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Morning, all. Man, I’ve got a case of the August doldrums. The arts scene around town is pretty dead right now. Can’t wait until next month when it really starts to pick up again.
In this world of iTunes and digital downloads, who actually goes double platinum these days? Eminem, that’s who. His Recovery album regained the number one spot on the Billboard 200 last week after selling 133,000 copies, pushing him past the two million mark in sales.
Top Chef time! The cheftestants were greeted by Top Chef regular Wylie Dufresne, the nerdy-cool molecular gastronimist. Their mystery box quickfire challenge was tough: in addition to using the ingredients of the initial mystery box, they had to use the ingredients of three subsequent mystery boxes, presented to them at different times as they cooked. The boxes were brought to them by a Jon Hamm lookalike in Secret Service-type garb. Tiffany ended up winning for her seafood stew, and won $10,000 to boot.
For the elimination challenge, the chefs were charged with disguising a classic dish (chicken Cordon Bleu, Cobb salad, gyros, etc.) for CIA officials, including director Leon Panetta. Panetta, who was called away suddenly mid-meal on business, seemed like a good-natured guy, but everyone else seemed pretty humorless. Amanda, who initially appeared to be getting the villain edit, has been growing on me. I still think she’s a weak chef, but she’s pretty likable. To wit: Of her attempt to disguise French onion soup, she said, “Even Helen Keller could recognize my dish.”
In the end, Tiffany took the win for her deconstructed gyros. For her efforts, she also won a trip for two to Paris. Add that to the 20 grand she’s already won for her high-stakes quickfire wins, and she’s going home with quite the booty, even if she doesn’t win the whole thing. After such a strong start, Angelo appears to be faltering. He even bought his puff pastry for his thinly veiled beef Wellington. But it was Alex who went home, for his super-tough recreation of veal parmesan.