Friday, September 24, 2010

"I'd love to drizzle some chocolate on Padma..."

What up, yo!!!!????
Hey, nice to see you here again. Thanks for coming. Before I get started check this out- some Bravo dish on my girl Lauren Zalaznick. She’s prolly just holding out for more cheddar. You deserve it LZ!

I could Not Wait to watch this show because of the main controversy and I tell you now, this reunion did not disappoint. Before I start sayin’ “No Sir!” “Uh oh” and “Whuuut?!” to my teevee out loud let’s start at the beginning:
Andy Cohen used to be a Producer for 48 Hours and CBS This Morning. Now he’s Bravo’s SVP of Original Programming and Development. For reals. And he has brilliantly parlayed that into a giant TV gig starring…let’s see, whom should we get for this job? Oh, how about Andy Cohen?
He’s also an Executive Producer of Top Chef!
Triple paycheck pleasures!
Andy used to only host reunion shows but now (supasmart Bravo) he has turned That into a show called Watch What Happens where he periodically talks to Bravo’s reality TV show personalities and, on occasion, stars.
I like Andy because he’s down to earth and asks all the questions we want answered. There are no real niceties like- let’s plug your book or your hairspray- those are fleeting moments so he can get to the meat of the matter.
For the TC DC Reunion, Andy was fresh off the fight from the Real Housewives of New Jersey Reunion (which I haven’t seen yet but I’m hoping involved hair pulling because that’s unbeweaveable.)

Right away Andy told us the fan favorite would not be revealed tonight (WTH? That’s ass!) but they will reveal the chefs of Top Chef All Stars, which is coming to Bravo in December. Oh, cool. More TC this year! Later I looked on Andy’s Blob and discovered: “We couldn't announce the fave at the reunion, by the way, because we taped it in early August and voting had just begun so we had inconclusive results.”
Inconclusive results? Um, this is not the Presidential Election. Though I bet the whole thing is run better than Florida and with much more expensive food and wine.

All of our favorites returned for the Reunion. Including Tamesha! (Who had earrings resembling Fruit Loops on a ring.) Tiffany! (Sporting lipstick AND silver eye shadow (making up for the calf-length shorts, Tiff?)) And Angelo! (aka Dusty!) Who wore a shirt that looked like the vomit he expectorated in the Finals in Singapore. Kenny Q Sign, Ed from Boston, Tiffany, Dusty, Kevin, Indie Film Star Kelly and Amanda (Pilly) all sat in the front row.

They congratulated Top Chef Winner (and me and CC’s and Stripes’ and Lucy’s and Q’s pick) Kevin!
Andy asked (Viewer’s Question) if part of his win was having Michael V. as a Sous Chef. Kevin said it didn’t matter and that he also knew Hung (Touché Turtle!)
Andy asked Ed from Boston if Ilan was a factor and Ed admitted he was disappointed in getting him and began to joke at Ilan’s expense, then Gail jumped in (Oh- Gail, Colicchio, Rippert and Padma avec de monticules on set, yal’ll! Monty in a…hmmm…that gold off the shoulder top isn’t bulging like it should. Awww, guess feeding time is over.)
Gail: “Um, Ilan can cook. We’re all bagging on him but he won, lest we forget.”
SFX: Crickets. Ed was shamed. Yeah, stand up for past winners, Gail!

Next came the “let’s watch your journey” vidjoe package (that’s a bunch of clips edited together to reflect a common theme, Mama! Hi Mama! Does ‘Princess’ love her new flat screen TV and leather recliner? Geez, you’d think SHE won…) highlighting Kevin’s ride to the top. Kevin said when his mother died he was the one who had to make the decision to take her off life support. Dayum. Heavy ish.
Indie Film Star Kelly said Kevin has the subtle flavor combined with the look of the food. Then footage of people remarking and food shots that really did look spectacular. I scolded Kevin for his presentation once but really I just didn’t dig his quick temper over stoopid things- that’s a distraction, Kev. I’m glad he overcame it to win. He said he would use the money to open a restaurant and buy a house (um, did the prize money double?)

Andy asked Dusty how heartbroken he was to get that far and then be sick and almost not able to compete in the finals. Dusty said this was not how he would have written it.
Um, no kidding. You think I would have written going to the Senior Prom with my brother’s wife’s brother? Ish happens, Dust. Celebrate how well you did despite the throw up.

Andy asked Kenny Q Sign about getting voted off early. Kenny, who looked a lot wider than when we last saw him, said he was surprised but that’s how it goes. What a good, gigantic sport!

Viewer’s Question: Tom seems to be getting grumpier and grumpier. Ooooo, even Padma nodded on this one!
Colicchio answered that in the beginning the food wasn’t very good and when you’re shooting and spending time away from your family for a month you at least want the food to be good. Point taken, but a month? You’re telling me the take out or room service in Chi-Town can’t suffice for the pineapple red curry mussels with squid ink pasta, coconut milk and foccacia you’re getting on a reg during WORKING HOURS? How about this: try working for a month on an ad and still having your family think you get paid ever time it’s in a magazine. But no, let’s feel sorry for Poor Chef Tom away from his giant mansions and restaurants and children with names like Pistachio and Invention.

Viewer’s Question: How did Eric Rippert get so good looking?
Okay, I really like you Andy but you didn’t have to include that one. They should just show a photo of his parents and his bank account. Hot As Hell Rippert, totally unfazed, said sometimes he hears that comment but he always answers: “It doesn’t make a difference in the kitchen.” (Unless you’re Michael V. In which case you can open and plate a can of cold beans to the explosion of women’s panties around the Globe. (Except for Gbag’s, of course.))

When it came to Tiffany getting the heave ho, the Judge’s said Tiffany’s dish had a rustic look compared to Kevin’s more polished dish. No mention of the bitter pepper skin?
Tiffany, who sat next to Ed on the couch just smiled. She could care less. She won 20k and two trips to Europe and I’m sure Colgate is calling her soon. Then Andy said they had a Top Chef Wedding, which was totally misleading; they just meant Tiffany got married. At this point she hoisted her rock in the air and showed it off saying: “I’s married now” (a la Oprah Winfrey in THE COLOR PURPLE which I only feel comfortable saying in front of other Blacks. But, hey, that’s just me.) The wedding was in Costa Rica and- wait Arnold was there? Out of all of the chefs, “I, I, I, I, I” was invited? He even got to announce the couple when they came out for the first time at the reception? Um, did we even see Tiff and Arnie talking to each other during his short stay in DC? RAN-DOM.

Andy asked, about Ed and Tiffany’s “unique bond.” Here comes the Swirl Vidjoe Package! Ed: “This is great, this will be great for my girlfriend.”
We saw them drinking, laughing and playing dominoes as they spoke about each other. Ed saying she was a great chef and had an amazing smile; Tiffany calling Ed “My Eddie”; Bad Perm’s quote about Ed having a gf and Tiffany having a fiancé. THEN- in the Stew Room- with Bad Perm to Tiffany’s right and Ed to Tiffany’s left…
Ed (slight slur): “We can get a little quick one in before she walks down the aisle.” Tiffany shook her head ‘No,’ Bad Perm smiled. Ed: “If you wanna try the white guy…”
Everyone hollered and Ed turned red as a beet.
Ed: “Everything was cool until that one.”
Andy asked what it was between them. Tiffany: “I would describe it as fray-endships, everyone develops fray-endships.” Tiffany said her husband laughs, he knows who she’s going home too.
Ed: “My girlfriend Diana…”
Tiffany: “Say her name.” (Oooooo)
Ed: “…at first she was like ‘Is there a thing with you and Tiffany?’ and I was like ‘Don’t worry.’ So, I dunno. I dunno I just feel really bad right now.”
Ahhh, you just made that A LOT worse Eddie.

Then they did a quick Blame Game Package with everyone dissing other people’s dishes. Andy got a ton of emails wondering why Amanda (Pilly) cooked with sherry at the kids challenge. Pilly actually said she didn’t have an explanation and “…you do weird things on the show that you wouldn’t normally do…” Hmm, like wear all that gd foundation?
Tom Colicchio: “Who were you cooking for!? (Daddy mad!)
Pilly: “Kids,” (trying to deflect) “and they were very loud that day.”
Padma: “It must have been all that sherry they were high on.”
Yeah, baby!
(I like seeing Padma like this. A little juiced, season done, cheddar in the bank and absolutely nothing to lose by being frank as f*ck.)

Andy said Arnie and 51 (51 Years Old!) didn’t really like each other on the day the were both eliminated. Arnie lied and said they got along fine and then they showed the package that told a different story. Rippert reminded everyone that Arnie’s pasta was raw that day. Arnold: “Let’s bring that back up.”
Whoa! Guess who WON’T be getting a spin off series?

Then Andy asked Bad Perm about seeing Guest Judge Michelle Bernstein.
Bad Perm: “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
After the package she said she was uncomfortable and she thought everyone who watched was well aware.
Andy asked if she thought Michelle was able to be impartial. Bad Perm said she didn’t want to talk about it but people had an opinion of it and she was inclined to go with their opinion. Stoking the flames, yo!
Tom and Padma said Michelle was just as uncomfortable and went out of her way to be impartial.
Padma: maybe you guys shared a bf or something…”
(See what I’m saying about Ol’ Girl?)
Bad Perm: “I’ll tell you what it was…
…a long time ago…
Michelle stole my pea purée…” OOOOOOOOOOooooooHHHHhhh!!
Everyone clapped and laughed. Including me. And my neighbors! Oh, that’s not clapping…
The Villain: “Now you know what happened to it, Ed.”
Andy (this is what I love about him) asked point blank if The Villan stole the purée, it was the number one question from all the viewers. (Not The Reality Poolers! We know a thief when we see one.)
They showed the package before they let him answer. After it, Ed surprised Andy and everyone else by taking off his ugly button down shirt revealing a black t-shirt (the same one from Singapore?) with green writing on it that read: Where’s my pea purée?!?! Peagate Scandal 2010 Top Chef.
(Hey I’m all for making a little extra money but that t-shirt is poorly designed, Dood.)
The Villain: “Where’d you get that shirt and where’s mine?”
Colicchio said it would be in wardrobe later and he could steal it! HI-OOOOOOO!
The Villain: “We’ve had a lot of fun with this pea purée thing, you know, people ask me, they come into the restaurant. As far as me stealing something” (hand chopping the air for emphasis) “I would never steal anything. I made that pea purée.”
Andy Cohen: “When did you make it?”
Villain: “As soon as I got to the restaurant.”
Pilly: “He made it right next to me, like the first thing he did was get a blender out and blend peas.” (Really, puff-face? Why didn’t you say this before?)
Andy Cohen: “So you saw him making the pea purée?”
Tiffany made the gas face and rolled her eyes to high heaven. She said she had no idea The Villain made it and at no time did he say Hey Ed, I made my own. She said he looked totally guilty. The Villain said he didn’t think he was being accused of theft.
(You think so now, Egghead?)
Ed was asked point blank if he thought The Villain stole it. Ed said half of him says yes, half of him says no.
Colicchio: “After hearing Amanda say she saw him make it?”
Ed: “It doesn’t mean anything.”
Woo hoooo!
Pilly “Insane!” (Yes, you are.)
They all argued, Kenny Q Sign jumped in and said the night before The Villain didn’t have an idea of a dish he wanted to do.
Colicchio: “Who bought the peas? You bought the peas?”
Our Star said The Villain definitely bought peas because they weren’t any good. (So this MF bought bad peas? That’s just more fuel for him stealing them then.)
Colicchio: So you turned starchy peas into a winning dish?
The Villain: (smiling) “Thank you.”
Pilly said there’s probably footage of it, It’s just not in because…
Colicchio: “No, there’s not.”
Tom said he asked for footage of it and Bravo looked through hours of it and couldn’t find it.
Pilly: “Really?”
The bump on her lip told her to shut up before she was implicated any further.
Colicchio: “Gotta tell ya, if it was on camera that you made pea purée and you did not and you stole it? Guaranteed it woulda been shown.”
Padma: “And you’d have been gone for breaking the rules.”
Lay it down, Lady!
Andy: “Conversely, if it was on camera that he was sitting there MAKING pea purée, blending it, that would have been shown as well.”
The Villain: “I don’t know if that’s true, I think that this is good television…”
Colicchio: “No.”
(Nice try, Dick!)
Andy: “You know what, with all due respect it would have been shown.”
Colicchio said if there was footage of The Villain making it, it would have made Ed look really bad.
Tiffany continued to shake her head. Andy and Company tried to lighten the moment by asking if The Villain bought the ‘hooker or the eightball’ (referencing what he would do with the Quickfire cash if he won) after he was eliminated. Nice way to lighten it up. We know the dilly. The Villain remains villainous!

