Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fresh Fish: Top Chef 7 - Episode 5

It's been a few episodes since we last covered the latest season of Top Chef. But in all honesty, the first 5-6 episodes are all about "trimming the fat." The fat being the lesser cheftestants: John with the dreads, Jacqueline with the sugar, Tracey with the flannel butchness, Lynne with the cat lady butchness, and Arnold with whatever is the complete opposite of butchness. If those allusions leave you scratching your head, I highly recommend the entertaining recaps on Serious Eats blog.

- So let's jump right in, on episode 5, where Angelo just said he'd like "to extract" something from Tenesha. Little too desperate, my friend. Trying to play Yoda, AND compete against her will only equal disaster. Also, she's boring. Desperation is a stinky cologne. Ed and Tiffany seem simpatico in the non-annoying way. Take note, Angelo.

- Quickfire time, where the cheftestants have been asked to create a dish using...CRAB! Yay! I love the mystery protein, Iron Chef-esque challenge! And I just made a delicious spaghetti with crab, mint and jalapeno. Patrick OConnell is the guest judge, so James Beard-winning, 5 star chef that I've never heard of that looks like an aged Chuckie, clad in J.Crew. Love all the bluecrabs crawling around.

- Whoa, did Angelo just admit he had crabs on national TV? Wow, you're a lucky girl, Tenesha.
- Kevin is doing a chowder. Ed is doing some sort of Asian influenced concoction. Tim is keepin it real, Maryland style. Crabcakes and football!! That's how Maryland does it! This should definitely provide some recipes for me to try in the near future.

- Ed's jumbo lump crab looks tasty. Angelo's looks tiny. Temesha's crab chowder looks pretty boring. Amanda's dish is aggressive and Padma gives her a "wow." A pungent "wow"...well, that's what happens when you use juniper. Kenny's dish looks solid, again. Kevin, Amanda and Andrea on the bottom. Ed, Kenny and Angelo on top. God, talk slower, Chuckie...

- Ed wins his first Quickfire. "I feel like I'm coming out of my shell a little bit." Oh snap...a crab joke, Ed? Guess not.

- Elimination challenge will be taking them to a farm, cooking for 40 chefs and farmers, family style. 6 dishes are being made. Angelo and Kenny are competing for alpha male role, and everyone else is just rolling their eyes. These guys really don't get along too well...just a big clusterf*ck of a group.

- Quick aside: The rest of Bravo's lineup is a giant shit sandwich.

- Getting to like Kelly. Likin' Kelly Liken. Although her restaurant, Restaurant Kelly Liken, could really use a new name. Probably the most attractive female on the show, although Amanda cleans up better.

- Lot of Temesha in this episode so far. Usually a tell-tale sign that that person is gonna be sent home.

- Asher Farms. They get there and it's a variety of proteins and veggies, and the cooking space is pretty spartan. This would stress the shit out of me. Kenny is making sweet & sour eggplant. Kevin doing a cauliflower couscous. Wow. Stephen is doing a salad, and states he "wants to see how many ingredients he can get in there." Oh buddy...bad idea.

- Angelo "made love to his duck." That duck now has crabs.

- Couscous overboard! Kevin is gambling with doing over the couscous with broccoli. Ballsy, dog.

-Tim is doing a moussaline. Didn't that doom Jacqueline earlier this season? Note to more moussalines! Kelly risking it all, doing a safe sounding dessert of strawberry rhubarb crisp. Yes, doing extra an extra dish usually hurts you more than helps you, but that dish sounds pretty benign...I'm guessing she'll be fine.

-Halfway point of the episode. Editing looks like it could be Temesha or Tim. I think we're also seeing the strongest chefs emerge. Angelo and Kenny have been there since the beginning, but Ed, Andrea, Kelly and Tiffany seem to be taking steps forward. Stephen and Tim are regressing. Amanda, Alex and Kevin are all over the place. The last five don't seem like they have the stuff to stick it out for the entire season. We shall see...

- Kenny is sauntering around in a fuzzy grey robe and a glass of red, basically being the smoothest smoothy of the group.

- Judges are eating family style, and a long outdoor table in Northern Virginia. They are not liking much. Kenny's curry, Angelo's duck and Andrea & Kelly's dishes are standing out. They thump on the rest of the lot.

- Eric and this red-headed Patrick guy are completely plastic. Too much makeup.

- Kenny, Kevin, Kelly and Andrea in the winner's circle. Kevin's couscous v.2 was a fortuitous accident for him. Padma gives Kenny props on his curry.  Kenny pulls out the win with the sweet & sour eggplant!

- Losers are Tim, Amanda and Stephen. Oooh, Padma rips them. Tim defends his moussaline, but Tom isn't having it. Stephen's salad bowl get's a cheesey poetic diss from Patrick. He clearly wants to watch himself on TV lately. Tom just cuts right to it. Tom just rules. Amanda looks constantly shell-shocked, especially after getting an "amateurish" comment from the judges.

- Stephen is overthinking his dishes. Amanda is underthinking them. Tim simply put forth a pretty lackluster effort. All three could get the hook, but my money is on Tim. Knowing Tom and Eric, they'd rather send home the superior chef that falls flat on their face than a weaker chef that misexecuted a component of their dish.

- Decision time. Tom gives a pretty eloquent synopsis of what the chefs didn't accomplished. And it's Tim. Ouch. Going out on turnips and potatoes. He's taking it very well though. He's not a whiner, and keeps his head.

- Preview of next week...Oooh, the cheftestants are going to be judging each other's dishes. Wow, if this doesn't cause internal strife in the townhome, I don't know what will!

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