Moving on to Bryan, who worries that his dish was too simple (despite the fact that it had a million ingredients). Gail counters that it was subtle, and Padma chimes in that the pumpkin was delicious, but she wanted more seasoning on the sauce. Bryan explains that he didn't have a lot of time to get the short ribs tender, so he deboned it. Tom asks about the fig glaze, and Gail says that she could see "the figginess" of the glaze, but she couldn't taste it.
Michael talks about how he didn't use tricks and just let the natural flavors of the local food shine through. Gail asks him about the vegetables being cut too small, and adds that their texture was lost. Padma has to bring up her watery egg. Michael tries to claim that he didn't shake off the excess when serving, and Tom shoots back that Michael knew he was serving the judges and should have been more careful. I don't think Tom likes Michael's attitude. I'm glad someone is finally calling him on his shit, though. They show the "glamour shot" of Michael's non-egg dish and it seriously looks like two lumps of poop in a puddle of bile. I'm sure it tasted great, but it's very unappetizing. The judges mostly liked the dish, but Gail points out that there was way more soup than anything else, and she ended up just eating soup alone, which was bitter. Michael admits that he didn't plan his portioning very well and had a ton of foie gras left over. First world problem.
Jen is told by Chiarello that he's never had goat cheese and basil together, and he loved it. Really? Even I, the plebian, have heard of that flavor combination. Padma, the salt police, thinks there was too much salt, and Chiarello comes to Jen's rescue, saying that he's used that same salt before, and it's very difficult to master. Gail asks why Jen chose duck, and Jen says that she thought she could use all of the parts. Chiarello loved the duck. He loves Jen. Tom asks why she didn't end up grilling the duck as planned. Jen admits that she let the fire go out, so she couldn't grill, even though that's what she would have preferred. Colicchio nods his head seriously, like not grilling is the worst thing he's ever heard of.