Recap: Top Chef DC, Episode 7


Another week, another episode of Top Chef DC! This week, the finalists prepared tiny appetizers and cooked a power lunch out of the Palm Hotel. Who cooked well? Who tanked? And who stole Ed's pea purée? It's all ahead in this week's recap!

[WARNING: Spoilers ahead!]



The episode opened with Kenny feeling sorry for himself in bed. His poor, fragile ego was hurt because he was in the bottom group last week. Luckily, he rose above it and declared himself "too much of a beast" to go home.

Meanwhile, Kelly noticed that people in her room kept "getting whacked." For a very brief moment, I felt like I was watching The Godfather. If only Angelo would wake up with a horse head in his bed. Now that would be some good television!

The Quickfire


Introducing this week's quickfire was Aaron Schock, the youngest congressman in the House of Representatives. Quick question: How did this guy get to the challenge? Because I don't think he's old enough to drive. If he didn't have that gigantic Republican pin on, I would have thought he was Doogie Howser.

Doogie—er, Aaron—spent a few minutes enthusiastically talking to the gang about ethics. After he had sufficiently bored everyone to within an inch of their lives, Padma walked over to a gigantic covered serving plate and conducted the most anti-climactic reveal ever. As suspenseful music played and the studio lighting dimmed, she lifted the dome off of the platter to reveal...

cheese on a toothpick


Conan, can you handle this one for me?


Thanks, man.

Padma explained that food must be served to our elected officials on toothpicks to "make sure they're not swayed by lavish meals," and asked the chefs to create flavor-backed bite sized dishes. This was also a high stakes quickfire, which meant the winner would be getting immunity and $20k. So yeah. No pressure or anything, guys.

Amanda was her usual clueless self, and ended up making a lamb kabob that sadly ended up looking like a turd on a stick. Andrea made a cheddar pecan waffle with buttermilk fried chicken, while Kenny whipped up some mojito-infused shrimp. "I'm infusing a cocktail in with the bite as well," he explained. Sandra Lee would have been so proud.


126 fake politician-y smiles later (I counted), Aaron/Doogie declared Angelo the winner of the challenge. Why? Because his coconut cup with spiced shrimp was like "fireworks in his mouth." That sounds painful, but hey. Whatever works for you, man.

The Elimination Challenge

For this week's elimination, the chefs took over the Palm Restaurant and served a "power lunch" for some of DC's most elite clientele. Amanda admitted she "never cooked a porterhouse steak before," and proceeded to slice the meat off the bone. I could literally feel my soul blackening with each pass of her knife. Who the hell cuts a porterhouse from the Palm? Is she out of her mind? That thing is like a religious experience.

Later that night, after the prep work had been completed, Ed and Tiffany were hanging out in the bedroom. Ed confessed that he "trusts Tiffany more than anyone in the house." And by "trusts" he clearly means "wants to sleep with."

Tiffany said there was absolutely nothing going on between her and Ed, because "she got a man!"


(Yes, that was a reference to one of the best '90s songs of all time: "I Got A Man" by Positive K. It's on YouTube!)


Cut to a scene of Ed at the Palms the next day, feverishly searching for the pea purée he prepared the night before. No one had seen it—not even Alex, who just happened to be serving pea purée as well. Alex claimed he made the purée himself, but since no one saw him doing so, the gang was very suspicious. Alex later tried to lie, and said he "didn't even know" Ed was making a pea purée. Thanks to the magic of Bravo editing, we then saw a scene of Kenny telling Alex about the pea purée the night before.

Just for the record, I think the last paragraph should be in the Guinness Book for "most references to pea purée in a single paragraph." Just a thought.

The judges, who were completely in the dark about PeaGate 2010, named Alex the winner of the entire challenge. He got his dish on the menu at the Palm, and his portrait on the wall as well.


The bottom performers were Kelly, Andrea, and Kevin. Kelly completely over-salted her food, Kevin's spicy lamb was overcooked, and Andrea's dish was way too vanilla-y. In the end, though, Andrea was the one eliminated. That's the way reality TV works, folks. The pea thieves always get to stay!

And that brought this week's episode to an end! Let's hear it: what did you think of the episode, Serious Eaters?