'Top Chef DC': Cheese Sticks Over Strawberries?

Kim Conte

top chef restaurant warsFans of Top Chef DC are complaining that the wrong chef was sent home last night during the much-anticipated "Restaurant Wars" episode. But can we be honest for a second? I had no use for the guy in the first place!


Kenny Gilbert's arrogance turned me off from the start; every time he called himself the "alpha male" (and believe me, it was more than once), I wanted to unleash my beta female and pummel his head in.

True to form, this is how he opened last night's episode:

I'm pretty perplexed at this point. I don't know why I end up in the middle all the time ... because of my age and experience and being an executive chef ... it's time to release The Beast.

So much cockiness (and so many third-person references) from someone who, frankly, has been totally mediocre so far this season! Not so shockingly, he again fails to deliver during Restaurant Wars. Here's what went down ...

The chefs were split into two teams: The Blue Team (Kevin, Kelly, Kenny, and Amanda) whose restaurant 2121 was described as "progressive American"; and The Red Team (Ed, Tiffany, Angelo, and Alex) who apparently are closet Rachael Ray fans and chose to name their Mediterranean restaurant EVOO.

For a while there, the producers had us going that either Amanda or Alex would be going home: Amanda, because she can't cook a simple steak, and Alex, because he can't cook anything at all. In fact, he's such a disaster in the kitchen that his team would only allow him to butcher meat and fish (which he did poorly) and work the front of the house; notably he did not cook the prerequisite dish as per the judges' rules.

And then there was Kenny, who as executive chef of his team pulled out not one, but two terrible dishes: 1) a beet salad and 2) a goat cheese over strawberry-rhubarb dessert that one diner described as "a cheese stick over strawberries."

Much revered dining critic Frank Bruni had some choice words for Kenny's food -- saying that his beet salad was "done through the guise of Hamburger Helper" and that his goat cheese was "a horror show." Ouch. It's clear from these comments that Kenny's dishes probably had a lot to do with why his team lost.

But instead of taking the criticism constructively, Kenny summons his inner bratty child and whines that Alex didn't cook a dish. Alas, the judges have their rules: Alex was safe because he was on the winning team (Kenny was on the losing). Even though they admired Kenny for "taking the team on your shoulders," they told him to pack his knives because his two dishes really "didn't work."


If life were fair, either Alex or Amanda would have rightfully gone home instead. But I'm having a hard time shedding a tear for a guy who goes out this way, cockiness ringing true to the end:

I'm kinda in awe right now. To not be on Top Chef anymore is hard because the reality is Alex didn't prepare his food at all and there should have been more dialogue ...The Beast is gone. It's anyone's game.

Who do you think should've gone home last night?


Image via BravoTV.com

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