I lurve Top Chef: DC, and not just because we have a fun cast full of colorful characters. I’m really digging the challenges, which seem to truly mine local DC traditions. This week, the gang had to serve up a toothpick-sized hors d’oeuvre for the Quick Fire and then a meaty power lunch for the Elimination. It was all fun and the usual stuff; although, adding some sizzle into the proceedings was a noteworthy pea scandal that almost rattled the competition to its core. The grimy details: Ed, the resident sourpuss, had made a pea purée for his lobster power lunch, but the next day, it had mysteriously vanished. Meanwhile, the scatterbrained Alex had mysteriously appeared with his very own pea purée, seemingly out of nowhere. Had he stolen the verdant mixture from his rival? Or was it merely a coincidence? Most people seemed to think some shenanigans were at play, but I actually felt that Alex was innocent. I don’t know why. I just like the goofy guy. Clearly though the producers are pouncing on this drama because if next week is any indication, he’s about to go through the character assassination wringer.

For now though, Alex is sitting pretty. His controversial pea purée won the hearts of the judges, including guest Art Smith (who shockingly refrained from bragging about his friendships with Oprah and the Obamas). Also landing in the top was Tiffany, who is definitely my favorite chef of the bunch. Not having a particularly solid day was Andrea, who sadly went home. I liked her spunk but we all knew she was gonna be a middle-of-the-pack contender.

Anyway, I feel like I had about three or four other pressing observations to make, but I simply can’t remember them. Oh well. I’ll update later if necessary. Here are pics:

Padma: “Chefs, I’d like to introduce you to our guest judge today: that dorky guy from high school that no one liked but made it big anyway by kissing ass.”

“Okay Padma. I see you eyeing it. Just TAKE my toothpick. I’m not that hungry.”
“It’s not that I’m hungry. I just think I need a larger sample size to truly appreciate the flavor.”
“Sure you do.”

“Hmmm… power lunch. What should I make? Oh I know. I’ll just put EVERYTHING on this plate.”

Tom: “You’re not planning on serving any bruised lettuce, are you?”
“No, Chef.”
“That would be like serving coq au vin without an OLD HEN.”
“If that happened, there’d be a lot of finger pointing.”
“And how fat is Padma now? Am I right?”

“Alex, we really loved your pea purée. You really STOLE my heart with that one.”

Padma: “I could have eaten that pea purée all day — not to be all Gail Simmons about it, bless her heart.”

Art: “You know, I like to cook with love, and I felt a lot of love in this dish. Much in the same way Oprah Winfrey, who’s my VERY good friend, felt love from my food.”
Gail: “So you liked it?”
“Well, as my other good friends Michelle and Barack Obama might say, yes.”
“Did I mention that I cooked for the Obamas and Oprah?”
“Oh good. I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t repeating myself. Because who wants to hear me talk about how I cooked for the Obamas and Oprah over and over again. I bet I know who’s sick of it: The Obamas and Oprah, whom I’ve cooked for.”

Tom: “So let’s make some decisions quickly. I can already sense Padma wanting to eat this tablecloth.”
Padma: “What was that?”
Gail: “He’s calling you fat, bitch.”
“Let’s not be coarse, Gail. I know you haven’t had your daily chalupa, but we can still be civil.”

Art Smith: “So… no one wants to ask me about my weight loss? No one? And I have I mentioned that I once cooked for the Obamas? Because I HAVE.”

“Really? You liked my dish? I was afraid there wouldn’t be enough pea-ness in it.”
“What? What’s wrong with pea-ness?”
“And here I thought I was doomed after Alex got his hands on my pea-ness.”

Tom: “Maybe it’s just me, but I’m still really pissed off about that bruised lettuce a few weeks ago.”

Padma: “Chefs, we truly enjoyed your power lunch. Or as Gail calls it, lunch.”
Gail: “Of course Padma was excited. Any day when she can eat a four pound lobster and a porterhouse in one sitting is a good day for her. You know, because she’s eating ‘light.'”
“Sadly, my dear friend Gail Simmons is a little cranky because she filled up on Ho-Hos and Ringdings before our meal. Not that that stopped her from licking her plate clean. You’d have to chop off her tongue to make that happen, bless her heart.”
Tom: “I love my job.”