Then it was time for…Timothy’s Package?
Apparently Tim’s nickname was Teddy (given to him by Kenny Q Sign, as in Teddy Pendergrass, RIP TP.) Tim sang the SHAFT theme song and walked around with no shirt on revealing his icky barrel chest.
Time: “I’d love to drizzle some chocolate on Padma…to see her in person that makes me want to drizzle chocolate on her even more.” WHOA.
Tim said he liked to perform in front of the ladies. Then they showed him in the Stew Room, Tim: “Let’s pretend like we’re in a strip club. Get on the pole.”
Tiffany made a gas face.
Tim: “9 times outta 10, half way through the meal, before dessert the Ladies usually end up nude. And dessert is not on a dish.” HEY I do not think your wife up in heaven likes this kinda talk.

The Kenny Q Sign vs. Dusty Vidjoe package was everyone saying how cocky they both were and one quote we never heard before.
Dusty: “It’s a greater risk for me to be here than for you guys to have me on the show?”
HUH? What does that even mean? The Double Rainbow Guy is confused about that too. Meanwhile Kenny Q Sign said over and over again that he was a Beast In The Kitchen.
(btw you could totally tell Dusty was a lot more tweaked in the beginning) Back on set, Dusty said: “I know what I now and I know what I don’t know.” (Someone’s syringe has been full.)
Colicchio said you have to have a certain amount of cockiness to lead your team which led to Andy revealing the t-shirt that Bravo made for Kenny Q Sign that read: Beast In The Kitchen.
Without missing a beat, the contestants urged Kenny to show his tattoo and Q Sign revealed a tattoo on his STOMACH that actually said “Beast Of The Kitchen.”
What is it with these people usurping Bravo’s t-shirt power?
But here’s the thing: Kenny’s Tattoo read Beast OF The Kitchen instead of “In” (which he himself had said all season, that’s just dumb) AND it was in three different fonts. Ugly fonts.

Then we got the glassy-eyed Stephen package with all the horrible things that were said about his food.
Gail: “it looked sorta sloppy.”
Padma: “…it’s very 80s to me.”
Colicchio: “…he’s like the kid in school that’s always in the principal’s office.”
On set, Glass-Eyes agreed with them, he said cooks through trial and error and Colicchio said there are chefs that cook that way…but this competition is shooting from the hip. Then he shot Stephen in the chest.

After the Stew Room Package where we saw they played hockey while wearing boxes, had made playing cards outta cardboard (you can’t give these doods a deck of cards?) and giant dice out of boxes; John (Male Carla Cosby) was asked if he were to do it again would he make his own pastry.
Male Carla Cosby nervously answered he wouldn’t do it that way and that his restaurant had become very popular again. (Again?)
Colicchio: “How are dessert sales?” MCC said they were sales were up because he wasn’t doing them. Nice.

Colicchio semi-apologized to Tracey by saying he had hoped his comment about her dish being insulting to Italians had been edited out. Of course it wasn’t, Come on! Someone asked Gail how it was being a host on TC versus TC Desserts- umm…that’s a plant. Not even going there. The Judges Vidjoe Package was just-meh. Then a horrible segment aired called-‘What would their baby look like’- ugh, Andy. I get why you did it but the combos were creepy.

They were asked about DC and the people they cooked for. Pilly said Nancy Pelosi was her favorite. Our Star said Buzz Aldrin was her favorite and she was star struck. I think we all know Buzz was struck too. He’s still waiting for that landing.
Question for Dusty: Are you as arrogant in your everyday life as you are in the show?
Dusty: “Wow.” He said he thought he was humble. Even after watching the whole season? I dunno…

Then another Dusty Package!
Apparently he talked to himself constantly and everyone knew he was manipulative (big surprise). To Camera: “I’m not necessarily the dog that humps every leg, I take a look at which leg I want to hump.”
No comment.
Our Star said he would make a great spy because he’s really good at getting close to people. Someone from TX wrote in that Dusty “led Tamesha on to fail” Tamesha disagreed. Dusty said why not help people. More than 10 chefs said they thought he was genuine in helping. Tiffany said she wasn’t sure at first but she was now that he wasn’t trying to cause any harm.

Andy said 3-4 practical jokes going on a day. The Villain wrapped every piece of Dusty’s clothing in plastic wrap. Then Dusty took all of The Villain’s knives and put them in a pot in the freezer. Then Dusty took all of his belongings, put them on the bed and then plastic wrapped the whole thing. Dusty was voted as the biggest prankster and The Villain the biggest target.

Andy asked who could name all seven Top Chef winners in order. Kevin was the only one who volunteered. If he did it, every chef would get all five Top Chef Quickfire wines. WAIT-Top Chef Quickfire Wines?!? Now they have wines?! Pretty sneaky, Sis. Kevin did it easily, more presents for everyone!

Then they revealed the Top Chef All Stars:
From Season One: Stephen, the chef/Sommelier, with the giant tie and Tiffani, the Battleaxe!
From Season Two: Elia and Marcel (he’s back?!)
From Season Three: Dale, Casey and Trey (I really thought he coulda won it)
From Season Four: Richard Blaze/Dale (remember when he hit the lockers?)/ Antonio and Spike With the hat
From Season Five: Fabio FABIO! (If I could just talk to Fabio for a minute here. Fabio, darling, I’ve missed you so much. I’m sorry your other Bravo show never happened but maybe it still can after this. I’ll be watching, my love.) Carla Cosby! and Jamie with the doll hair!
From Season Six: Jennifer (she was my pick!) and Mike Isabella (ew, Slimer Mouth. Annoying)
And from Season Seven, TC DC…
Dusty and Tiffany!!!!
Tiffany was ready for a second chance and wasn’t scared of anyone. Dusty said Richard would be his main competition. Interesting... Personally, I can’t wait to see how they both react to the Battleaxe that is Tiffani, the braggard that is Marcel and the violent Dale!

The Judges said most of the chefs were in the finale or could have been in it. Rippert is rooting for Jennifer because she works for him in Philadelphia. Trey was the biggest upset with the exception of Kenny (why didn’t they throw Kenny Q Sign a bone?!) Bummer.

Well that’s it, Friends. Thank you again for another great season. The Next Iron Chef is the Next Pool. Details arriving soon!

UPDATE: I’ve read that the Top Chef Fan Favorite was…
(Second runner up: Angelo!)
YAY DIMPLES! I gotta get me some of them…

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Any tenderness when I press here?"

Well, I could set this off by mourning the loss of my cell phone. (If you try to call and I don’t answer, I didn’t run off with the pool money! (I mean, I did just crack a bottle of 2004 Rolland-Maillet St. Emilion Grand Cru, but I bought it with my own cheddar) I promise!)

I could discuss the finale of MasterChef that I watched before TC DC.
(SEMI-SPOILER ALERT! I will not give away the winner cause I’m not a ruiner like that but I will say David, a software engineer from Boston, served Chef Gordon Ramsay (what does this MF have like twelve TV series now?) Beef Wellington! Yes, the same Beef Wellington Chef Ramsay serves in the Hell’s Kitchen “Restaurant” on a reg.
Why David? Why?)
But enough tears, and now I’m not talkin’ about my lost phone or the Wellington, I’m talking about the wine, I’m in full bodied bliss!
This is IT!
Make no mistake where you are-
THIS IS IT! The waiting it ohhhhhVER!

Three Chefs remain!
Angelo (aka Dusty); Kevin; and Ed from Boston. As you may well know, at stake is 125k from Dial Nutraskin (25k more than the usual 100- inflation, yo), a feature in Food & Wine Magazine, a spot at the F&W expo in Aspen and the title of...Top Chef.

They began the ep by showing Indie Film Star Kelly hug everyone goodbye again. Awwww man, don’t remind me!
Ed said he wanted Kelly around but he was glad he was there. Then Padma avec des monticules called them all back to Judges’ Table.
There was a butcher’s block and knives.
Monty said she wanted them to have as much time as possible to plan the final meal that was to be the: “four-course meal of your life.”
1st course-vegetable, 2nd-fish, 3rd course-meat AND Colicchio and Rippert would go to the market to pick their proteins (snap! can we get a spin off series of that alone?)
Colicchio: (with a smile) “I hear monkey’s in season.”
Honestly, I just want Rippert to ask for something in French and end up walking out with bag full of fire ants.
Gail: “Desserts are something that are always a bit of a controversy on this show. To be clear, you Must make dessert as your 4th course.”
Ed hung his head. Kevin (out loud) “Okay.”
Kevin said he was very comfortable with this. His wife was a pastry chef and both of his parent’s are bakers. (I’ve heard his cousins are butchers and candlestick makers.)
Then Monty said they could use some additional hands with their shopping and prepping.
OH THIS is when they intro the past Top Chef Winners- they came to HELP?!
I mistakenly thought (and posted) that they were cooking against them. But you know what? Maybe they still are. The TC Producers are sneaky like that…

Out walked my private bf chef (until I found out he was married (for ten years) with children) stern faced, I-beat-my-brother-in-this-competition-and-I-smoked-snorted-drank-and-shot-everything-Dusty-did-and-,-real-talk-,-I’m-still-standing-and-so-is-my-hair-and-with-less-gel-than-Dusty’s: Michael Voltaggio!
Michael wore chef whites that looked like a button-less white shirt with a wide priest’s collar, sans black material. I was almost certain ‘badass’ was stitched on the inside.
Kevin said he had worked with Michael Voltaggio before and they not only had a working relationship but a friendship.
Lucky break- if he gets him...

