Friday, May 16, 2008

Top Chef - Say It With Salad, But Stop Screaming About Everything Else!

Top Chef
Episode 10 Serve and Protect

There's a money shot of Glad bags near the beginning of Top Chef. Is the prize $100,000 dollars or that much money in Glad bags? It’s hard to tell.

We open with Andrew…or is it Spike? I still can’t tell the difference. They’re showing Steph a bit. Richard says he’s tired. Spike says Dale’s a little bitch. Didn’t he say that last week?

Dale says it’s all too dramatic and emotional. Andrew says everyone is beat down but him.

Quickfire Challenge. They all look awfully exhausted after being up all day and night for last week’s wedding challenge.

Season 2 finalist Sam Talbot is the guest judge. Antonia thinks he’s tall dark and handsome. Each to her own. The challenge is to “put the sexy back in the salad.” Okay, maybe it’s SAM that should leave the island. Padma says they have 45 minutes and they can use all the ingredients in the kitchen. (There's a huge table with tons of stuff on it.)

Let’s have sex after we eat this salad, says Spike. Eww.

Dale’s looks the best to me, after we see it for one second. Steph mixes artichokes, mushrooms and pears. I don’t love that. Antonia likes “fatty salads”. Lisa is using lobster tails. (That’s a good idea, even though she not my fav.)

Steph ran out of time before she got her artichoke chip on the plate. That’s not good.

The results:
Andrew: “Thai fruit salad” with Mangoes, Strawberries, Raspberries & Sriracha Dressing. Sam: “The sriracha gives it a good flavor.”

Spike: “Sensual Beef Salad” with Pineapple, Radish, Cucumber & Skirt Steak. Sam: ”It’s nice to see the contrast in profiles.” Huh? I guess that’s good, but what does it mean?

Lisa: “Sexy Banana Salad” with Squid, Lobster Tail, Bananas & Yuzu Vinaigrette. Sam: “Actually I don’t taste a lot of spice at all.”

Stephanie: “Fall Duet” with Pear Vinaigrette, Poached Pear & Artichokes. Sam: “Thank you.”

Antonia: “Poached Egg & Wild Mushroom Salad” with Bacon Vinaigrette & Squash Blossoms. Sam: “It’s got great flavor. Thanks.” Did his gaze linger on her for a second? Was there some chemistry between the two chefs? She IS a single mother, right?

Richard: “Fresh & Clean Salad” with Ceviche of Fruits & Vegetables. Sam: Thank you.

Dale: “Poached Chicken Salad” with Nori Paste, Mirin, Sake & Rice Wine Vinegar. Sam: “Poached chicken can dry out, but that’s actually really moist.”

Richard and Steph and Lisa lose.

Sam liked Spike, Antonia (I TOLD you) and Dale. He said Dale’s dish was really unique and that he nailed it. Spike is the winner. His first win. He gets a significant advantage, Padma reminds him, instead of immunity.

They wheel in tons of greasy fast food to show that this is what most people eat for lunch. The challenge is to make gourmet boxed lunches for cadets from the Chicago police force. Lisa is funny as she says that personally all that junk looks good to her.

Sam says he is diabetic himself and has to think about healthy eating. The challenge is to “protect (the cadets’) health and serve them something tasty.“

As a winner of the QuickFire Challenge, Spike gets a 10 minute head start shopping and the four ingredients that he chooses no one else can use.

Spike is getting things that will PO everybody, because they won’t be able to use them: chicken, bread, lettuce and tomato.

Andrew doesn’t care because he thinks those are the most dumbed-down ingredients anyway. Andrew studied nutrition for 2 years and brags about how he doesn’t run around with his head cut off. OK, it’s Andrew going home!!! That’s my pick.

The lunch has to include whole grain, lean protein, fruit and vegetable.

Andrew is putting together parsnips and something or other for a sushi roll. That sounds awful! He’s bragging again. He’s going down!

Dale is using lettuce, scratch that, CABBAGE cups with bison. Antonia is dissing him (to the camera) because he only cooks Asian food.

