Top Chef Episode 10 Recap

 [Conch fritter at Cafe Atlantico.  Read on to see why it's featured.]

Scene:  And the crew is still reeling from Alex's save and Kenny's demise.

The Quickfire: Wylie Dufresne is in the house--molecular gastronomist extraordinaire and former Top Chef Masters contestant.  Create a dish with contents of mystery boxes.  More mystery boxes will arrive while you're cooking, and you need to incorporate everything.  I haven't seen Mr. Dufresne since his guest appearance on Treme.  Winner gets $10K.  Angelo lets on that he has a bride-to-be on the way from Russia--so he has a kid, and now a fiancee?  Who knew?  Various boxes had fish, hominy, oysters, black garlic, squid, ramps...some chefs were unfamiliar with one or more ingredients.

Alex's dish was all over the place, and he and Amanda were at the bottom--her dish was too oily.  Wylie's favorites were Tiffany's fish stew (great broth) and Kevin's seared rockfish (puree at the bottom, his dish just looked NORMAL!).  Tiffany takes it home! 

Elimination Challenge: Off to Langley for the Secret Agent Challenge (laaaaame).  Disguise a classic dish while keeping it's flavors.  What, like it looks like a hot dog but it's really a cake?  Don't play games with me, Padma.  They are cooking for CIA officers and Leon Panetta.  Winner gets a trip to Paris.

As I told J to begin with: I want Amanda to make a fritter with a liquid center of French onion soup-iness.  I <3 liquid center, take a page from Chef Andres girl!

Cooking is a little crazy, and Kelly has a rice-cooking issue that Tiffany helps her solve.  Chef Ripert is back.  And Angelo is having an existential crisis. 

Angelo's Beef Wellington "tartlet" was deemed a poor disguise by Mr. Panetta.  It was also "salty, and the pastry was a little hard."  Kelly's spicy shrimp broth with the Kung Pao spin fared pretty well--good disguise, and people liked it, but there may have been too much broth.  Tiffany's roasted leg of lamb, a deconstructed gyro, and Ripert calls it "the most elegant gyro I've ever had in my life."  They loved it.  Then I caught a glimpse of someone I wish I knew!  Kevin's Cobb salad was good, but not so hidden.  Amanda's marmalade was like "honey and lemon cough syrup" according to one guest.  It looked pretty but wasn't good.  Alex's veal Parmesan was very tough, but a good disguise.  Ed's chicken cordon bleu was tasty but not well-disguised.

Wow, I really went into some detail here--but that's because we have a reasonable number of people who prepared a reasonable number of dishes.  We can get into the knitty gritty!

Tiffany, Kelly, & Ed are on top.  My bets are on Tiffany from the start, and if the too-much-broth and not-good-enough-disguise are enough to down K&E, T will win again.  WOOT!  Tiffany wins the quickfire AND the elimination challenge.  It's basically episode 8 all over again!  And considering Tiffany is the only one I really like, I'm rooting for her big time these days.

Angelo, Alex, and Amanda are on the bottom.  All kinds of problems, from Angelo's lack of imagination and crappy frozen pastry dough to Amanda's weird sweet marmalade and Alex's tough veal.  Alex goes home, which is good, because nobody likes him...except Amanda.

QOTD goes to Amanda: "I really like Alex.  He's like the wise old Jewish uncle that I never had."  I have a lot of Jewish uncles, and I'm glad they're nothing like Alex.  Runner up for QOTD was Eric Ripert: "Angelo's beef wellington would make Julia Child very sad."  Agree.

Things That Surprise Me:
- OMG.  Alex used to video bar mitzvahs and weddings.  I'd like to see some of that footage, y'all.
- Amanda wants to carry a gun in her garter; TMI babe.
- Ed has a girlfriend.

We watched some No Reservations: Rome and all I want to do is cut open a wheel of 2007 Parmesan and eat from the middle of it.  Sigh.


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  3. Was it just me or did the editors try really hard to make it look like Angelo was going home, especially because Kenny went home last week? I knew it wasn't going to happen, but still...

  4. just caught up on this episode. ugh, my early favorite has deserved to go home for quite some time now. why does he always have a giant spoon in his arm pocket??