In the grand tradition of reality TV, you can go from top of the pack to the bottom of the heap in a flash.
So with a double elimination on the horizon, all of the cheftestants knew it was either aim for that top spot or risk getting the boot.
But aside from a double elimination, “Top Chef” got personal this week. A Quickfire challenge focused on hosts Tom and Padma’s new infants had the chefs cooking up great food and then pureeing it into baby mush.
We also got some personal stories from the chefs. Kevin has a baby on the way; Angelo has a young son at home; and on the sad side, we find out that Kenny was left to raise his daughter after his wife was killed in a car crash. Oh, and Lynne has no idea what babies like.
But nerves be damned, it’s a high-stakes Quickfire with two winners and $10,000 dollars for each on the line.
The top four boiled down to Lynne, Angelo, Tamesha and Kenny, but in the end it was Tamesha’s salmon with vegetable chowder and lobster stock, Thai basil and licorice oil that earned a win, with the second going to Kenny for his curried chicken, mango salad and butternut squash confit with maitake mushrooms.
Timothy and his sauteed lamb with mushrooms and shallots; Kelly’s roast pork loin with grilled peaches and ginger; and Alex’s duck with spinach, basil and mushroom all ended up on the bottom, along with Kevin.
For all of his talk, Kevin can never seem to produce the dish he wants. In the Quickfire, Padma said she could hardly eat his pan-seared duck with baby carrots with all of the duck-blood pooling at the bottom of his plate.
But in fact, most of these chefs talk a lot of smack, and are having trouble backing it up. The usual suspects are Kevin and Steven, Lynne, Alex and Tim, but I’m going to leave out smack-talkers Kenny and Angelo, because those guys can cook.
Right after the Quickfire, it was time for the elimination round and oddly, the Top Chef knife block wasn't there for this doubles challenge.
The chefs were tasked with creating breakfast, lunch and dinner courses for the Hilton menu, and had to battle it out in three rounds. All teams had to cook a breakfast, but two winning teams from each meal got to sit out subsequent rounds, whittling down the competition until the losing teams were facing off in the last round.
The chefs also had to cook for former cheftestants and judges Mike Isabell, Bryan Voltaggio, Spike Mendelsohn, who were joined by Beth Scott of Hilton Hotels, Nora Pouillon of restaurant nora, Tom, Padma and returning judge Eric Ripert.
Team Amanda and Steven put together a breakfast that kept them out of the lunch round, and Tiffany and Tim also pulled off a winning combination with their crab cake eggs benedict and asparagus and bacon potato hash.
In the lunch round, Alex and Ed’s sea scallops with ricotta gnudi and broccoli rabe earned them a win, and Angelo and Tamesha were also safe with their slivers of beef with a jicama-asian pear salad.
The dinner round was the elimination round, which Andrea and Kelly ended up winning after the judges loved their glazed short ribs.
This left Kenny and Kevin as well as Arnold and Lynne facing the judges table as the bottom four.
It seems the handmade squid ink pasta that Lynne kept saying had to be cooked just right was not cooked “just right,” and that’s what ultimately sent her and Arnold packing.
Anyone besides me think Lynne threw Arnold under the bus? Shouldn’t a cooking instructor know how to cook pasta? Discuss!
If you're in Chicago, check out season 4 winner Stephanie Izard's new restaurant opening this Monday:
I don't think Lynne threw Arnold under the bus, but she did seem to be in some heavy denial. When she said in her exit that she shouldn't have let a younger chef take the lead, I almost fell out of my seat. Had she listened to Arnold who seemed to understand that it wasn't just a matter of cooking the pasta but that they needed time for all the components and plating, etc, they might not have wound up with undercooked pasta.
They still might not have won because the judges didn't think the plate was really hotel-friendly, but they wouldn't have been called out for such a poor execution.
