Tonight: Michael Chiarello (Bottega Restaurant), Rick Moonen (RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay), Nils Noren (French Culinary Institute) and Lachlan McKinnon Patterson (Frasca Food & Wine). “Flipping Out’s” Jeff Lewis and Jenni Pulos guest star.
Michael Chiarello makes me want to throw things. At him, preferably, but since he’s never actually around then at the nearest wall. “NapaStyle” sticks in my craw almost as badly as “tablescape.” I don’t really know the other three, although I tend to want to root for anyone named Nils.
LAST WEEK: Anita Lo can kill you with her mind. Neil Patrick Harris was disturbingly non-gay. Magicians were creepy, and pulling a rabbit out from under your hair does nothing to mitigate that opinion.
10:01:Huh, I never thought that’s what Rick Moonen looked like. I know I said I didn’t know anyone other that Chiarello. But then I remembered that.
10:02: English Judge: “Nils is very much the Swedish chef; calm, precise.” It took me a minute, because calm and precise are not what I think of when I think of the Swedish Chef.
Patterson has too many names. Also he trained under Thomas Keller. I’m dubious, although he seems a pleasant enough chap.
10:04: English Judge: “Michael Chiarello may feel he has more to prove than the other chefs.” That’s completely true, at least re: what he has to prove to me.
10:05: QUICKFIRE: Junk food. Take some nasty-ass Twinkies and turn them into fine dining.
Chiarello: Fish Sticks. Patterson: Hot dog. Moonen: Corn Dog. Noren: Fried Shrimp. The judges: the highly irritating cast of “Flipping Out,” which I haven’t seen much of but from what I can tell, is a show about a sociopathic manic-depressive real estate developer with OCD who loves burritos and self-flagellation. So, standard American reality TV.
10:08: I gotta say, I think they all wussed out big time: they all picked real foods. Make me a high class Ho-Ho, and then call me.
10:09: Jeff Lewis: “We are white trash with money.” I find his candor attractive, although I am not convinced that he wouldn’t stab me to death with cocktail umbrellas for painting the great room cream instead of bone.
10:10: Moonen has nothing. Literally, nothing. The plate is empty.
I hope Jeff Lewis shatters it against Kelly Choi’s head in a fit of pique. It would be in character, and then we would finally get to see the alien babies come out of her skull.
(I mean, that’s why it’s so big, right? It’s an alien incubator?)
10:14: Wow; I don’t often get to actually watch the screen because I’m typing. Moonen’s head is pointy aerodynamic, isn’t it?
Jeff Lewis et al: painfully, brain-meltingly stupid. Assistant, re: Chiarello’s fried fish meatballs: “I see three perfect balls.” Shoot me.
10:16: Chiarello revels in Moonen’s failure. That’s how NapaStyle rolls, baby.
Kelly looks like she’s been knocked unconscious, tarred, and rolled in the demolished remains of Studio 54 circa 1974.
10:17: ELIMINATION: Three course mini-meal, 100 people, all alone. Hors d’oeuvres size appetizer, entree and dessert.
Brian and I are calling it for Nils. Swedes: Efficient but deadly.
10:20: Patterson: I don’t want to hear the ‘pineapple’ and ‘speck’ together. I’m all for creative pairings, I am. But I just…can’t.
I blame Keller.
10:22: Chiarello is giving all his dishes annoying cutsey names, NapaStyle. He also seems to think that basil gelato is innovative, because Napa has apparently been cut off from the food world for the past two years. I mean, Napa; that’s culinary buttfuck.
10:26: Moonen’s not worried about flavors. He understands flavors. It’s the actual production that’s the problem. Wouldn’t that make you a flavorologist, and not a chef? Chefs cook.
10:27: Nils is prepared and not scrambling like anyone else. Then he assembled a dresser made entirely of plywood with off-centered drill marks and wooden pegs in under 15 seconds.
Did he mention he’s Swedish?
10:29: Gael Greene! Your hat, it never disappoints! And the GIANT FROG CLOSURES on your magenta jacket-smock! Magnifique!
Okay, the pineapple is wrapped in speck and deep-fried. I’m both more and less scared simultaneously. As diners also seem to be.
10:30: The room is packed with Project Runway rejects. Between the Flipping Out guy and People Who Suck at Sewing, this episode is one giant Bravo shill.
I miss the good old days of the Dr. Pepper Memorial Elimination Challenge and the Second Annual Swanson Broth Quickfire.
Michael Chiarello: Totally a television chef. Meaning: Totally skeevy in real life.
10:32: Would YOU have a knife at a cocktail party? If so, you are GAUCHE and INCORRECT and Gael Greene will NEVER attend your cocktail party and have an adorably low-key yet heated fight with a man who looks like but still is not Bob Balaban.
I know, I’m hardly telling you about the food. I’m punting and assuming they’re telling you all about it in the comments. I can report, however, that Brian has seen Kelly ingest a very, very small amount of food.
10:34: Michael is not opposed to using “every tool around him.” Including “attractive women.”
