Liveblogging Top Chef: Episode 11

Screw the jelly, are you ready for Eric Ripert? Because he is coming, and either you think he’s incredibly handsome or looks kind of like a Dolph Lundgren-esque serial killer. Either way, he’s a dangerous man with a fillet knife.

I know that last week the site went down once or twice during the show. I don’t know if it was a freak thing, or if BlueHost is so completely pathetic that it can’t handle 17 people hitting refresh at once. If it happens again, (1) don’t panic and (2) it only lasts for a minute or two, so hang on.

9:49: I’m watching the end of the last episode just so I can watch the face Carla makes when she wins and gets two superbowl tickets. EYEBALLS.

10:00: Stefan goes down to past-season loser Andrea, the “nuts and berries” lady, and watchers across the land yell “Suck on THAT!” Carla wins (See above: Victory, EYEBALLS).

10:02: Fabio is speaking Italian to his wife and MY HEAD IS EXPLODING. Yet he is also concerned that she will burn their restaurant down and open a hamburger shack. To which I say: what’s wrong with a hamburger shack? I love a hamburger shack. In fact, there aren’t a lot of things I like more than a hamburger shack.

10:04: Eric Ripert is here. I will bet you $10 that someone is literally shitting their pants at this very instant. Quickfire is a fish boning challenge – shocker! First up: sardines.

I didn’t think you could make sardines look any worse, but several of them did.

10:07: I don’t think you can even call what Jamie has sardines. It’s like she’s transmogrified them into some other kind of fish. A fish with no flesh.

Best job: FABIO!! and Leah, but who gives a shit because I could not possibly be more over her if you gave me a million dollars, and even then I would still have to try REALLY REALLY HARD to get over her more. Carla and Jamie are out.

Next up: Arctic char.

10:08: Leah GAVE UP on the char, a sign of great disrespect. And then when Ripert asked her what happened, she made a POUTY FACE at him. FAIL.

Ripert just stroked Hosea’s filet in a very seductive manner. That is not a metaphor.

Fabio and Leah, out.

Next round: fresh water eel. Eels that appear to still be moving.

10:10: Stefan nailed the eel’s head to a cutting board. I never want to see that happen ever, ever again. I hate to admit that Stefan’s eel is some good looking eel, insofar as eel can ever be good looking. Which is never. Brian informs me that in college, when he worked in the seafood department at PathMark, there was a special “eel-head-nailing board.”

Stefan gets no immunity, but a special advantage – that worked out really well last time!

10:15: Again, it’s so early on and there are so many all caps words in this post. NOT A GOOD SIGN.

10:18: Field trip to Le Bernadin. I am far more worthy than these people for a field trip to Le Bernadin.

Doing that is now on the list of things I must do before I die.

If the site goes out this time, it’s probably from all the drool I’m getting on the keyboard.

10:20: Leah, Eric Ripert does not want a hug from you. He does not care if you think he is “super-sweet.” You know she totally covered her Trapper Keeper with “Leah *hearts* Eric” and “Mrs. Leah Ripert.”

Jamie, you are 10,000 time less cool than you think you are. I note with interest that somehow, despite your astounding talent and forward thinking, your restaurant does not have the reputation of Le Bernadin. Interesting. Even though braised celery doesn’t sound so hot to me, I somehow think I could bring myself to eat it at Le Bernadin.

Just admit that Le Bernadin is fricking awesome, Jamie. YOU ARE NOT THAT SPECIAL.

10:21: SHOCKING TWIST ELIMINATION CHALLENGE! Recreating the 6-course menu they just ate.

If no one shit themselves before, they are shitting themselves now. I am shitting for Fabio in sympathy. Jamie hits smack across the face with some braised celery karma.

10:28: AWESOME: Eric and his sous are spying on them the WHOLE TIME, thus greatly increasing the chances that someone will shit themselves.

Also: balsamic jelly? I want to eat that on everything.

10:30: Ripert makes the usual Colicchio rounds, except he’s actually helpful and gives advice. See how that works, Colicchio? Mentoring? Helping them make better food!

Forget it. You will never see how that works.

Jamie has no time for Eric to taste her attempt. I’m sure she doesn’t need it though. She could probably do this in her sleep, since Ripert’s food is so uninspiring.

10:33: My boy is first up: red snapper and tomato consomme. Eric is pretty impressed, which has gotta be some high praise.

Leah is next. Le Sigh.

10:35: Leah doesn’t hope this dish will send her home, contrary to the rest of America.

Somehow, she attempts to disguise her failure to figure out the miso sauce by putting less miso on the plate. And it totally works! Except that it doesn’t, and everyone notices.