What did you think about the outcome? Happy with the results? Did you think Alex stole the pea purée? And how badly did you want to eat one of those four pound lobsters?

26 replies on “TOP CHEF PHOTOCAP: Master Pea”

  1. this is HI-larious!!!! I think Alex made his own pea puree, but not until AFTER he HEARD about Ed’s own batch of pea puree… I don’t like Alex. He’s an ego-maniac who is hoping to get laid now that he’s a pseudo-celebrity, aka chef-lebrity… GREAT POST!!!

    1. Aw you know I don’t hate Padma. I love Padma. And Gail too.

      It’s just parody banter.

  2. I think Padma looks damn good for having a baby TWO months after this was filmed. That is a ridic amount of time to be on camera, etc. On the other hand, love that Gail is getting her revenge this time around.

    Gotta cheer for the Dallas girl – go Tiffany!

  3. Love Gail, if i liked girls it would be Gail over Padma, kinda like Maryann over Ginger. I miss Tamesha, Angelo is less interesting to watch now.

  4. I’m grateful Andrea is gone so I don’t have to look at her horribly overplucked eyebrows anymore.

  5. He purloined the pea puree pure and simple.

    I love Fatma. The pudge has made her squishier.


  6. I don’t think Alex stole Ed’s pea puree — he stole Ed’s idea for a pea puree. The night before when he was discussing what he should do with the salmon, Alex said he had bought English peas. Kenny then told him so did Ed & he pureed them.
    Bravo had cameras there and could have easily panned to Ed’s forgotten pea puree in the TC kitchen (or Alex rifling through the coolers at the Palm & pulling out Ed’s pea puree & using it) but because Bravo did NOT do either (and one of those things is for sure on film on the Bravo cutting room floor), then I think Alex didn’t steal it & Bravo is just trying to create drama in a lackluster* season.
    *lackluster because none of these chefs seem to capture me with their food or their personalities as other chefs have on previous seasons.

    1. I had similar thoughts. There’s no way Alex would steal the puree with cameras following his every move. If he did steal the puree, Bravo would have footage of that. If Alex did not steal the puree, Bravo would have footage of where Ed left his puree, and footage of Alex making his own puree. In that case, Bravo should have shown the footage to exonerate him rather than creating controversy at the expense of his reputation.

  7. Alex totally took the pea puree! Things do not simply vanish and the first we see of it is Alex walking about with a little pan of pea puree, tasting and (to me, at least) thinking. He completely lied about knowing anything about a pea puree and I think he should be ashamed.

  8. Surely you haven’t forgotten the legendary pea-ness clipgasm from a few years ago?! I’d include a link but it’s no longer working. It was that large female judge on Iron Chef going on about “pea-ness” “in her mouth” and “being bought” all mashed together in a hilarious fashion.

    1. Of course I haven’t forgotten. I made that clip myself. And that judge was none other than Julie Powell of “Julie & Julia”

  9. Good God, this whole blog was about weight too! I thought you were being original in the Big Brother photocaps, because seemingly a great portion of that is about weight gain, but now I see you do in the Top Chef one also. How clever, considering it’s a food show. You’re obsessed.

      1. Sometimes I can’t sleep at night, knowing how much B-Side is obsessing over women and their weight. Whenever I want to add a second scoop to my ice cream cone I think, “Will B-Side judge me for this?”

  10. Someone is obesessed, but I don’t think it’s B… Just sayin. As always, you make my day with your hilarious photocaps! Thanks!

  11. Two fleeting “?!?!” moments for me: When the crew is dragging out their coolers for the night and Kenny lets the door close on Alex. There is a split-second shot of Alex looking stunned at the closed door. (He has arms, right?) The second was when Andrea was hugging her goodbyes like a good sport in the judging area and Padma said something like “That will be all”– clear dismissal. What is the purpose of these little editing bagatelles?

  12. Was it just me or did Padma have a very “Avatar” looking hairstyle during the Quickfire challenge?

  13. I think Alex is completely creepy. If he hopped aboard an empty elevator I was on, I would promptly exit. That being said- if he took the pea puree why wouldn’t there be a clip of it? I am sure the editors would have delighted us with some sort of sneaky music montage. I don’t like Alex and it’s suspicious to say the least but I think evidence would have been shown. I also don’t like that no one said anything! No one called him out on camera. Why? That bothered me.

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