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


Dale comes up with the idea of a chicharrone (crispy pork
skin) salad, and Stephanie agrees. She will also serve coconut pork with
plantain pancakes and pork satay on sugar cane. They high five on their menu.
Whew, I think they just might pull this one out after all.

Time to pig out —
The chefs have 30 minutes to prepare their tables and finish cooking outside.
Stephanie starts making her plantain blini and is having problems. She says she
thinks the blini may have been a bad idea.

Seems she forgot how it was bad blini that got her
then-teammate Valerie
sent home
in the second episode.

Stephanie: There
is absolutely no room for mistakes right now. I think the one who makes the
little error is the one who is going to go home.

And then the timer beeps and it’s time to feed 100 hungry
people including Luisa Acevedo Vilá, the first lady of Puerto Rico. So, you
know, no pressure.

Lisa: [She is] very
sweet, very welcoming. It’s very awesome that we get the privilege to cook for
her and a lot of her friends and a lot of important people.

The judges make their rounds as well. Joining Padma, Tom and
Wilo is Gail Simmons. First they taste Stephanie’s food. Upon tasting her pork
satay Padma makes a this-makes-my-mouth-happy face. Again, that’s a good sign.

So is Gail calling her salad “very refreshing” and
Wilo calling her pancake “very inventive.”

They stop at Richard’s table next. He tells them he hopes to
redeem himself from the Quickfire. He tells each dish’s story because, as he
says later, “it’s more than just food.” Tom gives him a “nice
job” for the food. No word on his grade for storytime yet.

Lisa and Antonia are the last to feed the judges. They both
get asked a few questions with minimal feedback. As they pan through their
requisite montage of partygoers eating and commenting on the food, I notice
that Antonia’s table looks suspiciously empty. Ruh-roh.

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