Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Have you ever cooked with" duck white kidneys "before?"

Hey! It turns out I'm not the only one who loved Gerber strained plums and bought them in my teens. Q loved them too!
Anyone else? Lemme know Joe and we can get together for some mezcal and mashed jarred fruits.

In other news, Jet Li is gangster.
Jet Li’s cheddar arrived today (wtf, Stripes?) in a white envelope.
She put $20 in it. How do I know? I could see it right through the envelope. No wrapping it in a piece of paper like your Mama said (I do that, Mama! I remember you told me) because it might get stole by an underpaid postal worker. Jet said Eff That. Gangster.
Also since no postal worker stole it, recession over? Please?

When the chefs walked into the kitchen they found a table full of nasty proteins and I’m not talking about offal…
Padma avec des monticules stood with Guest Judge Michelle Bernstein. Andrea with the Bad Perm said she was not happy to see her. Really? Michelle knows Bad Perm from Miami? Wait, they both have restaurants there and apparently there’s a rivalry betwee- another rivalry born!

Andrea looked at Michelle the way those girls looked at girls whose a**es they wanted to beat high school. Yeah, that “You gotta use the bathroom sometime” look. As they smiled at each other, Bad Perm said she wasn’t that sure if you sat down at her restaurant and Michelle’s there would be that one would be that much better (really, Contestant?) and that she wasn’t that comfortable with Michelle judging her and she put the emphasis on judging like she was 7 and her Dad left the room and she could finally curse. Rowr! But before the fur could fly-

The Quickfire Challenge!
The chefs pulled knives to determine the order of picking the “exotic” protein they had 45 minutes to prepare. Tiffany said she never ate or prepared any of the ingredients as her dimples melted our hearts (she should really do the news, I’d except that we’re invading another country from her, no problem.)

Alex picked the knife marked “1” and snagged the foie gras. Kenny Q Sign grabbed the frog legs. Ed from Boston- wild boar. Tiffany- yak (take out the garbage and the trash…sorry, couldn’t resist); Stephen- Cayman crocodile. Dusthead Angelo picked duck white kidney.
Padma asked if he had ever cooked with them before. Dusty said he hadn’t and didn’t know what they were. Michelle: “They’re testicles.” Everyone clapped. I mean, Price Is Right decibel clapping with Showcase Showdown smiling. They hate him so!
Ed from Boston said he used duck balls when he was working with Todd English and they did consommé with co*k’s comb and fried duck balls so it was called Co*k and Balls Soup. Nice!
(Also, the fact that he had worked with those balls before and didn’t pick them? Kinda badass. Not as gangster as Jet Li and the plain view 20 in the white envelope but…) Dusty said the texture of the balls were like sweetbreads so he was going to make a testicle marshmallow. Que?

Kevin- wanted and picked ostrich; Indie Film Star Kelly picked Diamond Back rattlesnake; Tamesha- llama; Bad Perm – duck tongue; Amanda- was last and got the emu eggs. They looked like smooth avocados and had the consistency of pool balls. She had to use a hack saw to ‘crack’ them!

As the chefs raced about (Angelo looking like he was on his third bump of the morning) Monticules came back and with 34 minutes left in the challenge asked for everyone’s attention…
“Please take over the proteins to your left!”
Nice ones TC Producers!

Indie Film Star got Pilly’s emu eggs and decided to make an omelet realizing it had to be perfect to win; Alex had ostrich that he barded with caul fat (animal membrane- ew) and basil; Kevin ended up with Dusty’s balls (har) and cooked them meunière style (brown butter sauce) with beet and licorice puree. Pause Moment! Padma puts a ball in her mouth as Stephen stares, smiling creepily.

Tamesha had the duck tongue and went with a soup she pressure cooked with mirepoix (the French name for onions, carrots and celery. Hey, switch out the celery with some green peas and you’ll have what we used to eat in a can growing up: Veg-All.)

Bad Perm had wild boar she put it on top of risotto with dried cherries, parmesan and almonds. Michelle said the flavors were beautiful but it was a little chewy. Bad Perm grabbed her by her hair and smashed her face into the stainless steel table!
No, I keed.
Just keeping it frosty, Dear Reader. And thinking of Douglas.
Pale, angry, Mad Men–styled Douglas who refuses to read even now as he, the only Bad Perm lover, could possibly win the whole pot (let’s humor him for a moment) and yet he isn’t even bothering to read this. Even now when she’s facing the wrath of her greatest rival. Damn you Douglas McDermott. Damn you to the depths! (Not to be confused with The Lower Depths™.
Hi Jenna!)

Tiffany ended up with the foie gras and made it with a brandy-caramel sauce and caramelized apples and toasted pecans; Dusty marinated his crock in sesame oil with ginger, garlic and chili. Michelle loved the flavor. Stephen went from crocodile to frogs legs, he made one confit and one seared. Kenny Q Sign made rattlesnake French style and a rattlesnake cake. Pilly had roasted llama in a soubise sauce (white sauce with strained onion) with leek and bacon compote.

Monticules and Michelle, with probably the worst breath ever took to the front of the room. The worst? Stephen’s “insipid” frogs legs, Alex’s dry ostrich and Bad Perm’s undercooked boar. Ooooooooooo… I like Michelle Bernstein!
Bad Perm said it sucked that she was being called out by Michelle on national TV. CUT TO- Michelle handcuffed to a shower rod in a sleazy hotel in Miami. SFX: chainsaw. Male Voice: ‘Now we try the leg, huh?’

Michelle’s faves? Indie Film Star Kelly “pretty amazing,” Tamesha “cooked to perfection” and Amanda. Pilly? Huh?
The winner: Indie Film Star Kelly gets immunity!
This is the ending of the indie film where she kisses the boy and then leaves the apartment and then comes back and kisses him again - roll credits!

Elimination Challenge
A Cold War. They were to be divided into two groups (A and B) and had to make a dish best served cold. Chefs in Group A had to serve their dishes to the judges and the other group and each Group would pick a winner and someone to be eliminated.
Whoa! No, no, that’s not going to happen. There’s going to be a twist. I promise.
Meanwhile- Indie Film Star Kelly got to eat both group’s food. Wicked!

After the knife picks: Group A was-Kenny Q Sign/Ed/Kevin/Pilly/ Alex
Group B: Dusthead/Tamesha/Tiffany/Bad Perm/Stephen

Monticules told them they’d be doing their planning for the challenge on the S.S. Potomac, the maritime version of Air Force One. Monticules gave a little history lesson: apparently Kennedy did Cuban Missile Crisis meetings there. Blah blah blah just tell me Harrison Ford is gonna show up and kick some crack.

On the S.S. (really just a pretty old school kinda yacht thing, I mean, not bomb proof and I bet there’s no wi-fi) the paranoia set in. Q Sign said he thought all the chefs were out to get him. Pilly said she didn’t think anyone understood how hurtful, vulnerable and scary the challenge is. And Dusty suggested what the other chefs in his group should make. Kevin (Group A) walked by and heard him.

Starboard: Tiffany and Ed chatted alone. Tiffany: “Eddie and I get along really well…”
She told him what people were making and said she didn’t tell them what she was making. Kevin told Q Sign Dusty was giving people advice…

At Whole Foods Dusty said a cold dish means the flavor really has to pop. Stephen ran his purchases by Dusty. In the TC DC kitchen, Dusty tasted his Group’s dishes and gave advice (both solicited and not.) Now, if the Producers let the chefs choose the top and bottom contestants outright they’re just gonna vote off the front-runners so, no. This will not occur.

As they set up for the Judges (and each other) Ed said he had no beef with Group B and didn’t think he’d be personally attacked. Q Sign worried some more (Q Sign less for now) and Pilly asked Alex (Alex?) to taste her dish, he said it needed salt and pepper but didn’t tell her he could taste cartilage.

Group A went first and you realized that every Chef in Group B bought their clothes from Chess King. Also, they were colorblind.
The dishes were laid out. Pilly’s chicken galantine with plum and marsala compote, Kevin’s tuna and veal dressed Mediterranean style, Q Sign’s duo of grilled lamb one with salad and one carpaccio with a hummus in the middle; Alex’s sous vide lamb with beet puree, yogurt and pumpkin seed dust; Ed’s Sockeye salmon on pumpernickel bread with vichyssoise.

