Thursday, August 19, 2010

"Does anyone have a can opener?"

Mistakes? I’ve made a few. But then again. Too few to mention.
Aww, I effed up so I’ll just mention it.

From CC:
What up with the latest pool standings??? Why did you take Kevin off of my list of picks??? I had Kevin since day one (see previous update). I knew this blog thing was a bad idea.

From Lucy (with less question marks):
Hi DeMane,
GREAT write-up, as always ;-)  
Just wanted to picks were Kevin and Kelly (just like yours!), but your latest post shows me only having Kelly left.  Would you mind adding Kevin back on?  (Although, lord knows I'm still VERY skeptical of him making it ;-)

I love that Lucy asks if I would mind adding Kevin back. She’s so sweet about my giant goof.
Again, my apologies.
In addition to the madness of trying to push that email out before I jetted for the weekend, I actually had a car waiting for me downstairs. (Fancy!)
Believe me they weren’t happy either. No, it wasn’t Colucci and LB, they’d would have waited patiently and texted after a bit. They know I’m always late and are supanice about it. Douglas would not be.
OH Hey! There was an email from Douglas too:
"Are we done calling me out in the blog now?"

Wouldja lookit that?! Douglas read the blob!
It brings a tear to the eye to know that Douglas had taken time out his busy schedule of Psych and Burn Notice to read a few words. Tears that quickly dried when I watched the clips from last week’s show. Then the teeth gnashing began.
Even though Kenny Q Sign wasn’t my pick, I believe he was asked to leave under a false premise. The Beastmaster is dead. And I can’t believe the TC Producers didn’t amend this egregious error: Alex (The Villain) did not really make his own food in the Restaurant Wars challenge.
Just so you know, I ran the numbers, Kenny WAS in the bottom three 4 times compared to Amanda’s (Pilly’s) 3 but still…!
Part of me wants to think that Kenny will be invited back as a (powerless but nonetheless) ‘judge’ before this season finishes. But that would be admitting wrongdoing, right?
Is the patented answer we heard from the NYTimes Critic Guest Judge all we’re gonna get until the reunion show? Which it would behoove TC to produce. And which I will DEFINITELY review if that occurs…kyp (that means Keep You Posted, Mama!)

When the contestants woke, The Villain did push ups. Using someone else’s arms! THIEF! Kevin thought Kenny Q Sign was more talented than The Villain.
The Villain (staring zombie-like): “Just to guess what Kevin was upset about, I think he was defending Kenny…it was tremendously frustrating because I think he was pathetic for his friends and for his team…he decided to vent on me.”
Just to GUESS what Kevin was upset about?? Yeah, he vented on you for no reason whatsoever. This Dood is maniacal. But I guess most villains are.
Kevin hoped he would either step up or go home and if he stepped up: “…bring on the challenge, I love it. But don’t get away with bullshit."
Good for you Kevin. Be ready for any challenge now because “the only person” you “trust” is gone. Time to sleep with your knives under your pillow…

Dusthead admitted Kenny was the strongest competition in the house and smirked at Pilly as she cleaned a giant coffee spill on the table in their little patio area. He also said he was ‘totally exhausted.’
Hmmm…a Reality TV Show Sign that he’s going home…?

The chefs entered the TC kitchen, Pause Moment! Is Tiffany wearing black shorts?
Black shorts that stop just above the knee?
In a kitchen?
I sense a burn and a keloid coming on.

The chefs were greeted by former molecular gastronomist and TC Masters contestant, Wiley Dusfrene, also know as The Little Dutch Boy (TLDB.)
Padma avec des Monticules, dressed in a navy inspired jacket, orange t-shirt and cargo pants from Target; smiled as the chefs looked over giant black boxes with questions mark on them. Mystery boxes. There’s a Lost joke in there somewheres but I’ve still only seen season one. (Colucci has been gracious enough to lend me 1-3. I know!
Don’t tell me the ending!)

