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Top Chef - D.C. - Ep. #9 - 08/11/10 (Spoilers)

Kenny still doesn't know why he ended up in the middle group - because of his age? Come ON, Kenny!

AND we've got the blindfolded culinary relay race for the QuickFire! 40 minutes to cook - each member has 10 minutes to cook. No immunity, but the winning team splits $10K.

Teams are:

Blue Team: Kevin picks Kenny, Kelly, and Amanda.
Red Team: Ed picks Tiffany, Angelo, and Alex.

Tiffany and Kenny go first. Alex and Amanda go second. Did Alex do anything but season the fish? Then Ed and Kevin go third...last are Angelo and Kelly. Angelo re-salts the fish - and then realizes that someone has already done it. Looks like it's the Blue Team's to lose.

And the judge is Pelosi. Oy. She at least realizes the Red Team's salty dish. But she picks the Blue Team by "a slight advantage". Alex screwed the Red Team.

And for the EC? The ever-popular RESTAURANT WARS! Frank Bruni is the judge, and Bill and John Terlato, from Terlato Vineyards, provide the wine for the dinner. And the teams stay together for RW. This is where Angelo and Alex will butt heads! Everyone must be responsible for one dish. But it looks like Ed and Angelo are going to put Alex as the FOH for their restaurant to get him out of the way. And Kelly will be FOH for the Blue Team. Angelo heads up the Red Team; Kenny heads up the Blue Team.

They all show up at the serving kitchen (sorry, I didn't get the name of the restaurant where they were serving), and they have 4 hours to prep. Alex is REALLY backing the Red Team up during prep at the TC kitchen. Their restaurant name is EVOO.

The Blue Team's restaurant name is TwentyOne21 (the address of the TC house). The Blue Team is calm, cool, and collected.

Kelly and Alex meet their waitstaff, and Alex tells them how to clean up the tables and chairs. And does he even have a CLUE as to how to treat his staff? Doesn't look like it!

And Alex isn't there to greet the TC judges as he's explaining why there was a screw-up for one of the first tables - REALLY smart! (Not!) Padma says they'll take two of everything.

They didn't like the confit tomato soup (Alex's dish), but the fish dish seemed to be more favored (Tiffany's dish). The lamb and beef dishes for both Red Team dishes looked wonderful, but noted that they didn't seem very "Mediterranean", which is what they said the restaurant was focusing on. Bruni's noticed the hit-or-miss service.

So they head over to the Blue Team's restaurant to check out their dishes. Kelly's there to greet them. TwentyOne21 is serving "Progressive American cuisine." Ooh, their chilled corn soup with blue crab looks WONDERFUL, but their beet salad with endive seems to have too many things on the plate, and the soup is a bit thin.

Their beef dish looked good, but Tom said it's cut too thin, but I think the flavor was well received. The halibut dish seems to get rave reviews. The cheese course didn't go over well, but Gail Simmons loved the chocolate tart.

Red Team was called up first to JT. DAMN. They WON! Wow. debbiel, looks like you were right! And the individual winner was? Ed's turbot dish! HUGE win for him! He gets a trip to Napa to visit the Terlato Vineyard.

So - who on the Blue Team is going home? They really didn't like Kenny's salad - and he was the EC for his restaurant. Kenny said to the judges that he was surprised after seeing the Red Team's hecticness in the kitchen, why they were there. Gail states as diners, they don't see nor do they care what goes on in the kitchen. They just want good food and good service.

Kelly gets good reviews for her FOH service. Amanda's beef was overcooked - and she's SHOCKED? She even said she's not used to cooking grass-fed beef, and Kelly warned her it was being cooked at too high a temp.

Kenny is essentially throwing the Red Team under the bus, and saying that Alex didn't conceive of his dish, and Kevin backs him up, saying Angelo and Ed did the conception. Whoa. Red Team goes back into the Stew Room and takes on the Blue Team. Kevin's ALL over Alex saying he didn't do anything for his own dish, and no one on the Red Team really disputed it. Angelo and Tiffany gave a half-hearted response but they didn't vehemently argue against what Kevin was saying to Alex.

This will be an interesting JT conversation - I'm definitely going to want to see the extended JT!

While they liked Kelly's FOH, they weren't happy with her soup. Amanda's beef wasn't good. Kevin's dish was good - Tom said he's not going home. Kenny's dish wasn't good, BUT he did well as EC.

The Alex situation is briefly brought up by Bruni, but it's pretty obvious - the Red Team did well as a team, so Alex gets to stay.

I think it's Amanda going home. WHOA!!!!!! It IS KENNY going home! Holy crapola! He didn't do well, but I just didn't think he'd be going home! I guess being EC just didn't cut it for him this time.

And next week, they're going to the CIA - Leon Panetta and Wylie Dufresne were shown.

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  1. At this point, 25 minutes into the episode, I am despartely hoping that the red team loses so that Alex can go home. So I assume blue team will lose.

    Did Ed say something looked "retarded?" That word as slang makes me cringe, but I'm not sure (even after watching it 3 times).

    I thought Kenny was not using his age as an excuse for being in the middle, but rather was saying that as someone with experience and at his age that he should be able to do better. I didn't see that segment as Kenny puffery.

