Last night’s Top Chef gave us the flirtier side of the contestants. Ed and Tiffany channeled Hosea and Leah, giggling together, trusting each other, and telling each other when they were going to shower. Angelo and Tamesha looked like they had a thing going, too, but Angelo immediately moved things to the creepy side of the spectrum by commenting, "There’s an inner passion, but she holds it in. That’s something I’d really like to extract from her." Like a lemon?
The Quickfire presented the chefs with a table full of wriggling crabs, causing our boyfriend to swoon and us to shudder (we prefer to see our crabs in cake form, rather than waving their claws meekly as they slowly die in a hot oven. Also, last night we learned that crabs still move around after you’ve chopped them in half). Angelo, a big fan of the overshare, told the audience that he once had crabs — not the Maryland kind. That’s nice.
Shockingly, no one made crab cakes, aiming mostly for chowders and salads instead. Our hometown boy Ed grabbed the win for his jumbo lump crab with Thai basil, mango, and cucumber salad, while Angelo, who made blue-crab broth with lemongrass and ginger, stood to the side, flabbergasted that someone would make something more Asian than him. You may have the monopoly on STD sharing, Angelo, but you’re not the only one who can cook with Asian flavors. Ed remarked that he was just happy that he was coming out of his shell, oblivious to his fantastic pun.
For the elimination challenge, the chefs traveled to Virginia’s first certified organic and humane farm, where they had to work as one to serve family-style dishes to 40 local farmers and chefs. But first, they had to go back to the house and plan their meal. Kenny and Angelo both took charge and began arguing the second the group sat down, surprising absolutely no one. Tim looked distraught; Andrea called it a train wreck; and Tiffany just leaned back and said, "Lord mercy!" "We’re grown up enough that we should act like civilized human beings," Tamesha told the camera, a reality-show contestant who has clearly not watched a reality show.
Even rural farms are not free from product placement — the chefs commented about how awesome the Toyota Mobile Pantry was numerous times. Angelo took time out of the three cooking hours to be creepy, calling Tamesha Tamesha’s cherry compote "tart, luscious, super sexy" as well as referring to his cooking technique as "making love to that duck." However, making love to his food didn’t put him in the top four — that honor was reserved for Kevin (whose fallen cauliflower and fear of cow pies led him to make broccoli couscous with lemon zest), Kenny (hot-and-sour curried eggplant with peppers and carrot tops), Andrea (garlic and five-spiced grilled pork, which was cooked perfectly despite her many, many fears about over- and undercooking it), and Kelly (five-spice-roasted apples and beets to go with the pork, plus a strawberry-rhubarb crisp). Guest judge Patrick O’Connell of the Inn at Little Washington thought Kevin’s fallen veggies were fortuitous, and Tom loved Andrea’s sauce, but the win went to Kenny and his curry that even Padma praised. Kenny also earned several nicknames this week, including (but not limited to): Isaac Hayes, Big Daddy, Black Angus, Black Magic, and the Beast.
Tim’s roasted turnips and asparagus with honey, Amanda’s country-vegetable minestrone, and Stephen’s farm salad with balsamic onion, egg, and apple landed in the bottom, which wasn’t a surprise considering Bravo’s love of foreshadowing (Stephen: "I’m showing how many different components you can fit in a salad." Amanda: "I feel totally confident. Progresso, eat your heart out." Tim: "The bottom never came to my mind. They can’t be serious"). The judges pointed out that Stephen’s wet, overseasoned salad shouldn’t have been served in a tiny bowl, but the ultimate burn went to Amanda, who received a serious cooking-school lesson for her minestrone:
Tom: When we cook, why do we cut things uniformly?
Amanda: So they all cook the same way.
Tom: Why did you not cut things uniformly?
And don’t even get Eric Ripert started on the fact that her soup didn’t have pasta, a main ingredient in classic minestrone. But despite Amanda’s talking-to, Tim took the loss for his flavorless turnips. Sorry, Tim; looks like they were serious about you being on the bottom.
Next week: Angelo plays favorites! The others get suspicious! Alex sabotages Amanda! The guest judge is … the other chefs!