Thursday, April 28, 2011

"Maybe you don't do that right in front of my red meat."

Poolers! Last week I opened lots of colorful notes and letters with your entry fees, thank you! I even received a special note from Fabio!!!

FABIO!



Thanks Logue!

Now, this just in to the Reality Pool News Desk…
Which Chopped Chef (allegedly) wasn’t paying their staff and charging them for meals and now has to declare bankruptcy.
Uh huh!
http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2011/04/geoffrey_zakarian_files_for_ba.html?e=grubstreet--20110427

Can you believe that, Brownie?! Let’s see if his hair gets any whiter as this goes on…

Now on to the ep! The Masters walk in and see cheese. He stands next to a giant table of artisanal cheeses.

The QuickFire Challenge
Make a masterful cheese dish in twelve minutes.
Unibrow: “It takes me longer to shave.”
Well we know what you’re NOT shaving. That’s evident no matter what size teevees we all have.

Bet you don’t floss either.

TWELVE Minutes Starts Now!
Naomi grabs a stinky French cheese and attempts to fry a skirt steak, Tough Traci makes a cheese carpaccio. ChrisLyle says he became a chef because he opened his parents’ suitcases after they traveled hoping to find a model car and instead found stinky cheese.
ChrisLyle: “That aroma stayed with me.”
And his parents stayed with the police! Cheese Thieves!
Floyd steams corn on the cob and rolls it in Mexican cheese and dusts it with cayenne. Um, HELLO, Ellie made this for a BBQ at my Seester’s house. She SMASHED IT! That corn didn’t have time to get cold it went so fast!
Tio glances at Sweet Mary Sue who makes her own tortillas! Her own tortillas in 12 minutes?!
Tio (to Camera) “I felt like a schmuck.”
You should. You basically made a tiny little cheese app and last time you pooped a doo doo pudding with a ginger ball. Your lucky stars need to be thanked.
Suvir makes a cheese pakora in a presentation that’s “very Calvin Klein” and Paul Smith.
Okay, that’s it, Suvir needs his own show. Let’s do this, Bravo. Think about it, there aren’t any shows about Indian people. (You can’t count Outsourced.) Make this happen and have Fabio be a guest and any other hot chef with an accent stop by for brunch and I will be a Production Assistant.
Free.
Free PA at your disposal. What are you waiting for?

Time’s Up!
As the Masters watch on flat screen, Norbert from the Beverly Hills Cheese Shop judges the dishes based on the balance between the cheese and the recipe.



Norbert looks so much like a Norbert I wonder if he grew into the name or if they just didn't name him until like two years ago. Dood takes his cheese all too seriously (with two hands!) and would prolly be a serial killer if he weren’t plagued with massive digestion problems from eating all that gd dairy.
His least faves – Floyd’s corn on the cob, too much cayenne- (Floyd tries to jump back with “it’s a very traditional Mexican dish and that’s how they make it” but really, you should talk to Ellie, Floyd, she has that corn on lock!) Norbert also didn’t like all the onions in ChrisLyles’ onion gratin. (Ah, it’s an onion gratin.)
Favorites- Naomi’s Chaumes cheese toast with skirt steak, apples and onions and Tough Traci’s cheese carpaccio.
The winner- Tough Traci gets immunity and 5k for her charity! She does not win a free cheese wheel.

The Elimination Challenge
“Create beautiful food for a calorie conscience diet.”
Uh oh, I smell a cross-over promotion coming…yep, here’s Cara and Brett (the two trainers from The Biggest Loser no one knows) and the host of The Biggest Loser and former Days of Our Lives actress, Alison Sweeney.

Curtis has been on TBL many times doing food things and pretending he cares about the weight problem in our country. Suddenly, a table of The Biggest Loser’s favorite meals BEFORE they began Biggest Losering is wheeled out- 9 monster breakfasts, lunches and dinners. There’s everything from deep dish pizza, bacon cheeseburgers and French toast to fried chicken.
Unibrow: “I could feed my family off one plate for about a week.”
Unibrow has a family?! Do they live in his brow like in Horton Hears a Who?!

The Masters must form three teams and create a days worth of meals without going over the BL Contestant’s daily limit of…
1500 calories.

Look out Curtis! Alex is gonna beat you like he beat cancer!

The Masters are lined up in random order and that’s how Stone distributes the plates of death: Naomi gets French toast, eggs and sausages; Tio, the bacon egg and bagel sammy; Sweet Mary Sue, corned beef hash and eggs over easy;
Tough Traci, a Chinese buffet that looks like something I ate in junior high for $5.99 that all came on one plate covered in “lobster” sauce. (I put that in quotes because we alllllllll know there was nary a lobster in that MF); Floyd gets the meatball parm sub with cheese; Unibrow, roast beef and potatoes (and these mashed potatoes had sour cream, cheese and bacon on them, Lordy); Alex, the fried chicken combo with creamed corn-

Alex no happy. As usual, he asks himself how he's gonna do this.
Suvir gets the bacon cheeseburger and fries and ChrisLyle the deep dish pizza. They each have to make brownies as well- huh? But they can work with a nutritionist. Yay?
Then, oh here are the Biggest Losers enter to talk each chef about their favorite dishes. Unibrow: “Hi, I’m roast beef.”
Suvir tries to get his BL Contestant to try a veggie burger even though she loves her bacon cheeseburger action. As a chef who has worked on those dishes “shame on me if I present anything but a veggie burger.” Alex shares his own weight loss story with his BL Contestant: 90 pounds in the past two years. He started losing weight because he had cancer three years ago.

Wow! That looks like a totally different person. Alex says he’s gonna make a brownie that tastes like a brownie but won’t feel like a brownie. His BL Contestant turns and alludes to her a**: “Will it look like a brownie?”
Alex: “It’s not gonna look like a brownie. That’s a good looking brownie.”
Hm, Alex flirting makes me think he’s going home. That or getting a divorce.

Teams:
Unibrow, Tio & Tough Traci. Their dishes as is total 4912 calories. (Jesus.)
Alex, Sweet Mary Sue and Suvir – 4351 calories
Floyd, ChrisLyle and Naomi – 5113 calories
Basically each dish has to net out at 500 calories so the team total is 1500. In honor of this, I have stopped inhaling the carob scone I got off layaway at Whole Foods this afternoon.

30 Minutes to shop!
The trainers are in attendance to help count calories which Mary Sue is appreciative of since calories are foreign to her. Naomi buys Stevia to make syrup for her French toast, ChrisLyle buys lowfat cheese for his pizza.

Back at the TCM kitchen, everyone struggles with the calorie issues and the time. Suvir is an avid calorie counter, especially on the farm he has in upstate New York. He puts peanuts in his veggie burger. (That sounds durty.)

Here come the Judge!
The Biggest Losers are sprinkled amongst the Critics: The Barber, Restaurant Girl, Curtis and, hey, Baby-faced Alan Sytsma, Editor of Grub Street is back.
Restaurant Girl pretends she’s interested in how much weight The BL Contestants have lost. Just before her dishes go out Naomi realizes the Stevia has an overpowering taste…Uh oh.
But her French toast with berries, scrambled eggs and turkey bacon looks delicious. (And went from 940 calories to 275!) Everyone likes the berries and the sweetness, no Stevia problems!

Mary Sue’s turkey vegetable hash and poached egg (from 1110 calories to 390) is called “ugly” by The Barber.

The BL Contestant thinks it has flavor but doesn't dig the egg on top.

Tio intros her turkey bacon & egg whites on ‘Ezekiel bagel’ with vegetables (from 1230 calories to 291) and says she was trying to make her own bagel…but you didn’t, homey. You just cut out a circle of toasted Ezekiel bread.
You know what? I think you’re lazy.
Her dish is met with Eh. The Barber really wanted fat and salt after eating it. Not a compliment.

Lunch!
Floyd presents a buffalo meatball with onions and tomatoes, farro (I HEART FARRO, it’s a grain like a fat cous cous, really meaty) spinach, cheese, tomato sauce & asparagus. The Barber says he packed a wallop of flavor into it and Curtis is actually nervous about going back to the BL ranch to cook for the contestants knowing they’ve had that- step it up, Stone!

Alex’s oven fried chicken, sweet potato puree, cream corn and corn bread (that he forgot to add applesauce to to make moist) looks like a plate of animal turds a zoologist might be asked to identify in the wild.


