The long national nightmare of not having any high-quality reality cooking television comes to an end tonight!
Tonight, Hubert Keller (Fleur de Lys), Christopher Lee (Aureole), Michael Schlow (Radius Restaurant), and Tim Love (The Lonesome Dove Western Bistro) go head to head. Also: If Jesus loves me he will make sure that Wylie Dufresne, whenever he appears, gets SPANKED.
Details, cast and judges list and bios here. See you in two hours, fourteen minutes.
Bonus rumor: Three words – Neil Patrick Harris.
9:59: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love So You Think You Can Dance. No apologies.
10:00: My god, Kelly Choi’s head is going to snap off her pencil neck at any minute and roll across the studio floor.
Nice to see that the Glad Family of Products is back, I was worried there wouldn’t be enough product placement opportunities in this series.
Schlow is a really unfortunate last name.
10:03: I know it’s only the first three minutes of the first episode, but I want Hubert Keller to win. There, I said it. I’m also instantly badly disposed to Christopher Lee. Is it just me, or does he sound like one of the normal douchebaggy contestants?
10:06: Her neck makes me nervous every time I see her; I don’t know if this will ever stop, we’ll have to see how it plays out. Also, is there no one who can host this show with any kind of personality? Do they make you sign it away when you agree to come on board?
QUICKFIRE: Dessert…for Girl Scouts. Masters only get an hour.
I think I love Tim a little.
10:09: Hubert: Chocolate swan = love.
Tim: CHICKEN FRIED STRAWBERRIES = LOVE in capital letters.
Christopher Lee: Caramelized bananas. Like…a caramelized banana “scallop?” That a prior cheftestant milked not once, but twice? Don’t validate my instant dislike of you.
Oops, too late.
10:10: GE Appliances suck for the Masters, too. You have to wonder why they still sponsor this show, given that they always come out looking like ass.
I think you could make an entire television series out of famous chefs being criticized by Girl Scouts. I would be all over that like Ilan Hall on derivative Spanish food.
10:15: Poor Schlow. (It sounds like an insult, but it’s his actual name. I may start using it as an insult, because it just sounds so right.)
The red-headed girl is ROUGH.
10:16: Who do they love? Oh yeah, Hubert.
Seriously, is the red-haired girl a ringer? She is NOT PLAYING and she wants you to know.
10:19: Winner: HUBERT. Key to winning with Girl Scouts: Make desserts in the shape of cute baby animals.
I think I’m digging this – they have to deal with the same irritating limitations, but they’re so much more chill. Enjoying.
ELIMINATION CHALLENGE: Microwave, toaster over and hot plate cooking. (George Plimpton, on the Simpsons: “…and a hot plate!” Who’s with me?)
10:21: Christopher Lee comes on screen. Brian, who has been out of the room: “Is that the douche?”
10:25: Oh Tim, you stored your fresh vegetables in the freezer. That? Is tough to come back from.
They’re cooking in an actual dorm room. So when you finish early, you can take a nap, assuming you’re not scared of going near a college student’s sheets. I went to college. I remember how often I changed ’em. Just saying.
10:28: The college students actually come back to their rooms, and the chefs are quite gracious. More so than I would be; college students are insufferable. Again, I was one.
Hubert is draining, cooling and reheating his pasta in a communal dorm shower. I think that’s all that needs to be said about that.
10:32: How does she even get food down that neck? There can’t be room for anything in there but spinal column and esophagus.
Do all British chefs and restaurant critics have to look the same? Okay, the sneer I get; you’re British. But the crazy professor hair? Unnecessary. Buy a brush.
10:33: I want to rock a hat like Gael Greene.
Course 1: There’s a lot of fish. A lot of it raw. I have to agree with bitchy British guy a little: cop out.
10:35: Listening to Kelly try her Italian and Spanish accents when pronouncing “prosciutto” and “pozole” is spoon-in-the-ear painful. Like when you’re watching Jeopardy and there’s a foreign language word and Alex gets all accent-y, and you just want to smack him. But you can’t smack her. At least, not in the face, because who knows where that head’s gonna go?
