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Top Chef: New York, Semi-Finals Recap – The Euro Alliance Cracks


Carla – She thinks that perhaps the oyster dish was too heavy. Emeril cuts her off with a “no.” Tom smiles and says there was nothing wrong with the dish. Carla is bursting. Emeril says that he was wary of the non-alcoholic beverage but it was “fizzy and delicious.” I may give my autobiography that title. Gail thought the whole thing was “smokin’ hot” and that she could have popped the shrimp in her mouth all day.

Hosea – He had a time issue and ran out of cocktails and had to water it down a bit. Emeril jokes that he is used to watered-down Hurricanes in New Orleans as you usually have to wait in line to get them. Gail thought that the gumbo flavors were cooked out perfectly. Emeril says that if you were blindfolded you could have been in any great New Orleans restaurant. Wow. Tom thought that when he first heard the catfish dish that it would be too complicated, but Hosea got the flavors to work. Emeril thought he married everything together perfectly and Gail thinks the Tabasco gave it the perfect amount of tang. Not “Tang” I assume, unless Hosea made it for astronauts.

Judges Confer – Gail thinks they all did great jobs. Regarding Jeff – Emeril thought the oyster idea was incredible. Tom thought you really got a good oyster flavor from it. Gail said the crawfish dish was one of her favorites of the night. Tom reminds them that Jeff needs a win and thinks that Jeff clearly was Top Three for the night.

Regarding Carla – Gail loved the oysters and everything just came together. Emeril says the beignet was a homerun and that she had a certain level of care in her dishes and Gail adds that Carla has sophistication too. Don’t forget the love!

Regarding Hosea – Tom loved the roux and Gail found it to be exciting. Emeril was stunned that he transported fish and it didn’t dry out.

Regarding Finn – Emeril said the gumbo was not bad. Gail also thinks the beignet was “inspired fun.” However, Tom and Gail admit that they would not go back to Finn for seconds. Tom also criticized the drink for its sweetness. Gail didn’t taste the soul in the food. Padma didn’t care for his attitude either.

Regarding Fabio – Emeril wanted more from the maque. Padma loved the pasta. Tom thought the whole meal was not put together right. Padma laments the lack of tang. She did like the bread and Tom scoffs at giving him points for making bread in five hours. Tom also wishes that Fabio had put some spices around the rim of the glass to cut the sweet. I wonder if mixed drinks are sweeter in Europe. Anyone?

Tom says that clearly Fabio and Finn are on the bottom and the question is – does Jeff win and knock out both Euros?

Commercials – Poll results…not yet. Keep voting online.

Padma says that there was a clear winner. Emeril says this chef had balance, flavor, temperature, simplicity and creativity in the dish. That winner is Carla. She very cutely and gangly runs to the table for her new car keys. She giggles and tears up in her confessional.

So, this means that Jeff is out. Jeff may have won if Carla didn’t knock it out of the park. Jeff was clearly just a bit shy. Emeril tells him he did a fantastic job. Jeff takes that to heart and can leave with his head held high. Clearly, Jeff feels better than he did from his first elimination.

Tom tells the other three that it was very close. I call BS – as Hosea was most certainly third. Tom lets him off the hook quickly and Hosea joins Carla in the finals. That means one of the Euros is out, and I really thought Finn had managed to blow the competition that was so much in his grip.

Tom says that Finn made good food, but it was missing something and his attitude didn’t help. He says Fabio made it traditional plus his Italian touches, but it was not layered and missed the mark. I think all five chefs made great dishes and this elimination was one of those nitpick eliminations.

Padma knifes Fabio and he is clearly stung by it. He thanks them all and jokes with Finn that “if you don’t win, I’ll kick your ass.” I will miss Fabio and his monkey ass – he was always good for a good quote. He finds it disappointing but is proud that there are more chefs behind him than in front of him. He thinks Finn is going to win – and maybe he will with this wake-up call. Fabio jokes with Hosea that two Euros in the final would have been impossible and this elimination was done for him.

Next – the Finale! The best three-course meal that they have ever made. Hosea flips Finn the Bird. Some sort of twist is coming. And either Hosea, Finn or Carla will be the new Top Chef.


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