Grub Street and The Barber don't like the chicken but the BL Contestant thinks it's just as juicy and tasty as fried chicken. The cornbread, however, was a brick.

Tough Traci’s Chinese buffet- beef & broccoli, napa cabbage salad, white rice (white rice? Boo!) & wonton soup (from 1240 to 365 calories) was “a pleasing little mouth full” and the BL Contestant cleaned his plate! Then Grub Street: “Am I gonna order this? Am I gonna rave about it? No, but I think that it satisfies some of the cravings that you have when you want Chinese buffet.”



Hey, Baby Face, you’re sitting right next to someone who has been eating protein shakes and vegetables microwaved in a plastic bag in between 8 hours of daily workouts with four trainers. Dood ate all his, be respectful!
Hmmm, this brings up an important issue. The Biggest Loser Contestants are currently eating NINE MEALS IN ONE SITTING. How the hell are they gonna work this off? Jillian Michael’s is gonna rip them all new ones!


Dinner!
ChrisLyle’s whole wheat pizza with tomato coulis, smoked mozzarella & vegetables went from WHOA 2280 calories to 309! He should win based on that alone! They love the basil, the smoked cheese and all the veggies. Suvir presents his dish and says that it brings in a lot of color and has vegetables and beans that can give you all the protein meat can without the bad calories.

Poolers, it’s time for another Slice Of Zen with Suvir:
“I was hoping to make a statement that it’s very easy to be fooled into eating red meat and thinking you’re eating good calories.”



“Red meat is a direct enemy of our hearts…and uh…” Uh oh.



“…our arteries…”


“…and as a nation we’ve really got it wrong…”


“…for so many decades that we are the fattest nation in the world.”

And Scene.
Whew.

Unibrow, feeling as if Suvir has “crossed the line,” presents his flank steak as very lean and not as "sinister as Suvir has let on." Everyone laughs, tension relieved! His flank steak, salsa verde, fingerling potatoes & white & green asparagus salad went from 1679 to 315 calories. Impressive.

Then, in the kitchen, Unibrow: “Maybe you don’t do that right in front of my red meat.” Suvir walks on.
Unibrow whines to Tough Traci as if she’s the Presentation Police. Then he yells: “I would never do that!”
Suvir: “I’m sinister. You did plenty.”
Unibrow: “What?”

Suvir: “Nothing. You did plenty, more than you should have.”
Fight, FIGHT!
Suvir says (to CAMERA) you’re fooling yourself to eat a smaller portion of red meat. Then he eats a “sinister brownie.”
Unibrow says if the gloves had come off he wishes he had been told because he’s more than happy to jump into the fight.
Um, no one tells you when the gloves come off, a**y. You watch, they come off and you get hit in the brow. Duh.

Meanwhile the consensus is that ChrisLyle’s pizza is great; Suvir’s burger almost tastes like a potato and Unibrow’s dish is delicious. The BL Contestant who wanted roast beef and potatoes and is thrilled with Uni's interpretation actually shares his roast beef with the Contestant who wanted the bacon cheeseburger. Restaurant Girl: “Right there she gets her beef, there you go.”

In the kitchen, Naomi says she feels honored to have cooked for the Contestants. Unibrow says their main courses combined were under a thousand calories so “we were very over achieving skinny people.”
????
Dood, you do realize there’s a camera there, right?
Dick.

The final calorie counts? Floyd, ChrisLyle and Naomi: 1221
Unibrow, Tio & Tough Traci ended up with 1263
Alex, Sweet Mary Sue and Suvir: 1368

The Critic’s ask to see Naomi, Floyd and ChrisLyle.
They had…the best meals!
After the compliments the winner is…Floyd!
His charity (the Young Scientists Cancer Research Fund) gets $10,000! Hooray!

Offenders? Suvir, Mary Sue and Alex (Mary Sue AGAIN!!!??? And what about Tio?! She made a circle of bread!)
Suvir says he had to take the difficult road of giving his client something she may not enjoy but there was a statement to be made. He told himself whether he gets slapped or not that’s what he needed to do. The Barber asks why make a “wedge of mock meat”?
Suvir: “James, you have to somehow make them have a new dialogue.”
Grub Street says Suvir was cooking for himself, not the diner. Suvir counters with the fact that he works with people who are losing weight and says it’s very easy to keep meat as an option but they have a pandemic of obesity.
Curtis says he thought Suvir’s dish was very good but he works with The Biggest Loser (don’t eff with my paycheck) and he knows nutrition (as much as someone who needs precious hours to use this much hair gel can) and didn’t know if you could compare the epidemic with obesity with meat consumption. He says there a lot of other things that contribute. True but I have a few books for you, Curt…
Suvir apologizes which I don’t think I’ve ever heard a Master do.
The Critic’s didn’t like Mary Sue’s egg or the consistency of her hash. Grub Street asks why Alex put the cornbread on the plate if he knew it was leaden. He says it was instinctual to give the diner what she wanted.

The Critic’s deem Alex’s sides terrible but Grub Street said the BL Contestant loved the dish and that was the challenge. Restaurant Girl says Suvir served a lecture on a plate. Curtis asks why Mary Sue is there if she can’t make a proper egg. Grub Street says she’s trying to be good not great. Ouch.

In the end, Restaurant Girl talks from the side of her mouth and tells Suvir his “burger had none of the juicy succulence we crave in a burger.” The Barber says Alex’s food tasted like low cal food with every mouthful. Grub Street tells Mary Sue her hash was comforting and rustic but it just didn’t rise to the level of a Top Chef Masters dish. Then he asks if he can borrow her car to go to the movies because he looks like her son. (Real talk, three times in front of the Critics? I think Mary Sue might crack and start making Sweeney Todd pies.)

The Chef who was asked to leave is..

Suvir???!!!!

WHY cause he dissed meat?!? Bravo didn’t think the sponsors could handle it?! FARG. I think he should hook up with Elia and take on the meat and soft drink industries, STAT!

As they walk out, The Barber says he admires Suvir’s intent and applauds his goals and sincerity (nice touch) but it was bland, boring food (nail in coffin.)

Well, Poolers, I guess this is our final Slice Of Zen with Suvir:
Suvir: (to CAMERA) “If I had done what Hugh (Unibrow) did with red meat I would have failed myself and everyone who has ever invested time in me to educate me about this issue.”

Meanwhile Unibrow tries not to smile…unsuccessful!

He says he likes “the guy” (you didn’t shake hands with him!) and that it’s sad to see anyone go (liar!) but there are a lot of ways to change the way people eat (make them hairier?!) and Suvir seems to think his way is the only way.
Poops.
So, though it’s early in the competition, and I’m terribly shocked at these developments, Colucci and Gbag, I must sadly ask you to pack your knives.

Suvir: “I could not have left the show at a higher point cause I leave for my convictions, having made a little difference.”

Dayum, Suvir. You coulda suppressed those convictions for an ep or two! Sigh.

Tough Traci tells Suvir he's a visionary and his integrity will take him very far. Suvir: "This is the best exit, thank you."

Then the secret weapon in Tough Traci's dead eyes burns out Suvir's soul.

Next week, oh HEY! Daisy's burger is on the menu at The Four Seasons! That's not a euphemism! Get there next Tuesday night (5/2)!
http://indulgeinspireimbibe.blogspot.com/

And Wednesday, the Masters have to work at...a fast food drive thru?!
AWESOMES!


TOP CHEF MASTERS POOL

KAT Mary Sue and Naomi

LOGUE Tough Traci

RUBY Alex

Q Mary Sue and Floyd

BROWNIE Tough Traci

LB Mary Sue and Alex

NIKKI M. Hugh

STRIPES Mary Sue and Tough Traci

ELLIE Mary Sue and ChrisLyle (George)

DOWD Tough Traci

KRISTEN K. Tough Traci and ChrisLyle

LUCY Tough Traci and ChrisLyle

JET Tough Traci

JENNA Mary Sue and Floyd

LB2 ChrisLyle

BERTSCH Tough Traci and Floyd

FRANBANAN Mary Sue and ChrisLyle

DAISY Floyd and ChrisLyle

ME Naomi

Thursday, April 21, 2011

“It’s the best worm I’ve ever eaten.”

