Thursday, January 3, 2013

"$500...an inch."

Happy New Year, Poolers! It's Lucky '13!

I say this because we have no choice but to think it's lucky, right? Although, on Friday the 13th this year, I'm not eveeeeen getting out of bed, no way. Kill that noise.

I'd like to introduce you to what is going to be my new obsession this year:
The Momokawa has been on the docket for a couple of years but I tried the Moonstone while in Oregon last fall. It's coconut and lemongrass and MFing divine. It goes perfectly with food and you truly only need a couple of short glasses to turn a shit night into Shinola. I get both from Coolidge Corner Wine and Spirits. I actually asked them to stock the Moonstone and now they have all three flavors! What? No, some are gifts- come on. Hey, maybe I'll have a TC Finale at my house and you can all try it! Who am I kidding- these are gonna be gone by the weekend. Har. I keed. I hope...

Now the first Top Chef Blog Post of 2013!

Sheldon sharpens his knives as he does every morning and summons the strength of Hawaiian warriors to help him compete. I'd try to figure out the names of those warriors and type it here but it's impossible. I'm fortunate enough to have traveled to Hawaii- I couldn't even recall Honoka‘a-Waipi‘o Road without going to Wikipedia.

Coincidentally, when the nine chefs get to the TC kitchen, Sheldon finds a dressed down Pads next to Bob Kramer who is a Master Blade Smith.
Apparently there are only 120 of these wizards in the country. His custom knives sell for Pads: "$500...an inch."
HULLO SAILOR!

Pads: "I'm gonna get out of your way." Bob does a demonstration where he cuts one piece of one inch rope with a knife and then, two pieces!
Sheldon: "Can I hug you right now?"
Why cut through a can of Orange Crush when you can filet an Oldsmobile!?

For the Quickfire they have to compete in teams of 3 to sharpen dull knives (each of their three blades must slice through a piece of paper), tourne 50 potatoes as a team (that's seven sides, yo!) and then, their teammates become their opponents as they cut down and french a rack of two rabbits. Oh bunnies.
The winner gets immunity and a Bob Kramer blade. Stefan has always wanted a $4,000 knife. I just want one so I can sell it on eBay.
Ironically they draw knives to determine teams. Pads says if they so much as knick themselves during the Quickfire they're disqualified. Dayum!

It's Valentine, Sheldon & Jazz Patch
VS.
Josie, Most Hated & Model Boston
VS.
Brooke, Stefan & Lizzie who SCRATCH THAT! They're immediately eliminated when Brooke can't sharpen her knife quick enough.

Most Hated mentions tourning is much easier with a paring knife than a Chef's knife-
STOP! Josie knicks herself- she's OUT!
Pause Moment! Get a whiff of Pads' heels in this shot! My Lord. That's gotta be $1,500 ($500 an inch, right?)

Sheldon says "if you didn't have arthritis already" you'd have it by the end of the challenge. I'd be fingerless. Josie's knick makes Most Hated & Model Boston lose by two potatoes.

Valentine, Sheldon & Jazz Patch left.

Sheldon has never had to "do a rabbit before." Valentine says it's just like doing a cat.
Beg pardon?
But before anyone can cut more bunny-
KAPOW! Pads slaps his back and he slaps the table-
Jazz Patch wins it!

Sheldon: "So close...that knife is pure sexiness, congratulations to" Jazz Patch.
We are not allowed to see said sexy knife, however, apparently that will only air on Bravo After Dark.

Since this is season 10, Pads says they're taking a trip down memory lane.

Top Chef "super fans" will help judge the "healthy versions" that will inspire a new Healthy Choice dish. And the chef that makes the best meal will win 15k.
Under their stations they find Kindle Fires- hey I got one of those from my sister for Xmas- that's right Colucci- I got something I gnash my teeth at because I love books. Small sigh.
Hey, remember that time I told my sister I hate microwave ovens? It's just my personal preference- first I think they end up making you eat food that's not that great, second- Radon is real! Third- I have No Counter Space. So what did my sister give me for Xmas that year? A microwave oven. Yup.
I'm preeeetty sure I told my sister I never wanted a Kindle.
This year I'm going to tell her I never ever ever want $3,500 for Xmas. Just to see if I get it.