Tiffany said Q Sign’s lamb was chewy and Dusty killed Q Sign’s dish (again), saying the okra and carpaccio turned into a slime. Tamesha said Alex’s yogurt was heavy and Bad Perm said his beets needed salt and texture.
Whoa! Hold up- we have a contender for the Boob Throne! Check out the rack on Michelle Bernstein. Kapow! Hmm…I can’t figure out how she’s able to show that much cleavage without a bra- is she sewn into the bodice of that dress? Man, Monticules looks like a school marm in drab a** Talbot’s next to her.
Back to it- Tamesha said Pilly’s dish needed salt. Dusty bashed it by saying the dish wasn’t cold enough and Bad Perm got cartilage— [hey, wait a minute, the Judges aren’t saying Sh*t! Come on, they can’t let it go down like this, right?]
As Group A cleaned up Ed said he hoped Group B would set up Pilly because they had all had “enough of her.” Agree.
Kevin’s dish was pretty but lacked acidity, Bad Perm said she was all about acidity like it was a citrus job interview. Finally Colicchio, shaking his head: Did no one else get the Meyer lemon slices in Kevin’s dish? Also the tomato? The chef’s backed off a bit, agreed with him. They thought Ed’s dish had dry pumpernickel.
Most Successful: Kevin’s dish (with Tiffany concurring but giving a shout out to Ed’s dish if there were more moisture in the bread.)
Least Successful (with no input from the Real Judges): Kenny Q Sign. Hey, wow! What a surprise!
Bad Perm was the only one who mentioned Pilly’s dish as a potential bad dish because of the cartilage. Colicchio asked what was worse, a technical mistake or a conceptual mistake? Bad Perm said technical but majority rules. Kevin would be up for the win and Kenny Q Sign up for elimination.

In the extra content bump we learned that Ed from Boston knew Dusty. Like for years. And that they actually dated the same girl in college?!!?
I think that means Ed unknowingly did drugs by vah jay jay osmosis.

Back to the back stabbin! Group B prepared and plated as Group A, dressed much better, sat.
Tiffany presented fennel and peppercorn crusted ahi tuna with a gazpacho sauce and cucumber salad underneath; Dusty a slow poached sockeye salmon (that he admitted he over seasoned as he made it) with chili cilantro and pineapple tea; Bad Perm did a trio of tartare (steak, tuna and veggie); Stephen did a dish that looked like a car accident- chilled sliced beef with jalapeno oil on crispy rice; Tamesha- wanted to give them a taste they hadn’t had before, a sweetness with a peppery note: lightly chilled scallops with a rhubarb jus and rhubarb pickle and basil.

(Hey, I thought maybe Tamesha had a cold before cause she sounded stuffed up on an ep but now I think she just has a deviated septum.)

Pilly and Alex liked Tiffany’s dish. They said Bad Perm’s beef tartare needed more seasoning; Q Sign said Stephen’s sliced beef didn’t blow his socks off. Ed from Boston: ‘Where’s the beef?’ Pilly thought Tamesha’s scallops were too spicy and Colicchio said it was a very strange taste (they Cut To Dusty in the other room massaging Tamesha’s shoulder.)
Q Sign said he couldn’t taste Dusty’s salmon. Pilly said there was a lot of Asian stuff and it was all running together for her.
Ed, Pilly, Alex and Q Sign picked Tiffany’s dish as the favorite. And up for elimination- everyone picked Tamesha. OVERALL- Group A was a lot meaner and a lot more strategic in their selections… [but the Judges are gonna over rule this cause they can’t just let them pick.]

In the Stew Room, Bad Perm told Pilly she got a big piece of cartilage in her dish. She was mortified. As if announcing the weather, Dusty told Kenny Q Sign they all agreed he had the worst dish. A rivalry born!

Then Monticules asked to see Tiffany and Kevin- [WOW they’re really letting this sh*t follow through?] Colicchio said their peers picked them but they agreed.
Michelle announced the winner: Kevin.
He was given a 6-night trip to the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Hawaiian Village? Where’s that? They didn’t say an island, it could be in Cleveland.

Kevin went back to the Stew Room told the group the Judges wanted to see Tamesha and Kenny Q Sign. [Wow, this is really happening.]

Monticules asked how Tamesha was feeling about being there. She said she was surprised. Gail told her the jus was too spicy. Michelle said with the texture of the scallop in the jus it was like putting another tongue on your tongue.
Ewwwww- that totally made me think of the first time I saw sea urchin sushi cause that sh*t looks like a tongue, yo.
Tamesha said she stood behind her dish 100%. Colicchio said between the jalapeño, ginger, orange, long pepper, rhubarb, sugar and vinegar the scallop was lost. Um, that does sound like a lot.

Gail told Kenny Q Sign there was too much going on (there were 17-25 ingredients!) and it diluted the pure flavors of his dish. When Monticules asked why Kenny thought his peers voted him there he said he was a threat and consistently in the top.
Michelle replied that, as a person just arriving, she really didn’t enjoy the flavors. She said if she could talk about each piece on the dish it would take her through the end of the show!

Wow is Kenny Q Sign going home?!
Will eleven of you lose a pick (and Colucci be eliminated from the pool completely?)

In the end…

it was…

Tamesha who was asked to pack her knives and go.
Teary Tamesha: “This is some bullsh*t. F**k.”
As Tamesha cried and hugged Dusty the longest, Tiffany said Dusty knew the dish and tasted everything and knew the flavors and that you have to watch people. But come on, Tiff, you gotta know that Dusty wanted Q Sign outta there. Though Kenny had been in the bottom more than Tamesha, he had also been in the top more than her.

We’re all still in this sh*t. And next week, Tiffany might be in the sh*t too. Turns out she has a fiancé…


COLUCCI Kenny Gilbert

LB Ed Cotton

STRIPES Kevin Sbraga and Alex Reznik

GBAG Kenny Gilbert and Kelly Liken

LUCY Kevin Sbraga and Kelly Liken

COLANTO Kenny Gilbert and Kelly Liken

KAT BAKER Kenny Gilbert and Tiffany Derry

DAISY Kenny Gilbert and Alex Reznik

CC Kevin Sbraga and Angelo Sosa

HOLLY Kenny Gilbert and Angelo Sosa

BROWNIE Kelly Liken and Alex Reznik

JENNA Kenny Gilbert and Ed Cotton

MATT Kenny Gilbert and Alex Reznik

Q Kenny Gilbert and Kevin Sbraga

RUBY Kenny Gilbert and Stephen Hopcraft

JET LI Kenny Gilbert and Kelly Liken

DOUGLAS Kenny Gilbert and Andrea Curto-Randazzo

MY MAMA Kelly Liken

ME Kevin Sbraga and Kelly Liken

"It is what it is but I'm gonna make something it isn't!"

First order of business, um, I hate to be like this but-- who hasn't sent me cheddar yet?
Yeah. You know who you are. Please remedy the situation!

Second: The Food Network is taking a big bite outta Top Chef! Premiering July 21st at 10pm:
24 Hour Restaurant Battle!
Yup, basically Top Chef’s Restaurant Wars as a series…let’s see if Colicchio shows up and burns an eatery down.

NOW- let’s go to the TC DC patio and the aftermath. 51 (51 years old!) and Arnie are gone and Angelo aka Dusthead is “coaching” Tamesha.
Dusty: “It’s always important to take the first step (toke) … take action … people (the police) chase you, you don’t have to chase them” (but you do have to chase the dragon.) At this point, Dusty is sitting next to Tamesha on the couch, arm around the back of it, Tamesha has her head down as she listens. Hopefully the poor sap has her eyes on her pocketbook.

Angelo confessed he’s attracted to Tamesha’s inner passion. That she holds it in and he’d like to “extract it from her.” Always thinkin ‘bout that pipe…

Meanwhile, Ed from Boston hung out with Tiffany. Ed sat on her bed and they chatted and smiled. Um hmm…SWIRL ALERT! The only thing that could break up a moment like that- crabs!

QuickFire Elimination Challenge:
Padma avec des monticules and James Beard Award Winner and 5 Star Chef Patrick Connell- (WHOA- Lookit the Mt. Rushmore sized head on this guy!) Told the chefs to prepare blue crabs with immunity at stake.
Angelo: “I had crabs so it just brought back bad memories.”
(Stop musclin’ in on my jokes, Dusty.)

