Top Chef Thoughts for July 14

I gotta tell you, Top Chef 7 isn’t endearing itself to me these days. Yes, it’s still early in the season, and we’ve had the opportunity to weed out some of the weaker (and in the case of Arnold, middle-of-the-pack) chefs. It’s all well and good on that front, but it’s just very difficult to watch. I was a fan of Season 5’s episode that used this same schtick, the “farm to table” chef. Angelo’s been oozing sleaze all season long, and continues it here with his metaphors about fornicating waterfowl.

The quickfire wasn’t very exciting, a basic “cook us up some blue crab” special. Hopefully it will be one of the few throwaway quickfires this season.

One thing that is a bit grating when they do these farm-to-table challenges is that there’s always some kind of handicap, whether in time or prep or in facilities. I’d really like to see one of these challenges have a much longer session time to really let these ingredients shine. This is some of the best stuff you could work with, and it seems a bit counterproductive to not let the ingredients have enough time to be prepared or cooked. Somebody’s always coming down to the wire, and having this “one team of all the contestants” idea just didn’t sit right with me. It’s like they’re trying to set them up to fail. That’s not why I watch the show.

Kelly’s pork looked absolutely delicious, and I thought it would win, but Big Daddy Kenny comes out on top. Curried eggplant isn’t exactly something I would assosciate with “farm fresh,” but it’s more about making the best tasting dish. It still had that rustic look and texture, and doing something different with flavor is what set him apart from the pack.

One thing I did want to address is that this year’s exit interviews, with the exception of last week’s have overall been very classy and well handled. Timothy screwed the pooch, and it takes a big man to recognize where you made mistakes and to learn from them. I think it’s just a bit sad that he’s from Baltimore and screwed up a blue crab challenge. That should have been in his wheelhouse!

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