Follow the leader. What the &*%$? Seafood sausage again. I cannot believe that Brian would allow CJ to make this dish after he had previously made it not once, but twice for this competition! Even more incredulous is that no one -- fellow chefs nor judges alike -- mentioned it. At the Judges' Table it was as if this were so inspired. Last week CJ really got a free ride when he escaped the curse of the salad, but it looks like the meter on his cab is broken! Ha! Now I respect Tom's opinion, but I know how the game works. You said that you wished some of the chefs had just concentrated on fewer items and made them shine. However the truth is that if that had happened you would probably have said something like "You had all that time and this is all you did?" Let's face it, at a cocktail party people want variety. Poor Howie. Just as he seems to have gotten his sweating and temper under control, his food and inspiration seem to be fading. I saw this coming. As any true Top Chef fan knows, when the cameras begin to show your softer, gentler side, the end must be near! Ha!
To my surprise, all of the chefs seemed to be shocked over the amount of food that was being consumed. Are you kidding? These are fashionistas who haven't eaten a thing since 1989 -- about the same time that Hung first made his salmon mousse! From my experience with parties like this, you should only put foods that can stretch onto the stationary table and pass everything else. Otherwise people will try to make dinner out of it and it can be impossible to keep up. Finally to the judging table. Although this looks like a short process thanks to the joy of editing and limited time to present the segment, it can actually go on for hours. You can see from Hung's defensive stance how exhausting the combativeness between the judges and the contestants can get. I know firsthand how it can really feel -- as if the judges are attacking you over and over until someone is bound to crack.