Top Chef
Outside the Lunch Box

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This Pudding is Bananas

The next day, they bring their food to a middle school for prepping and serving. It's tiny and cramped, but they make do. Angelo discovers that the foam gun he was going to use to make his peanut butter mousse is broken, so he asks Kevin (who is on a different team) if he has a spare whipped cream gun. Kevin says that he only has three so he's not giving one up. And seriously, he brought three and Angelo didn't bring one backup? Shenanigans. Kenny points out that Angelo is really attentive to his dish but not helping anyone else, when his whole prep was basically cutting up celery and maybe whipping some peanut butter with something else? How long did that take, an hour? What was he doing?

Colicchio arrives and explains that his mom ran a school lunch program for twenty years, so he gets this challenge. Kevin tells him that he's making fruit skewers with yogurt foam, which he's hoping the kids will think is whipped cream. Smart. Jacqueline explains how budget reasons changed her chocolate pudding into a banana pudding, and Tom's like, "How come you were the one who had to give up all your ingredients at checkout?" and Jacqueline looks like she never considered that before. Y'all, I don't think Jacqueline is real smart.

So then Tom goes to talk to Team Taco and Arnold tries to make it out like it was a group effort, but Kelly pipes up with, "I'm ultimately responsible for the carnitas" and then everyone else tries to talk over her all, "It's a group effort" and "we all pitched in." I'm not sure WHY Kelly felt like she had to say that right at that point, especially when she knows it's going to piss her team off. Save it for judges' table, if it's needed. Tom interviews that he doesn't like when they pretend it was a group effort because it allowed the weaker chefs to hide behind the stronger ones. And it really feels like that's what Arnold is trying to do because he's SO adamant about it. Tom points out to Kenny that if his team loses, he has a 50% chance of going home instead of the normal 25% the others have. Kenny knows this, but thanks for rubbing it in, Tom.

Stephen interviews that he wasn't sure about Amanda's choice of sherry (again, he never apparently told her) and he thinks they should change the name of the dish for the judges. That would actually be worse; these guys are professional chefs and they know what sherry tastes like, presumably, so if they tried to rename it, it would look like they were trying to hide something. It was just a bad, bad idea. Own it. Angelo has solved his gun failure by putting the peanut butter in a piping bag. Kelly wants Arnold to salt his salsa, but he thinks it works well with all of the other components the way it is. SEE WHAT HE DID THERE. Seriously, I like Arnold, but cram it.

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Top Chef

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