Um… I’ve Been Busy…?

It’s another two-fer, folks. Two-fer! I accidentally read the other day who is in the final, but I think I pretty much forgot, or have been trying to forget.

Without further ado, I give you… TOP CHEF: IT’S ALMOST OVER!

Original airdate: 28th May

Dale’s gone. Antonia just wants to know who the finals are already, geez. Stef is happy there are so many girls left.

Quickfire Challenge: Butcher some meat!

Rick Tramonto is the guest judge, and he’ll be talking about the meat cutting proficiency as well as cooking technique of said meats. He likes his steak medium rare, he says.

These steaks look amazing. Antonia basted her steak with like, eight pounds of butter. Yum. Rick has a major poker face and isn’t talking about the results, which to me look pretty dang rare. Antonia’s looks pretty good to me. Stefanie’s is the one he liked the least. Richard’s butchery was inconsistent and the steak was too rare. Lisa’s steak was done well. Spike’s butchering was great and the steak was done perfectly. Antonia’s crust made for a “perfect” steak, but the honor goes to Spike.

Elimination Challenge: Take over Rick’s steakhouse, Tramonto, to make an appetizer and entree using the ingredients found in the kitchen. Spike gets first pick of the ingredients because he won the quickfire.

Spike wants Antonia to go home, he likes Stefanie best of the girls.

Spike has five minutes to pick his protein and picks the same cut of steak he butchered, and also took the scallops (which were frozen… hmm). Lisa gets NY Strip and shrimp. Antonia grabs bone-in ribeye and some veg. Stef is making veal sweetbreads. Lisa is doing something called a peanut butter mashed potato… umm… Richard is doing hamachi, beef tenderloin with sweetbreads.

Spike’s scallops are a wreck. They’ve been frozen and now they’re wet and splitting so they won’t sear properly. He might be up the creek, here. Chef Tom seems to like the girls, well maybe not Lisa, but he’s nice to them. He’s rattled Richard’s cage by calling his dish conventional. Spike too is questioning his choice when Chef Tom asks him about the quality of the scallops he’s using. Tom going to be their expediter which is pretty exciting, actually.

The chefs are cooking for the previous winners. Illan’s glasses look stupid. I never really liked him all that much, my money was on Sam.

Lisa’s shrimp looks delicious and goes over well. They like Richard’s fish and veal a lot, especially Chef Rick. They don’t love Spike’s scallops. Stef’s goes over solidly well. Antonia’s salad falls totally flat. Richard’s food is coming out too slowly and Chef Tom isn’t happy about it. His filet looks gorgeous on the plate but they’re sort of irritated at the deconstruction of it all and find it tedious. Lisa’s mashed potatoes go over well but they don’t like the meat. Spike’s meat falls seriously flat. Stef’s meat rocks the hizzle. Antonia’s meat is going over well.

Oh my goodness my friend Davin is in the restaurant. I saw on his web journal that he was there the night they taped, but I forgot. The irony being: he is a major vegetarian.

Prepare to be judged: I predict Spike is going to pack his knives and go. Let’s find out, shall we?

They have a lot of compliments for everyone, but sort of ream Spike for his scallops. I wonder what Chef Rick has to say about having frozen scallops in his restaurant. If it’s that high end, why would they not have them available fresh that day? Even Chef Tom says that he should have sent those scallops back. Speak up, Rick! Ah here we go. He calls Rick out for it, Rick calls back and says he made a poor choice by using them regardless of the fact that they were in the walk-in. Zing… Way to shoot yourself in the foot, buddy. Twice.

It’s between Lisa and Spike as to who goes home. They’re wrestling with it a bit.

The winner is Stephanie, which is great because I think she’s the best of the bunch. She wins Chef Rick’s cookbook and a line of GE Monogram chef’s appliances. Dang. Richard is in. Antonia is in.

