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Top Chef: Chicago, Episode 10: Welcome to Spike’s Headwear Emporium


Dale thinks the main thing he needed to do was satisfy the officers, Tom says the meat did just that with great flavor and texture. Steph doesn’t use a lot of grain normally. Ted says the soup was well seasoned. Sam says the winner the embodied challenge and did so in a unique way. Dale wins a bottle of Rutherford Hill merlot and trip to Napa Valley. Because wine played such a huge role in this episode. Dale doesn’t want to brag, but he has five wins. Thanks for not bragging, Dale.

Dale comes back to the Locker and Lisa gives him a half-assed clap. Dale calls in Spike, Lisa and Andrew as the bottom. Enjoy third and fourth place, Antonia and Rich!

Ladies and gentlemen, let the attitude begin!

Padma wants to know from Andrew if he thought his dish was hearty enough to be a substantial lunch for the officers. Andrew did. You see, little known fact: he studied nutrition for several years (I thought it was two years?). He brought to the table what people didn’t expect – food to make you stronger and energized and wanting more. Tom is bemused. Andrew goes on that every three hours something like this is considered beneficial to your health. Tom asks what they do in three hours. They will get candy bars.

Let me just add that Andrew was a total ass here. Who is he to lecture these four people on nutrition? They would not have been dumb enough to make fake sushi for hard-working police officers in Chicago that normally eat chili dogs.

Ted says it had to be satisfying and Andrew is surprised. He doesn’t remember the rules. Padma gets defensive and recites them. Ted wants to know if he thought about what they normally eat, and perhaps using this as a bridge from that to healthy food. Andrew is offended by the concept of a burger and f****n sausage, and wants to give something new that “opens their eyes to new techniques.” Way to miss the point dude.

Sam mentions his upbringing and I assume that he probably lived Andrew’s last statement many times. I can only imagine Sam trying out his cooking techniques on the guys in his family that probably only wanted some spicy wings. Andrew says he took the challenge too literally, “I want to show you guys what it is to eat healthy.” Tom asks for something that tastes good. Andrew is confused; he had two people go back for more. Tom takes this softball and hits it out of the park: they came back because they were already hungry again.

Spike says he likes chicken salad and didn’t think it would scare the cops. Sam asks about the ingredients. Spike asks what was so wrong about the way he used them. Tom wants to know if he chose his ingredients for sabotage or for his dish. Spike has forgotten that there are friggin’ cameras following him and denies he did this for defense. Spike thinks he fell short on using advantage and does so with a very condescending tone to his voice.

Tom says chicken with olives and grapes were a strange choice. Spike goes with the salty and sweet argument and actually adds, “what don’t you understand about it?” Damn, he said that to Tom Colicchio. What nerve. Tom explains about the concept of flavor in relation to the olive. Spike is surprised, and he complements their “great educated palates,” and then insults the rest of us in his next breath. He thinks the cops loved the food. Tom says “if you want to take their word over mine…” Spike angrily says that “it was a lunch box for godsakes.” Tom pauses a bit, confused for a good couple of beats, then says, “There were seven chefs, four dishes were better.” Spike says that is Tom’s opinion. Tom says “unfortunately for you, my opinion matters.” HA!

Lisa has a killer bitchface and the bitchstance on for Padma’s questioning. Why do you think you’re here? “You guys decided to have me here, you tell me.” Classy. Tom says it wasn’t the promised stir fry. He adds that there were so many things not cooked properly: raw shrimp, overcooked rice…

Lisa says that “somebody f***d with my rice.” Padma is confused and Tom asks how. Ted wants to know how she knows. Lisa rambles crazily. Tom tells her the basic problem is the shrimp wasn’t cooked.

Padma asks for any further comment from the Three Amigos. Lisa steps up and says essentially that it is kill or be killed now and that not everyone followed the rules of the challenge. Andrew is bursting and smiles knowingly. Spike is wisely staying out of it. Andrew says he has “always been against the grain” and wanted to be different. Tom buries his hands in his face and wants to know if Andrew understood the challenge. Andrew confirms that he lost his sheet. What is it, dude? Did you screw up or did you want to be different? Come on!

Lisa backtracks a bit and sounds like she may have been trying to explain something. Could she have been talking about Spike? I don’t know. Andrew is upset and wants to move on. She says that he would have done the same to her. This seems strange and a bit edited. He says he wouldn’t have and that is the difference. Lisa is afraid of being punched now. No, Lisa; stabbed. Much worse.

After they leave, Padma hysterically says, “boy, did Lisa have a lot to say.” In the Locker, Andrew does some weird staring thing and manages to freak out Antonia instead of Lisa. Andrew complains that he helped Lisa with the shrimp thing and she returned the favor by throwing him under the bus. Lisa says she appreciated his help. Andrew says that he now knows what kind of person she is, and she takes offense to that. This is a competition after all. I find it a bit cheap for her to have done it, but nothing out of the rules and nothing that isn’t actually encouraged by the producers, I bet.

Tom says a chef clearly should take ownership of their mistakes. Lisa is still harping on what she thinks someone else did to her. Ted thinks there were enough other factors that were really bad. Sam harps on Spike’s lack of use of most of his ingredients. Tom thinks the chicken wasn’t very good. Tom says the challenge was to deliver whole grains, not approximate whole grains like Andrew made. Ted thought he was too arrogant. He wanted to do what he wanted and didn’t care about the challenge. Tom would never go back for the “sushi.”

Lisa tells Andrew to stay pissed. He wants her to “look me in the eyes and say it was ok and that was a top chef move. You burned your rice, own up to it! I didn’t say, ‘Lisa’s f**ing dog meat sucked.’” Dale is amused, and so am I. Andrew adds, “I f***ing took responsibility for my dish. I don’t say s**t and I hope you are f***ing happy and people see this.” Judges are unanimous.

Commercials – I wrote something about Florida Orange Juice. Seriously though, I couldn’t tell you what it was.

Final Judging
Tom says it was not an easy challenge and you had to remember who you were cooking for, make it healthy, and they had the “food police to deal with.”

Andrew hit the nutrition mark – thank God, since he studied for 25 years. But he needed substance and to make it delicious. Spike was unimaginative and the ingredients were an afterthought. It was also a weird combination. Lisa needs to keep an eye on the stove and she didn’t make a stir fry. Tom finishes that someone is going home for a box lunch.

Padma knifes Andrew who says that no security is necessary. A call back to an earlier episode, that was. He will “bow out with honor and respect.” He shakes the judges’ hands and THs that there are no bad feelings, but won’t talk to anyone again except for Spike, who is “man cool.” Ugh. He says that Lisa’s neck was on the line and her true self came out. She THs that it would not be fair to lose to someone that didn’t follow the rules. I must say, I think Spike was closer to elimination this week than Lisa, so moot point.

Andrew fake cries in the Locker and says goodbye. He had much less experience than the others and “was like David vs. Goliath.” Spike THs that he has no more buddies in the house. Andrew says he said what was on his mind and didn’t care; they “will be boys forever.” OMG! Spike and Andrew are BFF!

Of course, in his final moments Andrew manages to curse again. He may have set the record for most cursing on a cooking game show in TV history. Congrats.

Next: We have restaurant wars!

Send your comments to Jeremy at jeremy@realityshack.com.


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