Thursday, November 22, 2012

"It's a little pink."

Poolers!
There's a lotta duedilly before we get to the ep!
First off! Pads in Playboy!
http://www.playboy.com/playground/view/20-questions-padma-lakshmi
It's just an interview. A pretty good one. But there is one photo-
Her lace is made out of cheese cloth!
Naw, I keed. I am keeder. That would be good though, right?

This is from Ellie Lee (she's in the Pool!) and it's full on adorbs. A 9 year old boy goes to Michael Voltaggio's restaurant and hearts it!
http://blogs.laweekly.com/squidink/2012/11/9_year_old_critic_michael_volt.php

Karen E. Logue sent me this article on Most Hated. I started reading and making the gas face by like the 6th sentence.
Some highlights: Someone says if he were dying in the desert he wouldn't give John Tesar the sweat off his balls.
Most Hated says he's 17 years clean and sober but this article was posted last September and he's drinking sake and beer.
http://www.dmagazine.com/Home/D_Magazine/2011/September/John_Tesar_The_Most_Hated_Chef_in_Dallas.aspx?page=1
Also- he looks a lil like Jon Cryer for a hot minute here:
w/less money and awards but, let's face it, Two and A Half Men is just as, if not more annoying than Most Hated. Maybe less so...

Finally, Jenna hipped me to the now full on war between NY Times reviewer Pete Wells and Lumpy Space Princess shaped, backward sunglass wearing, shock of white, spiked hair Guy Fieri and his massive Times Square "restaurant."
I've never eaten at Guy's American Kitchen and Bar but I have eaten at ESPN's The Zone in Times Square. Once.
Once!
It was sorta like eating in a dark, cold warehouse with unnecessary ceiling fans. Oh and there were video monitors inside the bathrooms. Meaning: In. Every. Stall.
It was IDIOCRACY Live.
Again, I've never eaten at Guy's but I'm 99% sure Pete Wells has captured it perfectly. I read this twice and gasped and laughed out loud over and over again. In Jenna's words "Fucking AMAZING!!!!!"
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/14/dining/reviews/restaurant-review-guys-american-kitchen-bar-in-times-square.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0

I don't know why I'm turning into an ep of CrossFire (or why these links won't come out in hypertext) but here's Guy Fieri's annoying response:
http://eater.com/archives/2012/11/15/watch-guy-fieri-respond-to-nyt-zerostar-review.php

Finally, this whole affair resulted in a Top Ten List from my all time favorite,
David Letterman.
Top Ten Discontinued Guy Fieri Menu Items
10. Inappropriately Rubbed Brisket
9. Sampler of Entrees Sent Back To The Kitchen
8. Pushed Pork
7. Guy's Famous Grilled Shirtsleeve
6. Jumbo Shrimp, Tattooed and Pierced
5. Teriyaki-glazed napkin
4. Seared halibut with intestinal parisite reduction
3. Crust-crusted Crust
2. Suspiciously Damp Toast
1. Duck A l'Ahmadinejad

Crust-crusted crust. So good!
(Meaning the idea of it and the IDEA of it. Hey, I love scallion pancakes. That's basically what crust-crusted crust is isn't it?)

And now...YOUR PICKS!

TOP CHEF SEATTLE
STRIPES Chrissy and Jazz Patch
GBG Brooke and Sheldon
JET Model Boston and Sheldon
MO Most Hated and Sheldon
LUCY Valentine and Brooke
LB Most Hated and Kuniko
TRIPP Kuniko and Sheldon
CC Vandaele Industries and Jazz Patch
Q Lizzie and Sheldon
KAT Most Hated and Chrissy
KEITH Model Boston and Jazz Patch
JENNA Valentine and Brooke
MARI Stefan and Jazz Patch
KAREN E. LOGUE Lizzie and Sheldon
MERIDEN Lizzie and Brooke
GRACE Most Hated and Sheldon
COLUCCI Sheldon and Josie
DAISY Model Boston
HOLLY Kuniko and CJ
ELLIE Most Hated and CJ
ME Brooke and Kuniko

Tonight's blog is co-hosted by my niece, Deanna, and My Mama! Someone has already had a Wild Berry Coolah (guess which one!)

