Top Chef
Outside the Lunch Box

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This Pudding is Bananas

They all head to Restaurant Depot for shopping. Amanda is running around looking for liquor, and still not one person goes, "Liquor? For children? Really?" Except the manager of the store who seems surprised that she's looking for it. Also, their team didn't seem to have any sort of budget conversation where they went, "Okay, you have $50 to buy ingredients for the main course and you have $25 to buy ingredients for dessert" or whatever. They seem to just be throwing stuff on the carts independently without worrying about cost. Other teams are looking for cheaper versions of various ingredients, but Team Two waits until they get to the checkout to find out that they are $100 over budget. Oops. They basically get rid of all of Jacqueline's ingredients until she's left with only bananas and milk. She begs them to get rid of some of their ingredients, but no one suggests that Amanda dump the sherry. Other teams are going through similar ordeals, although it doesn't seem quite as bad, probably because they PLANNED AHEAD.

They head to the kitchen and start prep. Kelly is making her own tortillas with oatmeal, and Tiffany offers some suggestions. Tracey wanders over to ask about their dish, and Kelly describes the tacos and concludes, "This is actually my idea." Which it is, but why does Tracey need to know that? Meanwhile, Team Three is having a lovefest, working well together, tasting one another's food, and offering constructive suggestions.

Kenny explains his team's food, which includes a chicken burger, a sweet potato puree (because what kid doesn't love a puree?), the stupid celery sticks, and apple-bread pudding. Have any of these people ever fed children before? I could see the chicken burger and the pudding working, but they are totally unrelated, and celery is so not a vegetable. I mean, at least serve carrots and hummus or something!

Jacqueline is having trouble with her banana pudding, which Amanda claims is also going to contain strawberries. She's cooking the bananas, and they are very starchy (apparently because they were unripe) so she decides to add sugar to "break down the starch." I have only a rudimentary understanding of food chemistry, but when we put the saltine into our mouth, it turned sweet, so I don't think sugar so much breaks down starches as much as starches, when broken down, turn into sugars. Right? Complex carbohydrate to simple carbohydrate? I just tried to look it up and realized that the word "starchy" loses all meaning very quickly. Starchy. Starchy. Starchy. Meanwhile, Tamesha suggests that Amanda use tomato paste, and Amanda bitchily retorts that she doesn't want to. Tamesha interviews that she didn't think sherry was a wise choice, but again, we never see her actually suggesting this to Amanda, so it's all academic.

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