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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

“Top Chef”: Purloined pea puree!

TC-707-Update-Top-RecipeSee this lovely plate of seared salmon with mushrooms, onions and some kind of neon-green velouté of alien brain? Well, friends, this verdant elixir is a pea puree that won the elimination challenge for heretofore under-performing cheftestant Alex.

This pea puree was so silky that guest judge Art Smith was practically felled by a case of the vapors. Alex not only won the challenge, but he will get his bald pate immortalized in a likeness on the wall of a Palm restaurant.

The problem? Alex may have stolen the pea puree!

Ed — good old Ed — spent the better part of the last half of the show searching hither and yon for his pea puree. Not in the fridge. Not in the pantry. Not splattered on the walls, or caked on Amanda’s face as part of her beauty regimen for flawless, luminescent skin. “Alex, are you sure you haven’t seen my pea puree?” Ed asked, over and over and over again.

What do you think? Did Alex grab the goo and go?

By the way, check out the trending hashtag on Twitter — #peapuree.

28 comments Add your comment

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ajcdinecritic and andrea weigl, John Kessler. John Kessler said: “Top Chef”: Purloined pea puree! [...]


July 29th, 2010
9:37 am

I know it’s editing .. and I’m probably still being fooled. But when Alex said he had no idea Ed was doing pea puree, and then they show Alex sitting in the house kitchen listening to others talk about Ed’s pea puree — then I was okay, he’s a cad. But again …. could be editing.


July 29th, 2010
10:10 am

I think he took it. Again, this could be editing, but at the Judges Table, when Art was orgasmically describing the pea puree, Alex’s face was not the face of someone whose dish was being praised. He looked guilty as hell that the puree seemed to be the winning component of the dish. If he’d made it, he’d have been beaming. Anybody would. Ed showed a lot of class by not speaking up. Of course he had no proof and speaking up might well have made him look like a jerk but he must have been very tempted.


July 29th, 2010
10:21 am

Precisely! Probably the perpetrator of the putatively perfect, purloined pea puree.


July 29th, 2010
10:33 am

Guilty as charged!


July 29th, 2010
10:47 am

They did show Alex saying that he was going to create his pea puree first thing day 2, so maybe he did make his own and Ed forgot to pack his. Who knows? Its hard to tell bc you know they edited the hell out of that show to create as much drama as possible. I’m sure that it will come up again in an upcoming episode and hopefully we’ll get some resolve. At the end of the day, it doesn’t even matter though. Neither Ed or Alex are making it to the end. This has been the Angelo/Kenny show since day 1. None of the other chefs are even in the same category. Very disappointing season so far. I think the fact that nobody is willing to help out another chef is just another sign of how insecure chefs are in their work. Seriously, you can’t spare a little bit of salt??? This group would rather win because of another’s mistake instead of trying to beat out their competitor’s best.


July 29th, 2010
12:03 pm

Given what we know, it seems extremely likely that Alex did steal the pure.

After all, if there was more than one pea pure made, then where is the other one? If it was misplaced, it surely would have popped up eventually, no? It didn’t just vanish into thin air!

And the other contestants had seen Ed make a pea pure the day before, and had not seen Alex making a pea pure. Alex certainly didn’t make one on the previous day, and contestants thought it unlikely that Alex would have had time to make one from scratch at the location. And where would he have gotten the ingredients to do so, when Amanda had a hard time even finding the salt that she failed to bring with her?


July 29th, 2010
12:50 pm

Well Alex definitely had the ingridients to make the puree since he was the only other contestant to buy peas (he just wasn’t sure what he was going to do with them after the first day). They showed him saying first thing I need to do this morning is create the puree so maybe he got it off in time. Ed might have not packed it in the prep kitchen (they switched locations between day 1 and 2).

I just have a hard time believing that Alex would just steal Ed’s puree. They were the only ones working with peas and it would be so obvious. Just too stupid of a crime to commit. You don’t think the cameras or someone else in the kitchen would have caught Alex picking up Ed’s puree out of the coolers? Just doesn’t seem realistic.


July 29th, 2010
1:04 pm

I do not think he stole Ed’s puree…but he did steal his idea.


July 29th, 2010
1:06 pm


July 29th, 2010
1:56 pm

This reads like a spy novel. Yes Alex definitely stole Ed’s idea. Despite the editing, not one of the other chefs one actually saw Alex make any pea puree and they all seemed to believe Alex was a thief. Can you get to that conclusion simply through editing? The editing however was based on that one judge praising the puree and then cutting the footage to suggest a mystery. However in the minds of 90% of those who voted, Alex was a thief. Would the producers of Top Chef lead us all to that conclusion if it were simply not true? That seems very unfair. I wonder.


July 29th, 2010
3:23 pm

Alex stole Ed’s pea puree. He “made” his own by taking Ed’s dish, puting in a pan, and stirring it.


July 29th, 2010
4:18 pm

I think Ed was made to look guilty. Could be editing for drama too, but, sometime after showing Alex stirring “his” puree, there was a quick camera pan to a pot of water with peas floating in it. What was with that? The producers know more than they’re leading us on to believe. They could ask him to reproduce it and he will have to if it’s going on the Palms menu….


