Top Chef

Episode Report Card
Chuck: D | 1 USERS: A+
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Zoo Food

Padma gets personal for a second, asking Wylie, "Who's on your bottom?" To which the resounding answer is, "We don't want to know!" Oh, about the food? Fine. Wylie felt that Spike should have been more creative when surprised with sub par ingredients (in this case, by turning to the beloved sandwich, hider of flaws), that Erik's entrée was more a "piece of meat, a row of carrots, and a row of potatoes" than a composed dish, and that (although he was pulling for Richard since they "play in the same sandbox") Richard's chicken was less refined than it could have been, and too oily. Richard looks truly crushed to be singled out -- he really wanted to impress Wylie.

Ryan's "moist, juicy" dish wins praise, as does Valerie's steak with peaches -- out of which she "managed to pull a lot of flavor." Wylie also thought highly of Mark's dish -- "the bitterness of the turnips played off the sweetness of the peach nicely" -- and chooses him as the winner. Despite a pretty poor performance in the first elimination and the rocky start to the Quickfire, he's rightly pleased that he pulled it together and secured immunity. In fact, Wylie compliments his handling of the lost lettuce. Nicely done, mate.

Elimination. Knives are drawn again this week -- upon selecting the first knife, labeled "Vulture," Manuel wonders if the word on the knife signifies the food each of them will cook. I hope so; I'd be quite curious to see what could be done with vulture. Bear is next, which immediately inspires Antonia to think about braising -- ah, the mind of a chef. "People eat bears," she says -- well, yes they do, honey, but they don't usually cook them first. But no, each animal represents a team: vulture, bear, lion, penguin, and gorilla. Five teams of three, and Valerie gets her wish: she and Stephanie are both on Team Gorilla, along with Antonia, who's glad to be with Stephanie since her winning duck was so good, but less sure of Valerie as she's not yet tasted anything she's made.

As the teams separate, Padma explains that they will be catering a 200-person staff cocktail party at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Of course, there's a twist. "You must base your dish around the main foods in your animal's diet." Thanks, Padma. Okay, I know a lot of these challenges are kind of gimmicky, but this one just seems unnecessary and kind of stupid. It's too cutesy and nothing more than a lame theme for catering a party. Maybe it's just that I wouldn't have much interest in attending a party based on animal's diets, but then again I don't work at a zoo. They'll have three hours the following morning to prep at the Top Chef kitchen before taking everything to the zoo -- with that, Padma's out of there.

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Top Chef

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