Hubert seems fairly universally beloved so far.
10:36: The editor of Saveur looks like Bob Balaban.
Other things I’m loving so far: Lack of Tom Colicchio. Lack of editor-manufactured drama. Lack of Leah and Hosea (I guess that’s redundant with “manufactured drama”).
10:41: Famous chefs unable to use microwaves: Another show I would watch, although maybe that should only be half an hour long. I don’t have one either (meaning, of course, that I’m better than you), but I’m pretty sure that somewhere in the recesses of my brain I remember how to stop and start one.
10:44: JUDGE’S TABLE: Aw, they still look nervous. Except for Christopher Lee, who is a douchebag.
Hubert: Do not tell people that you drained and chilled your pasta in the dorm shower.
Explain this: Why did Kelly’s “prosciutto” make me want to claw at my ears, but listening to Gael’s clipped little French pronunciation of “crouton” does not? Probably the hat.
10:47: Tim is so polite. Such a clean young man. “I did use the defrost, yes I did, sir.”
Saveur guy may be more like the love child of Christopher Kimball and Bob Balaban rather than solely the Balaban.
Christopher Lee is so hated by me right now. He knows this isn’t really a competition and he’s already wildly successful, yes? I dislike him so intently that it’s making me like Charlie Palmer less for hiring him, and I love Charlie Palmer.
10:48: The Masters get a much nicer waiting room than the grunts. Where is the Official Wall of Gladware? I’m disoriented.
10:51: Tim Love is, wisely, unconcerned and not at all surprised that the British guy found his steak too salty.
The Masters think they’ve gotten a drubbing from the judges. Apparently they’ve never watched the regular version of the show, or have selectively forgotten times when they themselves have been the judges doing the drubbing. I remember season one fondly: “NOBODY PUT THE FINGER IN THE SAUCE!”
10:55: Isaac Mizrahi, you know I love you, but The Fashion Show is no Project Runway.
I’ll say it again: Poor Schlow. He gets the first knife-packing of the season.
10:56: Although the judges were pretty effusive with their praise, they’re stingy with their stars.
10:57: Pull it out, Hubert, Pull it out.
10:58: I don’t know what makes me happier: Christopher Lee losing, or Hubert winning. Okay, my heart isn’t that black; it’s Hubert.
Christohper Lee can’t even take this fake-loss graciously.
THIS SEASON: Someone says, “The clock is ticking, and the laser is creeping up the table toward your crotch,” and I think that not only do we get Neil Patrick Harris, but we get to watch him judge Wylie Dufresne. Rock on.
All I know so far that if I was that Tim dude, my restaurant name would have been Donesome Love Bestern Wistro. Or something. Best Western Love…or something else. Something like that. Love Bistro…
Yay! So excited. It should in one minute!
sara, i know, it’s too exciting for verbs!
see, i made a pun AND pointed out your shortcomings, all at once! it’s a gift.
I so love the lack of false drama. And Padme not being there is an extra bonus.
Is it just me, or does anyone else want to see Christopher Lee and Hubert Keller make out like Hoseleah from last season’s Top Chef?!? Ok, I jest, mainly to get under Michelle’s skin! Glad you are back by the way. Summer is going to be so much better!
SYTYCD was off the charts good for a top 20 show.
I’m hating the shit out of Top Chef Masters.
Omg. I was so wrapped up in the joy that is Top Chef that I forgot to check this out until after. You are one funny bitch.
a few thoughts:
1)I also heart SYTYCD. But if I hear that you like the Real Housewives of Anything, I might have to stop reading you out of principle.
2)Am I the only one that remembered Christopher Lee from those horrible Swanson chicken stock commercials? I was angry to learn any professional chef would endorse boxed chicken stock, and so it was fated: Lee must lose.
3)I love Top Chef!
4)The special ingredient in Hubert’s mac n cheese was actually scabies, courtesy of your friendly neighborhood dorm shower. Seriously, man. LIE A LITTLE!
