Top Chef: Chicago, Episode Four: Date Night!
Previously on Top Chef: the chefs were forced to beg for food and then Erik was sent home because Tom was jealous of his bald head:
Tom: "How does he get it so shiny?"
Let's check in with the chefs:
Manuel misses Erik. He says something about Erik being a big guy with an enlarged heart:
Manuel: "No, I said he has a big heart."
Oh, good. I was worried.
Manuel also really misses his sons:
Manuel: "I hope it isn't too long before I see them again."
Jen: "Everyone misses their girlfriend or boyfriend or wife. Zoi and I are lucky that we get to see each other and touch each other. But we try to be respectful of the others so we hardly ever have sex on the kitchen counter while other people are around."
Spike: "As much as I enjoy watching them touch each other, I'm ready for one of them to go."
Daniel Boulud is the judge for the quickfire:
Padma: "If any of you don't know who he is, you should just stop reading this blog right now."
Jeez, Padma, you're being a little strict with my readers!
Daniel Boulud: "The most important part of cooking is the technique you use in cooking."
Well, yeah. What else is there?
Padma: "Exactly. So you have to use three techniques to impress Daniel."
Lisa: "Oh, My God! I'm not classically trained so I don't have any technique! What am I going to do?"
What I learned from this challenge is that "technique" means slicing things really thin. Oh, yeah, and cutting an avocado into a little curlicue.
Richard and Ryan have worked with Daniel in the past but he won't hold that against them:
Ryan: "I worked with Daniel really briefly but it just wasn't my style . . . to work with a chef for very long without getting fired."
Richard: "One of my three techniques is restraint."
Daniel Boulud: "What a douchbag."
Dale wins the quickfire and has immunity in the elimination challenge.
Padma: "For the elimination challenge, you need to create a dish and then think of some movie that reminds you of the dish . . . well, that's not really how we wanted to challenge to work but that's what you'll all end up doing. No one ever listens to me, anyway, so just do whatever the hell you want . . . ungrateful little assholes."
Ryan: "What's a 'moovee'?"
It's like a book but with moving pictures and sound.
Ryan: "Interesting. I've never heard of that."
They'll be making dinner for Richard Roeper and his "friend" Aisha Tyler. Ooooh, I think they're dating!
The chefs divide into teams of two and then Dale gets to join whichever team he likes so that one team has three people. That's pretty weird. He joins Richard and Andrew.
Richard, Andrew, and Dale are making the first course and they choose Harry Potter so that Richard can perform some of his culinary magic. Andrew wants to serve the food while riding on a broom but his teammates talk him out of it.
Spike and Manuel team up for the second course. Manuel wants to do Mexican food but Spike has never heard of any Mexican films so they make Vietnamese food so that they can use the film Apocalypse Now.
Jen and Nikki are doing the third course. They wanted to cook Italian food so they choose a Fellini film and create a dish with lots of sex and prostitutes that makes no sense at all.
Mark and Ryan are making the fourth course. They choose Miracle on 34th Street because that's the only film Ryan has heard of:
Ryan: "Remember that scene where Natalie Wood's mother creates a turducken to prove that Santa Clause doesn't exist?"
Zoi and Antonia are doing the fifth course and they want to represent two strong women so first they choose Thelma and Louise. But then they realize they would have to drive off a cliff so they change it to Pedro Almodóvar's Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Perfect choice!
Lisa and Stephanie make the sixth course. What are the odds they make dessert? That's right; they make beef, instead:
Lisa: "You know what movie I always think of when I think about beef, which is surprisingly often? Harold and Kumar go to White Castle! Oh, My God, just thinking about it is making me laugh!"
Andrew: "The judges are going to culinarily crap in their pants."
I have nothing to add to that.
The chefs go to the grocery store:
Mark: "This is just like the movie It's a Wonderful Life when George wishes he had never been born and then the stores are all out of frozen turkeys so the human race has to live on a diet of fresh cranberries. You Americans are so weird."
In the kitchen, Richard's smoker breaks so they just wave burning wood around the kitchen to flavor the salmon. The judges and other dinner guests love the strange combination of flavors. The fizzy pear drink sounds really good.
Spike and Manuel create a dud with their spring roll. The judges don't like the flavors. I don't like the fact that it looks too big to eat. Everyone figures out the big secret that they chose the food before picking the film.
They like Nikki and Jen's pasta.
They love Mark and Ryan's quail.
The flavors were fine in Zoi and Antonia's chops but the judges didn't get a connection to Spain.
They love Lisa and Stephanie's beef dish:
Ted Allen: "It was delicious. Now, does it say Neil Patrick Harris licking champagne off a woman's breasts in the sun roof of a limousine? Uh, no."
Padma: "Richard, thank you for pretending to host this meal. Now you have to leave so the real judges can talk."
Manuel is out. It probably should have been Spike:
Tom: "Well, they made the decision really difficult for us because they didn't tell us which one of them was to blame. So we just flipped a coin."
Richard wins! Congratulations, Richard!
Zoi: "Well, if they want wasabi celery root foam and chocolate lemongrass tapioca faux caviar, then I give up."