Tonight’s ep is accompanied by my personal variation on a dish Q’s husband first introduced me to…



MMMMMMmmmm, polenta squares with Bermuda onion, garlic and onion spinach and tomatoes with olive oil, cayenne and sea salt. All organic and all from Trader Joes, Hollah! I need TJ sponsorship up in this piece.

Before I dive in I’d like to share a revelation by CC (a frequent winner) who is not playing in the Pool this go round:
Top Chef “Masters is like an exhibition game. It's like watching the Harlem Globetrotters, which I've seen twice, it's fun but it doesn't really count.“
Brilliant analogy and quite true though I’d have to say it does count chef-wise. Some make more cheddar and others, well, let’s just say I won’t be eating at any of Unibrow’s establishments. I’d just keep thinking I was gonna find eyebrows on my fork.

When the Masters enter the Terrordome, Curtis Stone awaits wearing an outfit that looks like he’s going to watch a football game on a couch.
What happened to the suit, Stone? If you’re gonna wear a thin sweatshirt at least make it shortsleeved so we can see what we’re working with when we imagine you holding us in your arms.
Stone is by a large table with edible plants and flowers. Unibrow names a bunch of them, show off! What he can’t see, however, are the horned worms, beetles, crickets, nightcrawlers and Scorpions.
Bald John: “We’re gonna have to cook with friggin bugs.”

The QuickFire Challenge
Make a five-star dish for “some bug eaters.”

20 Minutes Starts Now!
The insects are all high in protein and vitamins AND make Colucci squirm like the squirming worms being added to oil in a frying pan right now, EW!
ChrisLyle doesn’t eat bugs or cook with bugs but he takes a South East Asian approach. Bald John now regrets sticking bugs in his brother’s mouth against his will when they were kids. Then he looks to camera and apologizes. Then Bald John’s brother appears and they hug! This was all an elaborate Maury Povichesque scheme to get Bald John to apologize to his brother who has been haunted by that moment his entire life!
I keed. I am keeder.

Naomi grew up in Oregon (where her restaurant Beast is located) and she apparently filleted nightcrawlers and threw them over her shoulder and hugged them to be photographed with cause the crawlers were no challenge for homegirl.
Suvir says killing animals is something he just doesn’t do- Whoa-
Wait a minute WHAT?! I got caught up in your lisp and eyes and didn’t realize that you’re Hindu?! You can cook what’s already dead but you don’t kill anything? That’s awesome and all but what if they make you go fishing?! I picked you to win, Jazz Patch!
Crap.
Suvir makes a salad and provides a jar of horned worms and a blowtorch for them to fry the buggers themselves.



After the last beetle has been chopped (what a hideous crunching sound) Stone stands with the hosts of some TV Show I’ve never heard of (because the closest I ever got to eating a worm is reading that book “How To Eat Fried Worms” in elementary school) Mykel and Ruth from “Man, Woman, Wild” from The Discovery Channel.



The couple has “to eat all these things in the wild” and chow on all the dishes, Myke without a utensil.
After Naomi’s: “It’s the best worm I’ve ever eaten.”
Har.
Then his wife reveals: “I’ve really put some disgusting things in my mouth since I’ve been married to Myke.”
No comment.
Meanwhile Curtis seems to be eating around of the bugs but he’s coerced to try ChrisLyle’s soup that has a whole worm in it. Curtis looks a lil ill.
You gotta chop those worms up, ChrisLyle.

Least Favorites: Suvir who’s “hands can cook but can’t take a life.” Myke: “All good.” And ChrisLyle’s soup ‘cause the whole worms needed to be chopped. “…the skin is plastic-y.” Ugh.
Favorites: Unibrow’s fried tempura crickets and Sweet Mary Sue’s sun-choke salad with beetle vinaigrette.
The winner of immunity and 5k? Unibrow who calls himself “the Phoenix of this competition.”
Burn off your Unibrow then!

The Elimination Challenge
Work as a group to create a 10 Course tasting meal to raise money for the charities they support.
Each chef is responsible for one dish and the fundraiser will be attended by fans who paid $100 a plate. [Nice touch, Bravo!] The winning chef gets an extra 5k.
They have 3 Hours to Cook and must use what’s in the kitchen.
Curtis: “And there will be some curve balls thrown your way.”
Time Starts Now!

The Masters race to the fridges and Naomi immediately writes everything down to make sure they don’t end up with six pastas and two soups. Alex understands her take-charge attitude but thinks she likes to hear herself talk. (He beat cancer, Naomi, he’ll beat you!) Meanwhile she asks Bald John if he can do a hot app then: “Do it! Start it!”
Dood…
She yells out everyone’s dish to reconfirm: “If you can’t hear me get closer!”
Now I understand why everyone’s seated at your restaurant at the same time.
Coooontrol freeeak!

Chef Tio works on pudding, apparently baking was the start of her culinary career; Alex- salmon; ChrisLyle- shrimp. He runs to the sink but there’s no water.
There’s NO WATER?!
Mary Sue: “Wait, what’s the curve ball?!”
The curve ball is made of mud, Sweet Mary Sue. If you can strain it perhaps you’ll have water for your ceviche.
Ironically, ChrisLyle is competing for the charity water.org.
(Suddenly I feel like an ass for letting the water run and get warm before I washed dishes earlier. Sorry less fortunate, indigenous peoples.)

Floyd: “Oh God.”
Hey, Floyd is making fish! He can’t wash his hands? He’s gonna contaminate everything. You’re gonna give everyone salmonella, Bravo! How’s that gonna look on Page Six in The Post?!
Naomi yells to melt ice, Hugh says there’s water in the circulator (but is it clean?!)
Naomi: “The dining rooms aren’t set up at all.”
Unibrow: “Are we in charge of the dining room?”
Tio: “We’re in charge of getting a party together, that’s what we’re in charge of.”
Unibrow: “Oh motherf**ker.”
Suvir: (in the kitchen) “They’re just being too dramatic.”

Poolers, it’s time for A Slice Of Zen with Suvir:

“Chef’s don’t understand why I have the Zen quality of being very calm even in the face of the worst challenge. I believe it’s because I never trained in the kitchen. A kitchen for me is very therapeutic, it’s calming. And it’s magic.”
Ommmmmmm
OmmmmmmmmOhhey-Curtis Stone is back with another baseball: service will start 30 minutes earlier. Still Zen, Suvir?
Unibrow (bucking to be just as annoying as Naomi): “Everybody simplify your dishes!”

You know what’s brilliant about this show? These Chefs can’t really have a major freak out because, much like John Rich said to Meatloaf and Gary Busey on Celebrity Apprentice when Meat wanted to pound Busey’s face in, ‘we’re here for charity.’
So you can’t really complain that there’s no water (esp when your charity is about providing water) or that service is starting earlier (even though you’re making a risotto and you planned an elaborate garnish) or that there are no waiters- EXSQUEEZE ME?!

Fortunately, Naomi has already started planning tables and Unibrow has stepped up to help but Alex sweats even more than he usually does when he learns he’s gonna have to bus plates. Sweet Mary Sue asks if she can assemble her dish at a certain table, Naomi says she doesn’t think that’s Unibrow’s vision.



Sweet Mary Sue don’t look so sweet.
Naomi: “…everyone needs to be finished with their course and everyone needs to chip in with service!” She doesn’t think they should be cooking while service is going on.
Tough Traci: “It’s not possible.” She adds a ‘pfft’ under her breath.



Look at this woman. Look into her eyes.



There is death there.
Not only is she NOT going to be bossed around, I think her charity is actually a group of assassins from Russia who are working on a death ray and they've already implanted said ray in Traci’s eyeballs.

But wait! The fans and critics are here! Holy Crap!
Unibrow calls for the first courses to be plated and says if they’d like to pour the wine while they’re at the table that would be a good thing. Sweet Mary Sue snaps at Chef Tio as she plates her ceviche that she’s made for twenty-five years.

In the dining room, Baby-faced Alan Sytsma, Editor of Grub Street (ooooh, let’s see how Grub Street covers its own!) sits with Curtis, Restaurant Girl, Danyelle Freeman, (whom I must say, has a pretty blahhy-designed website for a foodie) and The Barber from Mayberry, James Oseland.
Turns out Baby-face used to be The Barber’s intern back in the day (translation: love interest! Smiley faces, ACTIVATE.)