Lisa is doing tons of explanation. It’s way too much. Tom enters the Top Chef kitchen. He seems to like Steph’s dish. Tom tries Lisa’s hot sauce. He practically gags. Spike gets a handshake. Richard wants to know if Tom likes burritos. In his usual blustery way, he says he does IF it’s a good burrito.

Tom tells the camera that they all seem to be doing a good cooking job. Lisa’s brown rice is burned. She says someone turned up the heat. Steph says it was just an accident (on Lisa's part), not sabotage. Dale agrees. They rush to box everything up to get to the police academy.

They get to the cafeteria and label their food with instructions on how to reheat. The cadets come in. Richard asks every single person, “Do you like burritos?” Spike says he’s so cheesy. He’s right.

Apparently the cadets get to choose any lunch they wish. Spike keeps only two boxes out in front, so it seems like his lunches are going fast.

Padma arrives. Here are the dishes:
Oh there are Ted and Tom. Hi boys!

Stephanie: Mushroom & Meatball Soup with Barley, Vegetable Puree & Yogurt. It’s orange and looks completely smooth, like a butternut soup. The judges seem pleased with it.

Spike: Chicken Salad with Pita & Raw Vegetables. “It’s a very pedestrian chicken salad to me”, says Padma. Ted says Spike had plenty of time to do something more exciting. Tom remarks on the ingredients he chose, thinking that he only picked them so that the other chefs couldn’t use them.

I don’t think that’s completely fair. That was part of the deal for winning the Quickfire Challenge. Of course, the winning chef would choose stuff that would benefit him or her and screw the opposing chefs.

Dale: Lemongrass Bison Lettuce Wrap with Brown Rice & Herb Salad. The cops say it’s good. The judges like it too.

Antonia: Curry Beef with Jasmine Rice, Berries & Figs with Grape Syrup. The cops really like the filet and the sauce. Ted says the beef is nicely cooked. Padma says the flavors are delicious.

Andrew: Salmon Roll with Parsnip-Pine nut “Rice” & Pickled Ginger Wasabi. “I take nutrition in a very serious sense,” he drones on and on to a very polite Ted. (If you have to ‘xplain it, it means it doesn’t stand alone on the taste.) He includes the information that wasabi helps with tooth decay. I hope he means to PREVENT tooth decay.

Padma: ”That’s very strange”. She’s talking about the dish, not Andrew…and not his dental tips. Ted: “The flavor’s not great.” Padma notices instantly that he didn’t use a whole grain. Ooh, does that mean he didn’t follow the rules? He is soooo out! Tom looks disgusted.

Richard: Grilled Tuna Burrito with Lentils & Quinoa in a Rice Paper Tortilla. He asks the same dumb question of Sam – “Do you like burritos?” What if someone says NO?!! Ted says it tastes better than it looks. Tom says, “It tastes good, actually”. One cop says it would nice on a summer day. Who knew officers could be so poetic? Sweet.

Lisa: Shrimp stir-fry with Brown Rice, Berries & Yogurt.
Padma and Sam know immediately that the rice is undercooked. It’s really spicy, a cop says.

Sam comes from a family of cops and says he liked some of the lunches and didn’t like others. Tom says if you want people to eat something healthy, it has to be delicious as well.

Lisa explains to Spike that someone fooled with her rice. Andrew realizes he didn’t use a grain in his dish (20 minutes after everyone else did).

The judges want to see Dale and Stephanie. Obviously, one of them is the winner. YUP. They get asked why they came up with what they did. The judges loved Dales’ idea of the bison, saying how healthy it is. Stephanie’s soup was very well seasoned.

DALE is the winner. GO ME!!! He gets a bottle of 2002 Rutherford Merlot wine. Whoop-Dee-Do. Oh wait, it’s kind of pricey and Dale also gets a visit for 2 to the Rutherford Hills winery. That’s cool and he’s happy that he's won 5 out of 20 times.

The losers: Spike, Lisa and…Andrew. WHO called it???? Andrew is so gone. I’m sure.