The Quickfire Challenge
Each mystery box contained the same thing. (Bravo biting and twisting on The Food Network’s Chopped concept, huh, Brownie? Guess it’s payback for The Food Network doing the Restaurant Wars-like: 24 Hour Restaurant Battle.)
Then Monticules said MORE mystery boxes would arrive!
The chefs would have to start a dish and still be able to accommodate additional ingredients. And this is a high stakes challenge, the winner gets 10k!
Dusthead said he could use that money to (this is NOT a typo) bring his fiancé to the States. She’s in Russia.
Translation: Some transvestite in Omsk is being fed balloons of heroin and he can’t wait to shoot and snort the contents of her belly.

Time Starts Now!
They had 40 minutes to cook a fish, fava beans and a can of…the can has no label!
The Villain asked: "Does anyone have a can opener?" Pilly said Tiffany had one. The Villain asked, Tiffany didn’t have hers out yet and ignored him.
See this is what I don’t understand about The Villain, why would you think someone’s going to help you? (Also, there aren’t can openers in the TC kitchen?)
The Villain said he didn’t care, he wanted to cook his food and beat them. And yet, he asked for a can opener again.
Tiffany: “Alex dodged a lot of bullets and I wasn’t going to be the one to help him.”
She opened the can: hominy grits.
Dusthead looked frazzled and Kevin noticed. Dusty admitted for the first time that he didn’t have any vision (I think he meant ‘a vision’ because he wasn’t actually blind but that will probably happen in a future challenge. Cook with a blindfold - EMTs are standing by!)

Then as everyone ran around another mystery box arrived courtesy of a guy in a black suit with sunglasses, Men In Black-style. Kevin was the first to open it and find: squid and black garlic. Indie Film Star Kelly didn’t know anything about black garlic- she said it was smoky and a little sweet. (Sounds delicious!)

19 Minutes Left!
ANOTHER mystery box arrives: ramps (a wild onion) and passion fruit. Tiffany had never used a ramp and wasn’t sure if she was supposed to cook with the leaf or the stem.
Dusty began to talk to himself: “…should I do that?” Uh oh. Then ANOTHER mystery box arrives (this challenge is kinda dope!)
THEN Monticules: “You have ten minutes left!” Everyone was frantic.
Dusty: “This is the first time I think I sweated into the food.” That’s meth sweat!

The Villain made rockfish with fava bean purée (really? he should go home just for bastardizing purée all the time) and ramp fondue with sautéed squid.
The Little Dutch Boy asked Tiffany how she was doing. (It’s the dimples. Brownie has deep dimples like that. And we all know they’re always poppin’.)
Tiffany made a fish stew and the TLDB called her broth ‘very nice.’ Hmmm, so that’s what they’re calling it these days. Broth.
Indie Film Star Kelly made a Yucatecan Seafood stew with grilled ramps. (I think she gets an A just for saying Yucatecan.) TLDB said it was spicy.
Pilly made crispy skin striped bass, squid fricassee with leek and mushroom fondue. Kevin made pan-seared rockfish with hominy purée and jicama and passion fruit salad. The dish had heat from pepper flakes he used in the squid.
Ed did a rockfish sashimi with hominy-basil purée and grilled squid marinade that TLDB called excellent. Dusty presented a smoky hominy pot-au-feu (usually a dish of boiled meat and vegetables with the broth served separately), squid, rockfish tataki and passion fruit gel that looked a little bit like a wet white napkin on top of Manhattan clam chowder. Then the caveats (surprising coming from him): “I wanted to serve the dish cold but then the gel started to melt…” he said spat out, his forehead sweaty. Tiffany said she had never seen him that nervous. (You know, with the exception of when police sirens speed by the TC DC house and he drops plates.)

Least successful: The Villain (suckah)! Pilly (surprised anyone?)
Best? Tiffany (“you really got a lot of flavor outta that broth.”) and Kevin (“nicely balanced.”) The winner?
Tiffany! WOW!
This chick is on roll!
Tiffany said her fiancé would be proud that she had won “20gs.” Party in her dimples!

The Elimination Challenge
Monticules said were recruited as special agents by the CIA. They had to create a new identity for a classic dish. But the flavor should be the original dish.
They picked knives to find out their assignments.