Also present, whiz kid: Hung Win (Top Chef 3 Winner and Executive Chef at Ajna Bar, formerly Buddha Bar in NYC) along with Ilan (pronounced E-LAN) Hall (Top Chef 2 Winner.)
Ed from Boston also wanted Michael V. Ah, who doesn’t? The line starts behind me.
Meanwhile Dusty’s chest filled with pride. He really wanted Hung. He said their cooking styles were similar. Recalling how fast Hung runs around in the kitchen, I think these two could turn an apartment-sized bowl of cream into butter in five minutes flat.

Monty asked them to pick knives to find out who would be paired with whom.
BUT- annnd, what’s up with this TC Producers? -we didn’t see how they determined Ed from Boston would pick first…hmmm...
Ed picked...Ilan. Ilan is currently Chef and owner of The Gorbals in downtown LA. He is a cutie who wears glasses and always cooked with saffron when he was on the show. Always.
From what I hear saffron is more expensive than yeyo. Yes, I’m sure Dusty has snorted saffron before.
Ed said he didn’t know much about Ilan but there was no reason not to respect him.
Kevin picked the second knife and got...
Michael said “Congratulations” as he hugged Kevin and they both cracked big smiles. Ed from Boston looked pissed.
Dusty got his wish. “We’re in Asia, I’m in the finals and I get Hung, this is the trilogy, so it’s showtime.”
Seetoh’s final words before they departed: “Sock it to me.”
And then they all ran up to Judges’ Table and beat him down. Hey, he asked for it.

The Final 3 and the three past winners went back to the hotel and Dusty said he didn’t feel well. Someone recommended ginger tea. He said he felt like garbage –the garbage he roots through looking for empty vials.
He wanted the other chefs to respect him but he went to sleep leaving everyone else awake.
Michael V told Kevin and Ed from Boston when (the judges) see the plate tomorrow “they want to be able to look at it and see you.”
Kevin cut him off: “Oh they’ll know whose dish is whose!”
Jumpin bad, Kevin? Stop yelling, please.
Ilan: “Don’t do anything new, don’t try and be crazy.”
Ed from Boston: “I’ve been waiting for snails, rabbit, foie gras.”
Um, you’re in Asia, Ed, try fish heads and century egg. Yeah, a 100-ass-year-old egg. People eat that ish. Thank you Easter Bunny!

Ed from Boston said he told his father’s eyebrows he was going to the finals. Kevin said it was going to be hard to sleep as he chewed on a pen cap or a piece of paper- he’s very oral all of a sudden...

The next morning Kevin and Ed ate breakfast as Dusty lay in bed. He spoke to Camera, eyes closed, saying his whole body was sore and the pain was excruciating. He said it felt like someone was stabbing him in the stomach.
(Hmmmm...what else feels like’s a 10 letter word that starts with W, ends with an L and rhymes with myth-drawl)

Kevin said he wanted to compete against the best, that’s the only way he could measure himself. Ed said he knew Dusty wanted to participate. Then the Doctor showed up. Uh oh.
Dusty told the Doc he had been vomiting out of the blue. (And possibly even the actual color blue.)
The Doctor said he needed fluids, rest and gave him a 20% chance of cooking the next day...YIPES.
You know, I keed Dusty cause I am keeder, but I gotta say I think it would crush him to not be able to cook.

In the kitchen, Colicchio and Rippert stood in front of Kevin, Michael V, Ilan, Ed from Boston and Hung. They had red plastic bags.
Colicchio said Dusty was under the weather and resting. To Camera, Kevin said there was definitely the possibility that Angelo was going home or Kelly was coming back...
That would be SO Indie Film!

Colicchio: “Here’s what we’re gonna do. Hung you’re gonna be on the phone with Angelo…”
“…tell him what you see, he can give you direction on what he wants you to prep and tomorrow if he’s well enough, he’s in the kitchen, if not we deal with it then.” Yah- this is a million dollar franchise show that just won an Emmy. You have already dealt with it TC Producers, I’m betting Our Star returns!
Ed: “It’s 125k, it’s a pretty good incentive, whatever is going on in your body, tell your body 'eff you' and get outta bed.”
Tough talk, Boston.

Rippert revealed his protein picks to the competitors and Sous Chefs: Red mullet (Rouget), cuttlefish, cockles and slipper lobsters.
Okay now, these lobsters really did look like slippers. The slippers of former dread-headed contestant John aka Male Carla Cosby. They were flat and as brown as the ground.
Ed from Boston: “Red mullet has a looootta little bones.” Pull out your tweezers, Eyebrows!
Colicchio revealed his picks: pork belly and a whole duck.
So, first course- vegetables, second- Rouget, third- duck and fourth- dessert. But all the proteins had to be incorporated into the dishes somehow. Kevin said when they all had to work with the same proteins the creativity really shines. Like glass MFs!

1 hour, budget: $300.
Michael V made a lot of suggestions to Kevin. Ed wanted to make corn soup, Ilan said there was no good corn in Singapore (how the hell does he know?) but Ed found some. Ilan kept telling Ed not to over think it. He went on for a bit longer.
Ed: “You are my Sous Chef actually, right?”
Ilan: “Just tell me what to do.”
Hey, look Ilan has new fangled chef white’s too. They sorta have a design on the back that looks like white panels have been sewn on like the patterns on the backs of Buffalo Bills’ victims in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. “What are you, about a size fourteen?”

Meanwhile Dusty had pillow talk with Hung who ran around the aisles just like Dusty would if he were there. Awww.
When Dusty said “Hey Hung” on the phone it sounded just like: ‘Hey Hun.”
Dusty: “Let’s do duck and foie gras marshmallows.”
Hung: “Ooo, okay!”
(Hey, Laura Zalanick, I'd like to see a TV series with these road runners too, okay and please bring Fabio back. He needs me.)

3 Hours To Prep!
Hung flew around the kitchen on puff pastry wings then called Dusty and told him not to worry, he got the foie gras.
“Foie’s gone guys!”
Ed: “Oh really!”
Ilan laughed. They all walked into the fridge. Kevin: “So that’s how he wants to play?”
Hey, Ed wanted to use some of that to stuff his duck necks! Hung said he needed the whole loaf. Ed said even though Dusty was sick he still had to watch out for him.
Um, that’s not Dusty, that’s how HUNG rolls. Move, itch, get out the way!

Kevin, with a smile:
1st course- eggplant, zucchini & roasted pepper terrine, tomatoes, jalapenos & black garlic purée (again with the purée?)
2nd course- pan-seared Rouget with cuttlefish “noodles” (hmm)
3rd course- roasted duck breast, caramelized bok choy (yum!) with duck dumpling and orange coriander sauce
4th course- frozen “Singapore Sling” 2010 with tropical fruits and coconut panna cotta (2010?)

Seeing how fast Hung was working, Ed jokingly asked him to break down his Rouget.
(Um, don’t try to eff with Hung, Ed. That sheet bounces off him. He’s a Vornado!)
Hung: Re: the Rouget: That sheet was one of the most difficult things I’ve done.”
Ed: “That’s not what I want to hear.”
Hung said he should have brought his cleaver as he cut duck. Ed offered his but told him it wasn’t sharp. Kevin said he felt bad for Hung because he didn’t know what he signed up for. Ilan put something in the oven near Hung who said: “Be careful of my pork bellies in there, I mean Angelo’s pork bellies.”
Then he laughed. What a good sport, this Vornado. He’s great. I remember in his season he was a badass and not very friendly. He just laid waste to the contestants and then at the end he said he really wanted to do this for his family, for his father and then he broke down and cried. Awwww. Then he ran around the kitchen so fast his tears dried! We gotta get this guy working on the BP oil spill!

Ed told Ilan he would show him how to do the brunoise (pronounced brun wah) if wanted but that Ilan was a “big boy" and could handle it.
Ilan: “Don’t eff with me.”
Ed: “ role in the kitchen is “Executive Chef.” He said he knew Ilan was a smart guy and knew how to make a corn soup but he wanted it made the way HE WANTED IT MADE.
Whoa is there room in the kitchen? What’s that growing in Ed’s pants?! Someone’s getting coooockkkkeeee.

Ed from Boston
1st course- chilled summer corn velouté (one of the four ‘mother sauces,’ stock-based) with crispy fried black cockles (yaaawn, you rocked out with your cockles out last week, Ed)
2nd course- stuffed Rouget, glazed bacon-wrapped slipper lobster & char-grilled cuttlefish with zucchini pesto (wow, three on one plate?!)
3rd course- duo of duck: roasted breast & braised stuffed neck with baby spinach (eh.)
4th course-sticky toffee date cake (nom nom nom)
but wait- Ed was letting ILAN do the dessert????

Back at the hotel Dusty was still experiencing massive migraines. The Doctor said there was a 3% chance an antibiotic shot would work.
An antibiotic shot in the buttocks.
Dusty took it like a man who had taken things in the buttocks.
Then the Doctor said it would be difficult for him to be 100% tomorrow.
Doctor: “You should really sleep for one or two days.” Worst case a WEEK! (Jesus, what did this Dood eat/drink or suck?!) Meanwhile Hung called. Dusty was getting the injection and didn’t pick up…

The next morning, Ed looked hung over and pale. Kevin was relaxed. The Doctor checked Dusty out. Dusty was sporting the second of two really dope t-shirts-
Singapore! Come for the t-shirts, stay for the high fever & vomiting.
The Doctor measured: No fever.
Blood pressure? Just fine.
Doctor: “Any tenderness when I press here?”
Hey, hey where are you pressing, Doc!?
Dusty was cleared to cook!

Ed looked EXTRA splotchy when he found out Dusty was gonna be back. He said he really thought it would be cool if it were just he and Kevin.
Yeah, I really think it would be cool if it were me and George Clooney. Sheet, at this point I’ll just take a Rosemary Clooney album and an orange Teeny drink.
Ed: Angelo is my biggest competition.”
Game On!

3 Hours To Prep!
Kevin was glad Dusty was okay because competition breeds better competition. (And yeast infections if there’s rubbing!)
Fast Paced Music ACTIVATE as Dusty was amazed and grateful that Hung was a speed demon. “Was it the best menu? No.” But he wanted to show the judges what he could do with what he was given under these circumstances. If this dood pulls it off it will be the biggest upset Evah!

Meanwhile Ed said you can never really trust anyone. Now there are trust issues?
Ilan wanted to know if he should add sea salt to the whipped cream in the dessert that Ed had given him control over.
Ed: “If you make a small batch I’ll try it.” Ed said Ilan works for him.
Ummm, if you give Ilan control of your gd dessert YOU work for HIM.

