Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"I love Sarah's trout. I love the crust."

Finally, this is the Top Chef Texas Finale!
And for the first time in Reality Pool History™ (yeah, I said it) we have three people who are guaranteed to win!
That never happens!
It’s sorta like catching a bus you always miss and seeing a cute guy on it and apologizing for almost stepping on his foot and then finding out the guy never takes the bus but his Product Placement car is in the shop and chatting with him and noticing three twenties on the floor and being able to talk to him, slyly put your foot over the twenties, get his number before he gets off the bus AND get the cheddar. That way it doesn’t even matter if the number is fake- KAPOW!

The Final Two are congratulated by Pads and Colicchio who tell them the deal straightaway.

They’ll be cooking at two of Vancouver’s finest restaurants- Coast and Black & Blue- hm, is that why it looks like Street Food has a shiner?

Ooo, whee- what up that that? What up with that?
Sarah Smiles and says this is the goal she had the entire competition. To push back her wedding to Jamie,

a man who will now, through the magic of reality television, see how crazy she really is and, undoubtedly, NOT want to marry her (unless she wins);
and to punch Street Food in the eye area and win Top Chef.

The next morning The Final Two sit in the hotel room and discuss which chefs they’d want as we see a bunch of them march into the kitchen. I barely remember some of these guys, wait, they’re including more than the original 16- Oh my- God has a beard!

Sarah Smile says “Malibu Chris” aka Chris C. is “so beautiful. I don’t even know if I can cook around him, he’s so hot.”
(Another reason for her fiancé to call of the wedding.)
CUT TO-Pads as she welcomes the lambs to be slaughtered to Vancouver (again, why are we here?) and says: “Some of you competed and some just missed the final sixteen.”
So they really did bring back a bunch of scrubs. Well, a scrub is someone who can’t get no love from me. (Watch Happy Endings Wednesday nights on abc, ya’ll!)
But wait, Pads says two of the best chefs in the country are standing with them???

Say Word?!
and Marco Canora.

OH he was in the final two of The Next Iron Chef the season before last on The Food Network. His restaurant is Hearth in NYC. And he’s smiling because he just realized how many people watch Bravo vs. TFN. Also, he cut his gd pony tail off. He looks less pretentious but he was pretty assy in TNIC. (He was also pretty great.) Okay, so now HOLD UP!

Is that Tiny Tyler all the way to the right?!
Neither one of the Accessory Chefs are here, no Andrew From Austin, no Coke Mouth, Sadface, Cashew Chuy, Baby Face Bev or Lindsay (well she was real mad when she left) but Tiny Tyler is here?! What goes on, Bravo? Strategery or...
btw: look how far he’s standing away from Grayson and the group in general. Like he knows she’s still mad about how he failed at butchering that meat. (Actually I’M still mad about it.) Pads gives the chefs 45 minutes to cook and Heather B., she’s baaaaaack, says it feels like the old days. I think she thinks she’s going to pull Bev out the freezer and shave thin slices of her over goulash.

In the hotel room, Sarah Smile says she hopes they’ll bring Lindsay and Bev back “because they’re monsters.” What’s that saying about seeing what’s actually in you in other people? Hm...oh, THAT’S the saying.

Wait a minute everyone, Tiny Tyler wants us to know “...for the first round, no one got the full picture of Tyler Stone.”
(Yes, he’s speaking in the third person all MFing ready.)
Um, we got the full picture of you Tiny, in fact, I think I still have one:

Yep, that’s you hacking the meat to death And here’s Colicchio watching as Grayson realizes you’ve destroyed her tenderloin.

Annnnnd here’s your face after Colicchio told you to go home. That was Day One, TT.

Tiny: “I don’t care who I’m going up against, I’m not intimidated by anyone in the slightest.” Okay.
In the real world, Barbara Lynch (Babs!) looks for butter; Chris C. calls Grayson’s dish pretty and she calls him pretty and Heather B. yells that something’s burning. Hey, she cares about others...! As if!

