A little help from my
friends — Padma tells the trio that Eric, Dan and April have volunteered to
be their sous chefs. Wow, that’s like making Mick Jagger sing backing vocals.
Each sous chef has a different selection of proteins that the chefs can use,
and they describe them to the contestants. Ooh, accents. Eric is French, April
is English and Dan is a New Yorker — hey, some people like New York accents.
Padma says they had decided that the chef with the most
Elimination Challenge wins would pick first, but Richard and Stephanie are tied
at four apiece, so they draw knives. Richard lets Stephanie go first, and she
pulls No. 1.
That’s a good sign. And, hey, is that a tattoo on her wrist?
Cool points for the nice gal.
She picks Eric. Richard goes next and picks Dan. And Lisa is
left with April. But she hardly thinks of her as the last choice.
Lisa: I get to
work with the woman, that’s awesome. Girl power.
A-ha, I knew her chefbian tendencies would show themselves
eventually. Well, besides the wrist cuff. And the bandanna. And the haircut.
Oh, never mind.
Dinner will be a black-tie affair for nine guests. They will
get three hours today to prep and four hours tomorrow before the first course
is served. Courses will be served head-to-head and when everyone is full, one
of them will be named Top Chef.
Hey, what’s for
dinner? — The chefs and their super sous head to the kitchen. There they
begin to hash out their menus. Lisa is going with the flavors of Thailand and
Vietnam. Those are what she likes to eat and cook, not to mention cooks for a
April says she was a little surprised she was paired with
someone who cooks Asian food, since that’s not her specialty. But she says Lisa
has a clear plan, and they get busy.
Lisa: I’m not
nervous about having Chef April work with me, at all. Our personalities are
actually really, really similar. And right away I’m like, “You’re awesome
and I’m going to have so much fun working with you.”
Richard has decided to tell his “journey” with his
menu. He will mix his classic training with his molecular gastronomy. But then
he says that they really don’t know “what the hell we’re doing” and
he is “waiting for that lightning bolt.” Oh, Richard, that’s what the
last six months off between the regular season and the finale were for.
Stephanie, meanwhile, is going to use her menu to show off
her style of cooking with different and well-balanced flavor combinations. Eric
says he likes the simple direction she is taking. She then has him filet some red
snapper. The super sous laugh and ask him when he last filleted his own fish.
Stephanie jokes along.
sure you know how to filet fish?
But then she undermines her own joke by hovering over him as
he works. No one likes a backseat chef, Steph, especially not a culinary god.
think he got a little, like, offended for a second. He was like, “I know.”
Ice, ice baby — Chopping,
dicing and slicing ensues with no more offenses toward the culinary gods. Richard
says each chef was allowed to bring one special ingredient from home. He
brought liquid nitrogen — yummy, yummy liquid nitrogen.