Now let me say this: I don’t mind people cutting and eating meat in front of me, doesn’t bother me a bit. (Oh, I did watch Herb’s wife deftly skin a raw chicken in front of me (she whipped that thing off like it was a jacket in less than a minute! Now THAT made me a little queasy) but I gotta say when everyone began smashing Live crabs and cutting Live crabs in half and throwing seasoning on them as they scuttled about I was a teeny skeeved.

Dusty saw Ed using a mango and asked if there were anymore in the back. Ed graciously gave him one as he prepared a Thai basil crab. Dusty went with crab broth with lemongrass and ginger. Bad Perm lamented about the lack of meat in blue crabs. The Giant-headed Guest Judge tasted her dish and said “It’s not your mother’s chowder.” Ouch.

Tamesha used to be allergic to crabs (yipes) and asked Dusty to show her how to get the meat. She made a chowder with lemongrass and ginger (lots of lemongrass being thrown about.) Kenny Q Sign smashed it with three dishes: crab bisque, bruschetta with crab and basil and a warm crab with sesame butter. Q Sign: “I’m a beast.” Yeah. We heard.

Kevin made a crab chowder that literally looked like orange and green skittles in a one of those bowls that has a giant rim. (Why did I pick this guy again?) Amanda aka Pilly did a ginger and juniper sauterine crab salad that Monticules thought was too pungent. Tim made a beer steamed avocado and passion fruit crab and when he presented told the judges you don’t have to do much to it. Tiffany made hot and sour crab and her dimples did the rest. Stephen made a crab salad rolled into sweet bell peppers (Lordy do I ever hate stuff rolled into bell peppers. Mama?! Hey, Mama, remember when you used stuff beef and stewed tomatoes into green peppers? And you’d take them out oven and put one on my plate and I’d whine cause they looked like brains? Well, full disclosure, I would always store them in the back of my mouth (I learned it from my hamster!) and then go to the bathroom and spit it out. Sorry Mama! But I needed that tummy room for your homemade butterscotch cookies.)

Least Favorites: Bad Perm, Pilly and Kevin. Gianthead Judge actually said Kevin’s dish “illustrated confusion” Dayum! Four challenges in a row with Kevin on the bottom.
Successes: Ed, Q Sign’s trio and Dusty.

The winner: ED! Let’s go Bos-ton clap, clap, CLAP, CLAP, CLAP! A new rivalry born!

Monticules explained The Elimination Challenge...
The setting and their ‘grocery’ store? Virginia’s first totally certified organic and humane farm. The chefs were charged with making a minimum of six family style dishes for the forty chefs and farmers who worked there. They wouldn’t see the ingredients or cooking equipment until they arrived AND they had to WORK TOGETHER.

When the chefs returned home the arguing began. Kenny Q Sign stood as everyone else was seated. He said he wanted his presence to be the Alpha male presence.
Sooo…kill all the other men then?
He said they should all pull names for a teammate AND a course. Huh? Dusty said he’d pull for courses but not a name. (I agree, Dusty! Kenny is gonna steamroll anyone he’s paired with so he doesn’t care.) Alex suggested they do teams of four.
Stephen’s idea: “We can put out a fresh fruit platter to represent all of us as a dessert.” Was met with a chorus of “Nooooooooo” peppered with one deep voiced “Negative.” Hilarious!
Then Dusty and Tim stood with Kenny to debate. Finally Q Sign suggested they work with the same partners they had in the last challenge. (Tim & Tiffany, Ed & Alex, Tamesha & Angelo, Bad Perm & Indie Film Star Kelly and Pilly & Stephen) Ed wanted to work with Tiffany and Tiffany was not psyched about having to work with Tim again but everyone reluctantly agreed. After the blow out Ed sat next to Tiffany as she laid on the couch and Tim (psyched to be riding on Tiffany’s back) rubbed his dry a** hands together and it sounded like Ashy Larry’s cousin wiping his jibs.

At the farm they all rushed the ingredients table. They had 3 hours to cook, outdoors (it was freezing btw), on open grills and hot plates. They could use ingredients (spices and such) from the “Toyota Mobile Pantry.” (Really? Really Toyota?) Tim said the “Toyota Mobile Pantry” was off the hook just like they told him to say.

Kevin had no confidence. Zero. Kenny Q Sign took over. Kevin decided to make a cauliflower cous cous. Kelly wanted beets, Tim had all the beets and all turnips. She made a deal and snagged them. Tim wasn’t happy. He also wasn’t sure how to prepare his turnips (vegetables? You’re not sure how to prepare vegetables?) Tiffany stood back and let him sink or swim. Angelo watched Tamesha work on a super sexy cherry compote as he made love to a duck.
No comment.

Then, as the chefs tried to stake out space on the four tables they had to work on, Tamesha knocked over Kevin’s prepared cauliflower!
Kevin asked if the wind blew it over. Q Sign said he didn’t know what happened- why not just say it?
Meanwhile Dusty scooped the top of if off the grass and put it back in the bowl. Yeah, now you know how it goes down where he works.
Kevin got some broccoli and zucchini and said it was time to take a risk. Tim tried to make a turnip moussiine but then changed his mind. Kelly had time while the beets roasted and made a dessert (she’s got spunk!)

Tamesha told Bad Perm her pork loin was never going to cook. It was too big. Team K (Kevin and Kenny Q Sign) agreed “it’s not going to happen.” Frazzled, Bad Perm cut the large loins into pieces as…
The guests began to arrive!
The Gianthead Judge in a lilac shirt and a beige and red plaid jacket. (OH that’s who he reminds me of- Fred Astaire as a the stop motion mailman in ‘Santa Claus is Coming To Town.’) When Gianthead saw the food and tasted Pilly’s soup, he said the “rusticity” was shocking. He didn’t dig Pilly’s country vegetable minestrone with massive undercooked carrots. Cooking 101: you can’t cut veggies different sizes cause they don’t cook evenly, Pilly.
Stephen’s salad (hold up, you took three hours to make a salad!?) of balsamic onion, egg, and apple was wet and over seasoned according to Monticules. Colicchio was pissed that Stephen had bruised the lettuces. He wanted more attention paid to lettuces! Me too!
Team K’s cous cous and hot curried eggplant with peppers and carrot tops was “lovely.” Tim’s roasted turnips and asparagus with honey was a “mishmash.” Tiffany’s collard greens with swiss chard and chanterelles were undercooked. (Collards are usually boiled to death, coincidentally that’s exactly what your house smells like when you cook them.)
Bad Perm’s pork loin with Indie Film Star Kelly’s five-spiced apple and beets with shallots and balsamic jus was “perfect.”
Dusty and Tamesha’s ginger grilled duck breast with oregano honey and cherry compote red wine balsamic with grilled asparagus salad was also good. Ed and Alex’s beef tenderloin stuffed with ratatouille would have been better unstuffed (see, Mama!?)

In the Stew Room, Monticules entered and asked for Team K, Bad Perm and Indie Film Star Kelly. Monticules was usually tough on curry but she loved Kenny’s and, though the judges appreciated Indie Film Star Kelly’s extra credit strawberry rhubarb with whipped cream and basil dessert, Gianthead picked Q Sign’s dish as the winner!

Kenny (also affectionately called Big Daddy, Black Angus and Big Sexy by his housemates) killed it again. Though I must say I’m a bit jaded with him saying he’s a beast all the time. He better peel off his skin and turn into a panther a la CAT PEOPLE at the end of this thing or I’m gonna be miffed. Meanwhile glassy eyed Stephen (again!?), Tim and Pilly were called to the Judge’s Table.

Rippert ripped Tim and told him his seasoning was bland. Colicchio was pissed that Tim thought all white with turnips and potatoes needed some color and that’s why he added asparagus. Colicchio: you didn’t like your dish!

Gianthead told Stephen there were two approaches to serving a salad and in a bowl is the worst possible way, a plate allows you to continually toss the salad as you eat it and “to dump gloppy dressing on it is rather like a concrete truck pouring on top of silk.”
Rippert asked Pilly what’s in a minestrone soup. She began to list her ingredients really loud like everyone in DC wants the hear what the eff she has to say and then Rippert cut in: “A minestrone doesn’t have pasta?”
She stood with her mouth open for flies.
Colicchio quizzed Pilly on why she cut all her veggies the same size. (Really what is this girl doing here?) And Gianthead threw in that the vegetables were cut in a grandmotherly fashion as a grandmother might “do with an ax.”
What kind of household did this Easter Island Head Dood grow up in?