Back at the Fairmount, I’m sorry to say that Street Food: “is probably more nervous than Sarah at this point,” in a horribly ADRed piece of audio: “throughout the competition a big fear of mine was to choke and not finish.” He has to make sure he stays focused and finishes strong. Ugh I don’t like it when you talk like this about yourself, Honey! I mean look at her!

She’s all calm! This is NOT how it should go down!

The potential Sous Chef plates await.

All that’s left is....
Heather B.: “Here they come.”

Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birth- oh...sorry force of habit.


Street Food says the biggest surprise is seeing chefs from Texas before the 16: Tiny Tyler, Colin and Ashley. Remember the Alamo?
Pads tells them to start tasting and their faves will be their Souses. They eat up. Chris C. made an Asian inspired dish in an attempt to lure Street Food. Street Food stares at a dish that has lobster and replies with the name of one of our favorite sexual positions: “Butter soup, shellfish, milk, honey, caviar.”
Who walks over? Barbara Lynch-BABS! Yeah, baby, grab the Queen right out the gate!

Sarah Smile: “Halibut, green lentils and pomegranate.” She gets, Nyesha!

She only hugged you cause she felt like she had to!

Street Food: “Buckwheat noodles with local shellfish.”

Ty-Lor God of Cooking!
Sarah Smile: (jealous) “Nice.”
She really wants Heather B. and knows her dish is the dumpling but then thinks, “Oh that dish with the scallop and the raisins, that’s a dish on her menu!”

“Oh my God is she trying to tell me that that’s hers?”

Yep, that’s that Mean Girl Cheater Shit. Sarah Smile asks for...
the scallop and raisins...

Nope, not Heather B.!!!

Grayson whispers to Heather: “That’s unfortunate.”
Sarah Smile: (suddenly, to Tiny Tyler) “I’m not letting YOU butcher.”

Well damn!

Tiny Tyler: “I think I’ll do just fine, I look forward to working with you.” Sure you do, kid. Your second appearance on television will be your last.

Street Food: “...lamb with blueberry mustard and crispy parsnips.”
Chris C. walks over to his team, already dreaming of painting a nude of Babs.
Sarah Smile picks the chicken, black pepper and buttermilk dumplings and gets her disgusting wish. Heather B. unhinges her jaw in anticipation of eating whatever young might be scuttling about the kitchen.

And tastes Sarah Smile just in case she has to eat her friend.

Street Food has one last pick: dungeness crab.
And with Ashley, Colin (who?) Grayson and Chef Marco Canora- left, (Oh, Marco. This will not bode well for your restaurant in NYC if you don’t get picked now...) Sarah Smile makes her final decision: pasta carbonara with fried Brussels Sprouts and gets- Grayson!
Sarah Smile jumps up and down and makes a high pitched whinny sound and hugs her and rocks back and forth.

Heather B. did not get such a boisterous reception and makes a note to cut Grayson’s hair off in her sleep.
The teams are complete!

Sarah Smile: “It’s restaurant wars, girls vs. boys!” Tiny Tyler, the only guy on Sarah’s team, half smiles cause he’s not a girl but he would like to use an eyebrow pencil once in a while and Babs, the only girl on Street Food’s team, makes a mental note to tell her servers to pee in Sarah’s food when Sarah eats at any Barbara Lynch establishment in the future.

Chef Canora didn’t make the cut but he’ll join them for the final dinner where he’ll shit all over everything because he didn’t make the cut. Pads tells the teams they have 6 Hours to prep and cook and then 3 hours the next day before One Hundred Guests and judges arrive. Whew.
1 Hour to Plan!
Sarah Smile proclaims it’s her last time to cook and has to be no drama. Talk to the mirror, Hon. Street Food starts to lay things out and, just as he thought, Babs gets up in his shizz asking about kale and nuts. Are you with the Kale Council, Babs? Street Food says he’ll try...uh oh.
Tiny Tyler suggest Sous-vide and Sarah Smile says this is not the time to try something new. He continues to push it and when they go shopping...
45 Minutes/$2,500
...Sarah gives him precise things to do because she knows he’s going to be a handful: “I’m trying to make him feel like he’s part of the group and that I actually give a shit.”
At the seafood counter, Street Food talks of a soup with Ty-Lor God of Cooking. Babs says stick to the plan. Babs (To Camera): “If you wanna win it, just don’t start making things up, be confident in what you’re doing.” Street Food gets shrimp just in case. Plan be damned!

