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Top Chef D.C., Sept. 1 – Run Short-Ribs Run!


Tiffany decides to make a Pan-Seared Alaskan Halibut with Coconut Curry, Steamed Mussels and Jasmine Rice. Tom asks if this is the type of food she likes to prepare and adds that she has been coming on strong. She agrees and says that she feels she needs to step up and spice her food a little more.

Tom’s last stop is Kevin; he admits to Tom that he is a little nervous cooking space food. Kevin is cooking NY Strip Steak with Bacon-Jalapeno Marmalade and Corn Puree. Tom questions why he went in this direction and Kevin says he tried to listen to what they said and brought a little refinement to comfort food.

The clock winds down on today’s prep when Tiffany realizes that the mussels she put in the refrigerator froze and are unusable. Ed tells her that she just needs to focus on really good tasting food and that it isn’t over. She needs to start the task with a more positive mindset tomorrow.

The next day the chefs are greeted with a note before they leave. It states that their ride to the final challenge is outside and the winner of the challenge will be bringing the ride home. Everyone makes a mad dash for the door. It is a fully-loaded Toyota Avalon. I guess that is what happens when you have to recall so many cars; you end up having to give them away. Sorry, I know … snarky. However,, I would have rather seen a commercial for an American built car. Somehow Angelo gets to drive it to the challenge.

Xavier Deshates, the Executive Chef of the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center, arrives to greet them in his kitchen. There they will have one hour to prep for the dinner. The kitchen is intense and tight. Kelly tells the diary cam that she believes final four is her, Angel, Kevin & Tiffany. Personally I hope that she is wrong, as I have been Team Ed since the beginning. Even with the small kitchen, it seems to be running well.

The diners this evening are Anthony Bourdain, Chef and Author; Buzz Aldrin, Astronaut and second man to walk on the moon; Sandra Magnus, Astronaut; Vickie Kloeris, NASA Food Scientist; and Leland Melvin, Astronaut; as well as Padma, Tom and Eric.

Kelly’s Halibut is the first served. Everything tastes great, but Vickie notes that you could not have all the broth in space. Sandra Magnus likes the crunchy texture of the artichokes and says that crunch is something you miss in space.

Ed is next with his lamb. Sandra Magnus notes that trash is a problem in space and the bones would be an issue. Eric Ripert thinks the dish is too complicated, but Anthony Bourdain disagrees. He thinks Ed nailed the dish and it is very much Moroccan. Buzz Aldrin thinks that it is great that they disagree.

Kevin is presenting next and believes he wants it more than anyone else. I never understand why people always say that on reality competitions. You wouldn’t give up your entire life and family for 3 or 4 months for something you are lukewarm about. All agree that it is a very tasty dish, but the crisp of the fried onions would be hard to maintain. The astronauts around the table also point out that they eat with a lot of spoons. Guess you wouldn’t want a sharp steak knife floating around.

Tiffany’s dish is next, also a halibut with a lot of broth. Anthony Bourdain is not too excited about the dish.

Angelo is the last to present to the diners. It looks pretty, but it is a small serving size with not a lot of vegetable or starch. Tom thinks it is a little too sweet with the candied ginger, and Eric Ripert thinks that it is too acidic. Anthony Bourdain, however, loves the dish and thinks it would be easily adaptable.

At the beginning of the judges’ table, Tom starts off by saying that the difference between winner and loser is very small. With all of the deadweight chefs gone, there were no major errors that were created to save the one with the smallest of mistakes.


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