Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Top Chef 12/10/08--"Gail's Bridal Shower" summary

Previously on Top Chef: Breakfast is not the strong suit of many of the chefs. Neither is amuse bouche. Leah wins the Quickfire breakfast amuse bouche challenge, and then the chefs have to make up presentations suitable for live television, because image is important. And it’s not like they’re on a popular basic cable program or anything. Ariane wins this one, with a nice salad. She’s chosen by the hosts of the Today Show. Some people think it was a cop-out, that she should have done something more complicated, but Rocco did tell them to do something simple. I can’t believe I’m agreeing with Rocco. Alex tried to make crème brulee in an hour, which did not happen, and ended up out. He didn’t care as much as the other people, because he went home and got married. (click for more)

Melissa is contemplating her wake-up call of being in the bottom. Ariane is regaining her confidence. Stefan seems to have made Jamie a present, consisting of shorts for a stuffed animal of hers that he made out of a dishtowel. She wonders if he understands the word “lesbian”.

Padma greets everyone alone today. She explains that the contestants will be the ones doing the tasting today. Radhika’s eyes bug out. Why is that so disturbing, that you will be doing the tasting? Padma starts talking about palate, which clues us in that this will be the blind taste test Quickfire. Jamie is confident in her palate. Everyone draws knives, but suddenly Hosea draws the same number as Daniel. Huh? Stefan gets paired with Jamie…ugh. So each pair will taste a sauce, and then go head-to-head to identify ingredients. Last chef standing wins.

They have 15 seconds to taste the sauce, and then Hosea (because he won the coin toss) will tell Padma how many ingredients he thinks he can identify. A chyron tells us this is shrimp and lobster bouillabaisse. Hosea says 4, but then Daniel says 4 also. Padma tells him he has to go one higher, so he calls Hosea’s bluff. So this is like Name That Tune? Hosea names onion, shrimp, lemon, and carrot. All are correct, so Hosea wins. Ariane and Jeff are up next, with the same sauce. However, he names crab so he loses. Ariane tells us there are 30 ingredients. Wow. Jamie vs. Stefan. She thinks he is a button pusher. Sadly he wins that challenge. In interview he makes disturbing whipping noises and talks about ass whupping. Eugene thinks there is fish sauce so Leah beats him. Fabio lets Radhika get away with only naming 3 ingredients, which of course she can do. Carla vs. Melissa (in a backwards trucker hat). Carla wins easily.

Round 2: Thai green curry. Yum. Hosea vs. Ariane. She makes him name 7 ingredients which he has absolutely no trouble doing. Stefan vs. Leah. He says he is always confident. Stefan goes for 8, and gets them, and smirks. Leah is pissed. Carla vs. Radhika. Radhika goes for 7 but names chili powder so she’s out.

Round 3 is Carla vs. Stefan vs. Hosea. They’ll all taste the sauce and then take turns naming ingredients until they can’t anymore. This is like an old game show I used to watch, where you first answered food trivia questions, and then the last two people tasted a dish and took turns naming ingredients. But I can’t remember the name! (Kmanpat: *shrugs*) the sauce is Mexican mole sauce. Carla is up first and names peanut butter. Sigh. Stefan and Hosea go back and forth for a while until Stefan names tomato paste which is also wrong. Hosea names one more ingredient and wins! Yay! He talks about how Stefan is a tough competitor. (P.S., I agree with Lee Anne that allowing the contestants to name things like salt and oil was lame.)

Now it is time for the elimination challenge. Everyone starts drawing knives--which say “old”, “new”, “borrowed”, and “blue”. HAHA! Awesome. Ariane thinks it might be a wedding. Radhika would rather be on Satan’s team than Stefan’s team. Hee. Padma is throwing a bridal shower…for Gail. HA again! Not only does everyone have to satisfy Gail, but they have to follow the silly theme! (Side note: we extended this idea to “Project Runway”. Designers, you must make an outfit for Nina Garcia. Wouldn’t that be the best episode ever?) Gail lets them know it’s 40 women, who love to eat, and also that she doesn’t really like veal or black beans. They’d better not make her eggs either. Girl is picky about her eggs. She wants to impress her friends, because many of them are from the magazine. So, no pressure. See, I knew they’d have to cook for Gail, and that was awesome then. The themes make it doubly awesome.

