Thursday, March 31, 2011

"I like the flavor, but I don't like the way it feels in my mouth."

Okay are you ready for Slimer vs. Blais?
Brownie vs. Everybody Else?!
Are you- WAIT What in the hell is this all about?
It’s 10:20 and we’re still in last week’s episode?! This sheet is JANKED, Bravo!
Okay, I just posted about this on the FB and Colucci said that Kat said nothing’s wrong with her broadcast. WTF?! Oh but she has RCN. Hold up, Martha says her Comcast is fine on the Cape. How is this-
Oh wait…I was…ohhhhhhhhh…I was on the phone and I…paused it so now….SIGH.
I’m turning into My Mama. [cue the sad Price Is Right music.] Dayum.
Well don’t act like it hasn’t happened to you’re a** before! Sheet.

So, as Colucci shdh and thinks that he should be blobbing the Finale, Slimer (to Camera) talks about how it’s his time and that he’s a better cook than Blais and Blais (to Camera) says he’d rather go up against Antonia. And it occurs to me why I’m steaming Rug Doctor mad at Slimer. It’s because all of a sudden, like six eps ago, Slimer got smug.
I hate smug people. I hate the word smug. Look at it! It’s so smug!!!
I think even if you know you’re going to win, even if you KNOW innately in your heart of hearts it’s going to happen, even if you, cooked Michelle Bernstein’s fried chicken, biscuits and gravy in a closet with her legs wrapped around your wide frame BEFORE you cooked her fried chicken, biscuits and gravy you should be humble. Prepare for ‘what if’ instead of ‘Uh Huh!’
Why?
Because it’s civil. It’s a better example for us all.
Because six eps ago you were in the middle of the pack and not even COOKING Italian food!
And, most important, because you’re on teevee you Thieving Prick!
Yes, you’ve grown tremendously as a chef (and as a man who wears elasticized pants) but as a person you remain small and sweaty.

That night, Pad’s and Colicchio enter the Stew Room and deliver The News (sans Huey Lewis): they must create the restaurant of their dreams, a four-course tasting menu that shows, without question, who should be Top Chef.
At the hotel the next morning, Blais, in a chair with a gray knit skully: “I’m the underdog.”
Slimer (who quit his job and missed his honeymoon for the show) lays on the couch and compares Blais’ eight challenge wins to his four: “You’re the favorite, everyone expects you to win.”
Of course this makes Blais even more nervous. Slimer laughs and says Blais might choke under pressure and I realize Slimer has put the hotel’s couch pillow between his hairy knees.
Remind me never to touch a couch pillow again. Thanks.

Blais asks, if the cast comes back, who Slimer would pick. Just then we CUT TO the kitchen and the ENTIRE cast (nice job Bravo!) Marcel wears dark glasses, Angelo wears clear Kanye glasses (prescription? He sold his sight for jub rock?)
Pads sports a single long braid (cute!), light yellow tank top, long billowy maroon skirt and gray beaded belt and says “some of them” are going to be sous chefs. But first, they have to cook an amuse-bouche for Blais and Slimer to taste. Oh You KNOW Jamie ain’t psyched about this sheet!!!
30 Minutes Starts Now!
As they cook, back in the hotel, Slimer says he would take Jen Carroll and not Jamie because she’s slow. CUT TO Jamie in the kitchen, leaving a slug trail. Blais says it’s about who wants to be there, who will listen and who is gonna cook. (True dat!)

When the final two enter the kitchen, everyone claps -WHOA Jen Carroll looks as if she had a chemical peel. Two hours ago.
The bouches are already on a table in front of them. Pads tells Slimer and Blais they’ll pick their favorite three dishes in a BLIND taste test and the chefs that created them (brilliant!) will be their help in the kitchen.

They both eat. Slimer uses a giant spoon. It almost looks like that spoon that went with the giant fork my Aunt Claudy had on her dining room wall. Slimer tries to figure out Marcel’s dish since he hates Marcel (don’t we all. I caught a little bit of his SyFy special where he makes food for events. P.U.!) At some point Blais stops trying to guess who made what and just goes with the best tasting food. Just before they finish eating, Spike: “Some of us have jet ski reservations.” Punchy Dale laughs loudly. Friggin Spike. Oh yeah, did anyone catch Iron Chef last week?



Can you believe jaunty-hat? I won’t tell you who won but I will say he did NOT pick Iron Chef Morimoto to go up against.

Pads says Blais picks first since he won the last elimination. Blais goes with…squid ceviche. HAAA- It’s Spike’s dish!
And he really DID have jet ski reservations. Lordy Day!
Slimer picks: Yogurt curry – White Tiff. He’s sorta okay with this.
Blais picks a chicken wing – it’s Angelo! He calls Angelo a thoroughbred. (You know, because there’s doping in horse racing.)
Slimer picks the Pork tenderloin – it’s Jamie! SUCKAH!!!
Blais selects the egg – Antonia (YAY!) He asks her if she’s okay to cook, having just been eliminated. She says yes.
Slimer picks tropical salsa – Carla Cosby in the hizzy!
So it’s Blais with Spike, Angelo and Antonia and Slimer with Jamie (who he suddenly downplays), White Tiff and Carla Cosby. He calls the girls his angels. Ugh.
Selections over, Punchy Dale says he’s going jet skiing. He and Fabio high five. Wait, FABIO! Someone should have picked the pasta. (You know there was pasta there and you know it was Fab!)
Fabio! Before you go jet skiing?
Excuse me while I talk to Fabio before he goes jet skiing, please? [Fabio? Hi. Hi, Fabio. So, no new glasses for you, huh? You know, cause some chefs seem to have new eyewear. Ha ha, so, listen, I’ve been meaning to ask your availability. I have some friends that want cooking lessons. I’d- I mean, they’d prefer a class with lots of teaching and cooking. Just tons of cooking. Everywhere. Let’s chat about this after you jet ski okaythanksbye!]

1 hour to plan!
Right off the bat, Blais thanks his chefs. Classy!
Slimer: (giant smile) “I’m calling the restaurant Iz.” Assy!
He laughs loudly as ‘the angels’ stare. See? Smug. Carla shakes her head like, ‘I shoulda beat your ass. With a bat.’
Blais calls his restaurant Tongue & Cheek (cute!) and says everything will have a duality, be whimsical and also that the front door to the restaurant will be shaped like the hole he’s bitten into his own cheek during the season.
Slimer’s Angels throw out ideas for plates and Slimer says ‘No’ to all of them. Then he announces that he told Blais he was going to kick his ass. Buddha in Nepal, does dood ever stop?
Meanwhile Blais tells his chefs which courses he wants them to do, gives them freedom, and hugs. (Freedom and Hugs, the new ice cream from Ben and Jerry’s.)

5 Hours to Cook for 70 guests and the Judges!
Slimer picks Seafire at Atlantis. Blais takes Café Martinque. They both taste wine and pair, talk to waiters and runners.
Slimer puts White Tiff on fish, Jamie on cold and Carla on desserts and in the dining room.
Slimer (to Camera). “If I execute to perfection, which I will, and I have a great service, how do you not win with that?”
Blais brines meat, cooks bone marrow, puts Angelo on mise en place for the cold dishes, Antonia on veggies and Spike on desserts and front of the house. At the last second he changes his dessert from Cap’n Crunch ice cream to foie gras ice cream. Uh oh…

Here come the Judge!
Pads in a one shouldered, navy gown with red and white spots intros Italian food Chef and Author Lidia Bastianach, Chef Hubert Keller, Chef and Partner of Gotham Bar, Alfred Portale, and Human Product Placement: Bill Terlato from Terlato Vineyards.
PAUSE MOMENT! Tre and Black Tiff in the background, smile like they’re in the Today Show window at 10 Rock. Come on, Son.
And WHERE IS BOURDAIN??!!

Blais serves his amuse-bouche of raw oyster with crème fraîche pearls and salsa verde. The Judges say it’s refreshing and shows sophistication. Suddenly Spike walks by the Judge’s Table, super obvious in an un-tucked blue and white plaid shirt and, of course, a hat. He looks like a kid trying to sell already scratched scratch tickets! But being crafty pays. He hears the praise for the plate and lets Blais know.

Blais’ 1st Course of raw hamachi with crispy veal sweetbreads, garlic mayo and pickled celery goes over extremely well. They love the portion size, elements and textures. Lidia likes the unity. Black Tiff eats: (sing-songy) “UMmmMMmhmm.”