Back in the Stew Room as the Judges decided, Stephen jumped bad and said he told them: “It is what it is but I’m gonna make it something it isn’t! And here you go I’m gonna throw this in and look at that!”
Oh Stephen, now is not the time to get your neck movin like Tiffany’s.

In the end…Pilly and Stephen survived by the skin of their teeth.
Tim was asked to pack his knives and go.

He said to keep the love train rollin and to use salt and pepper. Hey, a tie in to the Salt & Pepa series on vh1?! Oh, no. He was being serious...


COLUCCI Kenny Gilbert

LB Tamesha Warren and Ed Cotton

STRIPES Kevin Sbraga and Alex Reznik

GBAG Kenny Gilbert and Kelly Liken

LUCY Kevin Sbraga and Kelly Liken

COLANTO Kenny Gilbert and Kelly Liken

KAT BAKER Kenny Gilbert and Tiffany Derry

DAISY Kenny Gilbert and Alex Reznik

CC Kevin Sbraga and Angelo Sosa

HOLLY Kenny Gilbert and Angelo Sosa

BROWNIE Kelly Liken and Alex Reznik

JENNA Kenny Gilbert and Ed Cotton

MATT Kenny Gilbert and Alex Reznik

Q Kenny Gilbert and Kevin Sbraga

RUBY Kenny Gilbert and Stephen Hopcraft

JET LI Kenny Gilbert and Kelly Liken

DOUGLAS Kenny Gilbert and Andrea Curto-Randazzo

MY MAMA Kelly Liken

ME Kevin Sbraga and Kelly Liken

"If it's overcooked, it's on you."

First order of business, lookit our old friend Art Smith from Top Chef Masters! He really lopped off the pounds. Good for you, Arty!

Second, I guess I sorta didn’t pay attention to this at first but, did anyone else realize that Dial is giving the 100k this year on Top Chef?
Dial? That’s a bit of a stretch, isn’t it? At least when it was the ‘Glad family of products’ it had something to do with food. Wait, is it because this shower gel crap has “fruit oil” in it? Now I’m thinking of gel cream that looks like Play Doh with glitter in it as an amuse bouche. Yuck.

At the TC DC pad, Arnold ironed his jeans as he reflected on- wait, Arnold ironed his jeans?! Who the hell irons jeans? (Oh, besides you, Mama, besides you. Shout out to Mama and Niagara spray starch!) Now fold up that ironing board cause it’s time for the Quickfire Challenge!

Colicchio entered with Padma Mounds Monticules who was wearing some sort of black sequined Japanese breastplate on top of her silk tank top (that or she hugged a giant pan of burnt brownies) to announce that they both had recent additions to their families. And that the chefs would meet them because they had to baby-sit that night!
I keed.
I am keeder. Just wanted to make sure you were reading because, well, I dunno if you knew but…Douglas isn’t.
Douglas? Your fellow pool competitor? He said he’s only in it for the money and deletes these emails as soon as they arrive without reading them because he hates reality television and wants no part of this.
Except for the money.
For those of you who know the usually cowlicked crowned gent, perhaps you can mention how entertained you are by these emails, you know, even if you’re not. And not to him directly but to some passersby to make him remorseful. That or just unfurl his cowlick by socking him in the belly.

But back to the Quickfire!
The chefs had 45 minutes to make a dish for Tom and Monticules AND a dish that would satisfy their baby’s palettes. Now remember, these are Tom and Monticule’s kids we’re talking about here so even running out to get Donatella Versace breast milk wouldn’t satisfy them. (Besides, I think that milk would be powdered.) Nope, they had to make a dish for the parents and a puree version for their spoiled babies and it’s a high stakes challenge, the winners (they pick two) get 10k! But NO IMMUNITY!

51 has “never had a baby.”
See, she doesn’t know what babies like because she’s the furthest away from baby age. She’s 51, for God’s Sake. She can cook, streeeeetch aaaaand, cook. But she can’t cook nuttin’ in her babymaking oven. She made chicken and tropical fruits though she “never had baby food before.”
Sidebar: you don’t have to have a baby to eat baby food. When I was in middle school, I used to buy Gerber strained plums all the time. Delicious!

Arnie said if he won he would give the 10k to two orphanages in Thailand that specialize in children infected with HIV and AIDS.
That’s interesting Arnie because I recall a couple of eps back where you were given $130 to spend to create a healthy school lunch for 50 kids when you said: “When I go out I spend $130 on myself!”
Sorry Thai orphans, Arnie needed a rose scented paraffin wax pedicure, No Soup For You!

Alex said he would spend the money on a hooker and an 8 ball. (I’m really looking for him to rock those Groucho Marx glasses soon.) Kevin did a roasted duck and banana polenta, thinking him having a kid at home and a baby on the way meant he had this in the bag. Tamesha made vegetable chowder with licorice oil. Kelly made a spiced rub pork loin (you know, cause babies love pig balls) with fresh ginger and lemon juice.

Whoa Kenny Q Sign’s Baby Mama died in a car accident when his daughter was just over a year. Damn. So he used to make all of her baby food. Wow. He started in on a Panang curry chicken. Stephen saw Kenny making a brunoise (pronounced brun wah) of apples and claimed that it was something his daughter’s would immediately choke on. Oh, I see Stephen, you’ve passed your choking skills on to your twin daughters.

Dusthead Angelo’s son, Jacob Elias is- whoa Angelo has son!? A son he didn’t sell in an alley for bumps that would later turn out to be flour?
Wow. Lots of revelations on this ep, including Kevin’s pettiness as he accosted Timothy for getting pepper on his halfway prepared plates. The scolding he gave Timothy blew it. Kevin didn’t get everything on his plate. Suckah. When the judges went to taste, Monticules discovered a lemon seed in Indie Film Star Kelly’s pureed baby food. Salted! Dusthead’s baby food (they had to put it in jars) was layered like tiramisu.

Tom picked two crap dishes: Timothy’s overcooked lamb and Alex’s herbaceous dilled baby food. Monticules picked Kevin’s duck because it had a pool of blood under it and Indie Film’s Star Kelly’s bland meat. (Again with the blandness Kelly? Come on!)
Tom’s faves: 51 (51 Years Old!) and Tamesha’s. Monticules picked Dusthead’s for the elegant look of his baby food and Kenny Q Sign’s.
The winners? Tamesha (wow!) and Kenny Q Sign. (A rivalry born!)

For the Elimination Challenge some chick who had something to do with the Hilton appeared to relay the challenge which had to do with creating breakfast, lunch and dinner options for the “busy traveler.”
The winning dish would be on the Hilton menu. They were to compete tournament style in teams of two cutting the best teams until the two crappiest competed in the dinner challenge and TWO chefs would go home! Oh snap!

They had 30 minutes to shop and $200.
Tiffany: “Tim and I are together. Yay. Tim has been on the bottom lately.” Tiffany said she was very concerned but smiled and showed her dimples the whole time and quite frankly could have been doing a Colgate commercial.

Arnie said if he and 51 won it would be like 2.5 or 3 wins for him and people might think he was more than a Louis Vuitton bag. No he said that, seriously, I didn’t write it but I wish I did.

When they walked into the TC kitchen for the Elimination Challenge they see- OMG Mike (Top Chef 6), Brian (last season’s loser to his hot brother Michael) and Spike with the hat (from season 4), the Hilton chick and Colicchio, Monticules and Rippert. These chefs are in for it, and I don’t mean that in a good way.

The teams: Tiffany & Timothy, Ed from Boston (who wanted Tiffany) & Alex, Arnie & 51, Stephen & Amanda (who said if we were to win this challenge it would say to the competition that they’ve overlooked a few people. Listen, Pilly, I’m going on the record and saying you and Stephen are not winning, okay? I will eat…let’s see, what can I eat around here? Um, I will eat more of the pineapple I already ate if you win. (A win win.)), Kelly & Bad Perm, Kenny Q Sign & Kevin, Dusthead &Tamesha.

