Top Chef

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The Theft of the Pea Purée

Kevin finds it interesting that he and Kenny both drew lamb, because while they are friends, Kevin plans to give it his all. Even though they're not competing head-to-head. Does Kevin think he needs to let Kenny win? I think Kenny can handle the competition. Andrea says that she has plans to do something new and different with swordfish, which is always a recipe for disaster. It's as if she's going to serve it with scallops and then make it into a dessert. She admits that she doesn't personally like swordfish, which is crazy talk. Swordfish is awesome.

The cheftestants return to the kitchen for their two-hour prep time. Angelo and Ed have lobster, and the lobsters are HUGE. All of the other proteins are already cut down -- the salmon is in fillet form, for example. But the lobster guys have to prep the lobsters themselves, which doesn't really seem fair. But since you cook lobsters whole, I don't know how else they could do it. Alex is also overwhelmed by the size of his salmon portions. Get this -- he has to cut them in half! Wow! What a chef! I mean, seriously. That is so not a big deal. And yet, he still doesn't know how he's going to prepare his salmon.

Amanda and Kelly both have Porterhouse steaks, which have bones in them. Amanda has never cooked one before, so she decides to remove the bone, and Kelly explains that she ends up with a bunch of NY Strips and a bunch of filets. Kelly thinks this is a bad idea, and I kind of agree that it does seem to violate the spirit of the challenge. It's not like Amanda is making a totally different dish, like if someone made a salmon mousse or a lobster salad or something. She's just cutting the bone out to make two cuts of meat instead of one. Then again, if she's never cooked a Porterhouse, it's probably a risk worth taking.

Kevin is making lamb chops, and like Stephen, he has experience working in a restaurant known for power lunches. Angelo agrees with Ed that they got shafted on the choice of protein because it's just a lot more work. Angelo also claims that he doesn't know what a power lunch is. Andrea's swordfish is typically served with a citrus salsa, but she's going to finish it with "a vanilla bean mustard buerre blanc." That sounds gross, with fish, or with anything. I don't see vanilla and mustard working out all that well together. But I'm not a professional, so what do I know?

Ed and Angelo are still dealing with the giant mutant lobsters. Ed spent all of his prep time breaking down lobsters and doesn't have any time to work on his sides or even his main dish other than breaking down the lobsters, so he's a bit worried.

That night, Alex discusses his dilemma with Kenny and Andrea, and his dilemma is that he still doesn't know what he's making with the salmon. Kenny basically tells him, "You need to pick something and go with it." Alex says he bought some English peas, but they're not that good. Andrea asks if they are the same peas that Ed got, and Kenny adds that before Ed pureed his peas, they looked good. So just a note here for future reference: Alex was just informed that A) Ed also bought English peas, that B) the English peas look pretty good and C) that Ed pureed the peas. Just remember that. Alex's only reaction is that he doesn't know what to do, still. It's like he wants one of them to go, "Here's how you should prepare your salmon..." and then lay it out. And at this stage of the competition, that's not going to happen. It's one thing to talk a dish over with a colleague, and perhaps have them suggest a new herb or preparation to try. But to expect your competitors to just tell you the basis for your whole dish? Ain't happening. Unless it's Angelo, and then he's probably trying to sabotage you anyway.

Ed and Tiffany are discussing his dish in the bedroom. I mean, they're sitting on separate beds, fully clothed. Talking. About Ed's pea puree. I hope you like talk of pea purees in general, because there will be a lot of it. Anyway, Ed has made a pea puree and plans to serve it warm. He's also worried he will be on the bottom, but Tiffany assures him that if his food tastes good, he doesn't have to worry. Andrea provides the soundbite the producers needed to make this seem worse than it is, where she claims that if Tiffany's fiancé knew about this, Ed would be in trouble. In reality, I think Ed likes Tiffany as a friend and maybe more, and Tiffany just likes Ed as a friend. The fiancé thing explains why Tiffany has never seemed all that interested. It's one of those things that happens a million times per day in this world; had they met at a different time under different circumstances, maybe something would happen, but as it is, nothing will happen other than friendship. Calling it.

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