Tune in tonight as the cheftestants attempt to not destroy Gail’s bridal shower. Way to get yourself a freebie there, Simmons. I’m sure everything will turn out fine.
See you after the jump!
Last week:Melissa smoked out Colicchio’s taste buds, Alex failed to make a creme brulee and Jamie scowled her way through trying to kill the judges with an undercooked egg. Alex is out like a trout. How will they try to kill the judges this week?
10:01: I don’t care how many times I see the intro, Carla scares me and Jeff looks like a shitty JCPenney catalog model with his over-the-shoulder wink.
Stefan has a crush on Jamie: “Does he not know what the word lesbian is?” Maybe not, he is Finnish. Or maybe he’s so cocky he thinks he can turn you.
10:04: Quickfire: It’s the ID-that-ingredient challenge! One of my faves. With a twist: Pair off, and head-to head ID as many ingredients in a sauce as you can.
Wasn’t there a game show where people had to do this? “I can name 3 things.” “I can name 4 things” “I call your bluff.” Readers: what was that show? This will slowly drive me more insane than I already am.
The contestants are standing opposite each other, Family Feud style. Where is drunk Richard Dawson to inappropriately kiss all the ladies?
10:05: Round 1: Boulliabaise.
10:06: Jamie v. Stefan. Stefan is a cocky motherfucker. However, his crush on Jamie does not extend to letting her win.
10:07: Round 2: Thai Green Curry
Fabio didn’t even TRY. I’m let down. Meanwhile, Carla can “taste ingredients in her mind.” Is she like the people who can “see music” that Oliver Sacks writes about?
That makes too much sense. It’s probably the spirit guides. Or, her enormous eyeballs allow her to actually carry flavors into her brain.
10:11: Round 3: Mole sauce. How can you lose? There are TEN THOUSAND INGREDIENTS in mole. It’s down to Hosea and Stefan…and Hosea pulls it out! Suck it, Stefan.
10:15: Elimination Challenge: Cook for, and do not ruin, Gail’s bridal shower. The cheftestants are broken into teams called “old,” “new,” “borrowed,” and “blue.”. Radhika “would rather be on Satan’s team than Stefan.” Satan totally flunked out of the CIA, so she might want to rethink that.
10:17: Gail’s dislikes: veal and black beans. Thanks for the guidance!
10:18: Radhika’s on the “borrowed” team. So they’re “borrowing” her mom’s Indian flavors. Way to distinguish yourself, Radhika! Once again, I’m thankful she’s not just sticking with flavors she knows.
Team Blue: my boy Fabio comes up with going with deep-water fish rather than trying to cook blue foods. Because he is not only adorable, but a genius.
10:20: “New” makes Daniel think of pickles.
There is really nothing I can say about that. Nothing.
10:21: The “old” team is Stefan, Jeff and Hosea. Two of the team members don’t like the other. I’ll give you two guesses as to which, but I bet you only need one. Their interp of “old”: heirloom tomatoes. Not bad, but I’m withholding judgment.
10:24: Whole Foods shilling montage. Daniel is wearing his chef pants in public. Problematic. Chefs or culinary students: why the ugly, ugly pants?
Hosea and Stefan are going to throw down in Whole Foods over tomatoes. How come stuff like this never happens when I’m in Whole Foods? And I’m not even touching Carla and her “hootie hoo” thing. Between this and Daniel and the pickles, I’m overwhelmed by inanity.
10:28: Eugene’s wife never had a bridal shower. He would love for her to have one, and he would love to cook for it. Which he will get to do sooner rather than later, if the magical editing elves are trying to tell us anything. Who fucks up rice? And then tries to save it?
10:31: Colicchio comes around for his check-in. Daniel and Eugene get the oom-pah-pah horns of immanent failure in the background.
10:34: Hosea is concerned at not tasting Stefan’s terrine. Because what if it tastes like “crap mixed in your mouth”? Then there’ll be a lot of spitting, won’t there? Order extra napkins.
Team New, AKA Team We Can’t Cook Rice IN A GODDAMNED RICE COOKER, has decided to have the guests assemble their own sushi rolls. Stefan, arbiter of culture, announces that “women don’t like to put things together.”
Perhaps pronouncements like this are why you’ve been married to and divorced from the same woman twice. I’m just saying.
10:39: Pointless interlude with Jamie and Stefan. Serenity now. Serenity Now.
10:41: OH MY GOD the wedding picture of Fabio and his wife is PAINFULLY HOT and they are both disgustingly attractive. They will have children who are so beautiful they will have super powers.
10:43: I don’t understand the big long table. Do all your friends hate each other and you don’t want them to have to interact?
10:44: Course one, “old”: tomato terrine, gazpacho, tomato sorbet. The guest is Dana Cowin, EIC of food and wine. She is going to KICK YOUR ASSES.
