Thursday, August 5, 2010

I "went to a Brazilian steak house once."

First up- what do we have here?
A photo of- Easter eggs? No.
Mutant erasers? Naw.
Aliens laying in wait to attach themselves to your face and implant larvae in your chest…? Maybe.

Let Jet illuminate (re: last weeks’ email):

oh yea- that's a pic from thrillist of KO prime's calves balls dish before they are fried and sent out into the restaurant for service. they are delicious! i love balls in mah mouf!

After I asked if I could tell people that Jet loves balls in her mouf she answered:

i would say you could tell everyone i like zee taint tickling my teeth. but i think they're all already on to me(!).

I think some of you may know that I used to love liver and onions when I was a meat eater. Knockwurst and liverwurst too. Oh and I used to eat raw hamburger. But giant, dense cow testes? No dice. You can have mine, Jet!

This week’s Top Chef DC episode began with Indie Film Star Kelly lamenting about her screw up (being in the bottom last ep.) Then they showed Bad Perm’s bed, empty, and yet full of tiny curly, fried blonde hairs still crying out for conditioner.

Downstairs, Alex said he didn’t know about the pea purée and then: “I really don’t care what anyone else thinks” he ‘remarked’ in an audio track that was obviously created with several individual clips of Alex Dialogue. (Can you make that less obvious TC Producers?)
Ed from Boston said he wasn’t angry about the pea purée, just confused. (Uh huh, I know what that means. Ed’s from Boston, that translates into: “I was confused so I punched him in the MFing throat.”)

In the TC Kitchen, glassy-eyed Stephen held on to the table so he wouldn’t fall on his face as Padma avec Monticules wearing a blouse that can’t decide whether it wants to be a t-shirt or a tank top, introduced Top Chef Masters Winner, Marcus Samuelsson.
Marcus Samuelsson could easily be a villain except now Alex is now officially The Villain due to the Pea Purée Incident.
Marcus was an orphan from Ethiopia who was adopted by a family in Switzerland (talk about culture shock) and became a world-class chef.
He has a devilish smile; is known to be cruel in his criticism and- wait! He has a lisp?!

Quickfire Challenge
DC is a Mecca for global cuisine (and handgun crime) but one food dominates: Ethiopian.
Hold up, rully?
The chefs had to make an Ethiopian dish using the ingredients provided. The prize? Immunity.

Lisp explained that Ethiopian food is known for the Berbere spice, also goat, lamb and chickpeas that you eat with injera (not my cousin, Injera, the spongy Sourdough bread you use as a utensil.)
I had Ethiopian food at Addis Red Sea once.
I wasn’t as much of a germophobe back then but right now just the memory of sitting on the floor of a basement level restaurant atop sparkly pillows in a relatively dark room as people bring you baskets of mush that everyone eats with spongy bread and their (dirty) hands makes me crave Hepatitis serum as I scrub my feet and tongue with rocks.

But quell your gag reflect cause-
Time Starts Now!
The Villain and Indie Film Star Kelly both sprinted towards the same pressure cooker. The Villain snatched it up moments before Kelly could and laughed cruelly!
Kelly said Alex was getting aggressive –hmm the second act of the independent film she’s starring in today may involve assault.
Kevin said watching Alex cook is like watching someone throw darts at a wall.
Then Alex unsuccessfully attempted to attach the pressure cooker top to the base (has he ever used one of those things before?)
Meanwhile Kevin, who had never made Ethiopian food, made braised chicken with chickpeas and a mint and cucumber salad.
Um, Kevin? I can make that.

NEWFLASH: Angelo aka Dusthead worked in a restaurant in New York City that had an Ethiopian concept! Come on? More crackhead lies?
Oh wait, Kenny Q Sign co-signed it. Q Sign said he, Ed from Boston and Dusty were the only ones who knew how to make Ethiopian cuisine.
African Food Fight!

Stephen made a stew with lamb meatballs on a hideous plate that literally had lamb shanks in the center with a giant dollop of yogurt sauce on top and then a moat of meatballs in sauce in a circle around the shanks IN ADDITION TO a little plate of biscuits AND ALSO a little tray of injera.
His plating skills were suspect. Or shall I say, tipsy?

The Villain made “classic stew” with beef and lamb tongue and braised cabbage. He said didn’t know how spicy he could make it. Moniticules (without looking at him): “It’s not very spicy at all.”
In Your Face, Pea Purée Pilferer!

