“Top Chef” Recaps: Episode 4.8 “Common Threads”

Just like mom used to
make —
As everyone else frets, Antonia reveals her secret edge. She is a
single mom and is used to cooking healthy, simple, tasty food for her daughter.
So she decides to make a whole-wheat pasta dish.

In another patented mom move, Antonia shows her ability to
stretch her budget. When she winds up 23 cents over the $10 limit, she thinks
fast. Uh, don’t the clerks generally frown on the dismantling of produce at the
checkout counter?

Of course, Antonia isn’t the only one with money issues. Spike,
Dale, Andrew and the others are all counting their pennies. I swear, these are
either the most understanding clerks ever or I shop at the wrong grocery store.

A little taste of
home —
Back at the house, the chefs unwind and prepare for the next day’s

Hey, it’s not that
kind of unwinding. And it’s oregano, I swear. That’s just Mark’s didgeridoo.
Man, I know there’s yet another dirty joke in there somewhere.

Antonia calls her daughter, who says she can’t stop smiling
now that she has heard her mom’s voice. Aww.
Her daughter also apparently told her, "Don’t come home unless you win."
Man, I’ve heard of demanding parents, but this is a new one.

Then we’re witness to one of the worse knock-knock jokes in
the history of the world.

Who’s there?
Smell mop.
Smell mop who?
Get it?
No …
Smell my poo.

Ah, yes, isn’t the ability to teach poo jokes to children
the real reason 99 percent of people want to become parents in the first place?

Someone check their
IDs —
The morning of the Elimination Challenge arrives, and the chefs go to
the Common Threads program kitchen to cook. Then Padma surprises them by saying
they’ll have a little extra help again. What, more rice?

Nope, it’s children. Antonia immediately tears up at the
sight of the youngsters because they remind her of her own daughter. And I’m not
a particularly maternal person, but even my ovaries gave a little skip when I
saw this little guy. Look at him all cute in his ginormous hat.

Turns out the kids are all part of guest judge Art’s Common
Threads program, and today they will serve as pint-sized sous chefs for our
cheftestants. I always find child labor makes the food taste better, don’t you?

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