Top Chef: DC Goes Farming

Episode 5 of Top Chef: DC kicks off with Kenny giving a one on one and then takes us to peek in on two sets of lovebirds. Clearly, the producers are trying to spice up this season by introducing some love connections–and we see Angelo & Tamesha and Ed & Tiffany hanging out and flirting.

Patrick O’Connell from The Inn at Little Washington joins Padma for the quickfire challenge. In true Mid Atlantic fashion, the challenge is all about blue crabs. Unfortunately. it wasn’t crab season yet when they most likely filmed this episode, so we have to assume that the crabs were either really small Maryland crabs or were imported from the pre-oil spill Gulf. Angelo makes an Alex-esque comment that he “ha[d] crabs, so it just brought back bad memories.” WHAT??

Crabs are a tough challenge for a quickfire because they are so time consuming to get the meat from, and you can tell that a lot of the chefs are struggling. Kenny, though, claims to be “a beast in the kitchen.”

Amanda, Andrea, and Kevin wind up in the bottom three. Kevin says he’s starting to question himself and his reasons for being there. The best comment comes from Padma, who says “wow” when she’s tasting Amanda’s crab salad with sauterne, ginger, and juniper gelee. When Amanda asks if it’s a good wow, Padma gives a blank look and says “it’s very pungent.” Not exactly a complimentary remark…

Kenny’s beastliness winds up winning him a spot in the top three with his crab 3 ways: Korean crab bisque, crab bruschetta, and warm crab with sesame. Joining him are Ed and Angelo. Ed is declared king of the crabs for his jumbo lump crab with thai basil, mago & cucumber salad.

Just as I expected meat man Tim to dominate in the BBQ challenge, I had high hopes for him in preparing the Maryland crab–but no luck there. Come on, hometown chef! Show ’em what you’ve got.

For the elimination challenge, the group is headed to Ayrshire Farm, Virginia’s first certified organic and humane farm to create a meal for 40 local chefs and farmers. The twist is that they will have three hours to all work together as a team to put out six family-style dishes. Not only that, but the chefs won’t see the ingredients or the kitchen until they get to the farm. This sounds like a recipe for disaster. As Stephen says, this challenge pretty much epitomizes the idea of “too many cooks in the kitchen.”

Back at the house, the chefs try to figure out a game plan–but of course Kenny and Angelo’s egos battle it out for the designation of Alpha Male. Never would have seen that one coming…

The chefs split up into the same partnerships from last week, and neither Tiffany nor Stephen are pleased with their partners. Stephen is stuck with odd-ball Alex, and Tiffany is worried that she’ll have to carry Timothy like she did in last week’s challenge. Stephen admits he’d rather be paired up with his love interest Tiffany.

The cooking area isn’t quite what these chefs are used to; the farm has propane grills, hot plates, and not much else. Toyota wins with the product placement, though, with their “Toyota Mobile Pantry.”

Angelo is starting to sound a lot like Alex. As if the crab comment were enough, he also claims “I basically made love to that duck.” The judges didn’t give him the love, though, and called Kevin/Kenny and Kelly/Andrea to the judges’ table as the top four. Ultimately, Kenny takes the cake for his sweet and sour curried eggplant.

Tim, Amanda, and Stephen get called out for the bottom three. This isn’t the fist time that Tim has seemed surprised that he is called out for under-performing. I want to like him because he’s a hometown guy, but he’s not making a great case for himself. Amanda gets called out for her minnestrone being “amateurish” and is told it seemed “grandmotherly, as in grandma made it with her ax.”

In the end, Tim’s bland turnip, potato, and asparagus dish gets the ax, and Tim is sent to pack up his knives and head home on 95.

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About Rachel

Life is an adventure. Live it.
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