As Kevin plated, Michael V said he liked the old days when he used to plate the fish and Kevin used to pull the bones out. “Remember that?”
Lemme just say here: nice job TC Producers, you totally had me convinced from the footage last week that they were cooking against these past winners, but the winners are really their Sous Chefs. You got me. My mouth was open. My mouth was open on that one. (Vintage Eddie Murphy jokes, yay! We miss you Eddie Murphy. Stop being a donkey.)

Dusty showed Hung his surgeon-like sketches of the meal. One looked like dissected hassocks.
1st course- king royale mushrooms with noodles, char siu bao pork belly and watermelon tea (interesting)
2nd course- Asian-style Bouillabaisse over sautéed Rouget & poached cuttlefish (BOUILLE!)
3rd course- duck breast & foie gras with marshmallow & tart cherry shooter to cleanse the palate (wow!)
4th course-“Thai jewel” coconut-vanilla cream & crushed ice with exotic fruits and saffron syrup (delicious!)

Dusty wanted to sacrifice every part of himself. (Hopefully not Into the food.) He said his meals were three components and that’s it; “Ed’s were like 100.” Ed thought Kevin’s stuff was very artistic but did it taste good…? Dusty said it was time for the fall of Ed’s dynasty and time for him to reclaim the throne. “The story ends with me being Top Chef.” And riding a white horse to Jim Morrison’s mansion in the sky to make apps for him and Jimi Hendrix!

The Guests Arrived!
Pause Moment! Some CWAZY A** lights that looked like balls of tiny iridescent blue and silver striped fish, undulating in the air.
(Seriously. That's what I saw. I mean, yeah, my wine is that good but it’s not hallucinogenic.)
Monty wore a lovely blue above the knee plunger, hair in a half Snooki. Gail was stunning in a yellow garden party-ish dress with big brush stroked purple and black flowers. Dana Corwin in the hizzy in lively lilac! (thankfully no cleavage.) Eric Rippert and Colicchio and a host of other Chefs and Critics filled out the dining room. Kevin was impressed with the panel, especially David Chang, “he’s a stud.”

TC Producers I must give it up, you went big time on this one. David Chang is owner of New York’s famed Momofuku (something I will say to Mama from now on because she will think I’m swearing at her and it’s fun to upset Mama’s apple cart- also if you keep upsetting the apple cart you usually find a four-pack of wine coolers at the bottom! Hi Mama! Hi!) And that was just the tip of the culinary iceberg! Now ED looked like he was sick. He was the only chef who was crazy pale and sweating like he had cayenne on his nuts.

Dusty’s- king royale mushrooms with noodles, char siu bao pork belly and watermelon tea.
Dusty’s dish was in a bowl and looked hearty. The noodles were homemade. Restaurateur Iggy Chan gave Dusty credit for daring to be extreme. Food author Su-Lyn Tan said his dish was indicative of the flavors they enjoy in their local noodles. Coliccho said Dusty knew this cuisine but the dish needed a lot of work. Dayum! Smacked down in the early stages?

Kevin’s - eggplant, zucchini & roasted pepper terrine, tomatoes, jalapenos & black garlic purée.
Kevin’s plate looked like a painting. TC Master Susan Feniger said his dish didn’t have enough "Oomph" for her. Chang said he liked the dish. Susan responded by smacking his shoulder. (What the hell was that all about?) Chang said it took balls to do vegetable terrine as your first course. Okay stud, did no one tell you that’s what they were Supposed to do- vegetables as a first course?

Ed’s- chilled summer corn velouté with crispy fried black cockles was appreciated by both Valrhona pastry chef, Vincent Bourdin and Rippert. It sort of looked like a bowl of fried balls with a glass of eggy milk. Colicchio said there was restraint in all the dishes. Italian Chef Paul Bartolotta (also known as Mr. B) agreed.

Dusty tried to hydrate before prepping the second course. Which is something he said he never does. I mean if the water has moonshine in it, maybe...
Ed: “So now you’re not sick anymore, huh?”
Dusty: “Sick of your attitude.”

Dusty announced to the diners that the skate atop his bouillabaisse was “lightly blanched and meant to be eaten raw.”
Pause Moment! Rippert scrunches his nose and gives the baggy eyes to Vincent Bourdin like “What eees theees raw?”
Nervous Nelly Ed from Boston actually described part of his dish as having “some nice cuttlefish.”
Yeah, there’s some girls up on 110th Street that have ‘nice cuttlefish.’ I don’t think Rippert wants that on a plate either.

Kevin’s- pan-seared Rouget with cuttlefish “noodles” had Dana Corwin aka Linda Hunt jabbing. She said it was interesting. I wondered if Dana could qualify as an umbrella for the flight back. Save on airfare, yo. Chef Willin Low (Owner of Wild Rocket Restaurant in Singapore) said he had never thought of pairing the pork belly and squid ink and it worked well.

Ed’s- stuffed Rouget, glazed bacon-wrapped slipper lobster & char-grilled cuttlefish with zucchini pesto was a beautiful yet full plate. Rippert asked Seetoh about the dish and he said it was very complicated, he needed a user’s manual, but he had to respect the effort. Seetoh is very gracious. And his website is dope:

Dusty’s- Asian-style Bouillabaisse over sautéed Rouget & poached cuttlefish was liked very much by Iggy. Bartolotta said Dusty’s was the dish you’ll remember.
Mr. B: “The dish that will just be Boom!”
Yeah, that’s the sound your bowels make when you and they realize he just fed you a gigantic glob of his Singapore Sickness. Where the hell was his Michael Jackson mask?!

In the Kitchen, Kevin said he was worried that he didn’t have time to make the next dish perfect. Michael V asked for “white trash tongs” to fish out the duck dumplings he was frying for his Chef Pal. Ed from Boston jokingly said he took offense to that but his serious face betrayed him.
Ed: “If my duck is overcooked, I’m done.”

In introducing his dish, Ed, sweaty, skin splotchy and malaria-colored, used the phrase: “super green spinach." Someone has low blood sugar.

Kevin’s- roasted duck breast, caramelized bok choy was called the best-cooked duck of the three. Dusty’s- duck breast & foie gras with cinnamon marshmallow & tart cherry shooter to cleanse the palate was adored but Bartolotta and Iggy announced that the cherry shooter didn’t belong. I believe someone actually said out loud: “What am I supposed to do with this?”
Ed’s- duo of duck: roasted breast & braised stuffed neck with baby spinach was loved by Monty. She dug the super green spinach (you don’t have to repeat him, honey) in contrast to the smoky duck neck. Chef Andre Chiang (Owner Jann Par Andre- one of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants) liked the layers of flavors. Rippert said what they had done was remarkable and it didn’t surprise him that those three were in the finals.

In the Kitchen Ed thought Ilan (he pronounced it “Al-ahn”) could have got a little more intricate with the sticky toffee date cake. There wasn’t much too it.
Nope. Just looks like brown cake to me.
As he schlepped brown cake on to a plate with a plop of cream, he also thought the whipped cream might be too salty. Meanwhile Kevin and Michael V served fruit and coconut panna cotta INSIDE a gorgeous hollowed out dragonfruit. Yah.

Pause Moment! Bourdin’s forehead wrinkle at Kevin’s dragonfruit dish! That pastry chef did not look pleased. Meanwhile Ed’s appeared to be one of those dollah loaf slices of gingerbread cake you get at the corner store (mine was called Sunrise. And one time I bought donuts from there and when I opened them—remember this, Mama!? A ROACH popped out. The best part was Mama was close to me and said: “Gd! That roach was pregnant too!” How did she know?!)
Now I must ask, what is intriguing about Ed’s dessert? The dollop of melty Cool Whip?

Kevin’s- frozen “Singapore Sling” 2010 with tropical fruits and coconut panna cotta was deemed a triumph. Everyone agreed there was more to it than met the eye. (Transformers!) They all smacked their lips as Iggy said “he just created our national dessert.” Hot damn, that’s a compliment and a half.
Dusty’s-“Thai jewel” coconut-vanilla cream & crushed ice with exotic fruits and saffron syrup was really comforting (I thought Gail was gonna have a orgasm during this entire course) and bordering on savory.
Ed’s-sticky toffee date cake? Gail thought it took some cajones.
Chang: “This dish is hilarious. It’s sort of like an eff you!”
They laughed.
Is it a- 'ha, now you got stomach cramps!' kinda eff you? Cause I don’t want that eff you dessert. Bartolotta loved the cake and the toffee but hated the salty cream. Colicchio liked that part.
Gail Loved that all three guys got down with the desserts and said this might have broken the TC dessert curse. She did not go farther and plug her TC Desserts series airing just after this ep. Her agent pouted as he watched in LA, wearing his Bluetooth earpiece and riding his stationary bike while getting a mani/pedi –I feel for that pedicurist.

As the chefs cleaned, Dusty said regardless of being sick he thought he was pretty dangerous. (In a contagious type way?)
Ed tasted Kevin’s food and thought it was awesome. Kevin tasted a little bit and said the mental and emotional pressure was stronger than it was before.
Michael V: “That was the second best food I’ve ever seen on TC.
Ha ha!
Kevin: “Aww, this MF.”
Yes, you MF. You gorgeous, arrogant, MF. Now get over here and bake my bagel.
They high fived and then the cheftestants (the last time I will use that word) went to the front of the dining room. Everyone applauded forever. Monty raised a glass to Singapore and I raised my Grand Cru as well!

Here we go...
Dusty’s second course was called smart, they said he embraced the ingredients. Rippert liked the vegetables. Monty asked why the cherry puree was a palate cleanser, she said it “coated every corner of her mouth.” And red blooded men everywhere popped a chub.
Dusty said she should have gone back to the food and then back to the cleanser- Colicchio cut him off and said dishes shouldn’t come with so much instruction. Smack!

Ed’s duck showed skill and talent. Gail went on about his dessert: “It felt interestingly like you, 'I’m not gonna try to be anything I’m not and it’s not gonna look like much, but just eat it because you’ll enjoy it.'”
Ed: “Good to hear it.”
Colicchio: “I didn’t get that at all.”
Ow. Gail looked away slightly with her head and completely with her eyeballs -almost as if to say, I’m glad I’m doing TC Desserts, I need my own gig.
Colicciho: “If this is a close competition, which it is, that doesn’t make or break my day. It’s a dessert I’ll get at home.”
In your grocer’s freezer section, yo!
Ed: “What am I supposed to do…”
Um, you’re not supposed to TALK BACK! That’s what you’re Not supposed to do, Ed from Boston!
Colicchio looked like he was gonna take his belt off and beat some TC a**.
Ed: “…I wanted to make a lemon curd but I coulda just screwed the thing up 100% and it woulda been garbage.”
Oh Eddie you should feel lucky that they didn’t ask you who made that dessert. On dawgs, dawg.