Lisa and Spike remain. Lisa’s standing there yet again with a puss on, crossed arms and a pursed lips. Spike just looks confused. Aaaand Spike is out. Dang it. I really wanted to see Lisa get the boot. She still sucks.

The final four head to Puerto Rico. Ariba!


Originally aired on 4th June.

Stef, Antonia & Richard say their hellos. Richard has lost weight. Lisa has cut her hair. They observe that Lisa is not the fourth person they thought they’d be with at the end.

Quickfire Challenge: Padma actually uses the word “endgame”. Love it. She’s so smart and a little goofy. Guest judge is Willow Bennet. Make some munchies for Padma and Willow (though she says “You’ll make food for Willow and I”… I take back the “so” in the “so smart” comment). Plantains! I love plantains, the sweet kind, especially deep fried or heated just a bit. So good.

Stef makes tuna/plantain fritters. They like them. Antonia makes crispy oysters with cilantro/plantain jam and a fried plantain. No comment. Lisa makes them some tostones with duck and salsa, plantain fritter with onions and chorizo. No comment. Wacky Richard makes pork meatballs and fried green plantains with salsa. No comment. Geez.

Antonia’s wasn’t awesome. Richard’s also wasn’t awesome. Stef’s goes over well. Lisa gets a “great job” with a qualifier. The winner is Stephanie (and she just said this is her first quickfire? Really? How can that be?)

Chef Tom says, “It’s just not a party without a pig”. I love him.

Winner Challenge: Pig Roast at a cocktail party – now, I love pig. As you know. But few things gross me out as much as a pig roast. That is just a horrible, gory looking thing to behold. I’d rather it be killed, processed and in the fridge by the time I get it.

They bring in all the former cheftestants to help the remaining folks do their cooking. Stef picks her sous chefs, Dale for herself. Spike for Richard. Nikki for Antonia. Andrew for Lisa.

Sous chefs go shopping, chefs stay and butcher the pigs. Lisa wants to do Puerto Rican food… which, as Richard points out, is a risky if not stupid, move. The sous chefs are trying to buy food without speaking any Spanish, and without knowing exactly what they should get. Nice.

Lisa’s attitude in the kitchen is ruining Andrew’s life and everyone else’s mood. That’s a shock.

Ohhh nooooo they left their dry rubbed pork shoulder out overnight. Stef has to throw it away, Dale feels like a jerk. Stef isn’t killing him or yelling, which is cool of her but sort of scary too. I bet she’s nice to work for and with. If I was Dale, I’d have been crying.

Antonia is doing pork belly, sausage and curried pork. Dale is making BBQ pork shoulder, ham & ribs. Nikki notices Antonia is off her game. Lisa is doing pork rellena, pork belly and pork tostone. Stef is still working on her third dish… and she’s making crispy skin salad, coconut pork and pork satay.

They like Stef’s dishes. No comment about Richard’s dishes. Lisa’s stuff goes without comment as well. Antonia’s stuff gets some smiles and questions.

Here come d’judge! They want to see Richard and Stephanie. They loved what they offered, both. The winner is Richard, who wins a friggin car. A 2009 Toyota Corolla. He’s shocked. Um, does a year’s worth of gas come with that…?

Lisa and Antonia are in front of the judges. Please, people. How many more times can Lisa be up there before they chuck her? Fercripessake already.

And so, it brings us to the penultimate boot fest. PleaseletitbeLisa. The chirping birds in the background is a nice touch. They should always have that. Oh, sorry, anyway we’re saying goodbye tonight to Antonia. That is the worst decision ever. What a bunch of morons. Lisa sucks. SUCKS! Jerk… dang I’m so upset.

And of course, Lisa is a terrible winner and made them feel bad for not embracing her immediately with their congrats but are clearly instead, sad that Antonia is gone. Stef’s reaction to it is great.

Ok next week I promise to write about the finale a lot sooner than I have been the last month. I predict Stefanie, though mom says Richard.


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