Which is funny, because I think of him as a tool. Great minds think alike!
10:35: Gael: “I don’t like grass clippings in my dessert.” I have no idea what she’s talking about, but awesome.
British judge informs his colleagues that panna cotta should have the texture of a woman’s breast. Not-Bob Balaban is made painfully aware that he has nothing to add to that comment.
(Hint: Because he sleeps with MEN)
10:40: JUDGE’S TABLE: Brian, on Chiarello’s appetizer: “It’s a giant green penis!”
10:42: Gael repeats her “grass clippings” line; apparently she was talking about Chiarello’s basil gelato. You don’t need to recycle lines like some kind of fame-hungry hipster from Episode 3. You’re better than that.
Also, you make an adorable Fag Hag for non-Bob Balaban. Truly, you’re an adorable couple. I’d like to shrink you both down and keep you in my pocket, where you could bicker lovingly over points of culinary etiquette before putting on your PJs and watching re-runs of The Golden Girls.
(I’d put a tiny TV in my pocket for them.)
10:43: Did you know, Nils is from Sweden? Where they smoke things? In Sweden? With smoke?
10:44: Patterson seems okay right now, but you can totally see him turning into a dick in 10 or 15 years. Yes, you kissed the short ribs on the grill. We heard you the first seven times you explained it that way. Also, Nils is from Sweden.
The judges feel they are unworthy of Moonen’s panna cotta, which apparently hit the perfect boob-like note.
10:46: Gael: “He invented the cooking of that salmon.” Really? Something about this statement reminds me of a statement my mother-in-law once made: “The Chipwich wasn’t invented, it was discovered.” Maybe Nils discovered the salmon, and that’s why the judges have never tasted anything like it.
10:48: The judges hate the pineapple-speck corndog as much as I do. I feel vindicated.
Moonen might actually have a chance; it seems like the breast custard really pushed him over the top.
10:50: This episode? Boring.
10:51: Montage of Moonen being high energy and wacky.
It is boring.
10:55: Moonen makes it up to 17 stars even with his initial biff. He manages to beat Patterson. Good, that kid is a fucking punk.
Did Kelly just call Nils “Phil”?
10:57: Nils and Moonen are tied at 17.
UnBalaban was impressed by Chiarello’s dessert. Seriously, has no one on this panel had basil gelato before tonight?
10:58: NapaStyle takes it with 19.5 stars, which Brian points out is among the lowest scores of episode winners thus far. Because nobody likes Michael Chiarello.
His family will be proud of him! I wonder if he means the fake family he employs for his Food Network show. He probably pays them enough to exhibit some modicum of pride.
NEXT WEEK: Art Smith! Fish denial! Excellent!
Man, my husband needs my laptop, so i might not be in from the start. Michelle-I’m with you in snarky spirit!
I’ll be here, the postaholic. (Seriously, after last week’s live blog, I can’t not come back!)
I wrestled it away, not that anyone cares. I’m in!
Rick Moonen and Kelly choi could make little hinged jawed babies.
If Nils doesn’t go “Mork! Mork! Mork!” I will be so disappointed.
i hope this crew isn’t as boring as they come off from first sight. well, or as anger-inducing. chiarello is my last choice to watch on tv. and yay, welcome back kimbaa.
this sounds horrible, but kelly’s dress looks like her bulimia in sewing form.
Back atcha Emily! Good to see you, my food sista!
ok, it truly pains me to see an uneaten corn dog. they look so delicious.
It does look like Kelly barfed down the front.
I have no love for the flipping out guy. Does he actually eat, or just get takeout?
seriously! he looks so damn skinny. i don’t trust a skinny judge. or chef. that’s why i love some mario batali. /off topic.
welcome, guys! thanks for joining!
Really, this show looks like more of a Bravo throwaway when they use it to promote other Bravo shows. if I see a freakin’ Real Housewife judging ANYTHING, I’m out.
Did he just say Car-rah-bian? And the phrase “I see 3 perfect balls”?
seriously…poached shrimp? it makes me want to see the corn dog even more, because only chiarello even did anything ‘junk food’-y. and it pains me to see chiarello do anything good.
They are kinda getting dicked on this challenge–the 3 course meal for 100.
I don’t actually have cable so I am relying on y’all to make this real for me. It is going great so far!
I want to do things that will stand out in people’s mouths as well. Is that wrong?
something about swedish guy reminds me of obnoxious french chef from a few weeks ago. but slightly less obnoxious. it’s like “ok, we know you’re swedish. now talk about something else.”
I fear that the ones judging the finale will be the chick from Destiny’s Child, Sandra Lee and Kate from John and Kate plus Eight in some horrible crossover.
Nils, nothing looks more inviting than dead twigs and indeterminate powder. Well done.
Kelly Choi’s clenched teeth make me think she’s anything but happy to be eating.
maybe it’s because he’s the underdog, but i’m glad to see moonen’s first choice doing well.
and can nils first course be any tinier?
How many people are at this “event”? 11?