Another 45 Minutes to Shop at Whole Foods...
Street Food waxes poetic about how he failed college and wants to make it up to his parents and Babs looks like she’s pissed that she has to carry groceries. I think this is always her face though.

My mistake! That’s the ‘WTF-was-my-publicist-thinking-when-she-suggested-I-do-this’ face.

5 Hours to Prep!
Sarah Smile gets to Black & Blue and calls everyone “ladies” and says they’re gonna kill it. Street Food gets to Coast and is a little concerned that he’s making a cuisine his team is not familiar with. He whips up a coconut ice cream, Babs calls it delicious. Sarah Smile: “it’s so good to have my girls, it’s awesome.” Then Tiny Ty strikes like an annoying gnat, pestering everyone:
“You want me to rinse those?”
“How thick to you want the wedges?”
“How much celery do you want me to do?”
“Is there a vacuum machine?”
Bet you’re missing Baby Face Bev right about now, huh, Sarah?
Grayson says she and Sarah have had their differences “but...she’s an amazing chef as well as a person and I would love to help her win.”
Hm, apparently Sarah’s team all drank Kool Aid after going to Whole Foods. Must have been off camera.
Meanwhile Team Street Food really does drink at the end of the day.

That night, there’s a Product Placement wine tasting with Colicchio and BAM to pair the vino with the dishes. Yawn.

After, Sarah Smiles speaks on her Product Placement cellular telephone and then (To Camera) about the man who will divorce her before she even gets married and wells up saying he’s supported her for a full year with all her Top Chefery. She should really be more worried about Tiny Ty who shows up in the kitchen the next day in dress shoes and dress pants like someone is going to do a lower half of the body pants and shoes photo shoot in between courses.
Sarah Smile: “Does he know he’s gonna cook?!”
Naw, he don’t.

At Coast, Team Street Food
Ty-Lor God of Cooking is on fish; Big Buddha and Chris C. are on eggs; Babs on dessert and Chris C. will also do the congee. Babs says that Street Food is amazing. “He has passion, drive, wisdom and I’m very proud to have this opportunity.”
Babs comes around!

Big Buddha thinks the crab is funky, it sat overnight and has a little odor “we have to change the game plan.”
Crap. Thank Buddha Street Food bought shrimp as back up!
Tiny Ty is hand mixing the polenta, Sarah Smile wants him to “do it in the mixer!” Tiny Ty: “No, a mixer doesn’t work well.” Sarah Smile: “I’ve done it in the mixer every time.” He tells her to trust him and she’ll have the perfect texture. Grayson says Tiny Ty is moving at his own place and they’re gonna jam out with their clams out and get it done. (I really do love that phrase. I never use it though. Hey, I’m not That much of a pottymouth! Okay, I am. I keed.)

Before you know it, time’s up. And in walks MY Competition.


Paul’s Restaurant is named Qi, pronounced “Key.”
Gail arrives with Colicchio and some new faces and remarks: “No meat, two egg courses and two fish courses.”
When Street Food goes out to intro the first course, Gail intros everyone at the table including Chef Marco Canora, yawn, Colicchio and...

That guy looks like a Dick Tracy character! Oh here's Cat!

He present the first course, a Japanese steamed egg custard.

Cat Cora: “It looks nice, texture-wise.” Dick Tracy: “It’s wriggling beautifully, it has a really pleasant flavor profile. He really knows ingredients.” Gail loves the saltiness.
Coke Mouth (Hey! There he is!) sits with Dakota and Cashew Chuy.

Who secretly laments the lack of cashews in the dish.

Sarah’s Restaurant is Monte Verde. As her clan arrives...

...BAM says there are things on the menu he wouldn’t necessarily think would be in Sarah repertoire, including dashi. Word? I went to junior high with him!

