'Top Chef DC': Everybody Hates Alex, Even Marcus Samuelsson

Kim Conte

alex top chefEpisode 8 of Top Chef DC was more boxing match than competitive cooking show. Who was getting pummeled? None other than Alex Reznik, who if you remember from last week, passed off Ed's pea puree as his own. It's obvious now that the judges, the other contestants, the producers -- everyone -- hate the guy.

Was there cooking last night? It's hard to tell: I was too gleefully distracted by all the insults being thrown down.


The barrage of abuse begins during the Quickfire Challenge, in which the contestants had to cook a dish inspired by Ethiopian cuisine to be judged by Padma Lakshmi and Marcus Samuelsson. Here, Kevin tells us what he really thinks of Alex:

"Alex won the last challenge and I think that's bullsh*t. When you watch Alex cook, he's throwing darts at the wall and hoping it works -- but it doesn't work. I think Alex is probably the weakest one right now."

Samuelsson doesn't seem to like Alex either -- or at least he doesn't like his Quickfire dish, which he calls "dry." (Tiffany is named the winner.)

The insults continue through the Elimination Challenge. While the chefs focus in on cooking a dish that represents a different country for diplomats, ambassadors, and world dignitaries, we see Alex running aimlessly around the kitchen and even falling. Now, we hear from Ed:

"Alex is a 'fly by the seat of his pants' type of chef. He's just a spaz. He has no technique."

Pretty tame from a guy whose had his pea puree stolen, but wait, there's more from him to come ...

In the meantime, there's a commercial break and we have one of those annoying questions from the sponsor where we're all supposed to text our answer in. Ordinarily, I ignore these, but this one piqued my interest because -- I know you know where this is going -- it picked on Alex.

Question: Would you trust Alex in your kitchen?

1. Yes, he'd whip up a masterpiece.

2. No, he'd make a mess.

I don't think I have to tell you which number 91 percent of respondents chose.

Back to the show: Alex cooks a disgusting-looking Spanish veal dish, which is unfortunate given that the guest judge is none other than Jose Andres, a native of Spain and the guy behind Minibar. He HATES Alex's dish and doesn't mince words in his critique:

"I was excited when I saw the flag of my country. I knew that no matter what the dish was I would enjoy it, but, wow, it was like a little nightmare."

And then Tom Colicchio goes in for the kill:

"The cooking was a problem, I had dried out meat and the sauce was so thin and watery there was nothing that reminded me of Spain ... nothing at all."

And now what we've all been waiting for ... Ed's final dig at Alex:

"I ended up on the bottom. It's sh*tty because it's with Alex. That sucks. I'm embarrassed, actually."

The only thing more offensive than Alex? Overcooked, mealy rice cooked by Stephen, at least according to the judges who ended up sending him home.

This means that Alex is back for yet another week and it looks like he gets into it with Angelo in next week's episode. Can't wait for that!

Do you think Alex should go home? 


Image via BravoTV.com

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