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


Elimination Challenge – Padma promises to “Take them out to the Ballgame.” They are to act as a single team and make at least six dishes of “high end concession food” at Nationals Park. Amanda recalls the last time they did a team challenge and how they all fought. Angelo claims that baseball is in his blood since he is half-Dominican. I have a hard time picturing Angelo playing sports.

The team plans and Tiffany comments on how Kelly manages to talk a lot, as witnessed by a long sandwich ramble. Poignantly, Kelly convinces Amanda to lay off crab cakes, thus leading her along the path of raw fish. At Whole Foods, Muffin wants to prepare some fried food with ballpark flavors. Angelo elects to use hot dog buns for his dimsum, something he didn’t want to do. I wonder if that will play into it. Sbarro correctly questions Amanda’s decision to make tuna tartar.

As they prepare, Angelo hurries since his pork since it needs two and a half hours to braise. Tiffany is making an Italian sausage that she gets at a local state fair and turning it into a meatball. Amanda is still doing raw fish. And even better, she’s taking Angelo’s advice and preparing it the day before in a meat grinder. She is making a raw fish dish the day before she serves. Mmmm. Nothing better than day old raw fish. In the heat. Muffin has elected to make 550 poppers. Angelo volunteers to take the orders from the patrons during the challenge, then realizes that it may hurt his ability to plate properly, so he tries to rescind the day of the challenge. Sbarro calls out his BS and Angelo sticks with it.

Three Nats come out to meet the chefs and will be tasting the food, and thankfully not judging them. In typical Nats fashion, they lacked the foresight back in May to choose the best players to represent the team when the show airs in August. The biggest star we get is Adam Dunn – a huge home run and strikeout machine – who was almost traded last month and may leave the team as a free agent next year. We get pitcher John Lannan, a top starting pitcher last year who has been so bad this year he got demoted to the minor leagues for a while. And Matt Capps, their lone All-Star selection this season. The problem? He was traded to Minnesota last month. Ah, the Nats.

Problems begin to pop up – Kelly realizes her bacon is too thick and it is making things salty. Amanda’s tuna is not red and is starting to oxidize. Angelo states that she should have added oil to stop that from happening – perhaps he should have told her that the day before when he suggested the course of action.

As they serve, everyone is calling for the meatballs and the crab cakes. Strangely, they are not flocking to the weird-looking raw fish. Dunn, Capps and Lannan fire away some funny lines – “How do you eat this (the tuna, as Dunn dips his finger in it),” Dunn feeds a fan the crab cake and claims to have made it himself. “These skewers are awesome!” Dunn wants to put food in his back pocket for the sixth inning. He also thinks one tasted like a caterpillar exploded in his mouth. A fan asks which ones they ate and Dunn says, “all of them!”

Kelly – Open Face Crab Cake BLT with Sweet Potato Fries. Moonen likes the cake flavor, and Padma agrees, but salty. Tom thinks it is salty, but that lets you drink more beer. Some gorgeous woman’s mom really liked the crab cake. I’m just saying.

Tiffany – Italian Meatball Sub with Fennel, Basil Pesto and Fresh Mozzarella. Moonen thinks she took a classic sausage and took it to the next level. Ripert finds it hard to eat.

Amanda – Yellow fin Tuna Tartare with Fennel Meyer Lemon and Fava Bean Puree. Not only did she make day old raw fish, but she did it in front of two of the most revered seafood chefs in the world – Moonen and Ripert. Moonen thinks that “raw fish at the stadium takes some baseballs.” Ripert thinks it is both greasy and offensive. Tom likes the flavors, and the veggies.

Angelo – Sweet Glazed Pork on Lobster Roll with Sweet Sesame Pickles. Ripert says there was way too much bread. Tom thinks the bread killed the flavor of the meat.

Sbarro – Chicken Kebob with Romesco Sauce, Shoestring Fries and Smoked Paprika Aioli. He’s worried that he’s not getting many orders. Ripert thinks the chicken was good, but is not a fan of the potatoes being on top. A fan – and later Ripert too – says the skewer basically almost pierced their throats. Another fan says why go to the game to get chicken.

Muffin – Shrimp and Corn Risotto Fritters with Jalapeno Aioli. Moonen thinks he did a good job, the outside was crunchy, but the inside was creamy. Tom thinks it was really good.


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