Rippert wanted salt and spiciness in Kevin’s terrine. Gail generally didn’t like duck l’orange but enjoyed his. She also said she went to the place where the Singapore Sling was invented (aren’t all of youse you there now? ?) and said she would take Kevin’s.

Then Monty let them go to the Asian Stew Room.
I gotta say I dunno what the hell is gonna happen here...
At Judges’ Table
Gail said it was one of the best finales ever.
But...Dusty’s first dish wasn’t really vegetables. Kevin’s first course was timid. Ed’s corn and clam dish was spectacular. Colicchio said it showed his training.
In the second course, Ed’s dish was supposed to feature the Rouget. It did not. Kevin’s Rouget and combo was harmonious. Dusty’s seafood course was beautiful and the broth was lovely. (No one asked for the broth’s hand in marriage though.)
Dusty’s duck dish was good but the cinnamon (in the marshmallow) was misguided.
Coliccho: “Somewhere in there was a great dish.” Perhaps Colicchio will find it and steal it and we’ll see it on his menu.
Rippert said Ed’s duck was good. Colicchio thought it was slightly overcooked. Kevin’s was cooked the best.

Dusty’s dessert was yummy. Ed’s dessert shocked Rippert. Colicchio: “When he said what if he messed up the lemon curd, well, what if he messed up the duck?!” They all nodded and agreed.
Gail said Kevin’s dishes built up to a fruit punch. “Literally It was a fruit punch. It punched you with fruit.” Then the Hawaiian Punch guy came out and said anything more would be copyright infringement.

All three were very close but Monty said they had a clear winner…

In the “Who Do You Think Should Be Top Chef?” phone poll –
Angelo 26%
Ed 49%
Kevin 25%

Really?! Dayum. I still don’t know. I mean, who has more wins? Angelo.
Who has more recent wins? Ed from Boston.
Who talks the most shit? Ed from Boston.
Who yells loudest? Kevin.
Who took the cookies from the cookie jar? YOU!
Says who? Says me? Couldn’t be? Then who?
Annnnd we’re back!

Colicchio: “The Top Chef is the one who took the most risks and cooked the best meal.”
(I am gulping wine at this point!)
Then Menacing Music! Monty looked somber:
Ed stared at him.

Top Chef.”
His mouth dropped.
Kevin: “I am?”
They all hollered!
Stripes, Lucy, CC, Q and I are the Top Chef Pool Winners! WOOOHOOOO!

Ed: "Mr. Kevin is top Chef, I’m happy for him.” he said, not at all happy for him.
Kevin tried not to cry but there was some liquid in corner of his eyes.
Dusty said there was zero regret.
Kevin: “Jersey’s taking that belt home!”
Then Hung, Ilan and Michael V walked out with a tray of filled champagne glasses.
And, Hey, Indie Film Star Kelly is there in a cute yellow dress!
Ed said Kevin deserved it.
I think he came in under everyone's radar and snagged it. And so, sadly, I must ask LB, Holly and Jenna to pack their knives and go...

So, as Kevin sipped champagne and said he was proud to be the first African American Top Che-
Hold Up! Wait a Minute!
9pm, yo!
One clip: Tiffany: “When something is stolen, it’s a big deal.” CUT TO The Villain and his eyes popping out.
AWWWWW yeah, I shall be there with another bottle of Grand Cru (whaddaya think I only bought one?) and as long as I am there, you are too...

As always, thanks for playing, peeps!
Details about the next pool: The Next Iron Chef- to come soon! We already have 14 takers! Let’s hit half a G this time round!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

"What's wrong with you?! You're coming to a competition! You know there's $125,000 at stake, right?"

Before we set it off, some duedilly:

I have 8 people who are interested in doing The Next Iron Chef as the next reality pool. Who else is down?
Hit me up email style and lemme know, Joe. FYI- Brownie saw an ep of Iron Chef where one of Cat Cora’s Sous Chef was none other than:
Brownie said if she knew that she would picked him.

And now, here’s a sweet interview with last weeks’ Guest Judge and resident cutie: Anthony Bourdain, tasty!

But let’s get to the main course, shall we? This first part of the 2 Part Top Chef DC Finale ep (I can’t believe it’s almost over, ya’ll!) began with Kelly walking around a market in Singapore looking sweaty and tired in long red and white plaid shorts, a white shirt and maroon chef shoes. She glanced at some fruit as she talked about winning. Then Ed from Boston appeared in a black…well, this is Ed so I’m guessing it’s a black undershirt…he stepped lightly as if on eggs and talked about winning. Oh wait, we’re doing this Real World style where everyone talks about how excited they are and all meet up in a central location? Gotcha.

Kelly asked how Ed’s flight was. Then Kevin showed up still in shock that he made it. He wore a safari hat as if he would not be the main course in a cannibalism contest. He said his wife was ready to burst with child. (Always a nice image to have.) Then Dusty (Angelo) appeared. He also looked sweaty but this time because everyone else did, you couldn’t tell he had recently smoked crills. But before they could ask Angelo if his Russian fiancé was still making ‘em say ‘Oh’ in Odessa, Colicchio popped up with Seetoh: The King of Singapore Street Food. Now I wasn’t aware there were Street Food Kings but Our Star was. She had read his book! (You can’t count this girl out, I tell ya.)

Colicchio introduced Seetoh and left to get a happy ending as Seetoh took the chefs on a tour of the market area that housed what looked like a hundred cooks serving dishes made on the spot. (Kinda like the Kitchen in Chinatown with, I’m guessing less roaches because they’re outdoors. So I guess that probably means more bats and rats then though, right?)

The chefs all shared a dish that a cute little Singaporean man made exactly the same way every day. As they stood and ate, Dusty told the Camera he spent a lot of time in Asia (more pipe dreams) and had a passion for the food and culture.
Seetoh showed them a stand where boiled chicken had been cooked in broth and served with rice. It looked plain but this was their main dish. “It’s our hamburger,” Seetoh said. They wandered about slightly giddy from the flavors and spices, eating chili crab that could clear your sinuses and tender cuttle fish. During this time, Our Star admitted to Camera that Kevin was her biggest competition, not Angelo, because they cook the same style of food and “when Kevin brings it, he Brings It.”
That’s totally surprising to me. Cause with the exception of like two wins I think Kevin’s only brought lethargy and maybe bedbugs.
As they walked through the next set of outdoor cafes and Kevin talked about how he promised himself he would enjoy this experience (how can you enjoy this? You’re in a competition dood, see, this is what irks me about Kevin- this is the same dood who showed up at the fridges after everyone else during a Quickfire and said: “No proteins? No more proteins?” Wake up, Kid!
They took the corner and there, in a blue strapless dress held up, again, by a titanium bra inside with a silver beaded necklace or an appliqué or breastplate (you never know) was Padma avec des monticules.
Padma: “The final street food Seetoh and I will be tasting will be yours.”

Quickfire Challenge
Create your own version of Singapore Street Food using a wok.
Pause Moment- Angelo in shock! He LITrally looks like he doesn’t know if he just stuck his willy in a backside or a an international electrical socket.

The wok would be the only cooking device and all the ingredients had to be local so Monty hoped they had been paying attention.
Seetoh said in Singapore the guy that holds a wok would make or break a restaurant and in many instances chefs there would only be able to use it after 3-5 years of experience.
Ed from Boston began to sweat.
Then Monty told them that the winner of the Quickfire would receive….
for the first time ever…
this late in the competition…
Yup, you go RIGHT to the finals.
Angelo looked at everyone: “Sorry guys.” The shriveled stones on this addict!
But there’s not a moment to take whatever Dusty’s been taking to add to the adrenaline rush because-

The chefs sprinted to ingredients that were labeled in- Cantonese!
Oh Snap! Our Star began to taste everything. Ed admitted there was some stuff he didn’t know about so he just didn’t bother.
Monty and Seetoh drank giant beers as everyone sweat, tasted and sweat some more.
Dusty gave us a wok tutorial- the flame is the most important thing and called wok-kay? Huh? I looked this up (tell me if you found something on it) and I think he’s just straight up lying now. Makes sense. I mean you combine that much air travel with Singaporean street food and methadone and who knows what will come out of your mouth. Hey, I use my laptop so much I have laptoptopia.
Also, I’m Golden God.

Utensils down, hands up!
Everyone looked as if they showered with their clothes on.
Angelo was going to do a chili crab like the one he tasted in the market but then switched to chili crab inspired chili frogs legs with pineapple and Rambutan salsa.
Our Star (Kelly) made Chinese noodles with lobster, cockles, bean sprouts and Chinese broccoli. Seetoh immediately said not a lot of Asian cooks injected those flavors into the noodles and he liked what she did.
Kevin made seafood stew with lobster & cuttlefish with crispy shallots. Monticules asked if he had ever used a wok before and he said this was his first time. HUH!!??
Monty: “What’s wrong with you?! You’re coming to a competition! You know there’s $125,000 at stake, right?”
Yeah, whip that bastard, Monty. How are you a chef that has never used a wok? Trifling!
Ed from Boston made stir fry noodles with black pepper sauce, lobster and “and little bit of that WHY LAN..?”
Seetoh corrected him: “GAI LAN. It’s Singapore style asparagus.” Ed used three different kinds of noodles. He was nervous as he told Monty that he DID use a wok before and actually liked to “wok it out” all the time. New Bravo side biz: WOK IT OUT! Asian wok fried walkabouts. KAPOW, I get 20% off that one.

Seetoh’s comments?
Dusty did well with his flavors and the bits of pineapple were a good trick.
He appreciated that Our Star captured the essence of the ocean in the broth and seared her noodles.
He recognized that Kevin was trying to touch on the cuttlefish salad dish they had eaten previously and said his dish was sophisticated and complex.
He said Ed encompassed all the flavors in his noodles that lifted up the “entire street food sensation.”
Okay, are you smoking what Dusty’s smoking, Seetoh? Cause now you’re talking shit too. That sounded stoopid.
But the one who came close to bringing “that dish home here to his heart“ was…
ED !
Dusty was Completely Shocked. Ed teared up. So did Dusty.
Ed’s in the finals! (Crack the Pink Champale LB and Jenna!)

As Dusty licked his wounds, Monty said immunity would play a huge role in the next challenge because it was a team challenge!
Say whut now?

Cater a party for Food & Wine Magazine based on the local cuisine. Hosted by our very own Linda Hunt, Editor-in-chief: Dana Cowin. (Dana was not there wearing clothes from the Gaps children’s section.)
They were to create one cohesive menu as a team and were getting $200 each to cook for EIGHTY people. Oh and they would get to buy local spices. (Who gives a fuck? How about a translator?!)
Monty: “you can now head back the Hilton Hotel”
Hmmm…where you will lay on Wamsutta sheets and use cleansers from the Dial soap family of products as you drink Kona coffee? ENOUGH with the product placement commercial sheet.
Back at the cardboard-looking hotel, they all agreed to cook just one dish. They thought there just wasn’t enough time for more. Our Star made it a point to ask everyone, a few times. The conversation between them went something like this:
We’re only making one dish, right?
Yeah, I’m only making one dish.
One dish?
Yeah. I don’t want to make more than one dish.
Okay, one dish.
(You think something might come out of this?)

