Thursday, February 28, 2013

I'll "take chicken liver mousse anyway it's given to me."

This is it Poolahs! The Top Chef Finale in front of a LIVE audience!

Pads is here!

All the past winners are here!

Heeeeey, Street Foods AND Voltaggio!

and, Whoa! Mofos are already cooking?!

This shit's popping off faster than that Berklee college student I mistook for a 27 year old.
Apparently they're serving...160 lucky diners? Wows.
The first dishes are going out in just a few minutes but first- a Video Package that includes Colicchio speaking To Camera about Brooke's consistency and trademark flavors and Model Boston speaking about how she wants to win but, oddly enough no Judge telling us about her cooking styles.

Oh, now this is happening-

Bravo Producer: Yeah and let's have them keep their hands down on the table.
So they look extra tough?
So we can see their horribly mangled cuticles?
So no one can think they're packing pockets full of saffron to throw the contest?

Official FLASHBACK to 3 hours earlier-

Brooke: "What is this?!"
Colicchio: "Welcome to the finale."

Oh SHIT- so they chose their Sous Chefs but no one told them there would be a Live audience?! Dayum!
Model Boston: "Wow."

They each have to cook five dishes, the first to get three votes will win that course and the first to win THREE courses will win Top Chef.
Brooke picked Kuniko, Stefan and Big Ceej-

obviously because she needed a center for her team. Actually the Celtics need a center, hit me up, CJ!
Brooke is psyched about her "all LA team." I'm surprised Model Boston didn't pick Stefan...again...see THIS is what we want to know about, Bravo! Where's the video package on that?
Instead she picked "good people" two of whom will wear hats the entire time.

Pads says (via VO) 300 people are in the Live audience which is rounded out with the 9 previous TC winners and the finalist's family members.
Model Boston's biggest challenge is that she's only used to cooking for ten people at a time and, currently, not throwing up. What's weird is these 160 diners aren't getting a vote, so really Bravo is just making them pump out plates like there's no tomorrow to watch them sweat. Meanies!
Model Boston preps a salad she can "do in her sleep." CJ proceeds to burn the pig ears for Brooke's salad and suddenly- TIME!
Damn this is going fast!
I guess all the chefs in the audience need to get back to their restaurants before Most Hated sets them ablaze?

First Course!

Ilan (wow, remember him?!) at the TC Winner's Circle: "It tastes like chicken liver that was seasoned properly." That's all you got, Ilan? That's why we haven't seen you on any talk shows.

BAM! loves the mousse and how Model Boston treated the chicory but it's not "the first time he's seen chicken livers" from her.

Colicchio liked it. Gail: I'll "take chicken liver mousse anyway it's given to me" (Meow!) She dug the velvety texture but found it hard to find since the lettuce was piled on top.
Oh now we gotta move your lettuce so you can find the protein?!
Come on, Gail, use your fork. Oh wait- we gotta feed you now? This Finale is in THREE PARTS? Next week they have to cook and feed you. Jesus.

Brooke, still shell shocked about the Live Audience aspect, is sweaty and beady eyed as she presents:

At the TC Winner Circle-

Blais says the eggs weren't seasoned. The he grinds his teeth and loses 3 pounds on the spot.

Judge's Table-
Colicchio replies it worked nicely and had great flavor. BAM! says his pig ear was burnt but Pads' was crunchy and delicious "not like some other peoples."
Lookit her. Distancing herself from The Others already. Soon she'll be in St. Tropez and all of this will be dirty, distant memory.

Pads: "Brooke and" Model Boston "it's time to find out who won the first course.
I think Brooke might faint for reals!
Unibrow gives it to...Model Boston. Gail - Model Boston. One more vote and she wins the round...BAM! gives it to...

Everyone applauds, Pads tells Brooke she needs to catch up and the Judges finish eating as Brooke goes back and tells her team the crap news and says she's not gonna let it happen again.

Next course, they BOTH prepare scallops. Hoo boy!

Model Boston is gonna serve them raw, keep it simple and clean. Brooke's scallops are huge and "really sandy." She begins to list all her ingredients: Meyer lemon, black current, mustard seed vinaigrette, crispy speck, juniper (holy crap) it feels a little bit like the stainless steel tables have turned, simplicity-wise.

