Top Chef

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Block Party

Andrew and Spike, "running around like New York City rats," luck into the phenomenally stocked pantry of a woman who Spike thinks might "be saving for a world war." She does seem genuinely concerned about the disappearance of her larder, plaintively asking if she'll get to eat her food tomorrow, sad to see the bounty she so painstakingly amassed decimated in mere moments. They promise her a pasta salad for her troubles, which seems like a very fair exchange. They both have red beards, and they're starting to act like Click and Clack.

As Blue Team's Antonia makes a dash toward one house, Spike announces that "they're cleaned out already," and Antonia turns and walks away. Spike then reveals that, even though he cleaned out most of what they had, there was stills decent amount of stuff left. Whoa, how dastardly. I'm sure he found the only house on the street with a stuffed pantry -- hopefully everyone will have enough food in the end! Spike's "not sabotaging anybody," but he's "here to win," man, and he's not going to play nice either. Feels like they're really struggling for some plot right about now.

Blue Team's talking meat/seafood/rice when Manuel articulates their intention: "take something that people are familiar with and then give it a little wow." Or, as Richard interprets it, "upscale." "Not just hamburgers and hot dogs." Cut to Red Team discovering they have a buttload of hot dogs. Spike advocates sticking to the kinds of food "these" people like (way to keep it real, Spike) and fancying up traditional dishes with sauces. Because these people love sauces -- you can dip stuff in it. Zoi affirms that they're going to focus on "classic Americana," and it's settled. Red represents the values of normal folk, who just want a good burger, and Blue represents the corrupting liberal elite, who like to eat tacos made with jicama shells. And babies. Life is so simple!

Ryan understands the difficulty they face -- their audience may not have the same tastes as the judges, and while they are cooking, in theory, for the Chicago residents, the judges can send their asses home. Elimination day begins early (at least it looks early, from what I understand early looks like). According to Nikki, while it's a team challenge, Blue Team has decided to divvy things up so each person is essentially responsible for single dish. And those dishes will be: paella (Richard), slaw (Lisa), BBQ pulled pork (Manuel), bean salad (Antonia), inside-out cookie (Mark), fruit cobbler (Stephanie), macaroni and cheese (Nikki), and something called a "sexy drink," which sounds completely appropriate for a party that will have 70 children in attendance. It's never too early to learn that drinking is sexy.

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Top Chef

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