Top Chef DC Episode 9 Recap

 [Bethesda Lane in June 2010]

The Quickfire:  Tag-team cookoff--each team member gets 10 minutes to cook, and they each have to pick up where the last left off.  Those not cooking are blindfolded.  Immunity is off the table, but the winning team gets $10K.   Kenny is the Preppin' Weapon.

Order of cooking:
Prep/heating pans: Kenny and Tiffany
Second: Amanda and Alex (Alex seasons the fish even though he won't be cooking it--whaaa)
Third: Kevin and Ed
Fourth: Kelly and Angelo

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi arrives in a fabulous pantsuit to taste the dishes.  Padma makes NP look short! 

Team K Cubed + A: Sauteed shrimp with a mustard sauce and a tomato basil salad.  The speaker is impressed with their al dente pasta.

Team TAEA: Red snapper with broth and shiitake mushrooms.  A little salty.

Team K Cubed + A pulls it out. 

Elimination Challenge: Restaurant Wars.  Before it even starts I'm wondering who is going to be front of house, who is decorating, etc.  The cheftestants take over the enormous Redwood in Bethesda.  J and I don't <3 Redwood so much, but there's no denying that the space is enormous, and they have that open the giant windows and it's like you are eating outside sort of thing going on.  Frank Bruni, former restaurant critic from the New York Times and author of Born Round is the guest judge.  The Terlato brothers are part of the prize package and will be supplying the wine for the challenge. 

First the judges go to EVOO* with TAEA:  Crudo of fish, tomato confit (Angelo's soup), pan-seared bass (Tiffany), slow-baked turbot (Ed), pan-seared lamb chop (Alex), ribeye steak.  Angelo is executive chef.

Alex is front of house, and he is a major dick to the servers.  For no apparent reason.  He also misses it when the judges walk in, and they sort of stand around awkwardly--that happens to me sometimes, I hate it!  Then he doesn't say goodbye when the judges leave.  Angelo is also yelling at the servers.

Next, 2121 with K3A: Chilled corn soup (Kelly), beet salad (Kenny), strip steak (Amanda), halibut (Kevin), ganache torte (Kelly), cheese course (Kenny).  Kenny is executive chef.

Kelly seems to be a good hostess.  She's warm and attentive.  Amanda has trouble cooking the grass-fed beef because it turns out it behaves differently than other beef.  The judges really like Kevin's dish in look and taste.  But they hate the goat cheese dish that Kenny prepared.

Better service at 2121, but neither restaurant really stuck to the theme they threw out there.  Both had hit dishes and some misses.  At Judge's Table TAEA/EVOO is on top.  They really liked their food, but the winner is Ed for the delicious turbot.  He wins a trip to the Terlato vineyards in Napa. 

So someone from 2121 has to go home.  The judges have a lot of complaints, including thin soup and crappy beef.  Eventually Kenny starts blabbing that the other team didn't act like a team, and Kevin starts saying Alex should go home because he's the one who didn't do anything.  They go back to the stew room and Kevin is pissed, there's cussing and shouting.  Unbecoming!  C'mon, Jersey, behave!  Kenny is sent home, a shock to many people, including him.  He was uberconfident, and an early frontrunner.

Overall a pretty good episode.  I didn't miss the decorating portion that we usually need to watch for RW, I guess because they took over Redwood instead of decorating a big empty space.  Back to the weekend, everybody!!!

*A note on the name EVOO (which was not E-V-O-O but "e"-voo, according to Angelo.  A lot of people were yammering about this being an annoying name because they hate Rachael Ray, etc.  I don't.  I really don't hate Rachael Ray.  I feel like a traitor saying it because it seems to be popular to talk smack about her, the way it's cool to be obsessed with Meyer lemons


  1. I still don't know how I feel about the outcome of this episode. But I do agree with you that I liked that they cut out the decorating portion. Ah, well. Bye Kenny! At least we don't have to hear about "the Beast" anymore.

  2. Great recap (as always). I loved Kenny at first, but he got way too full of himself. If you can't make a simple salad, you are no "Beast" in the kitchen!

    *RR can be annoying, but she isn't pretentious and she seems to just likes to cook and eat. I never really hated her either. Now Giada on the other hand...I once saw her use a 10 minute segment to make choc chip cookies using a pilsbury dough log!!

  3. He's the preppin' weapon!!!! CSK, my only issue with Giada is REALLY, why you look so good all the time, girl. For real. Put that hair up, put a cami under that scoop neck, and get back to me.