Top Chef
Snacks On A Plane

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Chopping Broccolini

Casey helps Dale plate and serve his steak au poivre with shiitake demi-glace and "melted" leeks and asparagus. He also has some poached shrimp -- guess others could use shrimp, after all -- with zucchini and celery as a side. The congressman tells Padma, "The demi-glaze is very rich." "I know," Padma says, annoyed. Bourdain thinks there's too much pepper on the steak for the "average customer." He admits that he personally likes it, but adds a dramatic cough to express how aggressive the pepper is. Most unfortunately, one elite flight attendant is left without a serving because, as Dale admits to us, he miscounted his portions.

Next, Hung and Sara hit the fore and aft galleys, and Hung is predictably -- as we used to say in eighth grade -- "high on himself" and his dish. CJ happily helps Sara plate her dish, and Sara worries about the varying temps on her cooked salmon. She presents her fennel and coriander-dusted salmon with leek fondue, steamed spinach, and fig couscous. The elite flight attendants like the dish, but Bourdain and Colicchio gripe about the overcooked salmon. Casey makes sure to mention that she helped Hung because Hung asked her, so of course she was going to help him. Of course. Methinks thou dost affirm too much! Hung brings out his seared sea bass with an herb-tomato sauce, baby squash, and onions. Everyone, including Bourdain and Colicchio, loves the dish. Hung tells the other cheftestants, "I think it tasted fucking awesome."

With the Brians' collective (he's totally Brian of Four!) help, CJ gets out his dish. CJ admits to us that he is a bit worried about how dark his broccolini turned out. Interesting fact I learned: broccolini, which is a hybrid of broccoli and Chinese kale, is a trademarked name. Ergo: "Broccolini." CJ presents his pan-seared halibut with toasted farro and mint oil and a side of Broccolini with breadcrumbs and "more mint vinaigrette." "Wow," is all Padma says to her seatmate. I think she's as toasted as CJ's breadcrumbs and really doesn't know if she's supposed to think the dish is good or bad, so she's just waiting for Congressman Jimmy's judgment. "Tough to eat," Jimmy says. Colicchio turns to Bourdain and says, "That is really not good." You gotta love how this next bit is captioned because Bravo wants to make damn sure we miss nothing of Bourdain's carefully crafted insults. "They were cleaning Bob Marley's house and they found this in the closet," Bourdain disdains. Colicchio giggles into his leather "flight" jacket. The two of them are like the rowdy boys in the back of the classroom, throwing spitballs, making fart noises, and generally being Beavis and Bourdain. They totally encourage one another. Bourdain goes on that he was "stopped dead in [his] tracks by the first bite with the mint…it's sickening."

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