Top Chef

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Chuck: C+ | Grade It Now!
Top Chefanie
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Many thanks to Kim for last week's deft recapping. Now, if you can see around the massive chip on Lisa's shoulder, on with the finale! After correctly surmising that Richard and Stephanie (here acting as surrogates for all of TV Land) were shocked that Antonia was dismissed, and having the gall to scold them for failing to offer immediate congratulations for "her fucking bronze medal," Lisa (as usual) is on the warpath. At least there's no live studio audience to muck things up.

Stephanie, Richard and Lisa convene in a verdant courtyard for the most important meal of the day, as Stephanie reminds us that there's never been a female Top Chef and that she would like to be the first. She asks her competition if they're feeling excited, with one of the least excited voices I've ever heard, and they respond in kind. The level of excitement at the table is overwhelming in its absence. Richard says he's "ready to cook" like he's actually ready for nothing of the sort, before seeming confused by whatever aroma his eggs Benedict are emitting, and explaining to the camera that with a career, a wife, a baby on the way, and a new house, he's got everything to lose. Yeah, everything and fifteen pounds. Oh, and he's still shocked that Lisa managed to out cook Antonia and round out the final three. She's not a leader, she's got "a bad attitude," and she doesn't deserve to win.

As for Sourpuss Greasylocks, she knows she's only there "by the skin of my teeth," but, true to form, she doesn't care that Stephanie and Richard have consistently outperformed her. "I'm about to beat you," she tells the cameraperson, as she rattles on about nerves, or not nerves, to Richard and Stephanie, who seem really, really excited.

Breakfast over, it's time for the details of the final challenge. Padma (yes, in blue), Colicchio, three white-coated chefs and three abundant platters of food await Richard, Stephanie and Lisa. On a tree-shaded, seaside garden path, Padma congratulates the finalists, remarks that they "are about to cook the most important meal of your life," and introduces the chefs -- April Bloomfield of The Spotted Pig, Dan Barber of Blue Hill, and voluptuously-featured Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin. They did manage to pull an all-star team, although all three are New York chefs -- seems like there should be at least one Chicagoan in the mix. Richard and Lisa are suitably impressed by the assembled culinary firepower.

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Top Chef




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