Bonjour. Ni hao. Hola. Konnichi Wa. Buon Giorno. Yes, it was international day on Top Chef. Well to be honest, it was more like “international-ish” day, or “international approximation” day, or “eff it, I’m just gonna buy a ton of spices, because foreigners like spices, right?” day. Yes, dear reader(s), yesterday found our cheftestants throwing darts at a methaphorical board of global cuisine in an attempt to recreate cultural dishes they selected from an actual board of global cuisine.
So lets go around the world in 30 sentences shall we? SPOILERS ahead…
Top Chef lucked out on this one. The winner of Top Chef Masters was Marcus Samuelsson, an Ethiopian Chef, and DC is well known for Ethiopian food. Bam. Ethiopian quickfire. Downside? Like 80% of the chefs had no concept of Ethiopian food, save Angelo, who fell just shy of claiming he invented Ethiopian culture by working in an Ethiopian restaurant.
Kenny did a duo of something again (he ALWAYS does duos), and Marcus asked Angelo if he “was sure he wasn’t Ethiopian” given the wonderousness of his food. Angelo flashed his signature pedo-smile, anticipating this win, but then shock! They gave it to Tiffany for an Ethiopian inspired goulash, which was a great idea given the parallels between the two cuisines. Good thinking.
The elimination challenge was to prepare a dish inspired by a foreign country and serve it foreigners. Well, fancy foreigners: ambassadors, diplomats and the like. The dinner was at the Meridian International Center in Adam’s Morgan, which I COVET. The cheftestants picked their countries: Tiffany (Mexico), Amanda (France), Alex (Spain), Kelly (Italy), Kevin (India), Kenny (Thailand), and Ed (China) and Steven (Brazil). Steven chose last.
Highlights? Well it turned out Kevin has never done Indian, so decided to just do chicken with “spices” that included curry powder. Jesus. Even SPY has attempted Indian. Ed knows Chinese food because he has had “several Chinese girlfriends.” Everyone still hates Alex and was pissed he got Spain until the guest judge turned out to be JOSE ANDRES and they just laughed. Many diplomats showed up, which was expected because diplomats love boozin’, and the Chinese diplomat described Ed’s dish as “very good taste” reaffirming every stereotype POSSIBLE.
The Judges Table:
On top: Kelly, Tiffany, and Kevin. Yes, KEVIN. Somehow his “curry” Forrest Gump’d its way into the top three. Tiffany ended up winning for tamales that looked DAMN good. She also got 10K from Dial soap, which Top Chef then matched as a donation to DC Central Kitchen. Aw. Great move Top Chef.
Steven, Alex and Ed were at the bottom. Mr. Andres described Alex’s veal as “a little nightmare,” criticized Ed’s duck for the fat, and disparaged Steven for effing up beans and rice. In addition to executing the simplest of side dishes poorly, Steven also cooked steak with chimichurri, not knowing chimichurri was Argentinian. Yikes. Our little jokester Steven was sent home. Sad clown face.
Tune in next week where restaurant wars makes everyone go crazy. SO EXCITED.