Friday, May 20, 2011

"I didn't have an affair with Elvis, I had an hour with Elvis."

So this is super late! My apologies! Suffice it to say it’s been a bit of a rough evening/day/evening/morning. But also, this weeks’ ep was rough.
Kinda corn and expected and just plain yawny.
You be the judge…
When the Masters get to the kitchen they find blindfolds, nose plugs and headphones. They’re gonna have to take a Delta Airlines flight?! Hey, I call it The Screaming Baby Express (some of you know what I’m talkin’ ‘bout, Congrats Stripes and Gbag! New parents up in this piece!) So, oh, hm, the Bravo producers jacked one of Gordon Ramsay’s challenges from Hell’s Kitchen-
The Quickfire Challenge
Identify 5 ingredients using one sense, 5 rounds, 1 minute per ingredient. The Master who identifies the least amount in each round is out. The last one gets 5k for their charity but, immunity is No Longer On The Table.
Yeah! Let’s get down to the nitty gritty. (Which makes me think of getting scrapes and bruises cause things that are nitty and gritty leave scars.)

First round- Taste!
Water chestnuts, Worcestershire sauce, cashews, papaya and mustard greens. Everything is in little glass bowls and they can’t use their fingers- awesome!
Floyd reveals (to Camera) he’s claustrophobic (how the hell does he work in little kitchens?), has a balance issue (whuuut?) and knows he won’t be able to do this.
Jesus, just leave now, Floyd.
Tough Traci gets Worcestershire all over her chef whites, Unibrow is concerned about his gag reflex. (Honey, I gag every time you’re on screen, consider this payback.)
When they take their blindfolds off, the trays are gone- oh snap they have to remember what they thought they tasted and write it down? -and Curtis is suddenly behind some sort of podium, game show-style. Hm…

Sweet Mary Sue gets one out of 5 but Floyd gets NONE! Out.
Next, Smell: epoisses cheese, hot sauce, root beer, rice vinegar and mayonnaise.
Tough Traci gets NONE! Out!
Touch: okra, gummy bears, Arborio rice, blackberries, chayote (a squash also known as a vegetable pear, from Mexico.) They get to feel but that’s it. Unibrow is the proud father of two hairy children so he gets the gummies right away. Naomi does not. She and Tio tie with the least so it’s Unibrow vs. Sweet Mary Sue in the Sound test!

Curtis obliges and they shout out an answer. Sadly there was no: “Yes, that’s the sound of me rubbing butter on my rock hard abs.” As I’d hoped.
Curtis pours milk over Rice Krispies…
Mary Sue: “Vinegar and soda.”
Unibrow: “Tapioca”
Huh?
Unibrow yells out celery before Mary Sue when Curtis snaps a stalk, neither guesses potato chips when Curtis eats them (really?), Unibrow hears Curtis shucking an oyster and calls it and lastly he guesses that he was buttering toast.
BORING!
They should have just had to touch and eat something like asparagus steamed and chopped with Jello and then when they open their eyes they find out it’s in a bread bowl shaped like a nose! Gourmet boogies! Ewwwwww!

Elimination Challenge
Top Chef Masters is hosting a date night. To tell us more here’s Chris Aagaard.

Who the hell is Chris? Well, he’s going to propose to his gf of four years and the Masters have to make a six course meal, each Chef responsible for one, for 21 couples plus the Critics, inspired by a seminal moment in he and his girlfriend, Victoria’s history.
Okay seriously, who the hell is Chris?
How did he get this opportunity?
Oooooh. I just Googled. He’s a producer. He made a bunch of shorts and then something called TEENAGE DIRTBAG that, unfortunately, was not about Chris Brown.
Feh.

Chris sits with the nonplussed Masters (Naomi was really the only one who said congratulations when he announced he was going to propose) and passes around photos. Floyd is particularly blah about it.

Unibrow says it’s a big PDA moment and he’s not into PDA (or shaving) but that’s okay because he loves to cook. Chris tells them time stopped when he and Victoria kissed for the first time.
Yawn. Let’s hope Chris is a better producer than he is a writer.
He recalls a moment they walked down the street and saw a marquee for Paris, je t'aime and she said: ‘…that means I love you’ and he bought her a bracelet that said, yep. Je t'aime.
Unibrow: “This is poignant, and makes me throw up in my mouth.”
I half agree. It’s poignant to Chris but it’s really corn village. This is reality TV Bravo- we want the racecar driver who, ironically was almost hit by a car while crossing the street. The driver of the car? His fiancé? See what I’m saying?
More sleep inducing revelations: his gf made salmon and fooled him into thinking it was chicken (???) they’ve never had shellfish, they like beer and pretzels and that’s fun. Tio thinks it’s fun too. She just woke up according to her hair.

Floyd decides to make things exciting since he almost went home last time. Sweet Mary Sue gives Unibrow the idea to do onion rings that look like bracelets. Zzzzzzzzz.

Shopping 30 Minutes - $200
Sweet Mary Sue gets mussels and clams even though Chris has never had them. Tough Traci decides to do dessert -not her forte. Tio is making…a pretzel. Man if she doesn’t go home I’m going home.
In the kitchen everyone gets to reminiscing about their relationships. Unibrow met his wife before his eyebrows met.


