“Top Chef Recaps” Recaps: Episode 4.5 “The Elements”

Fire the chef — The members of Team Fire, however, are nowhere near a decision.
They hardly make it in the front door before they start arguing about what to
make. Lisa and Dale go back and forth. She wants to go Asian to knock Chef Tsai’s
"pants off." Way to aim big, girl. Most people just settle for socks.

Over at Team Earth, Spike wonders aloud whether carpaccio,
vinaigrette and a salad are enough to wow the judges. Antonia assures him they’re
going for quality. He still isn’t "enjoying" the idea but eventually
resigns himself to the dish.

Spike: Unless you’re going to take two women and
strangle them, there comes a time when you’ve got to just roll with it and try
to do as best as you can.

OK, can we just address this comment for a second? What’s
this about strangling women? I take back my tacit agreement with him from
earlier. He has officially moved from simple asshat to misogynistic asshat.
Seriously, how stupid is that hat?

Then Team Fire overhear Team Earth order filet for their
carpaccio. So they decide to change their beef tartar dish on the fly.
Stephanie offers grilled shrimp as an olive branch to Dale and Lisa. And,
hallelujah, a decision is made.

Cook till you drop — Once the groceries are bought,
the chefs head to the old Marshall Field’s department store for two and a half
hours of prepping and cooking.

Spike is still not excited about the carpaccio and brings up
his beloved butternut squash soup for the 6,000th time. But whining time is
over; it’s time to work.

Lisa is preparing her special bacon. Mmm, bacon … Sorry, did
I just lapse into a Homer Simpson there for a moment? She lays out all the
bacon in neat, overlapping strips and then puts a "gooey, sticky"
miso glaze over the top. Miso bacon? Someone get IHOP
on the phone.

Team Air busy themselves with their duck. As Jennifer puts a
pan of duck legs into the oven, she quips, "Nice legs." Thank you,
thank you. She’ll be here all week.

Over on Team Fire, Lisa is really fuming. In fact, I’d love
to quote her but it would go something like this:

Lisa: [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted]
[expletive deleted], bacon.

Dale grumbles to the cameras about her negativity. Something
tells me they won’t be braiding each other’s hair back at the house.

Tried to make me go to chefhab — Team Air have their
own worries. Ryan is running around like the chicken the team decided not to
use with its head chopped off. He forgets to save some pomegranate juice for
their aperitif. Nikki thinks he needs to chill out. I think she needs to
reconsider using Amy Winehouse as her hairstylist.

Head judge Tom Colicchio comes in for his spot inspection of
the troops. When he gets to Team Water, Richard starts kissing up immediately.
You can practically hear him pucker up. Was that a pun about blue aprons and
water? Oh, that’ll win Tom over for sure. You know he’s a sucker for
color-based humor.

Richard: To me, I think a rapport with Tom in this
competition is an important factor.

Did he say rapport or abhor? Because the look
on Tom’s face is far from charmed.

After leaving the kitchen, Tom discusses his concerns for
the various team’s dishes. Richard’s sucking up was to no avail because Tom
calls them "overconfident and cocky" and says that’s when mistakes
can creep in. Oh great oracle of food, tell us more.

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