Hell’s Kitchen: rush rush rush

I say “rush rush rush” because we are already at the season finale of “Hell’s Kitchen” on Fox. All those two-hour episodes caught up to them, probably on purpose. But seriously, this season began in early June with like 17 contestants! Anyway, here we are, as last night Gordon Ramsay cut his candidates for the London Savoy gig down from four to two.

The episode began with Ramsay having one of his sous chefs call up to the dorms to have the contestants come down first thing in the morning, but asked them to dress nicely. They all did except for Jay, who wore jeans and a black shirt. Ramsay said he looked like a sack of potatoes, especially next to Ben, who wore a jacket and tie. Anyway, Ramsay brought the Savoy to Hell’s Kitchen, serving them a dish that is served in London–but of course, there was a challenge attached. They had to re-create the dish in 45 minutes. Holli, Ben and Autumn made venison but Jay used flank steak. Holli, Ben and Autumn made it on apple puree but Jay made his on pear puree. Jay was correct on that but wrong on the protein, which was venison. So Ramsay ruled him out and declared that Holli and Ben had the two best dishes…and that Holli had the better dish. Ben of course thought his dish was better and wouldn’t shut up about it.

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Top Chef DC: keep it simple

Last night on “Top Chef: DC,” the theme was related to Congress, as host Padma Lakshmi introduced congressman Aaron Schock from Illinois (dude is not even 30 years old!). Anyway, Schock told the chef-testants that they had to keep lobbyists from buying them expensive dinners and so they have rules that they can only have small bites when getting together for food. So the quick fire challenge was to create a small bite that packed the punch of a full meal. The winner would win not only immunity this week, but $20K. Wow!

The least favorite dishes were Ed’s duo of tuna; Alex’s pan-seared scallop; and Kelly’s bay scallop with watermelon. The top dishes were Kevin’s pork kebab; Angelo’s cucumber cup with shrimp and cashews; and Stephens surf and turf with crispy potato. The winner was…Angelo. Of course it was. Is he annoying all of you as much as he is me? I know he’s going to be in this till the finale though.

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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.

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Top Chef DC: who is the big dog?

Last night’s episode of “Top Chef DC” was another battle between Kenny and Angelo. This time, they freely admitted that they were in a battle for who was the bigger alpha male. And Kenny proved to be just that, while Angelo showed several signs of being, well, Mr. Creepy.

Here is how it went down. The show began with a little fluff, like who in the house is doing who. And Angelo was hitting on Tamesha and acting like a creepy old man in the process. Ed was hitting on Tiffany in a weird manner too. Such is life on a reality show I guess.

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Top Chef DC: double dose of going home

Last night, “Top Chef DC” on Bravo continued to prove why it’s one of the best reality shows going. They staged a double elimination, and held the chef-testants accountable for working together in teams of two. But first, the quick fire challenge…

For that quick fire, hosts Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio were on hand with no other guest judge. Since both of them have recently welcomed new additions to their families, their challenge would be to create a dish for the parents and then a second dish of baby food for the child. They would have 45 minutes and both Tom and Padma would choose one winner who would take home $10K.

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