July 29th, 2010
01:12 PM ET
On last night's 'Top Chef,' there were claims of thievery in the kitchen. And with all of the trash talking, allegations of backstabbing and power grabs, it seemed like the chefs have really adapted to their surroundings.
Enter guest judge and politician, Illinois' 18th District Republican representative Aaron Schock. Schock will also now be referred to as congressman ‘McBoring.’ The most thrilling part about him is that he is the youngest congressman serving – that, and his ugly pastel shirt.
Schock introduced himself and filled the chefs in on the day’s Quickfire challenge. Being a congressman, he’s required to know professional ethics, with one rule being the congressional ‘toothpick rule.’
So, in true D.C. style, the chefs made hors d’oeuvers served on toothpicks, an homage to the rule allowing congressmen free food, as long as it’s on a toothpick.
While you might think less food equals less work, you'd be wrong. And to make matters worse, this challenge was a high-stakes Quickfire, with $20,000 and immunity on the line.
Landing in the top three was Kevin and his grilled pork and mushroom kabob; Angelo with his cucumber cup with spiced shrimp and cashew; and Stephen with his scallop and beef with crispy potato béarnaise sauce. In the bottom three, there was Alex and his scallops with crispy bacon; Ed and his duo of tuna; as well as Kelly, who also had scallops, but with watermelon and watermelon vinaigrette.
Did anyone catch Stephen’s eye-popping reaction to the judges? Right now, he’s my least favorite thus far. His constant chatter and blind optimism is grating – no pun intended. But perhaps being positive does work; Stephen made the top three in the Quickfire. Then again, he also lost $20,000 and immunity to Angelo’s winning cucumber cup with spiced shrimp, so… maybe not.
Now if being too positive is Stephen’s problem, Kevin is the exact opposite. If looks could kill, it’d be capitol murder for Kevin. Those side glances towards Angelo could’ve set the room on fire.
But there wasn't time for fighting as the cheftestants learned they would be making power-lunches at the iconic Palm restaurant in Washington, D.C the next day.
It was off to the market for the chefs - time to pick up some proteins, grab some veggies and to pontificate to the camera. Kevin, Kenny and Stephen let us know that they were going to win…which usually means they won’t.
And now for a list of things you should never say while being filmed for a reality show, inspired by Stephen: “I’ve got this,” “I’m going to win” and “this might be my day.” If reality TV was a cemetery and castoffs were dead, those lines would cover rows of tombstones.
But let’s move on to the elimination challenge, which was to create a power lunch for regulars at the Palm restaurant. This is also where our episode went from friendly to fierce.
As the chefs prepared their meals, Ed realized his English pea purée was missing, and the camera panned to Alex, who mysteriously had a ‘silky-smooth’ - as one chef described it - English pea purée.
Now, I’m not saying Alex took Ed’s pea purée. That would be silly. I didn’t see it, and we all know how reality TV can portray things… but something smelled fishy in that kitchen, and it wasn’t the salmon.
Nevertheless, Ed recovered and nearly made it big with his .Poached lobster ballotine eggplant caviar and English pea-asparagus fricassee. He was in the top three, along with Tiffany and her swordfish with olive-raisin tapenade and Alex, who made applewood smoked salmon to go with his English pea puree - and also ended up taking the win.
On to the bottom three, which included Andrea with her pan-seared swordfish; Kelly and her porterhouse with crispy potato and arugula salad; and Kevin with his double-cut lamb chops with olive and goat cheese.
While we may never know the fate of his pea purée, things shook out alright for Ed. What do you think? Did Ed just forget to pack his purée or did Alex take it? We know Alex is a liar for saying he didn’t know Ed made a pea purée, but is he a thief?
Also, who likes Dallas chef Tiffany Derry? She’s flown under the radar for a bit… do you think she could make it all the way? Who are your favorites to win?
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