Top Chef
Social Service

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Keckler: C | Grade It Now!
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Ain't it Offal, Mabel?

Cliff presents his sautéed sweetbreads with shallots and olives, and a "sweet sandwich" of braised oxtail. Michelle says she really likes the oxtail, adding, "I cook it every day, so... " "So, you would know," Padmadala supplies for her. Michelle shrugs, "You would hope." Michael surprises the high off me by presenting a refined soup of veal tail and tongue soup. The color in the beauty shot is totally blown out and the soup looks as white as the bowl it's in, but I think it's probably a creamy mocha color. Michael garnished the soup with a sunny-side up egg on toast, which is just floating in the soup. It's really very nice looking, but why do I want to read some deeper meaning in panty-sniffing Michael making a tongue and tail soup? Can't you just see him giggling, "This is, like, a nice piece of tail, dude." Or, "I'm gonna tap that soup." Michelle likes it. On to Mia, who explains, "I really went back to my roots." Hold on a second; as much as I have no real strong opinion of her, I feel like Mia is always "going back to [her] roots." She definitely did it in the first challenge with the frogs' legs; if she's not careful, it's going to get repetitive and show that she doesn't have much range. I really need to stop watching Project Runway reruns. In the end, it does look like Mia went for the pigs' feet even though she said earlier she didn't have enough time to do them. She braised the pigs' feet and served them with sautéed arugula and homemade cornbread. Michelle asks, "Did you find that you didn't have enough time to cook it?" Mia stoically -- almost defiantly -- thinks she accomplished her goal. Josie explains her Braised Oxtail with Carrot Broth, Potato Puree, and Tripe Cracklings to Michelle. "You're probably wondering why I sliced the oxtail -- it's because I really didn't have enough time to braise it." Josie tells us she knows it was a bad decision to go for oxtail. Betty whipped up a Fish Head and Beef Cheek en Brodo (in broth) with Hand-Rolled Black Pepper Fettuccini and Roasted Vegetables. Michelle compliments her use of lemon zest. Betty's eyes get all buggy as she nods emphatically. Carlos presents his Sautéed Sweetbreads with Garlic Cilantro Lime Sauce and Almond-Ginger Rice. Michelle tells him it has very nice flavor. (Sweetbreads toll: 5) Ted Ilan also did sweetbreads and crusted them with almonds before serving them with fingerling potatoes and scallions. "Very nice," Michelle decides. (Sweetbreads toll: 6)

Everyone assembles for Michelle's judgment. Padmadala wonders, "Michelle, what did you think of the challenge and how our CHEFS EX-e-CUTED it?" What a completely bizarre delivery. Michelle was pleasantly surprised by how the chefs rose to the challenge and says, "The worse were the ones that I found the hardest to eat." She dings Josie for serving oxtail that was unchewable. Josie tells us it was the first time she was called out in the bottom three, "I didn't realize how comfortable the middle was." You'll realize that more and more, Josie. Michelle also didn't like how Elia's kidneys tasted so much like... kidneys. "They weren't cleaned properly, no sauce was even attempted. You made something that I love to eat, hard to eat," Michelle concludes. "Eeess deees woman for real?" Elia asks us, "I'm supposed to make kidneeey taste like... ohlives with a sauce? I cook my product to bring zeee best flavor of them out and don't hide eeet with a sauce." You go, Elia! Michelle announces that Cliff, Sam, and Ted Ilan were her top three picks, but Sam wins the whole shebangers and mash. They will all be meeting the next morning at Social to find out what the Elimination Challenge is.

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