Also know as “the episode wherein something interesting happens.”

Kidding! We have no way of knowing whether anything interesting will happen. In fact, smart money is against it. I’m sure there were some “next week on THE CHOPPING BLOCK…” dramatic clips that foreshadowed the non-events that will occur tonight, but I have no recollection of them.  See you in 30 anyway.

I know, sometimes I get a little impatient too, waiting to catch a glimpse of Marco Pierre White’s pale, hairy ankle. You’ll just have to wait until the show actually starts.

7:07: Sometimes blogging on an 8-year-old Toshiba laptop has its downsides.  What’s happened:

  • There was some bloviating about respecting mother nature.  Marco would get along well with Tom “Respect the Lamb” Colicchio.
  • A crazy man in a straw hat leads the chefs around Central Park, showing the chefs all the edible things one can forage and making terrible, terrible puns.  One of the things is wild garlic.  After they taste it, Wild Man (his actual nickname; I’ve already forgotten his real name) tells them, “You’re guaranteed to get a seat on the subway now.”  I assume it’s because of the garlic’s strength and not because it’s been urinated on by a hobo.
  • Marco makes his first “I am and always will be better than you” move by preparing his mother’s classic rabbit dish using Central Park herbs.
  • There is an ankle sighting.
  • The teams have one hour to make dinner for Marco using their choice of protein, supplemental veggies and Park produce.  Nature must be their inspiration.

7:13: The red team made perch after abandoning carp.  The black team made pigeon.  Did the pigeon also come from Central Park?  Because I’m not sure anyone should eat that pigeon.

White picks the black team as the winners while saying VIRTUALLY NOTHING about the food.  Not that that’s why we watch or anything.  We watch for the limp finger pointing, of which there is plenty.

The black team is excited because “victory is contagious!”  If that’s the case, doesn’t it mean you’ll be passing it to the other team?

7:15: The restaurants open tomorrow.  Inspiration and ingredients from Central Park.  No reservations; people off the street. I mean, walk-ins, not homeless people.   Although that might make for a good episode; if they hate your food, you know you’re screwed.

Black team wins a maitre’d.  I hope he’s like Jean from Hell’s Kitchen.  I enjoy his silent but painfully evident judgment.  That’s my kind of judgment.

7:18: Black team puts crab cakes on their menu.  Because crabbing is popular in the Central Park reservoir, and especially in the boat pond.  How many times has your child been motoring his or her little boat around the pond only to have it attacked and commandeered by mutant New York City crabs? If I had a nickle.

Dan pronounces “prosciutto” with a “b”.  It makes me want to punch him.  Wait, I already wanted to punch him, so I guess I just want to punch him harder.

7:23: Marco: “This week” (finger point) “is the toughest” (finger point) “week” (finger wave) “yet.” (full hand wave)

Ankle on full display.

7:24: The red team could use some group therapy, like Metallica in that movie.  Have you seen that movie? You should, it’s fucking hilarious. It really reinforces the fact that Lars Ulrich is a douchebag, not that that needed further reinforcing

The maitre’d comes to visit the black team.  He informs them that a warm welcome and good service make up for a multitude of mistakes.  But probably not as many mistakes as they will make.

7:26: Marco tears the red teams menu to shreds because almost nothing came from the park, unless you count the fact that the US Foods truck carrying the produce they ordered cut across the park at 86th street..  Similar the black team, which now has no appetizers.  Apparently he’s never come face to face with the boat pond crabs.  They will cut you.

“Is there melon in the park?”  “Not necessarily.”  This is an answer? This is not an answer.

7:28: Seriously, does no one else want to punch Dan? Or Dean, as has been pointed out to me? I can’t be bothered to learn his name, because I don’t like him.

7:34: Marco doesn’t want to hear complaints.  So he should probably be on a different show.

Whoa, I’ll take the finger pointing over the super-head close up.  NO MORE.

Diners will be filling out the Zagat form when they leave the restaurant; it’s not clear that there is an actual restaurant critic there.

This is not going to be pretty.

7:36: Holy shit, that squab is so rare it’s about to fly away to be cooked in a better restaurant. Quoth Dean, “The people just don’t understand how squab is supposed to be cooked.”  Too bad the people eating the food have to like it, not understand it.

I wanted to care enough to YELL AT HIM IN ALL CAPS but I can’t.  This is a problem.  Thank god this show has a short season.  I will not be making this mistake next year.  Maybe I will recap Sandra Lee, as has been suggested.

7:39: Wild Man is eating out.  He’s still wearing the straw hat.  It wasn’t working for him in the park, and it’s not working now.

And then Dean drops a knife and TRIES TO CATCH IT.  And I will let you guess what happens.

Quick Poll: Dean – dick or asshole?

7:44: Maitre’d: “I’ve never seen a service like this.”  I’m pretty sure he doesn’t mean that as the compliment they think it is.

Is Dean incapable of calling his wife by her actual name?

7:45: The BOMB IS DROPPED.  The Zagats are here to give the teams their sure-to-be-heinous comments.

Red team:  The wait was an outrage.  The food was unadventurous.  The tablecloths were dirty.  The walls were covered in roaches and the floor in feces.  Goats were wandering the restaurant freely.  Okay, those last two weren’t true, but the tone she uses suggests that it may as well have been.

7:47: Black team: Everything was decent but not great.  There was a cute waiter.  The squab was raw.  Will a cute waiter outweigh death by uncooked poultry?

7:52: The ratings could not be more dismal.  Okay, I guess they could all have gotten zeros. The black team had the whiz kid maitre’d and still only scored a 9 on service. Everyone is pathetic.  The black team is slightly less pathetic, so they win.

Marco: “It was your diners who loaded the gun, and they’ve sent me in to pull the trigger.” That’s what I love about Marco, his humility and how he never hyperbolizes.

7:55: The red team has a lot of interpersonal problems.  Panya talks a LOT.

Who gives a shit?

And then the RACE CARD is pulled. On a fucking cooking reality show.  And I give even LESS of a shit.

7:57: Panya is a disruptive force.  Marco will not tolerate a disruptive force in his restaurant, although apparently he does tolerate death by squab.  Panya and Michael, go home.

NEXT WEEK:  God is going to strike someone down! So maybe we will have to watch. I love a good smiting.