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Top Chef: DC – Episode 4 – Double Elim, Baby Food and Lacking “The Business”


With all the cooking going on this episode – I mean I have 23 dishes listed below – the biggest realization to hit anyone truly paying attention was this…this vision we see on our TV screens is probably the worst Padma will look in her life, pre-nursing home days. At the Quickfire, Padma tells the chefs that she has a two-month old at home. Most women will tell you the first few months are rough to shake that baby weight. Meanwhile, Padma actually has it working for her. I have said it once, and I will say it again, the woman is simply not human.

But, once again, you aren’t here to read about my Padma obsession. Well, maybe some of you are – we’ll start a club, charge dues and have jackets made. The rest of you want to know all about the cooking and the elimination. Or in this case – eliminations. That’s right; Top Chef pares down two chefs in this episode. Unlike most of the time Survivor does it, Top Chef weaves it seamlessly into the show. Teams of two compete in the challenge – the worst team both depart. I would say that if I were one of those chefs, I would have been stepping over bodies to find Angelo or Kenny. As it turns out, that was not the best strategy.

Regarding the challenges – I enjoyed one, but not the other. The Quickfire baby food challenge was ridiculous. I get the inspiration – Tom and Padma each have newborns. However, to have them puree a dish into baby food is unrealistic. I mean how many people are going to take the time to whip up curried chicken and then serve it to their baby?

The Elimination Challenge was loads of fun. Hilton Hotels is looking for a dish to put on their menu and have come to our Cheftestants for ideas. In addition to the Hilton Lady judging with Tom and Padma, we have a random woman named Nora and three past Cheftestants – Mike Isabella (MM from last season), Bryan Voltaggio (BryanBot from last season) and Spike Mendelssohn (Season 4 and creator of the amazing Good Stuff burger). MM, BryanBot and Spike are all local to DC region, so the randomness of their grouping makes a bit more sense to viewers. I assume Carla from Season 5 was busy. Hootie Hoo.

The challenge is that pairs of two must cook a three-course meal in tournament style. After breakfast, two pairs will be declared the winners and safe from elimination. They will not have to cook the rest of the day. After lunch two more will be safe. The remaining three teams must cook dinner. One dish will win the day for that pair – from any of the courses – and one team of the last three will be booted. Very entertaining challenge.
Meanwhile, outside of the actually cooking, very little is taking shape in the season narrative. We have the ongoing – and soon to be overwhelmingly annoying – Angelo vs. Kenny rivalry. In fact, I may have a new nickname for Angelo. Spenny. Another plotline is the lack of respect given to Amanda – which could also be interpreted as her being highly annoying. I will defer to it being lack of respect – mainly because she’s hot and that’s how I roll. But heads up Amanda, the Hot Get Out Of Jail Free Card only goes so far. Just ask Caite from last year’s Amazing Race.


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