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Top Chef - D.C. - Ep. #7 - 07/28/10 (Spoilers)

So - in the house before they head over to the TC kitchen, Kenny doesn't think he was on the bottom in the last EC because of his food - he thinks it was because of the strategy (essentially blaming Angelo). Interesting. Wonder what he thinks now knowing the judges felt the same was his fellow cheftestants did about his dish?

Aaron Schock, Representative from Illinois and Padma greet the cheftestants for the QuickFire. Schock explains what a new Rep goes through when they first start out - a discussion on ethics (oh, I'm SO reserving comment on THAT!) and that includes food. Food MUST be served at these lavish parties as "bite-sized fare" - on toothpicks, so the reps cannot be swayed by lavish dinners. And the winner of the Quickfire? Gets $20,000 and immunity.

Oh wow - Tiffany's dish sounded wonderful! In fact, several of these appetizers sounded wonderful...I wonder if some of them can be stretched out to a larger tapa-type dish? And Padma wrinkles her nose at Alex's dish, who had pooh-poohed Stephen's "elaborate" appetizer. Yeah, that's always a guarantee that Alex will be in the bottom group and Stephen will be in the top group.

In the bottom group? Alex, Ed and Kelly. In the top group? Kevin, Angelo, and Stephen. (Elves, that one was WAY too easy to figure out re: Alex and Stephen! LOL)

And the winner? Angelo's cucumber cup with shrimp and cashews! Interesting - that was a substitute prep when the pineapple roll wasn't working. I like the idea of pineapple, shrimp and cashew better. But Kevin's ticked off that Angelo won yet again.

On to the EC - create a power lunch at an "upscale eatery" - The Palm. They essentially take over the entire kitchen. They'll each serve 24 diners, using 5 of the ingredients on their main menu, which The Palm will provide:

Lobster - Angelo & Ed
Swordfish - Andrea & Tiffany
Salmon - Alex & Stephen
Lamb Chops - Kevin & Kenny
Porterhouse Steaks - Amanda & Kelly

Angelo and Ed are a bit handicapped, as they're dealing with a live animal, whereas everyone else is working with pre-cut fish and meat. A lot of Angelo's and Ed's time is taken up in prepping their lobster.

Back at the house, Ed's talking about his pea purée with Tiffany....this must be the infamous pea purée that Alex absconds with, as we saw in the preview last week. And Andrea, Kenny and Alex were talking about peas in the kitchen as well.

WHOA! They just showed the bit again - and Ed can't find the pea purée and asks Alex if he saw it - and Alex says he DIDN'T see it - after they had just showed him stirring the purée and tapping a spoon against the pot! Holy crap - I really hope he gets called out about this!

Commercial - Dinner For Schmucks....THIS one looks odd! LOL

Back at The Palm...to begin preparation for lunch. The owner comes back to the kitchen to say this is the first time they've ever handed over the kitchen. With a fully booked lunch, he's understandably nervous. :-) The winner of the EC gets their dish on The Palm's menu, and their picture on the wall at The Palm.

And Alex is now saying his whole game plan was based on making a pea purée? So did he take Ed's purée or not? However, Tiffany is saying that Alex didn't conceptualize his dish until DAY OF the challenge....and even Ed knew the same thing. So did he really take it? WTH?

Chef Art Smith, politico Aaron Schock from IL and Mark Warner from VA, and journalists Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, and Savannah Guthrie are all the judges, along with John Podesta, Luke Russert, and the VP of The Palm Restaurant (sorry, can't remember her name!)

Amanda and Kelly are first up with their porterhouse steaks. Kelly's seems well received. Next up are Tiffany and Andrea's swordfish. Tiffany's seems well received, except for her overcooking the fish (which she knew).

Salmon is up next - Stephen and Alex's dishes. Alex's dish is well received, especially by Chef Art Smith - BECAUSE of the pea purée!

Lobster is next - Angelo and Ed. The foam on Angelo's doesn't go over well. Ed had peas on his plate (rather that the pea purée). Peas were "unnecessary" per Gail Simmons.

