Top Chef DC: oh my G-d, they……

I’ll fill in the rest of the subject line in a bit. But first, let’s recap last night’s episode of “Top Chef DC” on Bravo. The quick fire challenge was one of the Top Chef favorites, the tag team challenge. They would break up into two teams of four, a red team and a blue team, and would each have 10 minutes while the rest of the team was blindfolded…ultimately creating a single dish. The winning team would receive $10K to split. Kevin and Ed drew knives and were the team captains, and Kevin was allowed to choose first. He picked Kenny, and Ed chose Tiffany. Kevin also wound up with Kelly and Amanda, while Ed chose Angelo and Alex. Well, he didn’t choose Alex.

Everything went smooth for both teams except for one thing–Alex went second in the relay and seasoned some fish, which should have been the last thing done. The blue team’s dish was prawns with pasta in a mustard sauce. The red team’s was a pan seared snapper dish. Judging the challenge would be Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. She liked both dishes but thought that the blue team had a slight edge because the red team’s fish was…..wait for it…..too salty. Alex really blew it for his team and cost them a lot of money!

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Top Chef DC: halfway home

Is it just me or are these reality shows now expanding the number of contestants, yet blazing along so fast so they can get the season over with and start selling DVDs? “Top Chef DC” is no exception. I feel like I just started blogging Season 7 and now we are halfway home. Last night we went from 9 chef-testants down to 8. But here’s the best part–aside from Angelo, there are quite a few that could actually win. That makes this season extremely interesting.

So the episode began with host Padma Lakshmi bringing in guest judge Marcus Samuelsson, who is the reigning “Top Chef Master.” Marcus is an expert in Ethiopian cuisine and the quick fire challenge was to create a dish in the Ethiopian genre. Some of them had experience in this, but most did not. The winner of this challenge would have immunity this week in the elimination challenge.

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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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Hell’s Kitchen: why this season is different

Season 7 of “Hell’s Kitchen” is a bit different. Because as we plow on through it, and I do mean plow, there are some things that have made this season unique. Mainly, it’s been unpredictable. Those who we thought were contenders (Ed) and those we thought were non-factors (Autumn) have proved us wrong. Even Ben showed last night his days are likely numbered and he can’t possibly win. And oh yeah, there is a blatant romance budding here between Holli and Jay. Big time. The clips for next week show Ramsay putting his foot down about said romance, so that should be interesting.

Anyway, we’re almost at the finale, and this show kicked off June 1…so Fox is trying to get it over with before Season 8 begins in September. Yes, that’s right. Season 8 is already in the can, too. I wonder how many more are in production, because the show is, despite the twists this season, getting really stale really fast.

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