Thursday, July 29, 2010

Reactions to Top Chef DC Episode 7

Last week, cheftestants conspired to put Alpha Male Kenny on the bottom (allegedly); this week, accusations of food swiping abound. Looks like this is finally turning into a real competition, but let's back up a bit.

The episode begins with Kenny grumbling over how he thinks some strategery was going on to force him out. Tiffany points out that Angelo helped Temesha and Stephen with their dishes, and both failed. Hmmmm. Amid this air of suspicion, the chefs head off to the Top Chef kitchen to begin their next Quickfire Challenge.

They are greeted by Padma and the love child of Rocco DiSpirito and Neil Patrick Harris, Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock (R). Congressman Schock explains that lobbyists are not allowed to woo members of Congress with lavish dinners; they may only serve them food that can fit on a toothpick. Therefore, the challenge is to make an hors d'oeuvres that will pack the taste of a whole dish onto a toothpick. In addition to immunity for the Elimination Challenge, the winner receives $20,000.

After the tasting, Congressman Schock declared that Alex's scallop and crispy bacon had too many flavors, Ed's duo of tuna looked better than it tasted, and Kelly's scallops with watermelon lacked flavor. On the upside, Kevin's grilled pork kabob and Stephen's scallop and beef creation earned high marks, but Angelo's Cucumber Cup with Spiced Shrimp and Cashew won the big prize.

On to the Elimination Challenge where the chefs must prepare a power lunch for 24 diners at The Palm DC using ingredients regularly featured on The Palm's menu. They draw knives to find out which protein each will be using and it shakes out like this:
Salmon - Stephen and Alex
Swordfish - Tiffany and Andrea
Porterhouse Steak - Kelly and Amanda
Lobster - Ed and Angelo
Lamb - Kenny and Kevin

The chefs get their usual shopping and prep time, and then return to the chef house to rest up for tomorrow's big lunch. Alex had too many ideas and was still stewing over what he should make when Kenny saunters in wearing his sexy tan terry-cloth robe and states that Ed made an English pea puree to go with his salmon. Ed, meanwhile, is unloading his insecurities on Tiffany who tries to cheer him up.

Cut to the next day where the chefs pile into the cramped confines of The Palm's kitchen. Bruce Bozzi, Jr., executive vice-president of The  Palm Restaurant Group, welcomes the chefs and explains that the winner of this challenge will have his/her dish put on The Palm's menu and a caricature of the winner will be placed on the wall. Quickly, pandemonium broke out as the chefs scrambled to complete their dishes in time. Kelly bogarts the 10 pounds of salt she is dumping on her steaks because she wants to make sure her flavors are "aggressive." Ed is frantically looking for the pea puree he made yesterday while Alex is spreading some pea puree on his plate and claiming he never saw it.

The power lunch begins with such VIPs as MSNBC's token conservative Joe Scarborough, sidekick Mika Brzezinski, Virginia Senator Mark Warner, and guest judge Art Smith. The dishes are disseminated and, as usual, there are good and bad things said. Finally, Padma, Tom, Gail, and Art Smith head back to the judges' table. Padma calls out Alex, Tiffany, and Ed as the top three. Although Tiffany's fish was not as dry as she had feared and Ed's dish was fine without the pea puree, Alex took the win with his Applewood Smoked Salmon with Black Forbidden Rice and the English pea puree that Art Smith loved. Great job Ed - I mean, Alex!

In the stew room, Stephen is providing a seminar on being on the bottom, but he doesn't have to worry this week because the bottom three are Kelly, Andrea, and Kevin. The copious amounts of salt ladled onto her steaks was Kelly's downfall. Kevin put too many pepper flakes in his tomato concassee and the lamb was overcooked. The greatest transgressions were made by Andrea, however, whose swordfish was not well cooked, the couscous was deemed "gloopy," and there was too much vanilla in the sauce. Andrea was asked to pack her knives and go.

Okay, now it's your turn. What did you think of last night's episode? Should Alex have won? Should Ed have protested? How many more times do we have to see Kenny in that robe?


theminx said...

"The love child of Rocco DiSpirito and Neil Patrick Harris, Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock" literally made me laugh out loud. Ha!

DebbyT said...

I'm just curious...with all of the cameras around, surely ONE of them would've caught Alex swiping Ed's pea puree...
We saw it being WHERE IS IT?

Dave said...

I can't remember, did we ever get a shot of Alex actually making the pea puree?

BaltimoreGal said...

Seriously. Should I be mad or not? I WANT AN ANSWER.

Amanda said...

I hate to think one chef would take another chef's creation. But Alex did tell Ed that he didn't use peas in his dish. Yet he had a pea puree for his dish. But, he did buy some peas.

It's just weird that a dish would vanish like Ed's did.

Anonymous said...

How can the missing pea puree be a non isuue? If Alex won the challenge with someone else's dish, its an ethics violation. If he did take the puree, 'fess up. He may have lost his credibilty with the audience because of this. I wouldn't want to work with someone who would pass something off as his own creation. If he wins this season, then this show is a bunch of bunk.

Cliff O'Neill said...

Would like to drown Alex in a vat of pea purée.

That is all.

Cliff O'Neill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.