Finally, the lamb from Kenny and Kevin. Luke Russert had a funny line about Kenny's dish (which of course I now can't remember except for the first part: "Oscar for Best Actor (the lamb)...") At least it cracked up Art Smith.

And the question for viewers? Do you think Alex took Ed's pea purée? This will be interesting.

Wow - and now Alex is saying in the Stew Room that he didn't even KNOW that Ed was getting peas - but then they show Alex, Kenny and Andrea talking about it the night before in the TC kitchen....and Kenny even said after Ed pureed it, it looked really good. So Alex is lying. DAMN.

Alex, Tiffany and Ed are in the top group. Art Smith is raving on Alex's dish, especially the pea purée. Oh - I'll die if Alex wins this one. And holy crap. He wins. Wow.

EVERYONE in the stew room is saying that there's NO WAY that Alex could have made that purée in the amount of time the day of preparation at The Palm. I'll be very interested to read what Colicchio says in his blog.

Kelly, Kevin and Andrea are in the bottom group. Kevin's lamb dish is way overcooked and overseasoned. Andrea's swordfish was not well received. Kelly's porterhouse steak was definitely over-salted, per the judges. And she knew it was oversalted as the plates went out. Is that going to be her downfall? Kelly didn't share her salt, as Amanda noted. Amanda also says because she didn't share, she deserves to be in the bottom. HUH? Kelly gets very emotional in the Stew Room while they're waiting. She seasoned to the way she thought they'd want "aggressive flavors", vs. her way, which is delicate. COOK YOUR OWN FOOD, Kelly!

I'm not really sure who's going home. But I think it's either Kevin for overcooking his sous-vide lamb, or Kelly for her oversalted porterhouse.

I'm still pissed at Alex winning. I really, REALLY want to know if he stole the purée! And NINETY PERCENT of those voting think Alex took the pea purée!

Who's going home? Wow - it's Andrea. The vanilla in her dish did her in. I think Kelly dodged a major bullet there.

And I just noticed at the live blogging at Bravo, this little gem: "Bravo Monica:
Tom's blog is all about Pea-gate this week, so be sure to read after the show! " I'll be VERY interested to know what he thinks/knows!

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  1. Alex totally bogarted the pea puree ;-)

    9 Replies
    1. re: monavano

      And if he did, that should disqualify him completely. But I wonder if they'll ever know for sure. I'll bet next week will show everyone getting all over Alex for taking it.

      1. re: LindaWhit

        90% of the Bravo audience agree that Alex swiped the pea puree.

        1. re: monavano

          Just noted that in my original post. And I just edited it to say that Tom's blog is all about Pea-gate as well, which will be at interesting read!

        2. re: LindaWhit

          They can check his receipt from Whole Foods to see if he bought the ingredients for it. Simple.

          1. re: Leepa

            I don't think people are claiming he didn't buy the peas. In fact, I believe the discussion about Ed's pea purée at the house began because Alex said he had peas. But having bought the ingredients doesn't preclude his taking Ed's purée instead of making his own.

              1. re: Leepa

                No need to apologize! We're all just sharing our opinions, some of which are bound to contradict others, and that's not a problem for any of us, I hope.

        3. re: monavano

          Heh. Won't it be interesting when he gives The Palm his recipe for it to put on the menu?

          1. re: piglet86

            But folks will come to see the picture of "the guy who stole the pea puree!

        4. Tom's Bravo blog is up:

          http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/blogs...

          "First of all, if there’s a single viewer who still wondered whether the judges know what goes on behind the scenes (and make decisions with any of that in mind), I would hope that this incident would have laid that to rest forevermore. This episode surely proves that we judges absolutely never have access to behind-the-scenes conversations or goings-on, as there is no way on earth that we would blithely have judged the dishes as we did this week without delving into the matter of the creator of that puree. We just judge the food on the plates in front of us. Not even I knew about the controversy, even though I spent some time in the kitchen, as I had arrived there after Ed had gone searching for his pea puree and there was no mention of the issue to me by any of the contestants while I was there. The other judges and I first learned about it just as you did, by watching the episode this week, and I was not happy to learn that there had been any question of impropriety. I’m surprised, frankly, that the producers didn’t choose to depart from normal protocol and say anything to us to clue us in about the matter."

