Top Chef
The Raw And The Cooked

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Surfin' So Sorry

Food flurry. Padmadala, who has ditched her full-length cardigan but is still wearing the shearling vest over her bikini, calls time.

"Surfers" make their way to the fire pits. I really don't know how many of them are real since a lot of them don't even look wet. Betty bitches about so many surfers showing up. They were expecting ten and they're getting forty or fifty. Son of Sam plates up some burned-looking bagels topped with eggs (they've turned the color of oatmeal, which is what I thought it was until I remembered his Seussian pursuits) and a fanned strawberry. I know he's trying to give it some color but strawberries? On top of eggs? Not really. If you want to embrace a culinary cliché, surely a tomato rose would have been much better. Son of Sam tells us rather dead-eyedly that he's freaking out and totally thinks he could get sent home.

The surfers descend on the food like gulls on a dead seal. (No, not Frank, god!) Some guy holds up Mia's crab cake and mumbles, "This is excellent." Colicchio -- who didn't get in his daily Sniff 'n' Sneer -- says, "Did you hear that Mia? They say it's really good." "They" by the way, might be some bikini'd nymphets hanging out on the edge of the shot. Lest you think Mia let a dish go by without christening it with something more horrific than the current celebaby names, Bravo's graphics tell us this dish is "Mama Mia's Crab Cakes Benedict with Mango Cream Sauce." So, I'll sort of assume that the mango cream sauce is in place of the usual hollandaise (I don't think she could have made a real hollandaise on that fire pit without it breaking all over the place over such uncontrollable heat), but where are the poached eggs? Colicchio grins at the nymphets, "So, do you guys eat breakfast like this every day on the beach? This happens every day?" "Oh, yes," they dazzle. "Cool, I could move here, I like this," Colicchio says, turning around in confusion before getting out of the shot. One of the girls sort of looks back at him, like, "Who was that old dude? And why was he flirting with us?"

Instead of standing around like a bunch of surfers, the judges are much more civilized with their eating. For a table, they have a surfboard balanced across what might tragically be two tiki god statues. They tuck in and the cheftestants illustrate their dishes. First is Elia's "Organic Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner," which is waffles with fried beans, ham, cheese, fried eggs, and maple syrup somewhere. "They're good," Elia promises the surfers. Elia tells us that she sold out of her food in the first seven minutes, and that all the surfers were eating it like a tostada and said it was "the bomb." "Scrumptious," a surfer tells the camera. The judges sample Elia's dish and really like it. The like the sweet and salty components. On the beach, Ted Ilan cuts and serves his Spanish tortilla on "pan con tomate" (bread with tomato) with chipotle aioli.

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