Top Chef

Block Party

Season 4, Ep 3, Aired 3/26/08
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  • Episode Description
  • The contestants mix it up with Rick Bayless tonight as they dress up street food, and then take to the streets themselves to cater a community event.Guest Judge: Rick BaylessQuickfire Challenge: Create an Upscale TacoElimination Challenge: Block Party ChallengeRound Three

  • Cast & Crew
  • Padma Lakshmi


  • Tom Colicchio

    Lead Judge/Co-Host

  • Ted Allen


  • Andrew D'Ambrosi

    Season 4 Contestant

  • Antonia Lofaso

    Season 4 Contestant

  • Fan Reviews (6)
  • Not my favorite of the season!

    By JPPT1974, Jun 04, 2008

  • taco quickfire and block party elimination challenge

    By Collegebound06, May 11, 2008

  • Silly as in the way the chefs performed, not the way the challenges and judging were executed.

    By VestalDarkness, Apr 05, 2008

  • Block party

    By lsburton, Mar 30, 2008

  • The quickfire was a joke. A fine dining taco is like a fine dining hot dog, a joke. The elimination challenge was a good idea, not very well executed.

    By QuakertownBob, Mar 27, 2008

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (7)

    • Andrew: As far as me going home right now? You'd have to drag me out with security guards, more or less, 'cause I ain't going nowhere. This is my house.

    • Spike: I think I speak for everybody when we say we're pretty surprised that we're here, because we tasted everybody's food and I think we kinda made the block party. Tom: All right. Everybody tasted Zoi's pasta? And everybody thought it was good? (they don't answer) Then you guys collectively have really poor palates.

    • Tom Colicchio: (about the Blue Team's sexy drink) What makes that sexy? Nikki: The lavender. Tom Colicchio: Lavender. Lavender's sexy now? Okay, good.

    • Erik: (after losing the QuickFire) I don't think fine dining and Mexican go together so he can go screw himself.

    • Erik: Mexican food is about the people and it's about the streets – it's a soulful kind of a thing – and to put fine dining in it, it just kinda bugs me.

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    Notes (5)

    • According to Lee Anne's blog, it was 90° outside on the day of the block party, and had been approximately that temperature the day before (as the chefs scavenged the neighborhood for supplies), as well.

    • As originally planned, the contestants were only going to be allowed into the people's refrigerators, not their pantries. In the end, the only rule was that the food taken had to be fresh and unopened (for food safety reasons).

    • Lee Anne supplied the chefs with a tortilla press and fresh masa, as well as other interesting tortilla options, but was disappointed that almost everyone used the packaged corn tortillas also provided.

    • Ryan had previously worked for a couple of days in one of Rick Bayless' kitchens. He vaguely remembered Ryan upon seeing him, but when the contestant schmoozed him during the QuickFire Judging, Bayless remembered him completely. That, however, was not a good thing for Ryan, because Bayless remembered that he didn't care for him.

    • In bonus footage at the Bravo website, the Red and Blue Teams agree to a gentlemen's agreement on the outcome of the Judging: the entire losing Team must shave their legs. Spike attempts to modify the bet so that Richard must shave his fauxhawk, but Richard insists on staying with the original bet. But of course, Richard's Team won, so his hair is safe, regardless.

    Trivia (8)

    • Although on the surface it appears this is the first branded challenge without product placement, is a site owned by the Clorox company, makers of the ubiquitous GladWare seen throughout the program. They also make Hidden Valley Ranch dressing, KC Masterpiece barbecue sauce (both of which got close-ups during the shopping spree), and Kingsford charcoal (seen briefly during the block party).

    • First-Run Fan Poll: Which will happen first? A. Female President 15% B. Female Top Chef 85% (all percentages are as of the end of the episode.)

    • Elimination Challenge Dishes: Blue Team • Richard - Richmond Avenue Paella with Clams, Oysters, Sausage, and Shrimp • Manuel - Barbecue Pulled Pork & Chicken Sandwich; Ribs with Mexican Chocolate Barbecue Sauce • Stephanie - Mixed Fruit Crumble with Cinnamon Sugar Wontons • Nikki - Macaroni and Cheese Topped with Bacon and Breadcrumbs • Mark - Cookie-in-a-Cookie (called Inside-Out Cookie in all other parts of the episode) •"Sexy Drink" with Citrus, Pineapple, Mint, Lavender, and Soda Water • Antonia - Bean Salad (not shown) • Lisa - Slaw (not shown) Red Team • Spike - Taco Salad with Chorizo, Avocado, Shrimp, Jalapeño, Cabbage & Lime Dressing • Jen - Mini Sliders with Bacon & Provolone Cheese Sauce • Dale - Grilled Pork Skewers with Pineapple & Smoked Red Curry Barbecue Sauce • S'more Lollipops • Ryan - Waldorf Chicken Salad • Erik - Corn Dogs with Pomegranate Ketchup, and Spicy Mustard • Andrew - Sangria (not shown) • Zoi - Pasta Salad (not shown)

    • QuickFire Challenge Dishes Shown: • Manuel - Chorizo Tacos with Picante Verde, Cilantro, and Goat Cheese • Lisa - Grilled Skirt Steak Tacos with Caramelized Onions, Pineapple and Cabbage Slaw • Andrew - Duck Breast Tacos with Plantain Jam and Cotija Cheese • Erik - Chipotle Braised Chicken Taco with Avocado, Pomegranate Salsa, and Guacamole • Spike - Ground Pork Tacos with Tomatillo Sauce • Ryan - Grilled Squash Tacos with Stewed Chickpeas • Richard - Jicama Tortillas with Avocado, Papaya, and Cilantro Stems

    • Stephanie is declared the winner of the Elimination Challenge. Erik is told to pack his knives and go.

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