“Top Chef” Recaps: Episode 4.13 “Puerto Rico”

As they prep their purchases, Richard reveals his secret
OCD. He has brought along green masking tape and a Sharpie and is labeling all
of his ingredients. He calls it one of his “secret ingredients” and
grimaces when Antonia asks to borrow a piece of tape.

Lisa, in the meantime, is commanding her kitchen and letting
some F-bombs fly. Andrew calls her a strong personality. Richard is less

Richard: Lisa is
sometimes a bit much for me. She’s just got a bad attitude. She is like a gray
cloud in the kitchen, to be quite honest.

Gee, Rich, tell us how you really feel.

Their two hours of prep ends, and everyone gets their food
put away. Stephanie says she feels “really organized” and “ready
to go.” And then the camera pans to her pork belly still sitting out
unrefrigerated. Noooooooo!

Refrigerate after
opening —
The next morning the chefs stream back into the kitchen and greet
their sous chefs. Dale says he came in and immediately saw the pork he forgot
to put away. He smells it to see if it’s still OK, but Stephanie says they’re
simply not using it.

Stephanie: I
really don’t want to chance it. I don’t want to make a bunch of people sick at
a cocktail party. So we’re losing a whole dish and that probably could really
hurt my chances of winning.

Dale apologizes profusely and Stephanie tells him it is OK.
Wow, she’s a good boss. No yelling. No cursing. Just focusing on how to fix the
problem. That dude from Hell’s Kitchen could learn a thing or
two from her. Guilt works better anyway.

Dale: If I get
her sent home I swear to God I will never forgive myself. It’s like someone
pulled my heart out of my chest and stomped on it.


The other white meat —
Richard and Spike are working on their dishes. Spike says he always learns
something from Richard’s cooking. Apparently today he is learning how to blow
torch pig’s feet. Still despite his love for gadgetry, Richard says his goal is
to keep it simple and not bite off more than he can chew.

Each chef lays out his/her menu. Richard is serving barbecue
pork shoulder, pork belly with pickled watermelon, ham and beans, and
Malta-glazed ribs. Antonia has crispy pork belly with sweet peppers, pork
sausage with pigeon peas and rice, and curried pork.

But as she works on her dishes, Antonia is having Lisa-like
rice issues. It’s burned on the bottom and undercooked on top, so they throw
the whole batch out.

Nikki: I feel like
Antonia is not as strong as she normally is and something is off. So I feel
like I need to really stay focused.

With that Lisa warns Antonia that the food in one of her
pots is burning on the side. Antonia admits that she needs to stop thinking
about her newly opened restaurant and focus entirely on the task at hand. Yeah,
because that babysitter is going to want a really big tip.

Lisa is preparing a yucca and pork rellena, citrus-glazed
pork belly, and adobo roasted pork tostone. That means if Stephanie’s pork
belly hadn’t been left out overnight, all the chefs would have a pork belly
dish. But instead she and Dale are scrambling to think of a third dish. While
the judges only require two, she thinks if she only makes two she is going

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