TOP CHEF RECAP: Farm Policy? Not “Chef-retaries Of Agriculture?”


This is a Recap of Top Chef D.C. (Season 7), Episode 5, entitled “Farm Policy”, originally airing on July 14th, 2010. I should quit right now because they didn’t name the episode “Chef-retaries Of Agriculture”, but I won’t because I have a heart of gold. Literally. I just died.

Please welcome our guest judge for the week, 5-star-chef and Match Game regular Patrick O’Connell:

This week kicks off like many reality show episodes do: with people talking about the recently eliminated contestants as though they died. “One day, you’re doing frantic democracy-themed cooking challenges with these people you’ve known for three days, and the next minute…SNIFF… they’re gone! NO DAY BUT TODAY…” Behold, Lynne & Arnold’s empty beds:

Were a guy and girl rooming together? No they were not. Meaning these are not Lynne and Arnold’s beds, they’re just two beds that nobody is in at the moment. Nice try, camera dude, but ya gotta wake up pretty early in the morning to fool Ol’ Beddypants Hopper over here. If it’s before 11 am, you will probably fool me.

After the jump, Angelo bangs the Quickfire, then drags his busy junk to the ol’ Sex Farm:

We then cut to Angelo giving Tamesha an unsolicited pep talk, telling her that basketball players don’t think about how to win the game, they think about how to win the championship, which is terrible advice and don’t look now my arm’s around you!

Not sure why this photo came out super-blurry. I think Angelo roofied my USB cable.

Ed then jumps on the “superfluous sexual tension” bandwagon and talks to Tiffany, but his attempts to out-creep Angelo are quickly washed away when the “Blue Crabs” Quickfire Challenge is announced, and Angelo declares “Well I had crabs, so it just brought back bad memories.” There was no reason for you to say this, Angelo, it was obviously a deliberate attempt to get another sound byte into the final edit. Nice try, though. We know you actually had gonorrhea.

The chefs slaughter the crabs mostly uneventfully — Tamesha has never cooked with crab, Kenny calls himself a beast, and O’Connell gets to say one word to every three chefs in his evaluations — and in the end, Ed wins immunity for his Thai-inspired crab with old bay. Kenny and Angelo finish as runners-up in the Top 3, just in case, you know, stuff ever changed. And Angelo got really excited when Patrick complemented his dish:

For the Elimination Challenge, the chefs will be preparing a meal using local ingredients from an organic Virginia farm, and they’ll all have to work together on one big team. This should work out fine — but how is Bravo gonna fill the time, because with everyone on one team, they’re all gonna get along so perfec–OH NO ANGELO AND KENNY ARE DISAGREEING! Oh dear God. Who could’ve foreseen this?

Quick, Timothy, go stand next to them and pretend you’re as good as they are!

There are so many cooks in this kitchen, it prompts Stephen to bring up the old cliche, “A penny saved is a penny earned, people!” Finally, the chefs agree to pair off into the previous week’s teams, which makes everyone happy except for Tiffany, who’s stuck with Timothy again, and Ed, who sure is subtle for a sex god:

Commercial break…hey, there’s redhead Kevin in an ad for Kikkoman!

Does Top Chef make the contestants sign American Idol “Own Your Soul Forever” contracts now too? See you in Ford ads with Taylor Hicks soon, Kevin!

The chefs arrive at the farm, and the food is just sitting there, unsupervised. They assume it is the food for them and start cooking it, occasionally borrowing ingredients from their “Toyota Mobile Pantry,” aka “trunk.” Timothy calls the Mobile Pantry “off the hook” — you made it that way, Timothy, by putting useful things in there before you left. If you put a bunch of gold coins in a car trunk, your Toyota Mobile Bank would also be off the hook.

Stephen wants to be the “forefrontrunner” — hopefully not of using correct words — and pulls a classic Top Chef “I know it’s simple, but…” salad that is destined for failure. Amanda is preparing a minestrone soup and makes the same mistake, saying “I know minestrone is pedestrian but…” Trouble Twins!

We break for the DVR-Buster segment which, for the first time in the excruciating history of these things, gives us a truly worthwhile screenshot:

Back on the farm, Angelo calls Tamesha’s cherry compote “sexy,” then jokes (jokes?) that he “made love to his dish.” Kevin’s cauliflower then spills on the ground, and Angelo races to start f***ing it:

The chefs finish their dishes and serve them to a group of elite chefs and farmers in an authentic farm fashion: On a big long table out in the middle of an empty field when it’s really cold out. FARM STYLE!

Padma tells the chefs “Thank you very much for this wonderful meal. We will now proceed to criticize it with amazing specificity.” The chefs then kinda stand there for a while as the people eat:

Patrick O’Connell says of Amanda’s soup, “The rusticity of everything is shocking,” which sounds like a super cheffy compliment, but the judges quickly pick apart her failure to cut/cook the vegetables evenly. Stephen’s salad then gets ripped on for being served in a bowl that doesn’t allow it to breathe (did you not have a pet toad when you were little, Stephen? Air holes, buddy). Timothy’s turnips and asparagus get ripped on too, completing the trifecta of expected-suck. Basically, the show seems to be back to normal after last week’s Chuck scare.

The Top 4: Kevin, Kenny, Andrea, Kelly

Andrea seemed to be headed for trouble when her Miami blood was getting cold, but she ended up pulling off her meat dish by cutting it into quarters; at the time, cutting the meat really seemed like something the editors left in to foreshadow her eventually having to defend herself at Judge’s Table, but she ended up doing fine. Kevin sneaks into the top as darkhorse, joining future season-finalists Kenny and Kelly. Kenny ends up winning Farmfest 2K10 with his sweet & sour curried eggplant, and responds with a gracious Top Chef “BLEEP.”

Bottom 3: Timothy, Amanda, Stephen

No surprises here – they comprised the Bottom 3 in my Top Chef Odds post yesterday (are you reading this, Mom? I’m good at something!) Amanda takes it on the chin when Eric Ripert calls her out for her “Minestrone” soup:

Amanda escapes yet again, though, when the judges are ultimately too disappointed with Timothy’s rash decision to throw asparagus into his dish at the last minute for color, which is weird, because usually when chefs on this show randomly throw an element into their dish at the last second without thinking, it always works out flawlessly and the judges uniformly high-five them.

On his way out, Timothy says “I’m looking forward to picking up the phone and growing old with these folks.” He then marries them. I cried.

NEXT WEEK ON TOP CHEF: The chefs judge each other. I wonder if it gets heated? Probably not. I’ll bet it gets cooled down. So that’s “Everyone placed on one team so they fight,” followed by “Everyone judges each other so they fight more”? Two weeks from now they’re just gonna have all the chefs fistfight to the death in a giant fire pit. Summer Sweeps!

Top Chef episode thoughts? Favorite/least favorite parts? Quotes? Who’s next to go? Does anyone have a shot against Angelo, Kenny and Kelly? Comment away.

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