We are halfway through the Trifecta.
Reality TV’s love affair with Washington, DC started with The Real World DC (a show I happen to know a lot about) and now Top Chef DC is here to keep us entertained before The Real Housewives of DC crashes the party.
Anyways let’s cut to the chase.
In our first episode 17 contestants arrived to The District in a flurry of B-Roll shots of places you’ve been or places you’ve been meaning to visit. The sequence culminated into one of the best touristy vantage points in the city: The Terrace at the Newseum.
I’ll fully disclose right now that this was my first time taking in the long running Bravo staple, most of my food show watching consists of Iron Chef late at night (the original dubbed Japanese version- not the American take) and falling in love with Giada De Laurentiis during her stint as a correspondent on the Today show. I had no idea what would be a typical “challenge” on the program.
Contestants Get Schooled When It Comes To Chopping Vegetables
Quickfire Challenge: The four contestants that could peel potatoes, brunoise onions, and break down chickens the fastest get a shot at a 30-minute dish and the winner gets $20,000.
How was this not a closer race? Kenny, Angelo, Timothy, and Kevin advanced to the final round but these chefs walked onto the show touting all these honors yet clearly some of them couldn’t peel to save their lives, and were left complaining while award dropping at the same time. I don’t know who James Beard is but he must be a big deal.
Of course when I saw Amanda cut her hand while peeling I also remembered that sometimes you be careful when playing with knives- maybe “Mise En Place” isn’t a race after all.
Chefs Show Us Where They Came From At Cherry Blossom Festival Event
Typical to most design/creation show, the first Elimination challenge tasks the contestants to create a dish that represents where they came from. Tom and Padma make reference to DC being a really diverse city, blah, blah, blah.
It is too early in the series for us to develop true rooting interests, hell besides local contestant Tim Dean, I have resorted to assigned nicknames.
Among some of the dishes created were Stone Ground Grits with Maple Cheddar and Port Royal Rock Shrimp by Tiffany’s doppleganger; Kaffir Citrus Basil Cake with Palm Sugar Anglaise & “Myint” Julep by The Scarf; and Maple Mousse Napoleon with Crisp Macadamia Nut and Vanilla Sauce by The Hair.
The dishes were served at a Cherry Blossom Festival event with DC Media notables as Luke Russert, Karen Finney, Karl Frisch, and David Chalian in attendance. However the one person that got a cameo appearance? Former Bachelor contestant Andy Baldwin.
Was it fleet week in DC? What a great way to paint the DC Elite- we are just full of reality TV stars.
The winner of the challenge was Angelo, one of the few names I quickly picked up as he raced to become the most annoying and arrogant contestant on the show: “I want to be the first contestant to win every single challenge.”
Really Angelo? I hope you cry when you aren’t the winner next week. I wouldn’t be surprised if we all groaned when he was crowned the winner.
Who had to pack up their knives? The Hair- I mean John Somerville. Again I believe we all breathed a collective sigh knowing we won’t be subjected to the eventual dreadlock that would accidentally end up in a dish. Where did Bravo find this guy? Detroit? Oh ok now I get it.
I Know That Place
Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium: Lots of people were asking where was the Elimination event held. This event hall is located on 1301 Constitution Ave and is available to rent for a cool $12,000/day.
Water Cooler Reaction
“On another note, Padma is really working those baby weight curves. Proudly.”
-My co-worker/Top Chef fan Maggie Pitts
She is quite the looker. Of course I know that some of you are in love with Tom Colicchio but who has love for Frenchman/DC Restaurateur Eric Ripert?