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Top Chef-Puerto Rico

OK, is it me or have all four of them put on weight since we last saw them. It might be the chef's jackets.

QF: Friturras. Two friturra dishes, both with plantains. Con cervezas! Stephanie freaks on the QF. Antonia gets docked for not having plantains in one of her dishes. Lisa with the mofongo. Richard needs to learn to say albondigas. Stephanie wins a QF!!! Whoohoo.

Richard is uncomfortable dancing. He's a geek. I know geeks.

EC: Butcher and cook a 600 lb pig. At least two dishes for 100 people at the governor's mansion for a cocktail party.
Steph's edge is that she gets to assign sou chefs. Four ex-contestants. Steph grabs Dale, of course, keep him away from Richard. Sends Spike to Richard, thanks for being a nice guy Richard! Nikki with Antonia. Lisa with Andrew. Lisa is realizing she has battled with everyone of the sou chefs except for Nikki. Oops. Revenge of the Andrew. Think Bravo is embarrassed that she is still there?

The pork butchering was pretty pitiful, kind of funny they are doing this right after the tomahawk steak butchering.

Dale messes up, leaves pork belly out over night. Steph has to throw that portion of the pork out and has to rethink her strategy, comes up with chicharones salad with Dale. Can't go wrong with fried pork fat.

Richard is doing something with a malted soda and ribs. Looks awesome.

I'm sorry but with the two bald guys, I keep thinking its Colicchio asking questions and its the guest judge.

Judges Table:

Richard and Stef are top two.

You know how some people shouldn't wear shorts? yeah Richard is one of them. It looked like something Ilan would wear. :)

Richard wins the challenge. HOLY CRAP. Richard gets a car!! OK, being a good guy does pay.

Lovely Lisa is lovely once again. Even with the new do. Lisa made Richard look prescient. Tom whales on her about going latin when its not her specialty. And her tostones. She didn't know what a Mojo was either.

Antonio gets beat up for her pigeon peas. And for her choice of serving three dishes on the same plate.

Lisa knows she doesn't belong and finally said so.

OMG!! They send Antonia home??!!! Lisa stays??!!! Not dancing the happy dance tonight. This is messed up. I never liked Antonia but I even feel sorry for her. This is ridiculous. Pathetic.

Now Lisa is throwing a hissy fit because people were upset that Antonia left and neglected to congratulate her backing into the finals? Bravo is getting their money's worth out of this villainess.

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  1. Stephanie is a class act. The pork belly left out much have really upset her, but you'd hardly know it. She was dignified and afforded Dale with the same dignity when he messed up. Hard to tell yet, but it looks like they've recovered.

    On another note, Lisa Ferdandez is Jewish? Who knew?

    8 Replies
    1. re: chicgail

      I was thinking the same thing about Lisa...and prior to her announcing her religion I noticed she was wearing a shirt that said KOSHER.

      Now that I think about it she does look Jewish.

      1. re: isadorasmama

        I thought that t-shirt implied her girlfriend was Jewish.

        1. re: Adrienne

          ROFL. Nicely played Adrienne..... take a bow.

          1. re: Adrienne

            bravo, adrienne! that's absolutely hilarious.

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              heh, thanks folks. i'll be here all week.

            2. re: isadorasmama

              Huh. Don't know what to make about that last sentence there.

              Lisa is truly a shanda fur die goyim. Not much left to say about a woman who is now resolutely unpleasant.

              I tried to be sympathetic to her, assuming that she had no idea how she was coming across. But by the time they hit Puerto Rico, they know how people are responding and she's not listening.

              1. re: Lizard

                But not listening to criticism and not taking it to heart is what she does best! Why should she not stick with her strengths? ;-)

          2. I thought the guest judge was Chef Tom with some craaaaazy plastic surgery, it freaked me out! And now when they're judging the cocktail party, it's like a look-alike sandwich of the two of them... ok, enough of that.

            I also am super impressed by Stephanie's ability to keep her cool under difficult circumstances. Also, I appreciate the fact that she wanted as much of a level playing field as possible for the challenge- imagine if someone like Spike was able to pick everyone's sous-chefs!!