Fires are activated and Lizzie's clip is of one of Jamie's (many) scallop dishes that caused Fabio (Fabio!) to proclaim: "This is Top Chef it's not Top Scallops!" God I loved that line and that man. And this list- remember?!
List Of Things Jamie Doesn't 'Do' Or Know!™
-breakfast
-bridal showers
-desserts
-canned goods
-open a restaurant
-clean sardines
-braise celery ("never before in life")
-make a sauce from ham
-children (“ever”)
-fighting
-work in a Chinese-style kitchen (“with the steamers and the wok stations and
all the other things that are in there”)
Man, this makes me kinda miss her. You know like 1/64th.

Model Boston gets Carla's (Season 8) chicken pot pie that she Hootie Hoo-ed about on Jimmy Fallon. btw- I caught Carla on ABCs The Chew (which is just an awful word let alone a name for a cooking show) and she's quite subdued these days. I long for the Carla Cosby of old.
Sheldon gets (Season 4) carpaccio and they do a flashback to Punchy Dale yelling. Awww, Punchy! I hope he's done punching now and has moved on to something lighter like slapping.

That night in the TC house, Sheldon microwaves a Healthy Choice meal (come on!) and Brooke begins to "watch" (could this look any faker?)
the clip where Ed's pea purée goes missing. She got The Villain's (pop-eyed Alex's) pea purée that we all know he stole from Ed. We know that, right? Feel free mention it to The Villain if you see him in the street. Or just throw peas on him.

Next Day! 2 1/2 hours to cook!
Valentine is making Voltaggio's and Slimer's (Mike Isabella's) pork. Yes, he got the pork. I'm pretty sure this was done on purpose. Thank you, Bravo Producers.

Stefan is making grilled cheese and tomato soup. Um, how can you POSSIBLY make that healthy?

Most Hated: "I always love cooking in a strange kitchen, half the battle is finding stuff." Yeah they should factor that into the time, maybe?
We learn that Most Hated is making Howie's (Season 3) mushroom and sea urchin risotto "without...frog legs."
And we get a clip of Bourdain judging Howie's plate
AND we have to hear it's ironic that Bourdain was the judge because "back in the 80s he met Bourdain"
and hired him
and they were drinking buddies
and he introduced him to Eric Ripert
and, oh yeah, Mosted Hated IS "Jimmy Sears" in Bourdain's book- Kitchen Confidential which I'm sure he tells sales clerks
and newborns
and doorstops as if they give a motherfuck.

Jazz Patch gets Baby Faced Bev's and Heather (aka the Bitch's) five-spice duck breast. He recognizes that they didn't work together and he wants to make something harmonious.

Then Lizzie grabs her scallops and they...don't...smell...fresh...Uh Oh...
Lizzie: "What do I do?"
Ummm...sing a song from Les Mis maybe? Either way- Here come the Judge!
Pause Moment! Gastronomist Wylie Dufresne, aka The Little Dutch Boy, THRILLED to be walking in at almost the same time as Pads. He's a chef and I'm sure he gets the women for it and all but Not Lakshmi Quality™.

Speaking of which, I have three questions about the "super fans" that get to eat the food in this ep.

#1- Why aren't any of us there?

#2- WHY AREN'T ANY OF US THERE?!

#3- Really, graph paper button down shirt?
Really?! You KNOW you're going to be on national cable TV and you opt for the graph paper button down with a black wife beater that reveals part of your chestal region Japanese tsunami tattoo?
Actually I take that back cause it's better than hunter green jacket, trendy t-shirt with the non-related colored pocket square on the right.
Come on, people! You're going down as the Lamest Dressed Super Fan Audience In Top Chef (and Top Chef Pool) History!

