Trouble With Toast

Top Chef D.C. – Episode 7 | August 2, 2010

I know, I know, I’m totally behind on my recapping – but y’all should be used to that by now.  I couldn’t watch the episode on Wednesday, as I was engaging in some seriously good people-watching at a local country bar, and then I zipped out of town for vacay.  Guess I’d better write SOMETHING, though, lest I have to talk about two miserable episodes at a time.

I don’t really know why I bother – this season is a DUD.  Every episode is more of the same – Kenny being arrogant and talking about how the other chefs have it out for him, Kelly hating on Amanda, and Alex being all weird and creepy.  In this particular episode, the quickfire challenge involved food on a stick (well, a toothpick, to be more precise), which was loosely tied to Congress.  I mean, could the D.C. tie-ins be any more lame?  And here I thought the casino schtick from the Las Vegas season was bad.  Anywho, Angelo ends up winning with some kind of Asian tuna-in-a-cucumber thingy that actually looks delicious.  Someone (Kevin?) makes some ridiculous comment about how the judges must want to eat Chinese food all the time, since Angelo keeps winning.  Wow, what an incredibly ignorant and offensive thing to say.

The elimination challenge involves the chefs taking over the Palm restaurant and serving a power lunch.  Again, that is the best you can do in D.C.?  This is getting tiresome.  There are five proteins (porterhouse steak, swordfish, salmon, lobster, and lamb), so there are two chefs who will cook each one, but it’s not a head to head challenge.  In the kitchen, Amanda asks to borrow some salt, and Kelly refuses, slathering her own steak with the stuff (foreshadowing).  Ed can’t find his pea puree, and Alex mysteriously acquires some.  Whether or not Alex stole Ed’s pea puree features heavily in the episode – but seriously, this is a reality TV show, and there are cameras all around.  Couldn’t they figure out VERY quickly if he indeed stole another chefs ingredient?  That’s what makes me think that nothing was stolen, Alex just LOOKS shady because that’s his personality, and the producers drummed up a bunch of needless controversy to try to make a boring-ass show a little more exciting.  It ended up just making the show annoying, in my opinion.  Moving on…

The dishes: Kelly’s porterhouse is way oversalted (shock), and Amanda took hers off the bone with good results.  Andrea’s swordfish is way too sweet (she made a vanilla sauce of some kind), and TIffany’s (with a raisin tapenade) is tasty but a little overcooked.  Stephen’s salmon is a little messy, and Alex’s salmon with pea puree is a clear favorite.  Angelo’s lobster is chewy, but he has immunity, so it doesn’t matter.  Ed’s lobster gets good reviews at the table.  Kenny’s lamb seems to be pretty middle-of-the-road, and Kevin’s seems to be inconsistently cooked.  Alex, Tiffany, and Ed wind up in the winner’s circle, which makes Tiffany cry because she knew she overcooked the fish and had already prepared herself to be in the bottom.  Ed compares the lobsters to Volkswagens – tee.  Alex gets lots of praise for his pea puree, and he ends up winning the challenge.  This provokes lots of dirty looks from his competitors, but again, I maintain that this is creative editing at its best.

Kelly, Andrea, and Kevin are in the bottom.  Kelly, obviously, is there for her oversalting – which makes Amanda secretly (or not so secretly, I guess, since she interviewed to the camera) happy.  Andrea defended herself by saying that she doesn’t cook or eat swordfish because she doesn’t like it – and that’s when I knew she was going home.  LAME excuse, lady.  Kevin was taken to task for overcooking his lamb.  Sure enough, Andrea is sent packing, so she can go back to Miami and whine some more about how Michelle Bernstein has it out for her.

Next week involves some kind of embassy challenge – should be interesting, but it probably won’t be.  Sigh.

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