This week: Thomas Keller. He has come to steal your soul with his meticulous attention to detail. Also, he’s dangerous with a chinois.
LAST WEEK: Nigella Lawson in bed. British people extending metaphors further than they should really be extended. Robin got the axe, despite my really wanting her to out last Eli. Which desire was totally out of spite, because I am spiteful.
10:01: Kevin is a good Catholic boy. Why am I not surprised? Eli is the youngest left, and a friend of Richard Blais, for whom he wants to win it, calling it an “Inigo Montoya” moment. No, the only “Inigo Montoya” moment is if you are ACTUALLY killing the man who killed your father. Winning a reality television competition on which a friend of yours previously choked? Not so much.
10:03: QUICKFIRE: Judge Gavin Kaysen. Make something that’s a protein inside a protein inside a protein, which is what he did to win the Bocuse d’Or, the Super Nobel Olympiad of Cooking.
Or, as it’s known to the rest of us, a turducken.
10:05: Michael: “This isn’t about making a ballotine, this is about three proteins inside each other.” YES, BECAUSE IT’S ABOUT MAKING A BALLOTINE, AND THAT IS THE DEFINITION.
I could be utterly butchering the spelling of that, I’m not even sure it starts with a “B.”
10:07: My boy Kevin, not in the top? It’s like a day without sunshine.
10:09: Shiv takes it! I think she really needed this.
Michael has quickly taken up the dickweed crown. “Oh, he wanted a BALLOTINE? He should have said so. I could have given him something as good as his prize-winning dish.” Go suck an egg, you d-bag. HE TOLD YOU WHAT HE FUCKING WELL WANTED.
ELIMINATION: The Top Chef Bocuse d’Or, a presentation platter with an entree and two garnishes. Your judge? Thomas Keller. TREMBLE IN FEAR, CHEFS. Oh, some other important people will be there, too. But they’re not Thomas Keller, so their names don’t matter.
10:12: The criteria here are taste, creativity and presentation. Novel!
10:16: Kevin has no plans. The editors have succeeded in making me scared for him despite the fact that I don’t trust the editors farther than I can throw them. But why try something totally new to you at this point?
The chefs get home and Michael goes right to bed in his chef’s coat so he can jump up and be better than you at a moment’s notice.
10:18: Bryan kindly gives Kevin instructions on sous viding lamb. He’s into sharing information. “My brother might not have done that.” Read: “I know my brother is an asshole.” And then HOLY SHIT Thomas Keller is there in the kitchen.
Is he really tall, or is Colicchio really short? Because Keller looks like he could step on him.
10:19: Michael is making salmon, because that takes more finesse. Kevin is making something with sunchoke cream. I loves me some Kevin, but ever since Dieterle, I’m a little done with the sunchoke cream.
10:20: Michael: “The food that Kevin cooks is the food that I cook on my day off.” One, you lie. Two, do you act like Kevin on your day off as well? If so, could you please act like that all the time?
Shiv is cooking something “unilaterally,” which is a term I normally associate with legislatures, not fish or lamb.
10:22: Colicchio does his rounds of the kitchen and astutely observes that Shiv seems a little nervous. You can’t sneak anything past him, that Colicchio.
10:25: Commercials. Why does Tresemme insist on trying to sell me hair products with women who I want to smack. Lady, your hair is actually kinda flat. Sorry.
10:26: Every time Thomas Keller comes on screen, Brian says “Oh, shit, yo!” Every time.
Every time someone says something like “They told me to do one thing, but I’m going to do something else,” I get a funny feeling. When it’s Michael, it’s a funny happy feeling. When it’s Kevin, it’s a funny nervous feeling.
10:28: The most intimidating chefs in the entire world are around this table, but I think I may be more intimidated by the giant mirror platters. You can’t hide anything on those bad boys. Mine would totally be the platter with the fingerprints all over it. Also? The food on it would not be so great. I’m assuming you can’t send out a bunch of tiny bowls of cereal.
10:30: Shocking! Michael, less than perfect? IMperfect, even? Michael, Daniel Boulud finds your flavors inharmonious. Of course, he probably has a questionable palate.
Meanwhile, Keller himself is impressed with Bryan’s technique, if not with all the flavors. Or the textures. Or the execution. So okay, it was just the one compliment.
10:33: Not Jonah Hill has ten thousand million ingredients on his plate, one of which is a carrot puree with ras al hanout, stolen directly from Blais. When the mostly highly praised element on your dish is the foam, you have a problem.
Son of Bocuse is horrified by the lamb. That can’t be good. But the looks of pure French dissatisfaction on his face are beautiful to behold.
10:35: Shiv comes out and manages not to spill anything on anyone out of fear or shit herself, so let’s hear it for small victories.
10:36: Surprise! The winner will get to represent the U.S. in the next Bocuse.
10:38: Okay, I’m still worried about Kevin. I’m hoping for a SHOCKING ELIMINATION of Michael for his bland tzaziki.
10:42: Pointless Interlude: Kevin would be proud to lose to any of the remaining chefs. Everyone loves everyone else. Why even compete?
Brian: “After this, let’s all go back to Eli’s mom’s house for creamsicles!”
10:46: Judges’ table. Son of Bocuse is there, and he is pre-not-amused.
Somehow Michael’s missing a bone in his fish is not made more of. At the real Bocuse, they hunt down and kill your family members for that.
Kevin is accused of being too simple. I note that he is not accused of making food that tasted really good and prepared correctly. THE PEOPLE DEMAND TECHNIQUE.
10:48: Is Son of Bocuse botoxed, or does he really just manage to speak with so little facial movement? I think either could feasibly be the case.
10:50: Brian: “That Bocuse guy sounds like a French Andre the Giant… I want to hear him say ‘Anybody want a peanut?’”
And thus, the episode has come full circle vis-a-vis Princess Bride references.
10:53: I’m coming to accept that I will not get my shocking Michael elimination, so I’m hoping for the second best: non-shocking Eli elimination.
Take anyone, anyone but Kevin.
10:54: WINNER: KEVIN!! Damn you, Editors! You’ve done it again! Suck it, Voltaggio! At least, Michael! Bryan, you seem nice enough!
I am like a harpsichord that the editing monkeys so deftly play.
10:57: LOSER: Eli. I cannot be disappointed with the result. I guess I should have been able to call it from that “Inigo Montoya” thing.
He looks like an 11-year-old with his glasses off. Don’t want to kick a man while he’s down; just saying. But look, I’ll refrain from making a joke about his mom.
So Shiv, both brothers and Kevin head into the finals. Is there anyone who didn’t call it within the first week? We could really have saved a lot of our precious time here.
NEXT WEEK: The chefs are playing to win…a choo-choo train? Padma with bangs is a travesty.
I spelled Brian with a “y” the whole time, and I don’t think I was supposed to. Oh well, worse things have happened.