Pilly – French onion soup, Ed from Boston – Chicken Cordon Bleu, Dusty – Beef Wellington, Indie Film Star Kelly – Kung Pao Shrimp, Tiffany – Gyro, Kevin – Cobb salad, The Villain – Veal Parmesan.
Monticules told them they’d be cooking and serving CIA agents and the head of group, Leon Panetta AT Headquarters in Langley.
Yes, that odor in the air is the brick Dusty just shit. I mean, I would assume you’d prolly get drug tested just to walk through those gates, right? The audience alone might mean our little drug devotee is going home.
Monticules also said the winner would get a trip to Paris!
Ed from Boston mentioned his girlfriend for the first time (thanks to editing.) Apparently she’s been bugging him about going to France. She hasn’t said shit about the giant eyebrows though, huh, Eddie?

The chefs shopped. The Villain told us he was a professional wedding videographer before taking on the last six years as a chef. Well then he should know there’s probably video of him stealing Ed from Boston’s pea purée, right? Idiot.
Indie Film Star Kelly read the labels of Kung Pao bottles and wrote down the ingredients to figure out what she needed. She’s got spunk, that girl!
Meanwhile Dusty talked about how traditional Beef Wellington is served in a pastry crust and revealed that he was going to make a pizza.
Say whut now?
Then…Dusty BOUGHT puff pastry! Yeah, purchased it. Ed from Boston noticed.
Um, Dust? I know your brain is riddled with holes from X but do you recall John aka Male Carla Cosby who went home for buying puff pastry on the first MFing ep?

In the TC kitchen, Tiffany said she “loves spy stuff.” Ed from Boston asked her spy name and she smiled as her dimples yelled out: “Bridgette!” (So cute!)
Then she worked on a deconstructed gyro.
Pilly’s spy name would be Natasha. She was disguising French onion soup by…making soup. I predict Pilly would be a dead spy.
Indie Film Star Kelly asked how much soup Pilly was going to serve each guest. “I don’t know yet.” How much soup are you making. “I don’t know yet.” Our star smiled when Pilly turned her back- sly dog! She planned to disguise her Kung Pao Shrimp as soup. The Villain gave Our Star advice and she didn’t listen. Again, why waste your hot villainous breath? No one is listening.
Pilly said she liked The Villain and respected and admired his cooking. Kind of way you’d admire a fresco made out of doo doos. Until you smelled it and some of it fell in your hair and you realized you pay $18 to get into the gd museum.
The Villain planned to make veal Parmesan in a tortellinis. He asked if anyone had seen his cheese.
He’s just effing with people now, right?

1 hour 2 minutes left!
Dusty said puff pastry wasn’t the main theme of his Beef Wellington dish so the judges should be cool with the fact that he didn’t make it himself. Wishful thinking.
Meanwhile, Ed said his spy name was Muffin Winthrop. The Villain said (to camera, because no one else would listen) his favorite spy was Get Smart.
Yeah. ‘Nuff said.

9 minutes 36 seconds!
Ed made an inside out Cordon Bleu (usually the chicken is on the outside and the ham on the inside, but he flipped the poultry script.) My Mama made chicken Cordon Bleu once. It was delicious.
Hi Mama! Hi!
Hey, Mama, you’re still in it to win it!
Mama didn’t know and I had to tell her Colucci was out to which she replied Oh No! And then Douglas and Ruby were also out also-
Mama: Oh that's too bad.
Then some silence.
Mama: Now is Ruby a guy or a girl?
I always forget that Mama doesn’t know all the nicknames and just start telling her funny events (if they’re really “funny” I don’t use names at all, no worries.)
Hey Ruby, if you’re still reading, meet my Mama - Mama-meet Ruby!
Ruby is a boy, Mama! (Whoops, a guy. Mama doesn’t like to call boys boys.)
Oh and Ruby has Fireball Island. I don’t know if you recall the name of that game, Mama. Certainly you don’t care for it because you threw out all my Fisher Price Toys and all my games- including Pay Day and Life and Parcheesi (which I had made up my own rules to) when I asked you,
begged you,
ten times a year,
not to throw them out! Why Mama?!

The chefs arrived at the CIA. (How the hell did they get in there with their knives?)
The prepped in the kitchen where Ed from Boston said there were cameras. Creepy!
Dusty was nervous and Kevin noticed. Indie Film Star Kelly put her rice in a rice cooker.

