Top Chef Thoughts for August 26

The season’s getting closer and closer to over. We’re at the point where everyone comes up to Judge’s Table, which is a refreshing change to the “first three up are the winners” that we’ve been getting. It also means we’re winding down, with the Final Four nearing selection. At this point, it’s clearing out the chaff.

I am not surprised to see Amanda go down. With Alex gone, the lowest rung on the ladder falls to Amanda, who bites the dust with poorly prepared tuna tartare. See, serving up poorly prepared fish up to Rick Moonen and Eric Ripert? That’s a dual death sentence. Plus, you’re at a baseball stadium. It’s not quite the avenue for attempting to change people’s opinions on food. They want something easy to eat in their seat that tastes good and won’t challenge them too much. Crab cakes, like what Kelly was doing, work perfectly fine, since crab cakes are a regional fare of Maryland, near Nationals Stadium. Tuna tartare, even in small convenient handheld sizes, is probably not the wisest of choices. Compound this with botching the tartare by letting it oxidize was a one-way ticket home.

I have to say that I’ve enjoyed Ripert’s contributions to the show. Though I wasn’t a hater of Toby Young, he didn’t really fit with what the show was trying to be at the time – a little high-brow, but not too much. Ripert fits in that role in a better way. You have to wonder how much they’re paying him to be on this show. My guess is… a lot.

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