Cocktail hour is starting and the dishes are being served. Everything looks and sounds delicious, though Clark's lettuce wraps are really awkward eating for a stand-up cocktail hour.
The footage from the line shows clearly how much these chefs are helping each other out -- everyone is working to plate every dish. Such a nice departure from original flavor Top Chef where the young up-and-comers are so much more cutthroat. Hooray for team work!
Art is assembling the wedding cake and from the background music being played you know this thing is doomed. The buttercream is soft and it already looks structurally unsound. Eek!
Bride and Groom share their first dance (thankfully not to Etta James' "At Last") and dinner dishes are served, starting with Debbie's grilled napa cabbage salad. It was supposed to have been a papaya mango salad but the lack of both papaya and mango at the store put a crink in her plans. All the judges thinks it's odd. Bride and groom love it.
Clark's salmon is undercooked for the judges, Curtis decides to get up and go ask the bride how hers is cooked. Oh my lord, people! Let these kids enjoy their wedding for Pete's sake! Christine graciously points out her salmon is delicious.
Quote #3 of the episode, after Chris gets through his service: "I think I just gave birth. Is that what it's like to give birth?" Hey Chris, I'm 100 percent qualified to answer this one: No.
The cake is stacked but starting to fall. All the chefs step in, lots of running. Chris and Patricia get Art more icing and he restacks it. It's rolled out by six chefs and still looks really unsteady. Bride Christine says in her best fake nice voice, "Wow! What do we HAVE?" Art remains cool during the cake cutting but is clearly really unnerved.
During the commercial break we are treated to Cheftestant Lorena Garcia shilling for the new "Cantina Bowl" line at Taco Bell. Huh. The blatant cross-promotion leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Just like Taco Bell. I'll spare everyone my epic Taco Bell food poisoning story. Moving on.
Critics' table calls Takashi, Patricia, and Chris up as the top three, and Patricia's mackerel ceviche takes best dish. James declares it "a revelation, absolute magic." She is so humble and sweet with her win, which brings in $10K for Heifer International.
Mark, Art, and Debbie are called in as the bottom choices (or, as Curtis Stone says, AHT, MAHK, and DIBBY) and Debbie's "odd" salad sends her home. She is a gracious loser and relays to her fellow contestants that she is actually happy and relieved "to be going home to bed."
Also, as she's hugging everyone goodbye it becomes immediately apparent that she is either really short or every other Chef is freakishly tall.
And then there were 10. Next week's preview shows the chefs taking on Japanese "teppan-yaki" style cooking (think Beni Hana). I, for one, sincerely hope there is a flying shrimp incident.
Comments? You can yell at me via Twitter @operatornumber9. See you next week!