The episode starts off immediately after last week's Judges' Table when Antonia is eliminated. While Blais and Mike pace in the Stew Room, Padma and Tom come in to give them their final challenge: to create the "restaurant of their dreams" in which they will serve a four-course tasting menu. More details will be given in the morning.
Graffiato, and he got married in August of 2009, long after Top Chef Las Vegas finished taping, and well before the All-Stars season was even a twinkle in Andy Cohen's eye.
The next morning, we see Padma in a large kitchen with all of the previously-eliminated recheftestants. They will be competing to become sous chefs for Blais and Mike and have 30 minutes to prepare two portions of an amuse for them to taste.
The two suit up and head to the kitchen, where the recheftestants break into applause and Padma gives them their task.
Each team has one hour to plan their menus, then five hours to cook for 70 people, including a buttload of judges.
Blais tells us that Mike's strengths are his confidence and swagger. And his weaknesses are...his confidence and swagger. Mike demonstrates some of that confidence and swagger by telling us that he's going to out-cook Blais, which I don't believe for even one minute.
With a mere five hours to cook, the teams get right to work in their respective restaurants, Mike at Seafire at the Atlantis, and Blais at Café Martinique. When Tom comes in for a visit, he plays with the chefs' minds. First he tells Mike, who claims to be in the weeds, that nobody expected to see him in the finale.(Least of all ME.) On Blais' side of the world, Tom reminds him that he blew it in season 6. Blais says that he's over being creative for creativity's sake and that currently he's trying not to think too much about what is at stake.
Meanwhile, at Restaurant Iz, Tom and Gail get the short straw and must dine with Art Smith and new Top Chef Masters host Curtis Stone. They agree that Mike's spiced beet salad with chocolate vinaigrette is a good start, and Tom is in love with the steamed halibut he serves next.
Back at Richard's, he serves pork belly, black cod, and bone marrow - all on the same dish - and makes the judges swoon. His next course of short rib with red cabbage doesn't get as much praise, however, although all of the flavors are good. It's just not that interesting.
The judges switch restaurants and we see more of the same lip-licking and praise. This time Blais' ice cream works better.
Back at the Stew Room, both chefs compliment their sous chefs. Apparently Jamie wasn't the liability Mike thought (and I hoped) she would be. And then its time to face the judges.
Both chefs are roundly complimented, which gives them both a boost of confidence. They are asked the "why do you deserve to win" question, which of course Blais answers articulately while Mike can only stammer something about doing it for his wife.
When they are called back out, Blais and Mike find their family members and the whole cast of recheftestants there to root them on.
That of course means Mike loses. Awww...poor Mike. Heh.
Next week - the reunion, followed by Top Chef Masters.
Posted by theminx on Minxeats.com.