Indie Film Star Kelly made leg of lamb with roasted cauliflower and yogurt. Lisp said “the fact that you like heat really came through in this dish.”
Wait, is this just about heat? Because I can toss some Andy Capp’s Hot Fries in Berbere spice if you want. Oh snap- Ethiopian Hot Fries! Don’t bite that, it’s mine.

Amanda aka Pilly didn’t know what the spices were. She “did goat.” (That’s what she said.) Lisp called it a modern stew.
Tiffany smiled broadly and said they didn’t have many Ethiopian restaurants in Texas. She went with a hearty beef goulash with curry and admitted she didn’t know Ethiopian flavors and went with what she thought tasted good. Lisp: “After tasting eight dishes I’m still here eating yours.” Nice. Why didn’t I pick her again? Dayum.

Kenny Q Sign did a duo of lamb, meat loaf & rib eye with curry and Dukuh spice. Lisp liked the deep flavors. Dusthead did a doro wat (spicy Ethiopian chicken) with egg, mango yogurt and mint with steamed injera. Lisp asked if Dusty was Ethiopian prompting smirks from The Villain and Kelly. Ed from Boston did a stewed lamb with beef tripe, cauliflower, peppers and braised greens that Lisp called well balanced.

Least Favorite: Kevin (come on, dood!) –his food was too shy,
Stephen –his meatballs weren’t juicy,
Alex –“…your stew is dry.” (Dry stew?! A culinary dis if I ever heard one.)

Favorites: Pilly (Que?), Dusty and Tiffany. The winner…Tiffany!
Tiffany (dimples filled with pride): “I’m the winner, ding, ding, ding!”
Angelo looked away. Guess you shoulda got close to the other Black girl, Dusty.

Elimination Challenge!
Lisp and Monticules wheeled in a map. The chefs were told they had to make 100 portions of a dish inspired by the flavors of a country on the map. They would be serving diplomats, ambassadors and world dignitaries- many who were looking for a taste of their homeland
(i.e. New Yorkers would mayhaps be looking for a charcoal dish cause no one leaves NYC without black boogies. Es verdad! Blow your nose, Holly!)

Oh yeah AND they could only use chafing dishes (Sterno) to heat the food!

They drew knives to get a picking order for the countries.
Indie Film Star Kelly picked 2, glassy-eyed Stephen picked 9 (there are only nine chefs left!) and Tiffany picked #1!
Tiffany selected Mexico; Indie Film Star-Italy; Pilly-France ; Kenny Q Sign- Thailand; Villain- Spain; Dusty- pretended to pick Brazil and picked Japan; Kevin- India; Ed from Boston- China and Stephen was stuck with Brazil.

They had a budget of $200 and 30 minutes to shop.
As they did, Kenny Q Sign wondered why he was in the middle again.
He admitted he had a bout with cancer and four surgeries.
Whoa, in addition to your wife dying and having to raise your daughter?!!
I guess you can call yourself the Alpha Male.

Suddenly Stephen remembered that he and his wife and two kids (babies, but I guess you’re right, they’ll be kids by the time you get back home) "...went to a Brazilian steak house once.
That’s what they’re known for- steak!”
Um, first off, what were you doing bringing your twin babies to a Brazilian steak house? You couldn’t get a sitter?
What the hell makes you think your wife wants to sit there trying to cut a steak with a baby on her lap?
And why do you smell like Smirnoff?!

Meanwhile Kevin decided to make his own curry. Uh oh…
He said he didn’t know much about Indian cuisine, that he didn’t “know anything really.”
Dusty saw Kevin in the Asian aisle and said: “Now you’re buying Asian product, huh bro?”
[Hey Mama, remember this line: “I’m not your bro, bro.” Remember when Wentworth Miller said that on Prison Break, Mama?!
Woo, yeah. Good times.
You know who else used to watch Prison Break?
Poor, misguided, two-shirt wearing, never reading these posts yet ‘playing’ in the pool, “I hate…” everything Douglas.
When you think about it, he truly is a collection of contradictions.
He abhors reality TV yet I witnessed him laugh out loud at ABC’s Wipeout. He hates Top Chef but a few weeks ago I received a text from him that read: “Fiddleheads are here!”
Shortly after: “Covered in soil!”
This leads me to believe Douglas would like to watch a show about food. He knows a thing or two about it (you know aside from that horrible sub shop he goes to where you can purchase a sub that has chicken fingers, cheese sticks AND steak and cheese and onions in it (prolly with slices of individually wrapped cheese still wrapped in it too –like you’d notice the plastic at that point.)]

