Top Chef Chicago Watch: Episode 12

Oh man! This episode was probably the most exciting for me so far because it was filmed RIGHT down the street from my house at Tramonto’s Steak and Seafood! But unfortunately I’ve never been to the restaurant. Because even though it’s very close, it’s also very expensive :) Either way, it was still awesome to know exactly where they were.

The results of this episode, however, were a little less thrilling

Warning: spoilers after the jump!

One of the most tragic and controversial situations in this episode was Spike’s scallops. After winning the quickfire and earning the privilege to choose his proteins first for the elimination challenge, Spike chose a bag of frozen scallops he found in the Tramonto kitchen. Now, on one hand Spike is to blame for choosing frozen scallops…but on the other…if the scallops were not something chefs should use, why were they in the Tramonto Kitchen? It seems as though Top Chef added them in there to see if anyone would use them and have something to criticize them about. A bit of a shady move if you ask me. While I’m not sure I would have used frozen, I would have trusted anything in that kitchen to be of the utmost quality, and that was Spike’s reasoning.

Worse, because he had to “claim” his protein first, he didn’t have the option of changing his mind. Everyone else was able to go back and forth about what they had in mind. A bit unfair…

But none the less, the scallops did seem like a lost cause from the start, being frozen and all, so maybe Spike should have known better. And since he didn’t, he went home for it (amazing butchering skills and all :().

So now the question on everyone’s mind (or at least mine) is: WHY IS LISA STILL THERE?! I mean, come on. Lisa has been on the bottom consecutively every week and always makes it in by the skin of her teeth for someone else’s more noticeable mistake. Her food is never up to par and something should really be done about that, if you ask me. Not to mention…someone with an attitude like hers in the kitchen can never really be called a top chef. But I guess there’s nothing I can do about it.

On to better things…

Stephanie is really kicking ass. The girl we’re cheering on from Chicago has won herself loads of prizes too! A trip to Spain, and now…an entire GE Monogram Kitchen! How amazing is that? And it was well deserved too. She really kept her focus in this challenge and produced some good looking dishes. Her sweetbread dish won rave reviews. I’ve never had sweetbread before, but if ever I wanted to try it…this rendition looks pretty good to me. And so she won.

But the judge’s favorite singular dish was probably Richard’s. I find it the most aestethically pleasing too, which of course when you’re judging a plate of food is important! It was a hamachi dish with sweetbread crumbles that really sounded and looked spectacular.

My favorite part about this episode was actually probably the visit to the meat plant for the quickfire. Cheftestants had to cut and butcher their own tomahawk chops from a rack of beef. Seeing as how chefs are not butchers, I was fairly impressed with their job well done.


Title: High Steaks

Challenges: Quickfire - Butcher and prepare a perfect steak Elimination – Prepare an appetizer and main course to serve at Rick Tramonto’s Steak and Seafood restaurant.

Winner: Stephanie Eliminated: Spike

Chefs Remaining: Richard, Stephanie, Antonia, and Lisa.

Tune in for Episode 13 next week!

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