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Top Chef: New York, Episode 7 – Man, Dr. Romano Is a Tough Judge


The Nanny tells Leah to stop with the salt. Leah is cooking a dish for the first time, which is never, ever a good idea on this show. If you have a choice – make something you are used to, not a brand new dish. The Nanny also has some crazy ass hair going on in her confessional.

Something is on fire!! Plating and tasting. Carla says that her food has layers of flavor and love. Shouldn’t every recipe call for a dash of love? The second group presents their food and return to the kitchen and find the TV. Someone asks if the other team watched them. No, it was a gift for the second group. You’re lucky I didn’t notice who said it. Jamie says that she will be harsh because she wants to win the challenge and being harsh to the others may help her case.

Finn – Roasted Duck and Braised Cabbage with Bread Dumplings. Radhika thinks that the dumplings are overdone, and Finn thinks that was personal. Fabio thinks that it all worked. Tom thinks it had so many flavors and it was great.

Jeff – Trio of Tapas: Oysters, Seared Tuna, Avocado Sorbet and Grilled Peaches. Eugene thinks there is too much on the plate. Tom doesn’t think it is an actual dish. Toby likes the sorbet and actually compares it to Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder – an unexpected treat. Yes, Tom Cruise and Avocado Sorbet. I may like Toby.

The Nanny – Skate Wing with Pineapple and Cauliflower Puree. Bangs liked it, as does Jabba. The Nanny does a big Woo-hoo in the Stew Room.

Leah – Seared Rouget Encrusted in Bread and Fried Beans in Chorizo Sauce. Jamie didn’t like the beans and thought they were greasy. Toby says that as an Englishman he is a fan of fried food and thinks it is like a “Pan European Fish and Chips.”

Carla – Seared Scallop on top of Risotto with Gremolata Topping. Hosea didn’t care for the risotto. Jamie thought it was bitter. Carla says this was a rare opportunity to get your peers to judge you.

Tom liked the second group more and Toby found the tastes to be overwhelming. Tom thinks that it was a good challenge for them and they can get a glimpse into the judging and realize their past mistakes now.

Commercials – The extra scene – Fabio’s pasta making adventures. Meh.

Stew Room – Carla thinks it was brutal. The chefs try to guess everyone’s dishes. Bangs thinks she is doomed. Hosea is worried for her and she is beginning to break down. Padma comes in and calls for The Nanny, Jamie and Finn.

Judges Table. Finn’s dish tells Tom exactly what he is all about, the duck was perfect and the whole thing was “spot on.” Toby says that it reminded him of being in a wood cabin in the Alps. Okay.

Jamie explains that this dish was her Scallop of Redemption. She is told that the fennel and orange were good. Toby liked the anise flavor and how it complements the caramel flavor of the scallop. Tom tells The Nanny that he really liked her dish as well. Not much memorable there.

Padma starts to explain to Jabba that he gets to name the winner and he interrupts her. Hey, Jabba. No one steps on Padma’s lines. I can forgive not understanding a damn word you say, but lay off my girl! Anyway, he gives Jamie her long-awaited win and Finn and The Nanny give her hugs. They return and Jamie calls Bangs, Eugene and Carla into the Bottom Three. Two of them are going home.

Carla rocks the Judge Table. She says that she wasn’t happy and is not surprised that she is there. Tom says that risotto is not a garnish, it is a dish. Carla says that she is not one to wow with much of anything, but she has great flavors and will wow them with flavors. Toby thought it was tart and bitter. Carla thinks she should have put the gremolata in with the risotto, so that the garlic wouldn’t have been overpowering. Tom nods. She totally saved her behind with her performance here.

Bangs enjoyed the challenge and seeing the food critiqued as it was eaten but didn’t expect it to be so harsh. Tom calls it a failure of imagination and that they asked to be wowed and she made fish tacos. Bangs says that she has made it before and made it better. Jabba thought it was bland. Toby simply says it was not pleasant at all. Bangs didn’t think it was that bad.

Eugene says that he thought outside the box and thinks now that he should have just done something simple. Toby says that everything he made did not go together. Eugene says that he tried it and liked it and has made it before. Tom says that the fish never stood a chance against everything else on the plate. Toby says that it was risky but was basically a failed experiment.

Padma asks for anything else to be said. Eugene thinks that he was just too creative. Bangs has so much to offer and wants to be there. Carla thinks that if she removed the scallop from her dish that it would be perfect. Again, Carla rocked the Judges Table this time.

Padma thinks it is strange to be deciding who gets to stay instead of who goes. Toby thinks that Eugene deserves a second chance because he likes risk takers. Tom wishes it was better and goes all Native American on us when he laments that the poor fish gave its life to basically get severely overcooked on a reality show. It has him bummed out. Tom is incredulous that Bangs made fish tacos and that is what she is as a chef. Toby says that Carla’s scallop is an example of her lack of confidence. Carla agrees in the Stew Room that she just needs to make a veggie dish and stop forcing the proteins.

Commercials – The Real Housewives disturb me more and more every week.

Tom tells the Bottom Three that it was a straightforward challenge. Eugene was wildly creative but the skill level needs to catch up. Bangs lacks imagination. Carla could have been exceptional but she messed it up.

Bangs gets knifed first. That was obvious. Eugene joins her. Also, overdue. There are hugs. Eugene says it was a great learning experience. Bangs is disappointed to be going away now. Eugene comes back to the Stew Room and says, “when the booze is gone, it’s time to move on.” He has no regrets.

So we have the final nine – Finn, Fabio, Jeff, Hosea, The Nanny, Leah, Carla, Jamie, and Radhika. I say that the Final Four are shaping up to be Finn, Jamie, Jeff and a wild card that I think right now goes to Hosea. Fabio has been a bit uneven, Carla is hanging on by a thread, and Leah has been rather quiet most weeks. Radhika seems rather one-note so far, although we must all remember that Ilan existed. One note wins sometimes. The Nanny could be the spoiler, but I can see her slipping up at some point.

Next week – Hopefully my schedule will allow for quicker writing. Also, Hung is back. Finn and Jamie go at it. We knew that non-existent romance could never last.


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