Mary Sue ended up marrying her business partner’s ex- husband. Scandalous! Oh, apparently her partner encouraged it. HOLD UP! Tough Traci is having equipment problems! Her scale is off by 3 ounces! She starts over. Why did she choose desserts anyway? She wanted a challenge or somethi-

Sorry!

2.5 hours to prep!
Tough Traci cuts the velvet cupcakes she was going to make and just goes for the apple galette.
Sweet Mary Sue cuts… off the tip of her thumb. How bad is it?

Apparently she’s throwing the tip of her thumb into the garbage here.
The amazing part is her reaction: “Oh darn it. Darn it.” I want this woman with me when I rob a bank. Btw you did not read what I just typed. Some of you will be our alibis.

In the interest of the proposal, Chris and Victoria’s mother’s come in and watch their kids on the close circuit TV. Let’s hope there’s no ‘under-the-table-follies’! Then here come the Critics- Curtis sits with Gail who looks gorgeous (stylist- Winning!)

and The Barber is with the other Gael, former TCM Critic and hat wearing broad who banged Elvis Presley, Gael Greene, ya’ll.

Let’s call her The Hat!

Floyd’s kama sutra black pepper shrimp with watermelon, lime and mint is beautiful! The Barber: “Look at how the shrimp are entwined.” Someone wants to make it a three-some! The Hat almost hates tearing the spooning shrimp apart. The Barber says he’s feeling amorous toward The Hat because of the heat in the dish. Curtis notes everyone going for their water and wine and we get a quick product placement of a wine label that reads QuickFire, Top Chef wines. (Uh huh.) Gail, of course, thinks there’s nothing wrong with going for wine.

Tio’s soft pretzel with pale ale cheese sauce, frisee salad with mustard vinaigrette looks….like a pretzel with salad. Soon-to-be-proposed-to Victoria is in “heaven.” The Barber calls it junior high romance compared to Floyd’s college romance. What’s the difference? They both involve cheap beer, hickeys and having someone’s hand smell like a condom.

In the kitchen, Unibrow and Floyd tell Mary Sue to plate before her time runs out: “Mary Sue!” “What are you doing?!” “You better start plating!” and she snaps back: “I’m going!!!” Mary Sue is not sweet when she’s being rushed and stressed and missing part of her thumb! Her seafood stew with mussels and clams Portuguese style with sausages and wine broth has one big crouton that The Hat pronounces: “Crew-tun” and says is too crunchy for a romantic dinner. Yeah well it’s too hot for that hat, Hat.

Naomi asks everyone to help her plate and is concerned about how rustic her plate is compared to Unibrow’s that comes after it. Her porcini-braised chicken thigh with sweet potatoes two ways was a show stealer and the happy couple loves it.

Unbrow directs the waiters like a flight attendant: “I will trip you on purpose.”
What?
Why would you say that?
Do you speak to your children that way? I think I’m gonna call DSS and have them check.
His strip steak with broccoli, onion ring, celery root puree and bordelaise sauce is “focused and succinct.” The Barber chews on a piece of meat forevs though. The Hat:"...look at how you're chewing, this is not attractive, it's not seductive." The Barber stops chewing long enough to say he's heard about her affair with Elvis. The Hat: "I didn't have an affair with Elvis, I had an hour with Elvis."
Well dayum!
Apparently she was the only woman in the hotel room after a show and he took her hand and led her to the bedroom. On her way out he asked her to call room service and order a fried egg sandwich for him. (I am Not making that up.) She says that’s why she became a food writer. Delightful! The Hat is invited to my apartment for wasabi peas and red wine Anytime!

Traci’s pink lady apple galette with whipped crème fraiche and caramel sauce has Je t’aime written in chocolate across the plate and is…dry. Gail wants to be swept away by a dessert. Um, I don’t think there’s enough liquid in the galette for that. But hey there’s plenty of vino, drink up! When the Chris’ gf sees the plate with the word written across it she’s ecstatic. Chris feeds her but still doesn’t propose and she has no clue.

Then Curtis stands and thanks everyone for attending and introduces the chefs. Claps all around. He spins some crap speech about how every couple’s relationship is very special but there’s one couple that’s here for a very special reason.

Chris is crouching here people. He’s not THAT short. After he asks her the Bravo producers CUT TO their Moms, then the diners, then The Hat, the Masters, Victoria,

the ring, the Moms, their Mom’s hands, their Mom’s Mom’s hands, the dry gallette, the last can of Bud Dry, then the ring, then more diners, then Tom Colicchio at home watching the diners, then finally, back to Victoria who says: “Yes, of course” and crouches down and kisses him the way she will for the rest of her life because she’s a foot taller than him.
Awww!

Then out come the Moms!
Awww!
Then Curtis gives them a giant bottle of Chimney Rock Cab Sav and a 3-day 2-night stay at a vineyard.

Awwww!
Then they toast and kick them in their asses because that's what life will do them and it’s Critic’s Table Time!

They ask to see Naomi, Sweet Mary Sue and Floyd.
Unibrow asks Tough Traci and Tio if they thought they were in the bottom. TT says ‘No.’ Tio is blank.
The Critics…loved their dishes!
Floyd’s dish was sweet and fruity and spicy, Naomi’s crispy chicken skin was rustic and delicious and Sweet Mary Sue’s seafood stew had a ton of flavor.
The winner…Naomi! Again! Her total is up to 25k.
When they get back, Unibrow: “Well one of us is going home.”
That’s riiiiight, Uni!
Unibrow: “I assume they want to see all of us?”
OH just get your narrow a** in there already, sh*t!