The chefs enter and Pads wears- is that a satin cummerbund?

She's next to Editor & chief of Food & Wine Magazine - Dana Cowin. Helen Hunt is back ya'll!
My niece: "She looks like someone's Mom."
Yeah super poor clothing choice, Helen. If that's Chanel it's not coming off well. You could be wearing McQueen standing next to Pads but right now it looks like you're doing a cross promotion with Talbots.
Next to Pads and Helen is a map with knives velcro-ed to it. 17 next to 17 countries. (Someone in props was not pleased with having to do this job.)
The challenge?

They have an hour to make a dumpling.
Helen Hunt adds that she has eaten her "weight in dumplings" which means she's had 2. Pads says they prolly don't know some of the dumplings on the map but worry not! The kitchen is stocked with INSERT NAME OF TABLET HERE! They each get five minutes with it. (I woulda checked my email, quiet as it's kept.) The winner gets immunity. When time starts, grab a knife. And time starts NOW!

Jazz Patch gets stuck with Kazakhastan. He didn't know it was real. Carla has to make a Fufu from Africa. Her hand is useless because as you recall from last week:
Carla: "I'm walking through the unknown without my hands."
Can we just get her and Fabio together for a half an hour? Please?
Stefan grabbed the German Klopse knife which usually has veal or pork, capers, cream sauce and mashed potatoes. He grew up with it. Sounds like a lock. Or a dumpling that might hate him as much as everyone else.

44 minutes!
CJ asks Kuniko what she's making. She says she loves something that I've rewinded four times but cannot make out and usually buys it from a store but she's going to try to make it. For the first time.
Risk taker!
(Did I mention I picked Kuniko?)

Josie is making Mandu from Korea. "It's really about putting love into a little envelope or a little purse and eating it." #1-I'm avoiding the chance to make a dirty joke. #2-Honestly I'd like you to stop talking so much, Josie. Brooke is making a dumpling with no flour. Chrissy doesn't have any flour left and can't offer it. Carla drops her dumpling in the pot and it breaks.

Time!
Annnnd....Kuniko has nothing on her plate.
Wow.
Did I mention I picked Kuniko?

When Pads puts Helen Hunt into her cummerbund to walk around and taste the dumplings, Carla says she didn't have time to read the "reeceepee" and admits if it tastes the way it looks, she's fried. Helen Hunt is excited to meet Sheldon because he's a "Food & Wine people's best new chef." Say word? Jazz Patch makes a face like he was picked last to play basketball.
My niece: "Did his mole inspire his dumpling? It just stares at me!"
Brooke presents her Simay (from Indonesia) as a nude dumpling, there was no flour left so it has no wrapper. Oh- my other pick? Brooke. Yeah. I'm at bat with that headless mystery fish Valentine, Dry Eye and Danyele cooked last episode.

Strugglers: Brooke, Carla's Fufu dumpling which came to Africa "via Italy" (I think they call that a stowaway dumpling. Stumpling.) And of course...

Don't smile! Jesus!
Shining Stars: Josie, Stefan and...Jazz Patch?! Wow.
And the winner: Josie- HOLY CRAP. She tears up.
What are you looking for, Stephan? Hair?
No dumpling soup for you!

Elimination Challenge. It's Thanksgiving. (No duh!) And the organization Farestart provides meals to those in need and culinary training for the homeless (how bout that?) They recently won the James Beard Humanitarian of the Year Award. The chefs have to make Thanksgiving dinner for the Farestart staff and guests. Of course they have to work in two teams. Floop! Pads breaks them according to where they're standing (8 to the right and 9 to the left)

but you can't tell me the Bravo Producers didn't arrange where everyone was standing from jump street. p.s. Carla can't count so she's in both photos.
Guiding the menus in a Top Chef first are...
My Mama: "Oh shoot, look who's here!"

Colicchio is in charge of the Red Team and decides to do an Italian themed Thanksgiving. BAM! is in charge of the Gray Team and does a commercial for New Orleaans and Creole City Cooking. Each team has to cook the birds and the sides.
Both TC Judges turned Chefs for the day extoll the virtues of putting a lot of butter under the skin of the bird. There are few meat related things that bother me being vegan but I'm pretty sure jamming butter under the skin of a turkey carcass would come close.

