Top Chef

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Latin and French Don't Mix

Tom and Daniel step into the kitchen for judging. Robin made avocado soup with yuzu, green apple mustard relish, and crab. That hardly seems like one bite. Jesse made tuna tartare with sorrel, gooseberries, fried quail egg, and fried bread. Ashley made foie gras with caramelized pineapple, tarragon, and ramps.

All of the chefs are called back out to hear who is going home. Colicchio starts with Robin's soup, and he says that it was delicious, but it could have used a little more crab. They loved the idea of Jesse's dish, but the proportions and seasoning were a little off. They thought the flavors of Ashley's dish were great, but her proportions were also a bit off. He adds that it's very difficult to send someone home for just one bite, and I think for a second there's going to be a reprieve because this is just too mean. But then Colicchio says that someone will be going home anyway. After the break, Colicchio reveals that the person going home is...Jesse. She doesn't look surprised, but she does look upset. She interviews that she hasn't felt like herself since she got there and she wants people to know that she doesn't suck this badly. And after seeing the performances of the masters, I can believe it. There's a big difference between being a great chef and being a great chef given the restrictions of the show. Jen brings up that there still hasn't been a dude eliminated.

Elimination Challenge, and they'll be drawing knives. Each knife has either a classic French protein or a sauce on it. Once the drawing is over, Colicchio explains that half of them have proteins and half have sauces, so they have to pair themselves up combining the proteins and sauces. And they'll be serving to a table of some of the best French chefs in the world. As he lists off the chefs, the cheftestants are just like, "Fuck." Especially when they find out they'll be cooking in Joel Robuchon's kitchen. Even if you don't know who he is, the cheftestants' reactions tell you everything. Mike Volt says that Robuchon is like a god. Boulud adds that he was named Chef of the Century in France. They have two hours to cook at home and one hour to cook in the restaurant. Because Kevin won the Quickfire, he doesn't have to cook, and he gets to eat with the famous chefs.

The cheftestants quickly pair up based on what makes sense. In what seems kind of unfair, Jen ends up with Mike V. Sure, their dishes go together, but they're also on top of the competition. And do I sense some sexual tension there? Just me? Bryan V ends up with Mike I, and I'm starting to think that Mike I. is riding the Volt coattails. The Volt-tails, if you will.

Shopping, shopping, shopping. Ashley explains that she and Mattin are making poussin, or young chicken, and velouté, which is like a fancy gravy. I just looked up a recipe for velouté, and it pretty much is gravy. I don't know what's so fancy about it. Ashley wants to get asparagus, but Mattin says that they don't need it, because it doesn't go well with velouté. Ashley gives in because Mattin's all French. They also buy some bacon, presumably to get the fat necessary to make the roux.

Robin is just blathering on and on in the store, about garbanzo bean flour and Sharpies. Ron looks really annoyed, and he interviews that Robin has a lot of ideas and not many of them have to do with classical French cooking. He practically runs away from her. Meanwhile, the Volt Bros. are jostling each other in the aisles to remind us that they are brothers and also competitive. Bryan doesn't want to get beat by his brother, and Mike V. says that, with his European training, he thinks his cooking is more refined than his brother's. Mike I. adds that they are the two top teams. Well, they have three people in the top and then one guy who was almost eliminated last week. So there's that.

The cheftestants return to the kitchen. Ash and Hector are paired for chateaubriand and sauce au poivre. Ash comments that it sounds like the beginning of a joke: A Puerto Rican and a gay guy have to make dinner for Joel Robuchon. Hector says that he used to do banquets all the time, and everyone wanted beef filets, so he's like an expert at this dish already.

Michael Volt and Jen have rabbit and sauce chasseur. Jen interviews that it's going to be their toughest challenge, and Mike is butchering rabbits and then she's going to use the bones for her sauce. Mattin makes Ashley say that French cooking is the best. Bryan and Mike I. are cooking trout with béarnaise sauce. Bryan seems to be coming up with all the ideas, including how to prepare the trout and that they should deconstruct the sauce. Mike I's like, "Yeah, let's do that." Volt-tails!

Ron, in addition to being the Chowder King, is also apparently the frog leg expert. Robin keeps flitting around and will not SHUT UP and keeps asking Ron his opinion. He just stops answering her, which is kind of hilarious. Ron interviews that Robin is all over the place and he doesn't want to talk shit about her publicly. The first day of prep ends, and Ash realizes that they're pretty much committed to their dishes at this point because they don't have enough time to redo things, even if it's necessary.

Weird interstitial. Mattin got really drunk on his birthday and ran around in his underwear, and then got pushed in the pool. The end.

It's the final day of the challenge. Hector and Ash discuss if they need anything, and Hector says he's trying not to think about it, because he will get too nervous. Spoiler alert: maybe he should have thought about it a little more. Between this scene and the one where he said he's the Master of Filets, perhaps there was a little foreshadowing of the outcome. Kevin interviews that everyone is super nervous, because they will be serving food to the people that inspired them to make food in the first place. And Kevin doesn't have to cook! He gets to eat all the food! Man, what an awesome prize.

The cheftestants arrive at Joel Robuchon's kitchen to finish their food. It's very fancy. A lot of black marble and checkered black and white tile. Eli interviews that he's excited to see Robuchon in the flesh because he wondered if he actually existed and thought, "he might be a unicorn." Okay, that was a little try-hard, but it was still funny. With what passes for humor on this show, it was practically a knee-slapper.

Ron and Robin work on their frog legs with sauce meunière. Ron is handling the frog legs, since he's the champion of that, while Robin makes the sauce and an herb salad. She continues to have Ron taste every single thing, and I appreciate her concept of teamwork, but have some confidence in your food, lady! The face that Ron makes to indicate that her salad is too vinegary is awesome. It's like he ate a lemon. Robin is going a million different directions and Ron has to keep reminding her to mind her sauce, because there's only a slight difference between browned butter and burnt butter.

Mike I. and Bryan are working on their béarnaise. Mike starts to lose confidence in the whole "deconstructed" idea but Bryan is confident it's going to work.

Eli and Invisible Laurine are making lobster and sauce Américaine, which is like a lobster sauce. That seems pretty lobster-y. Laurine is worried about overcooking her lobster and making it tough.

Mattin's sauce boils over. What was he doing? I've made a few sauces and gravies in my day and the most important thing is regulating the heat and stirring, from what I've seen. He explains that he used bacon for his sauce and it might be what puts him over the top. Ashley, meanwhile, is worried about everything and says she's letting Mattin take the lead since he's so French and she's so two thousand and late.

Michael V. and Jen discuss how to plate their dish. Jen interviews that chasseur is a hunter-style sauce made with mushrooms, tomatoes, white wine, and demi-glace. They work really well together; she says that they "feel each other's movement in the kitchen." Dirty! Mike V. can't overstate how important it is to cook fo

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