            8 Replies
            1. re: gyozagirl

              i thought he looked like the love child of tom colicchio & lee hefter, with a little bit of howie from last season :)

              so proud of steph. as always, she's a total class act. it's great that she finally won a QF, and it looks like she really pulled it out with her last-minute adjustments after the pork belly fiasco.

              sounds like the judges thought antonia's food wasn't quite special enough...? we'll see in a minute or two...

              okay, there's something VERY wrong here. HOW did lisa make it into the final three?

              boo.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                How many times has Lisa been in the bottom? Even my roommate (who I think has seen 3 episodes) was shocked that she is still in it.

                1. re: viperlush

                  According to Tom last week, she had been in the Bottom group 5 times up to then. This makes 6 times.

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    That's what I thought.

                    I understand that they are judging based on that challenge, but I think they need to start looking at the whole series when judging the final episodes. Hopefully Stephanie and Richard will prevail next week...

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      I think she has incriminating pictures of Tom..its the only explanation that she made it this far.

                  2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    Lisa is the absolute worst.

                    Terrible cook, terrible personality. Seeing her survive makes me dislike this show.

                    1. re: Jackpot

                      Lisa or Spike HAD to continue. This is television, remember? And good drama requires a villain -- Tiffany, Marcel/Ilan (take your pick). The producers made sure that a villain would be with the show to the end.

                      The best chef is just the premise for the show. They were certainly not going to have three lovely, lovable human beings who were all good chefs at the final. Project Runway goes the same way, and I'm sure the hairdresser and dancer and model versions have an identical format.

                      Look at the 50 or so outraged comments on this thread. It keeps viewers buzzing to their friends and coming back for the final episode.

                      1. re: Jackpot

                        Hate the personality, too, but I'm baffled as to how you're making the claim about her cookery.

                        1. We can't taste the food she prepares.

                        2. The guest chef referred to a tremendous showing across the board. Not being as good as some hardly makes her 'terrible'.

                        She has, however, often shown up in the bottom three, which means that it is a shame that is not taken into account during judging.

                  3. BIG YAY! on Stephanie winning the QF challenge first off! Her choices for who got who for their sous chef was excellent - level playing field (although she definitely chose the best of the lot - didn't realize she and Dale had known each other for 10 years!)

                    Yes, I also thought they all put on weight - and Stephanie saying she was gone for 6 months in Cambodia and other parts of Asia - wow - wasn't thinking it was that long they had a break, but I guess it makes sense. They finished the main part of the show in September, and probably only filmed the finale in March in Puerto Rico...so yup - that's about 6 months!

                    My heart just DROPPED when I saw the pork bellies left out overnight! I'm so glad Dale and Stephanie came up with a superb substitution with salad with the chicarrones! The two of them work brilliantly together.

                    I thought Stephanie might also win the Elimination challenge, but Richard just seemed to have it done right.

                    And ROFL! Just saw the survey - 91% of those who answered the survey said Lisa should pack her knives and go - PLEASE let it be her! DAMN - it's Antonia that leaves! ANd Lisa said the judges won't be disappointed. They've BEEN disappointed since Day 1 with her stuff! Stephanie and Richard were stunned to see Antonia leave. Lisa getting totally snotty with Stephanie and Richard after Antonia left? What a beeyotch!

                    I sincerely hope that Stephanie and Richard whip her butt in the finale Part 2.

                    44 Replies
                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      I know -- Lisa's attitude was unbelievable.

                      Quote of the season: "Congratulations you won the bronze medal."

                      1. re: Adrienne

                        Right up there with, "She just has a bad attitude. She's a cloud in the kitchen." Is this not the first time Richard has said something bad about anyone in the sidebars?

                        1. re: garfish

                          Totally cracked me up. we rewound that one a few times. NOticed the negativity for the first time from Richard as well. Can't believe her arrogance. And btw, anyone else wonder what part of her was kosher? Attitude, personality. . .

                          1. re: Icantread

                            Puleeze. I certainly hope that unrelenting nastiness and dislikable personality is not "kosher."

                            This is a bitter, unhappy woman who likes to pretend that she is better than everyone else and who has never taken responsibility for her own life. She'd be someone to feel sorry for if it weren't for how unpleasant she is.

                            I wouldn't want her in my kitchen and I wouldn't want her in my life.

                        2. re: Adrienne

                          LOL the bronze medal comment was hillarious. 91% of the survey wanting to send Lisa home was just poetic.

                          1. re: Docsknotinn

                            When he said, "Congratulation, you won the f---ing bronze medal", I slapped my knee.

                          2. re: Adrienne

                            That quote was so amazing I think it actually may have moved me from Stephanie’s camp to Richards.