Words cannot describe how much I love Hubert Keller. “If I wasn’t cooking, I’d be a DJ”
yea, me too. and I’ll get right on it, as soon as I learn how to make dessert swans.
Missed it… In-laws arrive tomorrow…so much preparation, and for what? Argh. I’m watching the 11 p.m. show.
Seriously? how they eliminated them one-by-one according to their ‘stars?’ Ooooh, THAT was hard to figure out who was going to win. I wish I was a Girl Scout again just sos I could eat Hubert Keller’s food, the lucky little bitches.
Love Shack! That would be my name.
I am SO FREAKIN glad that Love amateur didn’t win. It would have been a repeat of the last season Top Chef all over again when Josea wins even though no one in the viewing world can figure out how or why.
And Lee showed he is a bit arrogant last night.
None of them had a chance. They were going against Hubert Keller, for christ sake. Hubert Keller.
Oh, Michelle, I meant to do that. No, I didn’t, and now I hate you. (Not sure how that happened, by the way. Seriously, it’s one thing for one word to drop out, but what the hell was that?)
Anyway, great show. Was there any doubt that Hubert would win, though? And how great were those pictures of him DJing?
Damn Food Network Canada is not airing this season at the same time as Bravo, so I have to wait UNTIL FALL to see this on TV! GRRRR to the power of 10!
I’m so torn whether I should hold off and wait to watch it (and not read your blog), or get it spoiled by reading your liveblog. AIIII!!
Ah man. I don’t have that channel here and it’s like nobody in the whole tvtorrents community realized there was a new show.
syd, sad! why are you hating on it?
peggasus, yes! that would clearly be the correct name.
i never expected (or wanted) him to win, but he was sweet. i bet he throws a mean bbq.
sara and lindsay, DJ pictures = awesome. my love for hubert grew three sizes that day.
leena, i don’t know what i’ve ever said or done to make anyone thing i would watch the real housewives of jefferson city, missouri (have they not gotten to that one yet?); i’m a little offended. right on about christopher lee, though. i’d forgotten about those commercials. hate +3.
anna, there always bit torrent. or hulu, although i don’t know if they carry bravo stuff. (although as alex points out, the torrenters are off their game here.)
Neil Patrick Harris would be incredible, he kicked ass at the Tonys. We just got this incredibly expensive thing purchased to make our TV actually pick up signal, am looking forward to joining 2009 and getting into shows like this, Hell’s Kitchen, etc.
Ok, Michelle I have been reading your blog for quite sometime now but havent posted any comments but I felt with the start of this program I would just have to start because I agreed with pretty much everything you said about this show and have been so excited about this episode. I like the show (the only disappointment with this first episode being the douchebag with the canned chicken broth commercials…bleh). Kudos to you for an excellent review of what promises to be an awesme show.
I absolutely wasn’t going to watch another lame ass reality cooking show. Until I read your blog and realized that Tim Love was on it. In addition to Lonesome Dove, he has a casual place called The Love Shack. People in FW get hangovers just so they can have one his burgers the next day. Seriously.
Seriously… don’t have cable anymore & couldn’t find it online until today so I waited to read this. The suspense was DIRE.
Sooo, thanks for making me cackle like a crazy person & picture Kelly Choi’s head rolling around on the floor. Sorry I couldn’t be here for the live thing, maybe I’ll steal my friend’s cable & laptop next week.. I mean, go hang out with her & watch the show. Yeah.
Damn, I love you, and I’m glad you’re liveblogging this one. I had to DVR it and wait to watch until tonight, but you’re so spot on. Yay! A foodie show to watch this summer!
Loved the show! Was there any question that Hubert Keller would win?
Hubert Keller is the only chef I think I would really like to be around other than Jacques Pepin. The two of them are the only ones who seem like real people who would teach you how to deal with disasters and make it work. They also are the only ones who seem to make real food and make it look like fun. The rest are busy making signature dishes instead.
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