10:36: Stefan is close, although his hollandaise is thick. Carla is next. Fingers crossed for Carla, who is my new favorite because I honestly don’t think Fabio can win. She comes close.

10:37: Did you know that Hosea was a seafood guy? Did they mention that?

He hasn’t let his monkfish rest. You know what that means? The monkfish has been disrespected.

10:39: Eric: “The celery is…very hardcore.” He is too charitable to say outright that it sucks, so he just agrees with everyone else when they say it sucks.

10:44: JUDGES’ TABLE: Top 3, Stefan, Carla and FABIO!! (That’s how I’m going to write his name from now on).

Carla’s eyes bug out before they even say anything to her. Apparently, she figured out some important thing, bernaise v. beurre rouge, because of the classical training that she hides inside one of her spirit guides.

Toby Young has official worn off on me.

10:46: Winner: Stefan. I CALL SHENANIGANS. He had the easiest dish, and HE ADMITTED IT. He gets all kind of awesome prizes. SHENANIGANS! Carla should have taken it.



10:48: Losers: Everyone else. They sucked. big time.

Toby, I don’t believe that you still have Leah’s fish in your teeth (again, not a metaphor), as much as I want her to go home.

10:50: Jamie knows she sucked. Toby detected a “rogue element” in the sauce. Aaaand Jamie says, in front of Ripert, that she didn’t like the dish to begin with. It makes me wish he had laser eyes so he could instantly smite her (aside: he totally looks like he could have laser eyes).

10:53: 66% chance of a Jew going home. Fingers crossed for Leah.

10:57: Everyone screwed something important. Jamie: Pack your knives.

I had her pegged for top 4 before I realized she was kind of an ass, but I still didn’t think she was going home. DEAR GOD, WHAT DOES LEAH HAVE TO DO, KILL SOMEONE? And even then I’m not sure!

Next Week: Carla is a force to be reckoned with, because she has summoned the full power of her spirit guides, both good and evil. Fabio loses a limb. They cook for a bunch of ridiculously famous people who are all shown in soft focus, presumably so we won’t notice that Jaques Pepin (while still adorable) has not aged all that well.

Also: It is the case that BlueHost sucks major ass during liveblogging and cannot, in fact, handle more than 10 people trying to load the page at once. Bloggers: Who do you host with, and how do you like them?

0 thoughts on “Liveblogging Top Chef: Episode 11

  1. Dead eel STILL MOVING! I watched Gordon Ramsey w/ eels and 2 min after killing, the heart was still beating (after being gutted). And then he fed the heart to his friend on a bet.

  2. I think Leah had the ridiculous notion that a pouty face might save her. Hey Leah, it’s freaking Eric Ripert, not Hosea. Ugh, she’s awful, she can’t cook, send her home.

  3. chessa, more proof that gordan ramsey, though a good chef, is also the devil.

    frances, right? please god, let this be the day.

    kerry s*, i think you are on to something.

  4. This is an awesssssssommmmme live blog experience for me. THANKSTOYOU. And ps- Jamie… wtfu. Please. “I’m not inspired by this type of food” is either “I’m a blatant liar” or “I have no pulse”.

  5. I don’t think Fabio is going home tonight, yay! Back to his bunky (or bonky) bed! Leah can suck it. And Stefan is annoying the crap out of me, it’s like he’s got an extra large wooden spoon up his rear end tonight.

  6. oh yes, hardcore celery. Just in case you couldn’t hear the collective gasps at the first taste. My hubby went to bed came out to see what was up, cause I was apparently chanting “go home!” over and over. When he heard what I said, and what was on, he just goes, “Oh, Leah.” and went back to bed. Lol!
    -Hihi, (long time listener, first time caller.)

  7. Apparently Leah has to stab one of the judges with a flaming knife while the judge is incapacitated from choking on one of the many bones she leaves behind in the fish, in order to be eliminated.

  8. Okie dokie. This is not going to sound particularly nice or charitable. I am not the violent type but I want to grab Leah by that stupid ponytail and knock that stupid pouty face off of her. And Trapper Keeper? Oh my word. I haven’t heard that since 1988. When I owned one.

    Jamie HAD to go home after dissing Ripert to his face. Remember the Obi-Wan vs. Ripert discussion last week? I’d like to see Ripert go all Obi-Wan on Jamie.

    And is it just me or is Toby Keith insufferably smug?

    So I have to admit that I thought Carla was too kooky before, but I love her now, too. Her and Fabio. I think they each need their own t.v. show after this is over (and I don’t mean pimping Diet Dr. Pepper. I mean a REAL show!)

