Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Two-Part First Ep?! Bravo pissed in our Pinot!

Are you ready for some COOK - IN?!?

This is the biggest Top Chef season ever, know why? Because this is a TWO PART FIRST EPISODE!
What the hell!? Bravo pissed in our Pinot!
Okay, Poolers, so this means you will NOT have to select your two faves and get them to before the next episode next week on the 9th.
You will select your two faves and get them to me BEFORE THE EP ON THE 16TH. Whew.
Ahh well, more time to fatten the kitty, right?

In these first two eps, 29 chefs will be whittled to 16 chefs (unbeknownst to them) that will compete all season across the state of Texas (I’m smelling several Product Placement road trips!)
We know what’s at stake here, right? A feature in food and wine magazine, a showcase at the Food And Wine Classic in Aspen, $125,000 from Healthy Choice (Huh?) and the title of America’s Next Top Model!
Whoops!
I ended up watching that for the first time in cycles tonight. Or shall I say WE ended up watching it?
Give a nod to Special Guests and Avid Poolers: Ellie and Jenna, Ladies and Gentlemen!
Ellie is here on a secret mission to install Vulkano (only Ellie, a member of the Tech Twins™ would know such a machine even existed) so she can watch non-broadcast Patriots games on her laptop while she’s in LA.
Ellie and Jenna will both be providing some pretty awesome commentary along the way. My job just got easier- Hurrah!

The chefs arrive at the Alamo. Pads stands in front in a red strapless number that could be from Limited Express.

One chef remarks that she looks hot and he’ll have to stay in the competition just to look at her.

Another chef says the Alamo is gorgeous. Really? The ALAMO? The offender is on the left. His employees is on his right. I’d like to go on record early and name them The Accessory Chefs.

That’s Chris on the left who needs to wear two pairs of glasses (let’s hope there’s not a third Guy Fieri pair on the back) and Richie who is androgynous, overly sculpted with facial hair and Will Not Be Needing That Pencil.
Oh and here’s someone who escaped their child’s safety seat:

Tiny Tyler Stone is 22. He says a lot of people mistake his confidence for arrogance because he’s half their age. Nope. I don’t think anyone’s making a mistake.

Pads announces they’ll be split into three group and have to excel in their challenge in order to be allowed in the TC house.
Sighs and head drops all around. Nice, Bravo. But honestly, you could have told us this would be in two parts or as Jenna yelled “Just make it two hours!” Right?!

QUALIFYING CHALLENGE!
Group One!
The first ten enter the TC Kitchen that has obviously expanded in accordance with their ratings and Emmy win in 2010 and th-
ACCESSORY ALERT! Chris has added a scarf:

Yeah. He’ll definitely need that.

Hey here’s Judge Tom Colicchio! Also Emeril Lagasse whom I do not dig and looks as if he might have a heart attack before our very eyes (and shout BAM as he does.)

The chefs are asked to introduce themselves and throw out stats like James Beard, Best Chef in Show, Good At Giving Massages. That kinda thing. Colicchio says they’re only giving out 16 TC jackets that are navy blue with white piping this season (Jenna: “kinda ugly.”) Then he shows them 10 cuts of pork. They have to pick a cut, butcher that cut and serve it in three groups with an hour to cook each. Jesus, Accessory Chef Richie, I think we need that pencil behind your ear.
Oh and Colicchio: “Emeril and I will be walking around while you’re cooking.” Sweat Stains ACTIVATE!

The chefs all run to the pig. Each section has multiple cuts so they must to butcher it themselves or trust someone else to do it. Grayson (who is lady) picks tenderloin, Tiny Tyler will cut it and cut a chop for himself. Tiny Tyler is used to cooking for celebrities and having a butcher cut his meat “the way he wants it” but says regardless of that he can accomplish anything he puts his mind to.

He’s written a cookbook. (That’s great kid, three of the scripts I've written are under my bed.)

He knows he can “slice and dice better than anyone.” Ellie: “Liar!”

So he butchers the pork. LIT-rally. He's killing it. Again.

The other chefs are already cooking and speaking casually to Emeril and Colicchio. Tiny Ty continues to flop the chops around. Jenna, who knows the tenderloin is on the ribs and that’s what Grayson needs, has already had it with him. Jenna is BOSS when it comes to meat, btw. Lookit this brisket she made on football Sunday three years ago!

