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'Top Chef' talk: an underdog on top

December 4, 2008 |  2:45 pm

Alexeusebio "Top Chef New York" Episode 4 took a dramatic turn Wednesday night when Ariane Durate, who had faltered in most of the previous episodes, won the "Elimination Challenge," and it was one down for the Angelenos: Alex Eusebio, who formerly was chef at Restaurant 15 in Echo Park, packed up his knives.

Other highlights:

Fabio Viviani on Rocco DiSpirito: "He's not really Italian."

Fabio on not winning the breakfast amuse-bouche challenge: "Next time, I['ll] take toast and put some ... eggs on it." 

More Fabio: "Somebody spit[s] out your food. That's bad. Really bad."

Gail Simmons on Fabio: "I could hang out with him all day."

For more coverage of "Top Chef" by Denise Martin, go to Show Tracker

-- Betty Hallock

I don't have much to say about "Top Chef" today. I'm still too upset that Alex got the ax. I bet earlier this year -- when announcements leaked that Alex was on the show -- that he would make it into one of the top spots (I have a real soft spot for him). Then, beginning with the first episode, he looked a bit weak (sheepish, not quite confident enough). Trying to pull off a crème brûlée the way he did -- without enough time to finish it properly -- probably still haunts him at night. It's one of those unfortunate choices that must have seemed fine under pressure's hot glare. My guess is that Alex knew better -- he just couldn't take the heat that day. I'm still a fan, and I can't wait to see where he lands.

-- Jessica Gelt   

Photo of Alex Eusebio: Bravo