“Top Chef” Recap: Episode 4.11 “Restaurant Wars”

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Seafood Cleaning 101 — Over at Team ARS, the conflicts are less personality-based. Nikki is sampling the linguine and clams and gets grit. Richard claims the clams got washed well. But Nikki tries it again and gets more grit. Who keeps putting Richard in charge of cleaning seafood? Does no one else remember the scaly fish debacle? No one?

Luckily, Antonia takes charge and has Richard clean the clams again.

Antonia: We don’t look at it like I want to take credit for this dish or I want to shine on this dish or rar-rar-rar-rar-rar. We’re looking at it like all of these dishes collectively is what is going to have us succeed so we’re all going to be here tomorrow.

Soup Making 101 — Team LSD has a decidedly less kumbaya approach to its dishes. Lisa is having problems with her laksa. She has Dale taste it, and he says he doesn’t taste heat, just smoke. But when it comes down to how to fix it, he tells the cameras it’s not his problem.

Dale: I mean, it’s not my soup so I don’t know how to fix it.

Spike tastes it too and tells Lisa he gets a sour, smoky taste. To the cameras, he is just as unhelpful.

Spike: You should have asked me for my recipe. This is awful. The bottom line is they cannot hold me accountable for the food.

Hey, Spike, the show is called Top Chef. So, call me crazy, but I think if you want to actually win Top Chef you should maybe take some accountability for the food. But I guess you’re playing another game, Top Asshat. In which case, we can just quit now because you are the undisputed winner. Take a bow, dude.

Be sure to tip your waitstaff — The waiters arrive an hour before service is set to begin. Each team goes over their menus with them.

Stephanie: I let them know that we are here to have fun … Eating and drinking is meant to be fun. It’s not meant to be stuffy and, like, wear a suit and tie.

Amen, sister, amen. Of course, who shows up in a suit and tie?

Really, I couldn’t make stuff this good up if I tried.

Lisa, meanwhile, is having problems with another dish. Her sticky rice is not sticky. It’s never a good thing when your food doesn’t match its adjective. And, again, it’s a problem with the rice. Seriously, I meant it. No more rice, woman. Though this dish may not be entirely her fault.

Lisa: I got forced into doing mango sticky rice because he is executing the other dessert.

Interestingly, Dale does have a suggestion when it comes to sticky rice. He suggests folding pastry cream into the mix. Who thinks this is going to turn out badly? Anyone, anyone?

And — surprise, surprise — the dish comes out with the consistency of baby food. Really nasty baby food.

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