Josie leans in to BAM! "You know I have immunity..."
BAM!: "So you can push the envelope."
Josie: "I'm very confident with the turkey." Hmmm...I've had people tell me they were confident with something but that really means nothing.
Chrissy is making a pecan pie bread pudding (I hate wet bread but I might try that if I have a shot glass of dry wheat toast as a chaser.)
BAM! shows Tyler how to make a roux for the gumbo. Carla is oddly quiet. See? She CAN shut the fuck up! Colicchio gives his team the freedom to to improvise a bit, BAM! gives pretty specific directions.
CJ: "I decide to oversee this team to victory." He goes from person to person asking if they need help and making sure they've packed what's necessary.
My Mama: "That guy is so tall! Where the hell did he come from?"
Me: "Lankyville."

The Next Day In The Farestart Kitchen-
Somehow the Gray Team has arrived before the Red Team (?) causing CJ to proclaim: "Wow you guys are spread out."
Stefan "Someone's gotta move cause I'm running out of space here, I have one corner you guys have the whole thing."
He tries to intimidate Josie, then Most Hated. No one budges. Stefan: "You're kindergarten kids, I get it." Carla laughs.

Most Hated focuses on his pumpkin torte dessert and Kuniko helps him prep "because her dish is simple."
Beg pardon, Judgey McJudgingson? You're still operating like an Executive Chef, huh?
Kuniko says she's monitoring herself today because yesterday she "learned a valuable lesson."
The lesson of where the clock is? Of a countdown? Backwards from 10?
Lordy.
She seems to be help everyone except herself.
Valentine makes a sweet potato ravioli, Lizzie cuts potatoes. Model Boston asks Kuniko how her dish is. Kuniko: "I haven't touched. It's okay."
No. Not okay. Not.
Tyler admits he struggled with alcohol for 25 years. He's been sober for...
7 months now????? Uhhhhh oooohhhh.
Tyler: "I'm in a really good place to win Top Chef."
No comment.

Josie checks the turkeys. She's not seeing the color she wants to see so she drops the temperature on her oven. She's intimidated by the Red Team's "beautiful turkey, glistening and majestic."
If you ask me it looks like it was shot after it was shot.

Here come BAM! and Colicchio. They walk around for like 20 seconds. BAM! tells Josie as long as the turkey isn't overcooked it's fine.

But Wait! It's time for-
Carla's Weekly Freak Out™
Stefan and CJ gather round as she makes her carrot soup. Suddenly: "Season is not nothing. There is no season there is not nothing here. I'm not here because I don't know how to do a soup."
Stefan: "Carla, honey, relax."
Uh oh.
Carla: "and tell what the fuck you do is another!"
Beg pardon?
Look- even a young Dabney Coleman came out of the woodwork to see what's happening!
Carla says she's been fighting all her life. She raised her daughter and her sister and brother because she lost her parents very early.
Stefan: "That's why I left Europe, European women."
Dayum. Maybe we can have Carla and Fabio AND Stefan live together for a weekend. Let's call it The Europeans!

Here come the Judge!
Colicchio, BAM! (who mentions this is his favorite holiday "Food, football and sleep." And heartattacks!) Pads and Helen Hunt from Food & Wine Magazine and
and some Dood who can't even wait for Pads to finish the introduction or Josie to present Team Gray (BAM!'s) New Orleans inspired meal. He just starts eating!

Oh hey speaking of football, Josie cooked one.
Colicchio: "Is that bird cooked, Emeril?"
Helen Hunt: "It's a little pink."
WOW! Tonight's meal served with a side of salmonella.
Hungry Hat Guy: "Not recommended by the USDA."
OWWWWW BAM! OW!
BAM!: "It could have been cooked a little more but it was well seasoned."
Really? That's all you're gonna say?
Helen: "Good flavor from the outside, but the inside was practically raw."
Dood, if this was Chopped Chef Zakarian wouldn't have even eaten it!

They seem to like the the spice on the stuffing
And the second stuf- WAIT- two stuffings? Why? For extra blockage?

