The cheftestants are excused so the judges can deliberate. Colicchio muses that those are three of the strongest cheftestants remaining. Conant thinks Stefan's salad was a disaster and Padma calls it abominable. But Conant voted for Stefan, so did he think Andrea's food was worse? They move on to Fabio. Toby Young thinks Fabio had the toughest challenge, because Wisconsin food is going to be difficult. Conant points out that Fabio chose it (which he really didn't -- he took what was left because he didn't know what the eff), and that he should have concentrated his flavors more and cooked his venison properly. I do wonder if they gave the foreigners a tutorial on the states they chose. When discussing Jeff, Colicchio brings up his pre-cooked shrimp argument, which I've already addressed and kind of dismissed. The judges call the cheftestants back, and while Stefan sucks on a lighter and ponders his next smoke, Fabio removes his wedding ring and kisses it. Aw.
Colicchio addresses each cheftestant in turn. Jeff gave them "a watered-down version of ceviche." Stefan didn't give them Texas-style strong flavors. Fabio overcooked the venison. Padma tells Jeff to pack his knives and go. Jeff is classy and asks to shake the judges' hands before he leaves. Fabio tells the judges that he appreciates the second chance he's been given. No one really reacts except Padma who gives him a dead-eyed, "Thank you."
In Jeff's exit interview, he says that he thought he doesn't like how he lost, because he thought he had it wrapped up. He assumed Fabio was going, but he's learned that his brain works differently than a lot of chefs, and he's unable to keep it simple when he needs to do so. He does feel that he gave it his best, though he's disappointed in himself since he thought he had what it took to win. Aw, now I kind of feel bad for the old snob.
Kim plots world domination, one domain at a time, at her blog Fresh Hell. You can contact her at email@example.com.