A belated Top Chef Recap EP11: Baseballs and Cornballs

Well, it wasn’t cornballs, it was corn fritters, but I instantly thought of THIS:

Mother of GOD. Every damn time!

¡Soy loco por los Cornballs! Oh, and before I start the recap I just want to apologize for being a Top Chef slacker of late. While in Georgia I had very limited internet access and yesterday I was stuck in meetings all afternoon. I will get back on the wagon next week, so forgive me! But now, let’s begin (SPOILER ALERT):

QUICKFIRE: Fun with stupid phrases

The episode starts out with Angelo discussing the makeshift altar to great chefs he prayed to as a child, complete with candles and serial killer-like devotion. No idea if this is true, but unfiltered crazy is always ominous on Top Chef. We then cut to the quickfire, where Padma is speaking in stupid turns of phrase, such as “flash in the pan,” and then asks the cheftestants to guess the challenge. The cheftestants, accustomed to stupid turns of phrase, attempt to find a pattern within her phrases but ultimately fail because there is no pattern.  The challenge is simply “stupid turns of phrase.” Or ” food idioms.”

Beating a dead horse?

The chefs cook up “sour grapes,” bring home the bacon,” “the big cheese” and other such figures of speech. The fish-loving Frank Noonen judges, which seems a bit random as the challenge has nothing to do with him, DC or reality in general. Ed wins for “hot potato” gnocchi, Angelo over-explains some Asian fish method that he used but Frank doesn’t care and he loses. Amanda talks in a whiney voice about a pity party in her head over her “big cheese” mac  n’ cheese and needs to be darted.

ELIMINATION: Making Concessions

The elimination challenge is a baseball game. Meh. I guess because Nats Stadium is new and has fancier food. It’s supposed to be a team challenge, but the cheftestants decide as a team to cook their own dishes so it’s ultimately not a team challenge at all. The weak links are identified early on, as Angelo decides to do “dim sum in a hot dog bun” and Amanda tuna tartar. Amanda’s “elimination-magnet” tartar is then worsened when she grinds the tuna the day before and it oxidizes, effectively turning grey. EW.

buy me some peanuts and tuna tartar?

They set up at the baseball game. Kelly and Amanda talk about how the hot the completely  not hot-looking Nats players are. The camera cuts to Matt “Fat” Capps. Unfortunate choice. The baseball players then start bromatically feeding each other food and describe Ed’s fritters as ” a caterpillar exploding,” before leaving.  Tiffany’s meatball sub and Kelly’s crabcakes are the most popular fan choices, while Angelo gets mad over having to serve the food even though he volunteered to do it, which just annoyed people.



Frank Noonan continues the turn of phrase theme by saying it “takes baseballs” to make tuna tartar at a ball game.  The judges favorites were Ed’s decidely non-caterpillar tasting corn and shrimp fritters and Tiffany’s meatball sub. Ed wins and gets a trip to Australia where nobody really cares about baseball (did they pick the locations out of a hat?). The remaining 4 are in the bottom. They disliked Kelly for pairing her crabcake with a mediocre BLT, Kevin for the sad shoestring potatoes that topped his skewered chicken, Angelo for making a soggy-sweet pork hot dog bun sandwich, and Amanda for her grey tuna, a color Eric Ripert was “offended by” in glorious French fashion.

Mon Dieu! Offensive Tuna!

Amanda is ultimately sent home. Angelo is given another chance, but seems to be pulling a Jen/Stefan implosion from the top. He also talks to his bizarre (mail order?) Russian girlfriend mid episode. Weird. Tune in next week! I promise I will write!

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