Top Chef
Latin Lunch

Episode Report Card
Keckler: A | 1 USERS: A+
'Cuz She's Lia-ving On A Jet Plane

Returning to the back with Casey parading in front, the other cheftestants don't have a chance to say anything before Casey drawls, "We don't know anything. Not gonna keep y'all in suspense."

Judges' Table. When discussing Hung, Padmahontes notes that he really didn't think there was anything wrong with his dish. Chef Frumkin noticed that same aspect of his personality during the Quickfire. "He really thinks highly of himself and his cooking and sometimes, it's just not great," Colicchio agrees. "He's sort of arrogant about it, which makes me want to tell him how unperfect it was," Gail adds. There's going to come a point where Hung's blind support of his cooking is going to look like he can't tell good food from crap, and Colicchio is going to take the route of, "If you really believe that is good, then your palate is highly suspect." Gail points out that Sara N.'s dish wasn't even really an entrée, it was chips and dip. See, that there really pisses me off about the final decisions here. Chef Frumkin says all she tasted was guacamole. Gail is totally right about Sara N.'s dish; I mean, what did she really make? While the Latin flavors may not have been as obvious as the judges wanted and the texture a bit off, at least Lia tried to do something somewhat inventive. I think she put real creative thought into her dish while others fell back on mimicking dishes they already knew about. Gail didn't like how Lia's dish was mushy and unappealing on top of being bland, and Chef Frumkin notes that it had no balance of flavors. "Even if it hadn't been Latin and that wasn't part of the challenge, it would have still…[dramatic pause to illustrate how her acting lessons are paying off] been inedible." Colicchio thinks "inedible" is a little rough, "It just wasn't good; it wasn't flavorful."

Cut to the back where Lia is telling CJ that the Judges flat out didn't like her dish. Sitting primly next to CJ with her legs crossed, Casey says, "That can be so…up in the air." She illustrates "up in the air" with a theatrical arm flourish.

Colicchio doesn't know if Lia's dish was as bad as Casey's mushy rice and dry chicken. He adds, "And that dish wasn't Latin either." Chef Frumkin really didn't get the coffee mole thing. "That…coffee…molasses…syrup, it was like cough syrup," Padmahontes says, thinking she's Bourdaining it. Colicchio can't get past the dry chicken and overcooked rice. Again, I think Lia's dish came off better than Casey's. What's worse -- mushy rice and dried chicken with a bitter sauce or textureless trout with no flavor? Add to that the comment about Hung's dish killing Arroz con Pollo for that Telemundian chick, and I just don't think it's fair Lia went home. Padmahontas makes a heartfelt comment about how hard it is to make a decision between so many talented chefs, but she thinks they've reached one.

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