‘Top Chef’: Foreign affairs


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On this week’s episode, Alex shamed Spain in front of Jose Andres, Stephen managed to mess up rice and the cheftestants got tangled up in foreign (culinary) affairs.

For the quickfire challenge, the remaining gang were tasked with making Ethiopian-inspired food for none other than native ‘Top Chef Masters’ champion Marcus Samuelsson. Maybe Alex has been too busy handling the kitchen at Cafe Was to hit up Fairfax Avenue, because his dry lamb and beef tongues with cabbage and potatoes seemed much more Russian than Ethiopian. He ended up in a place he now calls home -- the bottom 3 -- with Stephen and Kevin. (They milked the pea puree issue again at the beginning of the episode, and I can’t help but wonder if the producers purposefully stole Ed’s to create some drama in this snore of a season.)


Even though Angelo is familiar with flavors from the Horn of Africa, his Berber spice doro wat with egg, mango yogurt and mint on steamed injera couldn’t beat Tiffany’s creative take on beef goulash with poached egg, currants and yogurt. She won immunity for the elimination challenge. The chefs drew knives assigning them to countries whose cuisine they’d prepare at the Meridian International Center. Dignitaries from around the globe showed up, and Andres even made a cameo as guest judge. That equated to a high-pressure situation for Alex, who drew Spain’s knife (doh!).

Kelly prepared a simple yet elegant beef carpaccio that Andres loved, and Kevin must have had karma on his side because his first try at cooking Indian brought him into the top three.

To represent Brazilian cuisine, Stephen presented ill-prepared steak, canned black beans and overcooked, gummy rice to the judges. Between that and the salad incident, something makes me think the guy couldn’t pull off making toast. That flub meant bye-bye to Salad Boy and hello to the two-time outside smoker, Tiffany. She earned $10,000 for her chicken tamale, making local chef Sevan Azarian’s $300 burrito look like a steal.

-- Krista Simmons

Follow me on Twitter @kristasimmons