Last night’s Top Chef finally dropped the pea purée discussion so Ed could walk around in Tiffany’s dress. That was some walk of shame! (Kidding, Tiffany’s fiancé, kidding.) Sadly, Ed didn’t wear it to the Quickfire, where Padma made a number of terrible jokes before announcing that the challenge was to create a dish based on a food idiom, ranging from “bigger fish to fry” to “spill the beans.” Because we all know how much D.C. loves idioms! Wait, what?
Ed announced that he doesn’t like Amanda because she’s an annoying slob, but Angelo thought she was the dark horse. Turned out Angelo was wrong, as Amanda’s “big cheese” macaroni and cheese with bacon, jalapeños, and a pork chop ended up in the bottom, along with Kelly’s “sour grapes” pan-roasted chicken with caramelized Brussels sprouts. Guest judge Rick Moonen from RM Seafood/Top Chef Masters liked Kevin’s “bring home the bacon” bacon three ways, but gave the win to Ed’s “hot potato” herb-and-garlic-roasted gnocchi with spring vegetables. He scored his dish being turned into a frozen meal, which Angelo applauded, as he could see Ed’s face on some packaging.
For the elimination challenge, the cheftestants were asked to cater a Washington Nationals baseball game, working as a team to create “fine-dining versions of ballpark food.” Angelo was excited because, being half Dominican, he loves baseball. Way to stereotype yourself (however, Angelo, if you know Robinson Cano, please call us). We also learned that Ed, despite trying to rep Queens, is actually a Red Sox fan and should therefore lose immediately (not that we’re biased). Everything was all fine and dandy until the chefs realized that someone would need to take orders at the game. Angelo stepped up, only to back down briefly before Ed agreed to help plate his food for him, mostly to shut up Kevin’s screaming. However, even though Kevin went on a yelling spree, Tiffany still offered to taste his food and offer up honest criticism, remarking, “no one’s going home because of me.” Tiff, girl, you better win this!
Ballpark-goers ordered a lot of Kelly’s open-faced crab cake* BLT with sweet-potato fries, as well as Tiffany’s messy Italian-sausage meatball sub with fennel, pesto, and fresh mozzarella, but the judges gave the win to Ed’s wonderfully textured, tidy shrimp-and-corn-risotto fritters. Kelly ended up in the bottom, along with Angelo’s sweet-glazed pork on a too-bready hot-dog bun; Kevin’s super-long-skewered chicken with romesco sauce, shoestring fries, and paprika aïoli; and Amanda’s gray tuna tartar with Meyer lemon and fava-bean purée. Amanda wanted them to judge based on taste, but ultimately the judges couldn’t get over the unappealing oxidation of her fish, and sent her home. No surprise there.
*Commenters: Didn’t Amanda say during the planning session that she wanted to make a crab cake, and Kelly steered her toward fish instead? But then Kelly made a crab cake? Is she responsible for Amanda’s loss?
Next week: NASA! Another corny challenge! Buzz Aldrin! The last challenge before the finals! Until then, please enjoy this clip of Angelo discussing his Russian fiancé, whom he’s only seen “a couple times.” Is he marrying a mail-order bride?!