          There's a lot more there at the blog - Tom lists 3 scenarios...two of which you can't blame Alex for. But here's the thing - there are cameras. ALL OVER THE PLACE. The editors know whether or not Alex swiped the pea purée. They would have filmed him making the purée, yes?

          So I think we have to believe he didn't - the editing elves would know. And if they did, I have to believe (I *WANT* to believe!) the producers would have clued in the judges, and Alex would have been eliminated immediately for cheating.

          32 Replies
          1. re: LindaWhit

            Interesting comments by Tom - I'm rewatching the episode and you can clearly see Tom in the kitchen when Ed is frantically searching the kitchen for the missing puree (Tom's blue chef's jacket makes him very easy to spot).

            1. re: FlyerFan

              It could be that he arrived after Ed said anything, and thought Ed was just sort of frantically running around without focus, without realizing what Ed was looking for. (IIRC, Tom did mention to the others at JT that he thought some of the contestants seemed frantic and lacked focus in the kitchen: running around looking for stuff certainly qualifies to fit that description).

              1. re: FlyerFan

                It appeared to me that Tom was in a position to see and hear Ed searching for his pea puree. Maybe not enough to cause suspicion in and of itself, but then when Alex's dish shows up with pea puree and Ed's does not, I can't believe an alarm doesn't go off.

                But even if he was oblivious, I can't believe that there's no one from the TC crew who knows what happened. I guess it doesn't matter now, except to us obsessives who will be talking about this on the boards for years to come.

                Oh well. As for the rest of the episode and the season in general, I haven't fallen in love with any of the contestants, but one advantage this season has over last season is suspense. Did anyone NOT predict the final four last year after two episodes? While Angelo seems to be the strongest chef, he's not bulletproof. The cheftestants are much more evenly matched this year. Ed & Tiffany are growing on me. I don't mind Angelo as much as most people seem to.

                1. re: JayEsBee

                  You're right that they seem more evenly matched, but I have to say, I liked seeing the sheer craftsmanship and artistry that last season's top 4 brought to the table, so I was only too happy to watch them cook each week while waiting for the remaining contestants to be eliminated. I thought there was actually a lot MORE drama each week because it was a really tight game among the top 4. I found that more interesting than this season, where anyone can (and does) win, but nobody really shines. I liked it that last season 4 people were amazing, 1 or 2 others were pretty close behind, so there really was a competition, each contestant pushing to top the others, and those close behind trying to push their way into the top, whereas this year, even the best food seems to be fairly middling.

                  1. re: lisavf

                    completely agree. This season is putting me to sleep. I just want restaurant wars and then the top 4.

                    1. re: SDGourmand

                      The food hasn't been interesting, and I don't care enough about any of the contestants. I know i want Amanda to go home, already, but other than that, I have no favorites to win.

              2. re: LindaWhit

                They don't have all that many cameras, though -- it's not like the real world house where they have them mounted on the walls; they just have camera men, and they're not following each chef around all the time, especially at this point when there are so many chefs. Especially since they were in The Palm's kitchen, it would be a lot harder for camera men to follow every storyline going on. I think that if they had the footage, they would have used it; I think that they showed everything about the pea drama that they had.

                1. re: JasmineG

                  Agree with your last sentence. Also the timing of the editing comes in to play, the editors may not have seen all of the episode's footage, or any of it, when the judging was going on. If something untoward were discovered in editing, it would probably have been too late to tip the judges for that episode.

                  Tom's blog post also makes sense, and, at least to me, the circumstantial evidence against Alex seems very convincing that the puree he presented was not his own.

                  I figure, Karma is going to take care of Alex in this regard, we haven't yet seen what transpires in future episodes. Now if Ed had been eliminated tonight, then it would have been a whole different story on what should have happened next.

                  1. re: ChinoWayne

                    They have already shown him literally falling down in the previews.

