Top Chef S07E05: Crabmander In Chef (Woof)

Angelo is sitting with Tamesha out in Lemon Square but he’s clearly not sitting close enough, so he moves over and sits closer. Closer. That’s better. He’s giving her some kind of insane pep talk about, like, the Olympics but also The Secret? Sure. Top Chef is exactly like the Olympics except that there are no medals, no glory, the people competing are hardly the best in the world, and no one cares. Otherwise: exactly the same. He also interviews about how he is sexually attracted to her because she reminds him of himself, which makes A LOT of sense. “Do you ever wish you could just make love to your own face and butt?” That’s what Angelo is like out there in Lemon Square. “Sometimes I dream of dressing Tamesha up in an Angelo costume and kissing her EVERYWHERE.” Gross, Angelo. Incidentally, the preview for next week suggests that Angelo starts helping Tamesha and Stephen in the kitchen to make them better, which is a pretty brilliant strategy since we all know Tamesha and Stephen are crap (especially Stephen, sorry Stephen) and if he can squeak them through to the finals he will then demolish them. What an evil, well-groomed genius! Something tells me, though, that The Beast (Kenny, although stop it with calling yourself the beast all the time, Kenny) will not allow this.

Anyway, the Quickfire Challenge: Maryland Blue Crabs! Maryland is close to Washington DC, and as we all know, the President is elected by the elecrabtoral crabllege. So. Guest judge Patrick O’Connell (who you may recognize from CREEPY UNCLE CAMP) tells the contestants to “make them.” Good. Yes. Make them.

“I’ve had crabs, so this just brings back painful memories,” Angelo interviews. Ugh. “I got them from myself, actually. Have you ever made love to yourself too much? And then you have crabs?” Meanwhile, Kevin interviews that he was “on the bottom last night” (POW BOOM TWSS) and that he has “no plan at all being on the bottom today” (ZAP TWSS DING DONG). Anyway, no offense to Maryland, but your blue crabs are the worst. They hurt your hands to open and there is basically no meat inside. Cool. Cool crabs. Maryland Cool Crabs. Tim, who is from Maryland, is very much being Professor Crabs over here.

Also, Kelly does not even MAKE a dish? But they never mention it? TOP CHEF SCANDAL REVEALED!

Creepy Uncle does not like Andrea’s warm crab salad with citrus gastrique and mexican red chiles, or Amanda’s crab salad with sauterne, ginger, and juniper gelee, or Kevin’s blue crab chowder with potato, celery, espelette oil, and frozen bacon crumble (looks like someone is on the bottom again is what Gabe said). Creepy Uncle DOES like Angelo’s blue crab broth infused with lemongrass and ginger, Kenny’s trio of crab, and Ed’s jumbo lump crab with Thai basil, mango, and cucumber salad. Ed wins. He has immunity. Poor Stephen.

For the Elimination Challenge, they will prepare (at least) six dishes “family style” to feed 40 chefs at one uncomfortably long table out in a field somewhere. What is it with this season and constantly cooking in some field? Sure, a challenge in a field makes sense, but EVERY challenge in a field? The twist is that everyone is on the same team (although doesn’t that basically mean no one is on a team?) and they will not know what kind of ingredients or cooking supplies will be available until they get out there. That is certainly tricky. Oh, but they will also have a “mobile pantry from the back of one of your Toyota Siennas.” Haha. Padma seriously announces that as if it’s a real thing. “Oh, yes, sure, a mobile pantry in the back of one of their Toyota Siennas. Of course.” What? Also, when they finally DO get out to the field, it is clear that they didn’t pack the mobile pantry themselves, so it’s not like they got to choose as a team what went into the mobile pantry. The point that I am trying to make is that even the mobile pantry was still a collection of surprise ingredients, so let’s just relax with the poorly written contextual advertising. You might as well just say “you won’t know what ingredients or cooking supplies you will have available until you get to the location, also there will be a Toyota Sienna parked out there.”

Back at the house, they try go come up with a game plan, and by try to come up with a game plan, I of course mean watch Kenny and Angelo yell at each other. Angelo explains that it is time to step up and be a leader. Sure. Except that I am pretty sure being a leader doesn’t just entail yelling at the guy that you clearly have a crush on. “I was really inspired by how Angelo dismissed everything that Kenny said out of hand because he has some kind of weird homoerotic competition going on with him, and also how he ignored everyone else and it was like they were the only two people in the room. It was also really reassuring to have SOMEONE in the group willing to step up to the plate and daydream about putting a mask of their own face on Kenny’s face and making love to that mask for hours.”

Stephen tries to say something and everyone’s just like, “Shut up, Stephen.”

Poor Stephen. They get out to the field and it is definitely a field. There is a mad dash to get ingredients, but everyone is on the same team, so they make compromises. Eventually, everyone basically has what they need and they start cooking. There is some kind of Turnip Drama going on with Tim and Kelly about who gets the beets and who gets the turnips, and Kelly explains that Tim is using ALL the vegetables available, but later when Kevin’s entire dish falls into the cow pasture, he goes over to the table and gets a bunch of broccoli from a massive pile of vegetables so I don’t even know what is going on. Alex explains that he just likes cooking outdoors, as if that’s really a thing? You barbecue outdoors, and that’s about it. He’s like “what better place could you ask for to cook than this field in the middle of nowhere?” Uh, I don’t know, a kitchen? Yes. A kitchen. Definitely a kitchen.

Angelo says that he makes love to his duck. “Do you ever see a delicious piece of duck and for a second you see your own face on that duck and that gives you an idea of what to do to that duck?”

The 40 guest “chefs” arrive, but no one ever says anything to or about any of them and they don’t talk at all. Cool. Cool chefs.

It definitely was important to bring 40 of them to this fucking field and lie to us about it. Also, it’s apparently freezing?

Just the perfect day for a meal in a field for no reason. Good challenge. Nice time.

Back at judges’ table, the judges liked Kevin’s broccoli couscous scented with lemon zest, Kenny’s hot and sour curried eggplant with peppers and carrot tops, Andrea’s garlic and five spice-rubbed grilled pork loin with shallot-apple balsamic jus, and Kelly’s five spice-roasted apples and roasted beets. Ultimately, Kenny wins, and says something about being the beast in the kitchen. Relax, Kenny. Besides, this guy is The Beast in the Kitchen:

(Boo! Get off the recap!)

Personally, I think Kevin should have gotten the win for having to make an impromptu dish at the last minute. But also I don’t care. No one does. The judges hated Amanda’s country vegetable minestrone in smoked tomato broth, Tim’s roasted turnips and asparagus with honey, and Stephen’s farm salad with balsamic onion, egg, apple, cabernet vinaigrette and garlic dressing. OH, STEPHEN!

They hate Amanda’s dish because it wasn’t a minestrone and also was unevenly cooked. Tom gives her a quick cooking lesson: “when we cook, why do we cut vegetables uniformly?” Whoa. Tom is literally taking her to cooking school. “So they cook evenly,” she says. “So then why didn’t you cut your vegetables uniformly?” Amanda makes a classic Amanda face:

And also:

But in the end it is Tim who leaves. Aww. Goodbye, Tim!

He goes back into the stew room and tells everyone to remember to season their food. Good advice, Tim. It is weird that you are leaving, with advice like that. Also, how come he’s leaving but I still mostly just feel bad for Stephen?

Live to suffer another day, Stephen.