Pads calls Model Boston's veggies beautiful, BAM! says they were under seasoned on the plate but it was a good idea. (Wasn't all of this Your idea?)
Colicchio didn't think she needed the Crème fraîche.

Someone asks if Tyler's gumbo ranks up there with BAMS! and finally we hear a chef abandoning ship. BAM!" It's bitter on the finish." Hungry Hat says it's lacking depth. BAM! admits he doesn't think he added heat or worchestershire sauce. Um isn't that 80% of what gumbo is made of?
Helen Hunt mentally removes Michelin stars from BAM!'s restaurants.

Kuniko's dish is
Raw.
Hungry Hat: "Go back to the kitchen and actually cook it. Very simple."
Dayum, Hat!

Sheldon's greens have great flavor and texture but need to be cooked more.

Brooke's biscuit is sweet and tender (har) and, according to Colicchio "could be a new tradition." Translation: He's stealing your recipe, Brooke.

Everyone loves Chrissy's dish including My niece: "Oh YUM!" But not My Mama: "Yuck, I don't like that at all." You all know how I feel about wet bread. It skeeves me. Now I know where I get it from.

Finally, Lordy aren't these people full yet?
Hungry Hat liked he flavor. Guests thought it was grainy. Helen Hunt said there was good balance on the plate. If the plate was balanced on an open toilet.

Red Team (Colicchio) GO!
Stefan and CJ have their "brotherly love/hate relationship" according to Dry Eye as they prep and argue. Then we get the Italian Inspired Thanksgiving.

Colicchio: "There's probably three pounds of butter up underneath the skin." If you can fit that much under the skin you should put a few eightballs in there too. Stuff that cavity with a brick and we got a lot to be thankful for.

BAM!: "Carla's soup? Fantastic." Helen Hunt loves the creaminess and the meatballs are great. That's actually a really good idea- make a creamy soup and then put a meatball in it. I wonder if I can make a veggie burger soup. Don't bite that! It's mine!

Helen Hunt likes that Vandaele Industries' greens are a palette cleanser. Methinks she just saw Vandaele and fell in love. I dunno why tiny women like super tall guys. I'll never understand that. Or this:
I will say that right now, seeing Vandaele I wish I had bought some fennel and made a salad. Even though I KNOW I'd be the only one eating it. Veganlife. Sigh.

BAM! said the weakest thing on the plate?
Yipe. Colicchio said the pasta wrapper was wrong. Not a good look Valentine.

Hungry Hat goes for seconds on Jazz Patch's Brussels Sprouts-
but then Helen Hunt says they're greasy. (See, she just wants Vandaele.)

Lizzie's potatoes are "fantastic." Colicchio said the desserts are a let down.
Hungry Hat isn't into the jam in between Stefan's effort. (That sounds durty.)

The chocolate bricks with chocolate on them is too much chocolate for everyone.

Colicchio announces since he and BAM! were helping they can't judge.
WHUUUUT?! This thing is being judged by Pads, the chick who runs FareStart, Helen Hunt and Hungry Hat?
Chick picks the Red Team.
Hungry Hat picks the Red Team.
Before Helen Hunt can answer BAM! points a sausage finger at her and says: "Don't forget Brooke's biscuit." (Har.)
She says "Never." And then votes for-
The Red Team.
Landslide! Say like Popeye: "How embarasking!"

In the Stew Room-
Pads
(Hey Giiiiirl!)
slides in with Congrats for the Red Team and asks to see CJ, Carla and Lizzie.

At Judge's Table
Pads: "Your team gave us a near flawless meal."
Near flawless? You guys complained about everything all day! I can't trust you people anymore. Also, real talk, what are you eating BEFORE you eat this? Are you even hungry? These things need to be measured!

Pads compliments Carla's soup. Colicchio says "I had no idea where you were going with the soup" because Carla said cabbage and he was expecting that- Lizzie cuts in: "I think she carrot but it sounded like cabbage."
Carla: "Sometime I need a subtitle."
(I hope they have her make a "boorger.")

BAM! loved the love Lizzie put into her potaotes. Colicchio saw that CJ took a leadership role and mentioned the turkey was roasted to perfection. But

The winner-

Hey wow! There's a surprise, huh?

