Trouble With Toast

Top Chef D.C. – Episode 5 | July 19, 2010

Alright, kiddies.  My Wednesday night swim practices are over, which means that I can finally watch Top Chef at its regularly scheduled time, AND that I don’t have to avoid teh internets for days until I can cozy up with my DVR.  So why did it take me so long to post a recap of the latest episode?  Because I am having a really hard time getting excited about this season.  The chefs?  Meh.  The challenges?  Meh.  The guest judges?  Meh.  The most impressive thing about Season 7 so far is Padma’s post-pregnancy boobage.

Anywho, this past week’s episode highlights some odd alliances among the chefs.  Angelo and Tamesha are up each other’s butts, as are Ed and Tiffany.  We’ll see how that plays out – particularly with the first pairing, which I’m sure is strategic in some form or fashion.  The quickfire involved Maryland blue crabs – yum.  Patrick O’Connell, from the Inn at Little Washington, is the guest judge.  Everyone seems to do either a crab soup or a crab salad – yawn.  Tim screws the pooch, which is extra painful/hilarious because he’s from Baltimore.  Ed ends up winning immunity for his Thai-inspired dish, which prompts Tim to lament that he should have “put some soy sauce in there.”  Only he pronounces soy “suey.”  Horrifying.

The elimination challenge involves the chefs working as one big team to prepare a meal (outdoors) for 40 people.  They won’t know anything about their cooking equipment or ingredients until they get there.  When they get back to the house, they try to divide responsibility – and when I say “try,” I actually mean “scream and holler and do everything but whip their dicks out and measure them against each other.”  Angelo and Kenny are the main aggressors, though Tim stands near them and tries to get in on the testosterone-fest.  At the end of the “discussion,” they decide to pair up with their partners from the last challenge.  This makes Tiffany/Tim and Ed/Alex somewhat unhappy.

The actual cooking is kind of a blur – I remember Tim changing his mind about what to do with the vegetables, Kevin’s cauliflower couscous toppling onto the ground (and someone actually suggesting that he scoop it up and serve it), and Andrea stressing about how to get a good sear on her pork loin.  Oh, and I also remember that Eric Ripert looks adorable in his scarf.

The favorite dishes are Kenny and Kevin (curried eggplant and broccoli couscous) and Kelly and Andrea (five-spice pork loin and roasted beets and apples).  Kelly goes the extra mile and makes a dessert (strawberry rhubarb crisp with basil whipped cream – YUM), which goes over very well.  Kenny’s eggplant ends up winning the day – and does anyone else notice that they are SUPER inconsistent with the prizes this year?  One week they hand out trips to Europe, and the next week, bupkis.

The bottom three are Amanda, Steven, and Tim.  Amanda’s minestrone wasn’t really minestrone (according to Eric Ripert, anyway), and the vegetables were chopped and cooked inconsistently.  Steven’s salad was overdressed and poorly presented.  Tim’s vegetables were bland.  The judges decide to finally send Tim home, and he mumbles some nonsense as he departs.  Blah.

Remember when my recaps were actually interesting?  Yeah, it’s because last season was actually GOOD.  This season is wearing on my patience – hopefully next week’s “judge your peers” episode will turn things around.

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