                  2. re: JasmineG

                    I agree the cameras couldn't have picked everything up -- remember when Fabio got hurt and kept on cooking -- they didn't seem to have footage of his actual accident, and there were way fewer chefs at that point, IIRC. If the camera crew were "everywhere", we'd see them in wide shots. No one's going to hang around the coolers with a camera when all the chefs are busy cooking, once they have a shot of general frenzy. Although they don't seem to have any footage of Alex making a fresh puree from scratch either.

                    1. re: momjamin

                      "Although they don't seem to have any footage of Alex making a fresh puree from scratch either."
                      ~~~~~~~~~
                      And THAT is probably the most damning evidence against Alex. There have to be at least two or three hand-helds filming them while they're cooking, I'd think. Someone - ANYONE - should have caught him making the purée at one time in The Palm kitchen. But nothing.

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        "And THAT is probably the most damning evidence against Alex. There have to be at least two or three hand-helds filming them while they're cooking, I'd think. Someone - ANYONE - should have caught him making the purée at one time in The Palm kitchen. But nothing."

                        And maybe they did, but it got edited out. After all, would we be all talking about this now (and viewing next week) if we knew the answer to this question. And if we knew the answer all the "drama" around which the entire episode was built would have been leached out. (The fact that in the past all improprieties on Top Chef have been quickly "outed" makes me think that there was no impropriety here, and the producers know that.) I guess the question boils down to who do you trust more. The unknown chef (with kind of scary eyes) or the producers whose life blood is ratings.

                        1. re: jbw

                          Then the producers are playing fast and loose with the integrity of the show. And that just plain sucks. Above all, even though we get the drama bullshit throughout the seasons of TC, the integrity of the show has been there. If the producers aren't willing to pull out all the stops on finding out what happened with all of the footage they might have, I'm pissed.

                        2. re: LindaWhit

                          I find this whole situation odd. I find it extremely strange that none of the cheftestants and none of the cameras saw Alex making "his" pea puree. No one saw any of the dirty dishes, utensils, gadgets Alex used or even the peas themselves. Also, if Alex didn't use Ed's pea puree, then where was the pea puree? Why did it never show up, did it just fall into the abyss that is the Palm kitchen? Did it get left behind at the TC kitchen? I feel like the editing was horrible, and they raised more questions than they answered. What is this Lost: TC style?

                          I did read Tom's blog, and he did make a couple of good points. Namely, Ed not confronting Alex and if he did do it karma biting Alex in the ass.

                          On another note, I have been kind of rooting for Kelly so I hope she is back on her game next week. Also, I cannot believe that Kenny still refuses to believe that he was on the bottom for his food. I believe the judges told him as much last week when he was at JT.

                          1. re: lizzy

                            >>Although they don't seem to have any footage of Alex making a fresh puree from scratch either.<<

                            >>none of the cheftestants and none of the cameras saw Alex making "his" pea puree. No one saw any of the dirty dishes, utensils, gadgets Alex used or even the peas themselves. <<

                            I remember seeing a brief shot of peas cooking in a large pot of water about the time of the search for the pea puree, so I wondered if the elves were hinting that Alex started cooking his peas and then thought he'd made the puree already? Or he did make his puree after cooking the peas and this is a tempest in a pea pot?

                            But it is strange that no other footage or witnesses or anything have stepped forward to say, "yeah, I saw Alex making the puree". If he did steal it, he must have ditched his own peas somewhere.

                            (Of course, I haven't read all the thread yet, so this may all change downstream!)

                            Susan

                        3. re: momjamin

                          Ok, finally i'm going to fess up, perhaps it was a dream as peagate was so disturbing, but i originally though i saw footage of Padma questioning alex's pea puree that ed could not find his own......have never seen it again, but remember thinking when it was not addressed at the end of the show that it would be a surprise the following week,but obviously not. Funny if it disturbed me so much to enter my dreams, but i really felt like i saw mention of it!

                        4. re: JasmineG

                          Good point on not having cameras mounted to walls, etc. I guess these are just the hand-helds, and they're going to be limited on the space they have to have videographers in the kitchen while they're cooking. HOWEVER....