Pads, in a simple tuxedo jacket that you know cost a fortune, well, if we were buying it, homegirl gets hers free, intros the table...

Oh, you, that’s right. You’re on this show.

Hi, Restaurant Guy.

And the Product Placement Wine Guy as the Beave. Sarah Smiles as she intros her first course.

BAM: “Delicious.” Restaurant Guy: “I was really worried about the different regions being represented but it’s just so perfectly pulled together.”

Sarah’s 2nd- okay this actually looks lovely.

Gras Pisa is actually whipped lard, btw. BAM: “I love Sarah’s trout. I love the crust. A lot of fennel.” Restaurant Guy says his beets are raw. BAM: “They might not have been pickled enough.” Raw is raw, BAM. Unless your Busta Rhymes (who makes sure everything remains raw) the beets should have been ‘cooked’ through pickling As Advertised.
Baby Face Bev sits with a limited Accessorized Chef Chris, she thinks the rye bread as the crust is cool.

Baby Face. Rockin a Little Cindy Lu Who sweater and hairdo. I wonder if she knows Heather B. is back there in the kitchen...I bet Heather B. knows Bev is around. Fee-fi-foe-fum...

Back at Street Food’s, a server says they’d like to speak to him at Table 30.

Street Food: “Hi Pa, Hi Ma.”
Street Food’s Ma: “You’re crying?! Are you crying??!!”
Which, quite honestly, is something you never want to hear anyone say, let alone your Ma cause it just makes you cry more. He leaves and his Dad cries too. Awww! Street Food says seeing them put him at ease and got him fired up to win. Let’s do this! Next course

Chef Marco says he has a great eye. Colicchio says the broth was aromatic and you had great smokiness from the clams. Third Course up!

Colicchio: “’s good but not as interesting as the other courses.” Chef Cora thought the albacore was amazing but doesn’t see where it fits in the menu. Did it fit in your mouth, Cat? That’s all that really matters.

Meanwhile Sarah Smile belabors over her polenta and persimmon sauce with her veal course. She doesn’t like how it looks on the plate. Heather B. tries to calm her with “it’s got a good nutty texture” and promises of late night cannibalism.

Pads calls the cheek luscious; Unibrow says the polenta reminds him of breakfast porridge and he wants to put cranberries and maple syrup on it. So you didn’t like it then? Or you liked it enough to want to change it? You continue to vex and annoy me, Unibrow. One diner says he didn’t dig the texture of the polenta.
Now, in my opinion, Sarah Smile’s dessert looked a lot like her last course.

But Restaurant Guy calls the white chocolate an incredible surprise because she turned it into caramel. Uni: “it’s brilliant, something we’re gonna have fun ripping off the next few years.” Well, at least he’s honest! BAM says her meal was spot on and the dessert was over the top; Restaurant Guy says there were strokes of genius and two other guests call the dessert the best course. The Judges jet for Street Food’s restaurant.
In the kitchen, Sarah remixes the buckwheat and polenta, adding cream and blending it to get the consistency Tiny Ty couldn’t give her. (That’s what she said.)

Dessert-time across town but...Street Food’s coconut ice cream is too frozen. He tries to temper it on the stove and then realizes if he blasts it with liquid nitrogen and processes it...
TyLor God of Cooking: “Boo-Yah!”

It’s called beautiful and delicate and the the foam is spicy. Dick Tracy: “It’s a power punch and the puffed rice for the contrast? Beautiful. That was a sexy meal.” Colicchio says Street Food knocked him outta the park and hopes Sarah can do the same thing.

Street Food was worried about Babs playing Sous but admits she was an asset. Babs: “You better be buying me something...” They go to high five each other and I think, could it be...

Half a smile! Wow!

Now it’s Sarah’s turn to hustle over to a “table that really, really wants to see her.”
Sarah: “Oh my Gawod, oh my Gawod! Oh. My Gawod.”
She hugs her Mom and her Man and his Mom and her best friend and loses it in person and To Camera

Her Mom raised her as a single mother and “did it all just for her.” Yeah, that’s why she did it. Not because the Department of Social Services would have taken her to jail if she had beaten your ass like she really wanted.

