Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"My meat's hard and dry."

Howdy Poolers!
I am typing on my brand new "computah" (as pronounced by My Mama.) Thus far I am not having the orgasmic time I thought I would. I'll spare you the 400-800 firewire/faulty Microsoft Word/non-Migration Assistant working sheet though I will say Stripes has been helpful.
Perhaps I will come to love this machine as I now love and respect my iPhone. That only took me seven months. Right now I'm thinking that slow ass MacBook that doubled as a space heater whenever I put it on my lap wasn't so bad. But enough of my truly (when you think about it) lucky problems. Let's have some cloudy Momokawa sake and dive in!

Still drinking in the Stew Room (what does a chef's liver look like, really?) Grayson says she's gonna miss Baby Face Bev but knows that some won't. Coke Mouth makes a joke, he says he's Bev, uses a water bottle as 'fish' and then looks at Lindsay and says "Here's your halibut" and tosses the bottle aside.

Dood, I thought Baby Face was your friend?
Lindsay says don't screw with my food when you're "representing me" and my neck "and I'm representing you."
Then the Queen returns…

Charlize is in the Stew Room, ya'll! Mostly likely the dirtiest room that's not a set made to look like a dirty room she's stepped into in a long time. CT thanks them again for the meal, says she is a fan and that she was blown away (nice. Can't argue with that. Kinda makes you wanna see her Product Placement Movie now doesn't it?) The chef's toast and Coke Mouth hides his boner.

The next morning Pads, in a LEGEND OF BILLIE JEAN lumberjack shirtdress, stands next to BAM and Cat Cora. Cat is the new host of Bravo's 'Around the World In 80 Plates.'

Oh hey, that's what happened to her, Brownie! Brownie was wondering why Cat wasn't on Iron Chef anymore. Homegirl jumped from The Food Network to Bravo. I'm sure it's a bigger money train. And I bet Alton Brown wants to impale her. (And then roast her chicory wood-style.)
Pads divides them into three teams of two: Coke Mouth & Street Food (Street feels like he's bad luck since they lose whenever they're paired up- Honey, feel better about yourself. I do.); Grayson & Accessory Chef Chris and the Mean Girls.

The Quickfire Challenge
Prep ingredients (mise en place style) and make a dish with the remaining time.
Pads explains (in the most horribly dubbed voice over in Top Chef History (yeah I went there)) that each team has 40 minutes to peel, devein and butterfly two pounds of shrimp (whoa), shuck a CRATE of corn (huh?) and make a POUND of perfect fetticine (Jesus!) Once the Judge's approve the work, the team's can make a dish.
No immunity at stake (for the rest of the series- yo) but the winners split 10k.

Grayson chats with the Judge's as they watch her devein. She says she's heard the male shrimp are dirtier than the females (Har. Bet their bathrooms are messier too.) Lindsay says when you chat, you waste time. Well I dunno about all th- SHRIMP CHECK! Lindsay is approved and moves on.
Oh snap!
Now everyone steps it up. Grayson does so by telling Accessory Chef Chris to hurry up. Accessory hates that. Street Food asks for a corn check- too many kernels left on the cob, he has to continue cutting. Accessory gets a corn check. Grayson adds too much moisture to her dough then too much flour -she's in hand crank hell. Coke Mouth gets a pasta check but Sarah Smile & Lindsay have already started cooking. Coke Mouth & Street Food aren't close behind but at least they're second; Grayson & Accessory Chef finally finish and only have 8 minutes to make a dish!
He scrambles and deep fries bacon, Grayson screams for butter for their pasta.
One Minute!
Sarah Smile & Lindsay high five each other and stand around in supreme meanness. Grayson & Accessory just about make it. Street Food & Coke Mouth have a dish but…No Shrimp.
Pads: "Whaaat?!"

Pads: "Nooo!"
Street Food apologizes and says it's completely on him. He left it by the sauté pan. They can't win! And, according to Murphy's Cooking Law, it's too bad because they probably would have. Sigh.

Cat says Sarah & Lindsay's cornmeal on top of the shrimp and pasta was tasty but the tarragon- a little much. BAM says Grayson & Accessory's chili and bacon with shrimp and pasta was nice, Cat throws in that they could have used the wood burning oven to give it more flavor. (Really, Cat? You're just gonna start looking around the kitchen and picking out equipment they could have used. Well, she is an Iron Chef but they have Sous! Also, I never understand how their Sous already seem to know what they're going to make without much discussion but…
The winners?
Grayson & Accessory Chef Chris!
HA HA Mean Girls Suck!

Sarah Smile: "Our pasta was better, unfortunately Cat didn't like tarragon." Enough, chick. A minute ago you were all on Cat's pocketbook now you're chastising her for not liking tarragon.

Elimination Challenge
Their partner's are now…you guessed it, their opponents. KAPOW!
To support the San Antonio Food Bank (hm, I think the crate of corn and pounds of fresh pasta and shrimp they just deveined and Didn't Friggin use would provide a very nice meal for a lot of hungry people) the non-teams must serve 200 guests-

-at a block party. Each chef and their opponent will make a version of the same dish-

-the guests will be choosing their favorite from each pair. The dishes with the least amount of votes face elimination.

