Wait, was Ed wearing a dress in the beginning of this week’s episode?
So the season is winding down–next week is the last elimination before the contestants return home to prep for the finale–and so we should be seeing some impressive dishes from the remaining chefs, right? Wrong.
This week’s Quickfire was to take a food idiom (The Big Cheese, Sour Grapes, etc.) and create a dish to represent that phrase. Creative, writers/producers, nice work. Anyway, we saw tilapia satay for “Bigger Fish to Fry” and bacon three ways for “Bring Home the Bacon,” but ultimately Ed’s gnocchi for “Hot Potato” won the prize–and will be turned into a frozen delivery meal for Schwan’s. Amanda’s mac&cheese and Kelly’s chicken breast with brussel sprouts and grapes were less than impressive for guest judge Rick Moonen.
The elimination challenge required the contestants to work as a team and create fancy concession food at the Nationals stadium. The Nats ain’t great, and concession food generally isn’t either, so this was interesting. Kitchen politics immediately got in the way, with Kelly bossing everyone around and claiming her ingredients first. Then Angelo said he would expedite the orders if someone else cooked his dish, but then he regretted that decision and tried to backtrack. Ultimately we ended up with Tiffany’s Italian meatball sub, Kevin’s chicken kebob with fries (he kept piling the fries on top of the kebob, which–understandably–puzzled the judges), crabcake BLTs from Kelly (these looked really good, actually), Ed’s shrimp and corn risotto fritters (he churned out hundreds of those during prep time), pork rolls from Angelo and tuna tartare from Amanda (worst idea for concession food ever).
The crowd really seemed to like the meatball sub, the BLT and the fritters, and the judges ultimately preferred Tiffany’s and Ed’s dishes. They were critical of the amount of bread on Angelo’s sandwich and the fact that Amanda’s tuna had oxidized and turned gray (ewwwww–because she used a meat grinder and prepared it the day before). Ed took the win and Amanda was sent home.
Now, like Alex, Amanda was disliked around the house but made it much further than expected. Ed made a few snide remarks about how she was messy and lacked technique, but Angelo called her a “dark horse” and praised her talent. Funny, as he may or may not have sabotaged her by telling her to grind her tuna.
A few other observations: Angelo has a Russian girlfriend he’s trying to bring to the U.S. (cliche?), Eric Ripert is incapable of eating anything with his hands (he obviously doesn’t visit non-Michelin-starred restaurants) and Padma thought it would be cute to wear a Nats jersey to the game (NO).
So now we’re down to what we might assume are the best of the best. Until next week, ladies and gentlemen…