                            1. re: Adrienne

                              Did Lisa congratulate Stephanie and Richard for making it to the final? I don't seem to recall hearing that, although it could have been edited out.

                              1. re: LabRat

                                I watched the show again last night, and it wasn't shown. She was standing there when Stephanie and Richard came back into the stew room and Stephanie said "he won a car!" and Antonia said something and hugged Richard, but all we saw of Lisa was her standing off to the side with a smirk on her face.

                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                  acually, lisa's one comment was "you won a f**ing car, dude?"

                                  i'm the last person to defend lisa, but it is possible that she congratulated them after a moment or two and that it was edited out. i'd say someone should send the question in for andy cohen to ask her on the reunion show, but i'm guessing it was already filmed.

                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                    I absolutely agree it could have been edited out as well. Those editors are sneaky little buggers. :-)

                            2. re: LindaWhit

                              totally agree - the "you didn't congratulate me" comment was SO awful. as if i didn't dislike her before.

                              1. re: AMFM

                                She also learned nothing about her awful body language at judges table after watching the show. Still standing there with her arms folded and a chip on her shoulder.

                                1. re: KTinNYC

                                  The body language, the snide comments, the general unpleasantness -- in and outside the kitchen -- make me wonder what kind of internal dialog goes on inside Lisa's head. Then, on second thought, I'm glad I don't have to hear it.

                                  Both Richard and Stephanie are not only talented, creative chefs, they are solid human beings. Wouldn't it be great if they could share the title? I hate to see either of them lose.

                              2. re: LindaWhit

                                I have no doubt Richard and Stephanie WILL whip Lisa's butt in Part 2. Stephanie has truly gotten stronger each week, Richard had a strong start with a bit of a lull in the middle, but has shown how well he does when he can truly "create". Lisa - frankly, it baffles me she's still there AND that she had the nerve to scold Richard and Stephanie for not congratulating her. I feel badly for Antonia, especially in light of Lisa making it through.

                                Most impressive for me tonight: the fact that Stephanie could brilliantly come up with the salad idea - which the judges loved - when Dale left the pork belly out over night. You just KNOW Lisa would have gone completely mental, but Stephanie just put it behind her and thought of something she could put together and incorporate what she had left of the pig. I truly hope she takes the title.

                                1. re: phee

                                  LOVE stephanie so not to take away and he did leave the pork belly out, but Dale helped with that salad idea!
                                  Still she earned picking him as a sous chef and he was so cute when he said that he would just never forgve himself if he cost her with that.

                                  1. re: AMFM

                                    And she thanked him for it after the judges walked away from the table.

                                    1. re: AMFM

                                      Agreed. I have alot of respect for Dale as a chef, but even more so after he said that. And, yes, we must give him credit for helping with the salad idea. Stephanie did have first choice for sous chef, and she chose well.

                                      1. re: phee

                                        I loved Stephanie not yelling at Dale for leaving the pork out. She is so calm under pressure. Can you imagine what he would have done to her if the roles had been reversed?

                                        1. re: NYCkaren

                                          That is really an unknown htpothetical.

                                          1) They have known each other for 10 years and have worked together.
                                          2) He refrained from whining when he worked with Richard, so that tells me that he plays well with others when the others are people he respects.
                                          3) He goes off when he knows he is the one, the only one, that is capable of fixing the problem, this somewhat goes back tot he respect issue, but I think that if he knows the problem could be solved professionally, he won't panic.

                                          1. re: Phaedrus

                                            I agree -- I think Dale is just extremely intolerant of others' limitations, and that almost all the problems we have seen with him stem from this one flaw. It is a major flaw, but a different one from what some seem to be saying.

                                            1. re: Phaedrus

                                              I see no reason why anyone should coddle incompetence. We fire incompetent people from our workplace. If we have time, we would do it respectably, but given the parameters of the show, it's hard not to get to the point.

                                      2. re: phee

                                        Lisa wouldn't have just gone mental. She would have made it into huge drama by calling it sabotage.

                                      3. re: LindaWhit

                                        ok..I seriously hate Lisa now. Why the need to be a bitch because she wasn't congratulated? She made it to the final 3! Who needs their congratulations! Come on!
                                        She's this season's Ilan.