                          I agree with Chino - Karma's gonna come back and bite Alex in the butt. It just seemed like he took it. He just seemed WAY too nervous. EVERY time there was a sense of impropriety in previous seasons, there was either the camera showing that someone had left the meat out of the fridge (Hung), proof given on Tom's blog because he knew what happened, OR the producers stepped in (Cliff pinning down Marcel and being booted). There has ALWAYS been something to support or disprove what we've seen. Nothing shows Alex making the purée.

                          Considering how this can make or break a chef's reputation (something that Tom seems to be adamant about - keeping things on the up-and-up and the integrity of the show), the fact that there is nothing showing Alex making the purée is damning in and of itself. ESPECIALLY since when Alex claimed he didn't know that Ed was doing a purée, the editors spliced in the bit from the night before showing he DID know about Ed making that purée in the TC kitchen - from Andrea and Kenny. So they showed him lying. Again - Alex seems to have taken the purée. Nothing shows that he made his own in the morning.

                          And if there had been accusations in the Stew Room (which it seemed there were, but not sure if they were voiced directly to Alex), if he HADN'T taken it, I'd think he'd have vigorously defended himself. All there was was a very brief comment to the confessional camera - and I think it was a voiceover only...not a direct comment to to camera.

                          Considering everyone else in the Stew Room voiced an opinion that they thought he had taken it, I'm really surprised that no one brought it up while they waited. But as Colicchio said, perhaps Ed didn't want to seem the tattletale. And he *was* in the Top 3.

                          It still makes Alex a slimebucket.

                        5. re: LindaWhit

                          If the pea puree went missing, it was somewhere. If it didn't get packed to take to the Palm, it got left in the TC kitchen. So where was it? It didn't walk on its own somewhere on its own. If it wasn't packed and Alex didn't take it from one of the portable coolers, wouldn't it have been available on a workspace or a cooler in the kitchen where prep was done?

                          And how fortuitous for the producers. Now we have another villan to hate -- someone to root against and keep us coming back. Those elves!

                          1. re: chicgail

                            true, true, chicgail. And the point made upthread about no film of "Alex's" pea puree being made is very damning, IMO. If not a camera, one of the other chefs would have seen something.

                            1. re: coney with everything

                              Several additional points about Alex's pea purée.

                              1. The Palm provided PROTEIN ONLY. Which means Alex would have had to *buy*y the peas before prep in the TC kitchen, NOT get them from The Palm's produce. Did we see Alex pick up a package of English peas at WF? Would he have had to shell the peas? (I'm assuming WF sells them already shelled?)

                              2. Alex didn't have any idea what he was making the night before - "I have 20 ideas running around my head" was what he said to Kenny and Andrea. Kenny joked that he really needed to pin down what he was going to make. And during the comments re: Ed's purée and how good it looked, Alex was very intent on that conversation.

                              3. We know Alex didn't prep any pea purée in the TC kitchen the night before.

                              4. So far as we know, none of the other chefs saw him making an English pea purée at The Palm.

                              5. There was NO footage (even shot after the challenge to prove Alex made his own purée) of Ed's pea purée being found in another cooler, in the TC fridge, nothing. (The producers have always shown this before to clear things up.)

                              The evidence against Alex is circumstantial, but it is still pretty damning.

                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                I'm in no way defending Alex here, but as to #1, I believe that's how Ed's pea puree came up in conversation at the house - Alex was saying he didn't know what to do with his peas, and Kenny said that Ed had peas and made a puree with them. So I do think Alex bought peas. Now, as to what he did with them...

                                1. re: lisavf

                                  I'm reading TWoP's forum about this episode, and someone said in a re-watch that they did see Alex take packages of peas out of a cooler....very briefly, but they did see it (I'll have to re-watch to see if I see the same thing).

                                  Another person said "I don't think there's any question that Alex had peas. He did, and described them as shitty the night before. We do see him taking out peas in a ziploc bag and we do hear him interviewing, "I'm gonna make a pea puree first thing. If it's good, I'll use it. If not, I'll toss it."

                                  So yes, the question is - what did Alex do with his OWN peas?

