Top Chef
Social Service

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Ain't it Offal, Mabel?

Colicchio doesn't like how so many of them did trios or duos, he wanted just one good thing. Gail and Michelle give props to Ted Ilan and Michael's paella. The judges also liked Sam and Cliff's dish, so those four are called out and congratulated. Colicchio wants to know what thinking went behind Sam and Cliff's foie gras-scallop dish. Sam explains, "We thought that the creaminess of the scallop and the creaminess of the foie gras would kind of lend themselves to each other." Gail and Michelle give them foie gras props. Michelle even seems to be beaming at them. Well, they are both hot. Of course, Colicchio has to have a detraction and he says, "I would have liked to see you take those ingredients and make a dish of it as opposed to keeping them separate. Put them together! All in all, it was successful, you guys did a great job." Turning to Ted Ilan and Michael's dish, the judges want to know who turned soft shell crab and risotto Spanish. Ted Ilan cops to it, because he works in a Spanish restaurant and is familiar with flavors like pimento and saffron. "A little too much saffron," Colicchio snickers. Always detracting. Happily, Gail talks over Colicchio's snicker and says the dish was great and the soft shell crab was cooked perfectly. Michelle loved how the texture and consistency of the soft shell crab mimicked that of the rice -- crunch on the outside, creamy on the inside. "It was like crème brûlée and I loved it." Padmadala announces that Ted Ilan and Michael are the ultimate winners of the challenge. "Michael, how does it feel to be at the winning table," Colicchio taunts. "It feels goooood," Michael tokes. In choosing who will come to Miami with her, Michelle says that she needs to choose who inspired the dish the most and that would be Ted Ilan. Yeah, I never saw her choosing Michael. That would be one hot Miami mess. Padmadala congratulates them and asks for Josie, Maria, Carlos, Elia, Betty, and Mia to be sent to them.

The losers appear before the judges. Colicchio goes off on how disappointed they were in all of their dishes. He zeroes in on Mia and Betty and wonders if they were happy with their dish. Mia responds, "I was so proud of my dish, I went in the walk-in and cried afterward." That might be an emotional problem. Mia says, "We put out a great product -- I was proud of myself today." Colicchio leads, "If you could have taken one thing off that dish, what would it have been?" "The puff pastry," Betty responds immediately. Mia agrees. Colicchio tells them, "It was a bad choice, and it wasn't even cooked. One thing that irks me ["one" thing?] is when I see pastry that's not browned!" I do agree with that. Their pastry was anemic. Colicchio says their dish was bad from start to finish and points out that the duck was overcooked. Really, Colicchio? From start to finish? Seems to me you have a problem with the duck and the pastry but what about the balsamic-merlot reduction sauce, sweet potatoes, and pan-sautéed green beans with preserved lemons, butter, and fresh thyme? Turning to Josie and Marisa, Padmadala asks about the prickly pear and coconut spoon-drink-thing. Josie says it was both of their ideas because they went into the walk-in together. "And you both walked in there and you said, 'Hey, prickly pear-coconut!'" Colicchio taunts angrily. Dude, why is he getting so het up? Is this because he had to eat alone in the kitchen? "When you saw the outcome," Michelle asks, "Did it remind you of anything?" "Pepto-Bismol, maybe?" Josie says, laughing. Michelle glares and nods. Oh, come on -- it didn't look THAT pink. Gail asks if they thought all three components went together. "All three had citrus in them," Maria says. So? That's not exactly a unifying flavor. Josie admits that the fennel salad was a little waterlogged, which was a mistake. Colicchio tosses up his hands in disgust. Turning to the pineapple and goat cheese component, Colicchio asks, "So, you thought that would sort of stand out and set you apart from the rest of the dishes?" Josie thought they would accomplish their goal. Which was? "To put out something that would be able to cleanse your palate," Josie explains. "Forget about just getting by! Did you THINK you were going to WIN with that DISH?" Colicchio demands. Josie and Marisa don't really respond. Hey, chill -- you're going to have a coronary.

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