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

Tom tells Spike that the other chefs were happy he took the
soggy frozen scallops.

Spike: Yeah, I
was a little disappointed after I opened the package.
Didn’t you see that they were frozen?
Yeah, I saw that they were frozen.
You were OK with that?
I don’t have a problem with using frozen scallops … If I make these
things look good, I think I can make anything look good after that.

Tom blinks at him a lot. Blinking is also not a good sign.

Anyone want to say
grace before dinner? —
Before he leaves, Tom gathers the chef to give them
the lowdown on the night’s service. They will serve about 60 guests as well as
Padma, Gail Simmons and Chef Tramonto, and three VIP mystery guests. Tom will
expedite the meal (which, in restaurant speak, means managing the timing of the

Everyone seems ready and eager, except for Spike.

Spike: I let Tom
get in my mind and I started second guessing myself. It’s kind of ironic that I
get an advantage and it ends up just biting me in the ass.

Well, it’s a little less ironic when you realize the last
time Spike got an advantage, he was so busy sabotaging
everyone else
it bit him in the ass, too.

Everyone busies themselves with the last-minute prep work
before the diners arrive. Richard is working hard to make it to the finale for
many reasons.

Richard: My wife
is at home busting her hump and working really hard … I’ve failed at many
things in my life, and I don’t really feel like failing at this.

He also continues to fail with his haircut. But he seems so
sincere and humble in that moment that I’ll let it pass just this once.

VIP all the way, baby
Right before service starts, Tom gathers the chefs one last time to
introduce them to the night’s VIP mystery guests. And they are … drum roll … Top
Chef Seasons 1, 2 and 3 winners Harold Dieterle, Ilan Hall and Hung Huynh.

Now that’s what I call VIP: Very Important
Product-placement. Just when I think Top
has run out of ways to pimp products, they pull the ultimate product
placement and promote themselves. Very impressive, Bravo.

Each past Top Chef
titleholder gives the hopefuls some helpful advice.

Harold: Cook your
style and be true to yourself.
You are here to win, not be fan favorite. Just do what you’ve got to do
to win.
Don’t shave anybody’s head tonight.

Oh, Ilan. I thought you might tell them to use copious
amounts of saffron. But then I guess you wouldn’t want to give away all of your
trade secrets.

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