Last night's episode sealed the fate of the final four -- three women -- Lisa, Antonia, and Stephanie will face off with the even-tempered, pink-clogged Mr. Blais in Puerto Rico next week.
I'm very excited to see that three women have made it to final four, and I think this is the year that the Top Chef title will be awarded to a woman. Richard's quite talented, that's for sure, but he's got some serious competition from Stephanie and Antonia. Lisa, not so much. She's gone next round, mark my words.
The Quickfire Challenge this week was a true test of chefness on many levels. First, it tested butchery, which is not something that many cooks know how to do. Trimming down and small butchery is one thing, but fabricating whole sides of beef and large animals is a rare skill among the restaurant chef community.
I wrote a story about a month ago on a local restaurant out in Brooklyn called Diner that's been using a small family farm in the Hudson Valley for their grass-fed beef. When the farm, Fleisher's, began selling only whole and half animals, the restaurant had to either find a different meat supplier (which they didn't want to do) or train one of its employees. They chose the latter and found a willing participant in a guy named Tom Mylan, who trained up at the Fleisher's farm to become a butcher. The need for in-house butchers is only going to continue to grow as more and more small family farms begin supplying farm-to-table and locavore restaurants with beef, lamb, and pork. The reason is simple: Small family farms can't afford to spend the time and money butchering animals into convenient cuts of steaks and chops. They're spending their time and resources on the more important stuff: making sure that the animals are raised right.