In the kitchen, Naomi and Unibrow quickly talk about how to serve. Unibrow: “You really need to be raring to go as soon as you see that ticket….”
OMG these two are gonna be poisoned immediately. But at least it will be by Masters and thus, a good meal going down before their stomachs explode.

Tough Traci actually helps plate and serve (I didn’t think she would) and so does Unibrow in between bossing everyone around. First up, Sweet Mary Sue taps a glass and tells the room about her tuna ceviche with Peruvian Aji Amarillo (chile) on plantain chips. (Shoutout to Trader Bro’s Plantain Chips- I have now decided I spend so much money there I’m gonna get them to sponsor me by hook or crook CUT TO- me being an intern (translation: a TJ cashier’s love interest!)) The critics didn’t think Sweet Mary Sue’s app had much flavor but the diners like it.

Suvir’s Chaat (snack) salad of chickpeas & yogurt with baby spinach is intended to educate the palate. It’s gorgeous and delicious but The Barber thinks Suvir is a little too inside his comfort zone. In the kitchen, Mary Sue tries it and asks what else is in it. Suvir smiles and says he’s not telling because she’ll copy him and walks away (kitten cute!)

ChisLyle tells Chef Tio to stop “Stop!” as she’s picking up his plates to serve. (How come Tio is getting scorched? Are all waitstaff yelled at like this? No wonder they spit in our food!) His shrimp Alhinho (named after, I believe, the late Portuguese football player) with pickled carrot, red beets and vanilla oil is pretty and cooked perfectly but a little too salty. Meanwhile the diners/fans are pleased as punch. (I’m assuming punch is pleasing. Though Hawaiian Punch is hurty.)

Naomi speaks very nicely to Suvir, Tio and Floyd who plate and serve her celery velouté with salsa verde & lemon oil & pepper. Suvir thinks it’s a little too simple. Restaurant Girl is surprised by the depth, Curtis says it’s a rich soup considering there are more courses. A diner remarks that he wanted to “live in this.” Then he pours the velouté over his head and wears the bowl like a hat.

Bald John’s risotto, according to him is “plain beautiful and just doesn’t need anything else.” It has roasted shiitake & prosciutto with pine nuts and smoked paprika. Grub Street isn’t sure about the nuts and The Barber says Bald John hasn’t challenged himself. Curtis says the diners are choosing and asks if you’d pay $100 for the dish. They all say ‘No.’
Ow! But one diner says she wanted more.

Floyd’s rice flaked sole with roasted cauliflower, apple & sun-dried ginger broth (God that sounds good) is “loud and bold and sweet and sharp” according to The Barber. I believe that’s how he likes his clothes (first two adjectives) and his men (second two.) Restaurant Girl thinks the broth is a little assertive.

As Alex plates his dish and Unibrow admires it and calls him a “badass,” Naomi whisks two plates out and serves them.
An unidentified chef snitch: “Hugh, Naomi is serving!”
Unibrow: “No!” When Naomi returns: “Are you directing or am I attending?!”
(Uni doesn’t want to give up control but really he should just help out and chill because he’s friggin immune and Naomi has killed more animals than him.) The tension is palpable. Floyd doesn’t want to get in the middle. Someone asks if a dish is ready to go out. Unibrow: “Talk to Naomi, this is a quasi-team competition and I’m meeting up with a lot of resistance so you MF your own damn table.”
Huuuuh?
Then he whispers to Suvir that Naomi is a little assertive and “…it’s not always for the power of good...”
Dissenter!!!
Don’t involve Suvir in your manipulations. Jazz Patch is Switzerland! Ommmmmmmmm…

Alex’s roasted salmon, gazpacho vegetables with roasted chili & tomatillo sauce was met with mixed reviews. His issue: “some people like salmon cooked correctly and some people like it cooked their way.” Ha ha, that’s an interesting way of saying your way of cooking salmon is right. Meanwhile everyone gets a different take: medium, raw, all over the gd place.

Tough Traci’s roasted rib eye & slow-cooked broccoli with red wine sauce & fried shallots is the only meat course and heralded by The Barber and Curtis. Restaurant Girl finds it musty and Grub Street says the puree looks swampy and tastes flat. The Barber: (using his hands) “…you guys are young you’ve just been brainwashed by all this non-cooking of vegetables! What Traci has given us here is bold, cooked vegetables!”
Yeah, yell at the young kids watching movies on their iPhones and sucking up the DVR space with America’s Next Dance Crew! Grub Street shakes his head.

Unibrow announces his “buttermilk strawberry panna cotta with black pepper topped with frozen blackberry seedlings and champagne berry soup underneath garnished with chili thread with fresh mint” as he walks around the room. Then he turns and says “Enjoy” with his back to everyone (similar to how he leaves his prostitutes after he underpays them.)
Curtis says he’s a real showman. The Barber calls him Liberace (Liberace would never show us his back unless it was because of an intricate sequin design on his feathered cape!)
The Barber calls the dish impressive, esp for 2.5 hours.
In the kitchen, Uni continues to talk about how great his dish was. I want Punchy Dale from TC All Stars to come back for one ep and Punch his brows off.

Tio’s chocolate “puddin’” with fleur de sel & ginger cake donut looked good but, I must say, sorta pedestrian. A bowl of brown pudding with a bloated Munchkin in it?
In the kitchen, Suvir says his understanding of pudding isn’t the plastic wrap American pudding and that’s what he tastes. He hopes the judges don’t bash her for that. The Critic’s review: tasteless and chalky. BASHED! Meal over.

At the Critic’s Table, Naomi and Suvir are called…
they have…
the most votes!
Naomi received 43% - $1,800 goes to her charity.
Suvir’s dish received 40% - $1,700 goes to his charity, The Agricultural Stewardship Association.
The Critic’s favorite receives an additional 10k and that is…Naomi! (Ooooooo Unibrow gonna be mayad!)
Her charity is Seed Savers Exchange that catalogs and distributes heirloom seeds to protect biodiversity.
OMG They’re the anti-Monstanto, HOOOORAY!

Now the bad news,
Mary Sue (Sweet Mary Sue again?!), Chef Tio and Bald John have the least successful dishes.
Mary Sue says she liked her ceviche and was walking the line between having it be assertive and the first dish and not wanting to blow everyone out. Restaurant Girl says the pickled onions took over. (So much for the “I’ve been making ceviche for 25 years defense.”)
Grub Street asks why Bald John’s risotto was so plain. He says risotto is unchanged and not experimented with (pardon?) and chefs respect the dish because it stands on its own.
WTH, Bald John- do you have some sort of risotto agenda? Also, are you not watching any reality TV? This is not how you do it. (Sing like Montell Jordan: “This is not how you doooo it!”)

Chef Tio admits she doesn’t necessarily love the pastry kitchen (then why’d you make a dessert?) but didn’t think the light panna cotta was enough to end their meal.
Restaurant Girl: “I just couldn’t get with the chocolate puddin’ underneath.” Yeah. Terribly dirty in so many ways (I couldn’t use it for the title of this post though, it would have tipped the proverbial chef’s hand.)
Now, I’d like to acknowledge, right here and now, that it’s kinda gross that we’ve become a nation of ‘pausers.’ Anyone can look bad when they’re paused. There’s no getting around it. Esp if they have some sort of facial thing gone janky. (Hopefully it’s not a stroke situation.) That said:



Yep, Restaurant Girl is a side-o'-the-mouth-raised-lip-talker.



She says the puddin wasn’t chocolately enough then, suddenly, Barber: “You know what Celina? Get out of Dessertville!”
Um, do you want to lend Celina your cell phone so she can call Remax to sell her one-bedroom in Dessertville? Jesus, stop yelling, Barber.
After the chefs left he went on to say her puddin wasn’t emphatically flavored (I don’t even know where to begin on that one); that Mary Sue and the other chefs needed to be making an impression from “beginning to middle to end” with an added hand gesture on each word, and that Bald John’s risotto was a “MissssTAKE!”
Are we watching Days Of Our Lives? Honestly, I think someone is auditioning for Days.

In the end, their least favorite dish was Bald John’s?!?
But they Tio’s puddin was gritty?! Really?!
Shocker!
Bald John: “My egg is scrambled right now. It’s sobering…”
He heads back to the kitchen flanked by the ladies and hugs everyone goodbye.

