Friday, December 5, 2008

Top Chef Part One - Unamusing Amuse Bouches

I'm slightly disheartened watching this episode. I missed last week, and I’m in awe of how anyone preparing for Thanksgiving had time to watch. I did watch later to see (weeping) Richard go home for his soggy S’mores. It was actually a very enjoyable show. If you taped it and haven’t gotten to it, try to watch it.

Anyway, my dismay this week is because yesterday morning I had big mouths Katheeeeeeee Leeeeeee and Rachael on different sides of my split screen television. (It’s such a complicated arrangement that only I know how to do it.) Unfortunately, I heard KL say that Ariane had won this week’s show.

I NEVER know who wins before I actually watch the episode. I write as I watch, so I was quite unhappy to have to sit through an hour without the fun of being wrong for the millionth time. Although since I don’t actually know who goes home, it may be alright.

Dan (is that the blond guy?) is lifting weights on the balcony. Oh sorry, his name is Jeff. I’m not sure there IS a Dan. Ariane whines about staying positive. Oh, wait, that’s not whining, that’s her voice. Some guy, I don’t know his name, is rubbing his product laden hands all over his hair. His name is Alex. I never heard of him before…THIS is the problem with so many people…or, more likely, it could be MY problem.

Alex cries while reading a letter from kicked-off Richard to Carla and Jamie. This may be a sign that Alex is definitely joining Richard on the outside and the two of them can cry together. (I don’t thing there’s anything wrong with crying. I do it at the old cotton commercials. The touch, the feel of cotton…The fabric of our lives…)

Jamie is fine with being the last gay person left. So pointless, but whatever.

They go to the Top Chef kitchen and Rocco is with Padma. I love when Fabio shrugs his shoulders and says that Rocco is not Italian, but he does know something about Italian cooking. Fabio, don’t forget about Mama and her meat balls. Rocco is growing on me, but I still like that Fabio called him an American chef, meant as a put-down.

Their task is to make a breakfast amuse bouche.

Ariane’s doing Stuffed French Toast with Bacon. Fabio likes brioche for breakfast. Congratulations.

Leah is annoying, but I do applaud her self-assurance and the fact that she thinks she’s hot…but, really, she isn’t.

Somebody breaks an egg yolk.

Melissa - I’m sure you don’t know who that is, she has blonde(ish) long hair with straight bangs – does French toast with Eggs, Strawberries and Bacon. I don’t like fruit with my French toast. It takes the place of more syrup. Rocco: “I would eat anything off this fried French toast. IT’s great.”

Stefan (from LA, with the heavy accent) makes Huevos Rancheros with Salsa and Cheese. Padma: Beautiful presentation. Rocco was impressed that the egg shell was cut off so nicely.

The difficult Indian girl, whose name they don’t put on the screen or the name of her dish, is next. It’s a dumb-looking potato cake. She thinks Rocco isn’t impressed. Neither am I. Maybe the fact that her name isn’t displayed is a secret clue for her going home.

Daniel makes a lovely looking cornflake crusted zucchini flower stuffed with hash. Uh-oh, Rocco says that when you use corn flakes you have to make sure the flavors are balanced because they’re so sweet.

Rocco was impressed with Ariane’s Stuffed French Toast with Chili Maple Syrup. Well, that’s not a surprise since we know she did well last week and that she wins this week.

Jamie tells Rocco she’s a fan of “the savory breakfast”, after telling us earlier that she used to eat Chef Boyardee for breakfast and hates all kinds of breakfast foods. She makes a Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Breakfast Sandwich. “Nicely layered flavors” says Rocco.

The slightly nasty Leah says some of the others are producing TWO bite dishes (like Jamie), but that hopefully because SHE (Leah) listened to the assignment , she’ll earn extra points. She does a Bacon, Quail Egg and Cheese with Grilled Bread. I hope Rocco doesn’t like it. He loves it and so does Padma, who says “Perfect size.” Leah says “WELL, it’s an amuse bouche, so I tried to make it ONE bite,” as she looks over at Jamie.

Fabio greets Rocco like Rocco should care that Fabio is Italian. (He doesn’t particularly.) He says,” You not gonna get bacon from me.” I think it’s against the law in Italy to serve bacon before noon. (I once almost got shot for having a cappuccino after 4, so I can understand that.)

Fabio makes a brioche with brulée banana and espresso cream. I’m getting a little down that I’m almost at nine hundred words and we’re only 9 minutes in! Yikes, this is taking forever. Fabio says he didn’t want it to be too heavy. Padma kind of disses him and says that it’s almost like a pudding and that it IS quite rich.

Jeff does a twice baked potato and yogurt sorbet with fruit. Yuckety yuck yuck. Yogurt sorbet sounds like a dreadful accompaniment to the potato, as well as dreadful on its own. Rocco immediately points out that those are two separate dishes. Jeff grudgingly agrees.

Rocco says that only a few of them combined breakfast and amuse bouche correctly together. Obviously, Leah is in that group. She’ll be mad if he considers two-bite Jamie in there too.

Daniel and Fabio fell short because both of their dishes were too sweet. Rocco likes Stefan’s “even though it was more than one bite”. Leah’s “perfect bite” and Jamie’s (Hah! take that Leah!) was perfectly executed. Leah wins and Rocco gives her a copy of his new book. Whoo-Hoo. Jamie is po’ed that Leah won the last two Quickfires.


Tom said...

Hey Sue,

I never get to see Top Chef so I enjoy the updates. I know what you mean about the cappuccino in Italy in the afternoon, we got an eyebrow raised and I later learned it's cappuccino in the morning, macchiato in the afternoon!

Emily said...

Great review!

I enjoyed making lots of amuse bouche jokes after this episode.

I'm not sure what else to say. I don't have a favorite right now. Mostly everyone annoys me.
Fabio is the only one that stands out, but I'm not sure if I like him yet.

Tracy said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought the zucchini blossom thing looked good.