Top Chef

Episode Report Card
Chuck: A- | Grade It Now!
Beat This Meat

Stephanie splashes Lisa in the face with something very hot that she's pouring over her steak, and is also concerned about timing, the essence of the challenge for her -- she doesn't want to let the meat rest too long, or not long enough (since resting is indeed a crucial component of the perfect steak). Understandably, she doesn't know if her steak will be cooked perfectly, but she'd rather it be underdone rather than overcooked. Antonia believes that the perfect steak must be cooked with "a lot of love", which for her (as for so many others) means copious amounts of butter, which she uses for basting after achieving a char on both sides to seal in the flavor. Then she lets it rest, before using it induces heart attacks in unsuspecting diners.

Rick begins with Richard. He slices the steak, touches its still rather ruby center, and inquires about the preparation. Richard roasted it, grilled it, and charred it with a torch. Lisa, who has always "wanted to take a week and work in a huge meat factory", pan-cooked hers to what looks like a more traditional medium rare than Richard's. Stephanie used butter, oil, and the stovetop to (indeed) undercook her chop -- Rick slices through it, turns it over, and seems disappointed (although perhaps that was the obvious you-did-bad gong from the sound department). While each cheftestant seems to be displaying their chops at their stations (since Rick is evaluating overall butchery as well as the cooked steak), Spike's confidently arranged his with springs of rosemary. He likes the challenge, since he thinks knows he did well. And he did -- the raw chops look good, and the cooked one looks even better. This challenge makes me hungry. Antonia's butter party looks delectable as well -- Rick just wants to know how long it rested. About five minutes, answers Antonia.

Rick wastes no time choosing Stephanie as one of his least favorites -- first of all, he was obsessed with the butchery, and "a tomahawk steak is almost like a lollipop", nice and clean, which hers presumably was not. Plus, it was undercooked. Stephanie agrees. Richard, guilty of inconsistent butchering that produced steaks Rick could not serve in his steakhouse, also undercooked his meat. Tell me something good, pleads Padma. He thought Lisa's was well cooked, and the rack well butchered. Spike's butchering "was amazing" and his medium rare well done. As for Antonia's, Rick liked "the beautiful, beautiful crust" and the perfect cooking, but ultimately chooses Spike, who's pleased to remind everyone that he's still here, and "here to play hard." No immunity, reminds Padma, but he will "have a really important decision to make" during Elimination. Not an advantage, mind you, but a decision, which, if made wisely, could catapult Spike into the final four. The key here is wisely, which has not been a Spike forte.

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Top Chef




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