During prep in the TC kitchen, Indie Film Star Kelly worked on am Italian dish she was going to serve cold: beef carpaccio. Ed from Boston worked on his Chinese dish: duck breast with potstickers. He admitted he was familiar with Chinese culture, food and that he had some Chinese girlfriends in the past. (Huh? Oh, that’s right- I know how to make Babka cause I used to pork a Jewish guy. Wth?)
Stephen said he had to take the ingredients he “got and come up with Brazil” in the way one might say “Dood, I gotta ace this test so I can get into medical school” and then drink a third 40 oz before going to a kegger.

As they finished up, The Villain had the audacity to ask if anyone had room in their hot box for his food.
Dood, EVERYONE thinks you stole Ed’s pea purée. Why would they let you put something in their hot box? And on a gutter-level- look at you! You’re sweaty, can’t blink and you might have that disease where your eyes pop out. Why would anyone let you put something in their hot box? (Enjoy the salad bar, I’ll be here all week.)

Back at the TC house that night, Kevin spoke to his daughter and wife on the phone (a Reality TV Show Sign that he could be going home) and Indie Film Star Kelly received a care package from her husband (that’s SO indie film!) It was filled with stuffed animals (awww), candy, photos and a bottle of whisky that glassy-eyed Stephen was quick to celebrate. The Villain, Dusty, Stephen and Kelly all toasted Kelly’s husband.

The next morning as the chefs went into the Meridian, Dusty replied, “we walk in and there’s beautiful marble stairs…”
Ummmm, those are red-carpeted stairs, Dust.
You’ve been sniffing spices again. Which, I’m Sure he has at one point or another in his life. I mean, who didn’t slug back some cooking sherry in high school? (That was me, Mama! That Thanksgiving when you were short half a cup? I tried the sherry. Whew, one shot and I was right back to Ruinite. Lordy Day, sherry tastes like cigarettes and vinegar. )

The chefs had 30 minutes to set up. Pilly’s beef was dry so she cut it into smaller pieces.
Stephen heats up his rice, adds stock and voila! It’s overcooked. Idiot.
Tiffany worked like a banshee to prepare. She said her ultimate goal would be to win even though she had immunity.
Then-- the Guests! Kevin was sure to tell them he was making ‘stew chicken with the flavors of India’ and not ‘curry chicken.’
Like Monticules is gonna stand for that.
The Judges approached- including Lisp, who apparently won a jaunty hat from urban streetwear vendor, Karmaloop on Newbury Street; and José Andrés!
José Andrés is a badass who trained under MEGASTAR Ferran Adria.
I would KILL to go Adria’s restaurant El Bulli in Spain.
Get familiar:

My dream is to somehow get on the two-year waiting list, sit at the best table, put aside my Vegan ways and have a culinary orgy with every dish there!
Then work in the kitchen to pay off the meal while convincing my colon it was worth it as I vomit and sh*t simultaneously.

I’ve seen José on Made In Spain many times and let me tell you, I would not want this man judging my food.
Or my Spanish- sheet, I wouldn’t even want him judging a Bucks Up bet.

The judges tried Indie Film Star Kelly’s beef carpaccio, spring vegetable and parmigaiano-reggiano. Kelly revealed she was going to make gnudi but when she found out they couldn’t cook anything at the location she changed it up. Gail admired this.
José said cold dishes are the most difficult to make and some dood from the Italian Embassy said the dish represented Italy better than he did. The plate of carpaccio was promptly sworn in as the Ambassador and that guy was kicked to the curb.

Ed from Boston prepared his tea-smoked duck breast with pot stickers in Szechuan jus. José didn’t think it was totally successful. The Chinese Ambassador said it was flavorful.

The judges expected a punch from The Villain’s braised veal cheeks, jamon torta with olive salad and…didn’t get it. The Villain said he was confident José would be impressed by his dish but José said it didn’t work (the man IS from Spain) and Lisp said it needed more focus.

Stephen presented his flank steak in chimichurri sauce with black beans and rice. Padma liked the coffee rub on the steak but Colicchio said: there are only three things on the plate, cook the rice properly.
Lisp said there were many places to go with Brazilian food but he didn’t get Brazil from Stephen’s dish.