At Slimer’s Restaurant, Carla greets Gail in a lovely floral number, Colicchio in a blazer and unbuttoned peach colored shirt (perhaps a little too unbuttoned), Curtis ‘don’t wrap it, I’ll eat it here’ Stone (nom nom nom) and adorable Art Smith from Top Chef Masters who is a mere slice of his former big ol’ self. Art, honey, stop losing weight now. We want to see you when you turn sideways.

In the dining room, former All Star, Casey sits at a table with Marcel, Giant Tie Knot and Jen Carroll who apparently spoke to Jamie’s hairdresser and had some sort of long, tangled dirty blonde mermaid dustmop weave installed.

Slimer is psyched that he finally gets to do 100% Mike Isabella. I’m thinking that instead of having recipes written in a journal like Blais, Slimer just wrote a book full of corny phrases that he can say whenever the moment presents itself.

Slimer’s – 1st Course of spiced beets with mozzarella, truffle and chocolate vinaigrette had richness from the nuts and freshness from the mozzarella. Colicchio said he was off to a great start. Mike doesn’t have a Spike spy and doesn’t need one to know the judge’s are concerned when 18 minutes pass without the next course…
Finally, Slimer’s – 2nd, halibut with kumquat marmalade, cauliflower puree and pancetta crumbs. Colicchio says he hasn’t had a piece of fish on the show that was cooked that well. Ever. Curtis Stone: “You forget about the wait when you have a dish that tastes that good.” (Wait ‘til you get a load of my fast casual restaurant, Curtis.)

Blais – 2nd Course, Pork belly, black cod cutlet, bone marrow, beets, Brussels sprouts and kumquat is called ‘beautiful’ by Portale as soon as it arrives. Punchy Dale: “This is Richie at his best.” Aww, Punchy Dale isn’t Punchy anymore!
Blais’ – 3rd Course is beef short rib with mushrooms, red cabbage marmalade (that looks like a mini-Devil’s Tower!) and celery root horseradish puree. Portale says he doesn’t get points for creativity but it was delicious (hey, it’s Devil’s Tower, man!) The Product Placement Human from Terlato says Blais’ personality was in his food. And perhaps part of his cheek.

Slimer’s – 3rd Course is braised pork shoulder with pepperoni sauce, roasted cabbage & turnips. Slimer calls this his “Tom dish” because Colicchio loves meat. Slimer: “…he always says it’s not glazed, it’s not glazed, that MFer’s glazed!” Slimer high fives White Tiff. Calm the eff down, Dood.
When the plate is delivered, Gail: “Pepperoni’s sauce.”
Curtis Stone loves it, Art says he has talent, Colicchio is silent and chewing. Gail, again: “Pepperoni sauce.” (pepperoni sauce sales skyrocket!) Finally, Tom: “This is as good as anyone’s food in the Finale, in fact it’s better than most.” Well that’s oddly non-committal for the way your face looked when you tasted it.

Slimer’s - 4th Course is a bar of rosemary caramel custard & crispy deep fried pine nuts with citrus, celery & apple. Art: “I like the flavor but I don’t like the way it feels in my mouth.” Uh oh. Colicchio says it’s slightly overcooked but also it was cooked too fast.
Blais – 4th Course is cornbread with foie gras ice cream & whipped mango. Blais says the foie gras ice cream potentially has a crumbly texture. On the actual plate, it looks like tunafish. Ick.
Portale says he wasn’t expecting the freeze dried “whatever this is” and left it on his dish. Oh no! Lidia says it adds a lot. Spike tells Blais it’s “a controversial dish.” He suggests they add some more milk and change it a bit for the second round of Judges. Smart a** jaunty hat!

When the Judge’s switch restaurants they truly love all the courses. It’s the Clean Plate Club for Blais, especially after he fixes the foie gras ice cream. When the forks are down, Slimer continues to j.o. (To Camera) and says he feels like he’s evolved a lot. He just wishes his wife were there…perhaps to wash the regions of his hindquarters he can’t reach?

In the Stew Room, Slimer plops down on the couch and laughs. “It’s over.” Blais has a mouth full of molar dust. “I guess so, I guess so.”
Slimer asks if Blais is “going crazy again.”
Blais: “What? You’re good?” Slimer says he did everything he wanted to do, he saw teamwork that he never saw before and: “If you win, you deserve it because I cooked my heart out.”
(SMUG!)
Blais: “It sounds like you killed it.”
You’re still a toothless wonder, Blais!
When they go in front of the Judge’s (Pads, Colicchio, Gail and Hubert Kelly) Slimer rocks back and forth so quickly I almost get BLAIR WITCH motion sickness.
Colicchio says it was the best finale food they’ve ever had.
Gail says Slimer’s food was subtle and had a lot of finesse and then “Pepperoni sauce!” Colicchio says Slimer had bubbles in his custard (which sounds like a medical condition no one wants.)
It’s the first time Slimer doesn’t smile or laugh out loud.

Gail says Blais hit them with tremendous flavor course after course; Colicchio says the food was clean.
Pads: “The black cod was flawless.” Colicchio asks about the differences in desserts. Blais says he had his ear to the ground and thinned out the foie gras ice cream.
Then they are asked to give dumb speeches about how much they want to win. Slimer poops something out about how he wants to show them who he is and that this was for his wife (I know this is all going according to the editors but dood just started mentioning wifey two eps ago) and this is everything he could possibly want in life (you know, aside from an IV full of Chubby Hubby ice cream and a blackened trout enema.)
Blais says this is the biggest professional moment of his career. He starts to tear up and has to stop. Aw. He replies that sometimes you have to do things because of money and winning this would give him the opportunity to do what he wanted to do as a chef.
As they go back to the Stew Room Hubert tells Pads this is going to be tough.

Stew Room, Blais (looks defeated): “…there was definitely some heavy petting going on for Mikey Isabella.”
Slimer: “Don’t say that to me, you throw each dessert out the window it’s three on three...you win I’m gonna feel like shit.”
Blais says if he DOES win he’ll give Slimer money to open his restaurant.
WHUUUUUUUUUUUT!!!!

Slimer: “I’ll take it.”

BLAIS NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! He’d never give you money! And he STOLE YOUR RECIPE! This is being taped! I mean, recorded! He’ll take it to a lawyer and MAKE you give him your money!
Why, Blais, why?
As they sit and I ponder where Blais can purchase self esteem, there are footsteps in the hallway…
it’s…
Slimer’s wife, Mom and Sister. Sweet!
And Blais’….um, Uncle Scott? Oh, his wife is about to have a baby, she couldn’t fly. Bumsville.
Slimer hugs his wife and says ‘This is for us.’

At Judge’s Table- Hubert thought what they put together in five hours (FIVE HOURS, Lordy!) was amazing.
The first two courses go to Blais, the last two to Slimer…Gail pulls the same sheet she did in the previous ep: “If I had to pick a restaurant to eat at, I’d eat at Michael’s during the week and Richard’s on the weekend…”
Again, what’s with being non-committal? This is the only face time you’re getting, Gail. Say something definitive and profound. And keep your stylist. They did you right this season.

When the Final Two walk out, the entire cast is there, Carla Cosby hooting as they all clap.
Colicchio says Blais performed steady all season long and Slimer came on towards the end and would suggest that either one was worthy of the title but only one would get it…
Then Pads looked sad and said: “Richard, you are Top Chef.”

Slimer turns away immediately, lips pursed. PUNK!



YAY! (Sorry Brownie.)
Blais cries in Pad’s arms and then cries in Gail’s and then Coliccio’s. Awww! Hug him Uncle Scott!
Slimer didn’t even go to Blais to shake his hand! Dickmobile!
He says some sheet about how he thought he beat Blais but just didn’t get the prize. What?!
Um, you LOST, Son. Don’t get it twisted as my nieces would say.
Blais calls his wife: “Hi it’s me, I won Top Chef.”
Awwww (so many Aws!)
Pads raises a glass to Blais and thanks Slimer. Giant Tie Knot: “Isabella!” Dood, get the eff off the stage. All of you, this is Blais’ moment!
And it’s your moment too Colucci, Stripes, Colanto, Lucy, Holly, Kristen K., CC, Jet, Dowd and Logue (whew!) you are the Top Chef All Star Pool Winners!
HOOORAH!

