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


Two great things that
go great together? —
Lisa tells the other chefs that the ricer is "beautiful."
I just worry that she might be making
rice again
. It’s been her Achilles heel of late. Instead she is
making peanut butter mashed potatoes. No, that is not a typo.

As they cook, Lisa is on fire. Well, her back is on fire.
She is standing right in front of the wood-burning stove and it’s getting hot.
She asks Antonia if its door needs to be open.

Antonia: Is it
too hot for you?
A little bit. My shoulders are slightly on fire. [joking] Are you
trying to sabotage me?
I don’t want it to die, it needs air.
What about me, what if I die?
Well then I guess you’re not going to Puerto Rico, Lisa.

That was both playful and forceful. These ladies mean

Lisa: I
definitely want to make it to the finals. I didn’t give up everything and quit
my job and spend this amount of time here away from my life to just go home

Does Long John Silver’s
deliver? —
Spike finally gets around to opening his frozen scallops. What
he finds isn’t pretty. Almost every scallop is torn and soaked with moisture.
Mmm, soggy seafood. Who has the tartar sauce?

Spike lays out enough paper towels to kill a rainforest and
tries to dry out his mushy mollusks. He says he is going to have to keep
patting them down until they’re ready, because he won’t be able to sear them if
they’re wet. Never have I rooted more for humidity in my life.

Head judge Tom Colicchio walks in and checks on the
cheftestants. It’s nice to see Tom and his blue chef’s coat again. I missed
that shiny bald head last episode. He asks Antonia what she is cooking and if
Spike’s advantage made it difficult for her.

Antonia: I would
have loved to work with scallops, but when we came in they were frozen, so I
wouldn’t be too excited for that.

Tom gives a tiny, almost imperceptible chuckle at the
thought of Spike picking frozen scallops. See, I told you he was missed.

What Would Colicchio
Do? —
Tom makes his rounds to the other chefs, checking in on their dishes
and their feel for the challenge. Stephanie tells him she couldn’t be happier.

Stephanie: I
think it’s a great last challenge. It definitely shows who should be in the
final four … We really just had a few minutes to create some dishes. So [it
shows] your creativity and ability to think on the fly.

Richard is a little less thrilled. He tells Tom his entrée
will be beef tenderloin with potatoes, turnips and red wine. Tom calls it "pretty
straightforward" for him.

Richard: Tom kind
of says something to me that really bothers me a little bit today. He says, "Seems
like you’re playing it safe." It is straightforward for some of the things
I’ve done. I’m not smoking anything in a plastic bag. But it’s a steakhouse.

Tom proceeds to psyche out Lisa as well. She tells him about
her peanut butter mash, and he calls it "interesting." She laughs and
tells him it’s never a good sign when he says that.

Lisa: Tom is a
little bit weirded out by the peanut butter mashed potatoes. He kind of just blinks
and pulls his head back — that look that he gives. He just made me feel so
weird I just kind of wanted to like hide in my station.

And then the butcher boy gets his Tom-a-hawking. Wow, I need
some new beef puns. Or should that be beefier puns. Oh yeah, still got it.

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