Recap

'Top Chef D.C.' Recap: Crab Farm

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Jul 15, 2010 | 7:48am EDT

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S7:E5: Bright and early we begin this morning at the Top Chef country estate with the macabre stylings of Angelo the sensualist and his cadaverous attempts to sexually dominate the poor unwitting Tamesha, who he claims possesses "an inner passion...that's really something that I'd really like to extract from her." With fava beans and a nice Chianti.

On the couch, Ed thinks Tiffany has a nice laugh and is all “aw, shucks” in a Forrest Gump sort of way that seems appropriate for DC. Meanwhile all the white women just don’t understand where they went wrong.

Quick Fire

This Quick Fire challenge was harrowing to watch. Behind the judges, who welcomed senior-leprechaun and five-star chef Patrick O’Connell to their ranks, was a table of live crabs shuffling nervously in their bushels. Angelo nodded knowingly “I had crabs once, so this just brings up bad memories.” Repugnant. Patrick O Connell explains that they must make a dish using crab. Oh that’s nice, I think to myself, now they are going to show them to the table of crabs they will actually be using, that have died peacefully in their sleep already at the crab retirement home. WRONG.

“They are waiting for you”, the leprechaun sneers, smiling viciously with a sadistic glint in his beady eyes. In a flash, the cheftestants are racing to the table and before I can cover my eyes or cry out in horror, live crabs are being cleaved in half while still squirming under Alex the Russian’s bloodstained hands. Kevin Sbrags dusts a crab with seasoning and tosses it into the oven to bake to death. Crabs are being bludgeoned with mallets, thrown into pressure cookers and sauté pans, and having their limbs ripped off only to be left spinning on the cutting board and forced to watch the meat pulled out of their legs and made into gelée. Amanda stuffs her dismembered victim into a pot even as its severed claws scrabble against the lid. “This fucking thing is alive! DIE DIE DIE!” She squeals with delight.  “I got crab shit everywhere!” Kenny rips a chunk of flesh out of a live crab with his teeth “I AM BEAST!” he roars to the camera. Horrifying! It was a death camp!

I was traumatized to say the least. I boycott this Quick Fire. I think Ed won it for a Thai crab salad of sorts. Angelo comments that Ed stole the idea to make Asian food from the life of Angelo.

Elimination Challenge

I burst into hysterical nervous laughter when they announced the Elimination challenge was to be held at a “humane” farm in DC. Give me a break. They will be working as a unit this time, one team, one mind, six courses. They must cook a family-style meal for about forty farmers and chefs from the area. The team meeting was a clusterfuck, Angelo and Kenny bickered the entire time and accomplished nothing, as ineffective men are wont to do. Eventually they kept the same teams as last challenge and divided proteins between the teams evenly.

The day of the challenge, the chefs arrive on a farm, fight for meats and vegetables sitting out unsupervised on a table, and start cooking on hot plates and grills. The usual suspects began whining about space concerns and temperatures etc.

Angelo continued to sexualize his meats (“I just fuckin’ made love to that duck, know what I mean? Sexy, sexy little duck”) and be generally just all-around creepy.

As far as the food was concerned however, most all of the dishes looked absolutely delicious, including lots of simple vegetable sides and well-cooked meat. I was half-expecting them to have to dispatch of their own cuddly farm-animal.

The judges' tasting included a few un-intentioned comedic moments. Judge Dread Leprechaun commented on the shocking “rusticity” of Amanda’s minestrone soup. Tom was absolutely furious that Stephen had the balls to bruise lettuce on HIS table. Eric Ripert, in characteristic sultry, enigmatic, fashion, pronounced Timmy’s turnips a “mish-mash”. The judges did like Angelo’s duck, Andrea’s Pork loin (despite earlier foreshadowing depicting her flip-flopping over how to cook it), and Kelly’s extra-credit dessert crisp.

 

Judges Table

Ultimately, the judges were pleased with the faux-Thanksgiving meal and had some nice things to say about Kevin’s broccoli couscous (improvised after Tamesha spilled his cauliflower dish), Andrea’s pork sauce, and Kelly’s beets and dessert. In the end Kenny took it home for his curried eggplant. Padma liked it and she is Indian. Kenny was very pleased, ripped his shirt, threw back his head and howled. “THE BEEEEAAASSSSST!”  No one seems to have informed Kenny that you simply cannot coin your own nickname.

Loser’s critique was more entertaining this time around, as Judge Leprechaun O’Connell was absolutely disgusted with Stephen’s treatment of salad. He spat and sputtered, getting red in the face and hammering his little balled fists: “When you dump dressing like that onto a salade, it is like dumping concrete onto SILK. YOU IMBECILE!”

Eric Ripert got all existential on our asses, asking Amanda “What is minestrone to you?”  She was like “um…beans”. To which he replied “WRONG. There should have been little bits of pasta in that shit yo” And he was very, very displeased.

But this was not enough to send her home, and poor Timmy Dean was canned for sending out a half-assed chopped potato dish. As he sauntered out, we remember the good times - his strong performance in the mise-en-place challenge…. and that’s it. We’ll miss you Timmy.

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