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

The full Dinner Group is called in before the judges – which is a bit surprising. As it turns out, Andrea/Kelly goes from bottom all the way to the top with that short rib and win the whole challenge. The short rib goes on the Hilton menu and the two ladies win trips to Italy (Kelly) and Spain (Andrea). Their laughter at winning is basically the sweet escape of relief.
As for the bottom four – bottom line is what was worse, the risky dish with the undercooked pasta and unpleasant black on black visual, or the short rib with insufficient sauce and flavoring. Turns out, Kenny barely avoids elimination and Lynne and Arnold get the boot. To me, no loss here. Lynne was personality-challenged, while Arnold had a massive excess of personality.

Quickfire hits –
• Arnold calls out Lynne for “throwing him under the bus.” First of all, this is another reality phrase that needs to be retired. And second of all, how can she throw him under the bus? If he goes, so does she. That made no sense.
• What was with that bizarre Sbarro vs. Amanda argument in the Stew Room? She told him you can’t tell the judges how to eat the dish. He says you have to tell people how to eat the dishes. I ask Sbarro – are you truly going to be telling Eric Ripert and Tom Colicchio how to eat a short rib? Are you that egotistical that you do not think two of the best chefs in the world can’t figure out how to eat your piece of crap dish? Get over yourself.
• Andrea is happy to be leaving the country for the first time. And she is a James Beard nominated chef – so she likes to remind us? What little I know of being a first-class chef is that you need to have experience internationally. How did Rick Bayless get so good? He went to Mexico. A lot.
• You can tell fatigue is starting to show up by Kelly’s gigantic yawn in the Stew Room.
• Arnold called himself a “kid.” Dude, you’re 33. Playtime is over.
• Was it me, or did Tom give out an exasperated sigh when the second short rib was being served?
• Thanks editors – Arnold’s mid-episode tearful confessional, and the sudden increase in moody Lynne confessionals made me realize midway through they were going home.
• I once said Kelly looked like last season’s Jennifer. I am wrong. She is Chloe O’Brian.
• Spenny is hot for Tamesha. Whatever.
• Spenny also called his kid by his first and middle names. When did the practice start that you talk about your baby with both names? And what age is it acceptable to stop doing it? I think we stopped in the first week. Then you have people like the last Project Runway winner who keep doing it, despite the awkwardness of the names. Others, well, they can pull it off.
• I apologize for the lack of some judge insights, but either they all were speaking with their mouths full or they had bad audio, because it sounded like mumbling. And Eric is usually impossible for me to understand. Another explanation is years of headphones and earplugs have taken their toll on me at last.
• Hey Spike – when is We, The Pizza opening up? I need some NY style pizza here in DC already!

Next week – lots of conflict and one dish goes overboard into the grass. Five second rule anyone?

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