Top Chef DC ep 2: Presidential Cooking

Hello, Sam Kass

White House Chef, Sam Kass
White House Chef, Sam Kass | Source

Quickfire

Jacqueline used a ton of butter in her breakfast--where was it last week for her disgusting diet chicken liver?

Anyway, Sam Kass, the Executive White House Chef, was the guest judge this week.  For the Quickfire, the chefs had to make a “Bipartisandwich” while sharing an apron with a partner.  The winning team received immunity, which meant nothing to Kenny because he’s such a badass he doesn’t need that kind of charity (according to Kenny).

Angelo and Tracey were paired up and she revealed her secret crush on him.  He seems too pretty to be her type.  She’s like a female trucker and I’d vote him Most Likely to Wear Makeup on a Saturday Night.  Those are observations, not judgments. 

It was pretty hilarious watching Alex cower away from Tim with a knife.  Reassuringly Tim said, “Relax, I’m not going to cut you…at least not yet.”  Gee, I wonder why there was no trust there!

Stephen & Jacqueline and Lynne & Tiffany were the two bottom teams.  Naturally, Angelo & Tracey and Kenny & Ed were the two top teams, with Angelo keeping the streak alive and picking up his third win in a row.  Sam Kass said their sandwich was “Absolutely delicious.  I’d eat that every day.”  I might be repulsed by Angelo, but that’s pretty impressive.

School Lunch Time!

Top Chef DC judges
Top Chef DC judges | Source

Elimination Challenge

The challenge this week was inspired by Michelle Obama’s End Childhood Obesity initiative.  Sam Kass stuck around as the guest judge, which made me happy.  I like that guy’s face—there’s something a little Andy Roddick about him. 

The cheftestants had to make lunch for some middle school kids, and were given a limited budget similar to what public schools are forced to manage every day.  They worked in teams of four and Angelo and Tracey got to pick their two other teammates.  In a strategic move, they chose Kenny and Ed.  Kenny’s paranoia (not completely unfounded) led him to believe Angelo would throw the challenge and Kenny would be sent home.  I could see that happening. 

Tamesha, Amanda, Jacqueline, and Stephen had some difficulty from the start.  Tamesha wanted to make gnocchi, while Amanda demanded to serve chicken—cooked with sherry.  Now I don’t know much, but I know kids and sherry don’t mix.  Meanwhile, Jacqueline decided to make “healthy” pudding, by pouring 12 pounds of sugar into it.  Great freaking decision.

On the other side of the kitchen, Tim’s team pulled together and actually got along.  The real drama came from Kelly and Arnold.  The entire day, Kelly chose to work/talk/act as an individual, while Arnold tried to be a team player.  I cracked up when Kelly suggested making tacos with feta cheese and her team looked at her like she had 6 eyeballs.  Arnold was making passive aggressive comments to her all day like “it’s a team effort” until he confronted her at the house.  He was worried that, “The judges are gonna be like, all he made was salsa.  Awesome.”  I just love it when he gets sassy!  The next day, Kelly immediately took credit for everything when Tom stepped in the kitchen.

Even with all the personality conflicts, the biggest challenge turned out to be the budget.  Every group was over their amount at the register and had to compromise.  Jacqueline used this as an excuse later when she served disgusting banana pudding.

There were some nice family moments during this episode.  Tracey broke down about feeding her girlfriend’s daughter hotdogs for breakfast (that does not sound appetizing).  We also learned that Tom’s mom ran a school’s lunch program for 20 years.  That’s adorable.

I thought it was strange how much foam was being put on plates.  How did that not wig kids out?    

Draw Knives

Top Chef DC
Top Chef DC | Source

Dance for the Judges

Top Chef DC
Top Chef DC | Source

Judges’ Table

Bottom:  Tracey, Angelo, Kenny, Ed, Amanda, Tamesha, Stephen, Jacqueline

Kenny’s team got in trouble for their lack of a vegetable, and fingers got pointed in his direction for not speaking up during menu planning.  It made me laugh that Kenny didn’t know that tomatoes are a fruit.   Stephen came out of nowhere from the other team and threw Kenny under the bus.  I think they’d all like to see Kenny go home this early because he’s a serious threat.  Judging turned into a pissing competition.  Peanut butter!  Sherry!  Sugar!

It was obvious that Angelo wasn’t exactly doing his best, since he had immunity.  Tom even said there was a lot of game play.  Later, Angelo admitted to Tracey that he doesn’t like Kenny.  Can’t trust that Shadyface!

Amanda’s Team’s Mess:  Jacqueline immediately talked about adding two pounds of sugar because she didn’t have money for chocolate—yet the team had money for sherry.  Gail went to town on Amanda for putting alcohol in the school lunches.  She said, “there are lots of things I love, like vodka, but I don’t cook with it!”  I’ve never seen her get so worked up!  In the end, Jacqueline got sent ‘a packin.  I think they gave Kenny a pass because they know he’s a badass that got somewhat sabotaged by his “teammate” Angelo. 

Top:  Kelly, Arnold, Tiffany, Lynne

They loved the two other teams, especially the foam yogurt they passed off as whipped cream.  That is pretty mindboggling for me.  That might just be from my irrational fear of foam.

Lynne, Tiffany, Kelly, and Arnold won as a team, in spite of fighting the entire time.  Kelly won for her carnitas, but lost for her attitude!

Quotes of the Week

“Genius!  Who got high and came up with this idea?”~Timothy

“It’s almost like someone put a turd on the table, the kids wouldn’t go near it”~ Tom about Amanda’s chicken

“It has about 165 grams of fat….I mean calories, I’m sorry”~Stephen about his rice

“As much as I like their help, I feel like they took part of my dish away from me.”~Kelly (She’s awful)

Favorites

Timothy

Arnold

Kenny (mostly because I hate Angelo)

Eliminated Chefs

John

Jacqueline

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