Top Chef
Season 5 Finale Part 1

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The Good Times, They Roll

The cheftestants return to their suite to wait for judging. Padma arrives and asks them all to come in to the Judges' Table together. They start by talking to Jeff, who has the extra burden of having to win. Jeff learns that his cocktail was the favorite of the night. The judges have nice things to say about his pot de crème as well. Emeril liked the oyster dish, and compliments Jeff on his decision to make his own sausage. The camera flashes on Stefan and Hosea, who didn't do that.

Moving on to Fabio, Emeril compliments an Italian chef making Creole food. Gail thought the flavor was kind of muddy, and she couldn't taste the components. Padma wanted the pasta to have a bit more heat, though Fabio thought the maque choux was spicy enough for both. Padma says that the drink smelled great but didn't deliver with taste. Fabio thought the drink should have been sweeter, but the judges are unanimous that the drink was almost too sweet already. Fabio says he often errs on the side of too sweet, and he'll take that criticism.

Stefan seems downtrodden already, although it could be faux humility. Emeril questions the use of grits with gumbo, since he's never seen that before, but admits that the grits were good. Gail liked the flavor of the gumbo, but thought it needed to be darker and deeper. Emeril liked the beignet but thought that, combined with the cocktail, it was all too much sweetness. Stefan blushes and apologizes. He really blushes! Colicchio brings up Stefan's overconfidence, and Stefan says defensively that he's thirty-six years old and he doesn't care if this works out or not. Colicchio doesn't look pleased at his dismissal of the competition.

Colicchio asks Carla about her dishes. Carla thinks the oyster soup was a little heavy on the bay leaf, but Colicchio grunts in disagreement and then says with a twinkle that there was nothing wrong with that soup. Carla's face lights up with a grin. Even Hosea looks happy for her. Emeril says he was put off at first by the non-alcoholic cocktail, but he tasted it and was won over. Gail loved the beignet, because it had a lot of different flavors. Emeril liked that she cooked them in batches too.

Hosea explains that he wanted to make food that was classically New Orleans but put his own twist on it. He thinks his downfall was timing, because he ran out of food and worried that his cocktails were watered down. Emeril tells a story about how you go to bars on Bourbon Street and have to wait for a Hurricane in a crowd, and they're usually watered down. Thanks for sharing, Emeril. Hosea obviously feels better though. Gail compliments the roux in Hosea's gumbo, and Hosea admits that the roux took half the night. Emeril thinks his gumbo was worthy of any restaurant in New Orleans. Colicchio admits that he had his doubts about the catfish dish, but it really worked. Emeril and Gail agree that the flavors worked really well together. Padma dismisses the cheftestants so that the judges can confer.

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