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Top Chef DC, Premiere – Why Is Andy Samberg’s Older Cousin Here?


Tom takes Tim and Kevin out of the running and gives the challenge to Angelo. The chefs are then given their Elimination Challenge – since DC is home to many people from across the nation, as they are, cook a dish that represents where you come from. They will serve to 300 young, successful Washingtonians (and one of the Bachelors, it seems) at the Cherry Blossom Festival kickoff.

The four Quickfire finalists get to select their teams, as the chefs are divided into four squads. The catch? One from each group goes to the winners and one to the losers, so the trick is to add the weakest chefs to your team. Angelo takes Tiffany as his choice for being the weakest, and Kenny takes Tracey. Tim takes Moby. That will backfire. Ed is the last man standing, Angelo places Ed – considered the toughest of the other chefs – on Kenny’s team to make Kenny’s task harder.

**The dishes**

Kevin’s Team
Amanda – Red Snapper, Carpaccio, Clementines, Semcha Oil, Daiken, and Caraway Gelee.
She angers Tom by calling it a Wolfgang Puck throwback – one of Tom’s contemporaries. Gail calls it a messy piece of fish.

Arnold – Kaffir Lime and Basil Cake, Palm Sugar Anglaise and “Myint” Julep. We get no input on Arnold; clearly he finished second, but only by default.

Sbarro – Pennsylvania Lamb, Meyer Lemon, and Pistachio Marmalade, Spring Onions. Tom thinks the flavors are good and seasoned well.

Jacqueline – Duo of Hudson Valley Chicken Liver and Port Wine Mousse. She struggles making it, has to re-cook it on the site, and still winds up with grainy pate. She also makes it low-fat, which baffles Gail.

Sbarro’s Team
Stephen – Potato Crusted Ribeye, Celery Root Puree, Scarlet Stadium Mustard Vinaigrette.
Ripert can’t find the flavor; Gail can only taste the fry, not the meat.

Ed – Sautéed Cod Cakes with Boston Baked Beans and Shaved Fennel Salad. It looks really good, but Tom thinks it is heavy.

Lynne – Corn Camembert Ice Cream on Waffles, Bacon Praline and Caramel Sauce. Quietly she gets away with a dessert, while John crashed and burned with his. Very risky choice. She gets no input, and based on the others, she is clearly second.

Tracey – Stone Ground Grits, Maple Cheddar, Port Royal Rock Shrimp. Tom finds her dish to be “bland as can be.”

Kenny – Cinnamon-Coffee Rubbed Trout, Black Bean Mole, Goat Cheese Potato and Onion. Tom loves the layered flavors.

Tim’s Team
Moby – Deconstructed Short Rib Borscht with Crème Fraiche.
It’s his mom’s recipe and, to me, the most creative and best looking dish. Incredible for something with beets in it. Although, while I hate beets, when I went to Russia, I had amazing borscht. Meanwhile, Tom says that deconstruction can often go horribly wrong, but this does not.

Tamesha – Jerked Chicken Sphere, Soft Polenta, Tamarind, Mango and Cilantro. Sphere!! SPHERE!! It’s an effing MEATBALL! I really hate pretentious crap like that.

Andrea – Pork with Chorizo Potato Gnocchi, Calabaza and Orange Gemolata. Padma can’t taste Miami, but she thinks it tastes good.

Tim – Pan Seared Maryland Rockfish with Pickled Leek, Dill and Grilled Crostini. Tom thinks the two sauces are not distinct. Ripert really doesn’t like the thick fish skin. I think Thick Fish Skin was an old Ramones album.

Angelo’s Team
Tiffany – Cajun Shrimp and Crawfish Salad, Chicken Fried Tomatillos.
Nothing. But it looked good.

Kelly – Spice Crusted NY Strip Steak, Fiddlehead Fern and Wild Mushroom Sauté. I don’t know what these things are, and am unsure these are actually foods. Tom thinks it is really well cooked.

Angelo – Arctic Char with Pickled Shallots, Tapioca and Smoked Bacon Froth. Served on a spoon. Don’t like that. Tom thinks it is really good, but Gail thinks it is a lot of dill.

John – Maple Mousse Napoleon with Crisp Macadamia Nuts and Vanilla Sauce. Gail can’t taste the maple, and Tom agrees and says he can only taste “sugar, sugar, sugar.”


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