They all seem to be a bunch of egomaniacal cry babies. No sportmanship at all. Angelo trying to get rid of Kenny during the lunchtime challenge, Stephen and Amanda speaking out of turn at judges table, Amanda removing Alex' food from the stove.....For me, this season has "jumped the shark".
You forgot about Kenny turning down Lynne's oven temp, and didn't anyone catch that Andrea and Kelly stated that they purchased a higher quality food & prep for their ribs and that they mysteriously had to use a lower quality ingredients. Kenny and Kevin were the only others making ribs.....and I liked Kenny.
I can't figure out why anyone would think Lynne threw Arnold under the bus. That makes absolutely no sense since her future on the show was completely connected with his. I think she was being truthful in front of the judges but again, if he goes, she goes (which we saw). So, I don't know how the writer of this article can think she would do that because it would have been "culinary suicide".
don't turn your back on Lynne http://bit.ly/WatchTopChef
"don't turn your back on Lynne "?
Its half the guys that I wuldn't turn my back on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Let me tell you a little bit about these premiseless Food Networks that are nothing more than a bullchute picnic. First off, they’re fixed. As fixed as professional wrestling and congressional elections. It is possible to find the scripts for future episodes online. It’s a proven fact, you need to start doing some digging and look this bullchute up. Second off, take a look America. Cupcakes and television. They’re making drones out of more. Subliminal messages are placed at random intervals in the programming, encouraging you to visit the fridge as if in an Ambien haze. Third, I’d sooner eat food stale out of the microwave from Mrs. Stouffer than anything this Robert Flay or these tools on the television cook show whip up. Fourth, why is it a race? I want my chicken cooked, and they’re always quick on the chicken-cooking. I don’t want that salmon bacteria with my chicken, that is a horrific pairing! Take your time. Also, I cannot smell or taste the food through the television, so even if it looks passable, it may taste like chute. At least with that American Idol program you can touch and taste the contestants. Based on the comments I’ve read so far, it indicates to me people haven’t even bothered to read the article in question. To prove that I did, I will quote from it: “The dinner round was the elimination round.” Actually, my bet would be that about half an hour after dinner was served came the elimination round. Watch Better Television! Not This Garbage!
This show is not on Food Network. The messages are not at all subliminal. They're quite obvious and often included in the names of the shows (Cupcake Wars, Ace of Cakes). Let us lap up this tripe with open stomachs and blinded eyes and ignore your pompous lunacy.
So, um, Barley... Is everything OK?
The entire concept was bad from the beginning. A team totally drops the breakfast but comes back at lunch while teams that were strong but not the best have to fight for a spot then you top it off by giving a big prize to the best of the teams that have not done well. I hope they never try this process again.
I agree about the winners of the prize being very puzzling. I wonder if there is something that was edited out of the show telling the contestants if they wanted to win a prize, they had to win it in the third round only?
I wonder which fat, sweaty, gay/lesbian, tatooed freak will win this year? This show has completely ruined the whole restaurant experience for me. If this is what's in the kitchen, I'll eat at home.
At least you will be saving money that you would've wasted eating out. :P
Minus the hair and sweat in my soup too....LOL!
The thing that bugged me was in the quickfire. I think it was Angelo's dish. He had honey in it. You can't feed honey to an infant, something that Padma and Tom surely should have known.
Yay! I caught that too.
Well, one of the winning dishes had lobster in it and shellfish is a baby no-no for at least the first year.
Lynne did NOT throw whiner Arnold under the bus, he stuck his head under the tire himself. She tried to reason with him while cooking but that arrogant azz doesn't listen to anyone as he lives with rose colored glasses on his face (or in his Gucci purse). When the judges later asked if they thought their pasta was properly cooked it was hilarious that she admitted "no" at the same time that he arrogantly said "yes" when the judges obviously knew the answer was no. The judges lose respect for chefs when they are oblivious to reality and if they had both simply said "no, we missed the mark on that" it would have helped their cause even if it would have still maybe not been enough.
