Top Chef

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Walking on Broken Stained Glass
didn't nail the execution. Tom asks what happened with the glass. Robin says that she was waiting for the sugar to get hard, and she hadn't really done it before. Tom says she was working with two dishes she hadn't made before, if you include the panna cotta. Nigella explains that it should have "the quiver of a young courtesan's thigh." That's poetic. I thought she was going to say breast though. Tom asks if she's being unduly influenced by the other chefs, and Robin says she's envious of their knowledge.

Moving on to Eli, Nigella says that the dish had clashing flavors and bad texture. Tom agrees that the texture ruined the dish. Eli goes on about how the soup was grainy and so he added white chocolate but he didn't have time to fix it. So there was more sweetness in there? Yuck. Tom and Nigella shake their heads sadly as Tom says that the chocolate just made it more grainy. Eli thinks his concept was good, but Tom says it doesn't matter, because the dish failed. Padma adds that she would never want to eat that dish again. Ouch.

The cheftestants are excused, and the judges talk. They were all disappointed by Jen's dish, and Nigella calls it "almost hostile." Tom explains that Jen started off really well and she's really shit the bed in the last few challenges. Toby thinks that Robin was so inspired that her ideas were larger than her technical ability. Tom and Nigella agree that panna cotta is really simple to make, so she should have at least gotten that part right. Padma didn't think her dish had flavor either. Nigella calls Eli's dish "a fiasco" and says that she would "rather eat sawdust." Tom can't get over how bad the textures were, and Nigella says that she really, really wanted to spit it back into the cup. Back in the Stew Room, Kevin talks about how complicated Eli's dish was, and how it was the kind of dish you'd have to make multiple times to figure out how to do it right.

The three losing cheftestants return to face the judges and find out their fates. Tom explains that the challenge was to be inspired by a casino. I'm still mystified how Kevin's dish fit that theme. Anyway, Tom says that Eli's dish was "sort of a mess" and "almost circus-like." Jen's dish was boring. Robin's dish didn't fit her stated inspiration, not to mention that it kind of sucked. Padma asks Robin to pack her knives and go. Eli refrains from jumping up in the air. Robin thanks the judges for the experience and in her closing remarks, says that she's happy that she made it this far. Her whole theory is that she overreached instead of cooking her own food. Okay. Let's go with that. Thank God she didn't make the finals.

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