The losers line up, Tio having been here many times barely explains herself when Gail says she wanted more of a correlation between the salad and the pretzel. She replies that she creates playful food and that’s what that was.
Um, that was something I wouldn’t have any choice but to eat that because I’m vegan. But it’s not an entrée.
Traci defends her gallette, The Barber says the pink lady is a dry apple and when Curtis asks if she’s surprised to be there TT says everyone had great dishes and (arms crossed) they’re “splitting hairs at his point.”
Gail shoots Curtis a look like- ‘ah, we’d jump all over that comment if this were Top Chef proper.
Will no one be contrite here?
Unibrow says the meat was “fine.” Hm, okay.
The Barber says his meat was chewy and The Hat says you shouldn’t having something chewy when you’re trying to seduce the guy across the table. True dat. Chewing doesn’t really work in a seduction situation. Don’t any of you dare Google chewing and s*x! Not that I did but don’t you do it! And I don’t want to hear about it either!

Then Uni says three people hit the nail on the head- the challenge was about hitting the six events in the couple’s life they listed and the three of them did that. “I felt like it was appealing to a relatively pedestrian crowd and I was gonna do that.”
WOW.
Curtis: “So…do you cook down to people?”
Uni: “You gonna pay the bill? Yeah I’ll cook down to ya, anytime.”
Holy Crap!

When Naomi asks what happens and Tio and Tough Traci explain, Unibrow: “And you guys had such nice responses to them and I’m like…”

Unibrow: “Eff you. Whatever.”
Jesus. Imagine for a moment what occurs when Uni’s wife reminds him that he forgot to pay the water bill?

In the dining room, unbeknownst that she’s been given the bird, The Hat explains that Tio could have made a lobster pot pie with a pretzel puff top -Yum! Check out Hat! Gail said a salad and a pretzel on the side “is not something that’s gonna win our hearts.” Not necessary to add the ‘heart’ part, Gail, but I like the words “not” and “win” when used with Tio in a sentence.
Unibrow’s dish was called banal and Curtis didn’t like his attitude. Call his wife! I be she concurs! The Hat says Traci’s tart was missing something and could have had applesauce under the apple. This woman is No Joke. She can just pump out menu items at will!

Man now I’m torn! I wouldn’t mind Unibrow leaving but Tio has GOT to go, right?!
I mean a salad and pretzel? I love both but if I had to pay $12.95 for one at a restaurant I might steal the saltshaker just to compensate.

The chef…going home…is...
Tio!
FINALLY!
An appropriate end to a boring ep!
Curtis gives his usual: she’s “…a fabulous chef and she made some wonderful dishes” speech. The other chefs hugged her and pretended to care. Tio said she was there to serve a purpose for that moment in Chris and Victoria’s life. “If it doesn’t please the critics then it doesn’t please the critics.” It doesn’t. It doesn’t please anyone. Chris and Victoria will have many more incredible pretzels in their lives, Holmes. Don’t get it twisted. (Pun intended.)

Next week, hopefully a more exciting ep, at least it will be Tio-free! Let's see, the Masters cook for an edible science fair (yawn) and PADMA’S IN THE HOUSE! Whut!
(I’ll share where that particular ‘Whut” came from, it got me through a 17 hour day!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lDnmKzUza4

Thursday, May 12, 2011

"I love the head. The head goes really well with the sauce."

Hey everybody look at this crap news!

http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2011/05/mike_isabella_published_author.html?e=grubstreet--20110510

Eh. So Slimer aka Mike Isabella is getting a cookbook, FLAVORS FROM A JERSEY ITALIAN that actually sounds pretty gross. I have some alternate titles:

-Food To Make You Get Bad Tattoos Like Eyeballs and Sh*t

-Two Tablespoons Of Sweat

-I Haven’t Seen My Toes In Years

-GHOSTBUSTERS IV – Slimer’s Revenge

-All Of These Recipes Are Richard Blais’

Look for it wherever books are sold! You know if you can find a place that sells books anymore. Sigh…

Now on with the show!

The Masters enter the kitchen and see a table of special, high-end ingredients like scallops, blue fine tuna, foie gras and caviar. Floyd immediately gets excited. I hope someone pours out a little caviar for the fish killed by the BP Oil spill.

The QuickFire Challenge
Stone says the fastest QFC was 8 minutes 37 seconds (uh oh) and Tough Traci notes that was when Colicchio cooked. Their challenge? Create a heavenly dish (two of them, three when you include the one for photographing) in 7 minutes.
Time starts now!

Naomi makes seared foie gras with apples, Unibrow grabs caviar and chops tuna, Tough Traci’s hand shakes as she cuts!
Time’s Up!
Whew.

Then he tells the chefs to pick up two of their plates and go to the other side of the kitchen. Today they’re…
judging Each Other. BOOOO!
They have to taste and then hold up number cards in front of everyone and rank the dishes from 1 to 7.
Oh. Hmm…building animosity I see. Nice job Bravo.

Something was sour and bitter in Unibrow’s dish- HIS ATTITUDE! Tough Traci’s carpaccio was “delicioso.”
Naomi: “I have some competition here.”
Tough Traci is amazed by Naomi’s dish and says (To Camera) that Naomi is flourishing and it’s surprising because she’s “one of the least experienced in the group.”
Catty!