All of a sudden, in the midst of the cooking and running-

Stefan: "Hey Kristen, I chose light blue."
Model Boston: "For what?"
Stefan: "For the baby's bedroom."
Ha ha!

Model Boston: "Shut up."
Can't blame him for trying...

Someone in the audience calls out "CJ" and Hung (who has now stood up and clapped several times) gives him a "Woo" and we see a rarity, the smiling face of Michael Voltaggio.

Prediction: I will not be deleting this photo for soooome time.

Brooke's Video Package: we relive her fear of heights, boats and helicopters.
Many Guest Judge's say how great she is and Sheldon and Model Boston add to the kudos. Brooke relays (To Camera) if there's one thing she had to tell her son it would be to be brave and conquer everything he wants to do in life. Unfortunately this segment is going to serve as the conversation she would have with her son because she's so gd busy with her restaurants.

Above we see the reason why CJ will need back surgery.

Below we see Brooke's Old Man (he and Gail aren't staring at his junk, Brooke's son is asleep in his lap.)

btw-Looking good Gail! Too bad you've had to become Ryan Seacrest here and ask Brooke's parents when they knew she was going to be a cook.

Also that's a terribly unfortunate tie, Brooke's Dad.

Model Boston asks Brooke to save one of her scallop dishes for her to try.

Brooke: "Awww."
Then she says (in VO) that you don't need that many components when you have a beautiful product. You need to let the ingredient shine.

Winner's Circle- Voltaggio wishes he were "down there" right now cooking. Me too, baby. Me too.
Judge's Table- they say Brooke never should have let CJ burn the pig ears. She wasn't paying attention. BAM! "...we watched it happen."

Brooke has never actually made this before but feels like it's what she has to do to win.

It looks pretty great. As she runs down the list of ingredients, she loses it: "There's some else on"
Colicchio: "And romanesco."
Brooke: "Romanesco too, thank you."
Colicchio enjoyed the combination, his scallop was cooked perfectly: "nice dish." Gail asked if Brooke was worried about how early she cooked her scallops and we get a cutaway that reveals CJ is tall enough to know exactly what's on top of everyone's cabinets and who is really balding.

Brooke just didn't want them to be raw in the middle and she "wanted them to rest."
Unibrow: "The flavor's great and there's a synergy to them..."
Too bad there's not a synergy to what your wore to the event. That style clash even woke up Brooke's son on the left!

Colicchio, suddenly cheap with compliments, "liked" Model Boston's dish:

Pads: "There's no where to hide on this dish-

"and you did these scallops proud."
The parents of said scallop nod and weep in the deep freezer.
Results time!

Now this time Pads addresses the Judge's Table and Doesn't go from left to right like she did before SEE YOU CAN'T DO THAT! THIS is the line up!

Technically she only got to BAM! before so she should have started with Colicchio, right?
But no, she asks the judges and Gail answers first-- this will be VERY telling because it's the first chef to get to 3 votes.

Gail picks Brooke. Then Pads ASKS BAM!- come on! This is rigged!!!
BAM! puts down the tub of sour cream he was sloffing and says- Brooke. Then Pads asks Colicchio, he enjoyed them both but he thought Model Boston had a better combo. Then Pads: Model Boston "served the better dish."
Pads asks Unibrow for his vote..."you're the tie breaker."
Guess who he picks?

Brooke: "Whew."

Next Course- Brooke wants to redeem herself from the chicken challenge. Um, you want Pads to eat a chicken leg in that dress? You've already lost, Honey.

Model Boston's Video Package- we see her best friend, former almost TC competitor and rumored love interest Stephanie-OH she's right there!

Gail talks to Model Boston's family briefly and then the whole room begins to count down to the next service. Someone is counting/yelling the loudest.

What up- Wreck-It-Ralph!?

Brooke goes first-

Brooke: "I forgot the wet naps, sorry."

Colicchio: "Yes."

