Friday, December 5, 2008

Top Chef Part Two - Unattractive Beards And The Chefs Do Dems For The Judges

The main challenge this week is to create a dish for a two and a half minute presentation in front of the judges. They have to prove that they can sell themselves and, thus, their books, shows, stuff or whatever. Carla’s eyes bug out of her head. Maybe she didn’t realize she was on television this whole time.

Nobody is psyched about this. Has none of them ever given a cooking demonstration before? And since I already know who wins (I heard blabbing Katheee Lee say it the next day), I'm not particularly psyched either.

Fabio insists on cutting his own tuna at Whole Foods, Eugene is smart and decides to do sushi, which he’s very familiar with. He ends up cutting his own tuna too and so does Hosea.

Alex is impressed with himself for doing dessert. Fabio thinks he’s crazy for thinking he can do a crème brulée in an hour. He rightly notes it doesn’t have time to cool down.

Darn, Leah reminds us that she has immunity. Oh, they finally tell us the Indian girl is named Radhika, which I had forgotten. Why is she wearing that weird thing on her head?

Daniel is a complete putz who says he has dreams similar to Bobby Flay’s. He wants to have his “own TV show” and restaurant, plus he’d love to act. GMAB!

Food television has really aimed potential chefs in a very wrong direction. I promise you that Bobby Flay FIRST learned to cook. The TV thing kinda happened along the way, but he didn’t set out to be a television star. He set out to be a great chef.

NOW being a great chef isn’t enough. Everybody has to be famous. How about learning your craft and then going from there? Judging by Daniel’s cooking so far, which honestly may not be a test of how good a cook he is, he’s just not great.

Worry about the acting after you learn you balance your cornflake crust with something not so sweet. Oh, and Daniel, you’re about as charismatic as that box of Glad “Cling Wrap” prominently displayed in every shot of food on Top Chef. Actually, the box may have pizzazz than he does…

Padma enters the kitchen with Gail, Tom and Rocco.

Ariane’s up first. They gather around her at the surprisingly small food cart. What’s going on? They stay there while she does the dem. Tom, get out of the way! Give the gal a little elbow room. This is weird. Padma’s elbow is centimeters from her hip. Dumb.

Wow, they do this with all of them. I can’t watch. I just want to shove the judges out of the way. Who does a cooking demonstration like that?

Does this have to do with that Today Show dem? I already know that Ariane wins and her prize must be an appearance on the Today Show. BUT you don’t usually have FOUR hosts breathing down your neck while you’re dem-ing. This is strange.

The dishes:
Beefsteak Tomato Salad with Watermelon and Feta Cheese

Bitter Greens Salad with Duck Egg, Bacon and Caviar
Jamie says that she’s done live television before and she’s sure she can do well, while looking down her nose at the others. Tom grimaces at her undone duck egg. That can’t be good. The judges all go “ugh” when the timer goes off and she hasn’t quite finished.

Rose Infused Crème Brulée
He’s starts off in a surprisingly easy going and competent manner. Not so with the finish. The timer goes off. His dish isn’t done. They taste it and are unhappy that it wasn’t set.

Malfouf Roll with Shrimp and Muhmmara Sauce
If he says “malfouf” one more time, I’m going to slap him. Who the heck knows what a malfouf roll is? You know he’s just waiting for someone to ask him. I really hope they don’t. We don't see it if they do.

Tuna with Roasted Carrots and Asparagus Salad
Fabio thinks Jeff’s ingredients were too far out there for the folks most likely watching. He does something simpler and finishes in plenty of time. They have time for a bit of chat at the end.

Ginger Soy Skirt Steak with Cabbage Salad
Right off the bat, Rocco asks him why his pan is so hot. Let’s see if he can answer that. He says he wants the soy sauce to caramelize on the outside. Well, yeah, sort of. He means he wants the STEAK to caramelize on the outside, but I guess that was close enough. The judges like it. They would!

Minestrone Soup with Pancetta and Herbs
This seems like a boring choice of recipe. Let’s see if he can pull it off. The judges seem happy enough.

Crispy Ahi Tuna Roll with Wasabi Peas
I HATE facial hair on a chin that doesn’t connect to facial hair under the nose. But I guess it does give him a unique look and, at least, we don’t confuse him with anyone else. But what are all these closely shaved beards? Moustaches or no moustaches, they’re ugly. HAVE A BEARD OR DON’T, but don’t go all sculptural in the facial hair area.

We don’t see the judges’ reactions to his dish, but Tom likes that he’s using Wasabi Peas.

Tuna Sashimi and Pea Shoot Salad
My boy Eugene has definitely been flying under the radar. Rooco asks him if he’s doing sushi or sashimi. He seems to take a bit too long to answer the question. I hope he was able to finish. We don’t see.

Blackened Habanero Shrimp
Padma says it’s too spicy and Tom spits it out.

Tortilla Soup
She is completely shocked that her time is up and she is nowhere near finished.

Sweet Shrimp and Cucumber Salad
All we see is that she was out of time.