When the Guest Judge's are introduced, pants wet across the board.
There's The Little Dutch Boy who competed on Top Chef Masters.

Wolfgang is here- finally back from a Chauvinism Festival in Prague perhaps?

Waxman, also a TC Master. I like this guy.

And last season's TC Master champ and, more important, winner for best eyeglasses-

Of course, Colicchio is there too but I'm thinking he shouldn't show up all the time because chefs don't really wet their pants for him like they used to. Perhaps there could be some sort of moisture sampling to learn which Guest Judge causes the most dampness. Okay, I'm grossing Myself out here. Also I now have to pee.

TC Season's 1-3 Present!

Josie spritzes like a linebacker as she introduces her version of roasted chicken which she apparently decided to interpret as the beigest plate of food in America.
Waxman says it's a dish you get at a standard restaurant with a side of vegetables which is "fine, but it's not exciting." Why is Josie still here?

OMG Stefan, honey? Is this supposed to be healthy?
I'm having a heart attack just looking at it!
Chris says you can see the fat content in the grilled cheese. The Little Dutch Boy: "It's greasy is what it is." Puck says the soup is good though. To Camera Stefan says that maybe he should have upped it a notch. Hindsight is 20/20. Also the word hindsight always makes me think of a horse butt.

Pads is "not a fan" of Most Hated's dish-
Little Dutch Boy: "I like the idea of putting the carrot purée in there but you have to cook the rice." YIPE. Puck says some of the rice is overcooked and some isn't at all. Chris says he can't get past it. Colicchio: "Start by cooking a great risotto."

In the kitchen-
Valentine yells at chefs for not answering him when he asks for a chinois. "Jesus Christ it's not that hard just answer yes or no!"
You know what? This guy is the kind of person who would get a waiter fired. Just because.
Meanhwile Lizzie's scallops are leeching so much water she can't get a good sear and she can't use butter to caramelize them because she's trying to make a lean dish:
"This is bad." Pretty much.

TC Seasons 4-6 up!

Sheldon's voice cracks as he introduces his Hawaiian flared dish-
Chris says it's not very eye appealing and looks like a runny mess. The Little Dutch Boy thought the the candied salmon was good but the tofu had no flavor.

Lizzie can barely look anyone in the eye.
Puck calls the quality of the scallops "dubious." Waxman said she should have been bold and trashed the scallop and went with an inspired salad because she knew the scallops weren't good. Great idea, also: Uuuuugh!

Valentine's pork...
Puck thought it was cooked well, tender and not dried out. Shocker! The Little Dutch Boy thought the peaches were a nice add.

Seasons 7-9 up!

Brooke: "Hi, intimidating group of people."
Ha-ha! Keepin' it real, Brooke!

Everything was nicely cooked and "has great color."

Model Boston's version of Carla's chicken pot pie looks like a Hot Wheels race track accident.
But Colicchio says it's light and flavorful. Waxman: "It's pretty cool" but Chris didn't have the sauce everyone else had. Incomplete? That gets you chopped on Chopped!

Immune Jazz Patch took his dish a "step farther" with a miso sauce.
Colicchio likes the pickled cherries. Waxman thinks the marriage of miso and polenta is a bad idea. Puck said some sweet corn would have been healthy and tasty. Who hates sweet corn?

In the Stew Room,
Sheldon admits his heart was jumping out of his tanned chest.
Josie says they need to get into a prayer circle. (Can we pray you take off that friggin headband?) Then Pads walks in and asks to see Valentine, Most Hated, Lizzie, Model Boston and Brooke...
Josie wonders: "Why five?"
I wonder: Why can't the Judge's table be a little longer?

Pads says the five served the best and worst dishes and for one of them it wouldn't be "a memorable moment." Womp womp.
Valentine, Brooke and Model Boston had the best.
Guess who is not pleased to hear this?

