Top Chef
Le Bernardin

Episode Report Card
Kim: B | 1 USERS: A+
Gone Fishing

The fourth dish is oil-poached escolar with potato crisps in a red wine Bearnaise sauce. Carla interviews that the food is beautifully presented and delicious as well, and she wants to be one of his dishes when she grows up. She tells Ripert that she went to culinary school in DC and ate at one of his former restaurants there. The fifth dish is za'atar spiced monkfish with black garlic. Fabio and Stefan comment that it tastes sweet, almost like licorice. The sixth and final dish is sautéed black bass and braised celery with Serrano ham and peppercorn sauce. Jamie interviews that it's her least favorite of the six dishes, because she finds the sauce weird, and she's not a fan of celery. I have to say that braised celery doesn't sound great, but I've only ever used celery to transport dip into my gaping maw, or as a mix-in with various egg and potato salads, where it provides some texture and crunch.

Colicchio calls for the final course, and the waiter brings out the knife block. Colicchio explains that the Elimination Challenge will be to recreate one of the six dishes that they just had. The ingredients are in the kitchen, and they'll have two hours to prep and practice, and Ripert will offer them some critique. Then they will cook the dish for the judges in the upstairs kitchen. Stefan gets first choice of dishes, thanks to his Quickfire win, and he chooses the lobster. Hosea interviews that he chose the easiest dish; I don't think he's saying that lobster is easy to prepare, but the Hollandaise sauce is familiar, especially compared to some of the others. The cheftestants now start choosing knives; Carla gets the escolar, Hosea gets the monkfish, Leah gets the mahi mahi, Fabio gets the red snapper, and Jamie is left with the black bass. Jamie interviews that it was her least favorite dish, but she knows that part of the challenge is cooking something you don't necessarily like or even know how to prepare.

The cheftestants arrive at Le Bernardin's basement kitchen to find a tray with all of the ingredients they will need for their dish on it. Carla interviews that she's never oil-poached fish before, so she's nervous about the technique. Fabio is pleased that he got the red snapper dish, because it's one of his two favorites. It's interesting because they haven't portrayed Fabio as particularly adept at technique, but remember when he made those crazy olives earlier in the season? So clearly he does know a thing or two. Jamie admits that there are multiple components to her dish that she's never done before, but she has two hours to figure it out. She gets Hosea's help in slicing the Serrano ham. Stefan is confident about his dish, and demonstrates for the camera how to remove the pooper from the lobster tail. I'm sure there's an actual term for that part, but let's face facts: it's the pooper. Leah interviews that she was the head fish cook at her last restaurant (really? She's not exactly doing them proud, then) and she knows all eyes are on her since she gave up in the Quickfire. Hosea admits in an interview that he's not schooled as a chef (have they mentioned that before?) and sometimes it catches up with him. In this challenge, he's never used za'atar spice before so he's not sure how much to use and he's going by trial and error.

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