To Slurp And Protect

Ted Allen on why we haven't seen the last of Andrew.

These Top Chef editors are getting downright Shakespearean -- or maybe it's just Andrew. It actually kinda freaked out my partner, Barry, when Andrew said, "Either I'm gonna stab somebody or I'm gonna make some amazing food." Barry's response: "Shouldn't he be arrested for saying things like that?"

Ah, but that's our Andrew (er, that was our Andrew). Who can forget his inaugural moment in the very earliest TC promos, being quoted saying that if we kicked him off the show, we would have to drag him out with security?

As it turned out, that wasn't necessary. Andrew was quite gracious. Which was the right move, considering how spectacularly wrong he was about a box lunch for Chicago's Finest. Even real sushi would have been a dramatically tone-deaf choice. A rice-free, raw-foodist, faux "sushi" for the courageous people who work all hours protecting the most American city, who eat half their meals in their squad cars, and who currently have at their fingertips the incredibly delicious and satisfying Max's Italian Beef on Franklin Street? Um, no. Big time. Any dish that did not originate with some kind of flesh, fur, and a warm, beating heart was probably a bad idea. Not to mention that Andrew's dish didn't include an ingredient required by the challenge. Bon soir, Chef! Enjoyed your work.

And fear not, Andrew fans; I'd bet good money that you'll see Andrew again. No way Bravo's gonna waste somebody that crazy ....


OK -- resorting to bullet points, here -- busy, busy today:

- Apparently, we've found the Achilles' heel for Richard, Stephanie, and Lisa. These three on the bottom in the Quickfire? Maybe they need to audit Salads 101 back at CIA?

- Antonia nailed it: Spike focused so hard on trying to screw up his competitors by denying them the use of chicken, tomatoes, bread, and lettuce that he didn't spend enough time creating a dish of his own. Chicken salad? Without an interesting twist? And then to pretend at Judges' Table that you weren't scheming? See ya ...

- Fifty bucks says that in six months Sam will be dating Mary-Kate, Ashley, or John Mayer.


- Dale's choice of buffalo was perfect; eats a lot like beef, but is healthier. A great solution for a seriously red-meat crowd.

- Not that I didn't believe Lisa, who I like and respect, but I had a lot of trouble imagining that any of these chefs would stoop so low as to crank up her stove to ruin her brown rice. Since we didn't have any evidence one way or the other on camera, I agreed with Tom that it couldn't be considered a factor.

See you next week. And for more of just this kind of excellence, swing by www.tedallen.net.

Cheers,

T

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