Moments later on Watch What Happens Live! (that airs in NYC) everyone is wasted! When they show Blais win and he watches himself he tears up all over again. (Even more Aww!)
Slimer says Blais is a great player and a great person and helped everyone all season and that he himself wouldn’t have been there if it weren’t for him. Finally some humility-OOOOOOH I GET IT NOW- Slimer was jealous of Blais on every level all along (helping people, being humble) so he became The Anti-Blais! Laughing in people’s faces, taunting and trying to be cool and stealing sheet outright. THIEF!
Slimer says all the shares are bought for his restaurant so he doesn’t need Blais’ money, Thank Buddha.
Top Chef first season winner Harold, who is having a baby in his own stomach, announces the fan favorite: Carla Cosby, YAY!
Andy Cohen’s eyes are red with whiskey. The audience of chefs is drizzed too, especially Jen Carroll. When Cohen speaks about Elia and Colicchio’s fight in the press and asks if the dish that sent Elia home was sour grapes we don’t see Jen but we hear her.
“NOT RIGHT!”
Uh huh.
In fact, Jen yells “Not right!” FOUR TIMES.
Finally, Cohen: “Just a joke, I’m sorry Elia.”
Later Jen breaks a glass! Homegirl’s weave is too tight!

Next Week the Elia v. Colicchio rumble at THE REUNION! And your checks. They’re in the mail, yo!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

"Mikey gave it to me twice..."

First off, let’s hear it for Colucci! HOORAY!

Thank you again for taking over the blob, My Friend. You did a Crantastic (cranberry-flavored fantastic) job! You knew how to make hypertext! You identified my weakness (Curtis Stone!) You pointed out that Slimer had a boner when he saw Padma in a bikini! You made me LOL (and I don’t even TYPE the letters LOL because it infuriates me!) Hmmm…maybe Colucci should do this instead of me. Quiet as it’s kept, he almost had to, while I was in Buenos Aires the head of the union was being investigated by the Swiss and to avoid prosecution he called for a transit strike- no truckers, buses, cabs and, potentially, no Argentine airport facility workers. We could have flown to Uruguay to escape it but there wasn’t time so if it weren’t for the Swiss dropping the investigation and the union head calling it off (gotta love a banana republic, the real one, not the store, that stuff is crappier than the Gap) I would still be in BA now and flying back Thursday night. Now that I’ve felt this cold a** air I should have encouraged the Swiss to stick to their guns. Or chocolate and watches. Whatever the hell they arm themselves with so I could stay in that 76-degree weather drinking fantastic five-dollar bottles of wine.
But now on with the show!

This ep begins with the boys of the Final Three (Blais and Slimer) saying Tiffany was a warrior. FLASHBACK to Tiffany’s own sing-songy words: “I was OUTCOOOked.”
To be honest, Tiffany should have gone home long ago but the fact that she is self-taught and started her career as a kid in an IHOP speaks volumes. Vol 1: I’m Gonna Make A STEWWWWW.
Vol 2: I Like A Hot Soup With A Cold Ceviche On Top!
And that last Volume, eye shadowed Black Tiff, is why you went home. Now that we’re here, I hardly think you’d be able to handle the-

QuickFire Challenge!
Padma in a scoop neck, mustard yellow, short-sleeved dress, stands next to an elf in a powder blue linen shirt- Oh, it’s Wolfgang Puck everyone.
Notice how in the world of culinary TV Stars Puck is barely a blip? Sure he has plenty o’ restaurants and owns the LA Oscar dinner scene (look, it’s a gold chocolate Oscar dessert, yawn) but Puck has a lot of running to do if he wants to chase this train. I think he’s too old for this game.


Look at him! He’s exhausted already!
Also, this could be an ad for why men need nipple tassels. Or rather, covers -not the fringe action.

Pads reveals seven classic QuickFires from past seasons and says the chefs would pick who would take them on. Since Slimer won the last elimination he picks first: “Canned Foods” for Antonia. What a Dickmobile!
Antonia picks “Hot Dogs” for Blais.
Blais wants to make this difficult for Slimer so he chooses “One Pot.” Meaning he can cook anything he wants, he just has to use one pot. Antonia says Blais is not very smart. I concur wholeheartedly. I think he’s done grinding his teeth and is now chewing his own brain matter.

45 Minutes Starts Now!
Antonia grabs a billion cans; Slimer puts pork and beans into a pressure cooker; Blais makes fresh bread to go with the store bought hot dogs and concocts a ketchup curry. Then Pads waltzes in.
Slimer: “Uh oh.”
She says they each get to assign a classic Top Chef twist to their competitors. Yeah Bravo Producers, bring it!
The choices:
‘Cooking with one hand’
‘Finishing the dish without any knives or hand tools’
The third- IN WALKS CARLA COSBY wearing a ‘double apron!’
WOW! You’ve outdone yourself, Bravo! Blow jobs all around!!!

They pick in reverse order. Blais gives Slimer the ‘no knives or utensils twist’ that really means nothing at this point since all his food is already in the pressure cooker. (Blais, seriously, you are slipping.)
Antonia tells Richard he has to ‘cook with one hand’ and puts on the ‘double apron’ with Carla. Slimer makes a salad by squeezing limes on the corner of a shelf then as he waits for his pork to cook, he walks around laughing at everyone. I am not lying.
Meanwhile Blais sweats as he tries to cut and cook with one hand. Apparently not the j.o. hand cause he seems to be struggling horribly and his bread looks like burnt, wet newspaper blobs (actual blobs, not blogs.)

In the end, Antonia’s curry coconut soup with shrimp, andouille sausage, peanuts and fish sauce has great, strong flavors but it’s a little too concentrated. Contradicting yourself there, Puck.
Puck says Blais’ hot dog on handmade roti bread with curry ketchup, mayo and mint leaves could be fed to Puck’s kids. “They’d like it.” (You can tell from the crookedness of Blais’ mouth he isn’t sure if this is a compliment.) It was, however, a little “ketchuppy.” Which I don’t think is a bad thing, but then I put ketchup on everything in America. Delicious!
Slimer’s pork shoulder with black beans, chili paste, ginger and cabbage salad has balance but the pork could have been a little more tender.
The winner who gets 5k and potentially stop chewing their tongue? Slimer—Holy Sheet!
I, like Blais, put my face in my hands. This Dood is on a roll. He’s prolly been eating it but the roll is still enough of a circle to motor him towards the winner’s circle.

The Elimination Challenge
The three must make a ‘last supper’ for Puck, Michelle Bernstein and Iron Chef and Japanese hottie, Morimoto!
Since Slimer won the QuickFire, he picks who will cook for whom. Dayum.
He takes Michelle Bernstein since she said he over seasoned his food during his season in Vegas. He wants to prove himself.
He effs Antonia (again!) and gives her Morimoto and picks Puck for Blais since Blais is “known to be one the Top Chefs of all time…” (who said this now??) and he wants “…to compete against him in the finals because I want to beat the best to be the best.” Dood, take the stairs. Beat an elevator.

Before the chefs split up, Pads pulls an envelope from behind her back and says they’ll reveal that twist later. Is it a Maury Povitch paternity test?!? Antonia, Slimer is the father of your daughter!!!

The chefs break up with the Chef Judges.
Puck talks goulash and strudel (oh boy) and Blais says they aren’t allowed to have recipes sooo…
Morimoto tells a tale of how his mother would make a bento box for him after he played baseball. He said each grain of rice has to be the same size to cook correctly and his mother used to pick out the longer grains by hand. Yup. Slimer really did eff his cousin.
Bernstein and Slimer sit down and she says her last meal is…fried chicken, biscuits and gravy???!!! So they just WANT Slimer to win?

In the hotel, Antonia: “Mikey gave it to me twice today.”
Slimer: “This should be a walk in the park for you, me and Blais have the toughest ones.” (!!!) He says he picked Bernstein over Morimoto because he knew she would be the toughest challenge.
Really? Cause I can bust out a dope fried chicken, biscuits and gravy SANS recipes right MFing now and I’m a gd vegan!

In the kitchen the next morning, Slimer, who said he’s never made a biscuit in his life and is not doing one now- makes an empanada with an egg yolk in it and shows Colicchio his sous vide meats (Har.) Colicchio (To Camera) says Slimer clearly picked the easiest dish (Thank Buddha someone sees this!) Antonia tastes her hamachi for the bento box (that sounds durty) and it’s rancid! Oh Gawd. She has to use tuna! Pandemonium as Blais can’t get the top off his pressure cooker!
Sundown!

Bernstein wears a red satin one shouldered gown in an attempt to compete with Pads. Es imposible. Pads sports a purple and fuchsia print gown. Gail is in a purple dress; Colicchio rocks it open shirt and blazer style; Melanie Dunlea, author and photographer of the book My Last Supper is in attendance with a traditionally Japanese garbed Morimoto and a tired looking Puck (No Bourdain AGAIN?! Come on!)

Antonia replaces the hamachi with tuna and presents a sashimi with pickled daikon, mushrooms, Asian pear, eggplant, miso soup and rice. Morimoto says the miso is too salty and Gail gets a scotch bonnet pepper and chokes on it, No! Bernstein and the photographer think the rice, the hardest part, is perfect but Colicchio says Japanese food is subtle and this isn’t. Subtle BURN!

