Top Chef DC Episode 2 Recap

Or, "Everyone is Obnoxious."

Special Guest: White House chef Sam Kass.

The Quickfire: Create a bipartisanwich.  30 minutes to make a sandwich in a 3-legged race style apron--one hand per chef, teams of two.  It seems almost as impossible to cook a delicious meal as it is to create meaningful legislation!  Zing!  P.S. they finally drew knives for this challenge. YAY.

In the quick skim around the room, I wanted to eat the lamb croque madame the most.  I love lamb.  I love eggs.  These are not secrets.  Tracey & Angelo and Kenny & Ed were on top, and T&A took it.  Third consecutive win for Angelo.  I guess it would have been embarrassing to lose since he owns  a sandwich shop in NYC.  I think his weird semi-accent might have to do with his parents' background and living abroad for a time.

Elimination ChallengeLet's Move makes its TCDC debut.  Make a complete school lunch (with all the food groups + dessert) for 50 students at Alice Deal Middle School...on a budget of about $2.68 per student. [Then Kass took $4 from everyone's total, which is the reality our schools face.] The winning Quickfire team picks their team members first, then everybody else chooses on their own.  How...fair.  Odd.

During menu planning we see Kelly being super confident and trying to lead her group.  Tiffany is not a fan of this, and neither is Arnold.  In fact, Arnold hosts a nervous-yet-forward intervention to tell her There Is No I In Team.  She's shocked that people think that she thought that they thought...you get the point.  Amanda and Tamesha are all "bleep bleep bleep" during menu planning.  Go read a book and expand your vocab, bebz.

Speaking of Amanda, she's annoying me.  First the pottymouth during menu planning.  Then she decides to make chicken with a sherry au jus.  Is it okay to make something with alcohol in it for kids?  I know it cooks off, but it just seems wrong.  Seems like Amanda was annoying Tamesha, too. 

Next: Budget crises.  Everybody is over-budget.  So people scrimp and cut and change the menus.  Wuh oh.

Ultimately, the two losing teams were brought in first at judge's table, throwing EVERYONE off.  Angelo, Tracey, Kenny & Ed; and Amanda, Stephen, Tamesha, & Jacqueline.  Angelo's team had a handful of issues (umm I won't go into detail, but the sweet potato puree looked wrong), but the judges harped most on what was missing--there really weren't any vegetables.  Kenny was convinced that Mr. & Mrs. Immunity threw the challenge (which would explain Angelo's glorified ants on a log).  I was surprised the judges honed in on the tomato as fruit v. vegetable controversy (decided by the Supreme Court here).  Amanda's team was plagued by her "unappealing" chicken and Jacqueline's offensive banana pudding, which was starchy and filled with sugar.  Two pounds of sugar, to be exact.

The judges got to sit back and watch the contestants hash out the details FOR them when Stephen started bashing the other team's choices, kicking off some back and forth banter.  So immature and unprofesh!  Stick to your own teammates if you are going to get nasty, peeps.

I thought that one losing team would be picked, and one person from that team would get tossed.  Instead, 4 people (2 from each bottom team) were called to Judge's Table.  Here it was Kenny, Ed, Amanda, and Jacqueline...I think.  Most importantly, Jacqueline was tossed for her unhealthy dessert.  Dessert loses again!  Also, when you squint she looks a bit like Jenna Elfman.

So we're stuck with Amanda for another week.  Maybe she'll be edited into someone less annoying in the future.

On to happier times--the winner!  Kelly's team had the best offerings, despite her initial overbossiness.  Her dish won.  Unsurprising, considering she made the entree (pork tacos).  I'm not sure a side dish would have won a challenge like this.  And I know the dish wouldn't have won about 8 miles north!  Location, location, location.

So who DO I like?  No one.  Not that TCDC is completely devoid of anyone talented + likable, but the past few episodes have focused more on the haughty/cocky/dramatic.  Bring on the adorable! 

My favorite part of this episode was the teaser in between commercials where Padma was giving all the kids hugs. My second favorite moment was when one of the students talked about how funny it was to have ice cream with a vegetable (sherbet with sweet potato), but he liked it. 


  1. Ooh, I had a lot of the same thoughts. I HATE Amanda, and think she should have gone home, since it was her (very poor) decision to use sherry that resulted in Jacqueline having to use the ingredients she did. I also don't really like Kelly.

    Also, yeah, what the hell with Stephen (and Amanda) trash-talking the other team? I don't think I've ever seen that happen before, and I don't like it.

    Finally, I actually do kinda like Tim, Kenny, Ed, and that older lady. Tim's my favorite, but I'm worried about him. Needs to step it up.

    I LOVE being able to read these recaps Thursday morning!

  2. Everyone was so annoying!

    I agree with what Angela said above about Amanda deserving to go home. That chicken looked narrrrrsty, and blowing your budget on cooking wine seems pretty stupid when you're trying to be economical and prioritize healthy ingredients.

    It seemed to me that they were SUPPOSED to pick a losing team and then eliminate one person from that team, but once they realized that Angelo's team was the worst, they did some emergency switcheroo-ing to the rules. Otherwise, why would Tom have been saying all that, "you realize if your team loses, you have a 50 percent chance of going home instead of just 25" stuff?

    I loved hearing the kiddies talk about the food. Making tacos was smart. Kids LOVE tacos!!!

    Mainly, I am convinced that Alex (http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/bio/alex-reznik) is a serial killer, esp. when he wears his glasses. So I cracked up when he was worried someone ELSE would cut HIS arm off during the quickfire!!!

  3. Happy to make your Thursday sillier :)

    J is with you, Lauren--they switched the rules when they realized ehhhh that won't work. The older woman is the one who's a teacher at CIA. You saw her teacherness come out a few times; I wonder if that will be an issue in the future.

    This school is way close to where I live!