  9. bec, thanks, and you are so right. harbinger for jamie.

    graciecat, welcome! rock rock on!

    kerry s*, your wish is my command.

    tanis, he just lucked out than 2 others were SO MUCH WORSE.

    braised salty celery, mmm.

    ECM, i know. even though i’m paid ahead for a while, i think i have to abandon them. it’s not like thousands of people are trying to load this page.

    hihi, thanks for calling – your call is important to us. also, your husband so perfectly personifies my feelings toward leah.

    chessa, correct.

    rebecca, i don’t think there’s actually a physical way to wipe the pouty face off. yes, toby has become completely insufferable, and his commentary adds virtually nothing. and i will watch any show with FABIO!!

  10. Ha – I knew the eel head on the board from old school Iron Chef shows. Just barely finished saying that to my partner as Stefan nailed it.

    Ew – Leah is SO over her prepubescent crush on Hosea, and he is showing her by wearing an “I heart Padma” tee shirt. In return, Leah shows she could care less by gongling over “super sweet and cute” Eric. Is this “Gossip Chef?”

    Gracie: laughing at the “African Big Bird” comment! Karla does remind me of some kind of feathery muppet, or maybe that crazy 80’s puppet – Madame!

  11. I need some spirit Xanax in a big way. Maybe Club Dilido will create a drink in Carla’s honor called the Spirit Xanax. I sure hope so, because Dr. Chase should have never been sent home before Leah. Oh well, at least Dr. Foreman’s football team won last Sunday (I’m trying to get as many ‘House’ references in as I can, apparently!). Ok, so I am completely pissed off at Leah for giving up on the quickfire challenge, and to me, that should have gotten her kicked off. Jamie has more cooking talent in her tattooed arms than Leah has in her entire body. However, I am glad to see Jamie go after her snide commentary. Too bad they could only eliminate one chef tonight, because Leah and Jamie both need to be gone! Carla is really coming on strong in the end, something I never would have suspected she could or would do. I am really hoping that she makes the Final Four now. If Leah makes it past next week, I don’t know if I could bring myself to watch the remainder of the season. What am I saying, I’ll watch just for the live-blogging commentary! Stefan too is really pouring it on in the end, and I think that has been his strategy all along. Hang out in the middle, don’t give up any techniques early, don’t piss off the judges, kick ass in the end! Hosea seems lost at times, and Fabio is relying too much on his cuteness. Please forgive me for blaspheming Fabio! Well, next week will certainly be interesting. I certainly hope that Leah will be kicked off next week. I can’t live in a world where that crazy bitch is actually competing in the final four rounds!

  12. “how to do you them”? Is that a Spongebob moment? Hostmonster. I can’t vouch for liveblogging, but they’ve been good to me so far… I do reserve the right to completely change my mind on that if they ever mess with me… Now back to the Fabio show. How about it’s 10% cooking and 90% him just talking and charming everyone?

  13. karen, maybe it’s “Top 26-going-on-12 Year Old Chef” and not “Top Chef.”

    gaines, stefan hasn’t been hanging on in the middle, he’s been whupping ass the whole time. which is why i want him to go down, and go down hard. carla is really making an amazing comeback that i want to see continue.

    i don’t know if anyone will back for the liveblogging commentary unless bluehost gets it’s shit together.

    rebecca, this is the trouble: i often write such meaningless sentences, and this why why brian proofreads everything before it gets published – but no such luck with liveblogging.

    i can’t help if it my brain moves at the speed of light and my fingers can’t keep up.

  14. I think that Leah is the new black…or Lisa of last season. How the hell is she still on? No one seems to like her, she can’t seem to cook very well, and her pouty faces are seriously starting to grate. And Jamie??? Can’t believe that she is the one person who could not admit to LOVE Eric Riperts’ food, yet she was the one who got to sit next to him!!! I think that to respect the judges a little bit more next season, I should be included in the top six. Even though I have no formal training. Or restraunt experience, or any other good reason to be Top Chef other than I would SO appreciate dining with Mr. Eric Ripert. I think that is reason enough. Can you tell that I am more in the “incredibly handsome” category rather than the “serial killer” category? Wasn’t sure if that was clear or not. Not to mention, his food looks to die for. And next week!!! Jaques Pepin, Lidia Bastianich, and Wylie Dufresne? Good God, talk about a challenge. I would be scared shitless to cook for any af them.

  15. I cant take it anymore!!! This show is driving me crazy!!! Why in the name of all who is holy is LEAH still on this SHOW!!!! She gave up and quit in the quickfire and she is still on the show. She should have been kicked off the past three weeks! I am still not over what Leah and Hosea did to Ariane. Hopefully I will get over it soon.