Compliments!
Pucks says Brooke cooked the salmon perfectly. Colicchio says Model Boston's dish had homey flavors but not a homey presentation. Pads asks if Valentine was "worried about cooking pork for us." He stammers.
Oh just say 'Yes' Yukon Cornelius.
Colicchio said they all wanted more and Chris said it was a very well balanced dish.

The unanimous winner of $15,000 is-
That's enough for 10 foot rubs from Stefan!

Disappointments!
(Oddly enough, the winning chefs are allowed to stay for this portion...
hmmm...upping the dramz Bravo Producers? Nice.)
Chris says Most Hated's improperly cooked rice was a "travesty." Most Hated says he's not making excuses but makes an excuse: there wasn't a pot big enough to cook that much risotto.
Puck: "Now you can make excuses about the pot, at the end of the day, when customer eats it, he doesn't want any excuse for it." (Mind you the customer is a HE- Chauvinist!)

Most Hated says it's not a cop out and cops out: "...it's difficult to cook something evenly in a pot that shouldn't even be in a restaurant." In the kitchen, the pot overhears and cries. Valentine looks like he's gonna burst- shaking his head and smiling.
Pads notices but before she can say a word, homeboy spews:
Valentine: "Yeah, I mean, ah, to say there's no small pot, that's not true because the pot I used for my stock...was just fine."
Laser eyes ACTIVATE!

Most Hated says equipment was an issue and "whether people who don't want me here any longer wanna say it isn't, I mean there's no love lost between the two of us so to ask him about whether the pots are good or bad, it's a little jaded."
Jaded? That's all you got? Poor word choice, Hated.

Pads asks Lizzie if she tasted her scallops and she says they must have been "awful because I couldn't get them to sear in the pan."
Puck says it was gray and not a happy appetizer and she finally apologizes and says it was horrible and drops her head twice and we realize something else...
She has man hands.
I thought my mitts were big. Jesus.
Here's what you Don't do when you have man hands- you don't wear a Man's Watch.

Pads says one of them is going home but...then: "Do you remember this?"
Your terribly expensive black Gucci clutch? It's shiny!
Oh wait- is that the bill? No one paid for the meal?!?! Hey!
OHHHHH- it's a Kindle Fire. Right, I have one of those. I keep forgetting about it.

Pads says "we're gonna give you one last chance."
Most Hated: "Thank you."

The Fire is loaded with "the 10th memorable moment." Remember this one, CC?
Most Hated (softly): "CJs burger..."
Brooke: "Of course it is." She and Valentine chuckle.

Most Hated and Lizzie have 45 minutes to make a healthier version of CJs dish.
The winners go back to the Stew Room and Brooke and Valentine tell everyone the new twist and that Most Hated made excuses but BACK in the kitchen!
Most Hated (To Camera) says Lizzie served "foul, raw food" and she's getting a second chance while he had bad cooking utensils. OMG PLEASE SEND HIM HOME LIZZIE!

He grabs the pickles, she asks if he can have some and he says he'll share. Then he makes a lamb burger and takes all of the dill that Lizzie took out for herself without asking!
Lizzie: "I didn't mind sharing it but don't take it all."
THEN he leaves the fucking oven open trying to dry out her chicken burger!
OMJ!
He says, To Camera, he shared the pickles and he didn't have to- UM excuse me- THAT'S the ingredient you have to cook with.
MOST
HATED!!!

Judge's Table again!

Most Hated-
Puck: "You found the right pans this time?" Ha ha!
Chris asks why he would add an egg when it's a lean challenge- yeah- WTH?! Then he compliments him on the salad. Pffft.

Lizzie-
Puck asks if she used white or dark meat and when she answers white he says it has "extreme moistness." Chris loves it but it could have used a touch of salt.

Colicchio says he can't find much to criticize them on...

Pads goes person by person while they stand there (Wow!)

Chris picks...Lizzie.

Puck picks the one that had more moisture and flavor...Lizzie.

Colicchio says it's tough but you have to go with the actual patty and the person he picks Pads agrees on...
Most Hated is asked to pack his knives and go!
OMGOMGOMG!