He says it was a challenging freak show. Then, as he walks out: “I’ll miss you guys.”
He spins around suddenly, “I LOVE you guys. I do!”
Whoa.
Bald John, we barely knew ye.
I hope your brother has forgiven you for putting bugs in his mouth.
And that you discover the intricacies of risottos. And find love.



I think you need that most of all.

Next week- Suvir and Unibrow get into a tiff? AwwwwSNAP!
Until then, we are all still in the running to be the Top Chef Masters Pool Winners...




TOP CHEF MASTERS POOL

KAT Mary Sue and Naomi

LOGUE Tough Traci and Suvir

RUBY Alex

Q Mary Sue and Floyd

BROWNIE Tough Traci

LB Mary Sue and Alex

COLUCCI Suvir

NIKKI M. Hugh and Suvir

STRIPES Mary Sue and Tough Traci

GBAG Suvir

ELLIE Mary Sue and ChrisLyle (George)

DOWD Tough Traci

KRISTEN K. Tough Traci and ChrisLyle

LUCY Tough Traci and ChrisLyle

JET Tough Traci

JENNA Mary Sue and Floyd

LB2 ChrisLyle

BERTSCH Tough Traci and Floyd

FRANBANAN Mary Sue and ChrisLyle

DAISY Floyd and ChrisLyle

ME Naomi and Suvir

Thursday, April 14, 2011

“Here’s the meat. And here’s the grinder.”

Well well well, look who’s blobbin'. You guys you wanted to play so here we go- it’s the Top Chef Masters Pool!

I did a TCMP (as we in the industry call it) once before (once) but I have the feeling this will be a lot more fun. Why?
#1- (like you didn’t see this coming) Curtis Stone. The new oily bo-hunk host is trying to pull a Gordon Ramsey with being on this show and NBC’s Next Great American Restaurant (which always makes me sing the theme song to The Greatest American Hero- OH SNAP THAT SHOULD BE A SUB SHOP- don’t bite! That one’s mine.)
#2- One chef is eliminated per ep and the winner each ep gets money for their charity
#3- and most important, we get to see these often arrogant, lofty chefs scramble about the kitchen, use instruments and ingredients they aren’t familiar with or have outright hatred for and get bitch slapped by the Critics not only in criticism but in the types of Challenges they’re given. (I think Bravo wisely realized all the pressure they’ve put on Top Chefs in the past and are finally really giving it to the Masters who SHOULD be able handle pressure, right…?)

And those Critics are: the picky, gesticulating Saveur Magazine editor and 2011 version of Floyd The Barber from The Andy Griffith Show, James Oseland.



And foodie phenom Ruth Reichl (btw someone parodies a mash up of her and Bourdain called ‘Ruth Bourdain’ which just won a James Beard Award for Humor
http://ruthbourdain.tumblr.com/
(Thanks for that intro, Nikki M!)

In my opinion, there are no long haired, Hubert Kelly-level chefs amongst our Masters this season but we do have:

Southwest Cuisine guru, John Rivera Sedlar

Big-Eyed Sue Zemanick (EyeZ!)

Alex (“I beat pancreatic cancer!”) Stratta

Former Next Iron Chef contestant, Celina Tio

Adorable Indian Jazz Patched, Suvir Saran, and His Lisp

Owner and Chef of Beast in Portland, Oregon: Naomi Pomeroy

Mary Sue Milliken (almost as cute as Our Indie Film Star, Kelly!)

Bald John Currence

Tough Traci Des Jardines

Chris Issak & Lyle Lovett combo, George Mendez, (ChrisLyle!)

Owner of the only Michelin-starred Indian restaurant in the U.S., Floyd Cardoz

And, finally…
“Yes I have a unibrow and my lips curl up at the corners because I will always act as if I know more than these chefs and you especially since most of them went to culinary school and I didn’t and did I mention I didn’t go to culinary school?” Hugh Acheson

So first, a quick recap of last week’s first episode-
Unibrow calls himself “the White Swan” as opposed to the “Black Swan.” (Which means he’s the Black Swan.)
Naomi and Tio don’t plate their food in time for the Quickfire Challenge! Wow! These Masters do realize they have made every Top Chef contestant a culinary genius, right?
Tough Traci wins immunity and 5k for her charity and then it’s…Top Chef Masters Restaurant Wars!
Tio, EyeZ, Bald John, Alex, John Rivera Sedlar and Naomi (who will be front of the house)
Vs.
ChrisLyle, Unibrow, Floyd, Mary Sue, Suvir and Tough Traci (front of the house)

Naomi decides to serve all 34 diners at once because that’s how she does it at her restaurant. (So it’s all weddings all the time there then?) Her teammates are nervous and Alex cuts veggies like someone’s going to measure each cube. Um, dood?
Tough Traci has immunity but still plates her own salad and makes a jab at Naomi’s seating technique when the Critic’s arrive. They include
Smarmy Danyelle Freeman (author.)
Unibrow serves a gigantic salad that’s too salty and Mary Sue can’t find unsweetened chocolate chips in the kitchen so she’s unsure about the amount of sugar to add to her flourless chocolate cake. But Naomi’s team gives the Critics raw lamb (ew!) and apple garnish that still has the fruit sticker on the skin!

All the chefs are shocked at how difficult the challenge was.
Suvir: “We are title heads, we are inspiration, we are the muse, we don’t work, we don’t sweat. Some of us may I don’t, I’m honest…So this is wonderful it’s the first time we come back to planet earth and we be living like normal people.” I like Suvir!**

Stone calls Naomi’s team out to the table and tells them their restaurant wasn’t their favorite. Uh oh. but….the diner’s decide and they won! The winner is Alex (He beat cancer, now he beats You!)
Only the Losers go to the Critics: Mary Sue and Unibrow for dry cake and salty seafood, respectively. In the back room, Bald John says Unibrow is too good to be in front of the Critics but in the end, even though he made a dish that was unfamiliar to him (he liked pointing that out) Uni is sent home.
Good.
I’m already tired of looking at his tight mouth and want to punch him in it.

Now…on to the 2nd ep!!!

“Here’s the meat. And here’s the grinder.”

When the Masters get to the kitchen they’re one short, John Rivera isn’t there! Stone shows up in a suit (I’m hoping he’ll arrive in less and less clothing as the season progresses) and tells them John dropped out because of an emergency.
Wow, bummer!
Well, good thing we didn’t set this off last week, huh Poolers?!
So now that means…
Awww man, Unibrow is back.
Poops.

I’d like to say two things about this, please. First I found another blob that actually calls Hugh Unibrow and I want you all to know that but I think it’s an easy nickname to arrive upon.



Yeah, see what I’m sayin’? Second, I think if you make food and you know people are going to look at you with said food in their mouths at some point and you continue to act like you DON’T HAVE AN UNRULY HORROR OF HAIR across your brow that should be plucked or, in this case, mowed; and makes me question where else you have hair (on your knuckles? Am I getting knucklehair in my custard?) you should go home and STAY THERE.

Stone gave the obligatory it’s-nice-you’re-back-Unibrow-because-the-Critic’s-had-a-hard-time-letting-you-go-but-the-real-reason-is-I-had-it-written-into-my-contract-that-they-would-not-have-a-male-chef-competing-that’s-hotter-than-me-and-your-unibrow-kills-that-and-any-chance-you’d-have-of-banging-Padma-if-she’s-on-this-show-cause-that’s-my-job speech.
Unibrow said he bought a small salt shaker this time. But did you bring tweezers? Use the ones you have to pluck fish bones, g’head.

The QuickFire Challenge
Stone points to a table of fresh meat and tells them to make a meatball dish in 30 minutes. “Here’s the meat, and here’s the grinder.”
ChrisLyle: (to CAMERA) “Shut the f*ck up!” No one wants to grind meat. (No comment.)
The meatball judge will be…Kelis. Yes, Kelis would be bringing her milkshake to the yard and then by the Top Chef Masters kitchen. Turns out she used to be a…chef?! Pardon? And here I just thought she used to be a decent singer and the rapper Nas’ ex-wife and BabyMama to their son, Knight (middle name Rider?) What is she here to publicize? The fact that Nas still owes her 52k from the settlement?

