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'Top Chef' contestants dish up sub par cooking

Everybody loves a whiner. It seemed that the “Top Chef” contestants could not cook anything right Wednesday night. Even the best dishes had something wrong with them. Whether it wasn’t smooth enough or the pasta wasn’t cooked right or the meat didn’t have enough glaze or the dish didn’t have enough seasoning, the chefs were swimming in complaints from the judges. With two $10,000 prize
/ Source: TODAY.com

Everybody loves a whiner.

It seemed that the “Top Chef” contestants could not cook anything right Wednesday night. Even the best dishes had something wrong with them. Whether it wasn’t smooth enough or the pasta wasn’t cooked right or the meat didn’t have enough glaze or the dish didn’t have enough seasoning, the chefs were swimming in complaints from the judges.

With two $10,000 prizes on the line for the Quickfire, the cheftestants went to work making a pair of complementary dishes — one for an adult and one for a baby. Pureed pan-seared duck might be a little highbrow for your little one, but at least it wasn’t like Kelly’s bland pork loin dish for infants, which contained lemon seeds that could choke a child.

Angelo’s poached tuna and fenugreek broth blended mash separated into beautiful layers — not that a baby could distinguish the difference — but ultimately, it was Kenny’s curried chicken and Tamesha’s textured vegetable chowder that won the prizes. (Too bad. Alex said he was really hoping for the money so he could buy “a hooker and an eight ball.” We hope that he can reach his high aspirations one day.)

Beth Scott, vice president of restaurant concepts of Hilton Worldwide, offered the grand prize for the Elimination Challenge. The top team of two would get their dinner dish featured on the Hilton Hotels’ menu and win a trip to Spain or Italy, respectively. This meant, however, that this week was a double elimination. As a result, no one wanted to pair with Stephen or Amanda, and they pouted their way to each other.

Each team had to cook up to three rounds: breakfast, lunch and then dinner. After each round, two teams were deemed safe and didn’t have to cook again. (It’s still remains confusing how the BEST team won the prize since, technically, the top teams would have not had to prepare the final dish since they were allowed to bow out earlier. Whatever, it’s “Top Chef.” If everything made sense, there would be no spice to the show.)

The judging panel, which consisted of previous “Top Chef” contestants and Nora Pouillon, who focuses on organic and environmentally conscious cuisine, didn’t let the chefs forget their mistakes. Alex and Ed botched their first round spectacularly, forgetting to plate their hash brown substitute and running out of time to add hollandaise sauce.

Angelo hit on Tamesha shamelessly, saying she “has an inner lion that’s hot.” It must have made him not focus on their dish — their eggs were overcooked — because they ended up continuing to the next round.

That was just the beginning. Dishes were too soft, too rich (Padma mentioned that she wished Lynne and Arnold would have rendered their fat), too sweet and too bland. Even the dishes that were top for the lunch course had something the judges complained could have been done better.

They argued that Alex and Ed’s gnutti ricotta could have been smoother, and Tamesha and Angelo’s dish could have been wrapped so it would be easier to take to go. But Angelo couldn’t be more gleeful, since he and Tamesha were among the best for the lunch round. As long as he beat Kenny, he seemed satisfied.

Andrea and Kelly’s juicy short ribs won the grand prize, leaving Kenny/Kevin and Lynne/Arnold on the chopping block. Kenny survived another day. (Something tells us producers didn’t want to give up the Kenny vs. Angelo battle yet.)

In the end, Lynne and Arnold fell to uncooked squid ink pasta. Even though it was Lynne’s fault, she kept saying it was Arnold’s inadequacy that caused them to fail, despite the fact that the judges praised his sauce. Well, maybe praise is giving him too much credit. To be more accurate, the judges didn’t completely tear apart his contribution.