                                  ETA: Another post has these two points:

                                  1) Stephen's response to Ed's question clearly makes it seem as if the puree was definitely in the cooler Stephen got his stuff from. If that was the case, it could not have been left behind in the TC kitchen because Stephen says something like it was in the cooler under whatever he took out, and because his stuff was on top, he had no need to move Ed's puree, meaning the puree was present when the food got to the restaurant, yet magically disappeared sometime subsequent to this.

                                  2) Alex on the evening before the actual cooking clearly has no idea what to do with his dish, let alone the peas; so even if Kenny never mentioned the puree (which he clearly did), Alex's sudden claim that his entire dish centered on the puree form the very beginning seems questionable at best, and makes him look suspect -- perhaps there was a portion of his conversation with Kenny and Andrea where he states he thought about a puree but wondered if that was the way to go took place, but the reactions we were shown from both Andrea and Kenny as puree-gae unfolded do not seem to support this speculation. My other issue is the considering the puree would have needed to be strained more than once to assure a universal consistency (this is where I think Kenny's questioning of the time factor comes into play because Alex was clearly seen running around doing his main course yet strangely not observed repeatedly straining peas).
                                  ~~~~~~~
                                  I think the time factor is key.

                          2. re: LindaWhit

                            I'm so going to have to read Tom's blog when I get home! I was very disturbed last night by the way the editing implicated Alex. I want to think these people are above stealing each other's food, but I know they aren't! :)
                            I was sad to see Andrea go, I really think there are weaker chefs... but clearly her dish was not good.

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              My view is that the whole pea drama is manufactured from creative editing. It isn't inconceivable that no one saw Alex make a pea puree - after all, it wouldn't take very long to cook some peas and blend them, and since the other chefs were all hard at work on their own dishes it could have slipped under the radar. Had there been actual footage of him stealing from another chef, they would have used it, after all the controversy with the attempted head shaving a few seasons back got plenty of publicity.

                              I think part of the problem is that this season is falling a bit flat with the cast of characters. There are a couple I sort of like rooting for a bit, but still not quite to the level of seasons past. There also isn't anyone falling cleanly into the villain role. Angelo started out way too big for his britches, but he has calmed down, and now is mainly creepy with his unsolicited advice and the way he keeps hitting on either Tamesha or Tiffany. Kenny is a bit pompous from time to time, but he seems down to earth at others, and he has a certain flair, so he's hard to hate. This season just doesn't have a Marcel, Hung, or set of Voltaggio brothers you want to see fall hand first into a meat grinder.

                              1. re: TuteTibiImperes

                                I rewatched the episode yesterday, and in the midst of the "pea drama" there was a very short short (2 seconds at most) of a pot of peas on the stove. Clearly after the original puree had been made. So was that Alex cooking his peas? Maybe.

                                1. re: DGresh

                                  But the editing fairies could have used footage from the day before of the "Original Pea Puree" being made.

                              2. re: LindaWhit

                                One of the three scenarios Tom lists seems an impossibility to me: that Alex innocently confused his and Ed's pea purées. Alex hadn't made a pea purée during the prep period, so he had to be starting from scratch at the Palm, and so how likely would it be that he then innocently grabbed the purée that Ed brought with him?

                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                  Agreed. Alex didn't even know what he was cooking the night before - he had just prepped a bunch of stuff without any idea how it was going together....and he hadn't thought pea purée until Kenny mentioned it.

                                  Someone on TWoP took a screen shot of Alex supposedly removing a package of (whole peas) from a cooler, so perhaps he did make a purée. But it was really hard to see if it was actually peas in the Glad Ziplock bag. :-)

                                  I still don't get why no one confronted Alex in the Stew Room about the purée. In that, I'll agree with Colicchio - Ed was a wuss in not saying anything in the Stew Room (at least from what we've seen - who knows if this issue will be brought into next week's episode).

                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                    Ed may have been a wuss or he ultimately knew the pea puree wasn't his. If what DGresh says above is true about a hot of peas on the stove, all of this may be the tempest in a teapot that the elves wanted to whip up.

                                    I will have to watch it again.

                                    1. re: chicgail

                                      I guess it also could have been Ed cooking more peas, right? Didn't he end up serving peas (and got dinged for them)?

                                      1. re: DGresh

                                        Ed did cook more peas at The Palm.

