Thursday, February 3, 2011

“I’m a chef, I don’t care about a fashion designer’s opinion. That means nothing to me.”

What up, yo! Before we get started, Jet made a fantastic observation:

"you know- all season during top chef: dc i kept wondering who pilly amanda reminded me of (http://rocknrollghost.com/2010/08/29/top-chef-exit-interview-with-amanda-baumgarten- she doesn't actually sound as much of a asshat in the interview, but she puts it back on once she passes on the cordon bleu question). anywho, as i watch the top chef: ny marathon today it hits me- LEAH! leah, was definitely a better chef than pills. but she still has that same "i can play a coquette but i cannot cook a croquette. why? because i don't know what that is....*bats eyelashes* won't you tell lil ol moi?". barf. leah farted around all season trying to get on hosea's junk (http://www.eonline.com/uberblog/marc_malkin/b99705_top_chefs_leah_what_really_happened.html). they're dead ringers for each other too. ugh."

I told Jet I accepted them as being one person. One whorey, annoying person.

Now, new ep, more snow. This is the third storm in one week here. One Week!
At this point if someone says there’s no such thing as Global Warming I’m going to push them into a snow bank. By the time they try to get up there’ll be a fifth storm and they’ll be smothered to death. I won’t even go to jail for that!
“The Snowstorm Defense.”
Hmmm, I just may turn into The Snowstorm Killer. If several of the kids who bullied me when I lived in Roxbury suddenly go missing…it’s a coincidence. A happy, vengeful coincidence…

Now on with the show! At the “bar” that’s lit like a WalMart, the remaining chefs drink and reminisce about Marcel.
Flashback to Colicchio saying Marcel made one of the worst desserts he’s ever eaten and Marcel calling out Slimer. As Slimer slimes about it, Antonia says she wants him gone. (But remember, Poolers, we need Dale or Fabio (sigh) to go home. Let’s all concentrate on that, okay?
And melting all the snow!
And on Tom Hardy being in my bed- ready, GO!

In the kitchen, Pads is in a tight bright pumpkin colored satin sleeveless number with (that’s odd) darts on the abdomen area, and sports one of her stand out necklaces that looks black beaded and tribal. Next to her is Issac Mizrahi psyched to be on a show with a woman who doesn’t require subtitles (Iman- I love you but I don’t know what you’re saying.) Mizrahi (which is fun to both say and spell) continues to prove that men need only pop their jacket collar to make whatever they’re wearing look three times better.
Angelo: “One of my biggest passions after food is fashion.” Really? Cause I’ve seen you wear nothing more than v-necks and thin thrift sweaters, with the exception of the t-shirts you wore in the finals last year. Those were dope. Also, stolen.

QuickFire Challenge
This one is all about inspiration. It’s Fashion Week in NYC, Issac is premiering his collection (I’d give his clothes a shot sight unseen over Michael Kors’ dowdy sheet. Plus I’m still ripped at that Vaseline lips for crowning Gretchen Project Runway winner!)
For this QF, Pads and Isaac would NOT taste dishes, they would judge on aesthetics only. AWESOME! The prize, immunity!

30 minutes!
Carla says she did runway in Paris and that led her to cooking. Hm, I didn’t realize they loved Bill Cosby that much in France. Blais made black ice cream (dope!) Antonia didn’t actually cook anything. She made a little tree out of a root vegetable and a landscape on a plate inspired by The Giving Tree. Trust me, it sounds better than it looks.
Fabio uses a marker to write something on his plate (sadly not his phone number) and put some fish down that he said was about a woman walking in the rain trying to dodge the drops. Okay.
Punchy Dale did a graffiti-inspired plate that Issac didn’t like at all. Dale: “I’m a chef, I don’t care about a fashion designer’s opinion. That means nothing to me.”
Punch him! Punch the waves out of Isaac’s hair so you can go home, Dale!
Angelo wrote the word crocodile (spelled wrong, btw) on his table and vacuum-sealed a bag of what Fabio called “vomit” on top of an upside down plate. Yeah. Then he told Isaac one of his favorite designers was Roberto Cavalli.
Isaac: “Allllright…”
Isaac called the writing on the table Charles Manson-ish.
Love him!
(Isaac, not Manson. I used to go for the angry types but I draw the line at murderers that carve swastikas into their foreheads.)
Least Faves: Dale, Tre and Angelo.
Faves: Fabio, Carla and Blais.
The winner that looked the ”most beautiful” and made Isaac want to grab a spoon was- Blais’! I gotta say, black ice cream is pretty dope. (It’s also the name of Natalie Portman’s next movie.)

Elimination Challenge
The chefs had to cook in a NYC restaurant that took no reservations. Tables are owned and passed down from generation to generation. Sooooo we gathered here for you to read my Nana’s will and tell me I get a seat at a restaurant? Is the food free?