                                        1. re: sugarbuzz

                                          I just realized they didn't do a reunion show this season - wasn't it always held before the finale? I'm bummed, because I would have liked for a few pointed questions to have been whipped Lisa's way, i.e., her demeanor, her stance at judges' table, her continuing to blame everyone else for her own mistakes the nasty puss on her face (and I realized tonight who she reminds me of - her facial expressions, hair, and demeanor are all Rosie O'Donnellisms - and that is NOT a compliment! LOL). Wonder how she would have handled it.

                                          Actually, they probably wouldn't have asked her much about it, although it sure would make for a helluva montage to show her standing at JT the gazillion times she did!

                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                            not that i'm rosie's biggest fan but she is WAY more of a sourpuss than rosie. and that don't mess with me or i'll punch you look makes me crazy. ugh - seems obvious no one there likes her either so it's not just in the editing.

                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                              Last season, they did the reunion show after the finale. So I'm hoping Bravo will do that as well for this season. I'll bet a lot of people will have questions for Lisa. She's the villain producers dream of -- though I have to say that the worst villain on Top Chef is far better than the average Hell's Kitchen contestant.

                                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                                "I have to say that the worst villain on Top Chef is far better than the average Hell's Kitchen contestant."

                                                Heads and tails better!

                                                1. re: Miss Needle

                                                  Last year they used the Survivor model and did a reunion show after the last challenge and announced the winner as part of that show. I think it works well to have the reunion after all the contestants have had a chance to see all the shows.

                                            2. re: LindaWhit

                                              I was wondering if anyone was going to mention the Dale and Steph 10 years thing. That made my jaw hit the floor.

                                              Makes one wonder what else we'll never know because of editing. (Grrr.)

                                              1. re: HarryK

                                                they are both chicago chefs so i guess it shouldn't be surprising but it is interesting it never came out before. maybe they were intentionally trying to hide it - not to seem like "friends" or something. or they could just barely know each other from the culinary world through mutual aquaintences so it never mattered.

                                                1. re: AMFM

                                                  Or they could have dramatically "come out" to everyone in the cast like Zoi and Jen.

                                                  Steph: Yeah, I just wanted to let you know that Dale here is my boy toy, isn't that right Dale.

                                                  Dale: Yes, mistress.

                                                  1. re: Phaedrus

                                                    LOL! Well, it *is* the Bravo network. Who knows which direction they might go in? ;-)

                                                      1. re: Phaedrus

                                                        I love Dale! He has the best one liners ever.
                                                        Hoping for Stephanie, classy gal that can and does cook well with a cool head. Pulling for Stephanie in CA...

                                                      2. re: AMFM

                                                        I'm pretty sure I'd heard that they knew each other before. I'm not sure whether it was on the show, or online somewhere.

                                                        1. re: momjamin

                                                          Stephanie said it in one of those televised asides. They've been friends for 10 years.

                                                          1. re: ChefJune

                                                            I'm pretty sure it was mentioned very early on that they knew each other...

                                                          2. re: momjamin

                                                            Steph was also friends with one of the women that left 2nd or 3rd. I can't even remember her name at this point. But early on in the show they showed them working out on the yoga mats and they mentioned they use to cook together in Chicago.

                                                              1. re: ChefJune

                                                                yup, valerie. and steph and valerie are good/close enough friends for steph to feature valerie in her bar/club photos in her photo diary. looks like a lot of liquor shots flying in their crowd, actually :)

                                                              2. re: Elyssa

                                                                Valerie. I remember that. the dreaded up close and personal on the friendships.

                                                          3. re: LindaWhit

                                                            I think the main part of the series was filmed in October since I was at the football game and that was mid-October.

                                                          4. How does Lisa keep dodging the bullet? Voodoo dolls, Santaria, deal with Satan, compromising pictures of the Judges? I don't know but it has to be something. I refuse to believe she is a better Chef than Dale, Antonia or even Spike...

                                                            It was good to see Steph choosing Dale as her sous. He did a good job at the market and even if he did leave the belly out it is her responsibility to make sure everything is buttoned up at the end of the day. To paraphrase Mikey, "I'm not here with a chance to win $100 grand he is". I think the two of them did a great job recovering and to tell you the truth it may have helped her out in the end because I'm pretty sure pork belly was on two other menus.

                                                            17 Replies
                                                            1. re: KTinNYC

                                                              i thought the same thing about the pork belly. if steph had served it, i'll bet the judges would have commented on the fact that pork belly is ubiquitous these days & someone should have done something more unique.

                                                              of course steph's probably would have tasted the best.

