It Came Upon A Sniff And Sneer
The cheftestants cook feverishly while the judges move on to other dishes. Van Aken totally misses the point of CJ's take on a classic presentation of holiday prime rib by opining that CJ just added the beef because he felt he needed to add an extra ingredient. They like Tre's scallops, but Gail doesn't "understand" Tiffani's bacon-wrapped apples with Brussels sprouts and grapes. She says, "It doesn't feel like a substantial dish -- it sort of looks like a garnish." Wow, talk about being caught between a rock and a bitch! I'm no fan of Tiffani's, but I do not see how Gail can say her dish is "like a garnish." Plus, I hate it when people say they "don't understand" food. Food is food! Tiffani explained what it is, it's there, it's bacon, apples, B. sprouts, grapes, and chicken dribblings -- what's not to understand? Frankly, it sounds like deconstructed stuffing, and I'd gullet it. Most of the other judges seem to disagree with Gail, including (surprise, surprise!) Colicchio, whose only complaint is that Tiffani should have cooked it more. Colicchio's favorite dish is Josie's duck, so she's making it to the second round.
...Which isn't going to be a good thing, because we learn that while she was serving Colicchio's favorite dish of the first courses, she totally dried out her second-course turkey. Josie's hopes that someone else overcooked their second course are answered when Betty whisper-screeches to us that she overcooked her lamb. For me, overcooking lamb is the worst thing you can do to any meat. It's my meat of choice. My meat d'etre. The biggest, juiciest reason why I will never be a vegetarian.
Padma sums up for us that the bottoms are CJ, Betty, Stephen, and Sandee. CJ has immunity, so...commercial break!
CJ leads the second courses out, and Colicchio tells them all that it was a unanimous decision to rid themselves of Sandee and Stephen. Colicchio tells Stephen that his asparagus were "not so seasonal." Okay, then why did they have asparagus in the Top Chef pantry for Tre to make in the Quickfire? Also, Stephen is told that his gnocchi were heavy. Stephen's FISHHOOK is present and accounted for as he takes all this in. Sandee's soup was weak and watery. Sandee and Stephen take their second courses back to the kitchens and (hopefully) drink a lot. Stephen realizes he's not Superman, but a restaurateur.