Ya know, this group of chefs is starting to piss me off. “I’m not a pastry chef!” “I don’t know how to use a grill!” Seriously??? I may not have gone to culinary school, but I know how to bake a pie and I’ve made some pretty darn good picnic food in my day. I suppose this episode confirms that there is a BIG difference between a good chef and a good cook.
The quickfire challenge – make a pie from scratch – seems simple enough, but very few of the contestants get it right. My favorite line of the night comes from Gail, who, when Ed describes how he was inspired by his grandmother when he made a banana cream pie with celery spuma, asks quippily, “How does it compare to your grandma’s celery spuma?” Tee. And, by the way, what kind of a word is “spuma”? It just sounds dirty to me. Johnny Iuzzini gets second-best-line honors when he says to Amanda, “My grandmother wasn’t a pastry chef, but she can still make an apple pie.” Aw, snap.
Anywho, Kenny wins the quickfire (finally!) with his bananas foster pie with Chinese five spice. Then they are told they will be cooking for Hill interns for their elimination challenge, which is a picnic at Mt. Vernon. Shopping at Whole Foods involves a story about Amanda’s coke-laden past, which maybe is good for context when she later yells at Alex about an oven and cites “prison rules” as her reason for being a bitch. Back at the house, Amanda is the focus once again, which means she’s either going to win or go home.
When the chefs get to Mt. Vernon, hilarity ensues. The little Gaysian doesn’t know how to use a charcoal grill, so he watches and copies Kenny’s every move. Tim makes some kind of vaguely sexist (but totally expected) remark about women not knowing how to grill and men cooking meat and drinking beer. There are a LOT of dishes, and most of them seem to be “meh.” The guest judge is Jonathan Waxman, though, so that counts for something. Oh, and a goose craps on Tim’s table. And Angelo actually compliments Amanda’s food – wow, maybe I don’t have to punch him in the face after all!
At judging, we learn that Angelo, Amanda, Ed, and Arnold have the best dishes. Arnold wins for his lamb meatball with gazpacho – and he is oh so happy about it (I believe there’s even a little victory dance)! If he would stop popping his collar, he would have my full endorsement. Tim, Steven, Tracey, and Kevin are the bottom four, and it is abundantly clear (to me, anyway) that it’s either going to be Steven or Tracey. In the end, though, Tracey’s fennel-heavy, improperly cooked sausage sliders were the worst of the worst, so she gets to come back to Atlanta early.
Even though I didn’t particularly care for Tracey, I’m bummed that our only Atlanta chef got booted so early. I guess I got spoiled by the Richard Blais and Kevin Gillespie seasons.
Whatever will happen next week when the current contestants tangle with the previous ones? Stay tuned…