                                                              lisa is evil. i understand that she feels like the redheaded stepchild in this scenario, but that's too bad...she's lucky to be there and needs to suck it up. just this once it would have been nice to see her take the high road and show some class, instead of sniping at her fellow chefs.

                                                              richard's line was priceless!

                                                              "so you won the f***in bronze medal. congratulations."

                                                              classic.

                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                I truly think Lisa is incapable of taking the high road in situations like this. She has a huge chip on her shoulder, but EVERYTHING that goes wrong for her is always someone else's fault - I can't recall her ever saying "I screwed up" - she alway blamed someone else. If she can't accept that she screwed something up, why would she *ever* take the high road and keep her trap shut and just let Richard and Stephanie sit in their stunned silence that Antonia was gone? Physically and mentally incapable.

                                                                We don't know how long the 3 of them were sitting there (editing makes it seem like less than a minute) before she said "the least you could do is congratulate me". (Have to admit - Stephanie's and Richard's faces were priceless: "Are you freakin' KIDDING me, lady?")

                                                                But even if it was 5 minutes, she should have just shut up and let it come from the other two naturally if it came at all. Hell, she even SAID that she was going home - so she KNOWS she sucks and shouldn't have been there! Shut up, and prove yourself in the kitchen - "bring it" as you've said countless times. Don't disappoint the judges, as you've done countless times. PROVE HERSELF and then maybe she'd have the right to say what she said so quickly after Antonia left.

                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                  But does Lisa really know that she sucks? It seemed like Lisa thought that they were upset to see Antonia leave because they were her friends, not because they thought that Antonia was the better chef. Didn't one of the chefs in Season 2 volunteer to leave because she knew that if she didn't a better chef would go home? I wish Lisa did that at some point this season.

                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                    What I noticed at the begginning of the show was the update of each Chef. Richard has a restaurant, Antonia opened a restaurant, Stephanie on a Chow tour but Lisa.......Lisa was billed as a sous chef in NY. It seems not even her employer wants to be associated with her.

                                                                    1. re: Docsknotinn

                                                                      From Spike's exit interview, he indicated that Lisa had just gotten his old job so she probably went back to it. But seriously, who would hire that sourpuss.

                                                                      1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                        She does make Tiffani seem lovable, no?

                                                                        1. re: Docsknotinn

                                                                          I thought the info about Richard running Trail-Blais was around at the beginning? i seem to recall him saying stuff about knowing how to run a restaurant and that it took 6 months to open his compared to the hours they got in Restaurant Wars.

                                                                          BTW, looking into Foxtail reservations, despite the whole "supper club" thing. I want to try Antonia's menu for myself.

                                                                          1. re: Docsknotinn

                                                                            When you say Chow Tour...is that like a a Chowhound tour or am I just misunderstanding? I heard her say she was traveling around Asia, discovering different foods and recipes etc.

                                                                        2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                          I'm sure in Lisa's world view she thinks that criticizing Stephanie and Richard for their lack of contratulations points out their shortcomings. I suspect that few folks watching the show came to same conclusion.

                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                            Richard's comment was befitting. "
                                                                            Take your bronze medal and shut the he** up, now go and pout...and be sure to cross your arms just in case anyone can't tell how unhappy you are." She would of lasted 5 seconds with my Dad,"wipe that look off your face before I knock...." Ha! you know the rest! Crimineys some people I guess were raised by wolves.

                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                              LOVED Richard's line. I wish he would have said it to her sourpuss face.

                                                                              1. re: Elyssa

                                                                                NOOOOOO, this way, she can watch it over and over and over she would be thinking of a comeback, which is impossible for her now....maybe she'll grow out of this experience, and decide that that chip she's been carrying is so unattractive.

                                                                            2. re: KTinNYC

                                                                              "How does Lisa keep dodging the bullet? Voodoo dolls, Santaria, deal with Satan, compromising pictures of the Judges?"

                                                                              I was thinking the same thing. That girl's got more lives than she can count.

                                                                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                LOL! Deal with the devil? I'd be afraid of her, and so should Satan!
                                                                                That she is still in this, it sure does make you wonder.

                                                                            3. Wow. Just watched the last four episodes at once, and didn't see this coming! I would never have guessed that Lisa would be in the final three. And her "congratulations" comments didn't gain her any points, with either me or her competitors.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: smtucker

                                                                                Lisa screwed up every week, but each week someone else screwed up just a little more than she did. It's the work of satan. ;-)