Slimer’s fried chicken with pea puree, egg yolk empanada and mustard gravy is elegant according to Puck. Morimoto says his chicken was dry; Gail’s wasn’t crispy enough. Bernstein says it’s not what she would have done but she loves that. Oh Michelle Bernstein, so easily turned on by chicken and biscuits. Guess everyone Does needs a little KFC.

Blais presents beef goulash, spaetzle with sour cream and apple strudel with crumbled tarragon cream and honey. Gail finds the strudel outstanding, Colicchio thinks the food should have been hotter. Puck says his mother would have been proud. Wow.

Pads calls the final three out in front of everyone. “Judge’s Table stars now.” Oh snap!
Bernstein throws shade on Slimer’s chicken: not juicy enough, skin not crispy enough. (Turnabout!)
Puck doesn’t know how Blais got the flavors for the goulash so right on but he calls the strudel tough. Morimoto thanks Antonia but says (with the help of subtitles) it is a little bit different from what he expected. The soup was salty but it was “very interesting…thank you very much.”
Colicchio looks to Blais: “If this season was about redemption for you, you are one step closer. You will be cooking in the finale.”
Wow, just whipping dicks out? No foreplay?
Everyone claps. Blais is teary and finally elated. Or as elated as one can be who grinds his own teeth to dust from stress on reg.
Pads tells Antonia and Slimer only one of them is be moving on. Then…she…pulls…out…the envelope…
“You remember this?”
Antonia reads: “There will be one more challenge to determine who claims the last spot in the finale.”
YESSSSSSSSSSS BRING IT ANTONIA, BRING IT! SLAY SLIMER!
They have 45 minutes to make one bite.
ONE BITE! Seven Judges, seven bites. Whoever wins get the last spot.
Time Starts Now!!!
They each sprint off leaving Blais standing there.
In the kitchen, Slimer grabs beef tenderloin and lobster tails. Antonia finds grouper and goes for a spicy coconut broth with lobster tails.
OMG.
Colicchio says they’re exhausted and having to go back to the kitchen is nerve wracking. Actually it’s pretty gd mean of them. Imagine taking the SATs and then being told you have to take one more final.
Calculus.
And you’re hung over.
From Tequila Sunrise in a bottle…
Time’s Up! The cousin’s hug each other.
Here we go!
Each Judge receives the two bites at the same time.
Antonia intros her seared grouper in coconut curry lobster broth with peanuts and a yam, apple and dill pollen relish.
Slimer, tempura lobster tail over beef tartare on top of red chili potatoes with caramelized olives and chimichurri sauce. (Caramelized olives?! Yummmm.)

Gail calls Antonia’s dish powerful. Morimoto says he wants a bigger piece (Nice.) Bernstein says Slimer’s dish didn’t wow her but the olive sauce drew her in. The photographer is “visual” and shocked at the differences in the colors of Slimer’s dish. (Honey, we’re shocked you got an invite. Who are you?! Where Is Anthony Bourdain??!!) Morimoto says the dishes are on opposite ends of the spectrum.

In the Stew Room, Slimer’s face drips like a faucet. Antonia has the jimmy leg. Meanwhile, Gail: “If I had to pick one bite to have again…” She picks Slimer’s.
Bernstein – Slimer…
Morimoto – Antonia (wow!)
Pads – Antonia…
The photographer – Antonia…
Colicchio – Slimer…
Puck says tomorrow he’d remember Antonia’s flavor but Slimer’s tartare was technically perfect…

When the chefs are called back in front of the table Colicchio tells them it was a split three to four. Pads: “You came into this as competitors, you leave as cousins.”
Honestly, who cares? Cousins ARE competitors. Sheet. I have one I’m still pissed at for not returning my Evelyn Champagne King 45!

Then Pads asks
Antonia, noooo!
Antonia weeps. Man. I wanted her to go all the way.
She says she’s been here before but this feels worse. She hugs Blais and (To Camera) says her daughter is the only thing that will make her feel better right now.
Awwwww. And so, LB, I must ask you to pack your knives and go…

After Antonia leaves, Slimer says “this is what we wanted and we got it.” Sorry, Brownie but I wanna see this guy go down. He’s just such a gigantic phallus!
Next Week, the Finale For Reals.
According to the tape they have to create the restaurant of their dreams, wow! And all the Chefs are---- FABIO’S BACK! Panties kapowed!


TOP CHEF ALL STARS

COLUCCI Blais

STRIPES Blais

COLANTO Blais

LUCY Blais

BROWNIE Slimer

HOLLY F. Blais

KRISTEN K. Blais

CC Blais

JET Blais

DOWD Blais

LOGUE Blais

Thursday, March 17, 2011

“You hold your breath, you dive down, and you grab the conch... It was hard.”

Hi there,

First off I would like to say good-bye to Carla Cosby:



from Mortimer Ichabod Marker, Fat Albert, and all the Cosby Kids. Hootie-hoo, Carla, Hootie-hoo. I haven’t felt this bad for you since two weeks ago, when your husband said he met you by “typing a bunch of weird stuff” into a dating website.

I am very honored to be filling in for Ms. D. She is a tough act to follow for sure. I am really glad that this week wasn’t the finale. In addition to having one more week of TCAS, it would’ve been way too much pressure to have to cover such a big episode on the blob. I take back everything I said about how lame it was that they advanced 5 people to the Bahamas.

That’s not true. It was still really lame. Everyone knows that the only way to go to the Bahamas is with 2 girls and 2 guys, and that you should keep it a secret from everyone you know.

These posts usually start off in one of three ways:

1. A link to a tweet or a blog post of a famous chef.
2. A quote from Jet Li.
3. A lewd comment about an attractive chef with an accent.

I didn’t have time to gather all that stuff, so I’ll just do the best I can. First here is a link to one of the two food blogs I am aware of:

http://cleangreencuisine.blogspot.com/2011/02/2-year-blogiversary.html

Congrats GBG on your two year blogiversary. I know this is a little belated, as it was on 2.23, but since you haven’t posted since then, I figured I would be ok. Daisy, on the other hand, has posted 243 times since February. She’s also updated four of her posts since I started typing this paragraph.

http://indulgeinspireimbibe.blogspot.com/

Secondly, I haven’t been to Delux in a while but I did find a quote by the actor Jet Li, from Lethal Weapon 4:

“If this was Hong Kong, you'd already be dead.”

I know it’s not very appropriate, but it was the only one on IMDb. Most of the quotes are between Riggs and Murtaugh and involve being “too old for this sh!t”...

Lastly, there aren’t really any foreign chefs I find terribly attractive. I guess I’ll have to settle for the guest judge, Lorena Garcia. I had never seen her before the first episode of America’s Next Great Restaurant, which I watched immediately prior to Top Chef. I think it will be an interesting show, but I really do not like Bobby Flay at all. Mostly because he was very disrespectful BOTH times he was on the original Iron Chef and partly because he talks like someone bit the tip of his tongue off. I’m sure D will end up watching it since Curtis Stone is on it. And next week we’ll hear how she has a Fast Casual Place that he can put his investment in.

And now that all old business has been addressed, back to Lorena and last night’s Quickfire Challenge!

For some reason Blais is wearing a winter hat in the Bahamas and is trying to get Slimer out of bed. He complains a bit as usual, and they walk out the door. They show up to the Atlantis Kitchen and find out that they have to divide themselves into pairs and make 100 identical dishes in 1 hour. Blais looks to Slimer, I suppose he figures Slimer’s just gonna steal his dish anyways, so he may as well work with him. Slimer goes against his family, to avoid teaming up with the Black Hammer, who picks Black Tiff because she has no other choice. She says she would’ve picked Black Tiff anyways. Slimer proclaims that he and Blais are obviously the favorites, as if his inclusion on the team has anything to do with that fact. Blais decides they should make a Pork Bolognese with fresh Macaroni and Pecorino Cheese. Slimer then goes on to explain that making fresh pasta in an hour is pretty much unheard of...

Sidebar: I am really tired of cheftestants telling us how impossible it is to cook all the things they choose to do. There are two challenges on every single episode of all 8 seasons of this show, and I can probably count on one hand the number of times I have seen someone not finish. Shut your pie-hole Slimer and just do what Blais tells you. More on his big fat mouth later.

