Filed Under: Food TV
| Top Chef
|"Come forth, and bury your chef heads deep in the swollen bosom of democracy!"
Wow, Top Chef D.C.
really snuck the hell up on us, did it not? It seemed like just yesterday
that we were bambling incoherently about Kevin's fire-engine-red beard and our jawsome girl Jen C and the Voltaggio brothers' beach-volleyball-scene-in-Top Gun
-inspired personalities. Now Season 7's taken the fight to the District of Columbia, a city that features a strong contingent of celebrity-chef restaurant outposts and a "Chinatown" that literally consists of a bunch of non-Asian-run chain restaurants plastered with Chinese lettering.
Very first Quickfire: The perma-stoic Tom C
and the transcendently beautiful Padma
boasting some post-transcendently-beautiful-baby curves, I'll holler! herd the 17 new cheftestants onto some exposed roofdeck that looks like a great place to cultivate melanoma and task them with their debut challenge. It's a "high-stakes" mise en place race that involves speedily peeling potatoes, brunoising onions and breaking down chickens; the four chefs left standing by the end are asked to cook a dish using the three basic ingredients, with the best dish earning $20,000. (Yay, no more Vegas-inspired gambling motifs!)
Attempting to craft any sort of narrative about this hot-mess beehive of frenzied prep-cook activity would likely drive me to kill/eat a Lean Cuisine, so I'm just going to run down some bullet points right quick:
- Rough shit re: L.A. chef Amanda
stabbing herself in the first 5 seconds.
, who looks like someone who I cannot for the life of me nail down (thoughts?), is being slipped into the villain role pretty early, what with his jet-set conversation ice-breakers and Cristiano Ronaldo hair. Says here
he was responsible for putting together the menu at Buddakan NYC
, the beast of a Starr
restaurant so well-oiled David Chang compares it to The Matrix.
- Colorado native Kenny
is bald and seems very good at cooking so I would like to dub him the Black Tom Colicchio. Blalicchio
! Foreal though did you see that guy wreck the chicken round on some Hung shit?
- Atlanta chef Tracy
straight-up saying she wanted Kenny
Blalicchio to fall off the building was awesome.
- The clear, red-striped container the chefs had to fill up with brunoised onions was totally borrowed from Double Dare
set storage. For the next Quickfire I'm guessing the chefs will have to dig a tiny flag out of the nostril of gigantic slime-filled nose. PHYSICAL CHALLENGE!
So Blalicchio, D.C.-based chef Kenny
, Angelo and Kevin
, former Garces
culinary director and current exec chef at Starr restaurant Rat's
out in Hamilton (rep!), fight their way to the end, and each put together some solid dishes. (He will now be known as Jersey Kev
.) But it's Angelo, with a roasted chicken with onion jam and potato noodles, who ends up getting that $20K.
|"We're all mega jet-lagged, so it'd be really helpful if you fed us a couple irritatingly pithy
culinary talking points about your crappy dish while you plate it."
Very first Elimination: The group's instructed to develop a dish that represents where they hail from and serve it at a cocktail reception. We get to see the judges' table crew, which of course features Gail but also boasts the every-episode presence of Eric Ripert
for the first time. The whole thing's a gigantic blur to me considering the manic pace of the editing and the fact that Padma currently looks like that but the main things worth mentioning are:
- The Bachelor
said that he wouldn't serve Stephen's
potato-crusted ribeye to his kids. The Bachelor
! That's fucking rough dude! Also, DJ Pauly D
hates your goddamn celeriac purÃ©e.
is from Barbados so we'll probably be Photoshopping her head onto Rihanna's
body at least once this season.
, who's being edited into the "Talented Female Chef with the Persecution Complex" role, is my sleeper pick to go far.
, the hippy-dippy-style dude from Michigan, is the recipient of the "Chef Most Likely to Consider Turning into a Na'Vi a Smooth Transition" Award. I SEE YOU:
I'm getting dizzy, on with this shit! At the top is a near-rematch of the Quickfire finalists, with Blalicchio, Jersey Kev and Angelo joined by born-in-Russia Alex
, who impresses with a deconstructed borscht and short rib dish. Judges have nice things to say about everyone's work ("As soon as we put it all in our mouth, it was really well-balanced," Gail says of Blacchio's dish), but QF winner Angelo pulls the Elimination out, too, thanks to a smoked arctic char topped with bacon froth. Yo once a pimp gets threats ...
|Padma's eyes are up here, guys.
Bottom four: Stephen (I'm still sorry about The Bachelor taking it to you), whose steak Ripert compares to chicken nuggets; Jacqueline
, who flubs a chicken liver mousse; Na'vi John, who is roundly criticized for using store-bought puff pastry in a maple-based dessert; and previously-at-the-top Timothy, whose Maryland rockfish didn't turn out quite right. I seriously thought that Jacqueline was going to get axed for her oddly fat-free mousse (plus the fact that she stated she needed the recipe even though she'd prepared it hundreds of times), but it's John who's booted for his botched dessert. Shame; he seemed like a zany cat who would've made for some solid-ass television. Oh well, on to the next one.
Was that Nancy Pelosi
I saw in a preview? That wasn't Pelosi was it?