Uh oh here comes Colicchio. Tiny Ty: “How’s it going?”
Yeah. I think he was about to ask You that, kid. Tiny Ty says he usually gets his meat pre-cut. Colicchio: “Yeah but you’re a chef.” Grayson runs over to get her tenderloin.
He hacked it. Physically cut it in half. She’s left with a three-ounce piece of meat. (She was going to stuff it by the way.) And she had to cut it herself. Tiny Ty laughs a little.

Grayson runs off to make due.
30 Minutes Left
Colicchio: “If you went to a butcher shop and saw something like this would you buy it?”
Tiny Ty: (Smiling wide) “Probably not but I’m not a butcher so…”
Colicchio: “But you’re a Chef and it’s like a basic skill.”
BAM: “You were butchering for someone else as well?”
Colicchio: “She barely has anything to work with.”
Tiny Ty says they were in a rush. “We gotta, we gotta get things done.”
Colicchio: “There’s no way this is gonna get through this round. I think you should just leave now.”

Ellie & Jenna & I: “NOOOOOOOO WAAAAAAY!”

Tiny Ty says what he says to every woman just before she throws him and his American Eagle boxer shorts into the hallway: “Gimmie a shot, you might be surprised.”
Colicchio: “I’m sorry man. Pack up your knives and go.”

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOO
Two-part premiere redeemed, Bravo!!
SHIT JUST GOT REAL!
28 chefs left!
Colicchio tells Grayson to never trust someone you’re competing against and says the whole thing was effed up. First lesson. Learned!
Meanwhile Sarah grinds pigskin to turn it into sausage. Simon tells Colicchio he “terrorized his ham.”

Ellle: “He terrorized it with his tattoos and dark vibe.”
Accessory Chef Chris makes a play on a caramel apple- savory/sweet. Accessory Chef Richie lets his boss taste his food: “…everyone else better watch out cause we’ll destroy everyone else in our path.” Well you gotta destroy your boss if you wanna win, Accessory Chef Richie.

QUALIFYING PANEL
Now BEFORE Pads says that majority rules (basically if she, BAM and Colicchio agree they get a coat. If they’re undecided the chef is put on the bubble” and has to compete in one more challenge) BAM looks at Colin’s soup and asked what happened.

To be honest, Colin came off like a bit of a stoner and waited until the last minute to get his soup in the bowl. Well now he gets to go home and smoke a bowl, pack your knives and go! (They didn’t even try to taste it.)
27 chefs left!

Accessory Chef Chris’ caramel apple with pork belly inside was a classic combo the Panel liked. He’s the first one with a TC coat.
Sarah “pulled off” the pig skin ravioli with black pepper. She gets a coat.
Even though Molly works for Royal Caribbean (and has the kind of eyes that would disappear without eyeliner) she “can bring it.” She made a soup that had pork cheeks sprinkled on top. That’s called a garnish, Eyeliner. You’re on the bubble.
Grayson’s tenderloin wasn’t the problem, her stuffing was. It had unbalanced flavors. Bubbled!

Next!
Nyesha did a braised pork shoulder in ravioli with salsa. Colicchio was reluctant but BAM said it was spot on and Pads called it beautiful and tasty. She’s in! Heather did maple and citrus baby back ribs with bacon, corn and blue cheese grits that was soulful and satisfying. In!
Simon did a roulade stuffed with confit and goat cheese that was…overcooked, dry and had too much going on.
Awwww, Simon’s gone?!

But I had so many good potential nicknames for him:
Ese
Bong – (Cheech and Chong’s son.)
Okay, I guess that was all I had...

Accessory Chef Richie’s onion soup with braised and crispy pig ears was on the verge of being salty but well seasoned and thought out.
Both of the Accessory Chefs Are In!

Accessory Chef Richie: “…it’s an awesome feeling to know we’re gonna be doing this together.”

Um, you’re competing against each other, Richie. Don’t forget it. (Let us know when Bravo starts selling your puff hairball on their site.)

QUALIFYING CHALLENGE
Group 2
Ellie: "It’s nice to see how far Gail has come." She's right. When I think back to Young Gail, hair unkempt, clothes slightly ill fitting, drinking a wee too much during judging (which we love), now look at her! She’s- um...

Gail, you’re staring at the camera right now. If you could just adjust your eye line?
Gail? Gail!

The chef’s intro themselves. One chef is named Ty-Lor.

Jenna: “Ty-Lor God of all Cooking!”
I gotta tell ya, Jenna and Ellie are making this reeeallllly easy for me.

Jenna: “Who’s Big Buddha!?”
Good, right? This next guy keeps moving his jaw every time he speaks.