What are you looking at Lanky?
Something's in the corner over th- Oohh you're mad. Got it.

Stew Room
CJ gives them the bad news and Most Hated proceeds to pontificate to Danyele:
"Emeril is from New Orleans, but he's from New Englands (???) and it's PORT-TU-GAYS that's what we did today (?????) we respected all of those things and you executed..."
Valentine and CJ (quietly, on the other side of the room): "Annnd, I'm done."

Meanwhile at Album Cover Staredown
Tyler, Kuniko, Sheldon and Josie-
wait- Josie has immunity. So this is gonna be the standard chewing out thing to make her sweat I guess. Good thing she's wearing one of the two CHEF JOSIE headbands she had made.
SIIIIIIGH.

Colicchio: "You have immunity, you can't go home but the reason you're here is your team lost because your turkey was undercooked."
Josie: "Undercooked?"
Colicchio: "You don't think it was?"
Josie: "I did think it was more on the medium side."
Colicchio: "It was undercooked."
See- this is why I don't like Josie. She laughs and smiles too much and never SAYS WHAT SHE DID WRONG. She never owns up to it. She will NEVER admit those headbands are motherfucking corny.

BAM!: "When I came two hours before service that gumbo was perfect. What happened" Tyler put more roux in it and decided not to put worchestershire and tabasco. Idiot.

Kuniko said she didn't know Southern cooking and she was pushed on time. She had FIVE HOURS. Josie jumps in and says Kuniko helped everyone out but Pads says she can only judger her on what she presented and it was under cooked and plain. Helen Hunt accosts Sheldon's greens- he says he's never made them before and didn't want them to become mush. BAM!: "I woulda cooked them more."

After another stare down
Pads asks...
Kuniko to pack her knives and go.
On her way out: "...if I didn't help anyone and I only took care of myself that's worse than me going home."
Hey that's nice. That's a nice thought. But everyone knows when the oxygen masks drop on the airplane you put your oxygen mask on yourself before you put it on your kid. And that's your gd kid, Kuniko! Damn you! If you had gotten something on the plate in the QFC you mighta been spared because Tyler CLEARLY screwed up royally when he had strict instructions. Siiiiiiigh.
Well Poolers, that's it- Happy Th- oh
hold up, someone wants to say something.
Most Hated: I'm one of her (Kuniko's) greatest fans but you can do potatoes in your sleep as a chef."

Oh wow.

Brooke protests and defends.
Most Hated: "...if you can't taste your food in five hours your mind is some place else."
Valentine closes his eyes and drops his head.
CJ: Why do you have to say something like that right now...? I mean we know you have knowledge but-"
Most Hated: "I'm not lecturing you."
Yeah you are.
CJ: "You know, everything ends up being a lecture with you."
Most Hated: "You're full of shit right now."
My Mama: "Oh! Was that necessary?!"
Me: "He's a Dickmobile!"

Tyler says we better buckle up. I concur. Actually, I'd rather take my belt off and beat Most Hated with the buckle. Hey, I'm gonna have to take it off eventually when I consume two bottles of red, beet salad and an entire pot of cornbread stuffing.

Next week- giant sides of meats on meat hooks (SEATTLE CHAINSAW MASSACRE!) and more Stew Room stewing! Until then, Happy Turkey Times, Poolahs!

TOP CHEF SEATTLE
STRIPES Chrissy and Jazz Patch
GBG Brooke and Sheldon
JET Model Boston and Sheldon
MO Most Hated and Sheldon
LUCY Valentine and Brooke
LB Most Hated
TRIPP Sheldon
CC Vandaele Industries and Jazz Patch
Q Lizzie and Sheldon
KAT Most Hated and Chrissy
KEITH Model Boston and Jazz Patch
JENNA Valentine and Brooke
MARI Stefan and Jazz Patch
KAREN E. LOGUE Lizzie and Sheldon
MERIDEN Lizzie and Brooke
GRACE Most Hated and Sheldon
COLUCCI Sheldon and Josie
DAISY Model Boston
HOLLY CJ
ELLIE Most Hated and CJ
ME Brooke

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