At the breakfast table the next morning, Ed took a little jar of marmalade from the muffin basket and put it in his pocket: “I think I can use this for a glaze on my crust.” Angelo (semi-smile): “I wish you would take this seriously.” Ooo he jealous!
Ed to Camera: “Yes Angelo, we understand you know Asian flavors, but having immunity now, I’m ready to kick a**.”
They all wrote in their blank black notebooks about what they would cook. Everyone except Ed, that is.
Finally they went shopping. Ed walked in front of Dusty: “Come on man, other people are shopping.” Now he’s just effing with him!
Dusty thought Ed from Boston had changed completely because of immunity. He said immunity is both good and bad because you lose that fire. Angelo: “…the spark in the forest has been set and…and…those flames are gonna be burning” (much like his fiancés loins after the first time they mated and she was left with a scalding selection of STDs.)

Then…Ed began to sneak around and buy more ingredients! He suddenly decided to make a second dish for a “little extra.”
OOOoooo, Ed!
He admitted that he had a learning disability growing up and this would prove to all those people who told him he was a “effing idiot” that he was good.
Awwwww, Ed.
(I’m so easy. Say you have a learning disability or bad parents and I just turn to vegan mush.)

1 Hour to Prep for the big meal tomorrow!
In the kitchen, Dusty asked if Ed took all the pork-
Ed: “Dood does that look like pork? What the *&$#%%”
(I wasn’t sure if it was pork or lamb to be honest.)
Dusty: “Come on Ed, please? What are you in fifth grade?”
Dusty went his book where he had sketched what looked like a cross section of a giant earthworm with platelets and bits of gum flying around it. Then he seemed to simultaneously pray and speak in tongues: “Jesus, have mercy on my soul.”
Ed from Boston: “I’m getting inside his head now.”
Dusty took every opportunity to call Ed an a** (kinda the way I do with my sister, but playfully, you know and not when she might be near a pair of shoes she can throw at my head.)

Dusty prepared lamb tartare with Rambutan ceviche & curry oil;
Ed – sweet & sour pork with crispy rice and potato cakes, gai lan;
Kevin – clam chowder with flavors of southeast Asia (sounds a little vague to me) and cockles. “Wake up, wake up” he said to himself as he cooked. That’s what I’ve been saying to you all season, Dood.
Our Star made seared prawns, spicy red coconut curry (kind of a yawn, don’t you think?) and crispy prawn heads. She said her confidence level in how things were gonna taste was a ten.
Ed filleted the pork, Kevin asked if he was going to use the bones -if not, could he? Ed said no problem. They all seemed to be getting along swell until…Colicchio entered the room:
“I’m looking at the menu, you know, this is like a party for Food & Wine Magazine, you guys only have four dishes? I mean, you think that’s enough?”
Then the bomb- Ed: “I planned for two all along.”
Our Star’s face began to look blotchy like she accidentally wet herself during the flute recital and the cute boy she was in love with was sprayed with pee.
Colicchio: “I really think you guys gotta do two.”
Ed: “Absolutely, I planned for it all along. I planned for two anyway.”
He left and everyone stewed as they stewed.
No one said a word.
Ed: “That was predictable, huh?” Kevin: “Fuck you.”
They all thought Ed’s decision to make two dishes made them look bad as a group. Not only do I kinda agree but I gotta say, if someone who DIDN’T plan to make a second dish, you know, someone other than Ed, blows the judges away with their second dish made with 25 minutes left, don’t you think they SHOULD win it based on principle? Just sayin’…

Kevin worked on a second dish: congee, a rice porridge that was usually made with egg that he decided to do with tapioca. Kelly, who was sick of tasting things because she couldn’t read the cans, chose to make cold cucumber soup and tried to open a can and couldn’t. She was freaked. She had to make a second dish for 80 people with…TWENTY MINUTES LEFT!?
Ed said they all should have chosen to knock it out of the park by making two dishes.
Kevin: “Immunity’s for suckers.”
Dusty decided to make a quick soup with prawns, Kevin shared his fish sauce. No one really spoke to Ed other than to chastise him. Then Dusty noticed blood on the floor….
Our Star cut herself! This is turning into a horror film! The blood began to seep down through the plastic glove she wore.
Dusty: “Anyone got any cilantro I can use?”
Ed: “Keep looking, Son.”
Ouch, Eddie! Now you’re mean and sarcastic with a learning disability? Well keep talking to me, playboy…
Our Star could barely seal her dishes with plastic wrap. The poor one-handed paw! This is not, however, the indie film where the adopted kid from Honduras begins to speak Cantonese and helps her do what she needs to do. Strength would have to come from within. Winning starts inside. Only You know what you’re capable of! (Can you tell I’ve been working on taglines lately?)

After prep it was nighttime which, apparently, is the right time for a little outdoor café that has a sort of cement pool where you get to sit in a chair and fish for prawns. Adorable!
Kevin had to have Our Star bait his hook- what a wuss!
He was the first one to catch a giant prawn but then: “I ain’t touching that, you’re outta your mind.”
Our Star: “I gotta bait your hook and take it off?” Resourceful little minx!

The next morning they entered the venue with just 1.5 hours to cook.
Typically in congee you find a poached egg at the bottom of your bowl (ICK!) but Kevin decided to do a 63-degree farm egg (which means the yoke and white are cooked perfectly.) Half a degree more or less and it’s a different product.
Meanwhile, Ed continued to be extremely sarcastic. He said he thought people thought he was being a douche bag but half the time with Angelo...he really was. (I heart douche bags!)
The wait staff arrived in nautical sorta striped shirts. Ed wanted to give them a preview of the meal and asked them to grab a menu as the chef’s picked someone to expedite. For a moment as everyone just stared at him I thought they didn’t speak English!
Finally someone said some semblance of ‘okay’ as Ed asked for all the dishes to be brought out at the same time to each table. The wait staff looked listless. Dusty said he was glad Ed was taking charge. Guess he sorta should have since he had immunity.

Then the judges walked in like they owned the place. Linda Hunt in a lovely green dress, Seetoh in the house! Monty in a pretty ruched dark yellow silk gown with flowers and Gail- hey Gail is back everyone, in purple. I think Gail is prego.

Back in the kitchen, Kevin’s cockles wouldn’t open! Ed asked if he needed anything and helped him pop them. And then they made sweet love.
I keed. I am keeder. I just heard of cockles being popped and, you know…

The first order came in!
Kevin called it out. The cockles opened!
Ed couldn’t read the tickets (WTF we need penmanship classes now!?)
Kevin said they were all cooking al minute- nothing cooked ahead of time with a new brand new wait staff. MADNESS!
The staff stood in the doorway holding hot dishes. They wouldn’t leave! They just stood there. Dusty: “Go, go go go. Guys, just go!”

Our Star’s chilled cucumber-yogurt soup with bitter melon salad was brought out. Gail liked it and Monty pointed out her Asian components. Seetoh said the concept was good and balanced the flavors of sweet and bitter. Gail thanked Linda Hunt for coming all the way to Singapore. As if she had a better TV appearance offer in Hawaii. Not with the magazine industry drying up like it is, sheet, you know that toothpick-legged chick was gonna show!
They tasted Kevin’s chowder with the flavors of Southeast Asia, it was deemed great to look at and delicious. Dusty’s sweet and spicy shrimp broth with prawn and ginger dumplings was enjoyed.

Suddenly the wait staff brought back another ticket- one table didn’t receive their food. Our Star scolded them in a stern but caring manner as if to say- spitting in food is spitting in food but you shall not spit on this food on this day.

Dusty’s lamb tartare wasn’t Linda Hunt’s thing but “he pulled it off.” She would want to eat it. And she did. Ed’s sweet & sour pork with crispy rice & potato cakes was met with ‘yummy’ and ‘very good.’ Colicchio said it was a lot of the flavors he had in the market but refined. Linda Hunt said she would have a bottomless bowl of it. (And she needed it because her chest ribs were showing.)

In the kitchen, Kevin couldn’t read the next check, neither could Dusty. Ed didn’t know what they were doing or why they were doing it. Ed had to go out to the restaurant to ask for runners!! uØr¬vÑ (that was supposed to be Chinese for ‘Crazy!’)

Kevin’s 63-degree egg with pearl tapioca, radish condiment was a risk that paid off. Our Star’s Seared prawns with spicy red coconut curry and crispy prawn heads were eclipsed by the side salad. Seetoh loved the guava in it. Colicchio thought the dish was good. Gail said it was complex.

Ed from Boston’s banana fritters with red chili paste was ADORED. Gail and Linda Hunt both literally yelled out that they loved them. Seetoh said he would put a blog (blob) of coconut ice cream on the top in his kitchen.

Then Linda Hunt raised a glass to the chef’s (she almost needed help because she was so skinny) and as they all assembled in the restaurant, “A toast to you for making a meal that made everyone smile.”
That’s all you got, Linda? A meal that made everyone smile?
Maybe this is why the magazine industry is dying…

In the Asian Stew Room the chefs discussed what they could have done differently. No one seemed really pissed at Ed at all. Monty asked to see all of them…

Colicchio said it was the best food they had all season.
Dusty said he never made a lamb tartare and wanted to challenge himself. Seetoh loved the flavor of the prawns and the lamb, it was almost like tuna. Monty though his sauce was a little salty and Gail called it overpowering. Oh.

Colicchio thought Our Star’s fish in the curry was cut a little rough. Gail wanted her red curry to have heat. Our Star said she liked spicy food and Gail said this is not the place to be timid. Seetoh said he was going to copy her guava apple salad. SINGAPOREAN BITER!

Kevin’s clam chowder was called ‘elevated’ though Seetoh wanted a tad more heat. Colicchio thought his 63 degrees paid off. Seetoh said a little texture, toasted peanuts or sesame seeds would have brought everything out.

When it came to Ed from Boston, Gail: “Holy Asian extravaganza it was so taste-I-licious.” Hmmm, I think your commentary is better when you’re mad, Gail.
Ed: (as if he was Dean Martin with a full glass of apple juice cause he was always really sober, right?) ‘Thank you.’
Dusty gnashed his teeth.
Seetoh said he wanted Ed’s rice cake dropped in a deep fryer so it would have puffed out. “It would have been lovely.”
Ed: (listless) “Oh-K.”
Then Colicciho said if Ed took his fritter, put it in a truck and parked it in the East Village “you would have so many stoners lining up. That was the perfect stoner food and that’s a compliment.” Monty had a giant grin like she was packing Humbolt County. (What’s with all the stoner talk?)
Then Gail: “Here’s my really big problem with that dish-
Everyone froze.
“..I wanted six, I got two.”
Everyone laughed. Ed said he was eating them in the kitchen.

