Top Chef DC: peer pressure

Last night on “Top Chef: DC” it was all about peer pressure, literally. the chef-testants had to judge each other in the elimination challenge, but more on that later. First, they had the quick fire challenge, and for that Miami restaurateur Michelle Bernstein was on hand to help Padma judge. Michelle and Andrea knew each other from the Miami scene and Andrea admitted to having quite a rivalry with Michelle.

The challenge was to create a dish with exotic proteins, which they would draw randomly for. They included yak, emu egg, ostrich, wild boar, llama, rattlesnake and even duck testicles! The best part was when Angelo took the duck balls, which were called something like duck kidney beans, and was mortified when he realized what they were. But as they were cooking, Padma entered the kitchen and threw them a curveball–“take over the protein to your left!” You could hear 11 groans coming from wherever you were.

The least favorite dishes were Stephen’s frog legs, Alex’s ostrich and Andrea’s wild boar. Andrea was seething at that point.

The top dishes were Kelly’s emu egg omelet, Tamesha’s duck tongue soup and Amanda’s roasted llama. Ewwwwww!!!! The winner was Kelly, and she had immunity for this week’s elimination challenge. No matter, she is a front runner at this point anyway.

The elimination round was to cook a dish served cold, and they would prepare their dish on a moving cruise ship. They would then serve the judges back on the land. There would be two groups, A and B, and those groups would serve the judges and each other, with their peers voting on who had the worst dish and who had the best dish. The two worst would be up for elimination. Wow. Talk about peer pressure, literally.

The teams were Amanda, Kevin, Kenny, Alex and Ed; and Angelo, Andrea, Stephen, Tiffany and Tamesha.

For the first group, the judges chose Kevin’s veal and tuna surf and turf as the best. They picked Kenny’s grilled lamb two ways as the worst, and Kenny felt like he was sabotaged, especially with Angelo on the opposing team.

For the second team, the judges liked Tiffany’s fennel and pepper ahi tuna the best, and Tamesha’s scallops with weird and bold flavors the worst.

The judges asked Kevin and Tiffany to come in first and declared them winners. Kevin was the top chef this week and he was thrilled to have won, especially since he’s already been on the chopping block a few times. Meanwhile, Kenny and Tamesha were on the block. They were both surprised to be there, and Kenny told the judges he thought he was being singled out. They disagreed, saying his dish had too many things going on flavor-wise. They also said the same thing about Tamesha’s scallops, that there were flavors fighting with each other, and the scallops were partially raw. In the end, it was Tamesha being sent home, and Kenny was safe. However, he’s now been in the bottom twice, so maybe he is not all that. I’m starting to feel like this could be Angelo and Kelly leading the pack.

Speaking of Angelo, his taking Tamesha under his wing appears to have been a ploy….because he coached Tamesha through her scallop dish and told her it was great. Hmmmm.

So that’s it…..we’re now down to 10…..and this season is moving along rapidly along with our summer. See you guys next week and thanks for reading!

  

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