1 hour 12 minutes left.
Pilly suddenly realized she didn’t disguise her dish enough: “Helen Keller would have been able to figure this out.” I’m also thinking Helen Keller was a better cook than you.
Indie Film Star asked Tiffany if the rice cooker would turn off when it was done. Tiffany said it should. Then the cooker starts beeping. The rice was overcooked!
In Colorado, Kelly made rice at 8,000 feet above sea level where rice takes an hour to cook, minimum.
Okay two things here, first I’ve been to Utah and walked up a mountain there on a reg- my asthmatic ass knows the altitude story all too well. Also it's a bitch to ’t make cakes there, they usually fall! Happy Birthday to No One!
Second, you’re not in Colorado anymore, Indie Film Star Kelly. Didn’t you realize you could make rice the old fashioned way? Oh wait, yeah, you’re probably failing just so we can see you not fail and fall in love with you even more, right? This is the end of your second act!
Tiffany told Kelly to take the rice out (“Take it out, take it out, take it out.” That’s what she said.) and start over. Our star didn’t want to but Tiffany suggested she make the rice on the stove so she went for it and was grateful.
Then Tiffany helped Kelly plate because she had time. Tiffany: “I want to compete against you at your best.” (What a good egg!)

Meanwhile, Judges Monticules, Colicchio and steaming hot Frenchy Eric Rippert walked into a conference room that looked as if it could have been in any shitty office in America with the exception of the CIA seal. They were joined by The Little Dutch Boy, CIA Head Leon Panetta (who looked like he could be Abe Vigoda’s cousin) and some CIA employees who obviously won’t be undercover in our nation anytime soon. Cover blown!

Panetta said this was a first as he sat. Wait: Panetta has time to be on a reality TV show? Welllll, I guess he has to eat lunch anyway, right?
His chair was precariously close to Monticules.
Like thigh-touching close. Don’t tell me he wasn’t copping a secretive feel.
The meals arrived!

Angelo’s “Beef Wellington” tartlet topped with slivers of beef was served and Monticules asked if anyone had any idea what it was. Someone quickly guessed Beef Wellington?
(I don’t think these guys knew there was a question and answer part of the meal. Actually who am I kidding, they know everything.)
Panetta: “Cool disguise.” But he also said it was salty and the pastry was hard.
Kelly’s “Kung Pao shrimp” soup with rice and Szechuan shrimp tempura was served.
No one could figure it out at first but then Colicchio nailed it. He also liked it. TLDB thought it was a little spicy but good.
Tiffany’s “gyro” –roasted leg of lamb with smoky eggplant, tomatoes and pickled onions was served and Panetta knew what it was. Rippert said it was the most elegant gyro he had ever eaten in his life. I'm pretty sure Rippert has many mansions on many coasts nationally and internationally. Him eating a gyro is like him eating a hot dog. It rarely occurs.

Kevin’s “Cobb salad” romaine lettuce, tomato, bacon, Roquefort, avocado, cucumber & turkey. Hmmm, that sounds suspiciously like a salad…was served and the Director of Human Resources guessed it right away.
Colicchio said it’s a salad. It hasn’t changed, but then admitted that he liked it because he loved Cobb salad.
Kevin (in the kitchen): “I didn’t want to go too far away from the original, if they can’t figure out what it is…” Let me finish that sentence for you- if they can’t figure out what it is you Win, Moron!
Then Leon Panetta was slipped a folded note.
Everyone tensed up as he read it, half thinking he would read it out loud and half knowing they had probably just discovered an invention that would save time, money and energy that they had to steal and then sell to General Electric. Panetta said he would have to be excused and left. I bet you he looked down Monticules blouse. (Who wouldn’t?)