During the QF, no one can attach the grinder to the table! (Har! It’s durty sounding AND true) Naomi is not used to using a cheap grinder, she butchers animals whole! Including this one…


Ummmm…

When time is up, Stone stands in another room with the chef’s dishes and the Masters watch on close circuit flat screen. MSNBC newscaster Tamryn Hall? Wait- THIS is Kelis now?

Not the milkshake I was expecting at all.


Kelis hated ChrisLyle’s meatballs in froth, Floyd’s salty ball and Unibrow’s (she didn’t like the combination of yogurt and pepper sauce. Unibrow (to CAMERA) “…her criticism is pointless.”)
She loved Suvir’s but her “most favorite” is Bald John’s Vietnamese meatball. Bald John gets 5k for his charity, No Kid Hungry.
http://nokidhungry.org/
(If you ask me you can just take the rest of those meatballs Kelis didn’t eat and ship ‘em over. Wasteful!)

The Elimination Challenge
They pick skewers from a fondue pot and each get a classic 60’s dish. Then Goo-goo-gorgeous ‘Joan Holloway’ from Mad Men, Christina Hendricks, and The Luckiest Geek on Earth, her husband (this still surprises me sometimes) Geoffrey Arend appear.


Christina hates 60s cuisine since she’s always eating it and she’s wants the Masters to update the dishes. (Who’s gonna say No to Joan?) The Masters must create the classic dish and an updated version appetizer-szie.

45 Minutes to Shop/$200
Bald John tastes oysters for his Oysters Rockefeller and does a tourism commercial for New Orleans. Floyd is stumped by his pick, ambrosia.
Me too! I’ve only seen it once before in my life and the combination of Jell-O (which I already don’t like) marshmallows and canned fruit are nonsensical! It’s like Fruit Loops swole with milk and VOMIT.

In the kitchen, Suvir tenderizes veal for Veal Oscar, Alex decides to add Chai tea to his bread pudding, Bald John washes his oyster shells and holds off on opening them until the Next Day…

1.5 hours of Prep in the smallest kitchen EVER.
EyeZ and Suvir have no room to cook or plate (!!)

And by the time Suvir gets to the hot line there are no gas burners, just a deep fryer.
He’s gonna deep fry veal?!
Not sexy and potentially not edible either.
Suvir and EyeZ help the other chefs (Suvir plating for Tough Traci and EyeZ aiding ChrisLyle and Tio) just so they can get them out of the way and cook their own food.

In the dining room, everyone has 60s-style drinks. The Mad Men actor who played that bearded, pot-smoking copywriter who dated a black woman mills about looking for free drinks and potentially a real life job as a waiter.
Finally…Bald John presents mignonette pickled oyster, horseradish crème fraiche, collards and spicy bacon (Oysters Rockefeller) and Mary Sue- Japanese style poached egg with umeboshi & mustard miso mayonnaise (deviled eggs.) The Critics find Bald John’s oysters perfect. Christina isn’t sure if she’d call Mary Sue’s egg deviled but she loves it. (After the app, the copywriter asks Christina which one was Oysters Rockefeller. MF tryna get more screen time!)

ChrisLyle shows off his roasted chicken breast, lemon yogurt & vegetables (chicken a la king) and Tough Traci- steak tartare & fired noodles (beef stroganoff.) Critic Ruth is thrown by ChrisLyle’s bread but everyone else likes it. Christina isn’t sure about there being enough mushroom flavor in Tough Traci’s dish.

In the kitchen, Suvir knows he made the wrong choice to deep fry the veal (did he have a choice?) EyeZ cuts meat there are only 40 seconds left to plate!
She yells out for help and Naomi comes to her rescue. Unibrow shows up with five seconds left but it’s too late.
EyeZ: “I’m going home.”
She hugs Naomi. Only half of her plates are complete. WTH, where were the people she helped to help her?! Rude, yo!

Suvir’s Veal Oscar, fried veal with mint, cilantro & tomato chutney & asparagus salad and EyeZ’s Duck A L’orange- crispy duck breast, spicy blood orange gastrique & pineapple mango salad are presented.
EyeZ apologizes and chokes up about the dishes missing crispy cracklin and mango. When Stone asks why the plates are incomplete (apparently some diners received even barer fare) Suvir says EyeZ helped all of the chefs and “her generosity harmed herself.”
Suv’s veal is deemed bland and one note. The Barber calls it ‘mystery meat.’ Ouch. Christina asks if the cracklin would have made a big difference on EyeZ’s plate, they all say Yes.

In the kitchen, Unibrow swears and berates the staff: “No, no, no, no NO, you take those two!” As the wait staff leaves: “I mean, I love you.” INSERT any woman (or man, for that matter) doing the same thing after being around Unibrow for thirty seconds. Scene still works, right?

Tio’s chicken frisee salad, pickled shallots and carrots in a bacon vinagrette (Coq au Vin) and Unibrow’s filet mignon, mushroom espuma & crisp puff pastry- the latter consisting of a piece of meat on the plate and a scotch glass with stuff in it and meat with a crispy puff pastry on a skewer (this is beef Wellington?) are up.
Unibrow: “I went lighter on the salt.”
Use the salt to kill that caterpillar on your brow!
The Barber doesn’t like the vinegar in Tio’s salad but Ruth & Christina love it. No one knows what to make of Unibrow’s dish except me: Make it garbage!

Alex’s Chai-spiced custard, Panettone & roasted apple salad (bread pudding) looks great. They like the bread but not the custard, mind you, he didn’t make the bread. Floyd’s ambrosia looks nothing like the original, it’s a grilled peppered pineapple with mango, coconut and orange custard. Christina’s husband loves the pecan at the bottom of the custard (and also life, he gets to motor boat Chrisina Hendricks on a reg!) Naomi’s chocolate mint soufflé cake with toasted Kirsch marshmallow (grasshopper pie) is a little off to Christina but The Barber would eat it at any party in Mayberry.

Critic’s Table
The contestants stand super close to the Critics. Like a foot away. Floyd, Mary Sue and Bald John are already there, (I guess Stone don’t go to the ‘Stew Room’ to get nobody.) The three are… the Favorites!
Stone wanted Mary Sue’s recipe and says he’d be proud to serve it in any of his restaurants. (Wiki says you don’t have any restaurants, Honey.)
The Barber says (gesturing like he’s painting a wall with his palms) Mary’s Sue’s eggs were “just so delightfully unctuous in the mouth…”

I think we’re going to enjoy The Barber’s contributions.

The winning chef? Mary Sue. She gets 10k for her charity which is also No Kid Hungry.

The losers? EyeZ, Suvir and Alex.
Suvir says there were too many divas throwing him aside and taking up all the burners. Stone asks who the divas were. Suvir says it didn’t matter.
Ruth expected something ‘Wow’ for bread pudding from a Master Chef because “you can really play with it.” Alex: “…my strength is in olive oil, garlic and onions” and the job I held at The Olive Garden. (My Mama loves your work, Alex!)
When they’re called back, EyeZ is asked to leave.
Stone says they will be making a donation to her charity, Louisiana SPCA ($25.00.) EyeZ says something she must have heard on some other reality show: “I know the women will take it.”
This is not men versus women, EyeZ! And you should have REAMED those Chefs you helped for not helping you! Turn in some of your giant eyeball portions for backbone and stamina!
You’re a good chef with great skin! Don’t forget that. Look at Unibrow and don’t ever, ever forget…

Well, that’s 2 eps down. If you want in on the madness- hit me with your cheddar and two picks before showtime next Wednesday. And if you know anyone who wants to play, pass along this link.
I’ll put everyone’s picks in the post next week and send it out before the new ep airs. So get to picking and sending and sharing.
Do it for EyeZ!

Next week-the Masters cook with…bugs?! And I thought nothing was worse than ambrosia.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

"The service was frog a** tight."

Reuniontime!

So, before we set this off, I read a lot of TC blobs that said they didn’t buy Blais’ “aww shucks” routine. For reals? That’s a routine? This guy is so tortured he chews the insides of his mouth (prolly with a dash of saffron cause he is a chef) AND he helps other chefs who ask for advice or need to know how to use the nitrogen machine AND he never stole anyone’s recipe and it’s an act?
Those tears are fake?
Come on, Son. We’ve all fake cried before. You do it when you’re little to get what you want. You fake cry and your mother knows cause there’s a whine in there or it ends with: “…but Asia hasn’t spent the night since- last- week- ennnnnnd-!“ (for the record, that did not work. Asia was not allowed to spend the night.)
All Blais has ever done imo is beat the sheet outta himself which is what we’ve all done later in life if prone to self doubt, depression or stomach cramps.

