'Top Chef: DC' - 'Restaurant Wars' Recap Season 7, Episode 9

Last night's episode of 'Top Chef' was buoyed from its usual doldrums by the return of two traditionally tricky challenges -- the tag-team relay and "Restaurant Wars." Both served their purpose of flummoxing the remaining eight cheftestants -- not to mention reducing Angelo to a raving lunatic in the kitchen, which was kinda fun to watch.

For the Quickfire cook-off, teams were chosen dodgeball style with Kevin, Kenny, Amanda and Kelly forming "Team Blue" and Ed, Tiffany, Angelo and Alex comprising "Team Red." Not that Ed was thrilled with being saddled with Alex, who remains the prime suspect in the infamous "pea gate" from two weeks ago.

The relay tests not only their acumen in the kitchen but their ability to "read the whole story," (as Kelly so aptly phrased it), to figure out what's been done before them and what remains to be accomplished. And, an over-salting snafu by Alex notwithstanding, the cheftestants seem to suss out their situations accurately. All good news for the guest judge, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who stiffly marches into the room looking pained and supremely uncomfortable -- despite the fact that she claims to have "been a foodie for a long time." A foodie? Really? Nothing says you know zip about food quite as much as calling yourself a foodie.

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