Well you did say that..


Okay, I’m sorry!! Don’t laser me!
Tio killed her scallop dish by saying she could have used a little more salt. Crickets. Sweet Mary Sue did a simple scallop dish herself. Unibrow says (to Camera) her food isn’t as refined as the other chefs. Everyone liked Alex’s ceviche and Floyd’s fried the head of the prawn he used and added Serrano chili and lime but Naomi didn’t like it. “I like bold flavors and I love the head. The head goes really well with the sauce.”

Rankings!
7 - Tio’s dish – “It’s no fun being on the bottom and knowing that your peers voted…” Everyone is avoiding looking or even talking about Tio. She is the girl in the locker room with bad B.O.
6- Unibrow – his dish “looked like cat food” according to both him and Floyd. Uni ranked himself a 7 for it.
5–Floyd – he gave himself a 3, Naomi didn’t dig the blood orange and ranked him low
4– Mary Sue
3– Alex
2- Naomi
and the winner…
1- Tough Traci – who rated herself 3 but got three 1s.
She wins immunity and 5k for her charity, La Cocina, which encourages low-income food entrepreneurs. She has now won three Quickfires and killed countless pigeons on the way to Whole foods by just looking at them and shooting a low intensity laser beam out of her eyeballs. (Might as well get in a little practice, right?)

Tough Traci gets to pick a team of 3 or 4. Stone says a small team of the might work better but extra manpower could also be good (hint, hint) it’s up to her. Tough Traci grabs Unibrow who says she’s the only person he’d work washing dishes for (wash your face and then SHAVE IT) Naomi (hm, surprise) and (of course her bestie) Sweet Mary Sue. (Team Tough Traci!)
That leaves Alex, Floyd and Tio. (Let’s call them Team Tio, shall we?)

Elimination Challenge
Each team has to cook one family style meal for a band returning to their hometown of LA, inspired by their requests.
Introducing…
Product Placement for Bravo’s owner (NBC/Universal’s American Idol-buster) The Voice…
front man Adam Levine’s band, Maroon 5

Band food requests include Japanese or steaks (for Adam), corn (some dood is from Nebraska), vegetarian food, vegan food (“really good Mexican”), Thanksgiving (huh?) and some leafy green vegetables that might ward off herpes from the groupies.

Stone says they must menu plan on the way to Whole Foods and prep on the way to the hotel in…KAPOW!

Yep, it’s a Winnebago tour bus thingamabob.
Now here’s the part where I tell you I went cross-country to the Sundance Film Festival in a Winnebago with seven boys once. Well, twice if you count that it was round trip.
There were rules.
We had tons of food (PB&J anyone?) but never actually cooked so we could use the oven and sink for storage.
And, most important, no one was allowed to pee or sh*t in Bessie (what we called the Winnie.) This was mostly because No One wanted to empty the sh*t box.
When someone said they had to use the bathroom and were told they needed to wait for the next rest stop and balked, they were asked: “Do you want to empty the sh*t box?”
“No you don’t?”
“Well sit your a** down and pray we don’t start singing ‘Waterfalls by TLC’ to vex you.

The Masters start planning, Unibrow notes the three-burner stove. Sweet Mary Sue is gonna whip up a Mexican salad with fried avocado (YUM), Unibrow a corn soup and spanakopita (yawn), Naomi -turkey and some sort of vegan crisp, Tough Traci asks for authorization to buy rib eyes.
Then it gets tense over…nutmeg? I’m not really sure why. Uni wants it and then Naomi says she needs some too and he’s like “you’re getting my nutmeg?” and she agrees and then Tough Traci says something about wanting to get spices.
Que?
I dunno. I do know Tough Traci is going to laser a human this episode.
In Team Tio’s bus: Tio is thrilled they’re only three of them so no one else can witness her mediocrity. Floyd is doing steak, Alex is doing turkey and an enchilada, Tio is doing…uh oh…spanakopita and corn soup?! Floyd notes they’re disconnected dishes.

The Winnies pull up to Whole Foods. The faster they shop the more time they have to prep. Tough Traci gets a bottle of tequila noting that the rock stars will want this (Genius!) And then Alex runs up the down escalator to try to get his shopping cart that’s stuck:

First of all- WTH is this thing? An escalator just for shopping carts? Suddenly I feel like an ugly American. But also- is that sneeze guard thing really supposed to prevent children from jumping on this?! I mean even I wanna ride it!
Oddly enough, Alex, Floyd and Tio check out before Tough Traci, Naomi, Sweet Mary Sue and Unibrow who are at the registers when they leave.

3 Hours Until Service!
Team Tio prepares vegetables and she (nicely) asks the driver how far away they are from the Roosevelt Hotel. Half an hour.

Alex admits he has cooked on planes and boats before but never in an RV or for Maroon 5.
Yes, Alex, I think if you had cooked for Maroon 5 before we would have known that. Don’t get so flustered when you have new experiences! You beat cancer! Smiles more!

