'Top Chef' recap: Etched in My Mind

top-chef-dc-padma-lakshmi-tom-colicchio-320.jpgQuickfire Challenge: The cheftestants go to Le Bernardin where they meet Justo Thomas, who's like the Jedi fish butcher. The cheftestants have to portion one cod and one fluke into as high-quality portions as they can in ten minutes. Fabio, Carla, Tiffany and Antonia end up on the bottom. It's particularly embarrassing for Tiffany, who is executive chef at a seafood restaurant. The top four are Blais, Mike, Dale and Marcel. They move on to the next round, where they have 45 minutes to make a dish using the discarded fish scraps, and the winner gets immunity. Dale wins immunity, though all of the dishes earn some praise from guest judge Bourdain.

Elimination Challenge: Restaurant Wars, guest judged by Ludo Lefebvre, one of my least favorite Masters contestants, because he is crazy. The twist this time is that it's a "pop-up" restaurant, meaning they aren't taking over an existing space. It's a one-night-only restaurant. Dale is one captain, due to his Quickfire win, and he chooses Marcel to be the other captain, so that they won't end up on the same team. The teams are Marcel, Angelo, Mike, Antonia and Tiffany versus Dale, Blais, Tre, Fabio and Carla. Weirdly, Carla is picked last. Dudes, she won the last challenge! And also, the diners get to vote on who is the winning team, so all those who say they cook for the diners and not the judges should be happy.