Top Chef
Twelve Days of Christmas

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Kim: B+ | Grade It Now!
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Cooking the Carols

Leah has three French hens, probably the easiest verse to interpret. She's not going crazy with it, and is doing braised hen with a puff pastry and butternut squash puree. Fabio cannot figure out what to do with nine ladies dancing. He decides that you dance with your legs, so he's doing crab legs. Ariane has six geese a laying, so she's going with deviled eggs. Is she catering the AMFAR summer potluck picnic? Because that's the only time I think that dish might be appropriate. But she's doing six different toppings! Don't care. Still not appropriate for a gala fundraiser event.

They return to the kitchen and start the three-hour prep. Stefan explains that you have to unpack, unwrap your food, prep, and pre-cook everything, which takes a long time with the volume of food they are preparing. Jamie has seven swans a swimming, so she is cooking scallops once again. Really? Two in a row? She plans to have them "swimming" in vichyssoise. I guess a lot of other people are doing poultry, but that seems like the obvious choice for her. Melissa has eight maids a milking, so she is combining Gorgonzola cheese and steak on toast points, as a reference to the cow (beef and dairy -- it took me a minute to figure that one out). Melissa has been in the bottom two for two challenges, so she feels she has something to prove. Radhika has a partridge in a pear tree, and she realizes the only way she is getting an actual partridge is hunting it herself. That's not happening, so she's substituting seared duck breast and serving it with pear chutney. I think I like her interpretation best thus far; literal but not TOO literal. Radhika explains that she's breaking down her ducks, but she's not the fastest at it, so it takes a while.

Fabio is using his crab legs to make a corn and bell pepper crab cake, which sounds delicious. He wants to make something that people will find comforting and not too fancy. Eugene has "five golden rings" so he's making poisson cru which is fish mixed with lime juice and coconut milk. He's bringing the rings in by serving the dish with a pineapple ring and a Yukon gold potato chip. Eugene knows that he's been in the bottom a lot, so another bottom three finish will probably mean he's going home. Hosea gets his pork on the grill to sear it, but all the marinade creates a lot of smoke, and everyone gets smoked out of the kitchen. Jeff interviews that he's seeing people make pork loin, deviled eggs, and crab cakes, which are really simple dishes. Jeff obviously feels they are overly simple and he hopes the judges notice how hard he's working. This isn't Top Hard Worker in the Kitchen, it's Top Chef, and I think it's the end result that matters. Everyone starts putting his or her ingredients and cooked foods into containers for overnight storage. There's not nearly enough room in the refrigerators, and people are just trying to jam stuff in. Hosea interviews that he notices a lot of hot food going in, which isn't ideal, but it's what they have to do. Everyone finishes up, and they all leave for the night as Radhika firmly closes the fridge door. Or does she?

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