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!’
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.

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.”
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 win I’m gonna feel like shit.”
Blais says if he DOES win he’ll give Slimer money to open his restaurant.

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…
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!

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.
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!

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