Top Chef

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Chuck: B- | Grade It Now!
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The Elements

Team Air gravitates toward duck, which, as fatty as it is, doesn't seem like the airiest of birds, but whatever. Team Fire hasn't gotten very far -- they're clustered in the produce section still trying to figure out what the hell to do. Lisa finds the situation "really, really stressful," and apparently she deals with stress by crapping all over other people's ideas and offering no suggestions of her own. Oh, wait, she likes Dale's concept of spice, but thinks they should "really go strictly Asian." Her argument? "For Ming Tsai, we need to be doing something Asian." I call stupid. Why on earth would Ming Tsai need an Asian dish -- because he can't appreciate anything else? That line of thinking seems more destined for elimination than glory. Ah -- it's the kind of food that Lisa likes to cook, and she wants "to knock his pants off with it." Yes, that's pants, not socks, you dirty girl. They break, still not having any idea what they're doing.

Now it's Spike who's questioning the budget-to-plate conundrum and Antonia's direction of Carpaccio with salad. Don't worry, says she, it's all about the high quality of the mushrooms and the beef. Spike's not convinced, and thinks that, because she has immunity, Antonia "should take just slightly a backseat." He's got a point, I think -- it seems like Antonia is trying to overcompensate for having immunity, trying to show that she cares and that she's still totally committed, but she's running the show when she really doesn't have anything at stake. Then Spike suggests a shot glass of butternut squash soup, as Zoi tries to quash another soup conversation by asserting that whatever they do will be delicious. "Unless you're going to take two women and strangle them, there comes a time that you gotta, just, roll with it and try to do as best as you can." Truer words were never spoken, Spike -- in this world, it's either choke a bitch or compromise.

At the meat counter, Team Fire, inquiring about beef, discovers that Team Earth has beat them to the punch, so it's back to the drawing board, which, for them, involves dumping ingredients into a shopping cart, hoping something will stick. Lisa's getting increasingly tense, but as far as we can tell, she still hasn't made one concrete suggestion, and Dale's getting increasingly pissed that she won't just chill out. Finally, Stephanie suggests doing grilled shrimp with a spicy marinade, which is perfect for the occasion, fits the theme, and after all the drama, seems like a remarkably obvious choice. "The number one goal is to get Lisa on board with the idea, and make her comfortable with the idea" says Stephanie, as I recall how much difficult people suck. But at least Lisa is "mostly confident" at this point, so hopefully we don't have to listen to her whine any more. Fat chance.

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Top Chef

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