We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

The mood over this season’s Top Chef is turning dark. The critics are claiming the cheftestants (still can’t stomach that word) are inferior to previous seasons. Hell, they can’t even make a pie.

The media have their say:

  • Joe Yonan and Bonnie Benwick over at WaPo, ahem, knead-le the chefs over their pies: “If you don’t know how to make a basic pie crust, I think it’s pretty sad,” Yonan says. “They weren’t even pies, most of them.”
  • Carol Blymire at the Washingtonian thought the producers teased us about the judges’ favorite pies: “[T]hey love Kelly’s tart/pie and Stephen’s curried-apple pie. Johnny gets to reveal the winner, and I’m thinking either Kelly or Stephen, but instead he says, ‘Kenny!’ What? How can you win when you’re not featured in the Pies We Loved montage” (Also: Blymire gets the Y&H Bronze Medal for bravery for sneaking “dickwad” into the Washingtonian.)

  • Eater national mocks Jean Georges pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini for channeling The Fonz: “Enough, Johnny. We get it. Even though you are a dessert chef and have a slight lisp, you call yourself “Johnny” and dress like a greaser. You’re tough! No one is arguing! You probably gave yourself a tattoo in prison with a Bic and a lighter that says “Petit Four” across your knuckles! (One of his hands has six fingers.) Let’s all just relax. I promise I won’t try and steal your wallet.”
  • Serious Eats got fed up with all the complainin’ about the pie challenge: “This week’s quickfire didn’t go so well for the chefs. You’d think Padma asked them to disarm a bomb with all the bitching and moaning they were doing: “Wahhh, I’ve never made a pie before! Wahhh, I don’t cook desserts!” Suck it up, guys. The show is called Top Chef, not Top Incompetent Whiny Bitch.”
  • Gawker minces no words: “I suppose baking a pie is difficult for a chef. Pastry arts and culinary arts taught as two separate degrees at most culinary colleges, but man, these chefs suck balls!”
  • Entertainment Weekly mocks a few of the contestants’ approach to pie: “It took me seven hours to cook my first from-scratch blueberry pie last Thanksgiving (go ahead, ridicule), but in TC land, they had just two. And in those two hours, Ed ripped on Alex’s talent (Oh Ed, you know what that means for you, right?), Tracey dubbed her pie “top secret” because she actually didn’t know what she was making, and Angelo, out of convenience for his pie-less résumé, tricked his mind into thinking this was a curry challenge. That makes sense.”
  • DCist could see trouble coming from a mile away:  “It was pretty easy to spot some of the cheftestants who would not be in contention for immunity early on in the Quickfire. First, Alex was working on some sort of almond crust that looked like it had the consistency of Play-Doh that had its cap left off overnight. Also, he threw some sort of filling together with eggs and tapioca and goat cheese — I’m sorry, were you supposed to be making pies for Johnny Iuzzini to taste or pies that would ruin the afternoon of nursing home residents? Tapioca pie? With goat cheese? Pass.”