This is the last episode in New York—after this, four cheftestants will travel to New Orleans for the semifinals—so Bravo has asked an all-star group of chefs, including Jacques Pépin, Lidia Bastianich, and Marcus Samuelsson, to describe what their last meals would be. For the elimination challenge, each cheftestant will cook one of their desired dishes for a five-course last supper.
While prepping, Fabio mysteriously breaks his pinky finger but refuses to go the hospital: “I will chop it off and sear it on the flattop to stop the bleeding.” Later he declares, “This is Top Chef, not Top Pussy.” Nice. But it’s not until he tries peeling potatoes that he really expresses how he feels: “I got so many kick in my ass that sometimes when I’m in the bathroom, I still pull shoes out.”
Leah’s the first to send her dish—eggs Benedict for Dufresne—out to the long table of chefs. Her whites are a little watery, and the hollandaise is too thin. Does it really matter? We all know as well as she does that she’s going home.
All five cheftestants head to the judges’ table, where Fabio is dying to know what Lidia said about his roast chicken. But Tom smacks him for the salad, noting that “the airlines are always looking for good chefs.” The judges tell the cheftestants exactly what they told each other while eating: Leah’s whites were undercooked. Stefan’s salmon was overcooked. Hosea’s tomato Provençal should have been more rustic. Judges, you’re really keeping us on the edge of our seats. Whatever will happen? Toby Young says Hosea’s dish “lacked impact.” Could he be going home?
Fabio is declared the winner, and Carla’s peas give her the green light to go into the semifinals. Finally, Leah is deemed the weakest link—we established that about five episodes ago—and yet she remains thoroughly unemotional. Is there a pulse in there? Meanwhile, Fabio jumps on a chair in the stew room and screams, “Mamma mia!”
And it’s on to the Big Easy.