Whoa! Wasn’t that gay black guy a former contestant on Project Runway?!
um… maybe it’s just because i already didn’t like him, but chiarello is coming across as an asshole. especially during dessert course.
kimbaa – yeah, earlier in the dinner, they IDed him. jerrell from project runway. while i’m a fashion whore sometimes, i could care less about seeing former bravo people on other bravo shows. see: earlier with the flipping out cast.
What the hell is like a woman’s breast? Panna cotta? I prefer to think raw bread dough. Firm raw bread dough.
wait, how did i miss the breast comment? holy hell.
Emily–seeing as it’s just me and you, we should just get on the phone! I missed the i.d., and he must have been not so great otherwise for me to mostly forget him. i hope I remember to switch to Lifetime–I never watch anything on it, so I keep forgetting P-run moved over there.
I’m still not hearing a “Mork mork mork.” You lose in my book, so-called Swedish Chef! Where’s your Beaker now?
he actually wasn’t too bad on PR. but i’m sad they’re moving to lifetime. i’m a whore for a bravo show. lifetime? eeh… not so much. but, tim gunn does have my heart, so hopefully maybe i’ll watch.
Are we close to the finale? I barely care about anyone. If it wasn’t for the 2 highlights of my week, Emily and Michelle, I’d skip the whole thing:)
yeah, this episode is pretty boring. i still want to see rick win since he came into this with 0 stars. otherwise, i don’t care. well, except that chiarello is a tool. haha.
You’re right, Emily, Tim Gunn rules. I’ll go to any channel he’s on, in hopes of long distance befriending him, until he’s inspired to buy me a new expensive, more flattering wardrobe.
hahaha i’m glad i’m not the only one who wants to be befriended by tim gunn. i live in brooklyn, and always hope i’ll run into him in manhattan. and then he’ll magically adopt me as his living fashion disaster. (ok, i’m not that bad. but i can always use the help of a real expert.)
I could turn this off right now and not feel like I’d missed a thing.
ok, i have to say What The Fuck to “real fruit bits” in “Fruit 2Day” fruit drink? seriously, just eat fruit people. or don’t. stop trying to fake yourself to “nutritious” eating.
Miss Emily–I lived in Manhattan for 2 1/2 years to no such luck, so I moved back to MI. Maybe if you hang around Mood in a unflattering jumpsuit or something?
hahahaha i don’t know if i could find an unflattering jumpsuit at my size. probably at torrid?
it makes me sad rick only has 17 stars. plz no chiarello winning. plz no!
Holy balls, a tie!
ok, Michelle and I must have bad karma, because Chiarello is the winner. DAMMIT.
you know what, even better. i wanna see anita cho chop his balls off. one fell swoop.
Shit balls. At least it’s not Sandra Lee.
“honey i need a drink.”
YAY for next week.
You’re right, Anita will eat him for a tiny snack and laugh.
Honey,*I* need a drink. Because the bottle of Two-buck-Chuck didn’t last as long as I thought.
kimbaa, speaking of all that is annoying, have you seen the montage video of sandra lee “noises”? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLMNZ6xY6YY
next week i’m taking a nap instead, and you guys can just leave comments.
I’ve had basil gelato, and I live in the great midwest. Not so novel.
Buenos noches, bitches! See you next week!
i have not seen the Sandra Lee noises! Something to do at work tomorrow!
noo nap for michelle. i might actually have a life/job next week. (hah, yeah right.) and art smith should at least make for a more interesting episode than this episode. “The tool, the Swede, ADD man, and the other guy”
I was just laughing at ‘cod branade.’ I don’t even know what that is. Is it a fancy word for ‘fish cake?’ Also I call bullshit on them getting to choose a junk food and then not even having to USE it.
I am suspicious of Kelly (and anyone else, really) who smiles with their teeth apart. It’s very affected. Know who else does that? RuPaul.
I was hoping Moonen would pull it off, but shit, I figured it would be Chiarello. What an ass.
So far it’s been boy-girl-boy-girl-boy, so I’m looking for a woman to win next week. Assuming there is one competing, I missed the previews for next week.
MY BOY! As much as I try, I just cannot quit Michael Chiarello. Damn.
Husband’s Kelly Choi quote: It looks like the Southwest spit up on her front.
I have to tell you, my husband and I really look forward to reading this after the show is over. Last night I laughed so hard I was crying. “Breast custard”, I’ll never look at panna cotta the same way again!
Thanks for the laughs!
The look on whoseywhatsis’s (Balaban) face immediately following the breast custard comment was priceless. And aside from that this WAS a boring episode.
Well, boring except for my seething disdain for Chiarello. WHY? WHY? How could he possibly win? That creepy schmoozing at his station made me feel sick. “Hey Baby. Wanna top my gelato?” EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!
I still wanted Moonen to win. He’s crazy but he’s likeable crazy.
I think Lo will shiv Chiarello. Wait. Maybe I should say I HOPE Lo will shiv Chiarello. ‘Cause Lo looks like she might know how to shiv someone.
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