Top Chef
Social Service

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Ain't it Offal, Mabel?

At Social Hollywood, the cheftestants line up in the ballroom in front of Michelle, Colicchio, and Padmadala. After Padmadala explains that Michelle is the consulting executive chef at Social, she goes on that Jennifer Coolidge is inviting sixty of her closest friends to eat a six-course lunch at the restaurant. Josie hernias to us, "How cool is that? Awahawahawah!" Michael says, "She tells us we're doing like a six-course tasting for sixty people for Stifler's mom. I was like, 'Wow, I always wanted to meet Stifler's mom.'" Of course Michael is going to call Jennifer Coolidge "Stifler's mom." Of course! Heh. Padmadala says, "Jennifer is here to enjoy your food, not judge you." Just like Colicchio is there to judge you, not mentor you. Michelle explains everything has to be timely and perfect. Since the theme of the episode is leftovers, the teams will be using whatever is left over in the restaurant's pantry and walk-in refrigerator. Colicchio announces that the cheftestants will pair up in teams and each team will be responsible for one of the courses. He barks at them to pair up immediately. They all look around at each other, momentarily stunned. Betty suddenly steps closer to Mia who is standing next to her. Mia puts her arms around Betty. Marisa comments to us, "After the whole Betty Judging Table Incident, I was surprised when Mia put her arms around Betty. I don't know if Mia is a phony person in general, but I think that that says a pretty big statement about her character." I think it more says that Mia wasn't going to slap Betty's offer of partnership away on national television. I mean, who would do that in cold blood? "Do you want to be my partner?" "Not really, no." I don't think it makes Mia phony, I think it just makes her human. Cliff tells us, "I was standing next to Sam, we just kind of looked at each other and nodded." Of course they did. And of course it was that devoid of machinations or emotions. Also, they're undoubtedly the strongest team. Marcel tells us, "As I'm looking around Frank asks me, 'Do you want to be my partner?' It was kind of like being asked to go on prom with somebody you're not totally interested in but for fear of not having anybody else to go with, you're like, 'Okay!'" Sorry, who asked you to go to prom, and why weren't you doing the asking? In a bit of oddness, Ted Ilan and Michael pair themselves up. Ted Ilan tells us that he and Michael get along really well together and he was excited to work with him. Colicchio has them draw knives to determine what course they'll be making. The teams will present their courses in this order: First: Marcel and Frank; Second: Cliff and Sam; Third: Ted Ilan and Michael; Fourth: Mia and Betty; Fifth: Josie and Marisa; Sixth: Elia and Carlos. Michelle announces that the winner will come to the Sagamore Hotel in Miami to help her cook at the South Beach Food and Wine Festival. Colicchio tells them they have three hours to cook and twenty minutes to plate, and he adds, "If you don't get your course out on time, it will not be served. Considering what happened in the last challenge, I'll be staying with you in the kitchen to keep an eye on what's going on." Heh, they need a babysitter!

Before the Food Flurry begins in the kitchen, Betty bawls out that she wants to get everyone together to discuss what all the dishes will be. No one heeds her. Mia complains that she and Betty were trying to get everyone together but no one wanted to talk to them. "And everybody's telling us, 'Well, we're not going to stop. We're going to see what's in the walk-in.'" That's not unreasonable, you know. How can they decide what they're making if they don't know what they have to work with? Of course, once they did get a grip on the food, they probably should have regrouped to plan the menu, but then we wouldn't have had the mediocre drama! And let me tell you, you can take that blandness to the bank. Colicchio just stands there, barely restraining himself from twirling a moustache. Food Flurry. Ted Ilan says they were happily surprised to see lots of produce and protein to work with, and that it wasn't just straight leftovers from an already-cooked menu. Betty tells us she and Mia wanted to do Napoleons, so they grabbed some pre-made puff pastry. Marcel and Frank decide to do a duo of salmon tartare. Frank lays into a whole silvery salmon and starts breaking it down. Marcel tells us that he really didn't like Frank's hackadoodle knife skills. Frank tells us, "I'm sure that Marcel's knife skills are wonderful. In my vast years of experience, I have taken a knife to more fish than anyone in this challenge or any of them put together." He's got a knife. I'm not going to argue. He's scary and intense. Meanwhile, Colicchio is standing there frowning.

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