10:46: Course two, “new”: lazy woman’s bizarro sushi, plus a salad, plus Daniel’s secret mushrooms. Daniel: “It’s a little bit of this, a little spooge of that.” If I ever got a plate with a little bit of spooge on it, I’ve got the health department on speed dial.
Eugene forgot to explain how to eat the dish. We can all stop watching now, because he’s going.
10:49: Course three, “borrowed”: lamb, carrot puree, kale, raita.
HOLY JESUS THAT’S A BIG POT OF CARROTS. But this vadovan thing is going to get old.
Ariane’s lamb is still really rare. Like, did I just hear a bleat? rare. Somehow it gets pulled together, and damn, that’s a good looking plate.
Yells someone: “Nuts, nuts, nuts!”
10:53: Course four, “borrowed.” Sea bass, corn puree, chard. Fabio is recruited for presenting, because they think he will charm. Because they may be ridiculous fame whores, but they are not stupid.
10:55: Is there a separate bridal shower for Gail’s unattractive and/or fat friends? Or does she just not have any?
10:59: Judges table: Teams Old and Borrowed are the favorites.
Jeff! Made a face! With a wrinkle!
11:01: Winner: Ariane! Shock! I’d called Jeff. And now I really am scared that Jamie’s going to cut a bitch.
Jamie: “Everyone thought that I would be the winner.”
Well, except the judges. Funny how that works.
11:02: Losers: Teams New and Blue. Someone, Daniel was “unbelievably happy” with the dish. The Judges are not happy with his surprise mushrooms.
If Daniel digs this hole any further, Eugene might live to fail another day. Every week, he seems more and more like the “before” Charlie in Flowers for Algernon.
11:04: Team Blue: Tom can’t pin down a critique other than “it made me sad.”
11:06: Team New: “Indefensible.” “Mind-Boggling.”
So who is it, Daniel or Eugene?
11:11: The Knifing: Team New sucked in every possible respect – execution, taste, concept, presence of Daniel. And Daniel is packing his knives!
Daniel: “I don’t think the judges ever really got what I was doing.” I.e., they didn’t understand your attempt to convince people that shitty food is good food. He goes out with some kind of sports metaphor that I ignore because I don’t care.
Next week: Martha Stewart! Possible e-coli! Combined? We can only hope.
I love this specific food challenge…
Is it really necessary and for it to count ‘salt’? Really?
joelen, i’m with you – i call bullshit on the salt. everything’s got fucking salt.
Seriously… what a way to be an attention whore, Gail… LOL
Yeah… didn’t get the correlation of blue & pickles…
How on earth could Daniel possibly know Gail’s views on pickles?
Carla creeps me out. That is all.
Okay… the Asian guy from Hawaii messes up rice? WTF? Bro, you can’t be blaming the rice cooker….
build your own sushi? = lazy chef
catherine, i can almost see that over the course of 4 or 5 challenges her love of pickles has been made evident. almost. but why pickles = NEW? isn’t the whole idea of a pickle is that it sits? to, you know, pickle?
joelen, exactly. make your own sushi = covering your lazy ass.
Of all things Gail could have worn, what that? She reminds me of a koi fish…
“splooge” should not be a culinary term…
Daniel’s hands belong under a car, not in a bowl of mushrooms.
“10:55: Is there a separate bridal shower for Gail’s unattractive and/or fat friends? Or does she just not have any?…”
I really hope THIS isn’t IT….
In the complicated world we live in, it’s good to find simple solutions.
Yes! The mushroom man goes! 🙂
Don’t worry — he’ll make some transmission owner very happy.
