TOP CHEF D.C.: Power Lunch & The Great Pea Puree Debate - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

TOP CHEF D.C.: Power Lunch & The Great Pea Puree Debate

July 29, 2010 by  

Appetizer: Congressman Aaron Schock (R, Illinois) joined the contestants for a toothpick-centered Quickfire Challenge.  $20,000 for one bite of food is a nice payoff for the Top Chefs!  Did I really see Chicken & Waffles on one toothpick?  Andrea was very ambitious with that option.  Angelo banked another victory, using a cucumber cup that successfully lobbied the young politician.  The best part of this challenge was the simplicity of each dish.  Even though I have the taste buds of a nine year old, I would have tried any of the contestants’ toothpick samplers, and that makes for better TV.

First Round of Drinks:  Four pound lobsters are scary looking.  If the SyFy Network cannot parlay the visual of those creatures crawling around the kitchen into their next horror movie, I will be disappointed.  As a native of New England, I am ashamed to say that lobster has never been my favorite food.  Obviously, frequent diners at The Palm Restaurant disagree!

Entree: The stakes of the elimination challenge were enhanced by two factors.  First, The Palm is a household name in the restaurant industry, and the chefs were in awe of the opportunity to take over their kitchen.  Second, Ed & Tiffany’s burgeoning friendship lead to the first example of true teamwork this season.  After Ed’s pea puree was swiped by Alex, Tiffany was quick to calm her colleague down and suggest that he work with broccolini instead.

Second Round of Drinks:  I rewound the flurry of “foam” one-liners three times.  Comedic highlight of the season!

Dessert: Judges’ Table has been hit or miss this year, but there was plenty of controversy this week. Alex winning the challenge with his puree-infused dish was high drama, and most customers at The Palm will probably mistake his portrait with LOST executive producer Damon Lindelof anyway.  As the bottom three plead their case, Padma worked in her weekly jab and corresponding facial expression, chiding Kelly for over-salting her steak.

One question for the producers:  Why wasn’t the great pea puree mystery answered definitively?  Allowing that storyline to linger felt like a wrinkle out of The Wire, not a cooking show.  It was a rare misstep by Top Chef’s extraordinary creative team.

Andrea was disappointed by her elimination, but she ignored reality show trends, and placed the blame squarely on herself.

What food would you like to have on a toothpick?  Did you agree with this week’s elimination?  Where do you stand on the great pea puree debate?  Am I the only one waiting for Restaurant Wars to pick this season up from the basement?  Which chef is your favorite thus far?

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