In the Asian Stew Room-
Our Star said she thought her tour was up. Dusty said it was he that was going home. Our Star said she was proud of what they had done. They could have been at each other’s throats but they weren’t.
See how she uplifts everyone at every turn! This is the fantasy film where the caterpillar turns into a butterfly and then a Jaguar! (The automobile.)

Back at Judge’s Table-
Monty said it was nice that Ed, who had immunity, did such a fabulous job. Gail said he infused his personality into his dishes. Ew. If that’s true I don’t wanna think about what else was on those bananas.
Our Star’s shrimp dish was good but didn’t stand out. Colicchio said if she had worked her guava salad INTO the dish it would have been better. They didn’t like Our Star’s soup, but then Gail said between hers and Dusty’s soup she would have chosen Our Star’s.
Kevin’s dish needed a little more salt. Something herbaceous…MAN what will happen?!?

The chefs were called back and Dusty teared up and so did Our Star as Seetoh announced “the clear winner.” He said they had to resort to microscopic details but one Chef sailed ahead:
Ed danced away from my arms and into the Asian Stew Room. He had beat Dusty twice in one ep. Talk about a high note.

Our Star, a shaky-lipped Dusty and Kevin stood before the Judge’s Table.
Colicchio: “It’s tough coming half way across the world and only two of you can make it…”
Then he listed the problems: Our Star- grainy fish; Kevin- needed more texture; Dusty- you gave us two dishes, one marred by salt.

And then--
Monty asked Our Star to leave!
Dusty cried as he hugged her tight. She said it was okay and shook the hand of every Judge. Through her tears, she thanked them for the feedback and said she was definitely a better chef for it. Awwwwww-
I think this is the Indie movie where Kelly comes back to the TC Reunion having learned Cantonese and just after she serves everyone Sayor Loday- a stew of prawns, glangal, curd cakes, jicama and cabbage- Alex begins to get sick!
He chokes and sputters and falls to the floor, mouth fulla foam. Kelly protests as the other contestants begin to get sick. A poison control specialist arrives with an antidote as the authorities swab the kitchen and take Kelly away! Her husband shows up! And Ben Foster too!
Then Pilly cracks under no pressure and reveals that it was Alex!
ALEX put the moves on Kelly’s food and tried to frame her and wipe out the other contestants to be the last one standing (as if Top Chef followed Miss America’s Runner Up rules.)
Pilly is arrested for being an accomplice!
Our Star is released YAY! Also she gets Fan Favorite and Eric Rippert opens a restaurant with her in Colorado!
Oh he’s dead.

Gbag, Colanto, Brownie, Jet Li and Mama? (MAMA?! Naw!) I must ask you to pack your knives and go.


LB Ed Cotton

STRIPES Kevin Sbraga

LUCY Kevin Sbraga

CC Kevin Sbraga and Angelo Sosa

HOLLY Angelo Sosa

JENNA Ed Cotton

Q Kevin Sbraga

ME Kevin Sbraga

As the three congratulated themselves Monty said she needed to see them back at judges table. Ed: “Even me?”
Monty: “Even you.”
YES Even you, Ed, your immunity is over. Jesus.
It looks like the previous Top Chef winners are coming back and Dusty is in bed sick!
Hold up, he’s getting a needle in his ass! And he’s NOT enjoying it!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

"I have no idea what you're talking about, I just know I loved the dish."

Let’s set it off with an Emmy, ya’ll!
Yup, after sitting and shitting on the pot for seven years in a row, The Amazing Race (finally) lost the Outstanding Reality Competition Emmy to none other than Top Chef! Say whut!?
If you caught the footage, you saw the judges (Padma, Colicchio and Gail) shocked and psyched on stage.
Apparently Padma knew the outcome right off the bat:

Now screw the accolades cause it’s down to five chefs!
The ep kicked off with Kevin shaving his chunky face and saying he was surprised Amanda (Pilly) had made it as far as she did (us too dood, I’m still shocked Pilly beat Kenny Q Sign!) Kevin admitted he dodged some big bullets himself and now it was “time to get down to cooking.”
Meanwhile on the patio, Angelo (Dusthead) held a little chat show with Indie Film Star Kelly.
Dusthead: “You must miss your husband…” Our Star admitted she and her hubby had never been apart for more than a couple of days.
Nice strategy Dusty, get Our Star to think about her husband and be all weepy and discombobulated and unable to cook! True to form, Our Star cried to Camera as she said this was a big challenge for her husband to not be a part of. Is Dusty’s plan working?
When they showed photos of Our Star and her hubby- eh- I gotta say, at first glance I don’t think this is the independent film where she ends up staying married to her husband. Sorry. I think Ben Foster as a Sous Chef is waiting in the wings to batter her thighs so to speak.

[Now, if I could speak to the Top Chef Producers and Editors for a moment- Hi Guys, I just want to say, upfront, without knowing the outcome of the show that I’m pretty sure you’ve already set it up for either Kevin or Indie Film Star Kelly to go home. Just sayin’. You might want to get less obvious with these types of things for avid watchers such as ourselves.]

But back to The Dushthead Show where, legs crossed, hair matted from a night sweat of no cocaine, Dust dropped another addict-like bomb: he was divorced last year! The studio audience gasps!
He and his wife had a son and her family didn’t believe in his profession (he should have been a doctor or a lawyer.) Dusty: “My passion is cooking.” Cooking jub rocks, yo!

When the five arrived at the TC DC kitchen there were many bottles of wine. Dusty said wine was one of his biggest passions.
Is passion one of your biggest passions too?
No time to answer, it’s the-

Quickfire Challenge
Padma avec des monticules, wore a gray single breasted suit jacket with black rounded lapels, white shirt, skinny black tie, black tapered pants and heels –is she taking over for the late Robert Palmer in an 80s music video? But she looked like a million bucks as always. Especially standing next to Food & Wine Editor-In-Chief, Dana Cowin who, in a lovely eggplant colored v-neck top that appeared to probably make a better dress (once you saw the wide shot) paled in comparison. Especially when you realized Dana probably couldn’t wear a the top as a dress because her legs were so skinny. Especially-ier when you looked at Dana again and saw that she was basically Linda Hunt with two and a half feet added.

Ed from Boston admitted he’s friends with Dana on Facebook “for some odd reason even though she doesn’t know who the hell I am.”
We know the reason, Ed. You hoped being friends with her would get you somewhere. We all have those Facebook friend dreams.

Dana, standing on her toothpick legs in front of the wines: “10% of pairings are just awwwweful” (over the top eye-roll and widened mouth for emphasis because…you know what, because someone like this probably took acting lessons for what will amount to five minutes of TV screen time) “and 10% of pairings are genius.”
They had to choose a wine and an amazing dish to pair with it.

Dusty picked the first knife, tasted two wines (it was a quick cut so truly who knows, maybe he tasted ten?) Tiffany said this was not her strength (with an added “Lawd have mercy” that would have made actress Marla Gibbs (Florence from The Jeffersons) proud.
Our Star’s husband (who will have a fist fight with Ben Foster in the pantry in my independent film version of this ep) is a sommelier so they “pair wines and do tasting all the time.” She thought this gave her a leg up.
Then Monty said it was their final high stakes Quickfire. The winner would be going to London and staying for six nights!
Time Starts Now!
They had one hour. Kevin asked Dusty if he had star anise. Nope. He put pork into a pressure cooker. Our Star asked for one sprig of thyme. No one answered. Tiffany said she already had a trip to Paris and wanted to go to London too, “hit them both up, you know?!” Then she laughed and her dimples shrieked because she and Ed from Boston were both making rib eye.
11 minutes left!

Kevin opened his pressure cooker to find….his pork was not cooked at all. So he grabbed quail. Raw quail, everyone!
7 minutes left!

He knew the quail wouldn’t stand up to the wine but he didn’t have a choice or time. (Yet, as he finished grilling, he still had time to ask if someone’s dish was burning on the stove.) He prepared his plates as sweat dripped off his nose. They did not show where that sweat ended up…
Utensils down, hands up!

Tiffany picked Two Hands Shiraz and prepared cocoa & black pepper-crusted Waguy (a Japanese cow (“now finally available in Europe!” says the website) that has a succulent Kobe-style beef) tenderloin with spring risotto. Monty said her meat was cooked beautifully.

Kevin’s Tangley Oaks merlot was paired with grilled quail with shaved apple, fennel salad and apple vinaigrette.
Dana said quail was delicate. Kevin looked blank. Also he had something on his lip. I bet, if you magnified it, it was a ticket home.

Angelo’s Evolution (from Portland, Oregon –OMG did you know Portland has a wine country? I went there. It’s crantastic!) with sautéed foie gras with black salt & fennel salad.
Dana said it was an interesting dish.

Indie Film Star Kelly picked the Federalist Dry Creek Zinfandel and prepared wild boar tenderloin, blackberry conserve, mache salad, blue cheese emulsion (foam.) Ed picked Il Poggione Rosso and made grilled Wagyu rib eye with spring potato risotto & mushroom ragout.

Least successful?
Kevin “…the quail was beautifully cooked but with the merlot? Not perfect.” Our Star’s dish was off the chart because of the blue cheese foam. Ew.
Faves? Dusty’s was “a nice contrast with the crispness of the wine and heaviness of the foie gras” and…Tiffany “everything worked beautifully, the reduction was elegant.”
And the winner…? The pairing she would “have to have tomorrow”?
Dusty: “Damn.” He shocked himself! Kevin thought maybe Dusty had his mojo back.

Then Monty revealed that for the first time in Top Chef history (so annoying when reality TV shows say this. “For the first time in MTV’s Jersey Shore history, Everyone gets an STD!”) Top Chef was going international!
The finale would taking place in Singapore!
Everyone said Whoa like three times. Dusty had a “tingle.” The tingle of a heroin needle piercing a vein in his foot as held by a Singapore whore.

Elimination Challenge
Monty sent the five chefs to NASA. They entered a room that looked not unlike the DeVry commercials with giant screens on the walls showing maps and shit.
Colicchio introduced an older woman with braces who was a food scientist. Braces pointed to a screen and a male and female astronaut on a space station (or maybe just on a soundstage in New Jersey, anybody see CAPRICORN ONE?) floated in front of the camera with a microphone one of the Beastie Boys used in the late 80s and read from a cue card.
The astronauts pulled out freeze dried scrambled eggs and chicken fajitas as a way to say that space food has come a long way. But not the actual space station. Nope. It looked like the inside of an upside down ambulance. The collection of papers and bags over their heads secured by black bungee cords kinda reminded me of the floor behind my bedroom door where the stacks of bank statements and misfit toys live.

Finally, the challenge: They had to design a delicious dish that fit the space guidelines that the astronauts could eat. The winning dish would be flown to them via Jet Blue. (Jet Blue goes to the Space Station now, right?)
Colicchio said they’d be serving 8 guests including Buzz Aldrin (first he guest stars on 30 Rock, now Top Chef? This moonwalker thinks he’s Betty White!) And Braces gave parameters: the food had to be able to be freeze dried, couldn’t have a lot of sugar or large pieces (they don’t freeze dry well) and told them astronauts agreed: spicy foods taste good in orbit.
(Mainly because, in space, no one can hear your intestinal problems.)

