Bethenny Frankel tells us who deserves to win.
I just had to say that because I thought it was so hilarious and out of character when Stephanie said it as a bird entered the Puerto Rico kitchen. Well, let's get to it. We're down to the wire.
The Quickfire: I must admit I got a little annoyed by Richard's "play" on chips and salsa and "play" on sweet and salty bar food. He is an extraordinary chef, but sometimes it just is what it is.
Antonia's initial demise was only using her plantain in a jam instead of making it a more prominent factor in the dish. She was off to a bad day.
Stephanie finally killed the Quickfire, and I've been saying if she could ever nail one of these, she could nail the competition. Her never-made-before tostones were a big hit. I think her ability to take chances with new dishes and always pull it off is why she's such a strong contender.
Lisa did a great job too. I liked the way she ran inside to look at her protein ingredients. She definitely is a solid chef. Ultimately, Stephanie killed the Quickfire which means she can take this.
I do think Richard is the best of the group. She is the second, but I hope Bravo doesn't choose a woman just because they think it is time. There hasn't been a triple crown winner in 30 years, and if Big Brown doesn't show up to the party this Saturday at the Belmont, it will soon be 31 years.
Richard truly deserves this prize. OK -- now to the PIG. Holy crap. This was overwhelming.
Is PETA ringing the phones off the hook at Bravo? I mean the visual of that sweet dead pig made me want to become a full-fledged vegetarian. That was intimidating, scary, and when told I'd have to butcher this pig, I'd probably be on the floor in the corner of the kitchen panicked.
These chefs are no joke and neither are the tasks. OK -- so Stephanie won the Quickfire and picked sous-chefs for the chefs. Dale was the No. 1 pick, and in case you missed it, I love Dale. He should be in this top three. Nikki worked with Antonia. They seemed friendly and copacetic and seemed to be on the same page. Antonia was flustered and a bit "off" and she had issues with her rice and her ultimate demise: undercooked beans. Oddly, this mistake and poorly cooked rice are common. Sometimes the simple tasks are the hardest.
That being said, she easily butchered a pig which seemed daunting. Richard, this time around, went more simply which Tom commented on. I have been saying the whole time that Richard needed to calm it all down and it seemed to be working in this task.
Lisa and Andrew seemed to have a bit of personality tension, but I respect Andrew working to his potential for Lisa when she's not his favorite person. I also love how much of a perfectionist she is and how she really took charge of her dishes.
In the end, the net was that Richard was the best, and Spike was a great, reliable sous-chef. People loved the use of the local beverage malta to cook the ribs, and his simple delicious dishes won him a car and a very predictable seat in the top three. Stephanie was second which is often the case. She seemed happy for Richard and his win and they both seemed drained.
What I adored was how terrible Dale felt when he left their pork dish out overnight. I also love that Stephanie eliminated that dish. Dale said he would never forgive himself if she got sent home because of this, and they rallied and came up with a delicious looking pork satay. That was a dream team and my Dale crush continues.
Lisa's demise was her sweet plantain puree. She likes purees (as I do) but she loves to add a sweet element to them such as last week's peanut butter. Her dishes were great just B level not A. The judges said the proof was in the fact that her station wasn't full. Antonia's pigeon peas were her Achilles heel and she knew it.
At this stage, anything tiny can screw up the whole process. I love her, and I thought she was phenomenal, but I really think Richard and Stephanie are the final two and have been since the beginning. Lisa can't take this one either. Dale was the only chef that could take on this crew.
Now I have to count the minutes until next week's finale. Tick tock.