Synopsis for
"Top Chef" Serve and Protect (2008)

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The seven remaining chefs are wiped out after being up for 40 hours for "wedding wars," and after just a little rest, they're at it again.

Spike reiterates his displeasure with Dale. Dale resolves to focus on the task at hand. Andrew says the atmosphere in the house is "everybody is just beat down, except for me." He follows that up with the reassuring: "Either I'm gonna stab somebody or I'm gonna make some great food."

Quickfire Time

Padma greets them with along with Sam Talbot, a finalist from Season Two. Antonia likey.

They're going to be making "sexy" salad. They get 45 minutes. Spike plans to make something that screams: "let's have sex after we eat this salad."

Lisa looks around and decides there are some people there who don't deserve to be there and their personalities "suck ass."

Stephanie runs out of time to get everything on the plate.

Andrew made a Thai salad with mangoes and strawberries. Spike made one with steak and pinapple. Lisa made grilled squid and grilled lobster tail with grapefruit. Stephanie made a pear salad. Antonia made a poached egg salad with spinach and sunchokes and mushrooms. Sam tells her it has "great flavor" and she avoids giggling. Richard made a ceviche of fruits and veggies. Dale made a poached chicken salad.

Sam IDs his least favorite: Richard, Stephanie, Lisa.

He liked: Spike, Antonia and Dale.

The winner was Spike, his first win. But no more immunity.

Elimination Challenge

Sam and Padma bring out greasy fast food items and talk about America's obesity problem. They're looking at lunch options from the Chicago police academy. They're challenge is to make healthy gourmet boxed lunches, using something from healthy food groups. Spike gets an extra 10 minutes to shop and he gets to claim an ingredient in each group.

Stephanie predicts that Spike will try to screw people over by picking his ingredients. He says his strategy is to pick ingredients that will make it harder for everyone else. He takes chicken, bread, lettuce and tomatoes. Lisa thinks his desire to hurt them means he hasn't thought about his dish.

Andrew thinks he has an advantage because he studied nutrition for two years, also because everyone else is dumb.

They're cooking with a lean protein, a whole grain, a fruit and a vegetable. They'll prep something and then hand it to the recruits who will microwave it if needed.

Antonia is making curry beef with jasmine and brown rice and a fruit salad.

Andrew is making a sushi with pureed parsnip and pinenuts instead of rice. He'll also have a salmon tartare, for a completely raw experience.

Stephanie sees what he's doing and thinks there's no way that'll fill people up.

Dale is making cabbage cups with marinated bison.

Antonia thinks Dale only cooks Asian food and that he'll get bitten by that sooner or later.

Lisa is making shrimp with veggies and brown rice. Andrew points out shrimp is high in cholesterol. She thinks a few will be fine.

Tom drops in. Stephanie is making a mushroom leek soup with some meatballs in it.

Lisa nearly kills Tom with her homemade hot sauce.

Richard is making a burrito with lentils, quinoa and tuna. "I don't want to go home over a boxed lunch," he says.

Tom says he thinks they're going to see some high quality food.

With 24 minutes to go, Lisa checks her rice and notices "someone" has turned it all the way to high. It's burnt on the outside and not cooked in the center. She doesn't have time to cook it again. Stephanie thinks Lisa made a mistake and is looking to blame someone. (They don't show anyone touching it.)

They pack up and head to the police academy.

Lisa is hoping some time in the microwave will save her rice.

The officers peruse their options. "The officers are really nice," says Antonia. "I don't have any outstanding parking tickets in Chicago, so I'm not really worried."

Richard sells his burritos with a grin and it drives Spike crazy. (In his interview Richard is wearing what appears to be a headband with his faux hawk. Golly.)

Spike is only putting two out at a time to try to move them.

