“Top Chef” Recaps: Episode 4.3 “Block Party”



Quickfire: Yo quiero Taco Bell.

Elimination: Won’t you be my neighbor?

Padmaism: “The wonton was genius.”

Boys will be boys — It’s morning in the casa and

Spike and Andrew have apparently turned 14 overnight. They slap each other with

towels and mock-wrestle. Look, desirable 18-25-year-old demographic, Top

is just like The Real World. Later they’ll all get in

the hot tub and make out. Please, watch our show.

While the boys parade around half-naked, the women (fully

clothed) bemoan the loss of one of their sisters, Valerie, in the last

Elimination Challenge.

Stephanie: It’s definitely a little sad to see, like,

another woman leaving. We all just want a woman to make it to the finals and to


Amen, sister, amen.

Chefbian couple Jennifer and Zoi share another snuggle

moment on the bed. I notice they’ve taken a bottom bunk; very wise, very wise


Zoi muses on the state of female chefs in the food industry.

Zoi: It’s not common to have one lesbian in the

kitchen; it’s not common to have one woman in the kitchen. That I think

is probably the biggest struggle as a female, is just to break people’s image

of what a chef is.

The producers then cut to Spike and Andrew faux-smashing

each other into a wall. Yep, they look like chefs to me. Andrew explains his

actions by saying he thinks part of the job of being a chef is also to be an

entertainer. Hmm, last time I checked no one wanted their steak cooked by Bobo

the Clown.

Run for the border — Enough horsing around; time to

cook. The Quickfire brings back Padma and new guest judge Rick Bayless,

chef/owner of Chicago

restaurants Frontera Grill and Topolobampo. Bayless is known for turning

Mexican food into fine dining, ergo the challenge is to — you guessed it — turn

Mexican food into fine dining.

Our 14 remaining cheftestants must take on the simple taco

and reinvent it as a gourmet dish. Great, would you like mild, hot or fire

sauce with that?

Erik — he of the neck tattoo, blingy chain and silly hat —

immediately has a problem with the concept.

Erik: Mexican food is about the people and it’s about

the streets. It’s a soulful kind of a thing. To put fine dining in it, it just

kind of bugs me.

OK, so Mexican food can’t be fancy? A whole country’s cuisine

and none of it is gourmet? It’s all from the street? Dude, you’ve eaten

at way too many taco trucks.

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