“Top Chef” Recaps: Episode 4.12 “High Steaks”

And Antonia is told her entrée was the judges’ favorite, so
she too is going to the final four. That’s right, Team
ARS
totally kicked arse. They engage in a goofy, three-way, almost
falling on their arses hug afterward.

And then there were
two —
Lisa and Spike, however, are in no mood for hugs. As the bottom two,
one gets an all-expenses-paid trip to Puerto Rico, and the other gets to go
home and look at Puerto Rico on a map.

Tom does not mince words. He tells Lisa she has been in the
bottom five times and Spike has been there seven times, so "neither one of
you should be surprised to be here right now."

Tom: Lisa, I
think all of us got a sense through your food … [that] you’re not pushing through,
you’re not driving, you’re not being absolutely ferocious … From hearing you
talk we know there is passion there, we know there is something driving it. We’ve
got to see it.

What they see instead is Lisa’s usual stony judges’ table
face. I’m not sure if this is a defense mechanism or what, but I’d rethink it.
It doesn’t exactly say, "I hear you judges, thanks and I’m going to do
better."

Tom: Spike, there
are choices we make as chefs. Everything that goes on a plate is there by
design. We thought that you made a huge mistake in serving those scallops. I
love the fact that you talk about using simple flavors, but if you’re going to
cook using very simple flavors, everything has to be perfect.

He nods, and gives a more appropriately contrite, "I
hear you judges, thanks and I’m going to do better" face.

But who has to pack his/her knives and go? Spike.

Ding-dong, the asshat is gone! OK, that might be a tad mean
given the seemingly genuine hug he gives Lisa afterward. But a cocky attitude plus
responsibility-shirking behavior plus terrible, terrible, terrible headgear does
not a Top Chef make.

Lisa, in the meantime, almost tears up with joy about moving
on to the finals. She pulls it together to stoically tell the judges that she is
going to "bring it" in Puerto Rico.

Spike tells the cameras that this won’t be the last the
cooking world sees of him. But, God willing, it will be the last we see of his
ridiculous hats
.

The remaining cheftestants are excited to have a clean slate
and vow to bring their A-game to Puerto Rico.

So, the final four is set. I, for one, couldn’t be happier
with the outcome of the episode. And having three women in the finale is beyond
fantastic. Cheers, folks, you’ve earned it.

Next week on Top Chef: Flip-flops and tank tops
and brand spanking new lesbian haircuts, oh my! Welcome to Puerto Rico, hope
you didn’t forget to pack your knives.

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