Andy Cohen (hopefully sober since our last visit cause alcohol does not make him more entertaining) intros a giggly Padma in a (wow!) royal purple off the shoulder dress, nude shoes (Nude!) and long straight hair;



Gail glows in a black tank dress (give that stylist a raise!) and Colicchio, blazer over a checkered button down; all say ‘Hi’ to the Chefs like they haven’t been sitting there for 10 minutes during lighting and sound check.

Blais sits next to Fabio- FABIO! Who hugs Blais when they applaud the new champ. Andy asks what was going through his mind when Pads announced his name, Blais says he thought to stay gracious and humble and turn to Slimer and shake his hand. But really we all know that didn’t happen. The only shaking going on was Blais (like a leaf) in Padma’s arms as he cried, and Slimer’s head (like My Mama when someone misses winning the Showcase Showdown on the Price is Right. Apparently Mama knows how much the jet ski, flight to San Diego and the outdoor grill with the patio furniture costs.)
Blais says he learned a lot about himself by NOT winning Season Four, Slimer said he wished he HAD won cause then he wouldn’t be there. Ha haaa! You know what? Slimer is kinda reminding me of a bully that went to my junior high. A Yuck Mouth (cause he won’t brush, no he likes his teeth like this) who stole lunches and farted on textbooks and inside studious kid’s mouths.

Colicchio says it came down to what you want to eat again or what moved you. Gail says she needed the most convincing because there were moments of Slimer’s meal that moved her. “The pepperoni sauce!”
Gail and Slimer and Bernstein had a threesome? Hm, I just looked up pepperoni sauce.
http://bites.today.com/_news/2011/03/31/6384247-michael-isabella-dishes-on-his-pepperoni-sauce

Okay, I guess Slimer created this but see, that’s the problem, I can’t TRUST Slimer anymore. I don’t know what he’s cooking, what he stole and if he’s washed his hands. Just sayin’.
I mean, you steal someone’s recipe on national teevee, are you really stopping yourself from rifling through you wife’s mother’s recipes? Or the Slimer equivalent: her box of chocolate covered Donettes?

Blais’ Video Package! Blais says he never had a super strong family structure and then he found a kitchen and found a family and loved it. Awwww. And then, oh yeah, his mother passed away just before the taping of that season and his wife’s grandmother passed away and his wife was pregnant and he was away from home like Fievel. Cue Vanessa Williams: “Somewhere out there, if love can see us throoooough…”

After the footage Blais says he was very emotional and Gail asks if he would be a little easier on himself now. Blais replies he was trying to smile more but then a breeze blew through the tooth-marked hole in the side of his face. (It sounded a little like The Fleet Foxes.) Fabio: “He won and he still freak out, Jesus Christ, Ritchie!”

Black Tiff in a bright orange v-neck sweater and earrings the size of a Vandella’s (Martha Reeve no where in sight) laughs as Blais says all he remembers is being in Padma’s arms. You know what? I’m sure that’s everyone’s real goal. Eff the 200k, they get to hug Padma and weep into her caramel colored arms. I bet they’re coated in brown sugar. Delicious!

Blais’ wife had a baby girl (named either Anne Marie Lotus or Angry Lotus, personally I think Angry Lotus is doper) and says he Will talk to Slimer about investing in his restaurant. Oddly enough, Slimer doesn’t proclaim being all set with investors (like he did in the Watch What Happens ep.) Slimer: “Either way we have a friendship for life.” Yeah, you and Angelo had a “friendship for life” too when you thought he was gonna win.

Slimer says he said he made it the distance and ‘that day’ Richard beat him. Because, you know, if they held it the next day, Slimer totally would have won.
Colicchio says Slimer DID win because he wasn’t cooking Italian food prior to his Ellis Island episode. Slimer says he felt like his Grandma’s spirit carried him through the competition. Nice, though I think it would take five Grandma’s to carry him anywhere.

More Video Packages!
Antonia/Slimer! Slimer laughs, burps twice, picks his nose and adjusts/touches his nuts twice. Long adjustments/touches.
Like a rolling sort of action. Nasty sheet.
Pads makes a I-need-a-Hep-C-shot face. Then new cousins reveal that their parents talk all the time, cute!

Uh oh- the Jen Carroll “I will fight to the death on this…” Video Package! Jenn, still with her giant blonde Raquel Welsh cavegirl sized dome watches her outbursts with a silent open mouth smile and shake of the head.
Jen says she was disappointed in herself and extremely emotional and it got to her. Then Gail saves her (completely) by saying thank you because it took courage and she had been wondering why no one ever burst before. That was sweet of you, Gail. Well done.

The Angelo Fashion Plate Video Package! He walks around in tight $300 pants. Slimer: “There’s an avocado in there.” Fabio: “…more like walnuts” Awesome!
Dale: “He might be a little girly but I feel a lot uglier being around him.” Everyone claps madly. Andy asks how Angelo describes his style, before he can answer- Dale: “Aquaman.” HILARIOUS!

Viewer Question! Would Gail rather go on a date with Angelo, Fabio or Spike? Gail says she has a connection with Spike since they’re both from Canada but she’s married. Pads answers the same question by saying she’d like to go on a date with either Elia or Casey “…or I could just motor boat Antonia.”



Pads reveals she just learned that word and was eager to use it. Also she had just started drinking rye straight from the cask.

Andy: “…viewers were outraged at one chef who just didn’t seem to be in the game.”
Jamie’s Video Package! Everyone talks smack. Jamie laughs at herself. Viewer question: did Jamie feel bad after seeing the footage of everyone else sucking it up and Jamie going to the hospital for two stitches?
Jamie: “Okay here’s the thing, actually I haven’t seen the finish. I actually haven’t watched the show…”

Waaaaaaaaaait a minute, you know what’s it time for…!
List Of Things Jamie Doesn't 'Do' Or Know!™
-breakfast
-bridal showers
-desserts
-canned goods
-open a restaurant
-clean sardines
-braise celery ("never before in life")
-make a sauce from ham
-children (“ever”)
-fighting
-work in a Chinese-style kitchen (“with the steamers and the wok stations and
all the other things that are in there”)
-WIN Top Chef or Top Chef All Stars (WAHOO! THANK BUDDHA!)
-watch Top Chef All Stars (a show she was on. Yeah.)

Jamie stopped because it was “painful for me to watch.”
OMJ! Jen Carroll makes a Whut?! face (man I wish they would fight!) Jamie says she went to get stitches and maybe it was a cop out but she has “a very small thumb” and is “a very small person.” Well that’s true!
Andy refers to Fabio’s injury. Jamie: “Fabio always has something to say about me…”
All of America has something to say about you, Lazybones!

White Tiff admits she was an a**hole and did a bunch of things wrong in her season and wrote the manual on how to NOT do this. Had she won, it would have been the worst thing in the world for her because it would have validated her bullshit.
Preach! (And that is why I’m glad Slimer didn’t win.)
A viewer asks if the chefs would come back for a third season and just about everyone raises their hand. Slimer “it all depends on who’s competing…” He would rather do a “mini-masters or something…”



Yeah, I’m with you Black Tiff and the Vandellas Earrings.

Now Curtis Stone joins the proceedings via Product Placement X-Box Kinect Yaaaaaaawn and asks, of course, who they’d send to Top Chef Masters cause it premieres after this. Dumbdumbdumb.

After the Angelo & Slimer and Fabio & Blais Bromance Video Package, Fabio kisses Blais’ face. It was the first time I’ve ever wanted to be a distressed, torn cheek.
Black Hammer Video Package! Jen Carroll says Antonia really has a curse. Then a viewer asks if Punchy Dale’s gf has the ring he said he would give her. Punchy Dale: “I haven’t got the check, man…I need that money first.” Awesome! Andy Cohen said he’d get it.