                                2. re: LindaWhit

                                  There are now 526 comments on T. Colicchio's blog for this episode as of 8.41 pm EST - more by far than in any other TC blog to my recollection. I wonder why... :-) I'm sure one can imagine what most of the posts are about without even visiting the website.

                                3. I still can't believe Alex won FOR the stolen pea purée. He'll get his.....

                                  very sad Andrea went home. From what I know of her, she has not really been on her game most of the time. :(

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: ChefJune

                                    I don't understand Kenny's statement that Alex couldn't have made the pea puree that same day.

                                    And, I thought the editing was terrible where the show pretty much said Alex stole the pea puree without any evidence of it. Sometimes, the show likes to manipulate the editing to manufacture a storyline. Last week, it seemed as if Kenny was being unfairly targeted when Amanda had cartilage in her dish yet you had to read Colichio's blog to discover that Kenny's dish really was that bad.

                                    If he didn't, he's still been branded a thief by the show. And, if he did steal it, its pretty terrible the show would allow that to happen without consequences.

                                    With all the cameras there, you'd think they should have dug up something. Or, they could have searched high and low to look for Ed's pea puree to see what happened to it. The producers should have further investigated this matter before making such explosive accusations.

                                    1. re: hobbess

                                      "With all the cameras there, you'd think they should have dug up something."

                                      I think we need to consider that it is possible there are only two cameras present when everyone is running around cooking and they are hand held,. If there were more, we'd seem them on the periphery of some shots. You couldn't capture all of the action, at all of the cooking stations from a fixed position camera, and unlike a Hollywood motion picture, with endless "set ups" and endless re-takes, the action unfolds in near real-time. (I don't think a director on "Top Chef" is going to say "cut, let's repeat breaking down that side of beef from another angle." Also when they are "on location" there is not enough space for a huge cast and crew, and there are no "break-away" walls they can push out of the way.

                                      The production budget might also limit the "filming" to only two hand held camera operators, and one or two others handling a boom microphone for each camera (never noticed any of the cheftesants mic'd). If there were more cameras and camera operators they'd be stumbling all over each other and the cast.

                                      Saying all that, one could surmise that it is possible that any pilfering of ingredients, or on the other hand any prep work on, say, peas, might not have made it to the editing room.

                                      Something we should keep in mind, is that it was a deliberate decision in the editing process to include this bit of drama, and regardless of the final outcome at the end of the season, it has caused a lot of "buzz" about the show, and will be cause for viewers to tune in to see how it all plays out.

                                      1. re: ChinoWayne

                                        But even with only two cameras going, I find it hard to believe that the didn't get any footage at all of Alex boiling peas, draining peas, blending or otherwise pureeing peas, seasoning a pea puree, etc. I am curious to rewatch the episode to see if there's even any hint of that whatsover. And since it obviously was so controversial among the contestants, the producers/editors would have known about the controversy, and they could have, at the end of the episode, found some conclusive evidence and showed it to us, as they have done when there have been other similar mishaps (something left behind, something left out on a counter overnight, an item not being purchased, etc.). I actually always like that "aha" moment when we see how perception can conform to or be different from reality, and it would be more in keeping with the standards of Top Chef.

                                  2. Someone was applewood-smokin' some olive oil, I think. Better than your average Smoking Gun contraption. Any ideas what it was?

                                    1. ok, so no big deal that Andrea went home, snooze. and the whole feigned Tiffany and Ed drama, whatever. But Pea-Gate?! They need to strip conniving Alex of that win, his scheming mug and his recipe from the Palm menu. I wonder if this will be addressed. It was so obvious. And shameless. Wow.

                                      4 Replies
                                        1. re: C. Hamster

                                          meanwhile Andy Cohen at Bravo already posted a link on Twitter to Alex's mug on The Palm wall...unreal...

                                        2. re: HabaneroJane

                                          I'm not concerned about his picture on the wall of the Palm. This is DC, after all. I'm sure there are many more better-known controversial figures than our Alex ;-)

                                          1. re: momjamin

                                            good point, momjamin. he is in good company amongst pros in thievery, lying and deceit!