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Top Chef: DC – Episode 9 Commentary – Tougher Than A Post In Yemen


Angelo – Beef Wellington – Tartlet Topped with Slivers of Beef. Why, oh why, did Angelo decide to buy frozen pastry? So many chefs have gone home for buying ready-made frozen food. And he knows that. Leon finds it to be a poor disguise; Agent Wellington would be captured quickly. It was also salty with a hard pastry.

Kelly – Kung Pao Shrimp – Spicy Shrimp Broth with Rice and Szechuan Shrimp Tempura. She has the brilliant idea to turn this into a soup, disguising the flavors of the sauce in a new form. Wylie guesses it before Leon leading him to quip, “I know something you don’t know.” Senior CIA Analyst Sheetal guesses Pad Thai. Tom guesses it but really likes the flavors. Wylie is good with it, but it might be too much broth. Congressional Affairs Officer Tim enjoyed the texture of the rice and was distracted by how good it tasted.

Tiffany – Gyro – Roasted leg of Lamb with Smoky Eggplant, Tomatoes and Pickled Onions Leon guesses it, and Deputy General Counsel Darrion says he would order this anywhere. Ripert calls it the “most elegant gyro he has ever eaten.” I wonder if he “lika the juice.” Best complement though for her – Angelo tasted it and is surprised that he just tasted eggplant.

Sbarro – Cobb Salad – Romaine Lettuce, Tomato, Bacon, Roquefort, Avocado, Cucumber and Turkey. Director of Human Services Cindy guesses it, as the bleu cheese gave it away. Leon thought it was something Mexican. Keep it away from Arizona! Tom is disappointed because he turned a salad into a salad, but he liked the taste as he is a big Cobb Salad fan.

COOLEST PART OF THE EPISODE – Leon gets a mystery note handed to him. He politely excuses himself and leaves. CIA business. WHAT WAS IN THAT NOTE!!!! Padma wonders if he has to dine and dash often. I am busy concocting various scenarios – many involve the finding of Osama Bin Laden – for Leon having to leave someplace that found him seated next to Padma Lakshmi. Because, don’t forget – this is Padma. I’m just saying.

Amanda – French Onion Soup – Consommé with Oxtail Marmalade, Caramelized Onions, Shaved Gruyere. As Tom said, she turned a soup into soup. She rightfully stated that Helen Keller could guess the dish. And yet she kept going forward with it. Strange. Granted, it sounds like it would be tasty. However, everyone guessed it right away, except Attorney Melody who thought the cheese was coconut on sight. Tom found the marmalade to be a good idea, but too sweet. One guest describes it as “honey and lemon cough syrup.”

Moby – Veal Parmesan – Veal and Parmigiano Cheese Tortelloni with Tomato Sauce and Tempura Cheese. Immediately you know Moby’s fate is sealed as no one can cut the veal. The CIA Executive Chef Fred guesses lasagna. Tom calls the veal tougher than “pulling a post in Yemen.” HAAAAA!!!

Ed – Chicken Cordon Bleu – Roasted Chicken Breast, Ham and Cheese Croquette, Spring Onion Soubise. He disguised it by turning it inside out. I actually kind of like that idea, even if the judges didn’t give it enough props. Ripert laughs about how obvious it was. Tom thought the chicken was very good, and Wylie applauds the labor in creating it.


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