In the extra content bump (that’s what I call the thirty second sliver of show that comes mixed in with the commercials, Mama) Angelo said Tamesha was sexy (?!) and had “an inner lion.”
Yeah, also she has 10k that she won in the Quickfire. Angelo ain’t slick, he’s lookin’ for a loan.

During breakfast play action, Alex & Ed were slow with the Hollandaise sauce, it never made it to the plate AND one of their breakfast patties. The judges seemed to beat everyone’s dishes down except Tim & Tiffany’s.
Their favorite breakfasts? Tim & Tiffany’s crab cake benedict and Amanda & Stephen’s poached egg with pancetta?! Really?
Time for me to eat pineapple…everyone else had to move on to lunch.

Rivals Dusthead and Kenny Q Sign were both pissed that they had to make another meal. Indie Film Star was frustrated that they weren’t getting any feedback. Yah, no time for that, honey. You’re in an action film now. Act like it.
Kevin & Kenny Q Sign made a chick pea pasta. Dusthead & Tamesha made beef carpaccio with jicama salad. Arnie & 51 made a tuna cannelloni, a tuna salad that looked like sushi (huh? I don’t think that’s gonna be a simple dish for the busy traveler) and Ed & Alex made scallops and ricotta gnudi (like a pillowy gnocchi with cheese instead of potato), Bad Perm & Kelly made a crispy skin red snapper with salad white beans and sourdough. Colicchio was mad that they used canned beans…
Best Lunches: Alex & Ed and… Dusthead & Tamesha!

Kenny Q Sign & Kevin are on the chopping block?! (A rivalry born!)
Dood, if they get eliminated cut that’s the whole pool
Also up for elimination? Bad Perm & Kelly and Arnie & 51. Wow.
Bad Perm was miffed- she was “one of Food & Wine” magazine’s best chefs.” Um, just checked your bio, Bad Perm, that was in 2000. You don’t see me touting around Sylvia Plath Poetry Award I got in high school. Shut your pie hole and cook your face off, frizzy!

3 teams – 60 minutes to cook dinner – one team is going home!
Arnie: “I was surprised that 51 was getting pissed off.”
(Don’t get me started on I, I, I, Arnie.)
Then another shocker! Team K (Kevin & Kenny) and Bad Perm & Kelly were BOTH making short ribs.
Uh oh.
Bad Perm said the jus (sauce or liquid) was “the business” in a short rib dish and Team K didn’t have enough business. Hmm.
Arnie & 51 were going for some sort of pasta and focaccia but Team K turned 51’s oven down by mistake…!
Arnie dropped the pasta 12 minutes “ahead of time” according to 51.
Arnie (to 51, as he morphed into the gf that forgot the concert tickets as they sped back home to get them): “Are you mad at me?”
51 said: “If it’s overcooked it’s on you.”

The Presentation!
Team K’s braised beef short rib with horseradish, spaghetti squash, carrots and tempura horseradish went over well but as one lady (hey, there’s Another lady on the judging panel? Who the hell-- Oh, for Corn’s Sake too many judges and too many courses…) said there wasn’t enough sauce…

Indie Film Star Kelly (who was now in a horror film being in the bottom three) & Bad Perm presented their braised short rib with polenta, mushrooms, pearl onions and crispy shallots.
Pause Moment: Colicchio sort of sighing like he was tired of eating.
The Film Star said if she goes home for this the judges have No Idea. (She’s got spunk that girl!) Mike from Season 6 was quick to make comments as if he and his horrible tattoos were ever going to be invited back to judge again. No need to try to prove yourself, dood.

Arnie & 51 brought out a pineapple red curry mussels with squid ink pasta, coconut milk and foccacia. Arnie: “They can think one of two ways, what is this kid doing giving me spaghetti or two, this kid was thinking totally out of the box…” The judges thought the pasta wasn’t cooked.

At the Judge’s Table, the best dish of the day was:
Indie Film Star Kelly and Bad Perm!!!
(OMG are Kenny Q Sign and Kevin going home?!)
In a addition, Indie Film Star and Bad Perm got a real prize 6-night trips, one to Italy and one to Spain. Dayum!

After they left, Arnie put on his “everything is great” hat and rebuffed all that was offered. 51 thought the pasta was undercooked, Arnie said it was “cooked beautifully” with a giant smile and that he was surprised this was coming to surface. Huh?
Um, you have one of the LOSING DISHES Arnie. Be contrite, admit your mistake and say stuff like: “I have so much more to offer as a chef, Chef.”
WTH? Has he Watched any seasons of this show?
51’s eyes began to water.

Team K said they were glazing their short ribs even though Rippert and Colicchio didn’t think so. Rippert couldn’t find the horseradish flavor.
Colicchio: “Why should that dish keep you in the competition?” At this point Kevin said something so rote and generic that if I had heard him speak for more than two minutes I would never have picked him to win. He would have been better off weeping and saying he had a baby on the way and really bad hemorrhoids.

Arnie: “I…” (I, I, I, I much?) “brought something to the table that was completely different than everyone else’s, if I were on a panel of four judging…”(which you will never be, honey) “I would like to see some kind of creativity and this quirky avant-garde approach is a direct reflection of who I am as a person.”
Colicchio smirked to High Heaven.

The Judges thought Arnie & 51 took a risk and that was cool but admitted squid ink was a hard sell on a hotel menu. The fact that there was not enough glaze on Team K’s short ribs was dissected thoroughly.

In the Stew Room, Kevin talked about instructing the guests on how to eat.
Pilly told him ‘you’re no one to tell people how to eat food.’
Kevin (like the girl who’s about to take off her earrings and bust some a**) Whooooo are yoooou?!
(I like how it’s getting a little catty between chefs. Cat Stew!)

Back at the Judging Table…
51 and Arnie were asked to pack their knives and go.

Arnie: I think I put a little bright flavor into the competition.
That’s not what makes you win, honey. Also, you taste kinda bitter.
Oh THEN Arnie said 51 never told him she wasn’t pleased and he was under the impression everything was fine.
Um, so what did you apologize for, Arnie? Remember when you apologized? What a giant liar. I weep for those orphanages that he claims he’s helping. But not for him and neither should any of you.
We’re all still in it to win it…

Tracey: "I think I made some good lemonade." Um, honey, you're grilling meat.

I had another Special Viewing Buddy for an episode. My friend, Risa Mickenberg came to town for a sleep over!
Risa is a writer, director and leader of the band Jesus H. Christ and the Four Hornsmen The Apocalypse.
She doesn’t own a teevee (she insisted that my new one wasn’t a television at all, it was like “being in the movies!” Shout out to Colucci and Ellie Lee (TechPals™ for life!)) but being a tremendously good cook herself and the having gifted me a Mark Bittman cookbook, she was a much better sport than my niece.

The ep began with Amanda brushing her teeth and saying how the other chefs (um, and me. Me too, sherry jus) thought she should have gone home in the last Elimination Challenge. Kenny received a greeting card from his girlfriend (who signed her name Juicy) that could have very well been an illustration of Ziggy giving us the Q sign. [Oh snap! A line of Frat Greeting Cards! That’s mine, don’t bite!]

Meanwhile, Dusthead Angelo, sat outside on the curb eating a bowl of cereal the way he does every morning after he barely survives falling in a K Hole. He reflected on what Kenny said in judging the day prior (the truth, Dusty, it was the truth) and said it “put a damper in his mind.” Similar to the way you dampen the cotton ball in the spoon with hot heron so you can get all of it into the syringe?
Dusty said Kenny’s talk made him isolate himself. No, it wasn’t the remnants of the resin Dusty sucked from the one-hitter he had sewn into the lining of his suitcase. It was Kenny. But hold on to your butane-blackened paraphernalia it’s the Quickfire Elimination Challenge!

Monticules introduced pastry god Johnny Iuzzini (who, from the looks of his pompadour, I thought was there to tell us about GREASE 3) and Gail Simons (What up Gail? Still looking good, kudos to your stylist this season thus far) as the hosts of the next Bravo juggernaut: Top Chef Desserts!
The chefs clapped waaaay too long for Johnny and Gail.
Hey, know what would have been really funny? If Gail was dressed like Sandy from the final scene in GREASE with the tight pants and the heels- “Tell me about it, Stud.” But maybe then Johnny would have taken the opportunity to smash a deliciously baked pie into a producer’s face.
Speaking of pies- the chefs each had to make one SNAP!
Tiffany (in a voice that would have made Jackée Harry on 227 go limp) “…desserts, Noooooooo!”
The winner gets…immunity!