In the end the judges did what they always do, they looked at a close call and decided to keep the best chef (Kenny) as opposed to sending him home to keep a marginal Lynn and a good but clueless Arnold even if their dish was maybe a bit better.
Was anyone else totally confused at the ending last night? Lynn kept on saying she didn't want to OVERCOOK the pasta, and wanted to wait to cook it while Arnold told her to drop it and seemed to convince her to do it. And then the pasta was UNDERCOOKED? It was sooo odd. Perhaps bad editing by Top Chef.
On another note, while I love diversity and culture, the producers obvious attempts to have a minority win this year's Top Chef (from the higher rate of minority contestants to the lower rate of white/male chefs) seems to have backfired in that the overall quality of the chefs and cooking have suffered.
Laren; Really. Need that minority win this year huh?
So let me get this straight. Top Chef, desperate for black (oops minority) chefs this season has flooded this season with those people instead of white males and because of this the quality of the food you are not tasting is going down.
Wow. Impressed with that astute observation based on racism, stereotypes, and prejudices.
Blacks (oops minorities) cant even cook and Top Chef is watering down their show in some TV conspiracy Affirmative Action program. Good thing you caught it Lauren. Let those people know that they can do "ok" but if you really want to do things right have the white male do it for you.
lol @ Lee. I was thinking the same thing!
@ Lauren Every season they say the cooking is awful, that's how people get eliminated. This is not a new format. Although I did notice this season was more diverse, which is a great thing, I wasn't able to notice how the quality of the meals spiraled down. Can you please tell me where you purchased your smell-a-vision?
Gee whiz, Lauren. Your politics have taken charge of your (lack of) soul. Something about in the eye of the beholder...
Yeah she pushed him under the bus. He should have said I told this OLD HAG to cook the pasta a million times. SHE claimed it only takes a min. Then she tried to make it seem (as stated above) that Arnold had cooked the pasta wrong. I think they should bring him back. He didn't deserve to go home. Personally i as a guest would have wanted the pasta over the beef for sure.
Then again I LOVE Kenny so all is still well. LOL
Lynne completely threw Arnold under the buss. She was overbearing and controlling about being older and an expert with pasta when that was what got them sent home. Arnold had won last week's challenge and didn't deserve to go home. As a resident of Nashville (where Arnold owns a restaurant) we all love his food and think he's great.
I agree. We in Nashville were really rooting for him! His restaurants are fantastic! Boo Lynne.
I agree, Lynn totally threw Arnold under the bus! The whole time, he kept asking her to cook the pasta and she kept saying it takes "only a minute" and that she knew how to cook fresh pasta. In the end her waiting, her making everything frantic, caused them to go home. The fact that she even said in judging that the pasta was undercooked, making it seem like Arnold had done that.
It was pretty audacious for her to say that it was her fault for allowing a younger chef take the lead, when it was her portion of the dish that was done incorrectly.
Although I doubt the Top Chef producers would allow Kenny to be removed from the show, sort of like that romance from a previous season, they probably wanted to hold onto that Rivalry of Kenny and Angelo. It sucks that they play into that, because I'm watching the show for the food, not the childish antics of middle aged men!
regardless of the emphasis, angelo and kenny seem the best cooks – it would be ludicrous to send one of the most gifted chefs home so early. personally, throwing a team of two out seems self-defeating but it does make good drama.
She threw him under the bus and back over him for good measure by ruining the pasta after she complained bitterly about her "freash pasta" cooking expertize. However, he killed himself with the Judges by seemlingly being offended by the critique (which was foul nonetheless) and pretending it all worked out as he planned. Obviously when they ask about a glazed or if the pasta is undercooked then they didnt enjoy an aspect of the food
I agree that she threw him under the bus, but she threw herself under the bus when she did it. How did she not understand that it didn't matter if it was his fault or hers, they were both going home? Her dumping on Arnold just made it more likely that they'd both go home.
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