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Top Chef Local Debriefing: Let's Go To The Movies

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Last night’s Top Chef may have been the most random albeit most entertaining one yet—Daniel Boulud, Richard Roeper, a basket of greens, and movie-inspired dishes were on the menu during this bizarre fourth ep. As usual, the spazzy antics of the young chefs did not disappoint: bitching, flailing, and clawing their way through this "cinema-themed" episode. First a quick summary:

As previously mentioned, Top Chef regular Daniel Boulud, (D-Biggity if you will), was front and center at the start of the quickfire. Bonus Info: We learned/were reminded that Ryan and Richard had both worked in one of his restaurants. Apparently Boulud’s style just wasn’t Ryan’s "thing.” Shocker. The QF challenge was to create a veggie plate using 3 classical techniques to impress D-Biggs. After many cheftestants whined about their lack of technical skills, Dale pulled off his first win. The elimination challenge was to create a six-course meal for Richard Roeper and Aisha Tyler, each course created by a different pair of chefs and inspired by a different film. (Who comes up with this stuff?) In the end, a Willy Wonka dish won, Padma's outfit was a feat in itself, and a panel of eight randoms accompanied the judges at the dinner table.

Elimation Challenge: Antonia gets paired with one of the chefbians, Zoi one of the top three in the QF. "She cooks exactly the way I do," Antonia says. They pick the movie Talk to Her by Pedro Almodovar for inspiration. "It's a Spanish film about two very creative women. I think it just sort of represented us". (Sidenote: Weren't the women both in comas?) Anyhoo?they do a rack of lamb with cauliflower saffron puree and romesco sauce. Bright colors, bold flavors, drama, just like the movie!

Dinner Table: Antonia and Zoi explain to the table that the two women in the movie were very passionate, and this lamb represents the two strong females and the vibrant colors of Spain. Unfortunately, the guests find no "fire." Aisha Tyler says there's nothing "transcendent about it."

Judges' Table: After Richard, Dale and Andrew's Willy Wonka inspiration wins, Antonia and Zoi get called in as one of the bottom two, along with Spike and Manuel's Good Morning Vietman boredom. Antonia says she's surprised being in the bottom, that the lamb was cooked perfectly, that the romesco and gremolata were nice. Tom says they didn’t sell the dish well, that it didn't match their description of the movie. Zoi steps in, way more bothered. "We envisioned really yellow cauliflower and really red romesco, but bottom line is taste." Tom, equally bothered, said it just didn't match their presentation. Antonia stood behind the dish, explained the concept again, and Padma quips, "That's all great, I just wish you had told us this before." Not looking good, but better than Spike and Manuel.

Outcome: Zoi starts whining that if the judges want white chocolate and wasabi (the winning dish) then she should just go home. "That doesn't taste good I promise. And if this is what they want, then see ya later." She's lucky their dish tasted good, because Manuel's passivity was too much for the judges to bare. Memo packs his knives and goes.

Highlights: Andrew borrowing Spike’s beloved fedora and kneeling into his shoes trying to imitate an Oompa Loompa, Manuel’s melodramatic goodbye speech after getting the boot, Mark and Ryan’s idiotic movie discussion, in which Ryan exclaimed to us: "New England, New Zealand...where the hell was Mark from?" Ahhh, Ryan. Good thing you're pretty.
· Local Debriefing Week 1: Meet Antonia Lofaso [~ELA~]
· Local Debriefing Week 2: Antonia and the Gorillas [~ELA~]
· Local Debriefing Week 3: Ego Taco [~ELA~]
· All Top Chef, All the Time [~ELA~]

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