Top Chef DC ep 7: Get Your Hands Off My Pea Puree
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The show started with Kenny still complaining about being on the bottom last week. I realize that that was yesterday for them, but move on dude. Angelo was crying over Tamesha while shining his shoes. You can be sad, but ya still gotta look good. Tiffany is super suspicious of Angelo because she’s not an idiot.
Aaron Schock, currently the youngest Congressman serving, was the guest judge for the Ethics Quickfire. Apparently, the big ethics course for politicians is all about food. Any food served to a member of Congress must be the size of a toothpick to avoid lobbyist buying Congressmen’s vote. Who knew the fastest way to a Congressman’s vote was through his/her stomach?
For the high stakes quickfire, the chefs had to make full-sized food that fit on a toothpick. Apparently, most of the cheftestants interpreted this as a seafood challenge. Three people made scallops and Ed made tuna two ways. Stephen thought his scallop surf and turf was gonna be delectable, and ended up putting everything but the kitchen sink on that tiny toothpick. The Congressman thought Stephen’s dish was “meaty.”
In his ever-creepy manner, Angelo was doing some sort of Lamaze while chopping pineapple. His original dish looked like a sushi roll, (of course—he only knows how to do Asian food), but when it wouldn’t cooperate with the toothpick, he threw together a cucumber cup.
Bottom: The Congressman said that Alex’s dish had “a lot of flavors going on” Ed’s “looked better than tasted” and Kelly’s “lacked flavor.”
Top: Schock thought Kevin’s was “well done,” Angelo’s inspired a “wow, fireworks in my mouth” and Stephen’s was “a lot on that stick.”
Kevin gave Angelo the evil eye after he won. No poker face there!
Political Power Lunch Elimination Challenge
For the elimination challenge, the chefs took over the historic Palm restaurant and prepared power lunches for the political-types who dine there.
The chefs were given proteins that are served at The Palm, but they had the freedom to prepare them any way they wanted. Ed freaked out over the 4-pound lobsters, and spent the majority of his time breaking them down. Tiffany was stoked to get swordfish because she had a recipe in mind from her seafood restaurant (that always means it’s going to be amazing or total crap). Kelly—ever the whiner--had issues with Amanda taking her porterhouses off the bone since The Palm does not serve them as strip steaks.
Two times in this episode somebody yelled “Somebody is burning bacon.” That’s my random observation of the day.
It was super-annoying how they tried to build up Tiffany and Ed’s friendship into something it isn’t. Every “Coming Up on Top Chef ” featured Andrea saying, “if Tiffany’s fiancée caught wind of what was going on, Ed would be in trouble.” When it finally showed what she was talking about, Ed and Tiffany were in the bedroom, sitting on two separate pieces of furniture at least 10 feet apart, discussing food while Tiffany trimmed her fingernails. Holy Infidelity, Batman!
Kelly showed her generous side when she refused to share her salt with Amanda and shamelessly declared that Amanda should go home next. Don’t get in Kelly’s way, she’ll pull your hair and then kick you when you’re down.
When it came time to face the judges, Kelly’s karma made an appearance. Her porterhouse portions were out of control and the judges made comments like, this is a half a cow” and “this is a lot more Texas than DC.” Plus, she got a nice bite in the butt when her meat was over salted. That’ll teach her to share next time!
It creeped me out when the judges said they loved the “draping” of Amanda’s meat. I’m not quite sure what that means, but it sounds like Amanda could have a strong sexual harassment case against them.
Even though Tiffany knew she overcooked her fish, she received a lot of praise from the panel like, “distinct” and “never had anything like this.” Andrea’s swordfish, on the other hand, was “really sweet” and Gail commented, “You know there are some calories in this.”
Stephen’s salmon came out “messy” and “disappointing,” while Alex’s was “portion perfect.” The judges could not stop raving about the peas that Alex <allegedly> prepared.
As for Ed’s dish, the panel thought the “greens are the weakest part of this dish.” That had to sting, but not as much as Angelo having his lobster called “strange.” One of the other judges commented, “I’m having a chewing issue.” That does not sound appetizing.
What's Really Worth Fighting For?
The Great Pea Puree Scandal of 2010
The Great Pea Puree Scandal of 2010 started at the Top Chef House when Alex was in the kitchen discussing what he wanted to make the following day. He was all in a twist because there are so many different ways to make salmon. Ed and Tiffany were discussing the peas that Ed had purchased at Whole Foods earlier that afternoon. Later, Alex denied knowing that Ed was even making peas.
The next day, Ed’s pea puree disappeared from one of the coolers. He asked around, but no one had seen the peas in question. Suspicions arose when Alex was the only person who served peas in their dish. This was especially suspect because, according to Kenny, it takes 2 days to make a pea puree (seems a little inaccurate, but what do I know?) and Alex had not started his the night before.
Throughout the rest of the episode, pretty much everybody weighed in on the mystery and not a single person believed that Alex had not stolen Ed’s peas. They were still discussing it in the back room during judging. They said “pea puree” in this episode as many times as Sting says “Roxanne” in the song by The Police (go ahead, count it! I dare you). It was even the stupid poll of the week. Do YOU think Alex stole Ed’s pea puree?
Top: Alex, Tiffany, Ed
Tiffany cried like she had just been crowned Miss America. Ed called his lobsters “Volkswagens.” Art went on and on about Alex’s pea puree and Ed looked like he was gonna murder someone.
Winner: Alex--He won amid controversy. Unfortunately for everybody, the winner not only gets their dish on the menu at The Palm, but also their face painted on the wall. That is terrifying!
Bottom: Andrea, Kevin, Kelly
Kevin’s dish was too spicy and “the meat had a lot of toughness.” Andrea made excuses right away, like she doesn’t cook swordfish often and it’s not a favorite of hers. Art got really annoyed with Andrea and told her that a real chef can make any food, even ones they don’t particularly enjoy themselves. All I heard was “suck it up, you whiney dingbat.”
Kelly knew her food might have been a little salty--ya think? She only doused it with an entire container of salt because she does not know how to play well with others. Gail called the layers of salt “a slap in the face.” Kelly went in the back and started crying, which brought a smile to Amanda’s heart.
Eliminated: Andrea—see ya laters, red shoes!
Tom’s last line at the elimination: “You had to serve a power lunch, and unfortunately your dishes made us want to take a power nap.” Devastatingly clever.
Quotes of the Week
“If they like eating Chinese food all the time, then so be it.”-Kevin
“Oscar for best actor, supporting cast is not there”-Art