Jenna: “He has Coke Mouth.”
She’s just too quick for me!

During the Group 2 intros all the appropriately awarded chefs throw their James Bearded dicks around, prompting Chris C., who didn’t have as big of a member, to call himself a ‘culinary artist.’ Colicchio finds this amusing.

Finally the talk stops and Pads shows them a table with some of “their favorite ingredients.” They must all decide on one as a group and prepare it in their own dish. Hm, no repeats on the challenges, huh?
They choose rabbit since it’s the most versatile.

Nina is an adorable little “solid cook” who is a lot younger than everyone else which is obvious because her rabbit didn’t make it to the plate. GONE! She didn’t want to go out like that. (No one does, honey.)
Whitney (aka SadFace) says Hugh Acheson (I know, I know, I don’t want to talk about this abomination right now) is her culinary mentor. Ohhhh, that’s why she has a sad face. Just like his wife. She serves a’ play on a rabbit sugo” (a traditional Italian sauce) with asparagus and bacon. Ellie: The “audio’s was a little hot, a little over-modulated here.” Hmmm…the sound mixer does not make the cut. But Gail, Colicchio and Pads say SadFace does. SmileyFace!
Big Buddha used to be an eff up who dealt drugs but he did his time and came out focused on what’s important: his children and cooking.
Ellie & Jenna: “Awwwww!” He serves rabbit three ways: seared, chicken fried and braised. They ask what he’s thinking: “I’m too big to pass out.” Ellie & Jenna: “Awwwww!” His rabbit is perfectly cooked.
Colicchio: “Come get your coat, I think it’s an extra extra large.”

Me: “Awwwww!”
Coke Mouth is from Korea where cooks aren’t valued (dentist’s either apparently. Seriously, what’s wrong with homeboy’s jaw? I’m grinding my teeth just looking at him.) He serves a duo of rabbit butter poached with butternut squash. Gail makes a weird face when chewing. He “has skill” but the rabbit is undercooked. Bubbled!
That makes three in the Bubble Room! (Jenna thought it would be funny if they were actually balanced on a bubble. Season 10, perhaps?)

Next!
Dakota did roast rabbit crepinettes (ooo, I’m gonna name my baby Crepinettes) with bulgar wheat. She looks like she’s going to cry. Also.

Ellie: “You are NOT 35!”
Colicchio enjoyed the rabbit and Dakota gets a unanimous decision. Coat!
Ty-Lor, God Of All Cooking, has soaked his rabbit in fish sauce (really?) and serves it with pickled peppers, cucumber and tomatoes. Ty-Lor could command them to eat with their hands if he wanted.
Gail: “I’d like to see you in a chef coat.” (And maybe out of it...)
Chris C. calls his style like Blais and Voltaggio. Ellie: “But you’re just a culinary artist” He serves a confit of leg & butter seared tenderloin with carrot polenta. Gail thinks his rabbit was better than all the rest. (That’s what she said. No, really, she said that.) Chris C.: “In my mind I’m already wearing that jacket.” Well it’s in your hand so just put it on Dood. Duh.
Janine has had a Roller coaster year, she lost her Dad and shortly afterwards broke up with her lover of nine years. As she plates she knows her sauce is behind her but doesn’t have time to reach back and get it. Her trio: rabbit nugget with rack & loin is served sauce-less. Colicchio: “I think you can cook better than this.” Make room on the bubble!
Chuy is the last man standing. Chuy speaks to the judges: “It’s either the best for last or the absolute worst for last.”
Pads: “Or neither.”
Yeah Chuy, shut the eff up! This 25 year-old protégée of Rick Bayless loves cashews. He made a rabbit loin with cashews and grilled zucchini garnished with…cashews. Colicchio thought it was flavorful, Pads says…he’s earned the 11th spot.
Chuy says to CAMERA that he’s pretty confident he can win it.
“Actually I should say that I’m very confident I can win it. Booya bitch!”
Okay, now you just made all of us confident that we hate you.

And so, the new chefs move in.
What will happen next week? Will Tiny Ty "go straight to the top" as he mentioned just before his Mom picked him up and drove him home?


Will Coke Mouth cut his finger so deeply (according to the preview) that he'll need medical attention?

Will Accessory Chef Chris

reveal his true identity in time for the holidays?

And since the Top Chefs total eleven that means there are five spots left and ten more must compete (not knowing how many have already been selected) and currently four are on the bubble. Lordy, where’s Accessory Chef Richie’s pencil? We’re gonna need it!

Until next week Poolers!

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