Top Chef Recap

Foreign Affairs

By David Mumpower and Kim Hollis

August 10, 2010

Why did it have to be Argentina?

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Overall, Marcus is generally pretty positive about the results from the contestants. He's such an upbeat presence in the kitchen. He does have to choose some dishes that were disappointing, though. He tells Kevin that his dish was a little too shy, which leads Kevin to remark that he's been at the top of the heap and the bottom of the pile an equal number of times. Worrying about his own inconsistency, he realizes he needs to step it up. Also on the bottom were Stephen and Alex, whose dishes were both dry and not juicy enough.

Marcus's favorites included Amanda's goat and potatoes, as well as Angelo, whose familiarity with Ethiopian cooking was obvious and served him well. Finally, we have Tiffany, whose hearty flavors were so strong that she earned the victory. Tiffany doesn't need to worry about going home at the next elimination.

Tonight's Elimination Challenge is wildly ambitious to the point where we're worried about potential train wrecks. Padma and Marcus bring in a world map, with nine countries highlighted. Each chef will create a dish represented by the flavors of one of the countries on the map. They'll make 100 portions of their dish and serve them to diplomats, ambassadors and world dignitaries, many of whom are hoping to find a taste of their homeland. Oh, and one other thing. There will be no stoves. The chefs will have only sternos to cook their food.

Did we say train wreck? We meant international incident.

The chefs draw knives to decide what order they will choose their country. The assignments are as follows:

Tiffany - Mexico
Kelly - Italy
Amanda - France
Kenny - Thailand
Alex - Spain
Angelo - Japan
Kevin - India
Ed - China
Stephen - Brazil


It seems to us that Stephen has a bit of a raw deal, because Brazilian cuisine isn't exactly something that seems well-known. He's already near the bottom of the heap, as far as we're concerned, so this might be a big challenge for him.

The chefs all scramble to compose original dishes in the spirit of their country, and Tiffany notes that while it's nice and cozy to have immunity, she totally wants to win this elimination. She's becoming quite the fiery competitor, and her fellow contestants probably need to keep an eye on her if they don't want to be dominated.

Ed tells us that Alex is a giant spaz in the kitchen, and the editing reinforces this as the bald, weird chef trips and almost knocks himself out by falling head first into the side of an oven. None of the other chefs have much respect for him, and we honestly have to agree based on what we've seen so far.

Tonight's guest judge is José Andrés, who hails from Spain and is the chef/owner of Minibar and Jaleo (among others). He files in with the regular judges, and Marcus returns as well, looking adorable in a chapeau.

The dishes have been tasted and the chefs head to the stew room, where Stephen is frustrated by his performance in the challenge. He realizes that he burned his rice and frets about the strong possibility that he'll be in the bottom three.

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