Recap: Top Chef D.C., Episode 4

Posted by Angela on July 10th, 2010

It’s a double elimination this week, which the contestants remind us of immediately.

Source: Bravo

The chefs walk into the kitchen and see baby blocks and toys. They’re instantly confused and so am I. They’re greeted by Tom and Padma, and no guest judge.

Padma announces that the challenge is to make an adult version and baby version (meaning puree) of a dish that her 2-month-old daughter and Tom’s 8-month-old son can enjoy. No immunity is being offered, but the winner gets $10,000, which is pretty sweet.

Alex notes, “I practice making baby, but not making baby food.” I’m slowly starting to like him more with each of his creepy comments. Kelly continues to annoy me when she says, “I’d like to prove that you don’t have to have kids to win this challenge.” Ooookay. It’s about making a dish that tastes good on a plate and good as a puree. I really don’t think it was ever implied that you have to have kids to win it.

As the chefs start cooking, everyone who’s been stuck in the middle of the pack says that they need a win. So I’m guessing one of them will do so.

Kenny breaks my heart when he says that his first wife died in a car accident when his daughter was only one year and four months old. Angelo shows a photo of his son, who definitely looks Asian. In the end, Kevin doesn’t get most of the food on his plate and Kelly knows she’s in trouble with Padma finds a lemon seed in her puree.

– Tim with overcooked lamb
– Alex with a watery puree that tasted too much like dill
– Kevin, who leaves a pool of blood under the duck
– Kelly, whose dish is too bland

– Lynne, whose food translated nicely into a puree
– Tamesha with a good texture to her puree and licorice oil, which Tom loved
– Angelo, whose puree Padma calls elegant
– Kenny with good flavor and some spice in his dish
WINNERS: Tamesha (picked by Tom) and Kenny (picked by Padma)

Beth Scott, the VP of Restaurant Concepts at Hilton Hotels, shows up for the elimination challenges. The challenge sounds easy: the chefs are asked to cook suitable, easy meals for the Hilton’s menu.

What’s interesting is how the challenge will work: the cheftestants will pair up in teams. All of the teams will cook breakfast and two teams will be safe and exempt from the rest of the challenge. The remaining five teams will cook lunch, with two more teams given safety. Finally, the last three teams will cook the dinner course, and one of those teams will be eliminated.

Ed gets stuck with Alex, who he’s called a sloppy, lazy chef. No one wants to work with Amanda or Stephen, so they pair up. The other teams are Tim and Tiffany, Lynne and Arnold, Kevin and Kenny, Angelo and Tamesha, and Kelly and Andrea. Arnold says he hopes to win so people might think he’s “more than a Louis Vuitton bag.”

The chefs get 30 minutes to cook lunch and it’s the usual chaos. Ed and Alex’s dish turns out badly and the hollandaise sauce doesn’t even make it on the plate. Meanwhile, we see a clip of Angelo messing around and flirting with Tamesha in the kitchen. A conversation we’re subject to:
Tamesha: “After work, what are you doing?”
Angelo: “You.”
Tamesha: “No way.”
Dude clearly has game.

Comments during service:
– Ed and Alex: Ed forgets to put a cake on Beth and Spike’s plate. Alex comments: “If you can’t get food on the plate, you don’t deserve to be here.”
– Angelo and Tamesha: Good flavor, but overcooked egg. Seems like a silly mistake.
– Arnold and Lynne: Strange texture.
– Kenny and Kevin: No texture and Tom says that there’s too much going on.
– Amanda and Stephen: The judges love the confit.
– Andrea and Kelly: Drink is too sweet.
– Tiffany and Tim: Seasoned well, but doesn’t need the hash.
WINNERS: Amanda and Stephen, Tiffany and Tim

They get 45 minutes to cook the next course. A few of the contestants are frustrated that they’re not getting any feedback from the judges. Kenny is upset that four people were ranked above him and says he has something to prove.

Comments during service:
– Alex and Ed: Nice, well-made.
– Angelo and Tamesha: Tom notes that it’s easy to make and deal with.
– Lynne and Arnold: Not an easy dish to make.
– Kevin and Kenny: Chicken gets lost in the pasta.
– Andrea and Kelly: Used canned beans, fish is overcooked.
WINNERS: Angelo and Tamesha, Alex and Ed

Angelo is happy about it and says, “If Kenny and Kevin are eliminated, it would just be awesome.” The chefs get one hour to cook dinner and at this point, they’re all heated that they’re in the bottom. Andrea and Kelly and Kevin and Kenny are making short ribs. Lynne and Arnold argue about the pasta being overcooked. Kenny describes his dish as “clean” and “very sexy,” which I remember Angelo also described his dish as last week.

Comments during service:
– Kevin and Kenny: Jus was delicious, couldn’t taste the horseradish much
– Kelly and Andrea: Short ribs were great, polenta was stiff
– Lynne and Arnold: Pasta was undercooked, sauce was good, made more sense conceptually than the other two dishes

WINNERS: Kelly and Andrea, who win trips to Spain and Italy from the Hilton

Lynne and Arnold get in trouble for the pasta being undercooked while Kenny and Kevin are criticized for the lack of glaze on their short ribs. Arnold says that he wanted his dish to bring uniqueness to a hotel menu.

In the end, Lynne and Arnold get out.

NEXT WEEK: The chefs cook in teams and we get a glimpse of Kenny and Angelo both trying to lead a team and arguing. Andrea and Kelly are talking and say that someone other than themselves need to compromise.

Category: Top Chef, TV recaps