Sarah Smile serves Gail, Colicchio, Cat Cora, Dick Tracy and Chef Marco. The judges inhale the first course, Colicchio says it’s a successful dish. When Sarah asks her family about the second course...

She hoofs it down to the kitchen and she and Nyesha go over every piece of fish yet to be cooked.

Meanwhile, Street Food told Big Buddha to fire a bunch of the charamushis for Pads, BAM, Uni, Restaurant Guy and Product Placement Wine Guy annnnnd...they’re all overcooked.
He takes full responsibility- I mean he told Buddha to do it but he doesn’t have any more eggs to make a new dish. Done. When he goes out to the table Unibrow asks how it’s going: “Service I think has been smooth up until right now.”

Uni: “Well, it’s good to see you.”
Ouch. The texture is declared wrong, the chives are too long and the prawn, according to BAM is overcooked.

Sarah’s rye crusted fish is deemed perfectly cooked. Colicchio: “Perfectly cooked but under seasoned.” Her veal dish according to Cat Cora, needed a crunch.

Everything else seems to go smoothly for Street Food and Uni says he rebounded with the rest of his dishes. Hey, there’s Accessory Chef Richie and Sadface too!

Restaurant Guy says he’s nailing every contrast. (Then I changed my name to Contrast.)
Gail gives a final hurrah to Sarah’s dessert and, finally, it’s done.

Grayson tells Sarah everything went right.
Sarah: “At this point, the fate’s in the judges’ hands.”
Come On! I told you, you had time to come up with some better lines. Lordy at least use ones that are grammatically correct.

Judges’ Table with Colicchio, Pads, Gail, Uni and BAM.
Album cover time!

Colicchio: “In nine seasons, including All Stars this was the best food we’ve ever seen in the finale.”
The Final Two hug each other. Colicchio thanks them. (Nice.)
Street Food says he feels “really good standing up here, for the first time, actually.” He poured a big part of him into this...”and...ah... I feel that...I guess that menu... I don’t even sound confident right now, I’m back- I’m back to nervous Paul, sorry.”

“But I feel that it represents a lot of me and what I like to do. And what I love”
Jealous when someone else gets attention, Sarah Smiles lays it on thick and from out of nowhere: “I’m very proud that I had a Mom who was a single mother who pushed me to be a successful woman on my own and to know that I had to fight for that.”

Gail. Not buying it.
“So it would be a huge thank you being named Top Chef.”
THIS bitch.
She’s sullying single Moms everywhere!
Okay, game over, let’s just give it to you because you grew up in a single parent household. Yeah, that's how I got everything I have- The Single Parent Household Council of America™. They give stipends and strings of pearls and offer tutoring and Top Chef championships. SPOILER ALERT- because of them I’m gonna be named America’s Next Top Model this season! Hollah!

Here come the accolades: Gail says there are moments when you’re eating a meal and you come across a dish that is out of the blue and somehow feels like you can’t believe it was never though of before and Sarah’s pasta was that exactly dish.

She put a tartare over a pasta and it was incredible. BAM says the beet was undercooked. When questioned she says she marinated them overnight in a cooler. Unibrow: “So no cooking?”
Sarah: “No cooking.”

Uni says they were a little bitter and it was splitting hairs but it was the one dish in that was kinda like “Eh.” Colicchio thought the cheeks were great, tons of flavor, the dashi came through on the finish. Colicchio thought that was a big risk. The sweetbreads were a little dry. BAM: “The polenta didn’t work for me.” She admits she blended it halfway through the meal and it was smooth and perfect. Gail says they had too very different dishes “and that’s okay.” Uni says the dessert was the dish of the night and he saw her career in it. Pads says she hates white chocolate and this was the best dessert she’s had in all the seasons of Top Chef.
Oh man.

Okay, on to Street Food...
Gail adored his first course and was blown away. She says it was like glass, but then we know what’s coming: Uni says theirs were overcooked. Street Food agrees and says he was frustrated and rattled when he served them. Colicchio asks what happened...

