Top Chef

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Eat Like You Were Dying

Carla has the last course: roasted squab with fresh peas for Jacques Pepin. Carla is worried that she cut the squab too early and thus the temperature might not be right, but she thinks she was true to what Pepin requested, and it might save her. As the judges wait for the food, Pepin explains that he chose squab because it's what his mother used to serve on special occasions. Carla enters and serves her food, explaining that peas are her favorite too. Susan thinks the peas were perfection and she's been converted to the Squab Way. Samuelsson liked the simplicity, but thought the squab was a bit overcooked. Lidia likes the squab, and Colicchio explains that the younger generation believes squab should be less cooked, while the older generation likes it more cooked. Did he just tell Lidia that she's an old bag? How rude! Doneness aside, Colicchio appreciates what he calls "the audacity" to serve just the squab and peas with a simple sauce. Pepin could not be more pleased with the dish and says that he could die happy.

The cheftestants return now that all the food has been served, and the music gets all Field of Dreams or something. Colicchio reminds them that he begged them not to embarrass him, but he says that they did a great job. The diners give them a round of applause. Hosea interviews that he's close to tears thinking about the famous chefs and culinary masters applauding their food. Padma excuses them so the judges can chat about the food.

The cheftestants unwind in the Stew Room. Leah says she doesn't know what she would have done if she effed up her hand like Fabio, and Carla claims she would have rolled with it. Please. Leah would have given up immediately. Fabio says, "It's Top Chef, not Top Pussy." Oh, Fabio. Can we make a talking Fabio doll where I can pull the string and he'll say that, and the Top Scallop line, and so many others? It would please me so. Somehow Leah takes the "Top Pussy" line as an insult, but whatever. It was funny. Hosea proposes a toast to making it through twenty-four challenges together.

Padma shows up and asks them all to come in to Judges' Table, so they go. They start with Leah. Pepin tells her that her egg was undercooked and her Hollandaise was too thin. Leah explains how she thinned it at the last minute and Padma says she thinned out the flavor. I think on top of saying it was too thin, Pepin is saying that her sauce broke, which is a no-no with any sort of emulsion. That's basic technique. They move on to Stefan and Colicchio breaks the news that his salmon was overcooked, which surprises Stefan. Padma explains the problems with the spinach, and Colicchio says the sauce was good, but combined with the creamed spinach, it was too much. Stefan looks devastated, and seems to realize for the first time that he's in danger. Toby adds insult to injury by saying that the potatoes weren't crispy enough, so there was no variety in texture.

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Top Chef

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