“Top Chef” Recaps: Episode 4.12 “High Steaks”


Tramonto: I’ll

take the shot. I’ll take the shot, bro. I had frozen scallops in my cooler. But

you better take the shot that you used them.

Spike seemingly realizes the extreme error of his ways, and

on the way out tries to mend fences by shaking hands with Tramonto and saying, “It

was an honor,” before shuffling off with his tail between his legs.

Back in the Stew Room, even Spike is stunned by his own


Spike: I can’t

believe I said that. I can’t believe I said the walk-in thing. I don’t know

where that came from.

Uh, I do. You’ve been spreading the blame around all season.

Court is now in

session —
The judges discuss the results. Tom thinks it was a great

challenge because all the contestants were self-contained. They had their

stations, two dishes and no excuses. Well, except for you know who.

Chef Tramonto says Stephanie was the most well-rounded. Gail

agrees and says she showed her something new, and that’s what gets her excited.

I make a mental note of this because Gail is kind of cute and I wouldn’t mind

seeing her, um, excited. Maybe we could invite Padma, too. Wait, what were we

talking about?

Oh, right, the food. Richard’s first course is called “innovative

and delicious” and the “single best dish of the night.” On his

main course, however, Padma thinks the sum of its parts didn’t add up to more

as a whole.

Antonia gets the love next. Tramonto calls her gratin great,

Tom says her steak was the night’s best, and Gail thinks she cooks from the

heart and it shows.

Bottom of the barrel —

Then we get to Mr. Blamey himself. Tom says he had issues with both of Spike’s

dishes. Tramonto is more generous and says he loved Spike’s “spunk and

fire” but “expected more.” Hey, the guy just blamed you for his

crappy dish — I think you’re taking it ridiculously well.

And finally Lisa gets the critical eye. Tom says he has

always has been bothered by the fact that her cooking is apathetic. Padma,

however, comes to her defense.

Padma: She has an

amazing palate and I think she focuses more on flavor and less on the


But technique is how you make flavor.

The judges have boiled their bottom two down to Lisa and

Spike. Chef Tramonto says it’s a cooking competition and regardless of

personalities, it’s all about the food. Tom thinks they can all agree that Lisa’s

shrimp was the least favorite dish.

Padma’s face — and the rest of her — say otherwise.

But they decide the main course is more important than the

appetizer. And then Padma thinks they have their answer.

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