Top Chef

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Chuck: B- | Grade It Now!
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The Elements

While we don't see Colicchio speaking with the Air-yans, he does offer a to-the-camera assessment of his walk through -- "they didn't really seem to have a clear idea of that dish just yet," which, with an hour left to go, could be a problem. He hopes Team Fire's shrimp won't be too spicy and "ruin everybody's palate for the rest of the meal," while he feels that Team Water seems "a little overconfident, really cocky." That's certainly one way to put it. No words on his impressions of Team Earth.

As the clock ticks, general mayhem envelops the kitchen -- Lisa's cutting her block of bacon, so it looks like things worked out in the end. Zoi wishes there was more time to refine their dish, and says, as she's transferring her sautéed mushrooms from pan to tray, "it's not my restaurant, it's not my plate," and chokes -- I mean, chalks -- it up to an ongoing series of compromises. Her weeks-old bad attitude has gotten pretty stale -- she's definitely dating up.

It's October of 2007, according to the sign announcing the party, in case anyone cares -- lots of white people sit around tables enjoying wine. Gail, returning a judge this week, looks particularly busty in an eggplant dress. As the other teams begin plating their dishes, Team Water's lagging. Andrew and Mark check with Richard to see what they should do, Richard's nervous and looks like he's struggling with the salmon. Mark inquires whether the fish should be served skin up or skin down, and when Richard throws the question back at Mark, he replies "we should have already decided that" before wondering if Richard has the mettle to plate an intricate dish for 80. To make matters worse, they notice the presence of scales on pieces of fish, an error Andrew likens to leaving "a fish head on if you cook a fish," a pointless comparison since leaving on fish heads is done quite frequently.

Poor Colicchio drew the short end of the stick, being forced to stand in the center of the room and thank everyone for allowing Top Chef to participate. I love the fact that none of the other celebrity chefs have been identified, for whatever reason -- in fact, come to think of it, there's yet to be a guest judge from Chicago, which strikes me as a bit odd. I wonder if the other chefs are using the same kitchen, and they managed to completely cut around it. As service is about to begin, Spike asks Zoi how heavily her mushrooms are seasoned. "They're seasoned," she replies, sounding unsure of the answer.

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Top Chef

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