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Top Chef: DC – Episode 10 Commentary – Hot Dogs! Peanuts! Raw Fish!


The Final Six head to the stretch run towards the Finals and are forced to make lunch for the Washington Nationals and their 11 fans. And as you can imagine, when tasked with classing up stadium fare, the six chefs take on hot dogs, nachos, burgers, and the like. Oh, wait. They don’t? So they went for sweets and snacks – cotton candy, ice cream, pretzels, right? Oh wait, they didn’t. I know – they went old school… ”Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack…” Oh wait, they didn’t. What did we get? Raw tuna in hot DC humidity, chicken skewers (or long sharp wooden weapons in the hands of drunk sports fans), and crab cakes (this is not an Orioles game).

I mean, raw fish? At a baseball game? That was the idea? OK, Amanda, I will give you this – you can get sushi in Seattle’s Safeco Field. It’s called the Ichi-roll – I would have gotten one when I went to Seattle if the line wasn’t so long. But that’s Seattle – a city where fish is in every meal. And I mean that in a really, really good way. The oyster in the Bloody Mary was the best oyster I ever had. This is DC – granted, we have some good fish here, but not at a baseball game.

Once Amanda said she was making raw fish I instantly wrote down the words – Amanda is going home. Listen up future Top Chef participants – don’t make raw fish for outdoor challenges. And don’t make raw fish for sports fans. In fact, the audience for raw fish is rather limited. Make it at your own risk. The thought of raw fish at a ballgame is very disturbing to me.

Actually, it was not the most disturbing thing in the episode. That would be Ed in a dress. I’m sorry, Muffin Winthrop in a dress (how about that callback to last week’s CIA handle for Ed?) Muffin (I know, breaking the rule again on nicknames being longer than names) opens the episode sleeping in a yellow dress. I think it is Tiffany’s dress – that was not clear. And to be honest, I am not really sure why he was wearing it. Perhaps he was just being silly. Regardless, Muffin cannot pull it off. He is no Patrick Swayze. More like a Robin Williams.

Anyway, so despite the yellow dress – not a real one, that’s cruel – Muffin had a great episode. In the somewhat lame Quickfire, Muffin made gnocchi in an hour, hustling his butt off, and it paid off. Then in the Elimination Challenge, Muffin made about 8 gazillion little fritters and managed to make them perfectly. Truly a great episode for the Muffin Man.

Interesting how the season has progressed – at the beginning, it seemed as if the primary plotline was going to be the Kenny vs. Spenny rivalry. But with Kenny’s departure, and Spenny’s recent losing streak, it turns out that the Muffin/Tiffany friendship is the plotline to watch. Both of them are peaking late as this season moves to the climax. Boy, that sounded bad. I mean, a couple of weeks ago, could you imagine anyone other than Angelo winning? Now, if Ed or Tiffany won, it would not be a surprise. Heck, they may have moved into the front-runner roles. Not to mention, Kelly and Sbarro are not exactly poor performers.

Here’s a challenge to you, the loyal Top Chef fan. Predict who of these five will fail to make the finale in Singapore. It’s hard to do, isn’t it?


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