Top Chef EP02: Catfights, kids and booze

Lunch Lady Land?

This week’s top chef episode had our cheftestants cooking for middle school kids. It also had them demonstrating middle-school levels of caddiness towards one another. Yes, my lovely readers, its seems this season will be about the drama. Case in point this episode, which was one of the most dramatic I had seen in awhile. My recap begins after the jump. Of course there are spoilers.

Okay. Firstly, I am not going to spend any time on the quickfire challenge because of how inane it was. “Bipartisandwich” single-handedly ruined one of my favorite words (sandwich), the one-handed thing was gimmicky, and Angelo won again. This time with Tracey. Moving on.

awful bipartisan apron

The main challenge was to create a healthy meal for students at Alice Deal Middle School, an affluent Northwest DC school. Not sure why they picked Alice Deal over the multitude of poorer DC schools (maybe because the $2.68/kid budget was about as low as these chefs could handle?)  but it was what it was. Sam Cass, the assistant White House chef, was the guest judge and brought decent pizzazz to the bench.

It was a challenge involving 4 teams of 4, led by Amanda, Kelly, Kenny and Alex respectively. Each member was supposed to make a “course.” Kelly’s team ultimately won by keeping it simple with pork tacos and vegetable sides, but all the teams stuggled with the price and the nutrition. The desserts were especially bad, but honestly, what did you expect? Healthy desserts just blow. Trust me, I grew up with fruit leather.

Nobody trades for fruit leather

Anyways, my personal favorite of the day was Amanda. Oh, Amanda. She came in as team leader, balls to the wall, and then decided to cook sherry braised chicken for MIDDLE SCHOOLERS. Amazing. First, it looked awful. Second, she blew a $2.68/kid budget on sherry, and third she served a booze-infused dish to children. In the words of Gail,

I love vodka, but not cookin’ with it

So true Gail, so true. However, Amanda did not go home. Personally, I thought she should since she blew the budget, led the team, and made kiddy booze-chicken. However, Jacqueline drew the cursed dessert card and then executed it badly. Her starchy strawberry-banana pudding also followed a terrible low-fat chicken liver mousse last week, so this wasn’t a surprise.

What was surprising however, was the fighting at the judges table. Never in Top Chef had I seen two bottom teams openly fight one another on the stand. Kenny saying that he knew they were missing vegetables, the other team stating Kenny should go home for that omission, and Angelo refusing to answer whether he THREW the challenge by making his peanut-butter-celery abomination because he had immunity and was on a team with Kenny his greatest rival! Gamesmanship by celery? Say it isn’t so!

Personally I don’t think Angelo did such a thing, mostly because he described making his dessert as “turning a rock into a wheel” which, though making absolutely no logical sense, followed his narcissistic style.

One thing for certain?  The drama has arrived and its not going anywhere. Bravo indeed.

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