'Top Chef': Way to go, turbot!
Fans and followers seemed perturbed at the outcome of last night's Restaurant Wars, almost as vocally heated as Kevin was that Alex managed to remain in the competition. The Twitterverse screamed bloody murder, lamenting the judges' decision: "Oh my god! They killed Kenny!" (I too belted out an Aziz Ansari style "Nooooooooooo!" at the self-proclaimed beast's dismissal.)
Sure it was a burn, but we have to remember that "Top Chef" at it's core is a competitive game show, where conniving strategy sometimes trumps skill. And Team Red (Angelo, Tiffany, Alex and Ed) were just playing the game when they pushed Alex out of the kitchen into the front of the house. Ed went so far as to say that everyone "questions his ability to cook," so they eliminated the possibility of failure by redoing his prep work and executing his dish.
Even though Team Blue (Kevin, Kenny, Kelly, Amanda) seemed cool and collected throughout their entire dinner service, they did produce some of the weaker dishes. Though they got Nancy Pelosi's vote for their al dente angel hair pasta with marinated tomatoes and crispy basil in mustard sauce in the tag team quickfire, the quality of the food suffered in the elimination round.
Where Team Red dealt with Alex's misfires and Angelo's barking, Team Blue had a zen-like composure and can-do attitude. It's a shame that the judges don't see what goes on behind the scenes, but after all, that blind dining is why "Top Chef" is respected so much.
For Restaurant Wars, the guest judge was former New York Times critic Frank Bruni, who dug Ed's beautifully presented slow-baked turbot, eggplant caviar and black olive jus. That fish won Ed a trip to Napa and a three-liter bottle of wine, which I'm sure he was ready to drink after dealing with his team's frenetic dinner service. Way to go, turbot! Team Red won the elimination, regardless of the long waits between courses. What it boiled down to was that Team Blue had more weak dishes: Kelly's watery corn soup, Amanda's overcooked grass-fed beef (which she'd never worked with before), and Kenny's "soapy" fried goat cheese creation left a bad taste in the panel's mouth.
When it came time to judge Kenny's cluttered beet salad, Bruni said that he should cut back using so many accessories and stick to Chanel. But as one of my followers pointed out: Does anyone on that show really have room to be talking about editing accessories when Padma is rocking a tacky khaki suit that looks like it came from a sale at Kmart?
-- Krista Simmons
Follow me on Twitter @kristasimmons
Photo: Grim reaper chasing Kenny on South Park. Credit: Associated Press