...and wishes the rest of the Judges had what he had because it was exceptional. BAM loved the broth in his second course and called it brilliant. Pads though the congee showed great confidence “to put this long uni, just sitting there.”

Gail wasn’t sure how it worked in the progression of the menu but Uni disagreed. He thought it mimicked the richness of meats. Colicchio says he doesn’t like sweet desserts and Street Food’s, with the texture, “could be his favorite course of the night.”

Colicchio says they both did an amazing job and they go to the Stew Room.
Street Food: “The highlight of the night was my Dad smiling, it’s been a while since he’s been proud like that.” Awwwww!
Sarah: “Yeah, my Mom’s crying...” (even now?) “...and I like they can come into this world for a moment.”

The Judges’ go after Street Food’s first course. Gail says Sarah’s pasta was unique, had flavor and refinement. Uni says Paul’s custard was a failure. Colicchio: “God I wish you guys didn’t get that custard like that, geez. For me it was almost a toss up, the pasta might have the edge.” ARGH.
Sarah Smile’s next course was great but Street Food’s? BAM says he’s still tasting the broth. Sarah’s veal cheeks, too soft. The whole dish needed a different texture, it was all very one note. BAM didn’t dig Street Food’s congee “Was it really that great.” Uni: “I thought he nailed it.”
OMG What Will Happen?!
BAM loved both desserts but he wants to have Sarah’s again. It goes back and forth and then Gail says what they saw from Street Food they see everyday, and Sarah took a lot more risks. Colicchio says Street Food sweated the details a little better and that’s what you want to see.

During the break- The Bravo poll asks who will win:
Paul - 88%
Sarah Smile - 12%
Mind you these are the same people who still have Chris C. in the lead as the Fan Favorite. Sigh.

When the Final Two enter again...

We get one final album cover, this time most of the Judge’s are sort of smiley. What does it mean?!

Colicchio isn’t smiling! Does that mean Sarah won!?
Pads says one of them will win $125,000 furnished by Product Placement Product!

Awww man, Street Food’s father is never going to be proud of him again if he loses!

Colicchio says it’s been an absolute pleasure, Sarah grew as a cook and took risks and it paid off.

And All season long Street Food brought it. Colicchio: “In the end this was about as close as it could get and you should be very proud.”


“You are Top Chef.”



Hey that's Lindsay back there! Mean Girls Suck, Lindsay!

Sarah Smile: “I thought for a second it was gonna be me.”
But it not!!!
Pads hugs her really tight. Like for way too long.
Sarah Smile: “I think I deserved to be Top Chef but it wasn’t my day.”

Enough with that “deserving” shit.
Pads proposes a toast to two great dinners and two amazing chefs and then after a pause “and to our Top Chef” because apparently Sarah was so busted up she has to steal some thunder from Street Food’s big win.

And so, Kat Baker, sadly I must ask you to pack your knives and go. But I think we both know it’s best that Sarah Smile didn’t win, don’t we?

Street Food says seeing his Dad cry (he didn’t see him cry in the restaurant) makes him realize he’s really proud of him and makes him feel really...


Yup, nothing like making your parents cry with joy. It’s like a twisted type of revenge somehow I guess. I mean, when his parents cry when he and I get married? You know, after his gf is found in bed with Coke Mouth during some binge that looks as if it's a set up but Totally Totally isn't? I'll be a lil happy too.

And that means Ellie, Meriden, Ed K., Brownie, Gbg, Jet, Daisy, Nikki M. and Lucy YOU are our Top Chef Pool Winnahs!

Next week, I'm back for one more blog (One More Blog!) - it's the reunion! I don't know much, but I did hear Heather B. already say she doesn't owe Baby Face Bev and apology. Here we go...!
Congrats Winnahs!

ELLIE Street Food
MERIDEN Street Food
ED K Street Food
BROWNIE Street Food
GBG Street Food
JET Street Food
DAISY Street Food
NIKKI M Street Food
LUCY Street Food