Alex (sporting a new pair of glasses (eyewear count: 2) to camera) made a tapioca pie with an almond crust. Risa wisely pointed out that tapioca looks like pus. I told her I never ate it because I tried it once and it was like eating coagulated yellow blood with chunky platelets.

Ed made a pie that had celery in it. Uh huh. Stephen made a curry apple whiskey date with saffron glaze. He thought he had a shot. Huh? Dusty told Tracey her hideous blueberry almond pie she made without measuring anything that tasted like butter was on the verge of being burnt. Um hm. She scrapped the disaster and started over again.

Kenny Q Sign made a bananas foster pie with Chinese Five Spice. Droooooool. If you’ve never had bananas foster- bananas flambéd in brandy and poured over vanilla ice cream, I will say this: it was the only reason to endure the gluttonous Norwegian cruise I took my Mama on two decades ago. You know, aside from the adventure and the great company. Hi, Mama! Hi!

Amanda made a apple pie with rosemary, bourbon and vanilla. She said to the judges that she thought she did a good job given the fact that she’s not a pastry chef. Grease 3 said that was a cop out.

Indie Film Star Kelly made a spiced raspberry and chocolate Grenache tart. Dusty never cooked a pie in his life (just drugs.) So he ‘tricked his brain’ made a sweet potato curry concoction. Tiffany made peach cobbler. 51 (51 years old! Older than anyone else!) cooked, stretched and cooked her way into a mango pie with a basil crust.
Gail: “Did you ever make that crust before with the basil?”
No, 51 answered.
Alex ended up with a white chocolate tapioca pie with an almond crust. Grease 3 asked if there was egg in it? Yup.
Grease 3: “So it’s really like a quiche.”
Then he, Monticules and Gail smirked and spun on their heels away from his car wreck pie at the exact same time. Grease is the word.

Their favorites were: Indie Film Star Kelly’s and Stephen’s (shocking!) the winner- Kenny! Oh snap they tricked us!
A rivalry born!
Kenny Q Sign: “Once I get into a groove it’s over, it’s done.”
As Dusty bit his fist and mopped up the blood to burn it down and smoke it later, Monticules told them The Elimination Challenge:
Each Chef was tasked with having to cookout at the annual summer picnic for the 150 interns of Capitol Hill.

While shopping we learned that Amanda had…a problem with pills (!!!) “and eventually anything she could get her hands on”!!!!!
Say word?! (No wonder she wanted to chef up sherry jus to the youts!)

Arnold made lamb meatballs and dreamt of having a sous chef. Dusty’s concept: an Asian picnic with Vietnamese beef. Tracey told herself to put her back into it. Yes. To make up for her lame attempt at a meal she spoke to herself saying “sugar snap peas” a lot and trying to laugh away an oncoming heart attack. Meanwhile Ed from Boston worked on a Spiced tuna loin sandwich.
Special Viewing Buddy Risa: Tuna has loins!?

Alex and Amanda argued over an oven as Colicchio entered to check in. Amanda said she labeled the oven- prison rules. Colicchio said he had never been to prison he didn’t know the rules.
Amanda: “Neither have I chef.”
Yah right, Pilly.

That night at the TC DC house, everyone questioned Amanda’s dish. She didn’t steam her pork. She seared it and braised it.
Stephen: “Did you pull the bones out?”
Amanda: “No.”
Then Dusty, Tracey and Stephen gave her the “What you talkin’ ‘bout, Pilly?” look. (RIP Gary Coleman!)
Dusty said to Camera that Amanda was a good chef but asked:
Could Amanda beat him? No.

On the lawn the chefs ran to the grills and, from a distance, Arnold basically copied everything Kenny did. Copy Cat!
Arnie made a sesame lamb meatball kabob with roasted gazpacho.
Tim helped some of the ladies figure out their grills as Tracey asked how you turn the grill down.
She asked how you turn down an open fire. Jesus take the grill.
Dusty created an Asian taco with “clean sexy flavors.” Tamesha made fennel citrus salad and skirt steak. Alex made his favorite thing to cook, pork butt. He actually said he has the winning dish and he’d “wanna eat the a** out of this pig all day.” Maybe his next pair of glasses Alex wears will be those plastic Groucho Marx ones…

Hold up, Top Chef Master in the house! Jonathan Waxman (the man who taught Bobby Flay how to grill) ponied up to the table with Arnie, Tamesha, Alex and Dusty’s offerings. The verdict? Arnie was talented. Tamesha’s flank steak was overcooked and Alex’s sauce was boring. He thought Dusty’s dish was magazine worthy.

Timothy made pork two ways (dried and wet) and as he served the judges a goose flew overhead and shat on his table. Terribly telling as Monticules shunned his side dishes said maybe the bird knew something we didn’t. Indie Film Star Kelly made a bison burger. She went simple, too simple, the judges thought it was bland. Pilly did dry rub baby back ribs and grilled asparagus with lemon-smoked bacon. Gail said she liked Pilly’s rib better than Tim’s and Waxman said grilled asparagus gets his heartstrings. Huh?
If I could just speak to you for a moment, Mr. Waxman?
I don’t doubt that with all the meat you’ve consumed in your lifetime, that your heart has strings but this is NOT a grilled veggie challenge. Kevin made flank steak and rice and beans. It was deemed poor texture and bland. Ouch.

Up next?
51 did leg of lamb with zucchini spaghetti with cheese that Monticules said felt heavy even though it looked light. Kenny did a harissa marinated pork loin and quinoa salad which was deemed well cooked.
Special Viewing Buddy Risa said harissa is a middle eastern spice that’s spicy indeed. She also touted the virtues of Tiam near her place in NYC.
Tracey (who couldn’t work the meat grinder and make her own sausage the day prior) ended up serving Italian sausage and fennel sliders. Waxman said “it ain’t no slider.” It was too big and a little undercooked. (No make analogies necessary.)

Tiffany did wild salmon and Israeli couscous. Bland. Waxman said to have a glaze with flavor is sad.

Bad Perm did spicy root beer glazed skirt steak that they thought tasted too sweet. Stephen did sea bass wrapped in bacon (“to keep it moist” ew.) on top of ratatouille and couscous. Gail said it was stringy and tough. Double jeopardy! Ed did spicy grill tuna loin with lentil hummus. He said he was confident and his father was an executive chef and we saw a photo- WHOA that’s where all that eyebrow hair comes from!
Ed said, nonchalantly, his father told him years ago that he had already surpassed him.
Wow. When you finish up at the BBQ, just make your Dad’s coffin in front of us, Ed? But, true to his Dad’s predictions, they loved Ed’s food.

Dusty tried Pilly’s ribs and his eyes rolled back like it was an eight ball. He said it was the best thing he tasted that day. To camera he said it was better than his and implored everyone else to try it.
Does anyone else think Dusty and Pilly are gonna end up being the couple on the murderous rampage in the movie THE PERFECT GETAWAY?
(btw it was actually not that bad of a flick until…MINOR-SPOILER ALERT: the mountainous flashbacks towards the end of the second half.)

During the bump we learned that Tracey is 85% psychic. Correction: clairvoyant. Huh? She told Bad Perm that her husband was “going in a new direction.” And Bad Perm’s vein popped out and she put her head in her hand. Sooooo, Bad Perm’s husband is gay? Let’s hope we get a follow up on that.

In the Stew Room Tracey said everybody’s food was good and Stephen told everyone that he thinks he nailed it. Blank stares ACTIVATE!
Then Monticules asked for Arnie, Pilly, Dusty (that addict continues to hit a vein. Pun intended) and Ed from Boston- the winning dishes!
Waxman told Pilly: “You killed me with the asparagus”
Mr. Waxman, excuse me, at this point in your life asparagus won’t kill you. I know you’re just making an analogy here but I really want you to eat more roughage, okay? (Your wife asked me to tell you.)
The winner: ARNIE!

The bottom four:
Tim (surprised), Stephen (eyes teary) and Tracey and Kevin.

Gail said Stephen’s bass didn’t come together. Colicchio said the bacon had no char and he needed to spend more time on the grill and his couscous was greasy.
Tim’s food was called unseasoned and Waxman said he didn’t push any limits.