Antonia and Black Tiff decide to make a Seared Beef Tenderloin Salad with Lentils and Celery Leaves. The challenge for this dish is in the plating which Black Tiff starts immediately. Each team takes turns trashing the other’s dish with Blais calling the girls’ dish “Slice and Serve” and Antonia referring to the boys’ plating technique as “Scooping”. Scooping is what we used to call Making Out when I was a kid, and to be truthful, if it’s anywhere near as hard to do for them as it was for me when I was 14, then, Slimer might be right, it is unheard of. Hands up, Utensils down. The Judges pick two plates each, and tell Slimer that the pasta was cooked well, ensuring that the simple act of boiling water will now go to his head, which he proves by saying that he could’ve done Antonia’s and Tiff’s dish by himself while he sent Blais out for beer. The only part of this sentence I believe is that he would’ve sent Richard to the store because he’d be too lazy to drag his fat ass out the front door. They cut to the diners briefly, but since no one cares what real people think, we go back into the kitchen to find out that Antonia and Black Tiff take it. They scream and hug as the boys pout and keep strangely touching their faces.

And it’s time for the Elimination Challenge, Lunch with the Commodore. The theme for the party is “Deserted Island”. Richard wonders if it’s going to be Lord of the Flies, proving that he hasn’t looked up from his liquid nitrogen tank and at a TV since well before “Lost”. Lorena tells us that the most notable ingredient they will find on the island is conch, and with her accent I thought for a moment that maybe we do have a viable foreign lady-chef for the fellas. But alas, she is just talking about the shellfish. The chefs leave to get some rest and in the morning Slimer steals from Blais again, but this time only his hair gel. Black Tiff brushes her signature pearly whites and no one really seems to care what Antonia does to get ready.

The cheftestants arrive on the dock, and Padma’s bikini enables one part of Slimer to get there before the rest of him. Just before they cut back to Padma, Mikey’s voice cracks as he says “morning” and then he moves his messenger bag in front of him, like a second grade school boy who just found out that his body is changing. Padma stands in a different model pose every time we cut back to her, as Captain Andy is totally psyched the camera can’t see his where his eyes are looking thru his mirrored sunglasses. The chefs get on the boat and do that stupid thing where people in a boat wave to everyone else who is also in a boat.

When they get to the island, Slimer awkwardly jumps into the water which I’m pretty sure is what caused all the recent troubles in Japan [aaaaaaaand, Aflac just fired me from directing their next round of commercials...] They all get to the beach and find that they have everything they need, except conch. Mike Isabella takes off his shirt just to prove he has bigger boobs than Padma and they all jump in the water. They start to dive for some suspiciously well placed conch shells, and Blais shows us that he can’t even sink, which is the one part of swimming that even Natalie Wood could do. They head back to the beach and start to awkwardly brake the conch open. They also complain about every single aspect of the challenge, grills, fire, sand and lack of liquid nitrogen and I start to realize at this point, I really don’t want any of these jerks to actually win. Black Tiff jumps up and down rejoicing because she actually gets one out of the shell whole and quiets down once she realizes that it’s still moving and in the close-up it looks like a live heart beating on the plate. She tells us she will be making Conch Chowder with Coconut and a Conch Ceviche. Later we find out that she puts Cilantro in the dish just to prove she can make the dish with the most C’s. Slimer makes Grouper steamed in a Banana Leaf with a Warm Conch Vinaigrette and makes a sweet local Pineapple savory. I get the feeing that he stole that idea from Michael V in some conversation they had during the last episode. Blais decides he’s going to do “a play” on linguine and clam sauce, with sweet potatoes and conch. I will take a momentary interlude to write a letter to Richard:

Dear Richard,

Instead of having your sweet potatoes “mimic” pasta, you could try and “mimic” a winning dish. Perhaps if you stopped making all your dishes “a play” on something, and just make them into good food, you might win as much as you think you should. Which reminds me, how is it that you hate everything you do, but still think you should win every time. I’ll tell you what I really hate. I really hate that I picked you this time around and would rather be completely eliminated than win the $6.34 I would get after splitting my winnings with every other idiot who picked you.

Your Pal,
Colucci

Now back to the matter at hand. Everyone puts on their chef coats, and we get a glimpse of what Antonia is making. Showing that he’s truly her family, Slimer totally belittles, not only this dish, but her entire style of cooking. Antonia says she needs more wood [yeah, we could tell that by looking at you honey...] and tries to make sure each peace of fish is cooked the same. An air horn blows and here come the judge[s].

They walk onto the beach all dressed in white. Tom dressed in white is so translucent that he appears to be nothing but a floating soul patch. They sit around a large table and are joined by an Ex-Commodore who is not Lionel Ritchie. Blais tells everyone he loves them and it only makes me hate him even more. He serves his “Hamptons Dish” with undercooked lobster but manages to fool Tom the Italian into thinking that his sweet potato is actually pasta. Antonia serves her Seared Snapper with a Conch Tartar. It is so spicy that Gail pretends to burn her mouth so she can justify gulping down some more white wine. Tom’s conch is too small and his fish is over-cooked. In a rare twist, Tiff finishes her dish too early and her hot soup with cold conch cools down too much. Gail tells a brief story that shows that she is not only buzzed but also rich and forgetful. Slimer’s up next with a “next level” version of the dish that sent Elia home in the first episode and in true Slimer fashion, he does not a waste a moment to sh!t on her as well by calling her dish elementary. He was barely tolerable when he was a f*cking loser, and now that’s he’s winning a few he is utterly despicable. He’s like that girl in high school who, based on her outward appearance, should’ve had a “good personality”, but didn’t. The Bahamians found the fish was overwhelmed, but Gail adored the pineapple. Padma thanks her guests and sensing they’re about to go to judges table, Gail takes one last gulp of wine for the road.

The Chefs sit around and complain some more, except Black Tiff who did exactly what she set out to do. At judges table, they show that stacked shot of the judges that is in every single episode. I always wonder how long it takes them to shoot this part, and how awkward it must be to stand around while they are shooting coverage. Pretty much they say all nice things, as if their family was dining with them again. And they’re sent back to the nicest “stew room” ever. More sulking and complaining. These chefs are bitchier than the entire Las Vegas cast was dirty.

Slimer wins and starts bragging some more. He says he kicked Mike V’s ass [you only won by one son] and his swollen head only serves to make him weigh even more.

With a decision that really should’ve been made prior to even going to the Bahamas, the judges send Black Tiff on her way. She cries a bit and “hopes to see all y’all in Dallas someday”. She leaves with dignity, saying she was out-cooked, and with that I must ask Kat, Q and Ruby to PYK&G. The Black Hammer Strikes Again!

TOP CHEF ALL STARS

COLUCCI Blais

LB Antonia

STRIPES Blais and Antonia

COLANTO Blais

LUCY Blais

BROWNIE Michael

HOLLY F. Blais

KRISTEN K. Blais

CC Blais

JET Blais

DOWD Blais

LOGUE Blais

Thursday, March 10, 2011

“Howard Johnson’s called, they want their garnish back.”

Here we go, yo. Here we go, yo. So what, so what, so what’s the scenario?
FIVE Top Chef All Star Finalists!
You know what that means: Welcome To Flashback City!
Antonia, Blais, Carla Cosby, Slimer and Tiffany arrive at a picturesque outdoor spot in the Bahamas inter cut with highlights of them all season long.
But wait- Blais now sports a beard and flat hair (huh???) as he speaks about how he will miss the pending birth of his baby for the finals. You know, Blais just doesn’t look like Blais with that chin music and his hair combed down like that. I’m gonna call him Blais’ twin brother, Sialb.

When they’ve all assembled with their knives, they turn the corner to find…the winners from each of their seasons!
Hosea from Carla Cosby’s, Stephanie from Sialb’s & Antonia’s, Kevin from Tiffany’s, Michael Voltaggio- OMG!
Handsomely-pissed-with-his-arms-crossed Michael Voltaggio is here! I’m hardly dressed for this. Or shall I say, undressed…
[Excuse me while I talk to Voltaggio for a minute, please?
Chef? Hi Chef. Hi. Um, I like how your hair is sort of brushed forth over your forehead in a half-Beiber. Ha ha, yeah.
So did I mention my Asian Twin, Ellie, lives in Los Angeles now? Oh, I’m Ellie’s Black Twin and she’s my Asian Twin. Huh? Well, we can talk about that over raspberry sorbet that’s served on your chest but um, Ellie emailed me an article about you in Los Angeles Magazine. Yes, Congratulations! So when I visit Ellie said she and I should stalk- GO. GO see you at your restaurant. So expect us there soon!
With a van.
And a tranquilizer dart.
Okloveyoubyenow!]

