So here we all meet again. Let’s strap in as Top Chef goes to Puerto Rico! Now why I am not a feminist let me just point out that for the first time 3 of the final 4 are women. You go girls!
Going into this Lisa is definitely the under dog so let us see how long she lasts.
This will determine who makes it to the final challenge. Our guest judge is Wilo Benet. The challenge was to make 2 different fritouras containing plantains. They had 40 minutes. Stephanie said that she had done some practicing with plantains (smart!) but they still weren’t her favorite ingredients. Wilo didn’t like that Antonia didn’t have enough integration. Wilo wasn’t really happy with Richard’s components. Wilo loved Stephanie’s and thought that Lisa did a good job but hers could have been better. Stephanie won!
They were then invited to a party in Old San Juan with traditional music and local food. Now hopefully they will all pay attention because in other seasons they need this information again.
There will be a garden party with 100 VIP’s and chefs. They each will get a whole pig and they need to make at least 2 dishes using different parts of the animal. Then they bring out some of the eliminated chefs:Dale, Andrew, Spike and Nikki. Stephanie’s prize is that she gets to assign the sous chefs. At this point she could totally rook Lisa but she decides to pair people who work together well. But since Lisa doesn’t get along with 3 of them she could only do so well, she got Andrew. Apparently Stephanie has known Dale for about 10 years. They will have 30 minutes to look at the kitchen and plan the menu. Then the sous chefs will be going to the local produce market while the finalists will be butchering their pigs. Then they have 2 hours to prep with another 5 the day of the party.
Stephanie & Dale: Chicharrones (crispy pig skin) Fruit & Prosciutto Salad, Coconut Pork with Plantain Pancake, Pork Satay on Sugar Cane
Richard & Spike: BBQ Pork Shoulder, Pork Belly with Pickled Watermelon, Ham & Beans, Ribs with Malta Glaze
Antonia & Nikki: Pork Belly with Sweet Peppers, Pork Sausage with Pigeon Peas & Rice, Curried Pork
Lisa & Andrew: Yucca & Pork Rellena, Citrus Braised Pork Belly, Adobo Roasted Pork Tostone
Just into planning and Andrew thinks Lisa is going wrong by doing Puerto Rican food. So then they go to market. Andrew seems lost since he doesn’t speak Spanish. Dale gets Stephanie black plantains, he has experience with them. Lisa gets medieval on the pig and seems to be having trouble whereas Antonia just needs a knife. When the sous chefs return a bit of chaos breaks out just do to space. Lisa is her usual bleak self. As time on the first ends it looks as if Stephanie’s pork belly may have been left out.
The next day Dale is sniffing it and Stephanie says they aren’t using it. She has no idea how hot it was and she isn’t going to risk getting any one sick. Antonia’s rice isn’t turning out and she tosses out what may be the first batch. 30 minutes until service they come outside to start cooking.
Service starts and the judges hit Stephanie first and seem pleased. Richard wants to redeem himself from the Quick Fire. Richard has great stories to go with each dish. When they visited Lisa it didn’t seem that Padma finished her food. Antonia did pigeon peas but no rice to go with it. The only negative thing said by any of the guests was that the pigeon peas were a bit dry.
Tom really liked Richard’s pork belly and Stephanie’s salad but he didn’t think that Antonia and Lisa were as good. So Richard and Stephanie were up first. Tom said that Richard did some good self editing to simplify his food. Wilo loved Stephanie’s satay. Richard won by unanimous vote and as a reward he got a 2009 Corolla. Then Lisa and Antonia go back. Lisa said she thought her dishes were strong. Tom wanted to know why she went Latin instead of sticking with Asian. Gail felt Lisa’s puree was way to sweet and that she focused on the garnishes instead of the pork. Wilo didn’t think her tostones had balance. Antonia felt her pigeon peas could have used more cooking. Antonia said she didn’t want to have it so refined so she served them all on the same plate. Gail said that puddled them all together. Gail said there were elements of every one of Lisa’s dish that she didn’t like. Gail thought Antonia’s mistake was being rustic and home cooked. Tom said that 1 table just didn’t have the crowds around it. Antonia was sent home. Lisa says to Richard and Stephanie that she knows that they are disappointed that Antonia was going home but a congrats would be nice.
I have to say that I am shocked. I never thought Lisa would make it to the final 3. So let us see who will win it all!