Ariane, Radhika, and Jamie are Team Borrowed. Jamie’s decided they’ll do something Indian that Radhika “borrowed” from her mother and Jamie “borrowed” from another chef she knows. She’s brought some excellent secret ingredients. Radhika is worried the judges will get bored with her Indian cooking, and she wants to use her ingredients in a new way. Um…so “borrow” some Indian ingredients for another culture’s dish. Team Blue is Melissa, Fabio, and Leah. Leah wonders if figs are blue. Fabio knows this is the hardest category, so instead of thinking blue foods he’s thinking blue theme for the dish. Daniel, Carla, and Eugene, Team Something New, are going with pickles, because Daniel is insisting that Gail loves pickles. Carla asks if pickles are new. That is not new. Eugene wants to put a new spin on sushi, with tempura shrimp and filet mignon. Interesting. Carla is nervous. She’s doubting everyone’s ideas but she hasn’t clearly stated what she thinks is “new”, and she knows it. The last team is Jeff, Hosea, and Stefan, who are Team Something Old. They are talking heirloom tomato salad, carpaccio, and fried green tomatoes. Wow. That’s actually a really good idea. Someone suggests sorbet, which Stefan immediately shoots down on account of he’s a caterer and knows not to do sorbet. While some would see this as a good thing, Hosea is annoyed that Stefan is bossing everyone around. Jeff says that Stefan causes major issues whenever he’s on a team. Jeff still wants to do sorbet, and promises Stefan that if his sorbet melts he’ll take the flack.

Shopping time! They have 30 minutes and $800. People buy various things. Carla explains her “Hootie-hoo” call that she and her husband use to find each other. Kind of like Marco Polo. She’s shouting “Hootie” in the store but I’m not sure she told the rest of her team about that. Stefan is trying to run the show but Hosea is being stubborn. Stefan feels the pressure of Hosea’s immunity. They argue about tomatoes and whether Hosea can make soup out of them.

2 ½ hours tonight to prep. Jamie says they’re going third, so I guess they’re using the saying to set the order. Team Borrowed is making lamb, carrots, and kale, all with an Indian flair. Radhika seems determined to make Indian food that doesn’t scream “Indian food”. Carla makes fried wonton bowls for salad. Team New is making Asian food. Daniel is making BBQ sauce, but they didn’t say what it’s going on top of. Eugene’s rice cooker makes noises when it’s done. Hee. The Blue team is making sea bass, corn puree, and swiss chard. Which…is supposed to reference the ocean, with the sea bass. I guess. I don’t really get it. Old Team is making terrines with tomato, carpaccio, and gazpacho. Hosea wants to win, but he’s taking a back seat because he’s got immunity. Eugene starts cursing because his rice is too sticky, because it’s an unfamiliar rice cooker. Oops.

Right on cue Tom shows up to bother everyone. He goes to Fabio and Melissa first, to point out to them that truly blue food does not exist in nature. Thanks, Tom. The sea bass is crusted with blue corn flour, so that’s something anyway. Jamie says “flava”. Sigh. Ariane is making the lamb, and she’s going to stand by the oven and watch it cook if that‘s what it takes. She‘s actually not making the sauce or marinade for the lamb, just making sure it‘s cooked right. The New team describes their dishes and in the background is Seinfeld-style music. It lends an air of incompetence. Stefan reveals that he was married twice. To the same woman. Somehow I’m not surprised. Tom tells all of us that the Blue team is boring and New team is out there and will either be spectacular or horrible.

Eugene has salvaged his rice by making it “chili pepper sticky rice”. How does that keep it from being too sticky? Melissa knows her team’s dish has no pizzazz. Hosea is worried that Stefan’s terrene won’t turn out, because they can’t taste it before they serve it.

Back at the apartments, Eugene is describing his latest idea, which is to have the guests build their own sushi rolls. Curiously, Daniel is lifting dumbbells, in his chef’s jacket, while he talks to Eugene. Daniel likes Eugene‘s idea. This seems like a lot of work and messy for something as fancy as bridal showers tend to be. Stefan appears to poke holes in Eugene’s idea, and I realized I agreed with him but then he said that women don’t want to make their own food, and he doesn’t even like to do that. A very interesting statement coming from A CHEF. Eugene (rightly) tells him not to worry about his dish.