Monitcules: “Kevin, I’m gonna say your dish was the safest Puerto Rican food I’ve ever had.”
Special Viewing Buddy Risa: Ever!? Come on, Monticules!
Kevin defended himself and said the Puerto Rican people he’s familiar with? That’s the food they would do.
Gail: “Are they chefs?”
Kevin: “No.”
Gail: “Exactly. You are. So show us food that a great Puerto Rican chef would make. Step it up!”
(Risa and I both agreed they said “Puerto Rican” a lot.)

They said Tracey used too much fennel and Gail told her her patty was raw. Colicchio said “…if that’s what you call Italian food it’s almost insulting to Italians. Me being one.”

When they returned to the Stew Room, Tracey asked who was going to miss her the most. No one answered.
In the end, Waxman said his ten-year old son could have done better than Tracey’s dish. So I guess Tracey IS clairvoyant, she was asked to pack her knives and go.
Colicchio: “all and all it wasn’t a good day for American chefs.”
Special Viewing Buddy Risa: Yeah, you let America down.

Next week, a double elimination!
Until then Happy Fourth, Pool Pals.

"I'm actually very comfortable because I turned a rock into a wheel"

Let me apologize again for what was certainly the most incomplete, poorly phrased piece of writing I have ever emailed.
(SAY LIKE POPEYE) How embar-assking!
I gasped reading that thing back.

Now let me describe a little bit of what it was like to be typing furiously and trying to get the email out as the old ep was screening while the new ep was on whilst my 18 year old niece sat next to me on the couch, drumming her fingers, saying stuff like: "Who’s Stripes? They keep texting you.”
"Do you know what you want for dinner?"
"Do you want me to call Nana and get her picks?"
Yes! Yes! Call Nana and get her picks, please! Jesus.

My niece is adorable but she hates writing and needs to have music blaring while she does homework so she doesn't understand my eagerness to complete crafting things in silence.
She loves CSI, NCIS, L&O (all versions), Criminal Minds and Cold Case and abhors reality TV (with the exception of Wipe Out.) Since staying with me she is thoroughly upset that she is now almost addicted to The Bachelorette. [Shout Out to Frank! You're the realest and quirkiest one left, don't lose hope!]

LB sent me an email after the debacle went out. Thankfully this was the only thing she observed:
"For someone who always counts the blacks, your Mom oddly picked 2 white girls...what's up with that?"
Ooooo weee, what’s up with that? What’s up with that?
I called Mama and she laughed and said, “Well, I don’t know, I was rushed.
Note: Mama does Not Like To Be Rushed.
Mama also didn’t seem to miss wide-eyed, slack-mouthed, non-pastry making John aka Male Carla Cosby and after watching this clip where John discusses his sweaty dreadlocks that might knock you down- ew. I don’t think you will either:

And now all hands on deck, it’s time for the Quickfire Challenge –
A Bi-PartiSandwich Quickfire!
(Come on, that’s pretty cute, you can tell some writer was happy with that. In fact, I’m going on record now and say that there will be several Bi-PartiSandwich Shops opening in DC courtesy of Bravo early next year.)

Deep dimpled Sam Kass, White House Chef, and Padma avec des monticules told the chefs to draw knives to find out their partner and said they had 30 minutes to make a sandwich. Right away Tamesha said it seemed too easy. (Cue the JAWS theme.)

Suddenly, Angelo: “It would be embarrassing to lose this Quickfire because I have a sandwich shop in New York City…”
Pardon? Didn’t mention that before.
See how he is? Angelo is that MF who will borrow your car for two days and return it with a dent, on E, without saying a word. Then, after bumming three (three!) cigarettes from you, let it slip that he HAS a car he just needed yours for a friend who had to run an errand in Southie. Huh?
It’s like this homeless guy who asked me for money so he could get a bite to eat once. I said, Come on, I’ll walk you into the pizza shop right here and buy you a slice. Him: “Oh, but see, I um- I wanna get these chicken wings down Dudley. They’re real good and they only have them there.” Okay, Angelo. Okay.

Tamesha’s spidey sense was dead on as Monticules and Dimples revealed the chef teams would have to compete in aprons sewn together! They could only use one hand each!
I thought the same thing Timothy did: “…this is genius, who got high and came up with this idea?”
Timothy was paired with Alex who screamed like a lady when he had to use his left hand to hold the loaf of bread and Tim tried to cut it. “You need to calm down!” Alex said. I think at that point his glasses were mirrors and he was talking to himself. They made a ground lamb with mornay sauce and egg.

Kenny was tied with Ed from Boston. Earlier in the ep, Ed shaved his face in his shared bedroom. Hopefully he could resist trimming his pubes in the walk-in freezer. Kenny and Ed made a Korean chili rubbed ahi tuna with a cuke and mango slaw.

Angelo & Tracey were paired and we learned (gag) that Tracey has a secret crush on him. In one shot (Pause it!) she actually semi-cups her stubby paw around Angelo’s ass when they hobbled to the fridge. It looked like Kristen Wiig’s babydoll hand in that Lawrence Welk skit on SNL. Angelo (playing the samich heavy in the team) orchestrated a flounder marinated in fish sauce and sirracha mayo with a salad on top. Angelo called his “beautiful Japanese sauce” liquid love.
Know what else is liquid? Morphine.
Yeah, my sister was given some for pain once. She threw it away. I told her she should have at least given it to me so I could sell it. Not to Angelo though, I don’t need to be paid in flounder.

Elsewhere, Arnold and Indie Film Star Kelly were making a curry rubbed grilled chicken with honey and Indonesian sambal, cuke and mint. Stephen & Jacqueline? A chicken breast on white bread and bacon mixed in with balsalmic onion…booooring! They actually stabbed the sandwich halves with giant rosemary spears.
Corn! (Not in the sandwich. The sandwich itself was pure corn.)

Tamesha told Amanda she wanted to be on the right before they put the apron on. She didn’t think she could trust her. Amanda (who reminds me of a slightly more talented Leah aka Laya (the whore that tried to bed Hosea and anyone else who would cut an onion for her inept a**) from Season 5) is the only person who cut their palm while peeling potatoes during the Mise En Place last ep. ‘Nuff said

Kevin & Bad Perm (Andrea Curto Randazzo) made a Philly Cuban with pickle and gruyere. Tiffany & 51. (51 Years Old!) worked well together it seemed. You could tell 51 was still in instructor mode since she came up with the idea of veal saltimbocca with goat cheese and peppers but Tiffany followed happily with a “Yeah baby, I got this one in the bag!”
Tiffany has a great smile but she seems to end every sentence with a loud catchphrase like a day player on 227 looking to get Marla Gibb’s spot.

When Dimples & Monticules asked how the challenge was for Angelo and Tracey he said: “She’s like my twin sister.”
Dimples replied: “But not identical.”
Amanda’s presentation sucked: “We just have a grilled sandwich…”
I had a friend who used to take a cab and when she was only going eight blocks from where she was she would say Sorry before and after she announced the destination. Come on, it’s money! Bottom line, if you’re not so down on it he won’t be either.

In the end, Dimples called out Stephen & Jacqueline and Tiffany & 51 for being crappy. The best two sandwiches?
Kenny & Ed from Boston and Angelo & Tracey. And the winner…
Angelo & Tracey. The prize? Immunity!
A rivalry born!
There was much gnashing of teeth. Kenny wondered what he had to do at this point…

Elimination Challenge – School Lunch!
In the spirit of The First Lady’s initiative to end childhood obesity in a generation (good luck with that Mrs. O!) they were given $2.68/child and charged with working in teams of four and creating a healthy lunch (main course, veggie, fruit & dessert.) That’s $134 for all fifty kids! Then Dimples yanked $4 away- Lordy. Arnold said when he goes out he spends $130 on himself. Then he removed one of his giant white Tic Tac sized bonded teeth and chewed it.