Andrew mentions AGAIN that he studied nutrition for 2 years. He goes on and on about how you should eat every 3 hours. How exactly IS a police officer going to eat that often? “I want to leave them wanting more.” Tom points out that they’ll get a candy bar later if they’re hungry, which defeats the entire purpose of the healthy lunch.

The exchange demonstrates how pissy Andrew was:
A: I wanna show you guys what it is to eat healthy.
Tom: How about serving something that’s good?
A: Was it not good?
Tom: It didn’t taste good at all, no.
A: Really? That’s funny. I had 2 people go back for it.
Tom: They went back for it because it wasn’t enough and they had to eat more.

Andrew definitely resents that the judges didn’t like it.

They get to Spike. Padma wants to know why he made chicken salad. He didn’t want to scare the cadets, he says. Then he also gets a bit aggressive. “What was so wrong about the way I used my ingredients?” The dish you came up with dummy!

They hated the combination of olives and grapes. And Spike almost insults them. Ooh gosh, he really is nasty to Tom. He says “the common person” likes those together. Tom gives as good as he gets. “If you want to take their word over mine, that’s fine”, says Tom…”Unfortunately for you, it’s my opinion that matters.”

It’s Lisa’s turn. Tom says many components of her dish were poorly cooked. She says Wah! Someone screwed with my rice. Tom's attitude: All that aside, nothing was well cooked.

Then Lisa actually points out that Andrew didn’t use a grain in his dish, which they were supposed to. She actually ratted him out. Tom says they’re aware of that. Lisa and Andrew have a nice little altercation in front of the judges.

They leave the room. “Boy, did Lisa have a lot to say”, says Padma. Tom says they’re not going to accept alleged sabotage as an excuse for her dish. Ted says there were 4 really huge mistakes in it. They agree that Spike’s was unimaginative. Sam and Tom really hated it.

Andrew and Lisa have more words. “It just shows me who you are.” Andrew says to Lisa about the tattling.

Padma points out again that he didn’t use a whole grain. Tom says that’s true. Ted says Andrew was completely arrogant.

Outside the room, there’s more Andrew/Lisa conflict.

Then Padma makes the point that it’s a unanimous decision, which means to me that they chose Andrew and she's making the point that it wasn't because Lisa told on him.

To a break…Do you think this is suspicious that there’s a commercial for diabetes medicine when they happen to have a guest judge with diabetes?

They’re back and they repeat again why they hated all the dishes. Okay, so who’s out?

Tuh-duh, it’s ANDREW!!! (I’m awesome to have picked another rejectee!!!) “I will bow out of this competition with honor and respect”, he says. This isn’t Sicily in 1962! He’s really kind of jerky.

He shakes the judges’ hands and says later he’ll probably never see any of these people again, except Spike. Spike is sad to see him go.

Again, “I play with honor. I play with respect and loyalty.. and honor”, he says soooooooooooo pretentiously. “I’m always against the grain.” Get it? He’s different…unusual…whatever. AND he didn’t add the whole grain to his dish, so he goes “against the grain”. Dumb. He certainly rubs me the wrong way. Good-bye, sucker.

Next week restaurant wars.


Emiline said...


Do you like burritos?

Why yes, Richard. Yes I do. Thanks for asking.

I liked Andrew. He was weird and crazy. I thought Lisa should go, since she's a b*tch. Excuse me for saying that.

Sam is hot hot hot.

Sue said...

Does this show stink this season?
Kinda. Thanks for asking.

AND I think Tom is way hotter than Sam.

Nanc Twop said...

Oh yeah, I agree - I was ready to see all three go, Spike, Andrew and Lisa.

Isn't it absurd that all three seemed to forget that they're saying all those lovely statements on tv!? Amazing.

my Top Chef posts

Sue said...

Hi Nanc,

Interesting posts.

Unhappily, MANY chefs are unpleasantly temperamental in the kitchen, but if THAT'S the deciding factor on who should be eliminated, then Lisa should have been the first to go.