They must immediately decide what they'll make. Street Food & Coke Mouth decide to go head to head with
Asian beef BBQ & pickled veggies. (Yeah, bring it!) Grayson takes the lead on the decision train and & Accessory lets her, they'll make- chicken salad sand- CHICKEN SALAD SANDWICHES? with watermelon salad (WTH kinda sheet…) Sarah Smile & Lindsay decide on meatballs with a salad. Honestly, what is happening here?
Pads says those sound great but a little on the heavy side.
Sarah Smile: "Uh oh."
Product Placement demands they make healthy versions of those dishes! The winner will receive 15k but who gives a crap, this is gonna be tough! Make a healthy version of a heavy meal for 200 people with 2.5 hours to cook?

40 Minutes To Shop/$600
Grayson enlists the help of two butchers, one pushes a carriage through the store after her, another run to the back to get the meat she needs. That's a first. Street Food gets turkey instead of beef for his Korean kalbi, Coke Mouth is jealous. Accessory notices Grayson has dark meat and mayo in her carriage, all the stuff he's Not using since he's going healthy.

At The TC House, Coke Mouth admits Street Food couldn't sleep and, like he always does during challenges, began pacing and that kept him up. I got something that'll put Street Food to sleep. Sweetest sleep in the world.

They prep at the Culinary Institute. Accessory makes a tofu mayo that has no mayo in it at all that he's tricked people into thinking has mayo- David Blaine-ing it! Lindsay is so stressed she has a hat on-

Grayson asks Accessory to help her get her food on the rollaway tray and…he does? Suckah. He gets mad at a chair and throws it. Get mad at yourself!

45 Minutes to set up OUTSIDE in the heat!
Accessory has made all of his sandwiches. Grayson is going to make each one to order. Street Food is worried about being ahead. Coke Mouth has rolled his own steam buns for bread. (For reals?) As guests' arrive, he lets them make an open face sandwich but has to monitor them to make sure they only take one piece of bread. One kid runs off with five. It's hot out! Is it bad that I want Sarah Smile to faint? Whoa, who's' the mean girl now? Shit's contagious.

Before the guests eat they all leave donations for Feeding America (say like Brad Pitt in BURN AFTER READING "Awww, that's cool.")
Then, suddenly, BEE ATTACK!
Ten hang out near Accessory's blender and chunks of pineapple he's left on the table.

He's freaked since he swells up pretty bad when he's bitten (ahhh, that's called being allergic. I had this friend who said, I love apples and cherries but they make the inside of my mouth itch. Me: "Um, you're allergic. Put the apple cherry pie down.")
btw why Accessory didn't just chuck the pineapple chunks somewheres else I dunno. Hold up- here come the Judges!
Dana Cowin (you remember, Linda Hunt, don't you Poolers?) from Food & Wine Magazine; Pads (in shorts!); Cat Cora; BAM and Colicchio looking like someone's bored, pregnant Uncle.

Street Food presents his turkey kalbi with eggplant on lettuce and white peach kimchi using no sugar, agave and low sodium soy sauce. BAM thinks using turkey is brilliant. Cat says he did everything you needed to to build flavor versus fat.

Coke Mouth presents his more traditional kalbi (made with beef short ribs), open faced with kimchi chipotle puree, pickled cucumber, fennel & daikon. Lovely looking.

But Cat's beef was chewy, Colicchio says there was too much meat. BAM says Coke Mouth tried. Pads (with blank face): "My meat's hard and dry."

Grayson intros her chicken salad sammy (I still can't believe she picked a chicken salad sandwich) on whole wheat with arugula, pickled red onion and a feta watermelon salad with toasted pumpkin seeds. She says there's very little mayo and it's olive oil mayo to boot. (Nice try.) BAM likes that she did her sammys to order. Cat says her salad needed acid and Linda Hunt says there wasn't any flavor.

Accessory presents his chicken salad sammy with homemade tofu mayo, red lettuce and watermelon fruit salad with pineapple ice on top and bees. (I'm kidding about the bees.) Colicchio likes the tofu mayo but thinks he should have made the sammys to order, the bread was dried out. Pads liked Accessory's salad. Yawn.

Mean Girls!
Sarah Smile's calabrese style turkey meatball & veggie salad with shaved fennel, squash blossoms and arugula. It's basically a giant meatball on a plate with a wedge of cheese on top. Boooo! BAM loves the meatball and the salad. Colicchio thinks the salad is perfect. Linda Hunt says they received different salads because hers was just lettuce and nothing else. Don't mess with Food & Wine Magazine, yo.

Lindsay's Mediterranean meatball (lean veal and lamb bound with lemon yogurt) and black-eyed peas & quinoa greek salad is a gray plate of bumps.

Colicchio thought her meatball had tons of flavor. Most seemed to agree.

Linda Hunt says the two healthiest dishes they had were the best. Pads is interested to see what the guests preferred (yep, that's what happens when you open it up to the diners, someone gets effed. Haven't you learned that by now, Bravo?)

