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!
The elimination challenge was another Top Chef favorite–restaurant wars. They would be in the same teams that they had for the quick fire challenge, and they’d be taking over the Redwood restaurant for the evening. They’d have a wait staff and had to create a 3-course menu, with each of them conceptualizing and being responsible for at least one dish. They would also be judged this week by, in addition to Padma, Tom and Gail, former New York Times food critic Frank Bruni. Bruni is known for being one of the toughest critics in the business. Also on hand would be Bill and John Terlato from the Terlato Vinyards in California wine country.
The red team nominated Alex to be front of house, mainly because they didn’t trust his cooking skills. The blue team chose Kelly. They also had to appoint executive chefs, and red team went with Angelo while blue chose Kenny. As they got to work, the blue team was working well together and appeared confident, while the red team was bickering. Angelo was strong-arming his teammates and Alex was just being Alex. Angelo even said he didn’t want any talking in the kitchen. Say WHAT? I’m sorry, this guy is a douche.
In the front of house, Kelly was so much better than Alex. Alex didn’t greet or say goodbye to the judges, and he was stumbling over the menu, calling lamb pork at one point. Kelly wasn’t great, but she was decent. Meanwhile, the judges loved the fish dishes made by Ed and Kevin, and weren’t crazy about the beet salad and goat cheese dish Kenny made. They also didn’t like Kelly’s corn soup or Amanda’s beef, which was way overcooked.
In the end, the red team won. I think they were as surprised as the blue team and all of us, especially considering how bad Alex was. So they won, which meant that Ed, Tiffany, Angelo and Alex were all safe.
The blue team was the losing team, and they were PISSED. The judges said Kelly was okay at the front of the house, but that they had too many poorly executed dishes. They didn’t like Kenny’s dishes, but were complimentary of his job as executive chef. As they were on the chopping block, Kenny blurted out that he thought his team should have won, and that the red team was bickering the whole time. Gail defended them, saying all the judges care about is the food and the service, not how everyone treats each other in the kitchen. Kenny also pointed out that Alex was not responsible for a single dish, that Angelo and Ed conceived Alex’s dish and cooked it too. As the judges deliberated, Kevin also let the red team have it, singling out Alex and telling him that he should be the one going home.
When the blue team went back to face the judges, I had a feeling they would send Amanda home, because she failed at her one dish. But in the end, it was Kenny they sent packing. The guy who seemed like a favorite early on was consistently in the middle of the pack or at the bottom way more often over the last few weeks, but this was still sort of shocking. I think in a way, maybe in a big way, Tom did not appreciate Kenny throwing someone under the bus the way he did. But I’ll say this…Kenny was right. Not only did the red team not follow the rules, they were obnoxious and led by a douche. And I have to admit, I think the judges have a hard-on for Angelo, and want to see him in the finale at all costs. The cost in this case was sending Kenny home when it should have been Alex. You mean to tell me Alex is a better candidate to become Top Chef than Kenny? No way.
So now, I say to you…..”Oh my G-D, they whacked Kenny…….you bastards!”
Anyway, we’re now down to seven–Amanda, Angelo, Kelly, Kevin, Alex, Tiffany and Ed. I think this is going to come down to Angelo, Ed, Kelly and either Tiffany or Kevin. Amanda and Alex should and probably will be sent home next.
So what do you think? Am I out of line for thinking this was semi-fixed? Let me know in the space below and I’ll see you guys back here next week!