Top Chef DC: Surprise?

Last night was the season finale of “Top Chef: DC,” and the outcome was a bit of a surprise, maybe shocking to many of you. The three finalists–Kevin, Ed and Angelo–had to create a four-course meal for a bunch of celebrity diners that included Dana Cowin from Food & Wine Magazine and David Chang. There had to be a vegetable dish, a fish dish, a meat dish and a dessert. Each chef would have a sous chef–a winner from a previous season. Ed was paired with Ilan Hall from Season 2, Hung Huynh from Season 3 with Angelo, and Kevin with Michael Voltaggio from last season (the two have worked together before).

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Top Chef: here comes the finale

It’s hard to believe we’re already at the season’s end of “Top Chef DC,” but we are. The final four squared off last night in Singapore and went from four down to three.

(Please note in photo above that “Top Chef” won a well-deserved Emmy a few weeks back for best reality show, beating out “The Amazing Race.”)

After the four chef-testants–Angelo, Kelly, Kevin and Ed–arrived in the “market” area of Singapore, they were enjoying the different foods and then of course came across host Padma Lakshmi, who introduced them to food authority Seetoh. They had to cook a street food dish that kept in mind the flavors of Singapore for Seethoh and Padma and this was a high stakes quick fire challenge–the winner would have immunity, therefore securing a spot in the finale automatically. Wow.

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Top Chef DC, errr Singapore

“Top Chef DC” is rolling right along, and last night the remaining five chef-testants became the Final Four. But they’re not going to finish this thing in DC, they are crossing the Atlantic (or Pacific) to Singapore, a country that has become a mecca for foodies.

But first, there would be an elimination, and before that, a quick fire. This week’s quick fire was a wine pairing challenge, with Dana Lovin from Food & Wine Magazine being the guest judge. Tiffany paired a Shiraz with beef tenderloin and a risotto; Kevin was going to make braised pork belly, but it wasn’t cooking fast enough in the pressure cooker, so he changed it up to quail–not exactly something that goes with red wine; Angelo made a foie gras; Kelly a wild boar tenderloin with blue cheese foam; and Ed a grilled ribeye with mushroom ragu to go with a deep red wine.

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Top Chef DC: finishing strong

“Top Chef DC” is already winding down, as we’re now down to the final five chef-testants. It really seems like yesterday that the season began, but when they show each of the chefs during the intro, you realize that we’re pretty far in and almost to the finish line.

Last night’s episode began with host Padma Lakshmi introducing guest judge and Top Chef Master Rick Moonen. Padma started rattling off some dumb cliches like “top banana” and “the big cheese.” She then announced the quick fire challenge, which was to create a dish using idioms like those she was rattling off. Others included “sour grapes” and “hot potato.” The winner of the challenge would receive a unique prize–having their dish become a staple on Schwan’s trucks nationwide. Moonen’s least favorite dishes were Kelly’s chicken with grape puree and Amanda’s mac & cheese, which Moonen said was just too heavy. His favorite dishes were Ed’s potato gnocchi and Kevin’s bacon three ways. The winner was Ed, probably because his could more easily be frozen than Kevin’s, which had a poached egg in it.

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Top Chef DC: justice served?

There was quite an uproar last week when Kenny was eliminated from “Top Chef DC.” Many fans and even some of his fellow contestants were outraged, and rightly so. Was Alex a better chef? Really?? But the judges proved that they are sticklers for their own rules. Anyway, here is a recap of last night’s episode, as we get down to the meat of the season!

The show began with the Top 7 meeting up with Padma and also Wylie Dufresne, owner of restaurant WD-50 and a contestant on “Top Chef Masters.” They announced the quick fire challenge, for which the prize was $10K. They each had a mystery box in front of them, and they had to begin cooking with the ingredients in the box. However, more mystery boxes would keep coming, and as they did, they would have to incorporate those ingredients in as well. Yikes. There wound up being four boxes in all….fish, fava beans and honey; squid and black garlic; ramps and passion fruit; and jicama. Angelo was not feeling as confident as usual and it showed in his cooking. However, the least successful dishes were Alex and Amanda, and Wylie’s favorites were Tiffany and Kevin. The winner was Tiffany, who seems to keep winning lately and showing that she is truly a contender here.

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