Spike's choices do screw with Stephanie, who says her original plan of chicken and smoked tomatoes won't work as she tentatively selects some butternut squash. Lisa, derailed from her simple sandwich and soup concept, changes her chicken and turkey order at the butcher counter to ground turkey only, and explains that she'll go with a shrimp stir fry (with ground turkey?). Richard's settled on a bok choy and tuna burrito, while Andrew parlays two years of studying nutrition into "walking around like a dart -- on point," selecting all manner of healthy ingredients, and asserting that Spike's evildoing will have no effect on his wizardry, because he's light years beyond. After some register-area bantering and vegetable close-ups, night becomes day, and it's time for the cookdown.
Stephanie explains that they'll be incorporating their ingredients into a box lunch that will be given to the police officers with instructions -- they'll have to heat them up all by themselves. Antonia elaborates -- two hours in the Top Chef kitchen to cook, then off to the police academy for lunch service. Great -- yet another cook and transport, catering-style challenge! She'll be toting a curried beef dish with jasmine and brown rice and a fresh berry fruit salad. After her Common Thread win, along with her practice of healthy home cooking, Antonia's confident in her ability to win. But she better watch out for Andrew's sushi roll -- he's so certain it's going to be the bomb that he's bound to win, right? Instead of rice, he's pulverizing parsnips and pine nuts together (gross), which he'll combine with vegetables and raw salmon (tartare style). Well, that does sound healthy, and rather unappetizing. He'd really like to win this one, so he can "show these people who is the man." Despite the presence of eight testicles (we can only assume), I'm not convinced that there are any "men" currently in the Top Chef kitchen. In fact, Stephanie thinks Andrew's choice of sushi is a bit girly -- not the kind of hearty fare that's going to satisfy hungry cops, much less her.
Dale draws on his expertise in Asian food for a lunch of lettuce cups -- he's using napa cabbage, so they're actually cabbage cups -- with marinated bison meat and Vietnamese style herbs, peanuts, etc. Bison, Dale explains, is similar to beef but is much lower in cholesterol and fat. Antonia, apparently operating under the delusion that brats are Asian food, excoriates Dale for being unable to cook anything other than Asian, and thinks he's going to suffer for his narrow scope. Speaking of a focus on Asian cooking, Lisa's hard at work on her vegetable and shrimp stir fry, which she'll accompany with a pineapple soy sauce and brown rice. She gets down to business immediately, since it takes a long time to cook. Despite Andrew's voiced concern as to the cholesterol level of shrimp, Lisa decides to take the risk, noting that since the lunch is also supposed to be low-carb, low-sugar and low-fat. Maybe she should take a page from 30 Rock and just serve boxes of air. Lisa does not want to end up on the chopping block with a good dish and a technicality, so she's making sure she's doing the best she can to make something tasty that adheres to the rules. Hear that, Andrew? At least shoot for one or the other!