To Camera Most Hated says he "got the shaft" and he's "not bitter but, yeah, it's bullshit!"
Ummm, that's called being bitter.

In the Stew Room-
Valentine: "Hopefully" Most Hated "can find a pan flat enough to cook a burger in."

"Bye guys."

"Are you serious?"

Most Hated: "It's time for the old man to go home and be with his family anyway."
The soliloquy begins:
"I endured every challenge. I endured every situation."
(That you created.)
"I endured the childish behavior."
(Ah, that WAS Your behavior, Kid.)
"I could have been a real, real, big asshole."
(WAIT- This was you NOT being an asshole?)
"I mean, if I really just wanted to win, I would have just stood on the other side of the kitchen and cooked five hamburgers without anything on them and put them on a plate and held the pickles in my hand while I went to Judge's Table."
(??????)
"I would have held them under my arm."
"I have all the pickles."

He's cracked. I mean- what is that? He's officially broken.
Toast.
Oh, perhaps not...

Last
Chance
Kitchen

Most Hated is happy to be there-
but when he realizes who he might beat-
he's even happier-

Big Ceej is non-plussed. And surprised to see Most Hated there.
I'll admit I'm surprised that he went out this early too. I mean, both he and Josie are annoying but he's really a much better cook than she is. Except I guess uncooked and mushy risotto is worse than the beigest food in America.

The Challenge-
Make whatever you want, 15 minutes to shop, 30 minutes to cook.
They get in the Product Placement car and CJ buys scallops and foie gras and Most Hated buys lobsters and foie gras.
Back in the kitchen, in ordinance with Most Hated's complaints, Colicchio presents them with every awful cooking pot My Mama has ever owned and some she still has.

Most Hated takes almost all the pots. CJ doesn't even go to them, he preps. When he gets to the last two pots he's encouraged by the peanut gallery to take both instead of one and gets applause.
Most Hated: "I like being the underdog."
CJ: "Who said you were the underdog?"
Yeah Shaddap and cook and stop trying to be Most Hated when you are already!

The handle to CJs pot comes off!
Most Hated uses every cooking implement available!
With ten seconds left CJ puts too much chili oil on his scallop!

Colicchio tries CJs seared diver scallop with foie gras and lime juice pressed mango and caviar. He asks if CJ wanted that much heat: "some" to combat the citrus.

Then he samples Most Hated's corn veloute and succotash with gently roasted lobster and seared foie gras. Colicchio asks how the equipment was. Most Hated: "It was excellent." Colicchio: "Well, it wasn't excellent." Punch him! Where's Punchy Dale?!

Colicchio: "...pans do matter." No one was able to get the sear they should have.
CJ had a good amount of heat but he was hoping for more dashi. Most Hated's dish was heavy and salty but the flavors were spot on and lobster was perfectly cooked.

The winner is...

BIG CEEJ!
Most Hated says something like it's time to go home and cook with his family but
#1-I don't think you have any family (didn't you say that before?)
#2- you're about to become part of the peanut gallery, Son. Take a stool and make a BIG CEEJ t-shirt!
Colicchio: "...five in a row, record."
CJ: "I'm not done."
Check out CJ tryna make me a believer.

BTW- Kuniko is still leading Bart's potential comeback in the Twitter polls but the numbers are getting closer- she has 53%, he has 47%!
So what's next?! Does Bart come off automatically which means Most Hated is on that list and can potentially come back?!

Crap- if that's true, we're all still in it to win it, if it's not, I have to ask Kat to pack her knives and go! Damn you, Bravo!
How about we wait until next week and see what happens?
It's '13 after all...

What a great ep! Next Week- it's RESTAURANT WARS...with a giant twist! Gird your loins!

TOP CHEF SEATTLE
STRIPES 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 Sheldon and Kuniko
CC Jazz Patch
Q Lizzie and Sheldon
KAT Most Hated
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 and Kuniko
ELLIE Most Hated and CJ
ME Brooke and Kuniko








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