At first Slimer (to Camera) excitedly thinks he’ll have Voltaggio on his team if it’s a team challenge. (What a dolt!) Then Padma (splendid in a slate blue wrap dress and book ended by Eric Ripert and Tom Colicchio) announces the contestants are going head to head with the chef who won their season.
Slimer: “Oh f**k...”

The Quickfire Challenge!
A Colicchio-picked protein is in a closed box. The chefs must highlight that protein. If the contestants beat the TC, they win 10k. If they don’t, the TC gets it. Wow, th-
40 Minutes Starts Now!
Voltaggio & Slimer have a whole duck. Voltaggio asks if he can cut into it, Slimer says yes and thinks he can slow him down. Hey, he’s not gonna butcher the entire duck for you, Lazybones!
Hosea and Carla Cosby - lamb. Hosea (to Camera) needs to prove himself to the haters that thought he didn’t deserve to win.
Huh?
I believe I’ve said it before and I’ll say it now: Hosea, you have low self esteem. You Won. You’re a Winner already. Cross your arms, cook some lamb and bang some broads like Voltaggio does on a reg.
Kevin and Tiffany have a whole pig. Ew. True to form, Kevin says his back hurts already. All you’re doing is walking from one table to another! God, I don’t know why I picked you last time. You won and therefore, I won but STILL!
Stephanie cooks veal against both Sialb and Antonia. She wins 20k if she beats them. She’d have to beat them both with one dish though…hmmm. Half way through, Antonia and Carla’s burners keep going dead (now THERE’S a show! A cooking series where the ingredients and equipment are sabotaged?!? Yeeeeeeeeah, don’t bite. That’s mine.) Down to one burner, the Cos tosses her rice in with her lamb to cook it and immediately knows it’s a bad idea. We know it too, Cos.

Judging!
Tiffany’s stew wins over Kevin’s pork rib! (Tiffany’s FIRST and ONLY win of the season.)
Carla Cosby’s undercooked rice kills her dish, Hosea wins. Colicchio isn’t a fan of Stephanie’s dish or Antonia’s (ouch) and goes with Antonia; Ripert chooses Stephanie. Pads breaks the tie and picks…Stephanie.
Stephanie v. Sialb – Sialb’s veal two ways wins!
Voltaggio v. Slimer – Pads goes with Voltaggio, Ripert goes with Slimer and Colicchio goes with…Slimer- Wow!
Well, enjoy your consolation prize, Voltaggio. Me. I’m coming over to console you real good.

The Elimination Challenge
Pads tells the chefs they have to create a dish for a dinner being held for Bahamian Royalty. But that’s tomorrow. Tonight they get to
check into their product placement hotel - The Cove at Atlantis (boooo, it’s not really underwater.)
As Slimer makes a champagne toast to them all, Sialb says he’s prepared to chase down a goat and kill it and cook it. I think Bravo already has plans for that show. Ted Nugent is the host!

Next Day - 2 1/2 hours of prep!
Sialb goes for spiny lobster with pulled pork and pickled turnips.
Antonia works on a royalty-worthy lamb, bacon, Brussels sprouts and blue cheese. Tiffany makes dirty rice while Slimer gets Antonia to peel his lobster (now that sounds durty.) Carla, who has worked in the Bahamas a couple of times, preps pork medallions and apple chips. Still rattled from being on the bottom in the QuickFire, she reveals to Antonia that she does better when she’s underestimated because she’s afraid of failing and (teary now) says “this” is for all the people who have tried something and been underestimated. Oh Carla Cos! You don’t have to take all that on, screw all the screwed over in the world and win for you!
Meanwhile, Slimer thinks all three women have played it safe all season and are playing safe now (huh?) This makes him upset. Well, why don’t you steal their dishes then? Just make what they’re making. Better yet, take a battered page from Punchy Dale’s book and punch them the eff out!

When they finish prep, a motorcycle brigade-styled police escort shows up and they’re transported in a black SUV through the island. Carla Cosby: “What if we walk into this mack daddy, amazing kitchen that is Ba-Dow?”
Um, is the entrance to that kitchen a time machine where that slang is still being used?
Then, suddenly, they hear a band playing.
Slimer: “It’s a festival?”
Sialb: “It’s Junkanoo, kid.”
Slimer: “Who?”
They pull up in front of a small wooden house with a Twin Brothers Steakhouse sign. A large band in feathers and headdresses performs on the lawn.
Tiffany (sing-songy): “Whut in the WORWELD? I don’t know if I should be hapeeee orra scaaaaaared.”
Slimer, dazzled by a half dressed Bahamian woman, dances. Carla does too, with the same woman. Then the music stops and Colicchio introduces them to royalty. The King of Junkanoo, a celebration of life in the Bahamas reminiscent of Mardi Gras.
SUBTERFUGE!
Colicchio says they’re cooking for the King and his crew.
Carla: “Duh, The King of Junkanoo, how could that have escaped me?” Carla! You worked in the Bahamas before, come on!
Antonia is worried, Tiffany thinks she has it in the bag.

One Hour To Plate Starts Now!
They sprint into the kitchen and find…deep fryers, a microwave and a flattop. That’s it. They have to cook for fifty people.
Antonia drops her plantains in the fryer as the one fryer full of oil that is on but not being used, begins to smoke. She thinks they should say something. Carla Cos tries to turn it down. Antonia says it’s going to catch fire and POOF! It does!
Alarms go off! Sialb throws a tray over the top of the fryer!
35 gallons of oil are up in flames, yo!
Chefs cover their food as someone on the crew with an extinguisher tells everyone to leave the kitchen.
The chefs sit in the restaurant (ah, not far enough away for me. I woulda been outside and across the street but not directly across the street in case there’s an explosion and it starts raining kitchen sinks and hot oil (not to be confused with Chocolate Rain.)
As they sit, Antonia thinks of changing her dish. Carla and Sialb try to convince her otherwise.
Antonia: “Don’t mess with me please, I’m already in a bad space.”
Sialb thinks he’s in her head (“intentionally”) and wants to take advantage of it. GASP! He really is Blais’ twin! An EVIL one! Unless Angelo left a coke-crusted piece of tin foil in Blais’ luggage. Please don’t turn into Angelo, Blais.

Colicchio checks the kitchen, realizes it needs to be completely scrubbed and tells the chefs ALL THEIR FOOD MUST BE SCRAPPED AND THEY HAVE TO START OVER AGAIN.
Say WHUUUUUUUUUT?!
Wow.
Now THIS is a Top Chef first. (Yeah I said it.)
The chefs can change their dish if they want but they still have to prep and serve that night (cause, you know, Bravo can’t be expected to get the same dancers and police escort and the whole surprise of it not being real royalty is blown so suck it up Doods.)
In a different prep kitchen, Sialb chooses to change his dish to cannelloni made from a pickled turnip and braised lamb. Antonia goes with a less formal shrimp and grits. Tiffany is pissed since she felt like her food was on point already.

1 Hour back at Twin Brother’s Steakhouse aka the Inferno!
Corny counter top fryers have replaced the older, flammable ones.
Carla Cos decides to deep-fry her apple chips and pork. Slimer thinks his execution is better than everyone else’s (maybe that’s what the Kuato baby that lives in his giant stomach (a la TOTAL RECALL) has told him…”Quaaaaaid.” ) Tiffany feels good. Carla’s pork is undercooked, she starts Macgyvering on the flat top. As Antonia plates, she doesn’t feel like the dish is her…

Colicchio, Ripert, Gail (where’s Bourdain?!) and Padma arrive. Pads wears a flesh colored off the shoulder top with ruffles and brown shorts that the King of Junkanoo likes.
Yes, the King likes this very much.
All five judges squeeze into a wooden booth (hilarious!)
I guess this is why Colicchio introes the dishes and not the chefs themselves? Just not enough room for a camera to maneuver around and get reactions.
Carla’s fried pork medallion with sweet potato puree, applesauce & apple chip is good, Ripert likes the apple but then says it was very close to a dessert. The King likes the sweet but, uh oh, Gail’s pork is raw in the middle.
Antonia’s fried shrimp with grits, cilantro and pickled vegetables doesn’t have a lot of flavor and the shrimp was overcooked. Colicchio: “Howard Johnson’s called, they want their garnish back.” Owwwwww. I think that’s one of the worst slams yet!
Slimer’s sous vide chicken, mushrooms, yams and lobster sauce & lobster hash (yum) has “surprises” and a lot going on. The King says it was a dish fit for him. (You know he stayed up all night writing that one.)
Sialb’s roasted lamb loin and malted braised leg with pickled turnip and mustard is delicate and clever. But Sialb is disgusted with himself and tells himself so in the kitchen. Tiffany tries to talk him out of it.
Meanwhile her roasted spiced pork tenderloin, dirty rice, curry slaw and tomato jam is good but simple and not exciting. Hmmm…Slimer is right?