Duck Breast with Corn and Blueberry Hash.
She doesn’t finish and Padma says if this were live television all that they would have had was a salad of corn and blueberries. She doesn’t care, she has immunity.

Jamie, Leah, Alex, Carla

Padma says Daniel is lovable…yeah, like Peter on The Family Guy. Gail said he was a bit of mess. Didn’t he drop food all over the food last week as he was eating? Tom did not like his “mugging” for the camera. They liked Jeff and Fabio and Ariane.

Melissa, Alex and Jamie are in the bottom three. They’ll never send Jamie home, because she seems like a great cook. Probably Alex...or Melissa. I don’t much care.

Jeff, Fabio and Ariane are the top three. Padma says they’ll see them at the judges' table the next day.

Tom wakes up the top three finishers in the middle of the night to tell them that they’ll be on The Today Show and the hosts will judge their dishes. I saw that weeks ago, didn’t I? I just remember Katheee Lee spitting out someone’s food, I don’t know whose though.

They prepare the food for The Today Show. Jeff says in a really snotty way that he’s pissed off that he’ll be serving sophisticated food “to a bunch of ladies with unsophisticated palates”. Excccccuuuuuuussssse me. Actually, he’s completely right, but he’s still an ass. I already know Ariane won. They go to the studio.

A television is set up back at the apartment, so the others can watch. Meredith introduces Tom. Oh, I thought the chefs would be on the actual show, but no, the hosts are tasting the dishes and choosing a winner. The judges are Meredith, Katheee Lee, Hoda and Natalie. Ariane wins.

Carla, watching with the others, is excited. After the show, Meredith comes back to say hi. I still don’t know whose food got spit out. Maybe Fabio’s.

Rocco picks out his favorite cooking tools and that’s Ariane’s first prize. Her other prize is to be on the Today show again, which is what I saw yesterday.

The losers come in. Everybody’s pants are way too short. Rocco says all three delivered inedible dishes. Rocco REALLY doesn’t like Jamie OR Melissa. All the judges agree that the crème brulée was a dumb dish to make. I have NO CLUE who will go home. Not Jamie…Alex. I’ll say Alex.

Leah and Hosea have a sexual chemistry according to Carla. I don’t want to hear about it.

Alex goes home. He’s getting married soon, so he doesn’t really care. Melissa’s jerky and has no problem undermining anyone to stay on the show. And no one appears to be shaving anytime soon.


Anonymous said...

She spit out Jeff's, but they never said why. Probably b/c of her unsophisticated palate. I thought that was an extremely snotty thing for him to say. I already hated him, I hate him more now.

Sue said...

Hi Amy,
Thanks for clearing that up. I like Jeff less every week. If he were authentically Brad Pitt gorgeous, I could forgive him for being snotty. But he's nowhere near as good looking as he thinks he is. (Admittedly, THAT'S a pretty snotty remark. Oh well.)

Anonymous said...

Ugg, Jeff. He bugs me too. Actually a lot of them bug me. Why do we need to hear about the weird sexual chemistry, like two kids at camp? I think that was just a time filler.

I still don't have a favorite.

Have you noticed that so far the first person they "highlight" (or at least on the last couple of episodes) is the one to go?

Hopefully it gets better next week.

;) amy

Sue said...

Hi Amy,
Yeah, it's funny it took me almost all season last time to realize that, almost without exception, the earliest highlighted person in the hour was the one to go home.

I thought I liked Eugene the best, probably because he was the closet to Dale, but he's not going to win. I don't really have a favorite either. I think the judges like Fabio.

Savory Tv said...

Ha great review! Eugene absolutely flailed on the sushi question. The more I watch, the more I am charmed by Fabio!

Sue said...

Hi Savory TV,

I think Fabio could take it.

I forgot for a minute, though, that this wasn't TNFNS, because he would have obvious appeal as a television host. HERE he wins money to start a restaurant and a bunch of plastic baggies, right? But I guess he will be able to promote whatever he does in a most charming manner.

DebCarol said...

This season is not getting me excited on ANY level - food quality, personality, challenges. There are a few that I'd rather see get canned than others but nobody is "screaming" top chef at me. And the tomato, watermelon, feta thingamagig that WON? Well that was just a mess in my opinion .... but very cool review, keep 'em coming

Anonymous said...

uh, how people wear their clothes and facial hair is not your concern dear...MYOB

Sue said...

Hi Deb Carol,
I think the beginning episodes are always a bit challenging to follow. There are just too many people to care about what happens to the early ones. But some of the food has looked pretty good, so hopefully the shows will improve.

I mean "Anonymous", anyone that wears a beard like that is looking for people to comment, whether positively or negatively...they just want another way to draw attention to themselves. AND as I said earlier, maybe that's not such a bad thing. WDYMYOB??!!!

Tracy said...

I agree about those pants at the ends. Not a good look. And as for your anonymous commenter ... go on TV and people can and will comment on your clothes and facial hair. It's part of the deal.

That's funny that you like Gene ... you seem to be into badass guys, huh? I like Gene but I'm a fan of Fabio.

Sue said...

Hi Tracy,
Great minds...

Fabio IS cool. I think he could be a contendah.