The judges stop by. They like Stephanie's soup. They think Spike's food is pedestrian and they knock him for not making something out of the ingredients he chose to submarine his competitors. They like Dale's bison and Antonia's curry beef. Padma calls Andrew's sushi "weird." It falls apart. They think Richard's "burrito" tastes better than it looks. They get to Lisa's rice. Padma notices immediately that it's undercooked.

The recruits leave. Andrew feels good about his dish.

They pack up and head to the stew room, brought to you by Glad. Dale says he's nervous.

Back in the room someone points out to Andrew that he didn't use a grain.

Padma asks for Dale and Stephanie, the top two. They compliment Stephanie for a well-seasoned soup. Sam reveals the winner: Dale. He gets a bottle of 2002 Rutherford Hill Merlot and two tickets to visit the vineyard in Napa.

They send out Spike, Lisa and Andrew.

Padma asks Andrew if his lunch was hearty enough. He mentions twice that he studied nutrition and that small meals every three hours is the way to eat. Tom says his food also didn't taste good.

They tell Spike his chosen ingredients were poorly used. He says he's not trying to sabotage anyone. Tom says the olive and grapes in the chicken salad didn't work. Spike defends his food, saying that the officers liked it. Tom tells him four people had better dishes. Spike responds: "In your opinion." Tom is having none of it. "Unfortunately for you, my opinion is what matters."

Lisa refuses to ID what she did wrong. Tom helps her out. The beans were raw, the shrimp was pretty raw, the brown rice wasn't cooked at all. "Somebody f----d with my rice," she says. The judges are alarmed and ask for details. Tom says all that aside, the shrimp was the problem.

When they're done being critiqued Lisa says she "doesn't want to be pointing fingers" but somebody up there didn't meet the guidelines. Tom, not impressed, says they're aware of that. Padma asks Andrew why he didn't use a whole grain. At first he tries to say he wanted to be different, but then he says he lost his rule sheet. Then this happens: Lisa: "Andrew, in all fairness, I had no idea that you didn't..." Andrew: "Hey, it's all good, you called me out. Moving on, please. Thank you." Lisa: "You would have done the same thing to me." Andrew: "No, I wouldn't have, that's the difference." Lisa: "If I say any more I'm scared I'm gonna get punched." Andrew: (Nodding.)

The chefs leave. "Well, boy did Lisa have a lot to say," Padma says.

In the Glad dungeon Andrew stares at Lisa. He points out that he helped her with the shrimp. Lisa clings to the idea that someone changed the temperature on the rice. Ted says he doesn't even need to factor in the rice because the shrimp were "nasty" and there were four severe mistakes. Tom says there was a "failure of imagination" on Spike's part. They try to figure out how much to penalize Andrew for not using a whole grain. Ted said he thought Andrew's response to their questions was really arrogant.

Back in the Glad stew room Andrew curses at Lisa, she glowers.

Decision time. Tom says it wasn't an easy challenge. He recaps what they've said before about each contestant.

Andrew is out. "No security necessary, I will bow out of this competition with honor and dignity," or, you know, leave when I'm forced to because I got cut. He asks to shake the judges' hands. They oblige.

"I felt like I represented myself properly on this program. No bad feelings against these people. I'm never going to talk to them again, for the most part. Except Spike. Spike's mad cool."

"You're the man," Spike tells him, giving him the bro hug. "I just wanted to say that on record." (Meanwhile Lisa is glaring like she's the one who got cut.)

"Apparently Lisa felt like her neck was on the line and I see people for what they are. Obviously, people are weak," says Andrew in his exit interview.

Lisa responds in her interview: "It sucks. But if I followed the rules and he hasn't, I should not be the one going home."

Andrew goes back and relays the news and mock wails, but doesn't get much response. Spike says "Andrew and I are going to be boys forever, I'm 100 percent sure of that." Maybe they'll even trade skull caps.

"I've never been one to stick with the rules," Andrew says. "I always against the grain, no pun intended. But, kind of, pun intended. I play with honor, I play with f----- respect and loyalty, that's how I play."

He leaves. The censors at Bravo take a much needed break.


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