97% of viewers ask if Fabio has a gf- OMG WAIT, FABIO ISN’T MARRIED ANYMORE?!? Ummmmmmmm…
UMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!
Fabio says he has a gf and “his private life is private.”
So, Ellie, you’re putting me up when I get to LA, right? And after we stalk…visit, Michael Voltaggio we lay down rounds of suppressing fire wherever Fabio lives and then extract him from said situation and transport him directly to my arms that are waiting in a bed, in a van, on its way to a Vegas chapel where we’ll be married. Execute Plan 387AlphaBravo NOW!

The Fabio Video Package! He kisses all the ladies, tells stories about his family, declares how things went in Restaurant Wars:
“The service was frog ass tight.”
And talks about how he walks his turtle in the summer. That is not a euphemism.

Finally we get to Slimer stealing Blais’ recipe. FLASHBACK to the whole event: Carla Cosby: “That’s chef law!”
Then on set, Slimer: “There’s no such thing as stealing an idea when it comes to food period. Everything’s been done before, some way, some how, some similarity.”

Casey (whoa! she looks like an extra from Falcon Crest- wth is with all the pearls and makeup? Homegirl went from hottie to nottie who works the costume jewelry counter at Loehman’s) says “You can’t copyright dishes.”
Yeah well I’d like to see Casey NOT complain to the Judges if that happened to her. Blais says under the circumstances there was a little inappropriateness but it all got settled.
Antonia: “are you gonna say it’s in bad taste that he saw it that morning and did it that night? I mean, he needed to execute it.” She also says Slimer didn’t break Chef Law. WHUT?! Ask CARLA, dood she came up with that phrase! Plus, Antonia and Slimer are cousins now! She’s prolly trying to get in on his potential pepperoni sauce fortunes!
Andy asks if they’ve kissed and made up, Blais: “We’re all inspired, what are you gonna do not go out to eat or not look in cookbooks anymore?” Now that’s class.
Gail says she plans on stealing Slimer’s pepperoni sauce. Please do!

Judge’s Video Package: flubs, swears, giggles and such. Viewer Question: Pads seemed noticeably more upset when she asked Tre to leave- yes! I want to know the answer to this!
Pads: “I do have a sweet spot for Tre but I’m always upset when anyone goes home.”
Sweet spot? Really? Remind me to look over all Tre/Pads interaction to see what in the hell is going on there.
Okay, this show is almost over…when are we getting to…YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS
And now…Poolers…it’s…Elia v. Colicchio

Elia’s quote in the press: “He (Colicchio) has become someone who is not all about the food anymore, he’s not about Farmer’s Market’s, he’s all about high fructose corn syrup (Colicchio snickers at this) “and it’s all about corn-fed beef on all of his menus now.”
Elia says this came from going to have dinner at Craft in Las Vegas and the chef there saying they only had corn fed beef. She says after the release of the interview and Colicchio’s rebuttal she went back and grabbed a menu to see if she was wrong and she wasn’t.
Andy: “Sounded like you’re calling him a sell out.”
Elia: “Yah.”



Andy asks why. Elia: “Do you really want to talk about this?”.
Okay, honey, see, this is where you just need to stop getting defensive and stick to whatever corn fed meat guns you have. They’re ALREADY asking you questions. You’re ALREADY talking about it. Bring it!
Andy says after the show aired she came out with really strong statements and he wanted to talk about it. (Also, I’m Executive Producer of Top Chef, you’re effing with my franchise. Answer now or I’ll increase the humidity in the studio and your ringlet curls will blow up the size of Buicks!)
Elia says she doesn’t think Colicchio should have done a commercial for Diet Coke.
WOOOOOOOW!
NOW WE’RE COOKING WITH GAS! THIS IS AWESOOOOOOME.

Then she says Diet Coke has a lot of bad stuff in it—

HOLY SHIT I’VE NEVER SEEN ANYONE DO THIS BEFORE. SHE’S BRINGING IT ALRIGHT! SHE’S ALSO GONNA BE SCOOPED UP BY A COCA-COLA HELICOPTER AND DROPPED FROM IT RIGHT AFTER THIS AIRS!
Then she says she thinks that for a person of Colicchio’s caliber that didn’t belong.
Wooooooooo. Then:
Colicchio: “Who here sells Diet Coke in their restaurants?”
About seven hands go up. (Well played Colicchio.)
Ms. Old Lady Casey: “I drink Diet Coke every day.” (it shows, Nana.)
Nice Guy Dale says he thinks the core of what Elia’s expressing (who asked for help here, Dale?) is Colicchio is an icon and when you get endorsements where is the line on where you sacrifice certain levels of integrity.
Dayum!
Colicchio: “…I draw the line on things I don’t use, I actually drink Diet Coke and I actually sell it.” (Again, solid rebuttal.)
He says he buys from small farmers and hasn’t spoken a bad word about Elia or what she said.
Wow. Well that WAITit goes on???
Elia: “Since I’ve arrived to this country I’ve really admired you and I heard amazing things of you and I saw the kind of animals that were brought into the place and broken down.”
Colicchio asks if he had been back into his kitchen.
Elia first says Yes and then No.
Awww man, don’t ruin it Elia, you had him and it was a good match.
Colicchio asks what chef she spoke to. Elia couldn’t remember- come on, Dood, really! I’d have PHOTOS and iPhone vidjoes of those chefs after this!
All the chefs speak out trying to get it to stop, quotes:
“the horse is dead, the horse is so dead”
“I feel very uncomfortable”
“let’s just move on”
Colicchio says Elia is wrong, they still serve grass fed beef and they never NOT serve corn fed beef in that restaurant.
Okay, now I’m confused…
Elia: “I think that if such a successful businessman, a chef like you, would only buy grass fed animals…
Colicchio: “Why?”
Elia: “…just listen to my- can I finish?”



Elia: I think you could make it happen for all the small farmers that are doing this…”
Colicchio replies that he buys more from grass fed farmers then she will in her lifetime. “I buy grass fed beef, it’s a steakhouse, you cannot operate a steakhouse if you’re NOT serving corn-fed beef, no one will come.”
Then-
He says he understands she was upset and she was the first person to go and that’s difficult and that there were four judges and the decision (for her to go) was unanimous.
SLAPPED.
Elia: “Okay.”
Colicchio: “This wasn’t personal but you chose to make it personal.”
Whew!
But we’re not done yet!!
Nice Guy Dale says as cooks that want to emulate Colicchio and there is a responsibility in questioning that integrity being maintained throughout his career and I think that’s the core of what this is.
WHOA!
Colicchio: “That wasn’t a question, that was a statement.”
Nice Guy Dale: “It’s ah, I don’t think it’s um…”
Colicchio: “And let me just say this, I’ve been to so me of your restaurants, I’ve eaten your food on the show, I’ve never commented on any of that stuff off the show.”
Casey asks if he considers that off limits.
He says he does think it’s off limits to comment on what they do in their restaurants.
Colicchio: “This is a good lesson, as a young chef, be careful what you say in the press.
Andy asks if Elia regrets what she said.
Casey: “Elia you don’t have to comment.” (She’s a lawyer? That’s why she’s wearing pearls?!)
Elia: “No.”
Marcel: “Awwwwwwwwwwman!”
Elia: “I stand by it.”



Then, a much needed commercial break WOWHEE!
GOOD BUDDHA I wish Bourdain was there for that. Where the eff is Bourdain?!?
Next Video Package of More Judges and Bourdain (oh, there he is) and Carla Cosby that CANNOT compare to what we just witnessed.
That was fantastic.
I don’t necessarily stand by the TIMING of Elia’s statements (I mean, she was mad she was cut. She should have started the whole thing with—this isn’t about me being cut, I accept that) and she should have had her facts straight (seriously I woulda been all, it was Chef Susan Elizabeth Harrison that told me you only had corn-fed beef. Here’s her social security number, a strand of her hair and btw she has a cold sore, you might wanna keep her in the back of the house this week) but I really, really admire her for standing up to the whole Diet Coke thing.
What cable or major network that has advertisers would even ALLOW that discussion?!
Fabulous!
Congrats Bravo. I enjoyed that thoroughly.
And I hope you all took a tiny bit o’ pleasure from this season of the Top Chef All Stars Pool! Thank you for playing! The checks were sent yesterday!

Hm…Jet says she’s down for Top Chef Masters….I guess it’s still not too late…as long as I receive your two picks and your cheddar by next Wednesday…and get at least 20 people...?
WHO’S IN?!
xo