Top Chef DC Episode 3 Recap
...or, the Not So Quickfire.
But first: We open with Angelo crying a river about something in his Zoolander accent with his weirdass hat, and Kenny thinking he has to win everything. Male ego blah blah blah.
Special Guest Johnny Iuzzini (James Beard award winner, hair G-d, and pastry chef at Jean-Georges. Don't forget, he'll be a judge on Top Chef: Just Desserts along with Gaily Pie). Cheftestants have two hours to make a pie. Amanda doesn't like pie (hasn't she seen the data?). There are some disasters; Tracey's is watery, Ed thinks celery has something to do with bananas (by the way, spuma is foam), and poor Kevin made a good-looking apple pie that we never saw/heard about. Stephen, Kelly (yum-looking "chocolate pie" aka ganache tart) and Kenny were on top--Kenny's bananas foster pie won.
Make a dish for an intern cookout/picnic on Mount Vernon. Four of us suggested Mt Vernon in the Capital Spice contest in December. It's a no-brainer! We know simply that there will be grills for cooking. J suggests that there might be a twist about the number of grills or type--he's a tricky one, but no, there's a charcoal Weber (sponsorship HI!) at each station. Top Chef Master and chef from Barbuto in NYC Jonathan Waxman is in the house.
The most interesting part of this challenge was Padma's yellow dress. Otherwise barbecue this, burger that, flank steak here, skirt steak there. The judge's didn't seem to love love anything. Many dishes were written off as soggy, bland, chewy, etc. Not the adjectives you're looking for as a chef, generally. Alex was crass about his pork butt, Kelly's bison burger was pretty but simple and bland, Tamesha's steak is chewy, and the list goes on.
On the top:
Ed - Middle Eastern tuna loin with lentil hummus
Amanda - ribs that were good, but the salad "didn't need to be there"
Arnold - lamb meatballs skewered with lemongrass (right up my alley, I love lamb meatballs!!!) and barley salad
Angelo - Vietnamese style beef lettuce wrap that is worth of a magazine cover, according to the judges
And Arnold takes the win. Sounds right to me.
On the losing side we had Stephen (bacon-wrapped Chilean sea bass), Timothy (pork two ways and overcooked veggies with unseasoned rice), Kevin (super-safe Puerto Rican food), and Tracey (over-fenneled undercooked Italian sausage sliders). And Tracey is out. As J says, she should have seen it coming; she is clairvoyant, after all.
So to me, the Winner also won Most Annoying tonight, just edging out Amanda. Arnold has an overdramatic defensiveness that is positively infuriating. Just reeelax, man. Coming from me that means a lot.
But still, Amanda. Her excuses during the Quickfire ("I'm not a pastry chef." Duh girl, none of you are), her running around freaking out constantly during prep, her screaming at poor Alex about how she "labeled" her oven, despite the lack of an actual physical label...girl is a mess. Plus her TMI about how she used to be addicted to pills and coke? She made it seem like after getting through what had to be a difficult time (obviously), she now can do anything, which apparently includes being a narsty biznatch.
And I'd be remiss not to mention Ed in this category. Apparently because he's so much more accomplished than his dad was at his age, he's already Top Chef. Mazel tov, buddy, because I think it's the closest you're going to get to the title.
"It wasn't a good day for American chefs. " Tommy C. won Best Quote when he basically called the chefs on the bottom unpatriotic for the bland, uninspired food they created. George Washington would not be proud.
And we're down another week. What did you all think? I'm personally looking forward to some better TV coming soon--the Tour and Mad Men.