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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Padma arrives and requests to see Kevin, Tiffany and Kelly. The judges tell Tiffany that her tamale honored Mexico and was surprisingly moist and a delicious morsel. They acknowledge that Kevin faced a very tough challenge because he was unfamiliar with Indian cooking, but rather than try to make an authentic dish without any real knowledge, he instead adapted it to create something that was inspired by that nation's cuisine. Padma's compliments in particular are meaningful, because she admires the food that was based on cooking preparations from her home land. Finally, Kelly's dish was more true to Italy rather than taking a more creative approach, but it was done so well that they had to laud her abilities.

When it comes time to chose a winner, José names Tiffany as the best of the best for this challenge. In a surprise, they award her $10,000, which she says will pay for her wedding. Additionally, Top Chef and their sponsors match this amount with a donation to José's favorite charity, which touches him a lot. He really seems like a sweetheart.

We have to comment here on Tiffany's recent performance. She's really been stepping it up, doing more than just talking about making good food. She's also delivering on what she says she can do. She's very creative in her dishes and never takes the obvious route. Meanwhile, it seems to us that Angelo talks a lot but isn't winding up on top as much as he thinks he should be. The same goes for Kenny, even though we do like him.


The winners have to give the bad news to the bottom three, and send Stephen, Alex and Ed to Judges Table. Starting with Stephen, he is told that his rice was indeed terrible and overcooked. Tom tells him that his meat was also lacking in juiciness, the second time Stephen has had that problem in two challenges. For Alex's dish, José comments that he had been so looking forward to food from Spain, his native country, but it instead turned out to be "a little nightmare." Alex says that perhaps he got too complex with the dish, but Tom tells him that the flavors were just terrible, and there was nothing that reminded him of Spain on the dish. Finally, Ed's dish promised sweet and sour flavors, but they just weren't there. He also failed to render the fat from his duck, which Ed says he realizes and wishes he'd done a better job.

After discussing the failures of the three anti-finalists, Tom comments that any of the three of them could go home and be deserving. In the end, though, cooking bad rice will get you kicked off Survivor, let alone Top Chef. Stephen is in fact told to pack his knives, and he's very bummed to be going home because of a lapse in his cooking techniques. He has a good attitude about his experience, saying that of all the people they could have chosen to compete on the show, Top Chef selected him. He's honored to have had the opportunity. It's a shame everyone can't go out with such positive statements.

Next week: Restaurant Wars! And it looks *extremely* intense. Let's see who fights amongst themselves and who prevails.

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