Kevin’s stewed chicken with leeks and parsnip purée, cucumber salad and crispy lentils went over well. Shocking! The judges liked the aroma and the lentils.
Pilly’s beef bourguignon with pommes fourchette & horseradish mousse would have been better if she didn’t cut the beef into little pieces. Suckah!
José enjoyed the sauce and wanted the meat on the side. A couple of guests thought the meat was dry.
Dusty’s sashimi of tuna ribbons with candied wasabi and joy infusion was called nice and flavorful but Colicchio said it was just fish in a spice.
Tiffany’s chicken tamales with queso fresco and tomatillo sauce was a ‘great’ dish. The Ambassador from the Bahamas thought it was amazing. (Can I apply for that job? What a boondoggle!)
Kenny Q Sign’s tamarind braised pork with rice noodle salad and thai green curry was called the perfect in between of heat and spice.

During the bump, ANTICS! Dusty brought the plastic wrap box into the bathroom (ewww, I don’t wanna see that plastic wrap box on the counter next to food in the next ep) wrapped the toilet bowl and put the lid down. He told The Villain not to use it (Dusty’s all Palsy with the Villain, huh?) because he knew Stephen was tipsy (who doesn’t know at this point?) Then Glass Eyes went to the bathroom and his balls received a pee bath.

At the Judging, Monticules asked to see Indie Film Star Kelly, Kevin and Tiffany because…they had their favorite dishes!

They loved the combination of Tiffany’s ingredients.
They thought it was brilliant that Kevin made the dish his own, and José told Indie Film Star Kelly that he just came from Venice and she honored Italy with that carpaccio.
But the person who made the best dish with the best ingredients for the country they had was… Tiffany.
“I win, YAAAAAY!”
They surprised her with $10,000. Tiffany: “My wedding is paid for!”
And TC gave 10k to Chef José ’s favorite charity, DC kitchen.
Translation: We’d like you to come back and be a judge again en el futuro.

Then the Judges asked to see The Villain, Stephen and Ed from Boston.

Stephen’s eyes became glassy as Gail told him the rice was mealy and overcooked. She also said a chimichurri was Argentinian.
Colicchio kinda slapped that down by saying regardless of where you say the meal is coming from, if your rice was cooked correctly you probably wouldn’t be here. You made the steak right, make the rice right.

José said The Villain’s dish was like a nightmare. He also used some other words that I rewound several times to decipher but couldn’t. If you know, please tell me because I love to see Alex get his crack kicked.
Then ---The Villain pulled some of the best reality TV show acting ever out of his a** and said: “Wow, I screwed up.”
Hmmm, really? Is this the same guy who said José (from Spain) was gonna like his dish (from Spain)?
But I gotta admit, that’s what you need to do on these shows: admit your mistake. And lie if necessary.
Alex said he was really mad at himself. He got really excited when he heard he was going to do Spain and couldn’t edit himself.
THEN He said “Chef Tom said, ‘You don’t have to do a Spanish dish, it just has to be inspired by Spain.”
Tom: “It’s my fault?”
Woooooo, don’t eff with Colicchio.
Alex smiled and said he wasn’t trying to imply that at all.
Colicchio declared his cooking a problem: there was dried out meat, the sauce was thin and watery and there was Nothing Spanish about the dish. Shut Down!
Will The Villain go home to his Wild E. Coyote cave and continue working for Acme?

José said he enjoyed the sauce of Ed’s dish but he over promised and under whelmed. There was no sweet and sour. The duck would have been successful if he rendered some of the fat out of it. Ed nodded. Colicchio acknowledged that Ed acknowledged the problem. (That’s how you do it, Ed!)

They walked back into the Stew Room and Stephen said: “It’s Ed, he’s going home.”
How is that funny?
Ed admitted (to Camera) he was more embarrassed to be on the bottom with Alex than to be on the bottom.

In the end, Colicchio said the challenge was to use inspirations from various countries. They saw inspiration but the cooking techniques were problematic.

Monticules told Stephen to pack his knives and go. (Sorry, Ruby.)
Stephen hugged The Villain and I realized how tall The Villain is. Creepy.

Stephen said Top Chef chose him and that was a victory in itself. Take what you can get, Glass Eyes. You’re going home without having won any challenges, any money and with the title of Not Able To Cook Rice.
I said it before and I’ll say it again: your wife is gonna roll her eyes and then roll on dubs with your twins in Gucci logoed car seats giving you the baby finger.
Enjoy! And don’t stop by my house for Babka!



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

JET LI Kenny Gilbert and Kelly Liken

DOUGLAS Kenny Gilbert

MY MAMA Kelly Liken

ME Kevin Sbraga and Kelly Liken


  1. Douglas announced to me the arrival of Fiddleheads, too!

  2. Really?! That MF knows he needs to be watching...