  16. Oh and i heart Eric Ripert! Michelle let me know when you are going to Le Bernadin we can plan the heavenly experience together.

  17. Michelle, this is the first thing I read every Thursday morning. You absolutely crack me up. You deserve the blogger award, hands down, and you had my vote from day 1.

    Also, I adore Carla, bug eyes and all, because there is not an ounce of pretention in her. She always does her best, and I actually dig the fact that she is so adamant about “sending out love.” Couple the love with good technique and quality ingredients, and she’ll be unstoppable. Carla to the top! C’mon, you know that Fabio, in all of his Italian splendor, is just too damn sexy to win it all.

  18. I just want to KNOW WHERE they got the nails to skewer the eels? I don’t keep nails in the kitchen, but then I don’t pound my snakes to the cutting board! I just wonder about the whole timing thing on quickfire…
    Carla is interesting. I believe she is probably better trained than all of them…it might, no…WILL come down to her and Stefan

  19. I found Jamie’s criticisms of Le Bernadin so mind numbing I went into a coma before the elimination challenge. Thanks to your witty commentary I’m back up to speed. So glad she’s gone, though I have to say I didn’t see it coming. …And thank you for giving FABIO! the adoration he deserves.

  20. chedds, lidia bastianich can make me shit myself from a distance. and i *like* her. jacques pepin, intimidating yes, but too elfin to be really scary. and i think i’m starting to get really over wylie dufresne.

    jess, i really do think she’ll have to kill someone, or possibly herself, before she’s gone.

    we’ll let you know when we’ve saved up enough for le bernadin. maybe early 2011? pencil us in.

    beth, ditto to everything you said about carla. i have totally come to embrace the crazy.

    catherine, you know, that’s a good question. is there some other culinary use for nails that would justify keeping them around the kitchen?

    i think i’m wanting it to come down to carla and stefan, and i want her to crush him…with love. but the redemption arc they’re giving her is probably just a red herring.

    kerry w, i didn’t see it coming either, but i can’t say i’m sorry about it. it really did seem like colicchio was pushing to boot leah, which would have been equally satisfying.

  21. I thought I didn’t care enough about the episode to comment but it turns out that Eric Ripert and Fabio in the same episode is enough to make anyone who isn’t dead inside care at least little. They’re both just so…. yummy.

    I was so disappointed that they sent Jamie home not because I like Jamie but because I can’t stand Leah!

    I’m totally rooting for Carla, bug eyes, spirit xanax and all but I don’t know how realistic that is. I’m a little concerned that our boy Fabio (or FABIO!) loses a limb next episode. That much blood in the kitchen can’t be good.

    I’m starting to like Stephan more because of how much I dislike Leah. Stephan might be arrogant but at least he pretty consistently cooks good food. And can skin an eel like nobody’s business.

    Thanks for all your blogging. It brightens my day.

  22. Your knowledge of and use of the word “transmogrified” made me love this blog even more. I actually grinned at my computer screen when I read that! :D

  23. jennifer, she did deserve to go. they BOTH deserved to go, that’s the problem.

    julianne, we all know how i feel about FABIO!! but even though i think eric ripert seems really nice as a person, he still looks kinda like a zombie to me.

    lisa, because god hates us, that’s why. she’s got no mob connections. her last name is COHEN for god’s sake.

    maybe that’s why she can’t get booted: she’s descended from the most holy of the jewish priestly classes.

    lauren, i feel that everyone should have a strong working knowledge of the calvin and hobbes oeuvre. also, i once took a summer class in college on 20th century popular culture and wrote a research paper on them.

    emily, high praise. and no problem. if only i could keep it from crashing during the liveblogging! that never used to happen when i only had 4 readers.

  24. thank you for the freaking hilarious re-cap of this week’s show. i had such a crappy day! and this totally cracked me up.

    and just to throw my 2 cents in….i think jamie should have stayed even though she can be condescending. and YES. LORD, why is leah still. freaking. in. it?

    it’s not right.

  25. Well, ok… they did both deserve it. But Leah deserved it more. I think Jamies elimination had more to do with her “being so over” EP’s food than her salty celery.

  26. Yes I know I’m a little late to the party, but I just watched last week’s show on Tivo and I can’tread your post til I see the episode. I had to fast forward through the eel part, it was so bad. Wish I had also FF’ed through Leah moving on. Maybe Jamie is disrespectful, but she can cook Leah under the table.
    I’m in the handsome camp for Ripert – he and Fabio should have a Top Foreign Accent show. No losers!

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