“Top Chef” Recap: Episode 4.10 “Serve and Protect”

Then Padma calls in Dale and Stephanie. They are the judges’
top two. Dale’s use of bison is praised because it’s like beef but with 50
percent less fat. Stephanie’s soup is praised for being well-seasoned. Sam gets
to pick the winner. He goes with the dish that was "a little more
substantial, a little more unique." And who was that? Dale.

Huh. I really thought they’d pick Stephanie. They’d raved
about her soup’s heartiness and seasoning. Plus, other than using bison, how
unique are salad wraps? Oh well. Dale gets a bottle of 2002 Rutherford Hill
merlot. Oh, and two tickets to visit the winery in Napa Valley.

Dale: I don’t
want to brag, but I think five of 20 wins, in this arena, is a pretty good
percentage of wins. So I feel pretty confident.

Don’t you love it when people who want to brag say they don’t
want to brag?

The other terrible
three —
Victor Dale returns and calls in Andrew, Spike and Lisa. They are
the judges’ least favorite, and one of them will be homesick no more.

Andrew’s dish gets dissected first. When asked if he thought
it was hearty enough, he said yes. He also made sure to get in his years of
nutritional training.

Andrew: Being one who studied nutrition
for several years, I think it brought something to the table that most people
did not expect. Everything inside that dish was basically meant to make you
feel stringer or a little more energized … If you again, study nutrition, every
three hours this sized meal is something that is considered beneficial to your
health.

The judges ain’t buying it. Tom says if the cops are hungry
again in three hours, they won’t go for another maki roll. They’ll grab a candy
bar instead.

Ted says Spike wasn’t thinking about how to bridge the gap gently (for the officers) from hamburgers to something healthy.

Then Andrew gets all more-nutritious-than-thou on them.

Andrew: You want
healthy, I’m going to give you the most healthiest dish you can possibly find.
I want to show you guys what it is to eat healthy.
Tom:
How about serving something that is good? … It didn’t taste good at
all, no.
Andrew:
Really? That’s funny, I had two people go back for it.
Tom:
They went back for it because it wasn’t enough and they had to eat
more.

Hey, chefs, write this down: Arguing with the judges about
what tastes good is never a good strategy. Never.

Hold the chicken,
bring me the toast —
Padma asks Spike why he picked chicken salad. He says
it’s something he likes, won’t scare the cops and comes in good portions. Sam
questions his use of the tomato, lettuce and bread.

Spike: What was
so wrong about the way I used my ingredients?
Tom:
Were you using it to your advantage or were you using it to the
detriment of your fellow competitors?
Spike:
I’m using it to my advantage. I mean, I’m not trying to sabotage
anybody. There was none of that going on.

Cough, liar, cough.

Tom says the combination of olives and grapes with the
chicken was the biggest problem he had with the dish.

Spike: Salty and
sweet, what don’t you understand about salty and sweet?

Dude, did you not write down my warning like I told you to?
They’re the judges, that’s what they do — judge.

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