Meanwhile Team Tough Traci is just getting on the bus and prepping. They yell for the driver” “Let’s roll! Hit it!” Prolly not the nicest way to talk to him cause he starts taking quick corners and making short stops.
This does not sit well with Tough Traci, shown here just prior to murdering her little brother and the family dog simultaneously with her death eyes:

She had to be given Dramamine as a child whenever they went for car rides. (Oh man, same here. None of my Uncles wanted to let me in their Lincolns. I spewed like a fountain.)
Their driver takes a quick corner and POP! The refrigerator doors fly open and they lose a few eggs.
Unibrow: “Can we get a warning when you’re gonna do that?”
Yeah, not the way to talk to those guys. Esp when they don’t want to be on camera (obvious because he wasn’t shown at all, unlike Team Tio’s driver that you at least saw in profile.)
He stopped short a few more times for good measure because Uni’s bad energy wafts off him like a stink and makes you do stuff like that.

2.5 Hours until service!
Team Tio’s bus pulls into the parking lot of the Roosevelt Hotel. Having finished prep, they just have to cook their food and they need all the space they can get.

No, the lid to the toilet is not open, that’s Floyd’s steak.

Ten minutes later Team Tough Traci’s bus arrives.
Yup ten minutes late. Sped up footage as they try to make it happen.
Sweet Mary Sue: “It doesn’t seem right to set a bowl on the floor and toss your salad but…I’m tempted.”
Instead she preps on the bed in the back.

Moments before service! Alex is flustered: “The cooking environment is ridiculous.” Floyd thinks his steak is bland and blah. Uh oh, Alex’s pasta is overcooked!

Mealtime!

Team Tio serves IMMEDIATELY. Restaurant Girl, Curtis Stone, The Barber and Gail Simmons (YAY! What up Gail!? Looking good, gurl, give that stylist a raise!)

Floyd intros his winter salad (looks blah) & soy and rice wine vinegar marinated steak with Asian slaw; Tio: silky corn soup (vegan), spanakopita with couscous salad Alex-:penne with broccolini, tomato and garlic & enchiladas filled with onions and seitan (that looks a little like E.T.’s dick)

& coconut-almond tapioca and grapes & (WAIT A MINUTE, Alex made four dishes?!) breaded turkey cutlets….??? I don’t know why no one stopped that train.

The band loved the corn soup (crap I want Tio to go home!) but the Spanakopita tasted like it came out of a package and was microwaved. Levine: “Ouch.”
Band banter: One time Adam Levine forgot the lyrics to a song he wrote. What he’s really trying to forget it banging Jessica Simpson.
Maroon 5 says Alex’s enchilada looks like a “chud.” I’m not sure what it means. Maybe that movie Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers? Stone says he wouldn’t know where to start making an enchilada without cheese and thought Alex did a great job but then…they tasted the pasta.
The Barber: “cafeteria food.”
Floyd’s flank steak was “okay” and his salad: “disappointing.”
The gravy on Alex’s cutlet was thought to “be there to cover up the average meat.” But Alex’s tapioca was Levine’s favorite thing on the table.
The Barber: “Alex’s tapioca was very undercooked.”
Levine: “I will stab you with this fork.”
Do it!
Gail finds it unbelievable that Alex made four dishes. Stone wonders what the rest of his team was doing…

Team Tough Traci! TT starts by pouring margaritas for everyone.
Gail: “Now it’s a party!” The boozehound is back!

Unibrow: (hands on Mary Sue’s shoulders) “Let’s talk about the salsa and the guacamole first, Mary Sue.”
Mary Sue: “Get your gd hands off my shoulders and brush your teeth!”
Dream Response!
Naw, Mary Sue does as told and intros her Diablo salsa with gauc and chips and her tostadas with black beans, chopped salad and crispy fried avocado wedge (vegan); Unibrow: corn soup with vanilla, pecans & Brussels sprouts & spanakopita with fennel parmesan and spinach inside, Uni: “so cool”- really? You’re commenting on your own food AFTER you present it and BEFORE anyone actually eats it? SHUT UP! Uni’s spanakopita comes with a dill salad and lemon vinaigrette.
Tough Traci presents her Japanese-style steak, miso braised daikon, cucumber and pea shoot salad and Naomi explains her breaded turkey, chanterelle smashed potatoes (OMG I think I just drooled) & sour cherry-cranberry chutney and apple crisp with coconut, almonds & oats.
WOW.
I don’t think I’m giving anything away here by saying they prolly got this in the bag.

Adam Levine says the margarita is a great touch. Mary Sue’s tostada is bizarre looking but tastes good. Unibrow’s corn soup is superficial. (Just like Unibrow!) Levine: “it tasted like a bad smell.” Just. Like. Unibrow.
They liked the spanakopita. Levine loved the steak because it combined the two things he asked for: Japanese and steak –brilliant! Naomi’s breading on the turkey hurt the roof of The Barber’s mouth (too coarse, poor baby!) Naomi’s offerings on a whole were “a little flaccid” for him.
Adam Levine: “Really, did you say flaccid?”
Thank you, Sir, for saying exactly what I was thinking.

The Masters all assemble on one bus and realize they made almost the exact same menu. Hey we all know how “Who Wore It Best?” works in the fashion world: makes it easier to see mistakes.
Then something creepy happens during the bumper: Unibrow says he has “youth and one eyebrow on his side.”
So you know? For reals?
You Know you have one eyebrow and you won’t do Anything about it?
Is it possible for me to hate you more!?

