Top Chef Recap
By David Mumpower and Kim Hollis
July 14, 2010
The winners of the breakfast round seem pretty apparent based on judges' comments, and they haven't led us astray at all. Amanda and Stephen and Tiffany and Timothy are safe from elimination. Kenny and Angelo are all fired up that their teams didn't win, and they're determined to take the lunch rounds. Everyone still competing has a 20% chance of going home, so the stakes are actually higher than they were in the Quickfire.
For lunch, Alex and Ed make sea scallops with ricotta gnudi and broccoli rabe. Gnudi is not a movie about an overachieving Notre Dame gnome football player, but is instead a kind of gnocchi. Also, last time we checked, this show was not called Top Scallop (someone had to say it). The judges enjoy the dish with only a couple of slight, possibly inconsequential criticisms.
Then we have Angelo and Tamesha with slivers of beef and jicama-asian pear salad with mint, cilantro and kimchi vinaigrette. Again, the dish seems to go over well, and the comments about any potential issues are minor. Arnold and Lynne are next, with tuna cannelloni with forbidden rice salad and tomato vinaigrette. The judges say this dish is refreshing, but think it would be difficult to execute in the hotel setting.
Kenny and Kevin have a chickpea pappardelle pasta with grilled chicken and tahini sauce. The problem with this dish is that the chicken gets lost, but Mike Isabella likes the flavor profile and the hummus. Andrea and Kelly create a crispy skin red snapper and panzanella salad with mustard vinaigrette. The worry with their dish is that Eric is a fish expert, and their concerns are well-founded. This is the least successful dish of the evening. Padma comments that if she had gotten this dish at La Bernadin, she would have sent it back, and Eric says he would never have sent it in the first place. Tom is offended that the women used a bag of beans.
Padma announces the lunch winners, and Angelo and Tamesha and Alex and Ed are off the hook. The fact that Alex and Ed win is very significant, because it's apparent from the first several episodes of this season that they are by far the inferior team. They didn't even taste portions of their dish.
The remaining chefs now have a 33% chance of going home with the dinner round. Angelo again takes this opportunity to inform people that he doesn't like Kenny and he hopes Kenny is eliminated. Also, Kenny will not be invited to any party that he throws from now until the end of time.
With all six contestants all but tasting elimination, tensions are at the highest point we can ever remember on the show, and we include finales. Lynne and Arnold turn on each other, as he is surprised by her bitchiness and she begins to teach him like a naive, inexperienced student. Andrea and Kelly have a similar tiff, but quickly realize they'll need to pull together if they want to survive. Kenny's approach is to take control of everything and cut Kevin out of the process completely.