'Top Chef D.C.' Recap: You've Got Crabs!

Kim Conte
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top chef crabsIn Episode 5 of Top Chef, host Padma Lakshmi delivers pretty much her best line of all time, telling the chefs:

"You've got crabs."

She's referring, of course, to the Quickfire Challenge in which the contestants were asked to make a dish using live Maryland blue crabs. It was a cool challenge to be sure, but it definitely set the tone for a crabby episode ...

*SPOILERS BELOW*

The chefs were extremely short-tempered especially during the strategizing session for the Elimination Challenge, which was to cook a family-style dinner as a team for the judges on Ayrshire Farm in Virginia. And it's no wonder the contestants were so grumpy. The challenge seemed a deliberate attempt to get them to bicker: the cooking conditions were poor, the food limited, the temperatures freezing.

The only thing more miserable than that challenge would to be stuck in a room with egomaniacs Kenny and Angelo while they argue over who has the bigger penis better leadership style. (I vote Angelo just because I hate hearing Kenny talk about being the "alpha male.")

And the chefs weren't the only irritable ones: The judges were downright surly! Lakshmi called Amanda's minestrone soup "amateurish" and Patrick O'Connell said it looked a grandmother had chopped the veggies with an ax. Tom Colicchio admonished Timothy for adding asparagus at the last minute to his turnip dish. And poor, poor Stephen was practically eviscerated by O'Connell, who pretty much hated the salad:

There are two approaches to serving a salad. In a bowl is the worst possible way; a plate allows you to continue to toss it and enjoy it as you eat it. And to dump a gloppy dressing on it is rather like a concrete truck pouring on top of silk ... it did not work.

Sheesh. I'm sorry, but I thought Toby Young was no longer with us. Was O'Connell trying to make Stephen cry? 'Cause it almost worked (even though in the end it was Timothy who was sent home).

Is it possible that the Top Chef producers have resorted to focus in on the bickering and negativity as a desperate attempt to keep us interested in an otherwise lackluster season? I suppose anything is possible at this point, but wow is that ever a cheap thrill.

What did you think of last night's episode of Top Chef?

 

Image via Bravo.com

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