In the kitchen, Pilly said The Villain may make overcooked veal and that might be good for her but she didn’t want to see any of “her friends” fail.
Enough. Just sidle up to Dusty and do some whippets for Christ’s Sake.
Pilly’s ‘French onion soup’ consommé with oxtail marmalade, caramelized onions, shaved Gruyère was served and they could tell the French onion soup was French onion soup. A CIA lawyer said when it was first brought out she thought the shavings on top were coconut—well that’s why you’re an attorney and not an agency, honey. (Actually now that I think of it, you’re prolly a pretty crappy attorney. Jesus. You can’t tell from the smell? Next time courts in recess Google shaved cheese.)
Colicchio said the idea of oxtail marmalade was a good but it was too sweet. A CIA employee said it was like cough syrup. Ouches.
The Villain’s dish: “Veal Parmesan” -veal and Parmigiano cheese tortelloni with tomato sauce and tempura cheese was met with: “Oh My God.”
The meat was really tough. Everyone chewed foreeeeever.
Colicchio said the veal was as tough as pulling a post in Yemen. Rim shot: Badump Bump! Enjoy the refugee liberation movements, he’ll be here all week!
TLDB admitted that it may have been the best disguised. Yeah it was bubble gum disguised as meat.

Ed from Boston’s “Chicken Cordon Bleu” -roasted chicken breast ham and cheese croquette, spring onion soubise was deemed obvious. Colicchio said it was seasoned well and they said there was a lot of labor on the plate. Monticules said “Unfortunately he didn’t work hard to disguise it.”

They returned to the TC DC kitchen (after everyone's butt was scoped to make sure they didn't steal CIA labeled Post-Its) and Monticules entered the Stew Room and asked to see Tiffany, Indie Film Star Kelly and Ed from Boston…
they had…

the winning dishes!

The winner of the trip to Paris?
“I got a honeymoon!”
She hugged Ed who said his girlfriend would be upset but he was happy for her.

The Judges asked to see: The Villain, Pilly and Dusty.
Pilly said she was aware that her dish wasn’t disguised adequately and was going more for flavor. Colicchio: You took a soup and made a soup. Onions and cheese!

Dusty was asked if it was frozen pastry, he said that was correct. Rippert said it was a challenge where you had the most freedom to express your creativity and it ended up kind of sad. Dusty’s eyes began to water. Nothing is worse than having Eric Rippert’s international ass tell you your dish is sad.
The Villain said he was thinking he was going to use new techniques but his plan didn’t work out. Colicchio said he had had better meat at a street fair and better tortellini out of the box! DAYUM Not even frozen?

Colicchio asked the bottom three chefs if they wanted to be seventh best in this competition.
Pilly: No.
“Then why are you cooking like that? Cause one of you is going home.”
Ow, Dad! That smarts.

The three schlepped back to the Stew Room. Okay, if TC does it right, they’ll get rid of The Villain.
They have to, don’t they? Meanwhile, Dusty said he should go home. How the mighty have fallen! Indie Film Star Kelly said she would give him a hug but…

The judges’ lamented- Pilly had a long time to do a dish and she just grated cheese.
Dusty was lost and uninspired, TLDB said he certainly can do better. They all thought The Villain should not have been so ambitious at this point in the competition and the tough meat was mentioned again.

When they were called back to the Judge’s Table:
Colicchio: “You were asked to take a tough dish and disguise it, in all your cases your cover was blown. If there was any disguise you disguised yourself as really poor cooks. And one of you will be seventh best.”
WOW! Colicchio skewers on this ep! I would not want to dent this man’s automobile.

And then…
The Villain was asked to leave. YES!
(I actually yelled YES! out loud and the men repairing the fire escape peeked in my apartment more than they usually did.)
Thank Buddha this abomination is gone!
The bespectacled dick talked smack about a pea purée conspiracy but blahblahblah, tell your story walking shitball. I swear this guy is gonna have to wear a disguise in public from now on. Maybe he can wear his meat.

Unfortunately, this good news (in terms of justice being served), comes with some sadness. As I must tell Daisy and Matt to please pack their knives and go.


LB Ed Cotton

STRIPES Kevin Sbraga

GBAG Kelly Liken

LUCY Kevin Sbraga and Kelly Liken

COLANTO Kelly Liken

KAT BAKER Tiffany Derry

CC Kevin Sbraga and Angelo Sosa

HOLLY Angelo Sosa

BROWNIE Kelly Liken

JENNA Ed Cotton

Q Kevin Sbraga

JET LI Kelly Liken

MY MAMA Kelly Liken

ME Kevin Sbraga and Kelly Liken


  1. Despite my loss, I am still a man.

    - Ruby