Top Chef Recap

By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower

August 23, 2010


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Next up in the mystery box comes jicama, which makes Amanda want to barf. At this point, Angelo mentions that the kitchen is so hot that for the first time ever, he has sweated into the food. We think this is disgusting, but looking at all the other chefs, it’s obvious he’s not the only one. All of them look miserably hot and sweaty, which is just another element of difficulty.

Alex states that his dish is terrible, and Padma and Wylie’s faces verify this. He has prepared rockfish with fava bean puree (he sure does like his purees) along with ramp fondue and sautéed squid. He tells the camera “Alex+Quickfire=Bottom” but we’re pretty sure this holds true for everything he does (including sex).

Wylie’s bottom two are Alex (of course) and Amanda (for using too much oil). On the other side, he loved Tiffanys stew and Kevin’s dish. Kevin is all excited because his wife is expecting another baby and his family has an impending move, so the $10,000 from the Quickfire would be very useful. What he should be thinking is that Tiffany probably really needs a gold-plated harpsichord at her wedding, because Wylie chooses her as the winner. She is racking up the cash and the wins lately. From the time there were nine contestants left down to seven left, she won three out of five challenges. That’s insane.

We move on to the Elimination Challenge, and the chefs will serve their dishes to officers of the CIA, including Director Leon Panetta. The assignment is to take a well-known dish and disguise it as something else. The diners will guess what it is, but it also needs to taste great. Tonight’s winner will get a trip to Paris, and both Ed and Tiffany think that would be an awesome prize, though not because there’s any chance they’d go together (their little romance has kind of been forgotten).


Kelly is assigned Kung Pao Chicken as her dish, and she doesn’t even know what’s in it. She checks the ingredients on a bottle of sauce at the supermarket, and decides to cook a soup. This is pretty impressive, because it doesn’t seem that most people are smart enough to do that. Alex tries to give her advice, but Kelly’s thought process is basically, “You suck, so why in the world would I listen to you?” (She’s right.)

We see that Angelo is using puff pastry to turn Beef Wellington into a pizza sort of thing, and Kevin reminds us that John went home in the debut episode for using that as an ingredient. In can be viewed as too much of a shortcut. Angelo does still seem to be almost agitated. He’s off his game, and just not comfortable in the kitchen.

Once they head over to the CIA kitchen to cook, Kelly is having some drama with her rice. She overcooks it because she’s not used to using a pressure cooker at this elevation. She’s from Colorado, so usually she has to set the timer longer. Tiffany advises her to cook some up on the stovetop, and Kelly settles down and gets to it, saving the dish. One thing that is noteworthy about Kelly is the fact that she always has a keen awareness that the primary goal here is to not be eliminated. If she stays alive, she can win the title of Top Chef. Reality show contestants so rarely have this viewpoint, but it’s a great approach to winning a competition.

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