Top Chef D.C. Episode 11 Recap

Only five cheftestants remain!

It looks like our cheftestants aren’t as boring as we once thought. It might have taken 11 episodes, but their personalities are finally starting to come out. Ed showed us his feminine side by sporting one of Tiffany’s dresses and Angelo confessed to worshipping a shrine of four-star chefs as a boy. They’re as nutty as fruitcakes!

After the cross-dressing incident, the chefs headed to the kitchen where Padma started spouting out random phrases like “top banana” and “big cheese.” She wasn’t misreading her cue cards; she was giving the chefs examples of idioms from which they must create a dish. The chefs played it safe by choosing expressions like “hot potato” and “bigger fish to fry.” Unfortunately, no one was brave enough to tackle the risqué choice, “hide the salami.” I bet that would have been an interesting dish.

In an unsuccessful attempt to recover from last week’s embarrassment, Angelo started talking to his food. While frying his fish, he said, “My oil is too hot, huh? S—t! Just one of us.” I think he has bigger fish to fry (like mental problems) than this competition.

The “bad eggs” of the group were Kelly and Amanda. Kelly’s “sour grape” chicken breast with brussel sprouts and grape puree didn’t sing. Amanda’s mac and cheese/pork chop combo was so heavy it was like a “sledgehammer to the gut.” Ouch. For once, she thought the judges were wrong!

Moonen liked the lightness and balance of Kevin’s bacon dish despite the fact it wouldn’t work as a frozen meal. Ed was on fire with his “hot potato” gnocchi. Moonen thought it was light and well conceived. Look out for Ed’s “potato head” on a frozen meal near you!

The chefs took over a concession stand at a Washington Nationals game for the Elimination Challenge. The catch? It’s a team challenge! The team challenge quickly turned into every man for himself. Kelly attempted to take control while planning the menu, but everyone just ignored her. Surprisingly, Angelo didn’t say a word.

Most of the chefs had the right idea for this challenge (corn poppers and meatball subs), but Amanda’s idea didn’t quite pan out. First of all, she decided it was a good idea to serve raw fish at a baseball game. Then she decided to cut it the night before allowing it to oxidize and turn gray. Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks! There’s no way I’d eat day-old tuna tartare at a baseball game (or anywhere else for that matter).

Later that night, the chefs argued over who should take orders the next day. Trying to make up for his lack of leadership, Angelo quickly stepped up to the plate. When he got to the concession stand the next day, however, he realized that he wouldn’t be able to plate his food. He decided it would be best if everyone took their own orders. Kevin got pissed and started yelling. Ed volunteered to plate Angelo’s food despite the fact that he had already taken on more than he could chew. Angelo reluctantly agreed. Crisis averted.

Ed and Tiffany were in the top. Tiffany’s meatball sub was a crowd favorite. The judges thought it was delicious but difficult to eat. Tom liked that you could taste the cumin seeds in the meatballs and Moonen “found the wrestle fun.” Winning both challenges is becoming a trend because Ed won again. They thought his shrimp and corn poppers were terrific. They were crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and easy to eat. He won a trip to Australia and … drum roll … Moonen’s cookbook.

The judges didn’t like that Kevin’s chicken skewers poked them in the throat. They thought Kelly’s crab cakes were salty and the bacon was too thick. Angelo’s pork was too sweet and the bun was soggy. He also tried to lie about how he came to take the orders, but Tiffany called him out. Go girl! Although the judges applauded Amanda for trying something different, her old tuna just didn’t cut it. One of the giant Nationals players thought it tasted like “a caterpillar exploded in his mouth.” She’s had way more than three strikes this season. Thank goodness she’s finally out!

I think Angelo needs to start praying to his shrine again if he wants to stay in this competition much longer. Who do you guys think will win?