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


Must have the
precious —
Padma says that for the Elimination Challenge, Chef Tramonto is
entrusting them with something very precious. Precious? Those sneaky little
cheffitses have the precious?

Well, the precious turns out not to be The One Ring to rule
them all, but Chef Tramonto’s brand-new steakhouse. They will take it over for
the night. Each chef will create an appetizer and an entrée. Spike’s "important
decision" is that he has first choice of proteins for both his dishes.

Not everyone is convinced Spike’s advantage is so

Lisa: Personally,
I wouldn’t want that much pressure. That is going to force you into a decision
you may regret 10 minutes later and you can’t change your mind.

Beef: It’s finally what’s
for dinner
— The chefs go back to their townhouse for some downtime before
the big night. As they eat steaks, Spike handicaps the race.

Spike: I’d like
to see a little battle of the sexes. Out of the three girls I feel the top chef
is Stephanie. It’s kind of debatable as far as Lisa and Antonia go. I’d like to
see Antonia go home.

Whoa, presume much? Who says both men will automatically
make the finals, buddy?

Vegetarians need not
apply —
The chefs arrive at Tramonto’s Steak & Seafood for their
Elimination Challenge. They are all impressed by the dining room, but it’s the
kitchen that matters. Spike has five minutes to pick his proteins first. He, of
course, starts late. Always scheming, that one.

He picks the tomahawk steaks, which he "fell in love"
with during the Quickfire. He also picks scallops. The thing is, they’re

The other chefs are, well, see for yourself.

In short, they think he is crazy. Why on earth would you
pick a frozen item to serve in a gourmet restaurant?

Everyone else goes for the fresh stuff. Lisa picks New York
strip and shrimp. Antonia picks a bone-in ribeye and a mushroom salad with
poached egg. Richard picks beef tenderloin and hamachi with sweetbreads. Stephanie
picks beef tenderloin and veal sweetbreads. The latter she swears will taste
like Chicken McNuggets if done right. I’m not sure I feel reassured by that.

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