Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"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

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