Top Chef Recap

By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower

August 23, 2010


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Previously on Top Chef, Kenny was eliminated. You read that right. Kenny was eliminated. The first half of this season has been structured almost exclusively around the battle of supremacy between him and Angelo, which means the fact that one of them has been eliminated is really shocking. In more big news, Alex remains. He’s still around because he was on the winning team for restaurant wars last week, contributing…absolutely nothing. You did as much as he did in the kitchen in that challenge. No, we’re not kidding. We really mean you, and unless you’re Angelo, Ed or Tiffany, you were not participating in the challenge.

Kevin is not ready to let it go yet, either. He begins the episode by lamenting the judges’ decision to send Kenny home. Basically, he thinks Alex is the suckiest suck who ever sucked. He’s not wrong, though Alex tries to justify his continued existence in the competition somehow (he can’t).

To his credit, Angelo speaks highly of Kenny and almost seems to lament what has happened. “I think Kenny was the most fierce competitor here. It just shows regardless of how talented you are, everybody in the competition should fear that they’re gonna go home…Restaurant Wars wasn’t easy. Not at all.”

The guest judge for today’s Quickfire is two-time Top Chef Masters contestant Wylie Dufresne. The contestants are given mystery boxes full of ingredients, and are also given the ominous news that as the competition continues, more ingredients will arrive in more mystery boxes. All elements must be incorporated into their dishes. Essentially, they have to conceive of their dish, but they may have to change things on the fly depending on new ingredients that are revealed.


Padma also tells the Chefs that this is a high stakes Quickfire, and the winner will get $10,000. Angelo says that his fiancée lives in Russia (read: mail-order bride) and he needs his money to work out visa issues (read: bribes).

The mystery box includes some fish, some fava beans, and a can with no label (it is later revealed to contain hominy). Alex tries to find someone to share a can opener with him, but no one does. Everyone participating in this season clearly dislikes him, with perhaps the exception of Amanda.

Kevin is paying close attention to the other competitors, and we’re not sure if that’s to his benefit or detriment. He definitely can detect when people are both at the top of their game as well as when they’re struggling, and today he’s on top of the fact that Angelo is out of sorts. Angelo is clearly lacking a vision for his dish, and he’s aimless as he attempts to compose a cohesive dish.

Soon, a new mystery box arrives and it contains squid and black garlic, the makings of any delicious meal (gag). And with this revelation, can you guess who doesn’t have a plan? That’s right. Alex. You could spot him the peanut butter, the jelly and the bread, and he still wouldn’t know what to make.

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