Another commercial clip. Stefan bugs Jamie and Carla. Jamie harasses him about having the hots for a lesbian while Stefan tries to get her to kiss him. Ew. That just makes him look like the worst kind of jerk.

In the morning Leah flirts with Hosea. He says they’re just friends since they’re both involved with other people. Uh, that’s not what she said a few weeks ago. Fabio wants to do well so as not to piss off the bride. Pretty much everyone is talking about their own weddings/spouses and how important this is.

The venue is huge and opulent, with one giant long table for all 40 guests. Personally I hate putting a big group at a long table, because you can’t talk to or hear everyone, and someone always ends up stuck in between conversations and left out. Team Old rushes to get set up. Hosea hopes they impress everyone. Padma makes a great toast to Gail about how they all love her. Tom shows up to the kitchen and lets everyone know that as a man, he got sent to the kitchen. Hee. Fabio likens it to being a priest with the Pope there. Stefan snits about the sorbet. As Hosea comes out to serve, he’s shaking so bad his mike picks up the shot glass rattling on the plate. He’s impressed he didn’t drop anything. Padma introduces Dana Cowin, who is Editor-In-Chief of Food and Wine Magazine, and the guest judge. Jeff: sliced Purple Cherokee tomato with tomato sorbet, Hosea: gazpacho with mint and cucumber salsa, Stefan: terrene with tomato and basil and eggplant around the outside. Everything looks good, except that the eggplant is kind of a muddy brown color. Someone likes the sorbet. Hee. Tom eats the whole thing, and Stefan calls it “my plate”. Gail’s favorite was the sorbet.

Team New preps their DIY sushi and salad. Daniel is soaking mushrooms, because he thinks it’ll be nice surprise in the bottom of the wonton salad bowl. He hasn’t told Carla about it, so when she sees him she’s annoyed. But she doesn’t stop him. There are a lot of things going on. Daniel thinks this is new, and I guess it is if you’re looking at the idea of grazing, but then he uses the word “splooge” so I must deduct points. Because, ew. Daniel then thinks the women will be so excited they’ll take off their clothes. Eugene: explains the idea that sushi can be cooked, and talks about the shrimp. Daniel: beef skewers with peach-miso barbeque sauce. Daniel also explains the yuzu sorbet, and how a sorbet is used to cleanse your palate. Which I’m sure everyone here already knows. Carla doesn’t get to talk about her salad. Eugene realizes he never explained how to eat the dish. Yeah…that will be a problem. He basically says the same thing in confessional. A lot of people try to eat the salad by hand, by picking up the wonton bowl and crunching it. The shrimp was cold and there’s nothing sushi-ish here. Someone tells Gail they hope she has a better new venture.

Jamie is still frustrated that she’s never won anything. Ariane tries to plan how much time it will take to cook her lamb, and she can’t count up the time, I guess, and it ends up too rare. Both Jamie and Radhika freak out, and they try to start plating before the lamb is out, but everyone actually chips in and helps them put an assembly line together to get everything out in time. That was sweet. Ariane: Indian spiced lamb, Jamie: vadouvan-scented carrot puree, Radhika: cucumber raita (sauce) and the marinade for the lamb. It sounds great. Dana is happy it’s well cooked. Everyone loves all of it. All the parts of the dish went together and Gail is happy.

Melissa knows her fate if Gail doesn’t like their food. Leah thinks the fish needs seasoning but then she says she trusts Fabio. It’s not very exciting. Fabio lets us know that the girls on his team told him to talk so he’d charm everyone, so of course he starts out by telling everyone how beautiful they are. Hee. Roasted corn with swiss chard and on top, Chilean sea bass with a blue corn crust. He claims that green and yellow “in the light spectrum” come out blue, which is so not true. Gail tells everyone that Chilean sea bass isn’t very politically correct. Someone calls it old people food. Not very bold flavors. Gail thanks everyone for coming.

