Top Chef D.C. Podcast, Ep. 12: NASA worthy or just nasty?

It was nice to see Anthony Bourdain as a random guest judge for this episode (what does he have to do with space?), but I was saddened to see that his level of snark was lower than it has been during past episodes. I wanted at least one cutting remark -- is that too much for a girl to ask?

Want to know what happened? Well then, you'll have to listen to the podcast to find out.

[image-1]Whether you watch the show or not, our review of it is top notch snark and an all-around good time. Listen to us (attempt to) recap this episode and the hilarity that ensues.

Check out the NYT review of Ed's restaurant, Plein Sud.

Tune in to Bravo every Wednesday at 10 pm EST/8 pm C, check out our own live Tweets during the show (Jeff: @JeffHouck, Katie: @culinarypirate), and listen to our podcast here every week! (You can even download us on iTunes!)

Check out our fellow Top Chef fanatics' blogs: Please Pack Your Knives And Go's hilarious notes from last night's episode, and All Top Chef gives us their uninhibited reactions.

Download the podcast here.

In the last episode of  Top Chef: D.C. that takes place in said city, the stakes were high as this Elimination Challenge would determine who goes on to the finale, each of the five remaining chefs vying for one of the four tickets to Singapore.

The Quickfire was surprisingly not hokey this episode, the chefs having to choose a red wine and pair it with a dish to be judged by Food & Wine Editor Dana Cowin. Okay, so maybe it wasn't the most arduous challenge for most of them, but it must have been pretty daunting having to do a pairing for Dana. And even though I love Tiffany, making a big steak and pairing it with a big red wine is a big cop out.

Goddard Space Flight Center was the scene for the Elimination, the challenge: to make a meal fit for an astronaut — and able to be freeze dried. This conjured up memories of class field trips to the science center and chowing down on freeze dried Neapolitan ice cream and spicy "space fries".

Goddard's resident food scientist (the love child of Jaws from The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker) gives them the guidelines for making space food: go low on the sugar, big pieces of food don't freeze dry well and the astronauts like spicy/heavily spices foods. The chefs then disregarded the part about keeping the food in smaller pieces, cooking large pieces of meat and  fish. Two outta three ain't bad, though, right? What gets me is that they didn't make the chef'testants freeze dry their food to see if it would so so successfully.


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