At Critic’s Table, Team Tough Traci is called in.
She, Mary Sue, Naomi and Unibrow have (no surprise) the best dishes. Compliments abound but the winner is the only one who can laser her initials into the rug with her eyes: Tough Traci!
TT’s charity is now 25k richer and Floyd, Alex or Tio is going home (Tio, Tio!!)

In front of the Critics, Floyd says they had a disadvantage working on the bus. Oh honey. Don’t.
Stone asks Alex if it was a mistake to take on so much.
The Barber: “…the enchilada had a really bizarre texture.”
Alex admits it was really a bioweapon that would grow in their chests and harvest their organs.
Floyd was chastised for making dishes that didn’t show his personality. They had no spice. (Hm, is that racist? Whaddaya think, Colucci?)
Floyd: “I wanted my dishes to work with everything…”
Gail: “Who cares!” She says they’re not judging how the meals work together, they’re judging them on their individual dishes.
Awww, I miss you, Gail. Come back. Teach Restaurant Girl some lessons. She thought Tio’s spanakopita was

“Sooo indistinct.”

The Master’s are sent back to the bus. Restaurant Girl says they’ve had a lot of meals (have you really? Cause I think you’re new here. Know who’s had a lot of meals and has a better stylist? Gail.) “…and this was the least thoughtful and the worst presentation.”
Gail says the table would have been stronger without the pasta. Period. Floyd didn’t come through as a chef. Tio’s dishes were “totally forgettable.”
Gail: “There was nothing about her spinach pie or cous cous that said to me this is a chef of” her “caliber.”
Hear that? That’s the door to Tio’s restaurant closing.
And so…
The chef leaving Top Masters…
Is…
ALEX?!!???
OKAY SERIOUSLY WHO IS TIO BANGING?
WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING?!
WHAT GOES ON?!
Farg.

Alex, a gentlemen, says the bus challenge was too much for him and he should have gone home.
NO!
And that after 30 years it was nice to know he still had the fire. No.
Then he hugged everyone and you could tell, even in shadow that Floyd agreed. It should have been Tio.


no.

Sigh.

And so I must ask you, Ruby, to return to the kitchen in the bus and pack your knives.
This is a travesty. Tio will be gone. I WILL THIS INTO EXISTENCE!
Next week we get some sort of couples dinner/date thing and, hey, more Gail! YAY!

TOP CHEF MASTERS POOL

KAT Mary Sue and Naomi

LOGUE Tough Traci

Q Mary Sue and Floyd

BROWNIE Tough Traci

LB Mary Sue

NIKKI M. Hugh

STRIPES Mary Sue and Tough Traci

ELLIE Mary Sue

DOWD Tough Traci

KRISTEN K. Tough Traci

LUCY Tough Traci

JET Tough Traci

JENNA Mary Sue and Floyd

BERTSCH Tough Traci and Floyd

FRANBANAN Mary Sue

DAISY Floyd

ME Naomi

Thursday, May 5, 2011

“You’re a healthy hush puppy.”

My apologies for the late post so let’s just set this off!
Curtis recapped last week by calling Suvir’s veggie burger “full of ideals but lacking in flavor.”
Ouch.
You know, I guess when you have beef about beef, you best have a delicious-tasting alternative. Suvir shoulda squeezed animal fat on that veggie burger. That’s what I do.
(I keed. I am keeder.)

When the eight Masters enter the TCM kitchen they find that all the food on the table has price tags. They have to pay for their own ingredients!
Psych! (That would be awesome though, right?)

The QuickFire Challenge
Create an amazing appetizer that costs…one dollar?
Whoa!
Alex is stumped, again, and says he has no idea what he’s going to do. Again. I wonder if Alex realized there were going to be cooking challenges on this cooking show.

20 Minutes Starts Now!
The Masters run back and forth from the priced ingredients to their stations and calculators. Do math, Masters!
Floyd knows how to calculate, he came to this country with $100 in his pocket and got a job the day before he was gonna leave. Hollah America!
Tio makes carrot soup (yawn), Unibrow loses an egg (idiot, that’s 18 cents!) Alex beat cancer and is now beating himself up about his calamari dish.
Time’s Up!

To judge, here are some doods- Brendan Newnam and Rico Gagliano. From some thing on American Public Media called The Dinner Party Download.
Huh?
I don’t know anything about any of this. Not these doods. Not their names. Not American Public Media (sounds like a front for a porno magazine.) And I’ve never heard of their show but I just Googled it so I guess it’s mission accomplished for the Bravo Product Placement/PR department.
As they wait for the deliberation, Unibrow jokes that he ate $25 worth of one of the ingredients and makes a sound like a crab scuttling on a kitchen floor.

Buddha help me not to hate him so.
Uni says (to Camera) that the Judges are funny and young and then Curtis let’s them do a mini-commercial for their show that proves they are neither.
Mary Sue’s BLT salad (smart!) is too salty. She didn’t taste the bacon because she wouldn’t have had enough to make the appetizer and would have gone over a dollar. The hosts make a great point- if they can make a dish like that for a dollar in twenty minutes “why don’t they have these restaurants all over America?”
True true.
Unibrow says there should be a restaurant that’s like a Dollar Store. Yes, I like that idea a lot. Okay, Buddha, you’ve made your point…

Losers - ChrisLyle’s non-flavored calamari, even though it was plated beautifully. But ChrisLyle didn’t care because he’s “never going to make a dish for under a dollar.”
He laughs it off. Hm, crappy attitude about making affordable food for someone playing for charity. Also, Sweet Mary Sue’s salad was too salty. (Say that five times fast)
Favorites - Naomi’s bread and asparagus salad (sounds like something Mama would make us when we were on welfare, sans asparagus, of course), Tio’s carrot soup (poop) and Alex’s calamari.
And the winner of 5k for their charity and immunity: Naomi! Seed Savers Exchange, gets a little more cheddar!