I gotta say, I’m alllllll turned around by these events.
Royalty?
A fire?
Chefs re-prepping and starting over?
Judges squished into a booth like they’re at a KFC?
I really thought it would be Antonia, Carla and Blais/Sialb in the end but now…

The Judges ask to see everyone.
Colicchio talks about Carla’s pork not being cooked but Ripert says Colicchio was jealous because His piece was perfect. Carla smiles. Antonia’s dish is called “mystery meat,” her eyes began to well up. Tiffany begins to tap dance when Ripert says he wanted to see something complex.
Tiffany: “…it was weird to me with riiiiiice annnd, I dunno.” She says she lost focus. Slimer’s meat was rich but Gail’s chicken was dry (what’s up with Gail getting the crap dishes?) Ripert says it was complex but made sense.
Sialb says he hates everything he does, to be candid. (This poor self-immolating, teeth-grinding, baby on the way, nitrogen huffing bastard.) Ripert thinks his turnip cannelloni was too soft. Sialb says he left it in the pickling liquid too long and then launches into how, if he gets through tonight, he needs to work on his vegetable cookery (yeah, this is not the Blais we know.) He also says he will get better if allowed to stay. (Nice save!)
Ripert: “you fro dut you mastered a lot of techniques fro my uh appreciated that…”
??? ??? ???
Blais looks as puzzled as I am and I got to rewind that six times!
Ripert then announces the most harmonious dish
- Slimer’s.
WHUUUUUUUT is happening here?!
Slimer thinks beating Blais changes his mental game since Blais gets stressed out because he cares so much.
Pads then says Sialb is also safe.
Sialb (to Camera): “…second place sucks.”
Dood. Ease up on you.

They all return to the Stew Room which is some sort of lobby sans alcohol. (Scratch that! Slimer has a beer!) Carla Cosby talks about her dish and says one of out four (Gail’s piece wasn’t cooked) doesn’t cut it. Antonia thinks she blew it and is going home. Tiffany sings songs in her head.

When Antonia, Carla Cosby and Tiffany are called back,
Padma tells
Carla Cosby!
REEEALLLY?!
Wow.
Hey, how the eff is Tiffany sliding by? She’s won ONCE. She’s been in the bottom at least five times. Gail said she won’t talk about her dish the next day and wouldn’t remember it. But… I guess, since Gail couldn’t eat Carla’s pork? Oh and since Colicchio called Carla’s dish a glazed donut cooked in grease.
Man…at least Carla wasn’t there to hear that. She would have cried a river and surfed it back to the States.
So, Gbag, I must ask you to please pack your knives and go.

Carla thanks the Judges and (to Camera) says they made the right decision because she didn’t have the winning dish. She and Tiffany hold hands as they walk back to the Stew Room. Tears fall from Carla’s face as she talks about accepting of herself through this competition and how that’s a personal victory. Awwww.
When she walks out she says: “Make Mama proud!”
Say it with me, ya’ll: Carla is great. Give us the chocolate cake.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRmN4KnfPxQ&feature=related

Next week- Bikini-clad Pads proves she lost the baby weight and GUEST BLOBBER, Colucci!

TOP CHEF ALL STARS

COLUCCI Blais

LB Antonia

KAT Black Tiff

STRIPES Blais and Antonia

Q Black Tiff

COLANTO Blais

LUCY Blais

BROWNIE Michael

HOLLY F. Blais

KRISTEN K. Blais

CC Blais

JET Blais

DOWD Blais

LOGUE Blais

RUBY Black Tiff

Thursday, March 3, 2011

"I wouldn't feed that to my cat."

Some duedilly off the bat.
An email from Jet: “you will love” She is right! Carla Cosby is purdy!
http://www.styleite.com/media/carla-hall-modeling-photos/

Next up: Master Chef (and 5-star Frenchie) Ludo Lefebvre gets his own show on the Sundance Channel! In Ludo Bites America he travels across the US to reinvent American cuisine in short term pop up restaurants.  Spoiler alert: he’s married. Yah. Bumsville for us daydream believers. But there can still be a TV show with him and Fab, right?

AND finally-
Eye candy just got blonde:!
Bravo is revamping the format of Top Chef Masters for its third season premiering April 6 at 11p.  12 new chefs compete for the title and 100k for their charity of choice. But now they’re judged in elimination style challenges similar to the original Top Chef with Chef Curtis Stone (nom nom nom) as the new host! After its premiere, Top Chef Masters will move to its regular time slot of 10p on April 13.

Now let’s dive in!
At the top of the ep, Blais is sad, he wanted to get to the end with Dale. He tells Tiffany she’s invincible. (Well she IS 5’ 10”.)
In the “bar” Slimer drinks liquor and looks exhausted. (He should look grateful that Blais is back to calling him “Mikey” considering the Grand Theft he committed.) Antonia speaks to her daughter on cell. We see photos (adorable!) and she tears up. Or maybe she’s just thinking about that blunt hidden in the sock drawer in her bedroom. Stoner has gone two months sans weed, ya’ll! She’s gonna be a Chronic virgin when she gets back!

The next morning in the TC All Star house, Slimer wonders what’s next. Blais asks Antonia and she says: “Is Padma coming here?” Knock, Knock, in walks Pads!
(Oh man now she’s psychic too? It’s not enough for her to be crazy hot? She’s gotta read minds and show up at residences?)
In skin tight jeans, high beige boots and a bluish/purplish button down shirt, Pads tells the chefs they have to take a ferry to Ellis Island where those who are here illegally will be deported after a stiff face slap from John McCain.
Psyched your mind! (That’s what my cousin in Philly used to say all the time when we were little. Also, if I did something ‘cold’: “…coldblooded, ColdBlooded, COLDBLOOODEEEAD!” She’d yell this over and over again like an ambulance. (And you wonder how I got so loud?))

On the ferry, the chefs are instructed (via note) to assemble a dish with whatever ingredients they find on board BEFORE the boat docks at Ellis. The snack bar food? All prepackaged dregs: hot dogs, pre-wrapped sammys, nacho fixings and a lonely bowl of fruit. (I think the apple was actually weeping.) No kitchen or cutting equipment. Just a hot dog roller, a microwave and a little fridge with soda and juice.
Blais uses an MRE (Ready-to-Eat) bag he has in his knife kit to pour water into and heat hot dogs; Slimer makes bread soup.
Yes.
He makes soup out of hot dog buns, sour cream and cheese. This sounds similar to something I made in college after drinking half a bottle of JD. Slimer is not happy with his dish.
Slimer: "I wouldn't feed that to my cat." (Slimer has a cat?)
Antonia makes a grilled cheese and apple sammy on cinnamon raisin bread. Tiffany makes nachos from the nacho fixings, “everyone likes nachos” and then panics and “pushes it” by making popcorn with dried fruit. “That’s a pretty bold move man.”
Is it really though?
Since everyone is making junk food, Carla goes left and uses the one orange in the bowl to make an orange salad with papaya carrot juice infused with rosemary (where is she getting rosemary? Oh it’s some sort of potato chip. Intelligent Cosby…)

Pads, who apparently took a helicopter that served Bellinis and Evian water in a spray can to make her look extra dewy to the Island, appears with Dan Barber, Chef and Owner of Blue Hill Restaurant.
OHHHH this reminds me of something. In Mattapan once, after a night of heavy drinking in junior high- OH I mean, ahhh, college- wait, My Mama isn’t in the pool this go round, I can tell the truth- it was elementary school.
Yeah so after a particularly difficult test of fractions on a Friday, we were doing eight balls and chugging Private Stock and Martell (okay, I keed, come on, I would never do Private Stock with an eight ball) and in the morning my friends walk me through this Mattapan neighborhood of three family houses and then suddenly, on a hill is this restaurant (on a street parallel to Blue Hill Avenue) called On The Hill. It was back when I ate all the old school b’fast fixings and lemme tell you, they hooked it up. I had grits, biscuits, scrambled eggs with cheese and kielbasa. Nom nom nom! I highly recommend it! You know, if you can navigate the hood. Bring a cloaking device and a .45 in case it goes on the fritz.

Judgment time!
Judge Dan is tall and lanky with glasses and all about local and sustainable food. The exact opposite of what the chefs made, yay! Thus when Tiffany serves her nachos with a side order of popcorn and dimples, Dan says nothing. Pads: “So really they had all the nacho fixings?”
Tiffany: “YEAH-esssss.”
Later that night- wait, it’s nighttime now? The chefs stand outside. Dan reveals Tiffany’s dish was plain and “like a throwaway.” Whoa.
Tiffany: “Whoa.”
Blais’ was tasty. Slimer’s soup could have “sunk the ship.” Antonia’s technique was smart and Carla’s oranges, refreshing and innovative. The winner? Carla!
Blais was as bitter as sliced oranges. Let the teeth grinding begin!

