Photo: David Giesbrecht / Bravo
Nothing like a little two-faced, back-stabbing resentment to introduce us to the "Top Chef" home stretch, the period of time near the end of the season when people get a little goofy, a little nervy -- a little "angst"-ridden, to quote Antonia.
This was also the episode where we learned about something we could only infer before this week: That yes, there is something called "Chef Law," and if you break it, there is hell to pay.
We discovered this heretofore unspoken rule in the Quickfire challenge, wherein our testy crew was ordered to deep fry their hearts out for the queen of cholesterol, Paula Deen (looking resplendent in her up-done helmet hair, which, she pointed out, looks a little more like Richard's porcupine 'do when she wakes up in the mornings).
When Antonia's delicately battered shrimp and avocado (brilliant!) lost on the technicality of her not plating up two dishes, the prize went to Jersey Mike -- who, without shame, stole a deep-fried chicken oyster dish from Richard's playbook. As in, he literally copied the recipe from Richard's notes. When Antonia told Carla and Tiffany the news, they were aghast. This, we learned, was just something chefs do not do. The code was broken. Would Mike be made to pay?