In walks the two co-owners and the executive chef of Rao’s: Frankie Pellegrino, Frankie Junior and Dino The Chef.
Godfather references abound! Angelo is stumped but Fabio smiles and knows them immediately and he “love it.”
Rao’s is a 10 table Italian restaurant that’s 114 years old (whoa!) owned by Frankie No, a handsome, well-spoken man who charges them with cooking an Italian feast for him and his family.
Slimer, who is Italian, looks to the heavens. If he loses this, he’s garlic toast!
The chefs must use Frankie’s family history as inspiration for their dishes.
PAUSE MOMENT!
17 minutes in, the hair at Antonia’s temples is sticking straight out. I mean HORIZONTALLY On both sides!
Too much gel and not enough brushing? Or maybe that’s what happens when she gets excited? I bet the night she met her baby daddy her temple hair stood out four inches.

Each chef had to make one dish in a course and would be judged individually. The courses? Antipasto (app), primo (pasta), secondo (meat.) (I left my wallet in secondo once. I gotta get it.) The chefs pulled knives earlier which meant-
Antonia, Carla Cos & Tiffany would be making antipasto and chatting with Dino The Chef, who looks scary and scared simultaneously; Blais, Angelo & Fabio, primo with Frankie N; and Tre, Slimer, Punchy Dale & pasta with Junior a proud balding man who told them they use dry pasta for some dishes at Rao's.
They plan with the famiglia for 30 (Italian chefs, Fabio, Slimer and Antonia monopolizing the convo.)
Tre (to Camera): "People call me Black Italian."
You know what, Tre, I’m all set with you. You’ve been leaning on tables in the kitchen during Padma’s talks and you just look sleepy all the time. Why didn’t I go with the two Dales?!

2 Hours To Prep-
Slimer is going with fresh rigatoni “for the first time on Top Chef,” Antonia doesn’t want to disappoint her 100% Sicilian father and Tiffany says “I got this” because she worked in an Italian restaurant for five years. (Yeah but you work in a seafood restaurant now and you blew the fish prep QuickFire at Le Bernandin.)

In Rao’s Kitchen-
Carla Cos enjoys making the first course with Antonia and Tiffany because they “work so clean,” which makes me think the boy chefs put their fingers in their ears, noses and butts in between stirring and frying.
Then Tiffany’s polenta catches fire! Well, the paper underneath it did. Why is there paper underneath something going into an oven? Anyone? Chef Bueller?

In the dining room, the Judges arrive and include: a bartender, another co-owner and a manager of Rao’s (gangsta, LITrally), Anthony Bourdain (YAY!), Pads, Colicchio and Lorraine Bracco and her new face.
If I might talk to the Lady Poolers for a moment- I know most of you. I’ve seen most of you. As you get older I would still like to recognize you on the street. Please don’t do whatever Bracco’s manager/agent/bf/secret hater gf co-signed here that makes her eyes look like slits. Good gracious, you’re beautiful, Ladies. This type of activity will not preserve it.

Antipasti!
Carla intros minestrone soup with basil oll, tomatoes & homemade focaccia. Bourdain really likes it. The co-owner said she made a great soup but it was the kind you could find in Wisconsin. Ouch! Will some Bill Cosby look-alike be grasping her chef jacket in the heart area at Judges’ Table?
They love Tiffany’s warm polenta terrine with Italian sausage, roasted peppers & kale with tomato mozzarella salad polenta but, Colicchio: “only a non-Italian would call it Italian sausage.” The bartender: “bless Tiffany’s hands.” (He looks like he wants to bless something else, quiet as it’s kept.)
Bourdain says Antonia’s mussels and white wine with fennel, fresh garlic and parsley dish is confident and flavorful. Lorraine rubs her plate with bread and sticks it into the mouth of her mask.

Primo!
Punchy Dale’s fresh pasta, pancetta, Brussels sprouts, chanterelle mushrooms and pecorino romano would not get Punchy Dale laid if he was Lorraine’s bf. He cooked everything separately so there was no sauce! Zero. (Yes, Go Home!)
Tre’s grilled vegetable risotto, marinated tomatoes & fresh basil was not about the rice and it should have been. It looked gloppy on the plate. Bourdain said it was killed with garnish.
Slimer’s fresh pasta wasn’t cooked when he drained it! He was hoping it would cook in the sauce!
It did not. Thus his spicy calamari, rigatoni and tomato? Disaster.
Junior reminds the table he told his group of chefs they could use dried pasta. Bourdain cusses as he asks how three culinary professionals could eff up pasta: “This looks like something you’d find in a steam table at your worst enemies wedding.”
(Why would I go to my worst enemies’ wedding though? I mean, I wouldn’t think I’d be invited if we were enemies. And then I’d prolly be like- yeah, my enemy deserves this uncooked pasta. Then I’d steal a bottle of Merlot and make out with the guy who worked the coat check.)

In the Rao’s kitchen-
Angelo asks Fabio to taste his dish (to Camera) “I really want to honor the flavors and-“ Hey! Angelo is wearing that one nice t-shirt from the finals! Homeboy couldn’t find time to shop after last season? Prolly too busy getting those meth levels back up.

Blais calls Fab a magician for cooking his chicken in a pressure cooker in the last half hour. (I’m interested in watching Everything Fab does under pressure. Also, under me.)

