Top Chef
Superbowl Chef Showdown

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Kim: A- | Grade It Now!
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Keep It Simple, Stupid

Round seven is Green Bay Packers: Fabio vs. Spike. Fabio knows that if he loses all ten points, his team loses the competition. While cooking, Fabio cracks jokes and charms the audience. It takes a lot of personality to out-personality Spike, so this is a good matchup under those terms. Fabio admits that he was worried, while plating, that his venison was overcooked. Spike prepared five-spice venison with a port reduction and micro herb salad. Fabio prepared venison with mustard sauce and mache salad with cheddar. Both Colicchio and Scott comment on how overcooked Fabio's venison was. Padma goes with Fabio but the other three go with Spike, so he gets the seven points. So now it all comes down to the fans, and four out of five choose Fabio. In an interview, I think Fabio just flipped off the camera, and it made it past the censors, because he did it Italian-style instead of American-style. Final score: Home Team has 37 and Visitors have 33. Padma congratulates the home team but reminds them that one of them will still be eliminated. The team overall is celebratory, but Jeff, Stefan, and Fabio are subdued because they know that one of them is going home. Why can't it be Leah? WHYYYYY?

That night (?), the cheftestants head to the Stew Room. Leah is Valley Girling it up to Stefan: "I can't believe? That you lost to Andrea? Honestly? I'm, like, really surprised by that?" She grates. Hosea interviews that Stefan, Fabio, and Jeff are all great cooks, so eliminating one of them makes his own chances better. I am so glad that the cheftestants don't vote each other out on this show. That would be horrible. Padma asks for Hosea, Carla, Leah, and Jamie. The ladies are all wearing headbands for some odd reason. Like down over their foreheads, Olivia Newton-John style. Can I mention that, due to the graphic design of the cover to the Grease album, for years I thought that the stars were named Olivia and Newton-John? I was not too bright.

Judge's Table. Padma and Tom congratulate the group for winning their individual challenges and also putting their team on top. Toby tells Carla that he thought her flavors were authentic to New Orleans, and he tasted the love. She couldn't be happier that he said that. Well, she could be happier, as we'll find out shortly. Colicchio also has nothing but praise for Carla's smart and flavorful gumbo. Hosea was going for unique but also reminiscent of Seattle. Colicchio is impressed that Hosea cooked an eggroll but kept the salmon inside rare and moist. Jamie says that she knew she had to use sourdough to represent San Francisco. Toby enjoyed being able to use the sourdough to scoop up his dish, and Colicchio thought it was one of the stronger dishes of the night, even though she didn't win her match. Scott Conant tells her that he enjoys watching her cook, and she extracts good flavors from her food. That's a huge compliment. I think he and Stefan could form the "Chasing Jamie" fan club. Wow. I can't believe this is the first time this season I've made a Chasing Amy joke. I'm falling down on the job. Leah wanted simple with good flavors, and Colicchio tells her that she accomplished that. Scott Conant gets to announce that the winner is Carla. Her reaction is AWESOME! I can't even describe it in words. If you didn't see it, go find it on Bravo's site or whatever, because it really is worth seeking out. And it gets even better when she finds out that she won two tickets to the Super Bowl. She freaks out and hoots and hollers and grins and it's a joy to watch. Even the judges are grinning. Her happiness is infectious.

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Top Chef

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