Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Reactions to Top Chef DC Episode 3

The cheftestants began a new day in DC by going through their morning rituals; e.g., Amanda brushed her teeth while sitting on a big blue ball, Kenny read a letter from his girlfriend, and Angelo bitched about Kenny. Then it was off to the Top Chef Kitchen where Padma introduced them to Johnny Iuzzini and Gail Simmons. In addition to being an executive pastry chef, Johnny will join Gail as the co-hosts for Bravo's upcoming Top Chef: Just Desserts. In keeping with the dessert theme, the Quickfire Challenge was to make a pie from scratch.

Many of the chefs freaked out since they had little or no experience with making desserts. Tracey seemed especially lost and had to make a second pie after she failed to measure her ingredients for the first and it came out of the oven looking like road kill. Alex showed his lack of pastry skill with a tapioca pie with almond crust which was dubbed a "total mess." Ed took the most bizarre track with a banana cream pie which incorporated salted peanuts and celery spuma (because we know celery and peanut butter went over so well during last week's school lunch challenge). On the positive side, Kelly's chocolate tart and Stephen's curried apple date pie got honorable mention and Kenny won with his Bananas Foster pie using Chinese Five Spice.

The Elimination Challenge was to make a summer picnic for 150 Capitol Hill interns at George Washington's home in Mount Vernon. We're treated to the usual shots of shopping at Whole Foods and the 3 hour prep session. There's still too many chefs in the competition to get a strong sense about any one chef, but Amanda is definitely getting the "not here to make friends" edit. From her calling out Alex for using an oven she'd claimed for herself to her feeling disrespected when the other chefs questioned her rib prep, she seems to be the one with a chip on her shoulder.

Later, at the picnic, the chefs were provided with charcoal grills to complete their dishes. Along with Padma, Tom, and Gail, the "Obi-Wan Kenobi" of Top Chef Masters Jonathan Waxman shows up to lend his expertise to the judging. A resident goose also decided to offer its own judgment on Chef Tim's food by taking a big dump on his table. Not a good sign.

After the picnic, the chefs returned to the stew room where we learn that Tracy is clairvoyant. Then the top four chefs are called to judges' table. Amanda, Ed, and Angelo all receive kudos, but Arnold takes the win with his Sesame Lamb Meatball, Tabouli Salad, and Gazpacho. Arnold is then given the task of calling out the bottom four: Tim, Stephen, Tracy, and Kevin. Chef Tim is criticized for his tough ribs and watery vegetables, Stephen's bacon-wrapped bass needed to spend more time on the grill, and Kevin's Puerto Rican fare was deemed too safe. Ultimately, it was Tracy who had to pack her knives and go for making undercooked Italian sausage sliders with too much fennel. I don't know why she didn't have a premonition about that.

So what did y'all think about this week's episode?


froggy said...

Was interesting to get a glimpse of Just Desserts. Sorry to see Tracy go.

Allison said...

I thought it was a little rough. The chefs seemed uncomfortable with making a pie and with grilling. I'm curious to see who the top 4 will be.

Cliff O'Neill said...

I'm still trying to wrap my brain around so many chef. But, considering that they're telegraphing who (at least two) of the finalists are, I can't really see fit to really care about the rest.