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Top Chef: New York, Episode 9 – All’s Fair In Love and Restaurant Wars


The appetizers:

Tuna and Salmon Sashimi, radish salad and Yuzu Vinaigrette and Coconut Curry Bisque with Shrimp Dumplings. LP thinks the soup is ok. Toby thinks something was shocking. Tom says it needed salt. A woman can’t taste anything in the dish.

The Entrees – Braised Beef Short Ribs with Ginger, Vegetables, and Beef demi-glace and Seared Black Cod, Fresh vegetables and Chinese Cabbage. Padma digs the short ribs and Tom thinks they were nicely cooked. The cod? Not so much. JP coughs because it tastes so bad. Tom thinks the sauce is brutal. Some woman thinks it is too salty. Padma actually sends it back from being undercooked. Fabio apologizes and lets the kitchen know. Leah immediately thinks she is going home. Hosea seems to agree, “the leader sent out inedible fish and the team’s life force was sucked out.” Finn says, “Oh damn. Leah, just check on your fish?” Finn’s confessionals are pretty fun, especially now that I want to see Leah and Hosea get a lot of crap.

The desserts – Chocolate Rice Parfait, Grapefruit jelly and Pineapple and Lemongrass and Ginger Panna Cotta, Peach Puree and Ginger honey. LP thinks this team did much better desserts. Tom says it was the best of both meals. LP loved the crunchiness of something and Tom says that Finn may not have saved the team, but he surely saved himself.

Palate Cleanser – I think this was out of order – doesn’t that come in between courses? Frozen Mango, Bitter Chocolate and Mint Lollipop. That looks really cool. Padma loved it. Two guests loved it as well.

Radhika confesses that she did a bad job managing and wants to go home to sleep. Carla is not proud of her desserts and admits that even one of the wait staff thought it was bad. Leah thinks the only way she is not going home is if the other team did a sh*tty job. Hosea is relieved to be done.

LP makes a Sophie’s Choice analogy and thinks his choice would be Sahana, but if you weigh in Finn’s desserts, it becomes tough. Tom says that while Sahana’s food may have been better, you have to factor in the service. Toby thinks Sahana had the better food, but Sunset Lounge clearly had the better service.

Commercials – Jeff has mind powers in the extra scene. He plays a guessing game where one person picks one out of a group of nine while he looks the other way and he continually guesses correctly. Hilariously, he rubs Finn’s head before correctly guessing the right one. Leah thinks he is a wizard.

Stew Room. Finn says it took him three and half hours to freeze what little parfait he had. Hosea says that the pilot lights were not working well. Jeff says that the oven was either 5000 degrees or nothing. Padma comes to get Sunset – Leah is clearly relieved.

Leah tells the judges that the team had its ups and downs but was good overall. Tom tells them that by a small margin the diners picked them so they eked out the win. Padma says outright that Fabio and Finn won the challenge for them. It would have been interesting to see this team on the bottom and Leah and Hosea fighting it out to survive. Toby thought Fabio was really charming. Tom tells Leah the cod was the worst thing overall in both places and that if they didn’t win, she’d have been going home. LP gives the win to Finn who confesses that losing Restaurant Wars would have been a nightmare. He wins GE appliances – hopefully not the ones that locked out Fabio, wouldn’t freeze desserts, wouldn’t light pilot lights or have middle ground oven temperature. I’m just saying.

The losers come in. Radhika isn’t sure what went wrong. Padma asks who did what and when Radhika admits to not making any food, she asks her if she at least planned the menu. Amazingly, no. She came up with the concept and the others contributed dishes. Jeff says he was satisfied with his work, but wasn’t what he would normally make. LP liked the food at their place better, but the desserts were a miserable failure.

Carla is good at Judges Table. Well, mostly. She admits that her problem was multi-tasking instead of doing one dish at a time. The others offered to help, but they were crunched for time as well. She had a good time in the kitchen. Toby asks if she thought the diners were having a good time. She says she sent out the love. Tom is incredulous at this.

Jamie comes to Carla’s defense and says the freezers didn’t work well. Tom asks if Radhika knew if so, why didn’t she change the menu to yogurt soup or something. Tom continues on Radhika that if the pastry chef is clearly struggling, why not make a change instead of letting it go and having her crash and burn. Radhika admits to offering help. Tom is mad now. He says that her job was to make decisions, not offer to help. Radhika realizes her mistakes.

Tom and Padma continue to pile on with Radhika’s mistakes. He says that she had a pattern of explaining a problem but not following through on the results. LP says that you always have to assume that the staff is not doing their job properly.

The judges confer. Tom says that clearly Jeff and Jamie are safe. He talks again about how the hostess was MIA. It is much of the same being hashed over – Radhika really was a bad leader. However, LP says that while the issues with the freezer were one thing, Radhika cannot be blamed for the cake. Toby says that he usually foregoes the desserts in global Asian places and now he remembers why. LP says that Carla knew the desserts were bad, but she sent them out anyway and her reasoning angered him so much that he would have fired her if she worked for him. Toby says to keep the love in the kitchen, just send out good desserts.

Commercials – the scary Millionaire Matchmaker is back. Let me ask; is it really that hard for millionaires to meet people?

Tom gets his sum up. Jeff and Jamie must have been frustrated because they performed well on the losing team. Radhika was the leader but failed to carry it out. Carla made desserts, which should leave a good lasting impression of the meal. It didn’t.

Radhika gets knifed. At least I won’t have to spell her name anymore. She was nice, cute and pretty talented, but she really mishandled this challenge. You have to feel badly for her as she gets eliminated in a cooking competition and didn’t actually cook anything here. She says that in hindsight she should have told Jeff to just do it. My wife thinks Carla would have been a better choice, but the point holds.

Next week – All-Stars Top Chef as many of the past contestants seem to be coming back. Andrew is Carla’s favorite. Are you shocked? Spike’s hats! If I didn’t see them from time to time in his restaurant here in DC, I may have actually missed them. Spike and Fabio seem to be getting into it. Jamie is starting to crack and Fabio again gets prickly at Judges Table.


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