Top Chef All-Stars–two more go home

The episode of Top Chef All-Stars began this week with shock that Jen was sent home last week. Really, it’s going to be a shocking elimination every week with this cast of heavyweights, isn’t it? But many of them felt Jamie deserved to go home since she got hurt and went to the hospital, thus skating by last week. Then the quick fire was announced with host Padma Lakshmi and chef David Chang. They would break into four random teams, based on how they were standing at the moment. They would each have the same ingredients to work with–to prep and create a meal as quickly as possible using lamb, garlic and artichokes.

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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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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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