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


Elimination – Cook a three-course meal, with the best teams not having to cook the ensuing course. The last team left goes home. No one wants to team with Amanda or Stephen so they team up and are eager to stick to everyone. Tiffany winds up with Tim and is worried that he continually winds up in the bottom. I find it curious that Maryland Tim allows Tiffany to take the lead on their crab cake dish.

Breakfast
Moby/Ed – Prosciutto Potato Cake, Egg with Lemon Pancake, Bellini Cocktail. Moby tells us they were unable to plate their Hollandaise Sauce. Not good. They are told by Hilton Lady that their failed to give her and Spike the potato cake. Even worse. Moby bitches about Ed blowing that, and I wonder about his memory. Didn’t he just tell us he forgot to plate the sauce?

Spenny/Tamesha – Egg, bacon and Cheddar Broth. Tamesha thinks the egg is going to be good since it is just the way BryanBot makes it at Volt. Bryan has other ideas and finds it runny, and then jokes that the presentation needed to be cleaned up, a call-back joke to his season’s semi-finals.

Arnold/Lynne – Tortilla Espanola with Chorizo and Bacon, Olive-Pear Salad and Papas Bravas. Despite having made the bravas many times in her classes, Lynne’s called for plating chaos and Tom isn’t fond of the texture.

Kenny/Sbarro – Poached Egg on Herb Brioche, Prosciutto, Machego, and Spanish Olive Tapenade. Spike follows Tom’s texture critique and dings them with it.

Amanda/Stephen – Poached Egg, Pancetta, Potato Rosti, and Grape Ragout with Hollandaise. Spike and MM rave about it.

Andrea/Kelly – Bacon, Cheddar and Wheat Waffle, Poached Egg and Mango, Lime and Mint Yogurt Smoothie. They go in to it confident, but then it gets taken apart. Especially the gross looking smoothie.

Tiffany/Tim – Crab Cake Egg Benedict, Asparagus and Bacon Potato Hash in Hollandaise. BryanBot loves the cake, and to be honest, this dish looks really good. Maybe I underestimated Tiffany a bit.

The winners for breakfast are Tiffany/Tim and Amanda/Stephen – which I am sure no one could have predicted.

Lunch
Kenny is stunned to be there for lunch as he thinks he nailed the flavors and cooking techniques and it is “total BS” they are still cooking. Um, Kenny, stop making me not like you. I really want to be on your side. Meanwhile, Spenny is also fuming inside and now he means business, as seen by his return to Asian flavors. Arnold felt theirs may have been too quirky for the Hilton Hotels. Yeah, the Hilton’s have no idea what they are doing.

Moby/Ed – Sea Scallops with Ricotta Gnudi and Broccoli Rabe. BryanBot and Tom rave about the Gnudi, which I think may be a made up word. BryanBot actually goes into the technique – something about folding it over – and is the most animated and engaged than I have ever seen him. A Bot no more, so it seems. I must also say that this is my favorite of the lunches. An aside about Broccoli Rabe. I hated it for years, my parents made it often. Then my wife convinced me years later to try hers in a restaurant. I commented how I didn’t like the bitterness. Turns out – it’s not supposed to be bitter. Always disconcerting to find out that your parents were doing something incorrectly for decades.

Spenny/Tamesha – Slivers of Beef, Jicama-Asian Pear Salad with Mint, Cilantro and Kimchi Vinaigrette. Tom likes how you can make the dish portable very easily for busy hotel guests.

Arnold/Lynne – Tuna Cannelloni with Forbidden Rice Salad and Tomato Vinaigrette. Spike isn’t a fan and I think I wrote my notes in Sanskrit for this one.

Kenny/Sbarro – Chickpea Pappardelle Pasta with Grilled Chicken and Tahini Sauce. BryanBot can’t figure out if it is chicken. Not good.

Andrea/Kelly – Crispy Skin Red Snapper and Panzanella Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette. Andrea is nervous about making fish for Eric Ripert. Get used to this theme. Tom is aghast the used canned beans and didn’t cook “a bag of beans.”

Spenny/Tamesha and Moby/Ed each move on – Moby/Ed was getting an elimination edit to this point, so this one was a surprise to that extent.

Dinner
Kenny continues to complain about the officiating. He should be working for Phil Jackson. Arnold bitches that Lynne gets pissed off like a little kid. I don’t get that, who doesn’t get pissed off when they lose? Oh, Arnold, who just gets passive aggressive. Lynne has an issue with her oven being taken over by Sbarro. She then becomes vastly concerned that Arnold is overcooking the pasta, as it turns out, the opposite happens. Meanwhile Kenny and Sbarro spar over the amount of horseradish used – Kenny wants more, Sbarro wants less. Turns out, they didn’t use enough.

Kenny/Sbarro – Braised Beef Short Rib, Squash, Potato and Carrot Confit and Tempura Horseradish. Andrea noticed they didn’t use enough glaze, which to a short rib is “the business.” To me, The Business sounds like a new Jersey Shore character. Meanwhile, Padma can’t taste the horseradish and Tom thinks there is not enough glaze. Point, Andrea.

Andrea/Kelly – Braised Beef Short Rib, Polenta, Shiitake Mushrooms and Citrus Gremolata. The all seem to like it and clearly they have made the better short rib. After all, they had The Business.

Arnold/Lynne – Pineapple Red Curry Mussels with Squid Ink Pasta and Focaccia. Spike likes the concept, but BryanBot says the pasta isn’t cooked.


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