Secondo!
Angelo’s sautéed pork chop, cherry peppers, green olives, tomatoes and pancetta should be simpler. The ingredients weren’t the star of the show.
Blais’ fresh pancetta cutlet (genius!) with panko bread crumbs served with broccolini, pickled cherry tomatoes is a favorite.
Fabio’s chicken cacciatora with red onion, oregano and capers and polenta with pecorino has the table 'ooing' and 'aahing.' Bourdain: “Fabio’s polenta wiped away the stain of the previous course. I feel better about the world now.“ Frankie No thanks everyone for coming and one of Lorraine’s faces.

Then…Pads asks to see Antonia, Carla, Fabio and Tiffany. Immediately Slimer says he can’t see he, Blais, Punchy and Angelo being in the bottom. (He also kept talking about how his rigatoni was al dente and he hoped they got that—it was Not Cooked, Slime, AND earlier he told Tiffany her dish wasn’t a traditional antipasti. Dood!)

Fabio, Tiffany, Antonia and Carla look nervous but-
They had the top dishes!
Tears stream down Tiffany’s face. Pads asks why and she says it was a rough one after last week. “It’s been a little up and down (sing songy voice in full effect) “but I’m here so that’s good.”
Lorraine’s face delivers the good news, the winner is Antonia!
Fabio is disappointed. “Antonia beat me with a bowl of steam mussel and fennel. It’s a French dish. So there something wrong with this picture.”
Oh honey. Bring your chicken here.

When Antonia walks into the Stew Room and tells the four guys she won, Slimer’s face falls.
Tre shakes his head.
No one says a word.
Zero.
Then, finally, Slimer claps (his mouth still open) and the others join in.
As Tre, Punchy and Slimer go in to find out their fate, Blais congratulates Antonia and she thanks him like ‘Yeah, right, someone should be congratulating me.’

At the Table- Slimer does the right thing and says his pasta was undercooked. Bourdain tells him if he used pasta out of the box he would not be standing there. Colicchio says the pasta was too yellow, with so much egg it may have never cooked.
Punchy Dale takes a page from Slimer’s book and is apologetic and says he rushed it. Lorraine says his dish was really bland. Punchy drops his head, eyes wet.
Tre starts by saying his risotto was cooked properly.
Oh boy, Tre.
Colicchio tells him when you spoon risotto on the plate it’s supposed to spread. Tre says he wasn’t taught that way.
Colicchio: “It’s not a risotto."
Tre did some smiling and tossing back of the head like ‘aww man.’ He did not take a page from anyone’s book and apologize. In fact he ripped up the page and put it in his risotto.
As they wait for Pads to deliver the news, Slimer closes his eyes. And then…
Tre gets the axe.
See what happens when you’re not contrite on reality teevee?

Tre makes a stern, glassy-eyed face and as he shakes Pads’ hand. Pads: “I’m sorry, Tre.” She looks teary.
WOW!
I don’t think I’ve ever heard Padma say sorry to someone. Maybe she woulda slept down if Tre wasn’t married?
Tre says it’s all good. Slimer hugs him: “Sorry brother.”
Tre says he thinks he kept his composure and he won a lot of knowledge and a lot of new friends. Tre, you’re stiff like your risotto. Once you learn how to relax and spread it’s a whole new ball game.

And so, Kemp, Jenna and I must pack our knives and go. Sigh.
Punchy is learning how to work the panel? Fabio in the top? I need one of you to win! We can’t let Punchy be rewarded for his punching! Now everyone please concentrate on him going home.
And Tom Hardy in my bed.
And Fabio too.
As Bourdain cooks for all of us.
Shirtless.
In 80 degree weather.
Whew, I’m gonna melt the snow my damn self after all that!
Next week- Jimmy Fallon. Jimmy Fallon? Is someone down in the ratings?

TOP CHEF ALL STARS

COLUCCI Blais and Carla Cosby

LB Antonia

KAT Black Tiff and Carla Cosby

STRIPES Blais and Antonia

Q Black Tiff and Angelo

COLANTO Blais and Angelo

LUCY Blais

BROWNIE Michael and Angelo

HOLLY F. Blais and Angelo

KRISTEN K. Blais

ELLIE Angelo

GBAG Carla Cosby

NIKKI M. Angelo

DAISY Angelo

CC Blais

MARTHA P. Angelo

JET Blais and Angelo

DOWD Blais

LOGUE Blais

RUBY Black Tiff

1 comment:

  1. Jenna, who, quite frankly can cook her a** off, pointed out that the parchment paper was too close to the broiler on the rack and that's why Tiffany's polenta almost caught fire. In her words: "the advantage (in Tiffany's case) is so you don't have to use oil or butter to coat the pan or else food will stick. You can use it to make packages of food (like i have put fish and veggies and herbs in and folded it up and baked it) so they cook together too which is fun and delicious!"
    I'm gonna use parchment paper and then reuse it to write letters! Recycle always, yo.

    ReplyDelete