Filed Under: Food TV
| Top Chef
This recap is so late because I've spent the last 96 hours staring at this picture of Angelo
doing the lambada
with Singaporean fruit.
And just like that, Top Chef D.C.
is one episode shy of calling it a season, a single judge's table away from taking its perch in the pantheon of Google Image Search
randomness and confusing lunch-hour chatter ("Which season was it when the dude kept talking about having sex with his food? That was the one with Hung, right? No no, the funny Italian dude. No? Santino?
"). Let's take a quick stroll down Mindless, Braincell-Killing Recap
Memory Lane, shall we?
. Too many people. Na'Vi John goes home.
. Cooking for a bunch of brats. Jacqueline goes home.
. Pic-a-nic baskets/caskets. Tracey goes home.
. Baby food, foreal?! Arnoldface goes home.
. Crabs and farms. Tim goes home.
. This is probably the worst recap of the season. Tamesha goes home.
. Cooking for gay-hating cutiepie congressmen. Andrea goes home.
8. Ethiopian and offending ethnic sensibilities. Stephen goes home.
. Restaurant Wars! Kenny Blalicchio goes home.
. Cooking for good-natured spies. Alex goes home.
. Feeding miserable Nats fans. Amanda goes home.
. Cooking for astronauts (and Bourdain). Tiffany goes home.
So that leaves us with a final four Angelo
, Jersey Kev
travelling to Singapore, Top Model
style, for the finale. The cheftestants meet up in a food hawker's center (Kev's rocking a bucket hat; Ed asks him if he's about to embark on safari) and are soon greeted by Tom C. and the Singaporean food writer KF Seetoh,
who is such an advocate for Asian street food that he has nary a poor word to say about the chef's food throughout the episode. He takes them to a bunch of stalls, where they get to grub on absolutely amazing-looking good like chili crabs (above). Ed takes every opportunity to stick it to Angelo because that's what Ed does best (did you really think mentioning your taste for black cockles would be a good look, Ang?) Everyone is smiling and having fun and excited to take in the local culture. Then ...
... the transcendently pant-suited Padma
materializes! Though she's dressed as if she's about to dispatch a bunch of knife-wielding thugs with a bo stick, she's actually there to drop the penultimate ep's Quickfire: The foursome has to cook a street food-style dish with a wok, a tool that Jersey Kev has never actually tried out. Crazy twist, too: For the first time ever, winning this Quickfire will grant the cheftestant unfettered passage to the finale. Stakes is high!
Angelo goes for a chili crab but switches it up to frog's legs at the last sec; Kelly does a seafood noodle dish; Ed, who "likes to wok it out on the weekends" at his house, puts together his own noodle stir-fry; and wok virgin Kev does up a curry with lobster, calamari and cuttlefish. Seetoh shows so much love to to the chefs that he stops just short of singing this song,
but in the end, Hobbyist Wok Fiend Ed punches his ticket to the finals for "lifting up the entire street food sensation" for the dude Seetoh.
|The transcendently plucky Stacey Carosi
Elimination: Dana Cowin
, ever the diligent wine swirler, brings 80 or so of friends to a posh-ass beachfront resort to eat and engage in droll conversation while the final four freak the hell out in the kitchen because the waitstaff keeps writing their a-la-minute order tickets in Chinese. "The spark in the forest has been set, and those flames are going to be burning," declares Angelo. I feel like that's a combination of like five different sayings/ The servers are all wearing crisp polo shirts and have no clue what they're doing, one of several eerie similarities between this episode and the Malibu Sands Beach Club arc on Saved by the Bell
. (Where is Stacey Carosi
when you need her?!) The judges, who include Seetoh, Cowin and our girl Gail
, are generally blown away by the quality of all the food put out (Gail yells the title of this post at judge's table, and immediately follows it up by dropping the term "taste-a-licious." Foreal.)
|Tom C with Hissy, his trusted Cobra Bong
Angelo does a spicy shrimp broth, plus a lamb tartar with nice flavors ("It makes me want to eat it," says Cowin. Well, that's great!). Ed puts together a duo of sweet and sour pork, plus banana fritters Tom C describes as "the perfect stoner food," right before he burns a Backwoods, tosses in some eyedrops, aimlessly wanders into a Singaporean convenience mart and spends 27 Singapore dollars on Singaporean gummi bears. Kelly's cucumber/yogurt/bitter melon soup is well-received, as is her prawn-flavored red curry. Jersey Kev imrpresses, too, with a clam chowder starter and a well-executed tapioca congee porridge. So, just like the Tiffany elimination,
it's down to nit-picking to decide who's shipped stateside and who gets to keep kicking it in the super-clean city-state. Kelly, who I picked in Episode 1
to get quite far, is sent home. Tears! She really rocked it out. Before we talk Finale Part 2, let me draw your attention to her crestfallen losing pic on bravotv.com:
Don't you think that could totally be her album cover shot if she quit cooking and decided to pursue a career as an adult contemporary singer-songwriter?
Sorry. OK Top Chef
fans who's winning this season?! I would absolutely love to see our dude Jersey Kev take it home, but I for some reason have the sinking feeling that Angelo's gonna walk away with the chip, given his Asian expertise. Though in the previews it looks like he's stricken with dengue fever or something. Thoughts? Leave your pick and your reasoning in the comments!