Top Chef Recap

By David Mumpower and Kim Hollis

July 14, 2010

They can't even get along in the picture.

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Kenny is optimistic about their prospects, too, as he thinks their braised beef short rib with squash and potato will win over the judges. Kevin states that because the various components of the dish are so familiar to most people, it makes for a good hotel menu item. The judges praise their jus but seem to feel that overall the dish just didn't have enough oomph.

Andrea and Kelly are certain that their dish is awesome and say that there is no way they should be sent home for it. They also have a braised beef short rib, along with polenta, shitake mushrooms and cirtrus gremolata. Spike compliments their rib flavoring, and Mike Isabella says that both teams have nailed the short ribs in his mind. He also notes that Andrea and Kelly's polenta is a bit stiff.

The final dish of the evening is Lynne and Arnold's pineapple red curry mussels with squid ink pasta and focaccia. Arnold figures it's a make him or break him dish. All of the judges agree that the pasta is not cooked enough, but Spike believes that this particular dish made more sense conceptually than the others.

At this point, there are positives and negatives about all three dishes. Anyone could be going home tonight, as far as we can tell. The thing is, there has been a huge rivalry built up so far between Angelo and Kenny, so we're finding it really tough to believe that Kenny could be headed home tonight. As a result, we feel it has to be between the two other teams.


Judges Table has guest judge Nora announcing that the winning team of the evening is Kelly and Andrea, because their flavors stood out over the other dishes. Hmmm. Looks like we were wrong with our anticipated bottom two. There is a 50% chance that Kenny is headed home tonight, and we just can't believe it. Kelly and Andrea get to have their dinner dish on the Hilton Hotel menu, and also win a trip each, one to Venice, and the other to Barcelona. They're both totally psyched, of course. (If they somehow managed to take the trips together, they could be double winners!)

Padma addresses the losers and asks them if they were happy with the outcome. Lynne says that she believes the flavor was good, but thinks the pasta may have been undercooked (which the judges agree with). Arnold looks at her like she's throwing him under the bus and says that he believes the food was cooked perfectly. Clearly, they're at odds with each other, but Arnold is fully standing behind his dish. Lynne is more uncertain.

Tom tells Kevin and Kenny that the glaze seemed to be lacking in comparison to Kelly and Andrea. Comparatively, their dish had too much meat and not enough sauce - which is a problem when you made the same dish as another team. When Tom asks the pair why they should stay, Kevin states that their dish was specifically targeted to the hotel guest, and that it tasted great. Both Kevin and Kenny completely stand by their dish and present a united front.

For Lynne and Arnold's part, they can't seem to agree on whether the dish was the best option they could have presented. While Arnold is enthusiastic about what they've done, Lynne seems resigned to her fate as one of two chefs about to be eliminated. Along with their undercooked pasta, there seems to be some question as to whether this type of dish would appeal to a typical hotel guest, and this is Lynne and Arnold's undoing. They are in fact eliminated, whether it's because their dish was worse than Kenny and Kevin's or because they didn't work well together or whether it was simply due to the fact that the show is better if Kenny stays. We'll miss Arnold because he was upbeat and positive, but Lynne was morose and grim pretty much throughout the show. We would have expected more from a instructor from the Culinary Institute, frankly.

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