“Top Chef” Recap: Episode 4.11 “Restaurant Wars”

 
 

Guest judge Andrés gets to pick the winner. He picks
Stephanie for her teamwork and conceptualizing the linguine dish and cheesecake
dessert. And what has Stephanie won? A trip for two to Barcelona on a four-star
culinary vacation. Damn, if I won that I’d be smiling that big, too.


A long, strange trip —
Team LSD knows their fate as they
wait in the Stew Room. Once in front of the judges, Bourdain cuts to the quick.


Bourdain:
All of us were unanimous in finding some very
unpleasant aspects to this meal.

The judges then tear through that unpleasantness one by one.
Bourdain asks Spike who was responsible for picking the tablecloths and
napkins. He says all three were. And then he says they didn’t get their first
choice. Shirking responsibility isn’t just a hobby for him, it’s a full-time
job.

The judges say the front of the house’s design increased
expectations for the food — expectations that were not met.

Next up are Dale’s butterscotch scallops. Guest judge Andrés
says "nothing seemed to work" about that dish, while Bourdain says it
"looked like a melted candy bar."

Then comes Lisa’s laksa. Bourdain says the bowl was like
sticking his nose into a campfire.


Lisa:
I take full responsibility for that dish … The way
that I was taught to do laksa was smoked, but clearly I just took the smoking
too far.

Well it’s nice to see someone take responsibility for
something.


Assume the position —
When the judges ask whose idea the
laksa was in the first place, Spike says it was his, but that his idea of a
laksa is "very different." And then when Allen asks where Dale was in
the decision-making, he says he doesn’t know laksa and trusted them to make it.
Well, seems that whole concept of responsibility was short-lived.


Bourdain:
You’re the executive chef and you don’t even know
what a laksa should taste like.

Man, too bad I’m not into S/M, because this is an
old-fashioned spanking.

The short ribs get called the only highlight of the meal.
When asked who made them, Spike suddenly remembers how to take responsibility
again. But Dale and Lisa have a little problem with his glory hogging. Dale
braised them, and Lisa helped as well.


Spike:
My recipe. Dale and Lisa both took part in executing
them.

You can tell it hurts Spike to have to deviate from his
strategy of taking credit when it’s good, dispersing blame when it’s bad.

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