Top Chef

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Kim: A | 1 USERS: A+
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Food With Jazz Hands

Dale T. has the dubious honor of sending in the bottom four: Dale L., Stephen, Fabio, and Tiffani. He urges them to fight hard and stand up for themselves. Carla quickly adds that they should fight hard but also be nice, and Antonia quips, "Don't pull a Jen." Heh. Padma reminds them that two of them will be going home. Fabio starts out by admitting that French and Vietnamese are not his areas of expertise. Bourdain is sympathetic, since David Chang is a tough chef to emulate, and thinks that perhaps Fabio put too many components into his dish and overcompensated. Fabio thinks he used all the right ingredients for the cuisine, but knows he overdid it. Colicchio had some technical issues as well. Fabio thinks he was mimicking Chang, but Colicchio says he has to be true to the dish he's making, even if it's different than his inspiration.

Stephen is kicking himself, because he considers himself an expert in Italian food and wine. And he says this with Fabio standing right there. Anyway, Stephen thinks his problem was putting too much on the plate, and he should have edited. He thinks otherwise he could have won. Bourdain tells him that his dish was too perfumey and overwhelming, and Kate says that the salmon was well cooked. Colicchio leads Tiffani when he asks if she was seduced by all of the different equipment available to her in the kitchen. Tiffani agrees, and says that she wasn't true to her own food. Colicchio tells her that her food was watery and mushy. And finally Dale L. says that he considers Burke's dishes to be "food with jazz hands." Everyone chuckles, because that's a good description. Colicchio says that the problem was that Burke starts with a classic dish and adds his point of view, and he couldn't suss out Dale's inspiration. Dale says he makes a buttermilk French toast dish on his own, and he tried to add to that. Colicchio says that the problem was that he gave them a breakfast dish with veal on it. I wonder if Dale wouldn't have been in the bottom if he had just eliminated the veal. Or even used pork belly instead, so it was more like bacon and then toned down the sweetness.

The cheftestants are dismissed so the judges can talk. Padma thinks it's a really interesting challenge, but some of the cheftestants missed the mark. Everyone agrees that Dale L. cooked his food properly but it was way too sweet so it was a problem of concept. Stephen had similar problems in that parts of his dish were good but as a whole it was, as Bourdain says, "unpleasant to eat." Bourdain thinks that Fabio lacked confidence, and Colicchio thinks there was too much going on. And Bourdain thinks that Tiffani's dish was more parody than homage, and Colicchio calls it "one technique too many."

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Top Chef

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