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Top Chef: DC – Episode 7 Commentary – That’s a $10,000 Tamale


Winners – Tiffany, Sbarro and Kelly
Tiffany says that she did not treat the challenge as if she had immunity, and Gail says she often finds herself looking for condiments or more meat when eating tamales, but Tiffany solved all of those problems. Sbarro admits to it being his first time with Indian food. Tom says it all came down to his chicken being tender, and that he did his own thing. You don’t need to be authentic to be good. Kelly is told be Tom that hers was a good example of why local food works – her meat was from Virginia. Jose tells her that he just came back from Venice and her dish honored Italy.

Tiffany gets the win, and $10,000 to boot. She now has a paid-off wedding. The show also gives Jose’s charity DC Central Kitchen a matching donation. He shows surprise, but I tend to doubt that he didn’t already know about it.

Losers – Moby, Stephen and Ed
Gail tells Stephen that his idea was fine, but the rice was broken and mealy, plus when he says Chimichurri, she expects Argentina, not Brazil. She found the garlic to be pungent. Tom simply says that if the rice was cooked right, and the steak was moist and juicy, he wouldn’t be in the bottom.

Jose calls Moby’s dish “a little nightmare”. Ouch. He says he was excited to do Spanish food, but couldn’t edit. He then says Tom told him it didn’t have to be Spanish, and Tom wonders if Moby is saying it is Tom’s fault. Don’t go there Pea Boy! Tom piles on that the sauce was thin and water and in no way reminded him of Spain. Tom also thinks he could give those ingredients to anyone and they can cook a great dish.

Ed’s sauce was good for Jose, but he thought the dish under-delivered. Tom wanted him to render out the fat. Basically, the duck was incorrectly prepared. Tom wanted a smoky flavor as promised, Chinese food is supposed to be more flavorful. That’s it – Ed is totally safe.

Quickfire hits – there are many this week
• September 15 premiere for “Top Chef: Just Desserts” – Happy Anniversary to us!
• Both Kelly and Stephen mention making a “fatal error” in their cooking. Please stop saying that. Not only are you still alive, but so are the people eating your food. Not fatal. Just stupid.
• Did we need to see Tiffany grooming again this week? No offense to Tiffany, but boy, they are giving her some rather unflattering moments from the house.
• Love the sound looping so Padma could say Marcus won “Masters.” And it seems that if Kenny is a Beast in the Kitchen, according to Sbarro, Marcus is “Animal in the Kitchen.”
• Sbarro on Moby – “He just throws darts at the wall and sees what sticks…he’s the weakest chef left.” Awesome editing has that comment over Moby failing to put his pressure cooker together.
• During the DC establishing shots, I noticed a quick shot of the street crossing signs and instantly reacted as if my son was with me, “It’s the Walking Man!”
• Did Kenny say he has battled cancer too? Man, he’s like Lance Armstrong. I don’t really like him much, but then he has such a long list of reasons why I should like him. But then he goes and says dumb ass things. So confused! I’m like Ed trying to find his pea puree.
• My favorite part about Hot Amanda – besides the obvious – is that she makes some of the best facial expressions. Her reactions are classic.
• Who else laughed and/or cheered as Moby did a big face plant in the kitchen? I was hoping he would have landed in the forgotten Ed pea puree.
• Do I have to mention the Spenny saran wrapped toilet joke? No? Thanks.
• Coolest guy – Kelly’s husband, who mailed her whisky cushioned by stuffed animals.
• Padma’s black outfit during the Elimination Challenge. I’m just saying…
• Double Entendre Line of the Night – Hot Amanda- “There is actually no room in my hot box.”

Next week – Restaurant Wars! Have at it guys!

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