Top Chef: ‘It’s All Right, I Used to Bang His Girlfriend’


After a few seconds of mourning for Tim, whom Angelo describes as “a father figure,” the chefs find themselves in the kitchen with Padma and Michelle Bernstein, the latter of whom is wearing the demonic grin of a possessed clown. How could she be so happy? Because, in a twist of high school mean-girl proportions, she and Andrea have “a rivalry” back in Miami. “I’m not sure if you sat down at my restaurant and [her] restaurant that one would be that much better,” Andrea sniffs, before assuming a rictus grin of her own.

But never mind nasty rivalries. There are a bunch of “nasty proteins” that, Padma says, the chefs need to make into “delicious dishes” for the Quickfire Challenge. They draw knives to see who would end up with ingredients like rattlesnake, duck balls, and, horror of horrors, foie gras.

Amanda freaks out because she can’t figure out how to crack an emu egg, despite the fact that it came WITH A HAMMER, and Angelo decides to make a testicle marshmallow, which is probably the dish that would have come closest to summing up his entire personality. Sadly, we’ll never know, because with 30 minutes remaining, Padma demands that the chefs switch dishes. Much consternation follows, and then Padma and Michelle re-appear to more or less tell everyone, especially Andrea, that they suck. Michelle samples Andrea’s wild boar and, surprise, tells her it’s “too chewy,” which really means “I am going to humiliate you in front of millions of people.” Kelly fares much better with the emu eggs, having made them into an omelet. As the winner of the challenge, she’s given immunity.

For the so-called Cold War elimination challenge, the chefs will — surprise! — be cooking dishes served cold, but on purpose this time. They’ll be split into two groups, and will cook for and be judged by their fellow competitors. And to belabor the Cold War references just a little more shamelessly, they’ll plot their strategies while drifting around the Potomac on the USS Sequoia, a boat that was once used for all sorts of dastardly plotting but now looks like a rather grandmotherly B&B.

After their pleasure cruise and a trip to Whole Foods, everyone goes to the kitchen and tries their best not to murder Amanda, who runs around screaming about cheesecloth as Tamesha confides that “I could probably strangle her in a heartbeat.”

Finally, it is time to eat cold food. Group A (Kevin, Kenny, Amanda, Alex, and Ed) serve first. Group B (Stephen, Tiffany, Tamesha, Angelo, and Andrea) finds cartilage in Amanda’s chicken galantine, but is more offended by Kenny’s duo of lamb, which slimy Angelo describes as “slimy.” They all enjoy Kevin’s tuna and veal with romaine leaves and pine nuts, and he’s declared the group’s winner.

And then we’re given the rare gift of B-roll footage that shows Ed telling Andrea that he and Angelo go all the way back to college, where, Ed reveals, “I used to bang his girlfriend.” Hopefully, of course, before Angelo got crabs.

Before we can fully savor this little morsel, it’s time for Group B to serve Group A. Angelo wins the night’s Dickhead Award by instructing the waiter serving his dish to “be careful, it’s kind of like a baby.” In the dining room, the chefs like Tiffany’s peppercorn-crusted ahi tuna, but are confused and slightly repulsed by Tamesha’s undercooked scallops with long pepper, pickled rhubarb, and some kind of rhubarb jus.

At the judges’ table, Kevin and Tiffany are given all sorts of love, but Kevin is named the winner thanks to his excellent sauce and decision to use pine nuts. He’s rewarded with a six-night trip to Hawaii, and with the task of summoning the night’s losers for their reckoning.

And so Kenny and Tamesha are called to account for their sins. While Kenny arrogantly refuses to believe that it’s his food that’s the problem — “I’m a threat to the other competitors; it would make more sense to get me out of the picture” — the judges decide that Tamesha’s scallops were unforgivably nasty, and, implicitly, that keeping Mr. Alpha Dog around is better TV. So Tamesha goes to pack her knives, and we’re left to wonder if Angelo, despite his sad-puppy-dog gaze, sabotaged Tamesha by telling her to add more sugar to her dish. All signs point to “duh,” but there’s no time to dwell, because then we get a glimpse of next week’s episode, which will involve a misplaced English pea puree.

Have a tip or restaurant-related news? Send it to