    8 Replies
    1. re: debbiel

      Yes, someone did use "retarded" - I watch TV with the closed captioning on & caught that, although I didn't see who said it. I can't stand that word either.

      I took the Kenny/age thing in the same way - he thought he should be doing better based on his age & experience.

      1. re: debbiel

        Agree with you on the hoping the Red Team loses so Alex can go home. I REALLY hope that the Blue Team does better so they are the winners!

        Didn't hear the Ed comment, but I wouldn't put it past him. I'd have to watch again to determine how Kenny meant what he said about his age as well.

        I'll continue to update in my original post through the rest of the show.

        1. re: LindaWhit

          I also mean every week to thank you for the play-by-play - I love the recaps since my kids, my husband, and my dog inevitably need SOMETHING while I am watching!

          1. re: elfcook

            Ditto. Thanks very much for the play by play.

            1. re: LindaWhit

              I am now worried that blue team will lose. If they do, is it Kelly or Kenny going home?

              1. re: debbiel

                Kelly's safe, IMO. I think it's Kenny or Amanda, based on what I just wrote in the OP.

                1. re: LindaWhit

                  I hope it's Amanda, just because I think she is the least talented in the group.

            1. Wow. Not much at all about Alex on the edit. I am guessing we read more about it in blog posts than see on extended judge's table.

              1. Total BS. First, Alex should have gone, next is Amanda. Kenny ran a tight kitchen and yes, misfired on his dishes, but sent home. No way.

                7 Replies
                1. re: monavano

                  Agreed, but the Blue Team won. Alex gets to stay, despite him not really creating his dish. But within the TC cheftestants, that's TWO strikes against Alex. No one is going to want to work with him after the pea puree theft and now this.

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    its been established that he did not steal the puree

                    1. re: thew

                      Yeah, I know. I wrote that last night. I read about Tom's tweet this morning.

                  2. re: monavano

                    I think it's pretty defendable to send Kenny home if looking only at the evening. They send a member of the losing team home, so Alex wasn't going to go home. So it's between Amanda and Kenny. Yes, he ran a tight ship, though one that sent out 3 bad dishes and at least 1 mediocre dish. He sent out two bad dishes of his own. Not two slightly flawed dishes, but two bad dishes. Amanda did very little, and got most of it wrong. I think you can defend the decision to send either of them home.

                    I think it's pretty clear at this point that Alex and Amanda are the weakest of the remaining chefs (and weaker than chefs who have already been cut). Hopefully they'll go the next two weeks.

                    1. re: debbiel

                      Amanda should have gone. Nothing about her dish was redeemable and they at least acknowledged Kenny for having done a good job at EC. On the other hand, he's become a blowhard in denial about what doesn't work about his food.

                      Ultimately I think everyone wishes that they could have sent Alex home.

                      And what was up with another pea puree?

                      1. re: chicgail

                        I wanted to see Alex prepare that pea puree, just to see if he knew how, and to see if the judges liked it this time, too.

                        ~TDQ

                    2. re: monavano

                      Kenny deserved to go, there's no doubt in my mind. The team leader paints a target on his or her back in RW, so the bar was set higher for Kenny, and he set it that way.

                      He may have run a smooth and organized kitchen, but as the judges said, it doesn't matter what's going on behind the scenes if the food is bad. Executive Chef Kenny sent two dishes that were unanimously panned by the judges. According to the criticism, they were ill conceived as well as poorly executed. Bruni called the goat cheese dish a "horror" or something like that. They at least praised an aspect of Amanda's dish, even if it was a small one.

                      As far as Alex goes, maybe he "deserved" to go home, but he had the luxury of being on the winning team. Simple as that. He gets to ride their coat tails another week.

                      As far as Blue vs Red, I was a little surprised that Red won; I thought Kelly's superior service might have allowed them to squeak out the win. I feel the judges have over valued the FOH in the past. It always seemed like penalizing a foot ball team for having a messy locker room. To borrow a cliche, it's "Top Chef" not "Top Waiter."

                    3. Extended judge's table is up. Until the very end, it still had me thinking Amanda. BTW, I have to say that I don't think you could give me too big of a piece of fried goat cheese. At least not if I had some wine with it.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: debbiel

                        While Kenny's goat cheese was the least liked dish, Amanda should have gone home for her mistakes in cooking a simple piece of beef (which no chef should ever get wrong to that extent). Kenny went out on a limb and it went against him, while Amanda failed Home Cooking 101.

                        Elsewhere, I thought that Nancy Pelosi was awkward to say the least, and that Angelo's restaurant name EVOO was too Rachel Ray-esque.

                        1. re: debbiel

                          Loved the title of the extended JT video (and hearing Tom Colicchio say it at the very end): "We Killed Kenny!" :-)

                          1. re: LindaWhit

                            Well, I never knew that there was an extended judges table on bravotv.com! Thanks Linda Whit and all the other members! Yes it is clear that Kenny needed to go after they definitively voted that his dishes were not up to par. Kenny seriously has an inflated ego and consistently overdresses his dishes. It was a good episode.