“Top Chef” Recaps: Episode 4.2 “Zoo Food”


The triumphant victor returns to bring bad tidings to the Girl-illas and da Bears. The mushrooms, blinis and crab salad are called out as the night’s worst dishes. This means it’s all over but the blaming.

Dale cops to not tasting the mushrooms after putting on the cheese. In fact, no one tasted them afterward. Seriously, I can hardly toast bread and even I know to taste it before I serve it. Attempting to not place blame while actually placing blame, Dale lets the judges know in no uncertain terms that the excrement caps were Nikki’s doing.

Team Girl-illa — who totally look like a Cingular commercial in this scene (more bars in more places) — await their fate.

Even without the soggy chips, Stephanie’s crab salad was soggy due to premature dressing. And Valerie learns a valuable lesson about how long a blini can keep after being made (not long). Tom asks Antonia to make a Sophie’s Choice between her teammates.

Tom: You’re a chef at a restaurant and these two come, they’re applying for a job, and they give you these dishes. Which one are you hiring?

Valerie feels blindsided by Antonia’s choice, considering Antonia never even tasted her blinis. She has a point.

As the judge’s deliberate, we get the night’s last feces joke as Gail says the mushrooms "look like something a bear would produce, not eat." But who has to pack his/her knives and go? Valerie.

Valerie: I just wish I was going to stick around to prove myself a little more. It’s extremely disappointing. I know I’m a much better chef than that.

Oh, Valerie, look at it this way: Now you’ll have more time to spend with your big sis Rachel Dratch. Maybe she can create a new character in your honor to go along with Debbie Downer at Saturday Night Live. She could be Blini Bumbler.

Next time on Top Chef: Field trip! Spike the saboteur and crying chefbians. Finally, some drama.

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