Angelo & Tracey (as the winners) picked Kenny & Ed to work with. Kenny said that meant instead of a 25% chance of going home there was a 50% chance for him because they had immunity. Umm hmmm…
Angelo decided they’d do a burger and said kids love peanut butter and celery. Kenny asked what was healthy about that, someone said celery.
Ummm hmmm…

Amanda, Tamesha, Jacqueline and Stephen used their 30 minutes combating each other. Amanda wanted to make chicken in sherry. What?! These are elementary kids. I mean sure they’re in DC so maybe they already have guns but...
Amanda talked down to everyone. Amanda is 27. Why these chefs are actually listening- I have no idea. Tamesha said if you clash with her you’re done. Um, Amanda, a word here: da islands.
That’s where Tamesha is from. I’m not saying she’ll put roots on you during the shooting of the program but if your hair starts falling out when TC DC wraps…

Tiffany, Arnold and 51 were led by Indie Film Star, Kelly who wanted to do pork taco carnitas. Tiffany said they need to all be in agreement. (Yah right. Try talking louder in the huddle, homegirl.) As they all shopped at CostCo (Amanda clomping down aisles like a newborn colt) everyone ended up being over budget and having to compensate. Jacqueline had too much chocolate and was left with bananas and milk.

Back in the TC Kitchen, 51 did black bean and sweet potatoes, Arnold corn salsa, Indie Film Star, the pork, and Tiffany was making caramelized sweet potato with chocolate sorbet. She was not pleased with the size of Indie Film Star’s homemade tortillas.

Bad Perm and Alex did coleslaw and chicken, Kevin made the dessert- melon skewers with yogurt that looked like whip cream, Timothy made mac & cheese.

Tracey made a chicken burger, Kenny made an apple bread pudding, Ed from Boston made sweet potato puree. Angelo?
Angelo prepared a piece of celery with peanut butter mousse.
Yup. You read correct. (Immunity.) Tracey had enough time (immunity) to ask Indie Film Star what she was making like they were on a chat show. IFS announced the carnitas were “actually my idea” which prompted glares from Arnold and Tiffany.

Amanda made a sherry braised chicken thigh (really? No one stopped her?) Stephen made rice pilaf, Tamesha did a green bean salad and Jacqueline made a strawberry banana pudding. The bananas tasted too starchy so she added more sugar.
Oh boy. Tamesha suggested tomato sauce instead of the sherry and said if she gets called out because of Amanda she’s gonna kick her ass. (I’m down!)

Five minutes left!
Arnold began to get upset with Indie Film Star: “Everything Kelly said was I. I. I. I, I , I, I, I, I, I.
(I am not making that up.)
Arnold said they work for the greater good and there’s no I involved. I’m sorry, did this turn into a Top Chef Teams?

Tracey cried as she told Indie Film Star she and her gf’s daughter eat fast food once a week. She said she had to set a better example as Indie Film Star drank red wine and smoked a cigarette. Then Arnold called IFS to the table. “Everything that came out of your mouth today was I, I, I, I, I.”
Tiffany: “You used I, I, I.”
Like my brother’s wife used to say: “I’ll punch you dead in your eye!!”

At the school the next day during prep, Angelo discovered his foam gun valve was broken. Jesus, dusthead, all you’re making is glorified celery with peanut butter and you can’t even secure your own foam gun?
Angelo asked use Kevin’s whipped cream gun. No dice!

If you they weren’t already shitting bricks now was the time cause here comes Colicchio! When he got to Arnold, Arnold said it was taco day and tried to describe the ingredients in Indie Film Star’s dish. (Que?) IFS quickly said she was responsible for it (she’s got spunk, that girl!)
51 said they all really helped each other a lot and Arnold countered with how quickly he did his work to be there for the rest of his team.
Colicchio said he actually didn’t like it when teams would say we all did it because if someone’s completely on their own it’s a failure of their dish.
Preach !

Angelo added skim milk to his mousse and put it in a piping bag and said he was "…actually very confident and comfortable because I turned a rock into a wheel."
Addict arrogance!

Then the earth rumbled as children stampeded into the lunchroom.
The judges loved what Alex, Timothy, Bad Perm and Kevin made. They accomplished BBQ without sugar or skin and coleslaw with yogurt instead of mayo. They slid their trays up to Angelo, Kenny, Ed from Boston and Tracey. Tracey’s chicken burger was mixed with fiesta rice (?) and Ed’s sweet potato puree had too much pepper. Gail (hi Gail, you look pretty good, kudos to your stylist!) wondered why they needed the puree AND Kenny’s (serviceable) bread pudding. Dimples asked where the vegetables were.

51 introduced her black bean cake with crispy sweet potato on top. IFS showcased her pork carnitas that Dimples called solid. They thought Tiffany’s caramelized sweet potatoes and chocolate sorbet with no sugar tasted good and enjoyed the color of Arnold’s corn salsa.

Amanda was happy to tell the judges about her sherry jus chicken (honestly, why is she playing this up? What an idiot.) They thought Stephen’s sweet onion and rice with tomatoes was tasty but mushy. Tamesha’s bean and tomato salad was okay and Jacqueline’s pudding was too sugary. Jacqueline was thrilled that her dessert sold out super fast and the kids were excited. (That’s cause they’re hopped up on glucose, honey.)

Monticules gathered the kids round and asked who liked what and thanked them and a cute little girl asked for a hug and then another and then someone yelled ‘group hug!’ I can’t say for sure whether or not a ten-year-old boy copped a feel…

In the Stew Room Monticules asked to see two teams: Angelo, Tracey, Kenny and Ed from Boston AND Tamesha, Jacqueline, a teary-eyed Stephen and slack jawed Amanda.
Oh, you teams are the losers. Whoops.
Jacqueline told the judges she added two pounds of sugar to the pudding. (Jesus, why not tell them you bought the pudding from a store, Male Carla Cosby?) Dimples questioned how Amanda had the budget to buy sherry.
Ed from Boston dropped his head when Gail told him his puree was too spicy.
Dimples said loading up with a lot of starch and sugar was an easy way to go and the hard work was getting more vegetables into school lunch and he saw that with the lack of effort from both teams.
Kenny: “The lack of vegetables kept coming around so we roasted a tomato and added it to the burger.”
Dimples: “Tomato is a fruit.”
Now Kenny was slack jawed and Ed rolled his Bostonian eyes.
Dimples: “So that piece of celery. That was our vegetable.”
Colicchio asked Dusthead if he woulda made that piece of celery if he didn’t have immunity.
Angelo: (sweaty and rocking on his heels) “I can’t answer that right now.”
Kenny said he was thinking vegetables but with two people that had immunity, they had to come to an agreement. Tracey looked around like he wasn’t talking about her.
Suddenly teary-eyed Stephen jumped in from the other losing team! He said he thought if someone Knew they had no vegetables and Said they had no vegetables maybe that’s worse than someone who tried to-
Kenny: So it’s acceptable to have two pounds of sugar in a pudding?
Then Amanda: Do you know how much sugar is in processed peanut butter? It’s ridiculous it’s maybe one of the worst things in the world for children to eat. It’s really, really bad for you.
Ed: (without looking at her): Does sherry wine even need to be in an elementary school?
Amanda: They weren’t drinking it for Christ’s Sake, I wasn’t serving it by the glass!
Gail: Why DID you use sherry?
Amanda (stammering) Cause…for me…I usually like sherry with chicken, I like it with mushrooms…
Gail: I like it too, there’s a lot of things I like. I love Vodka, I’m not cooking with it.

In the Stew Room, Jacqueline told the remaining chefs they were the champs. Angelo actually whistled like he was walking down the street to a crack den with full pockets as Kenny and Stephen discussed how they learned something about the “immunity clause.”

As the judges deliberated and Colicchio said he thought there was some gamesmanship being played by Angelo; Angelo whispered to Tracey: “You won’t repeat this? I don’t like Kenny.” As if Tracey was going to pounce on Kenny’s chest and rip his throat out. See! This is how Angelo starts the manipulation!

Monticules asked for Arnold, Tiffany, 51 and Indie Film Star and told them they were their favorite school lunch. Dimples announced the winner: Kelly! YAY Indie Film Star! You get the puppy and the sunset independent film ending!

Ed from Boston, Kenny, Amanda and Jacqueline were called back…
Colicchio told Kenny and Ed that they let the team down. That Amanda’s chicken wasn’t appealing and that Jacqueline’s pudding was loaded with sugar, grainy (new facts!) and not nutritious.
Jacqueline was asked to pack her knives and go.
(Damn I wanted Amanda out bad!)
But from the looks of how Angelo and Stephen verbally smack the ish outta her on the patio in the next ep, the next time could be Amanda’s last…