Ok, the show was “Name that Tune” that was the premise for “Name that Taste”. On to further observations… Of the limited amount of seasons I have watched Top Chef, this one is the lamest. Granted, I watched last year mostly for Blais (I have an incredible man-crush on him after last year…), but these chefs are below sub-par compared to what I saw last year. Even hated Lisa could out-cook most of these people using only a microwave, Stove-top stuffing, and pomegranate juice! How in the Hell could Top Chef go to the culinary leading city in the United States and bring in 16 people that would be best suited as line cooks at a Red Lobster?!? Ok, I am being harsh. I am sure that these chefs do have talent, but I am not seeing it. After tonight’s train-wreck was about 4/5ths complete, I jested to my girlfriend that they should eliminate the entire losing team. Lo and behold, Colicchio had the same thought! I mean, here’s a regular JUDGE (Padma) of this program, and she is employing you to wow her friends at the bridal shower of another JUDGE of this program (Gail), who just happens to be a writer for Food and Wine magazine, a big-time sponsor of this show, and you go and make a sushi roll that isn’t? Or Patagonian Toothfish (Chilean Sea bass) on a carrot puree? Talk about being out-there in creative land! Hey, here’s a freaking clue, when I have sushi, I have someone else roll it for me, like everyone else on the face of this planet! When I dine on food that has been prepared for me by a chef, I expect not to work. Here you are staking your reputation in front of many members of Food and Wine magazine, including the Editor in Chief, with the lamest creations ever??? I liked the idea of a surf-and-turf sushi roll, but I knew that team “New” was out as soon as they came up with the absurd idea of having the diners roll their own. What’s next, pitch ’em some zig-zags and a bag of weed?!? Team “Old” was very creative in defining their theme, and they pulled it of very well. I was a little surprised at a lack of overall inventiveness, but they worked well together, played it sort of safe, executed flawlessly, and delivered the goods. Team “Borrowed” had the best overall dish in my opinion, but I believed that they lacked a little creativity in their execution of the dish. Lamb is very safe too, and ‘borrowing’ from Indian cuisine is just resting your laurels on Radhima’s skills. Creativity aside, these two teams worked well together, both hit home runs, and both were miles above the losing teams. I look forward to seeing how Eugene and Carla redeem themselves like Ariane has done. Hopefully, they come back strong and wow me, but I’m totally not holding my breath waiting for that to happen!
Your description of Jeff is spot on. Bad JC Penney model. HAH! Also love your description of Daniel’s departure.
your liveblogging of this show is so much more entertaining to me than the actual show
So I went to CulinAriane last night and our table was closest to the kitchen and I got to hear Ariane work her magic. The food was awesome. Rich and I brought 2 couples who don’t understand what good food is and were totally amazed by what they sampled. Oh and i had the lemon meringue martini (you know the one Padma spit up and it was just as amazing as it was when I was shoveling it in my face the day the ring was put in front of me)
the 4 of us need to grab dinner one night there…please I will make reservations…
ps: rich had venison with a corn meal bread pudding…delicious….
the dude jeff reminds me of one of the guys on house and spooge? wtf? i cringed hearing that. and if i was carla i would have shanked daniel right there in the kitchen for fucking with my dish, oh hell no! seriously let’s just add a secret ingredient without letting her know?
i have eaten at jamie’s resturaunt, absinthe, a couple times. fucking really good food. she might be annoying but she does have some serious skills.
Way too f’n late, but, I just have to say…I know longer want Top Chef to come to my hometown (New Orleans). I know my friends and I can outcook all these “chefs.” Your recaps are one of the few good things about this season.
I may have to actually watch TC in real time (rather than Tivoing it and zooming through the commercials) so I can enjoy your liveblogging in real time. Although that would leave me with nothing left to write … maybe the world would thank you.
I agree about Jeff and the JC Penney model … and Fabio on all counts … and your very best comment was about Martha and e-coli. Spot on!
And Gaines has it wrong. I think last season’s TC cast was the most talented. The first season was great and so was the one with Hung. What does that leave? That one when the squirrelly guy who cooked Spanish food won. That was the same season as the assault and the shaved heads, right? That was the worst season.
I’m just happy that someone remembers Charlie. A good read in any decade.
Even if the Chilean Sea Bass was an easy out, Fabio is still my guy. The fact that he can cook…a bonus. The wedding picture,OMG!
I think we need to start a “Carla Creeps Me Out” fan club.
gaines, YES! name that tune! i actually liked the challenge, although i thought the sauces the picked were on the easy side. and i too hope to see eugene redeem himself.
but the worst season? totally the ilan season. what a tool, and a terrible, rip-off cook to boot. did he ever make anything he didn’t steal from batali?
jess, i’m totally jealous. you know, my birthday is coming up, not that i’m suggesting you take me out or anything.
ECM, seriously, carla needed to open her can of whoop-chef. or use the power of her giant eyeballs to burn a hole through daniel’s skull. also, i’m jealous of you too and reiterate the statement about it being my birthday soon. although you’d also have to fly me out to san francisco, so that might be less feasible.
kerry, i will join that club.
i might just have to fly you out here, i need some cheering up!
i like carla! i almost want to start hooty-hooing myself.
btw, the thing that REALLY grated on me at this ep wasn’t the food or the contestants…it was that new yorkiness in the party dialogue that is unique to ny females i think that is the ‘aren’t we all fabulous intelligent women’ self-esteem booster club thing.
when i’m in a room full of genuinely awesome women in new york, they’re never having to remind themselves of it.
that said i’m fond of the editor of food and wine as a judge. gail i can take or leave. Leave, more, lately.
I just stumbled across this blog and almost died laughing about your description of Carla… my roomates and I have been saying the same thing for the past few weeks and its WONDERFUL that others feel the same way… although I’m not sure how you couldn’t…
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