'Top Chef D.C.' Recap: Cooking for Babies and Hotel Guests, Too

Kim Conte

top chef episode 4Episode 4 of Top Chef had exciting back-to-back challenges (including a Double Elimination Challenge) and the return of a few familiar faces. But, is it just me, or are the contestants themselves the opposite of exciting? Save for when Eric Ripert was onscreen, I really had a hard time staying awake last night. These chefs better find their personalities ASAP, or I don't know how I'm going to make it through the rest of the season ...


The show began with a Quickfire Challenge inspired by Padma Lakshmi's and Tom Colicchio's new babies (love this!). Contestants were asked to create an adult dish that could be pureed for a baby as well.

For once, we were able to see a glimmer of personality from some of the chefs: Kenny has raised his 16-year-old daughter on his own since his wife died in a car crash; Kevin's wife is pregnant; Tamesha has a 7-year-old brother whom she often cooks for; Lynne has "four-legged kids" (uh, I'm assuming cats and dogs?); and Alex practices making babies (ew) and evidently has a bad sense of humor.

But when the chefs paired up for the Double Elimination Challenge, all personalities vanished and it was back to the monotonous blur of chefs running around the kitchen and cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner (for the busy Hilton hotel guests) that all looked the same. Usually at this point in the season, I have a few favorites. But this time around, I simply can't keep track of them all.

A slight break from the tedium came when Padma introduced a few judges from previous seasons -- Spike Mendelsohn, Mike Isabella, and Bryan Voltaggio. But, frankly, I find Isabella to be the most annoying and sexist contestant of all time, so I soon lost interest.

In the end it was Lynne and Arnold who were sent home. I remember being sad because I think I liked Lynne. Or maybe I didn't because I still can't tell one chef from the other.

What do you think of Season 7 of Top Chef? Do you have a favorite?


Image via Bravo

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