Kevin was nervous. He couldn’t “wrap his head around how they eat in space.” Well, Kev, first they open the freeze-dried crap. Then they eat it.

After 30 minutes to shop and $200 each, they hustled back to the kitchen. Everyone seemed to go slightly spicy. Ed went for Moroccan flavors, Tiffany put her mussels in the fridge to get them cold and started on her curry. Our Star said she never freeze dried anything. Dusty drew up a short rib schematic on a paper towel. Kevin was going mainstream American with strip steak to give the astronauts a taste of home.
Then Colicchio entered.
When Dusty told him he was going to make braised short ribs Colicchio gave him the ‘Whatcho talkin bout, Angelo?” face.
Dusty: What was that look for?
Colicchio: “No reason.”
Colicchio asked if he had taken what the food scientist said into consideration. Dusty said he was going to go light on the sugar.
Tiffany began smiling and laughing as soon as she saw Colicchio.
She said she wanted to bring on the flavor because her flavors had recently been mild. She ended the conversation with another laugh-
which seemed nervous to me. Then she opened the fridge. Her mussels had frozen! They were dead! Uh oh…now what? Mussel-less curry?

That night at the TC DC house, Kevin said his mother was taken off life support six years ago but “…she just kept fighting and fighting” and that’s what he intended to do.
[We get it TC Producers and Editors. It’s Kevin’s time to go.]

In the morning before they left for the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center to cook, they saw a note. It said their ride to the destination was outside and the winner of the challenge would take it home. They all ran down the brownstone steps like kids on Xmas morning.
It was a jet black Toyota Avalon with ‘all the bells and whistles.’ The doors were opened and cameras looked inside before anyone got in because this is a Commercial, people.
Somehow Dusty was in the driver’s seat. I’m shocked he didn’t take that car right to Georgia Avenue: “Got that Sasha and Malia, yo.” Hoorah, 8 balls for everyone!

As they scrambled about in the small kitchen, Tiffany told a story of how in the 10th grade when she worked at IHOP she was told that ladies can’t work in the kitchen. She said she was going to work harder than everyone else and get in there and she did. Dim-ples Pow-er! (please say that like “Pup-py Pow-er” or maybe not. I abhor Scrappy Doo.)

Meanwhile the judges entered the space dome!
Colicchio, Monticules (in a strapless dark salmon gown), Rippert, Braces, Buzz Aldrin, Anthony Bourdain (oh snap!) and astronauts Sandra Magnus and Leland Melvin (a Blackstronaut!)

Buzz smiled at Indie Film Star Kelly—wait, maybe this is the indie film where Kelly goes to the moon (if you count the back seat of a Nova as the moon.) She presented her pan-roasted halibut with artichoke & fennel barigoule (braised artichokes in wine) and salsa verde salad.
Colicciho said it was well done and nicely cooked. The Scientist said you couldn’t have that much liquid (that was in the dish) in space. Colicchio said they should be able to freeze dry it. Astronaut Sandra said they missed the crunchy texture in space. Bourdain was oddly quiet. Star struck by the moon men and women?

Ed from Boston presented his yogurt-marinated rack of lamb & grilled satay of lamb. Colicchio liked it. Rippert said it had too many textures and flavors.
Bourdain: “I need to express my disappointment with my comrade the Ripper over here.“ There’s the Bourdain we know and love! Everyone laughed. He continued: “I’ve been to Morocco and I think Ed nailed it.”

Kevin mentioned to Camera that all the other chefs had their own restaurants and celebrities they had cooked for (they do?) and he didn’t have that yet. Kevin is kinda starting to get on my nerves.
He presented his NY strip steak with bacon-jalapeno marmalade, corn purée.
As they cut the steak, Astronaut Sandra mentioned that spoons were very important in space. Buzz revealed that he still had his.
(How much you wanna bet he’s already sold 200 sporks on eBay saying they were the ‘one he had used in space.’
You know how Buzz do!)
Colicchio’s said Kevin’s food was well seasoned. The food scientist said the challenge would be to keep the onions on top crispy. Who invited this scientific wet blanket? Meanwhile the chick’s plate was damn near licked clean. I think they keep her starving on an asteroid or some shit.
Astronaut Sandra finally cracked a smile as she talked about the Russian Cosmonaut who was in space for a year and, when he came down, Russia was no longer Russia. Then Blackstronaut aka Astronaut Jones:
Unless he did and the Editors cut it out- SPACE RACISTS!

Tiffany did her dish sans mussels: pan-seared Alaskan Halibut with coconut curry & jasmine rice. Rewind Moment! Tiffany’s presentation of the dish and her super high and small voice.
I think this is the only time we’ve ‘heard’ her nervous.
Everyone tasted. Rippert wasn’t too excited. He didn’t see anything coming together that elevated the dish. Bourdain said there was one ingredient that sang, the fish sauce. Finally, Blackstronaut spoke! He said the last time they brought food to the space station they had ice cream for the flight crew. “Did they share with us? No.”

Hm, I guess maybe all Astronauts are nonplussed once they get back to earth. I mean after that, what’s left? X and crystal meth? Maybe that’s on Georgia Avenue too. “Got that moon, high. Get buzzed on this, Buzz.”

Dusty presented his ginger-lacquered short ribs and horseradish crème fraiche and wait, pea purée? Alex is gone you guys! But I predict, right now that there will be a pea purée montage in the reunion show.
Buzz said Dusty’s dish was very tasty and the pickled mushroom was a surprise. Colicchio didn’t care for the candied ginger, too sweet, but he liked it and thought it was flavorful. Rippert made a tiny disparaging comment. And- Bourdain: “Well I’m shocked by Rippert’s dark, cynical, snarky, negative world view.”
So Bourdain hates Rippert? I love it!
Bourdain said he thought the dish was very sophisticated and would be easily adaptable to an extraterrestrial situation.
Awww, can Bourdain stay? Sorry Rippert, you gots-ta go!

Meanwhile, Dusty sat on his haunches in a hallway with three fingers on the bridge of his nose the way he saw a homeless heroin addict in a nod-out do once. He said he felt like he put his heart on the plate and it was very emotional for him. Jesus, this guy.
Before they left the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center for Judges Table, the chefs each tasted each other’s dishes. Everyone agreed the food was great. Then they left the kitchen a complete mess for Ronald Reagan’s ghost to clean.

Judges Table
Every stood there, nervous and tense. Colicchio said they all did a great job and the difference between winners and losers was really small. Then the compliments (and some criticisms) flew:

Bourdain to Ed from Boston: “having traveled to” Morocco “you pulled it off,” Colicchio: “Everything was done well.”

Rippert said Tiffany’s broth needed lime juice, some acidity. Colicchio he liked the dish but there were two things he could have gone without: the bitter pepper skin and mealy tomatoes. Ouch.

Colicchio told Our Star she nailed the artichokes. “they were cooked as nicely as I’ve ever seen an artichoke cooked.” She beamed. Rippert asked Our Star if she had been to Provence and learned techniques there. She said she had, Rippert said it showed. Wow! I think this is the Indie Film where Our Star ends up leaving her husband and Ben Foster for Eric Rippert!

Angelo said he took a submissive role in creating his dish, he really wanted to focus on precision. “The short ribs, I felt like I made love to them,” Ed from Boston did a double take and Rippert blinked, “I mean, I constantly heated them up, then I glazed them and then when I thought I had glazed them enough I re-glazed them.” Dusty finished with the same nervous laugh he had the first time his mother busted him stealing money from her wallet.
Silence. Then-
Bourdain: “I have no idea what you’re talking about, I just know I loved the dish.”
Hmmm, I wonder if Bourdain recognized a little of himself in Dusty. Anthony used to be a pretty heavy vein hitter himself according to Kitchen Confidential.

Kevin’s steak was perfectly cooked, Colicchio said the only negative thing was he preferred the steak to be cut thicker. Bourdain told Kevin he may have played it a little safe.

Then the chefs went to the Stew Room. Bourdain said Ed cooked his heart out. Rippert said Our Star cooked without a tightrope. Colicchio said the tight rope was “that wide,” his arms thrown out. Bourdain said points should be given for originality (as in her dish wasn’t.) Rippert said in terms of originality you’re right, it’s a classic. (I’d like to see these two in a cage match.)
Monty liked Dusty’s dish, so did Rippert and Bourdain “a lot, a real lot” but Colicchio didn’t like the candied ginger.
Kevin gave the astronauts something reminiscent of home but, Bourdain: “Sirloin, it’s Top Chef- sirloin? For God’s Sake.”

Tiffany’s dish tried to deliver authenticity, Bourdain loved the broth. Monty asked Colicchio she compensated for the lack of mussels by using too much fish sauce. Colicchio said he didn’t have a problem with it but harped on her not delivering by removing the skin of the pepper.
Whew, it’s get hot in herr, ya’ll!

The chefs were called back to Judges Table.
They were told the winning dish would be served in space and, also, the winning chef would get to watch one of the two remaining shuttle launches as Cape Canaveral. Wow. Now that’s pretty dope!
Bourdain announced..
Bourdain gave him a copy of his new book and Monty gave him keys to his (horribly edited VO) new Toyota that he promptly sold for rock.

Colicchio reviewed everyone’s dishes and said he wished all four could go to Singapore. Then Monty asked…
Tiffany to pack her knives and go!!!
Kevin: (softly but right there in front of everyone, including Tiffany) “Thank you Lord Jesus, thank you.”
Tiffany’s eyes welled up. She started to laugh and said thanks for the opportunity. Ed from Boston had tears in his eyes too.
Tiffany to Camera: “The worst part is you made it that far...”

[WOW TC Editors and Producers. You got me. You totally set me up to think that Kevin or Indie Film Star Kelly was going home and then the one person I just KNEW was going to the Finale was cut?! I’m sad but I must commend you for the subterfuge. Well done.]
When Tiffany went to the Stew Room Dusty stood, ready to hug/welcome her into the finals but she told him she was leaving.
He was shocked.
Meanwhile Kevin said ‘Good job guys’ and hugged Our Star and Ed from Boston.

Holy Crap dood, Tiffany is gone! The friggin mussels knocked her out?!
Ed said Tiffany brought so much energy to the competition.
She said Congratulations guys as they all entered the Stew Room. Ed hugged her for a long time.
Tiffany: “You just have to know that you did good…” She smiled through the tears (–man I can’t believe it) and continued to smile and then walked out of our lives forever. The kitchen lights will definitely be more dim.

Thus, with a heavy heart, I must ask Kat to pack your knives and go.

[Hey, the TC DC finale isn’t untll September 15th? Whoa… see you Doods then!]


LB Ed Cotton

STRIPES Kevin Sbraga

GBAG Kelly Liken

LUCY Kevin Sbraga and Kelly Liken

COLANTO Kelly Liken

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