Bert, Stone, Ruth and Krista do the judging. The Red Team starts first.
Kerry – Grilled Steak with Arugula, Posole & Chimichurri Coulis. Bert thinks the beef flavor holds it all together, but Ruth wanted a brighter chimichurri.
Yeo – Chicken and Beef Adobo with Cornmeal Pancakes and Peach Salsa. Bert finds the adobo well-seasoned, but Krista wanted more texture.
Missy (as cooked by Yeo) – Zucchini Salad with Roasted Poblano Vinaigrette. Stone loves the Zucchini and its crunch and spice. Krista enjoys the punch.
Chris – Pork and beans with Cured Pork and Chickpeas. Bert calls it a standout dish, smooth and well-defined. Some random showgirls complain about the broth.
Lorena – ”Leche de Tigre” Ceviche Salad and Tequila Horchata. This dish needs to be prepped and eaten quickly. Bert likes the sweet/savory combination, but Ruth doesn’t like the texture.
Art – ”Pan de Tres Leches” with Candied Cocoa Nib and Tequila Caramel Sauce. Ruth calls it Mexico on a plate, and Stone thinks it is classic Art Smith comfort food.
The critics loved the Red Team, with Krista saying she would eat it anywhere, although Bert thought it was a bit safe.
The Blue Team had a few more problems.
Sue – Indian Spiced Chicken with Lentil Rice Cakes and Tomato Ginger Jam. Ruth says the ginger is ill-conceived, and Bert felt it was aggressively sweet. Krista said the chicken was dry.
Clark – Heirloom Tomato Compote with Fried Green Beans, Shallots and Goat Cheese. Krista said the beans were undercooked and not very Indian. Ruth said the shallots overpowered the dish, but Bert liked its taste.
Mark – Curried Corn Soup with Curried Flatbread. The critics found it ok, but not very impressive.
Takashi – Shrimp and Salmon Dumpling with Swiss Chard and curried Coconut Broth. Bert liked it, but Ruth found it dense. Stone didn’t taste enough curry.
The Hat – Masala Salmon and Beef Shoulder with Spiced Couscous. Stone thinks he went after the layering of Indian cuisine. Ruth liked it, but Krista, again, said it was not very Indian-like. She may be 15, but she knows India.
Debbie – Rose Water Lemon Curd with Spiced Steusel and Meringue. Ruth thought it was too sweet, while Bert disagrees.
Clearly, the Red Team won. The only mysteries would be who won, would Missy have to drop, and would they eliminate someone if she does.
1 – Chris wins again.
2 – She does, but Stone assures her a slot in Season 5. See you next year, Missy.
3 – They do, unexpectedly. Debbie, Takashi and Sue fall to the chopping block, but thanks to her scratch-off, Debbie is safe. I thought Takashi’s non-Indian dish would fall by the way, but it was Sue’s overall bad execution that takes her out first. Two women out immediately – doesn’t bode well for the Top Chef women, yet again.
• I want a gif of Art saying “vim and vigor.” Can anyone take care of that for me?
• Fun quote from Chris – “I need two boneless pork butts!” Yes, I am 9 years old.
• Art seems to have wandered off to Monterrey to buy the cilantro. Does he have any sense of urgency?
• Sue quote – “Bitch, you ain’t getting my tortillas without the cinnamon!” That just sounds dirty.
• Missy wanted a bandaid and a glove for her injured finger so she could keep cooking. As it turns out, she needed surgery on it. See that, Jamie? That’s how you toughen up in the kitchen!
• The Hat’s accent is going to haunt me like Fabio’s.
• I always love the mass plastic wrapping after prep. It is a bit of fun, danger and sexiness all at once. Or is that just me?
• Ruth – “Excuse me, I’m the Queen of Lemons, and this is extremely sweet!” Ha!
• Extra scene – Chris ogles bellies and bikinis. And I understand him completely. Oh, and Art has booty.
This season – Slamming. Smoke. Cuts. Garlic. Brian Boitano. B-52s. A giant vat. A green speedo. Sugar Ray Leonard. Drinking sauce. Art cries. Someone must chill. A falling cake. Lorena freaks out. And some dish that isn’t very Masters-like.