Top Chef

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Eat Like You Were Dying

They move on to Hosea. Padma says that Susan really liked his dish, but Colicchio adds that she wanted a more traditional scampi. Pepin thought the tomatoes were too refined, and Hosea explains that was by design, because he wanted a pretty plate. Pepin thinks that taste comes before beauty. Fabio gets feedback next. Padma says that his chicken was delicious, and Lidia was very happy. Toby thinks Fabio reproduced a dish from his own childhood, which is what Lidia had in mind, and Pepin agrees that the flavors and spices were all very traditional. Colicchio has to be the buzzkill when he says that the salad was, as Wylie said, "an airplane salad." Fabio doesn't even try to defend it and says he's going back to the Stew Room to shoot himself for doing an airplane salad. Everyone laughs and Colicchio quips that the airlines are always looking for good chefs. Didn't they do a challenge about that one time? Ah, yes, in season three.

Finally, they get to Carla, who says that she wanted to keep her dish simple and make it perfect, but she was disappointed because the squab was overcooked. Colicchio agrees with her but says that some people thought it was fine. Pepin says if you couldn't see it, you would have thought it was fine by taste, because it was so tender. Carla is pleased that Pepin is defending her. Everyone is surprised that she managed to get fresh peas, since they're out of season, and Pepin says that the whole dish was perfectly prepared. Padma sends them out for deliberations.

The judges discuss how to judge this one, since you could judge on whether the cheftestant went traditional, or whether he or she executed the meal they decided to make. Padma says the winner must be either Carla or Fabio. Colicchio says that the chicken Fabio made could be his signature dish in a restaurant, but Toby reminds him of the salad. They also wonder whether or not they should take his injury into account. Pepin thinks Carla's peas and Fabio's potatoes were the two best components. Padma says all dramatically, "I thought those peas were perfection." Seriously, it sounded like she was reading a cue card. Colicchio admired Carla's dish, but kind of wishes she had incorporated the components together more.

The judges move on to discuss who should go home. Colicchio brings up Stefan's overcooked salmon first, and says that everything else on the plate was well seasoned and garnished. Colicchio had a bigger problem with Leah's eggs Benedict. Toby defends it, saying that often the Hollandaise overwhelms the dish, so Leah went too far the other way, perhaps. They all agree that the bacon was good, and the eggs only need a few more minutes and a few more degrees in temperature to be perfect. Toby hates Hosea's dish, but Colicchio defends it since Hosea was doing what they always tell cheftestants to do in finding his own way. Toby agrees that it was well-executed, but thinks it was dull. Colicchio says that's why it didn't win, but he doesn't think it merits elimination. The judges concur and it's time to call the cheftestants back in.

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Top Chef

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