Padma calls out Team Old and Team Borrowed as the top teams. Everyone praises Jeff for the sorbet while Stefan looks pissed. The carrots were subtle but very tasty, so good for Jamie. Ariane admits that there was some pressure about the lamb being cooked, but it turned out really well. Dana does the usual suspense-building pause, talking about how the winner was the person who was responsible for the most flavorful thing that evening. The editors cut in a shot of Jamie right here, whispering to Ariane that she really wants this win. I hope she didn’t say that in front of Dana Cowin while she’s announcing the winner. And that winner is…Ariane? She’s just as shocked as I am. She wins some Calphalon cookware and gadgetry, but she says she’s upset that Jamie didn’t win. In the Stew Room, Ariane asks Jamie not to be mad at her. Jamie says she’s not mad, but then claims that everyone expected her to win. I doubt that, if only because Stefan wouldn’t think so.

Loser gong! Eugene finally explains his dish, and admits that he forgot to do that during the shower. He also explains how he tried to use the rice that didn’t turn out, and Dana tells him that his added ingredients didn’t hide the mushy rice. Oops. Padma then asks Carla if she was happy with the dish her team sent out, which seems an odd and terribly pointed question. She admits she wasn’t really, and Eugene says he wasn’t, but Daniel liked it. Padma asks about the mushrooms, and Daniel speaks up and claims them. Eventually they get it straightened out that Carla made the salad, but Daniel put the mushrooms on it, and Carla didn’t taste them (which shocks everyone, oo) but Daniel did. Tom tells him they sucked and do you still like the dish? And Daniel says he does. Thankfully we move on to Team Blue. Leah thinks they were creative about working in the theme, but the dish lacked texture and was all kind of mushy. Tom says it was blue because it made him sad. It’s the opposite of Team New, who tried to do something all weird and failed. This team played it safe, even though Fabio thinks cooking fish perfectly for 40 people is tricky. Tom rolls his eyes because Chilean sea bass is pretty forgiving. Fabio starts to argue but decides against it.

Team Blue was too simple, and Tom asks if you would put that dish on your new restaurant’s menu. But Team New was indefensible, and all of them made big mistakes. Carla’s salad was the (very brief) highlight of the dish, which is pretty sad. Gail could tell she was stewing and wanted to speak up but was worried about the integrity of the team. Of course they all think she should have spoken up. Daniel did tiny things that all failed and on top of that, he actually liked the dish. Eugene made so many mistakes it worries the judges, and also Gail points out she doesn’t want to eat bad rice, no matter how many things you put in it.

Tom knows the judges were harsh, but this was personal. Team Blue was boring, and if they continue this way, they’re going to be out. Tom dismisses them. Team New had poor conception and poor execution. Eugene overcooked both the rice and the shrimp, Carla knew things were going wrong and didn’t speak up, Daniel contributed a lot of useless things and wasted his time. Tom tells them flat out that he wanted to send all three of them home, but in the end only Daniel goes home. He of course thinks he shouldn’t have been sent home at all because the judges don’t get him. He also offers that he could have thrown people under the bus he could have stuck around longer. Who were you going to throw under the bus? Then there is a football analogy, about when the refs don’t call a penalty that all the fans saw, or something. I guess what he’s trying to say is, it’s someone else’s fault I’m going home but I’m not going to say who.

Next week: MARTHA STEWART TIME!!!!!!! Someone’s food gets ruined, I’m not sure why, but it looks like Hosea and Radhika which worries me a lot. Bravo makes everyone pretend it’s Christmas 6 months early.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Could not find a suitable section so I written here, how to become a moderator for your forum, that need for this?

Anonymous said...

Ancedeelime [url=]prednisone pregnancy[/url] Prednisone [url=]ambien overdose[/url] Ambien [url=]ativan addiction[/url] Ativan [url=]buspar celexa prozac paxil anafranil[/url] Prozac [url=]where to buy valium[/url] Valium Immefeabajern

Anonymous said...

roophatte [url=]Buy Codeine no prescription[/url] [url=]Buy Differin no prescription online[/url]

Anonymous said... areworking synthroid side effects remedied sitefor buspar side effects andoutside enalapril side effects gronemann ariff lexapro side effects belfasts biomarkers effexor side effects terrific familiarised