Top Chef
The Ultimate Chef Test

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Trim Your Bangs

Tom explains to them that his challenge involves the same challenge he gives chefs who want a job with him normally; they'll be working in the kitchen, creating food to serve to actual customers of his restaurant.

Micah, the next potential cheftestant, says that you need to be in the mindset that you're going to smash everybody. That seems healthy. Tom shows the group into the kitchen, and tells them to wander around and get their bearings, and he will be by shortly to give them assignment. Tom interviews that he wants to see basic things, like knife skills, but he also wants to see if these chefs can mesh with one another and how they handle being in a kitchen.

Tom starts assigning tasks, and he gives Lizzie the job of shaping and stuffing tortellini. As we watch her work, Lizzie interviews that she's a chef and a mom, and she often feels like she's not giving either job enough attention. Welcome to the world, baby girl. Anyway, Tom seems impressed with Lizzie's tortellini-making skills.

The only guy we haven't yet met, Anthony, is given the task of breaking down whole ducks. Anthony is sweating GIANT beads of sweat while he works. Get this dude a bandanna or something, because he is definitely dripping sweat on to those ducks. Tom chuckles over Anthony's use of a paring knife, which is a little weird -- how does he break through the joints with that thing? Anthony interviews that he's definitely intimidated, and also tells Tom that he's a hot, sweaty mess. No kidding, dude. Anthony also interviews that he really screwed up the first duck he broke down with Tom watching.

Tom assigns John Tesar to fillet and portion salmon. Tom interviews that he's familiar with John's work and reputation: good cook, bad co-worker/boss. Tom asks John why he wants to go on the show, since he's been around a long time. John says that he has a new wife and baby, and he's opening a new restaurant. So he wants publicity. Just admit it, dude. Anyway, John interviews that he came up with people like Mario Batali and Bobby Flay, but he got derailed by casual drug use. Yeah, that was your problem. It had nothing to do with being an asshole and compulsive liar. When Anthony Freaking Bourdain is your biggest and maybe only defender, you've got to take a look at yourself and your choices.

Tom finds Micah, who is filleting black bass. Micah explains that he's the Executive Chef, but he skipped the step of being sous chef, and went right for line cook to Executive. I don't know if that's a big deal or not, because I've never worked in a kitchen, but I guess they wouldn't mention it if it was no great shakes. Anyway, Tom doesn't like how Micah is filleting the fish, so he steps in to show him a better way. Micah interviews that he's shitting bricks.

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Top Chef

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