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


Winners – Tiffany, Kelly and Ed
Kelly’s broth gets more love as Ripert and Tom complement that and her rescued rice. Tiffany gets credit from Wylie for making finger food into a dish. Ripert thinks Ed’s was perfectly executed (something which takes different meaning at the CIA). In the end, Tiffany earns the win and the second time this season she has won the Quickfire and the Elimination Challenge in the same episode.

Losers – Angelo, Moby and Amanda. Congrats on that fourth place finish, Sbarro!
Amanda and Angelo both get hit for poorly disguising their dishes. Tom suggests that Amanda could have done so much with cheese, including making a panna cotta. Ripert tells Angelo that in a challenge where he had the most freedom to create, he didn’t, which is sad. He later thinks that Angelo’s Beef Wellington would make Julia Child sad. HA! Moby admits to cooking the veal sous vide – despite not having any experience with it. It seems he failed to learn from Carla’s errors two seasons ago. Tom thinks he has had better veal in street fairs, and I wonder what street fairs Tom is attending that serve veal. Tom asks all three of them why they are cooking to finish seventh. Good question.

Moby is sent home – his contribution this season being the over-usage of the words “pea puree.” He joins the long line of Top Chef cheftestants who managed to make the Top Six or Seven (Amanda joining him this season) despite not even remotely being the six or seven best that season.

Quickfire hits
• Amanda was full of hysterical quotes this week…After the Quickfire challenge – “that was the Most Nightmarish Mystery Box Challenge Ever.” As opposed to all of those happy-go-lucky Mystery Box Challenges.
• More from Amanda, this time about the CIA – “I might get recruited; I can seduce secrets out of the KGB.” First, I would like to see that. Second, that would indicate some all-time lows in CIA recruitment. And last, how sad is that Amanda still thinks the Soviet Union exists.
• Moby used to be a videographer. I wonder if he also got sick of creating montages to Green Day’s “Time of Your Life.” The fact that he has only been a chef for six years explains a lot, and is actually somewhat impressive for him.
• I was very impressed by Kelly’s decision to find Kung Pao sauce in the store so she could read the ingredients and reverse engineer the dish. That was a very smart way to get the flavors for something she was unfamiliar with creating.
• Although her rice issue was scary. Overcooking the rice because she is used to cooking in high altitudes was interesting, as was her Tiffany-suggested salvation of cooking it old-school on the stove. She did not want to turn into the lost Stieg Larsson 4th novel – “The Girl That Goes Home For Kung Pao Shrimp.”
• Meanwhile, Angelo had a nice idea to turn his Beef Wellington into a pizza. But it didn’t look like a pizza. It’s the reverse Dominos effect. They turned crappy pizza into decent pizza, and Angelo managed to turn a good dish into crappy pizza.
• Am I the only one who got a kick out of the CIA china pattern? They have their own china.
• I loved the spy talk. Tiffany’s favorite show is “La Femme Nikita,” I wonder if she’s going to watch the new one. Amanda wants to be called Natasha and carry a small .22 in her garter. Again, I would like to see that, and also again, what’s with the Soviet era references? The best – Ed wants to be called Muffin Winthrope. Consider it done.
• Moby’s favorite is “Get Smart” – please say the original Don Adams and not the Steve Carell abomination. And I will not be calling Moby “Dr. Zhivago,” I don’t care that he’s Russian. Hey, maybe Amanda can seduce him.
• Moby with the strange sentence – “Anyone see my smiley face cheese?”

Next week – Nationals Stadium. Hopefully not as hot as it was when I took my boy to his first game on Father’s Day and we couldn’t even sit in our seats. Sbarro and Angelo get into it a bit. Top Chef Masters’ Finalist Rick Moonen shows up to judge.

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