The Elimination Challenge
Mystery Road Trip! All Stone will say is each Chef is responsible for a main dish and a side for 100 people and the diners will have No Utensils.
Bravo, Bravo! Keep these mofos guessing.

Shopping! Alex decides on a salmon ceviche and tortilla chips,
Tough Traci, a burrito, ChrisLyle gets pork loin and clams. Pardon?
ChrisLyle: “Why play it safe?”

In the Product Placement cars on the way to the Challenge everyone speculates and is quite nervous (it’s fun to watch!) Then they pull up in front of Farmer Boys. It’s not the LA chapter of Chippendales.
Unidentified chef: “Oh sh*t.”
Stone stands outside and tells them everything is served fresh and made to order at the fast food establishment and they’re taking over the lunch rush for the restaurant AND the drive thru.
Unibrow chuckles, Naomi laughs out loud.

Immunity, bitches!
Tio says her dish is meant to be eaten in a restaurant, not by someone with one hand on it and the wheel of a car.
Dear Chef Tio,
Your food has sucked whether people have been driving or not.
Let me ask you something- how’d you get so lazy? Are you in chocolate pudding and ginger balls coma? (Chocolate pudding ginger ball BURN!)

Curtis says they diners usually get their food in between five and seven minutes from ordering (picture that!), the main food is usually burgers and fries but they’re welcome to serve whatever they want (Translation: you can change your dish and you prolly should), and they’ll have to work in two shifts: half in the kitchen, half taking orders, serving in the restaurant and working the drive thru window.
This. Is. Gonna. Be. Good.

Sweet Mary Sue says (to Camera) that she has worked in several fast food restaurants before.

Adorable! Though I’m getting the feeling Sweet Mary Sue is prolly an assassin in cahoots with Tough Traci-

WHAT! Nothing! I didn’t say anything!

Tio used to work at a Bennigan’s. OMG!
This explains EVERYTHING! Also, I used to go to the Bennigan’s on Stuart Street near the transportation building All The Time. I’d get the mozzarella sticks and nachos and cheese quesadillas…OMG, this explains EVERYTHING.

15 Minutes Until Service!
Unibrow asks if it’s still called “service” in fast food (Grrr!), Floyd decides to make Indian street food, Alex goes with a fish taco, ChrisLyle sticks with his pork and clam dish, he’s just gonna skewer it. Alrighty. Naomi takes control, as usual, and renames Sweet Mary Sue’s dish queso instead of quesadilla.

First Shift!
Front of House: Naomi (who volunteers for the drive thru: “I love the headset!”), Floyd, Tough Traci and ChrisLyle.
Back of House: Alex, Unibrow, Tio and Sweet Mary Sue.

The orders come in fast and furious and there’s a line out the door almost immediately. Evident right away? ChrisLyle is not a team player. He won’t tell anyone when sides are needed or if the orders are to go or not. I mean, Dood is being quiet even for a regular chef working in a regular restaurant. Hey, I’ve seen Hell’s Kitchen, I know you’re supposed to call sh*t out!
ChrisLyle: “This is so damn ridiculous. We’re some of the best chef’s in the nation” (okay I just checked your bio, yeah your restaurant received a Michelin Star this year but I don’t see a gd ‘One of The Best Chefs In The Nation’ Award, kid) “And now we’re putting on a headset, wrapping things up in paper, putting them in a to go container.” (You don’t have doggy bags at your restaurant?) “We’re working in a fast food environment and most of us are not accustomed to that.”
You know what a lot of people in foreign lands aren’t accustomed to?
Having WATER.
Hey, isn’t that your charity?
Honestly is this Challenge a little mean? Yes.
Is it worth it to endure half a day of crap to make money for your charity and get people DRINKING WATER? Yes. Am I riveted, especially since you’re acting like a douche and now going to call you out whenever I read about you or see you on the street? EFFS Yeah!
Tough Traci sees the kitchen struggling and leaves her register to help out. Take a look, ChrisLyle, that’s a Team Player.
Uh oh, Here come the Critics.
Grub Street arrives with the Barber from Mayberry RFD who wears a tablecloth from a local pizzeria.

They order one of everything.

Why is this a surprise to you, ChrisLyle?
Meanwhile, Nice Naomi takes her headset off to help out with floor service just as Curtis and Restaurant Girl arrive and order one of everything.

They’re gonna eat in the car?
I’m hoping Restaurant Girl ends up with the Masters fast food equivalent of a condiment on her shirt...

Finally, service: Unibrow’s banh mi of pork and liver pate, chili watermelon with Serrano & feta has a nice kick but it’s a little messy for a drive thru. The Barber is underwhelmed.

Mary’s Sue’s skirt steak quesadilla Diablo, quinoa fritters and sweet pepper garlic mayo is a “tasty mouthful” says the Barber. Curtis loves the quinoa. Restaurant Girl: “It’s like a healthy hush puppy.” Curtis: “You’re a healthy hush puppy.”
Did these two just turn into Sully and Denise from SNL?