Stew Room
Pads asks to see Grayson, Street Food and Lindsay. According to the guests…
they had…
the Winning Dishes!
(Oh, I guess one of the Mean Girls has to stay, right?)
Colicchio asks if Grayson thought she could win with a chicken salad sandwich. She says she thinks it's possible.
Grayson: "You think it's boring?"

"Yah. And you have to win this against other dishes that are more exciting than a chicken salad sandwich."

Grayson: "Like a meatball?"

Cat Cora laughs.
Oddly there's only one cutaway to Lindsay during this exchange and it's a profile shot and she's still wearing that hat and I refuse to show that again. Grayson says she thought she could make an elevated chicken salad sandwich.
Apparently Colicchio didn't think Grayson should be there. I'll say it again: that's what happens when you open it up to the diners, Bravo, someone gets effed. Don't let the people decide. Be a palette racist next time.

Finally, Cat announces the winner…
Street Food!!!
OMG we're buying a house on Kauai with all this Top Chef money!!!

In the Stew Room after Coke Mouth, Sarah Smile and Accessory go in to get the business; Grayson says she felt brutalized for making a chicken salad sandwich. "I kinda feel like I should be in there. Maybe I should be in there."
Walk in, drunk girl. See what happens.

The Judges' chop down Coke Mouth first for making bread with "empty calories" and not having a perfect dish. Colicchio says his decision to trim the fat from the dish was to trim the fat from the short ribs and that's the tastiest part.
Accessory is berated for not making the sandwiches to order and letting them sit in the sun.
They tell Sarah Smile her meatball was turkey but it had cheese. Thus: what's the point? It's the Healthy Choice Product Placement Thingamabob. Not Lardo Cheese-A-Thon 2011. They're dismissed.
As they chop it up Colicchio says "Time and time again" Accessory has good ideas but can't execute. And, in the end,
Pads asks Accessory to pack his knives and go.
Dammit! I wanted Sarah Smile outta there!
Accessory says the mistakes he made were stupid. Grayson says it's her fault and she shouldn't have picked the chicken salad. (Dood, even people who pick chicken salad for lunch realize they shouldn't have picked it. Come on!)
But maybe Accessory Chef Chris has time to add more accessories. He goes to the TC House, grabs a beer (always with the beverages, these guys), then sees the letter: "here's your chance to make it right. Please join me in the kitchen."
Accessory goes to…
oh no he didn't…

…the kitchen in the TC House.
Well, here's a first. One he won't live down. Finally he figures it out-
It's The Last Chance Kitchen!

Colicchio: "Each week we've held head to head cook offs…"
Accessory: "For what?"
Well well, Mr. Buddinski. Why don't you shaddap and listen for a change?
Colicchio explains the dilly, Accessory says (to Camera) Baby Face Bev doesn't scare him and then in walk The Eliminated.
Accessory Chef Chris: "I get to see Richie for the first time in…weeks…

Accessory Chef Chris: "and…I miss him…"

Cue the friggin violins. Really what's up with these kids?
Accessory Chef Richie says his Accessorized Brethren is going to take it. Nyesha admits that Baby Face Bev is strong. Either way this is it. Whoever wins here only has to beat one other chef next week and they're back in the competition!

The Challenge
Use a mystery box at your station to cook a dish in thirty minutes. As more mystery ingredients arrive they have to incorporate those too. It's Chopped on steroids!

They have marshmallow, pine nuts and lamb. Huh?
Another box arrives: radicchio. Then another: white anchovies.
The Eliminated count it down as they run about. Time for the Tasting!
Baby Face Bev presents a grilled lamb chop with parsnips, curry with lime garlic and white anchovy vinaigrette on radicchio.
Bev: "It definitely was a unique challenge and I had fun, I had fun."
You're not on the Today Show, Hon. Chill.
Accessory Chef Chris intros his grilled lamp chop with sweet puree, radicchio salad with pancetta, pine nuts and apple.
Colicchio says both the ingredients and the plate presentations were similar. He found both proteins perfectly cooked and seasoned but one didn't hit the mark as well as the other and the winner is- Baby Face Bev!

Colicchio does say that Accessory Chef Chris' dish was the best he made in the competition. But who cares cause you know what that means, Pooler. Colucci, I must ask you to pack your knives and your headbands and your headlamp and your glasses and your bright colored courier bag and go.

Next Week- Pee Wee Herman! Hooooray!

LOGUE Grayson
ELLIE Street Food and Sarah
KAT B Sarah
MERIDEN Grayson and Street Food
LB2 Coke Mouth
LB Coke Mouth
ED K Street Food
BROWNIE Street Food
ME Grayson and Lindsay
Q Coke Mouth
GBG Sarah and Street Food
JET Street Food and Baby Face Bev
DAISY Street Food
NIKKI M Sarah and Street Food
LUCY Street Food


  1. "I had this friend who said, I love apples and cherries but they make the inside of my mouth itch." - wasn't that me? Holly will remember that convo!!

  2. No! It was my friend Mary!!!! I forgot you had that too! (I better give this Xmas Apple Basket to someone else!)