“Top Chef” Recaps: Episode 4.1 “Anything You Can Cook I Can Cook Better”

 
 

At the grocery store, the chefs run around like, uh, chefs
in a grocery store. Lisa assures us she’s been cooking breakfast forever.

Lisa: The amount of eggs that I’ve poached in the
last year of my life — I’m pretty confident that I’m going to rock this
challenge.

If this were The L Word, poached would totally be a euphemism for something else.

Ryan discusses his chicken piccata grocery list. He then
proceeds to name a whole slew of things I’ve never seen on my chicken piccata
when I order it at the Olive Garden.

Hold the mayo — The chefs busy themselves with the
task at hand. Lids are lifted. Sauces are stirred. Andrew gets lost looking for
mayonnaise.

It turns out that there is no mayonnaise in the kitchen! Andrew
asks his competition, Richard, where’s the mayo. Richard tells him there is
none, but that there are eggs and oil available. Then, bam, Richard pulls out
his own jar that he bought for himself at the grocery store.

Andrew decides to make his own, but secretly thanks Richard
for giving him the recipe. Apparently he didn’t know that mayo was made from
oil and eggs. Um, you’re a chef, right? A professional chef?

While Andrew blends away, Richard lets his inner nice guy
take over and passes over his jar of mayo. See, there’s a reason I named him an
honorary chefbian. Andrew, of course, gives it back and says it’s not
necessary. Someone is officially on my punk list.

Meanwhile, Nimma realizes her cauliflower flan isn’t
setting. I think her mistake was making cauliflower flan in the first place.

Then Chefbian Richard pulls out something that looks like a
cross between a hookah and a fire extinguisher. It’s a smoker for the
mayonnaise. Ooh, fancy.

As Stephanie sauces her plate, her hands shake. Use The
Force, Stephanie, The Force.

Padma says what? — Chow time. Joining Padma, Tom and
Rocco at the table is the world’s most misanthropic chef, Anthony Bourdain. I
once saw him eat an omelet cooked in the dirt on his show, No Reservations,
so this should be a walk in the park.

First up, duck à l’orange. Looks-wise, I give it to
Stephanie and her spring rolls. I mean it: Now I’m practically salivating. The
judges agree, as mmm-mmm noises are heard all around. Mark’s deconstructed
duck, not so much. Stephanie wins unanimously and says with a laugh that she
can stop shaking now. Aw, I might just have to make her an honorary chefbian,
too.

Next up: crab cakes. Andrew has too much panko crumb on his.
Richard presents "shock and awe" with his smoked sensation, and he wins.

Then the lasagna. The rutabaga in Jennifer’s lasagna is
still raw, and I’m wondering: Why is there rutabaga in her lasagna at all?
Nikki’s homemade pasta is deemed superb, and she wins.

Moving along, we have shrimp scampi. Antonia’s draws more mmm noises. Nimma’s shrimp is "incredibly
salty." Good for a sailor, bad for seafood. In fact, Rocco would have sent
his back if he had ordered it in a restaurant. Antonia, clearly, wins.

Then comes eggs benedict. Both Lisa and Spike’s are gobbled
up. Anthony breaks the hung jury by posing this genius test.

Anthony: You got really drunk last night — which is a
better hangover dish?

Lisa’s perfectly stacked, poached eggs are deemed
hair-of-the-dog worthy, and she wins.

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