Elimination Challenge
Padma tells the Chefs it’s the last challenge in New York and then spews a Wikipedia definition of Ellis Island. She instructs them to assemble the perfect dish using their family history. (Shout out to African Americans cause they didn’t come through NYC. Carla says the slave trade is just how “we got here but we’re still a huge part of the fabric of America and I love it.”
Honestly, if Carla doesn’t have her own show by the end of the year I’m gonna punch a Real Housewife.)
Pads and says they hired a genealogist who researched the chef’s families and they had special guests to help them sort through it.
Then in walks Clara’s husband (tall, wide and bald!) Tiffany’s mother (leopard print coat, Activate!) Antonia’s Mom (who looks crazy young!) Slimer’s Mom who he hasn't seen in six months (what a cutey!) and Blais’ wife (five months pregnant!) Everyone hugs and cries and hugs.

Each duo sits on a bench in the park and goes through their history book. Turns out Blais is Irish and English and from Worchestshire. One was, appropriately, a chemist. Carla Cosby’s peeps hail from Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi and her Grandfather owned his own business (unheard of!) Slimer is, surprise, Italian and most likely, a descendant from thieves. Antonia is 3/4 Italian, 1/4 Jewish and potentially related to Slimer! They might be cousins! OMG.
Oh My God.
Antonia’s mother thinks Slimer is really cute. Antonia says he flicks boogies on her. I’m not even going to make a joke about that sheet. I’m getting gaggy just thinking about it.

That night, after shopping they look through each other’s books and Antonia and Slimer go on and on about being related. Antonia thinks it makes sense with all the fighting they did (I kinda thought they might bone at one point, not now I guess. Slimer’s loss.) Slimer now wants his “cousin” in the finals with him. (Heads up, Dood, I don’t think she’s gonna be running around for like Angelo did.) Then they look at photos and it’s revealed that Slimer was the only boy in some sort of dance school! Sparkle Motion!



In the morning they find a DVD and, outside, a Toyota! Once in the product placement vehicle Pads tells them (via DVD) the winner of the challenge gets a Toyota Hybrid. Hopefully not the one they’re in which is now prolly full of Slimer’s boogies and Chef Butt Crust.

3 Hours To Cook!
Carla uses liquid nitrogen (Blais is impressed) but her Grandmother's biscuits don't look done! Antonia makes a dish to honor her Dad who was just went through another bout of radiation; Tiffany makes okra (for reals?); Blais prepares pickled glassworts which is not a dish served in a Harry Potter movie. Slimer nervously uses a pressure cooker (he's never cooked Italian professionally) and, just before serving, tells the chefs it was his pleasure cooking with them if this is their last time together. (That’s nice.)

The Judges, Colicchio, Gail (no Bourdain?!) and Pads in a white spaghetti strap dress with a green print wrap, and family members all sit at a long table outside. Mike’s homemade potato gnocchi with braised pork shank ragu and burrata cheese looks lovely and everyone really, really likes it. All the guests make positive comments. Tiffany’s mother says nothing. Mike’s mother tells them he was at the stove at the age of three, cooking with his Grandmother.
As the sun sets, Antonia’s Mom tells Pads that they had a restaurant in Beverly Hills and when Antonia was 10 she started cooking (and smoking weed.) Antonia presents braised veal, rapini leaf and fava bean risotto with lemon zest and breadcrumbs. Colicchio says the dish is packed with flavor. Again everyone is very complimentary. Everyone except Tiffany’s mother who is still silent…
Tiffany knew it was a gamble to make okra but…”Helllllo Evrybodee” hauls out a braised short rib with mustard greens, stewed okra, a crispy pig foot nugget and oxtail marmalade. Tiffany’s Mom: “I have to saaay, it’s deeelicious.”
Colicchio says he doesn’t like okra because of the slime but Tiffany made okra he liked. Man, this is gonna be tough!
Blais’ dish was a little tower of short ribs, potatoes, fried bone marrow, corn puree & pickled glassworts (it’s actually a type of seaweed.) The diners said they usually aren’t fans of bone marrow but it was really good. As a former chicken bone chewer, I bet I woulda liked bone marrow if I ever tried it. Colicchio: “It’s just, it’s alright. I mean, not alright, it’s All Right.” OMG who the hell are they’ gonna pick??
As Carla Cos prepares her dish, her husband tells the table they met on match.com (OMG they’re getting their own show for sure!) He had been on there 2 months, they met and 8 months later they wed. So sweet! The Cos made braised pork shoulder, fried grits, corn and sweet potato hash and cheddar biscuits that were passed around in a bowl separately, family-style. It’s Slimer’s Mom’s first time eating grits, she loves them. Judge Dan thought the meal was juicy.
At the end of the meal all the chefs parade out and everyone claps. Family members do great commercials for the contestants, the judges have no clue who is going to go home…In the Stew Room Pads asks to see… ALL the Chefs. Here we go…

Carla’s dish is called soulful and flavorful. Blais’ meal told a thoughtful story that made sense. Antonia is called brave to have served risotto after Tre’s sent him home. Colicchio tells Tiffany she officially converted him to okra, dimples deep ya’ll!
Pads asks Slimer to walk them through his dish. He says when his Grandmother would cook she would start in the morning and cook all day and before he cooked that day his mother said, “You’re gonna make gravy right?” He told her ‘yes.’
Colicchio says he didn’t know if he would have had the courage to listen to his mother if he was in Mike’s position. “…that said, the last dish I want to eat on this earth is my Mother’s gravy before I die. Just a very simple dish, but it was so soulful. I really enjoyed it”
Mike totally tears up, speechless. Pads asks what’s going on and he reveals he was really close to his Grandmother when she passed away and he was little and didn’t understand it. He didn’t cook that particular dish his entire career, not even at home, because he didn’t want to be reminded of her.
Awwww.
Gail told him his mother thought his Grandmother’s gnocchi was the best she ever had…and then she had his. He did his Grandma proud. Man, I can’t believe I’m feeling for the thief! It’s a nice moment though. I guess if Blais can get over the theft, so can I.
In the Stew Room they all salute Slimer for being open. Carla says you can taste when someone loves something. (Ummm, I’m not touching that with a ten-foot pole.)

After Colicchio says he’s gonna steal Blais’ seaweed (New Thief!) and the chef’s are called back, Dan announces the winner who will go on to the finals and win the product placement vehicle.
And it is-
Antonia!
Slimer hugs Antonia. She's in!
The next chef to move on and compete in the Bahamas (!!!)
...
Slimer! Holy crap! “Cousins!”
Wow.
They both go to the Stew Room and hug and Slimer is psyched but you can tell he’s bummed because he sorta wanted to push up on Antonia, yo.

Blais, Tiffany and Carla Cosby left…

Pads: “Richard…
WOW
Pads: “…please pack your knives, you’re going to the Bahamas!”
Blais is happy but admits he’s crazy to begin with and didn’t know why they chose to tell him that way. (Blais just might be a closet serial killer, yo!)
Now it’s down to the Blacks!!!!!
Colicchio said they had been going back and forth and then…
Pads: “Carla….Tiffany…you’re BOTH going to the Bahamas.”
They couldn’t decide!!
They couldn’t decide??
Colicchio: “We just couldn’t say goodbye to either of you.”

WOWHEE!
You know what this means? Five in the finale and (according to my calculations) Colucci is Guest Blobbing the Finale Ep!
Colucci, I’ll get you the keys to my place and the champagne cellar and leave all the recipes so you can cook. Oh, didn’t I mention? The Finale is a Live Blob with all the Poolers in attendance.
I keed!
Har! I am keeder.

But man, what startling developments! Next week- OMG
They go head to head with the chef who won their season?!
(Bravo, Bravo!)
A grease fire in the kitchen?! (With fire engines and everything?!)
Pads in a bikini!? (I think that started the grease fire.)
Whew, until next week Poolers…

TOP CHEF ALL STARS

COLUCCI Blais and Carla Cosby

LB Antonia

KAT Black Tiff and Carla Cosby

STRIPES Blais and Antonia

Q Black Tiff

COLANTO Blais

LUCY Blais

BROWNIE Michael

HOLLY F. Blais

KRISTEN K. Blais

GBAG Carla Cosby

CC Blais

JET Blais

DOWD Blais

LOGUE Blais

RUBY Black Tiff