“You are…”


Alex’s salmon fish taco with fennel and apple slaw and butternut squash fritters (sounds good) is more like a burrito and Curtis’ least favorite fish to put in a taco (har!) Grub Street doesn’t think it’s a taco either and The Barber wants it to be bigger. Who doesn’t?
Restaurant Girl dug like the butternut squash fritters though.

Curtis: “You like that? I can see.”
Yep. She and Curtis are definitely gonna ride the magic hobbyhorse.

Tio’s lamb, pork and garbanzo wrap with pickled cauliflower “should be called an unwrap” says Curtis. (Note to Self: he’s much looser behind the wheel of a car.) The Barber says the wrap is having an existential dilemma. It’s a pancake with some stuff on top. Let’s hope Tio rides that pancake the eff home.

Second Shift!
Front of House: Alex, Tio, Unibrow (register), Mary Sue (drive thru)
Back of House: Naomi, Floyd, ChrisLyle, Tough Traci

Right off the bat, Alex is miffed that Unibrow chooses to JUST work the register and not help expedite. Alex: His MO is “I’m at the cash register, look at me.” The Critics (Curtis and Restaurant Girl on the inside now and The Barber and Grub Street in the car) are miffed that they have to actually wait in a long a** line.
The Barber and Grub Street order two of everything. ChrisLyle slowly puts pork on skewers. Everyone yells at him. Unibrow notices that Tio is holding tickets and the kitchen is already backed up and says that’s not going to help but he WON’T HELP. Dick.

When The Barber opens ChrisLyle’s pork and chorizo skewer with clam, cucumber and olive side he just laughs. “What is this?” He says it’s the ugliest food he’s ever seen before in his life, “and I’ve seen some ugly food.”

WOW.
Death cubes.

Tough Traci’s chicken chili verde burrito, jicama sticks & tortilla chips is amazing. Curtis actually bangs the table while he’s eating. Then he bangs Restaurant Girl. (I keed.)

Floyd’s chicken Frankie with cucumber, daikon & grape slaw is the exact opposite of Tio’s. Everyone love it.

Curtis says there’s nothing wrong with Naomi’s rib eye steak sandwich on ciabatta, Caesar salad with herbed croutons but there’s nothing special about it either. Hmm, prolly because everyone has to eat their salad with Their Hands. Hullo?
Restaurant Girl (to Curtis): “Even you don’t look sexy eating your Caesar salad with your hands. And that really says something.”


The Critic’s ask to see Alex, Tio and ChrisLyle…
When they’re first called in front of the table (inside Farmer Boys, still!? You know ChrisLyle is steaming! He just wants to get back to his plush hotel and take a 58 minute shower and then let the water run all night because he Doesn’t Care About People Who Don’t Have WATER) The Barber sets it off.
“Service was SO baaaaaaad. What was going on back there?”
Tio says the flow was different than they were used to- TRANSLATION, I don’t flow.
Then Curtis drops the bomb. Their dishes were their LEAST favorites. ChrisLyle is shocked. Huh?
Tio says she wanted to do something out of the box.
Um, it was going into a box, idiot.
Grub Street says it was bland and under seasoned. The Barber wasn’t sure of the relationship between the cauliflower and the “so-called wrap.”
Restaurant Girl says the clam was well cooked but hard to eat in ChrisLyle’s dish. ChrisLyle: “So you didn’t find it easy to just pick up the cucumber and eat it all at once?”
Curits says he snubbed his nose at fast casual. ChrisLyle cuts him off and says he didn’t. Uh oh.

Alex admitted he was out of his element and missed his mark. Restaurant Girl said it was practical but the walnuts and grapes made it too sweet.

When the Losers return they don’t say they’re Losers. They just tell Mary Sue, Floyd and Tough Traci to go out front.
Curtis tells them they were lucky they weren’t being judged on service because they had great food.
The winner is…

YAY Sweet Mary Sue. She’s raised 20k for No Kid Hungry. She says she’s going to put the quinoa fritters on her food truck. I wanna eat on her food truck! (That sounds durty.)

The Critics slammed the dishes to high heaven. Alex over did it with ingredients. ChrisLyle’s dish was ugly and made The Barber’s heart sink. They didn’t know what Tio was going for at all. But in the end…
ChrisLyle? WHUT?!
Tio survives again!!!
How is this possible?!”

It’s obvious that someone has a sweet spot for this chick. I just don’t understand why. She’s a crappy cook and kinda robot-like. Maybe that translates to being great in bed?

And so, LB2, I must ask you to return to the kitchen and pack your knives. And we were just getting to know one another! Farg.
ChrisLyle says some crap about not playing it safe (whatevs) but looks totally relieved to get the eff outta dodge and waste water and charge diners a million times more than a dollar for an appetizer while he wastes water like Chevy Chase in THREE AMIGOS!

Next week, the Masters cook for Maroon Five. On a tour bus.
YES.

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

DOWD Tough Traci

KRISTEN K. Tough Traci

LUCY Tough Traci

JET Tough Traci

JENNA Mary Sue and Floyd

BERTSCH Tough Traci and Floyd

FRANBANAN Mary Sue

DAISY Floyd

ME Naomi