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'Top Chef': Something's fishy

February 5, 2009 |  2:23 pm

Topchef

Fish was the the great equalizer on last night's "Top Chef." It put Stefan, Fabio and "I'm-underestimated" Carla in the top three in last night's "Elimination Challenge," which was to recreate a dish from the menu at Eric Ripert's restaurant Le Bernardin (Ripert was the guest judge).

The over-analogizing Toby Young was so impressed by Carla's rendition of Ripert's oil-poached escolar with potato crisps and a light red "bearnaise" (which, according to Ripert, wasn't really a bearnaise at all -- tricky!) that he named it "Pablo Escolar." But it was Stefan who won. Again. (Who wasn't impressed by him nailing an eel to his cutting board?)

Hosea's attempt at za'atar-spiced monkfish was a disaster. "It was not what monkfish should be on the plate," Ripert said. Lazy Leah should have gone home ("I just don't know why she should stick around," said Tom.). But it was Jamie who was asked to pack her knives and go. Did she deserve to get the boot for over-reducing her braised celery? Or was she kicked off for dissing Ripert, the king of perfectly cooked fish. "I'm bored with this kind of food. It's not something I'm inspired by," she said. Gasp.

Fabio must have been relieved. He was in the losers' circle last week. "My first time ever being on the bottom felt like $#@%."

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

-- Betty Hallock

Photo credit: Bravo TV

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