July 29th, 2010
4:44 pm

The peas in the pot were probably Ed’s. He did serve them, whole, w/ his asparagas.


July 29th, 2010
6:47 pm

What is wrong with you, people?? Or may be you have forgotten that ANYONE is presumed INNOCENT utnil proven otherwise? Yes, Alex wasn’t sure what to cook the night before, but he DID say that he got some peas and he’s probably going to make a puree. When he was asked if that was the same peas as Ed got, he said “I don’t know what Ed has.” That’s it! Stop calling him “a thief.”


July 29th, 2010
7:18 pm

I believe Alex stole Ed’s pea puree. After Alex states he didn’t know what Ed was doing he says he didn’t use peas; and you never see Alex with peas or putting together the pea puree he just suddenly has it. I think he is totally guilty and I can’t believe no one said anything.


July 29th, 2010
7:28 pm

I just wanted to mention that those interviews where the contestants are talking about their strategy and reactions in present tense, are done after the challenge is completed, not during.


July 30th, 2010
2:26 am

I’m gonna do it! Alex is a THIEF! He had no idea what he was going to do on night one. He was biting his fingers at the table and looking plaintively at Kenny and Andrea. He was passive aggressively asking for ideas. Kenny said that Ed was making a pea puree. Alex said nothing. Next morning, he’s insistent he’s going to make a puree — filmed after it’s all over. So, no, he didn’t “decide” to make the pea puree in his sleep. He decided to steal Ed’s puree. And he did it slickly too. But the camera does show him scrambling for the coolers after everyone arrives. Then, he makes a big show of stirring a pot. Well, why stir the pot off the stove so lavishly? He must’ve walked around the kitchen ten times doing that. It was bizarre. Also, consider this. The other contestants on the show thought he stole it. And they didn’t see an edited version of a show. They saw the whole thing live. No editing.


July 30th, 2010
1:22 pm

This is merely a ploy by the production team to try and spice up a rather lackluster season of Top Chef. Unfortunately, when selecting the existing pool of Chef-testants, they apparently overlooked the requirements for participants with any form of personality. (perhaps the requirement for them all to have multiple piercings and tattoos was overlooked as well) Hence, they are having to find ways to add spice to a rather boring, one dimensional season. (e.g. – bad blood between Angelo and Kenny, love interests between Ed and Tiffany , Andreas fueding with Michelle B, etc.) And why haven’t we seen any signs of arguably the best chef in the DC area, Michel Richard???


July 30th, 2010
8:21 pm

Given that the dish and his portrait will be the posh DC restaurant, I think the restaurant and/or the producers should get to the bottom of this….oh, but wait….it’s Washington…so lack of integrity is sadly too often the status quo…..


July 30th, 2010
9:52 pm

It seems like he did. It seems extremely odd and a case of instant, unconscious automatic lying if he automatically says he didn’t use peas and didn’t know Ed had puree when he had to have used peas to make pea puree and he is shown talking with people discussing Ed’s puree before it went missing.

Of course the whole thing could be edited max headrom like, where those were his answers to different questions they took completely different days in different situations, but that seems a stretch.


July 31st, 2010
6:18 pm

Ed’s pea puree had to have gone somewhere. If it wasn’t back at the prep kitchen, then someone stole it or threw it out. Alex seems to have at the very least gotten the idea of a puree while talking to others the night before. If he manages to win this season, the entire season will be tainted. I would think that would be enough for Top Chef to investigate. The producers and cameramen knew immediately it was a suspicion – they even followed Ed around the kitchen as he was searching for it; so not having a chance to check receipts or footage is bogus. They knew if Alex took them, which makes me think he didn’t and they just wanted to create drama.

cartoon man

August 1st, 2010
1:22 am

The people who really played us were the “editors” of the show. I can see a couple young guys, one guy figuring out how to best edit the scenes to make it really POP. He must’ve chuckled, took another toke of his joint, and called the other editor over. “Hey, if I put Alex saying this here, then go back and edit in Kenny saying this,..” then they think about it, show the producer, who sees dollar signs, and they all chuckle some more. “sure do it,” says the Producer. Meanwhile, they have all the footage in front of them and they know exactly what happened.


August 1st, 2010
4:05 am

This Season should be coined ‘Bottom Chef’… after last season these plebs appear pedestrian at best… Oh and Alex is the pea pilfering perpetrator…

John Kessler

August 1st, 2010
9:39 am

Manipulative editing seems to be the hallmark of this show.

Gary Montlick

August 3rd, 2010
1:43 pm

jjsmom – you are hereby served with this legal notice (on an established website) that you are being sued for defamation of character for your libelous slander of my client – Alex Vandelay.

Please respond with your address where we can serve you the legal documents.

Montlick & Associates

Not as dumb as you

August 4th, 2010
3:50 pm

Gary Montlick – “Please respond with your address where we can serve you the legal documents.”

Let us all know how that works out for you.


August 4th, 2010
8:05 pm

There are cameras all over the set. All they have to do is watch the tapes.