Top Chef
Pike Place Pickle

Episode Report Card
Kim: B | Grade It Now!
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Cheese Curds for Life!

After many whooshing close-ups on the cheftestants' and judges' faces, Padma says that they are the bottom three teams. Tom asks what happened, since these people have put out good food prior to this challenge, so it's not incompetence or lack of food knowledge. Josh says he was stymied by his ingredient and CJ says that they didn't want to mess with the "integrity" of the pickle. Hee! Tom points out that they should have been thinking about what they could MAKE with the ingredient instead of thinking about what would go well with it.

Gail says that the execution was just bad and the food didn't taste good. She tells Stefan that their cabbage was too sweet. Brooke says she made the duck and Padma tells her there was no heat, even though Brooke added black pepper. Stefan says he didn't add much sugar to the cabbage, but with the rose petal jelly it was just too sweet. He tried to counteract it by adding red wine vinegar etc., and Hugh points out that it was STILL too sweet and Stefan should have done more. Stefan doesn't claim he ran out of time or anything, but I wonder if at some point, your palate just gets so overwhelmed by the sweetness that just "a little less sweet" tastes fine to you.

Padma asks Josh and John about their grits. Josh says he never wants to make grits for Hugh and they laugh about it. Hugh wonders why they cooked the pork that way. Josh tries to not throw John under the bus, but then says that John suggested it and he went along with it to avoid friction, though normally he would roast it whole and then slice it. Gail says there was no artistry with the dish and no presentation and Tom concludes that it was like someone who has to feed their family and hates cooking. Tom has obviously not eaten in most American households, because that presentation was nowhere near as bad as most American households that I've eaten in.

Padma asks CJ and Tyler if they liked their burger and CJ says they tasted it three times. Hugh says it was not a good burger; it was soggy and overcooked. Tom doesn't understand the idea of doing a burger with a pickle and CJ does his imitation and everyone laughs. Gail says that they always want creativity and they didn't get it here.

Padma excuses them, but CJ has one more thing to say and he unloads his entire thesaurus to explain how terrible he thought the chocolate tart was and he wonders why that team isn't on the bottom. Hugh slams back, "Your burger was worse." Ouch. CJ has no comeback, because there is no comeback and the judges chuckle as the cheftestants leave.

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