lobster was undercooked. Is he calling Lorena a liar? I do note that her opinions seem to diverge from the other judges for most dishes, and that makes me wonder. When discussing Antonia's food, Tom can't stop talking about the conch being cut too small, but Gail points out that though it was predictable, she pleased the diners. The judges wonder if they had eaten Tiffany's chowder hot, if it would have been different, and it was also too sweet. And finally, they liked the mystery of Mike's dish, although the added butter might have made it greasy.

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Top Chef

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