The Winner's Circle thinks it's a ballsy move. Unibrow says he's surprised. Brooke: "There's a story behind it." She explains her attempt at redemption. Uni just sort of nods with a weird smile. (Let's be honest though, everything about him is weird, so...)
BAM! loves it. Colicchio: "I get why you're doing it, although I'm still not sure Why you're doing it..."

He likes the spice on the wing but he's not sure about the salad and how it all works together.

Kristen presents a tiny offering in a gigantic dish-

BAM! loves all the earthy tones. Colicchio doesn't know why she stewed the mushrooms, she tells him she wanted an undertone to the marrow. Pads: "I just wish it was hot, it wasn't."
Gail thought the bone marrow cut through all of it and enjoyed it.

BAM!- Model Boston. Colicchio- Model Boston gave them "a more developed dish."
TRANSLATION- I'm wearing a suit, we're not at picnic tables on the Bayou, I Did Not Want To Eat Wings With My Hands.
Then he asks Pads what she thinks which, again, is effed because there's no rhyme or reason to how they're asking and it's the first one to 3 votes.
She says it was a tough decision...

Pads: Model Boston "you served my favorite dish, you win this round."
I see, this is gonna be redemption night between she and Model Boston. They become besties and have sleepovers and pillow fights? Okay, boys, don't stretch out your boxer briefs. It's just speculation. We all know Pads has someone do the pillow fighting for her.

Back under the hot lights we discover CJ doesn't know the tally-

CJ: "What happened?"
Hm, apparently the sound in that studio is just as bad as it was at The gd Oscars.
Brooke gives him the 411 and CJ says they'll "kill this one."

After the jump, the Winners give advice- including Blais with sports analogies about not fumbling the football; Stephanie: Try to make something-

"that doesn't suck."
And Ilan who suggests listening to really empowering hip hop music. CUT TO- him saying "Yeah!" while at the Winner's Table and breaking a glass.

We also get this on What What Happens Live!

Yes, they know how to wear eye shadow!

In this round they're BOTH making snapper. Wait, was this a thing? They HAVE to use the same protein for each course? Again, Bravo- things you could have told us instead of these Video Packages which just reveal what we've already seen.

Brooke is going for snapper with a pork cheek. Model Boston preps snapper with a tomato sauce, she actually practiced the dish a few times before the Finale.

BUT WAIT- it's my bf, Street Foods!

Know how I know he's my bf? No ring, mofos!
He WILL be mine! You know, unless I end up with Louis CK first. Hey, gingers rule with me.

Oh now we're getting the PAST TC Winner's Video Package. Ehhh. Okay. Tell us.
Season One winner, Harold

has 3 NY restaurants (Ellie Lee ate at Perilla!) and has 2 stars from New York magazine.

Stephanie (Season 4) has two Chi-town restaurants (LB and Colucci ate at The Girl & The Goat!), Food & Wine Magazine's Best New Chef (you remember I speculated that NBC Universal was behind this to give the TC brand a firm foothold) and two James Beard nominations.

And then Street Foods AWWWW!

James Beard Winner!; Best Chef SW; Food & Wine Magazine's Top Ten Empire Builder and Builder Of A Pile Of Wet Panties.

Ilan has one restaurant; Hung has three; Hosea has a food truck, a restaurant and a catering business; Voltaggio has the number one restaurant in LA. They've opened a total of 17 eating establishments. Lordy! I wonder if Bravo has somehow rigged a way to invest in them the way Weinstein owns a little bit of whoever wins Project Runway.

TC Winner's Circle- now it's time for Pads to play Seacrest.

Her final question is to Ilan, she asks what it was like to watch himself on TV.
Ilan: "I looked really fat,"
Everyone laughs.
Ilan: " always looked like crap, I was oily."
Pads: "Nothing has changed then."

OH SNAP! See! She mean, yo.

Hold up- while Pads is chatting and the Final Two are cooking, we hear from the Peanut Gallery:

Stefan (laughs): "No, it's in Santa Monica, sweetheart."
Brooke: "Pay attention to the job!"

One Minute Left...

OMG this is it- or it could be! They start with sweaty Brooke:

Unibrow says it's perfectly cooked; Colicchio likes the combo of the pork cheeks and snapper and gives another "Nice dish." Gail: "...the pomegranate gives just the right amount of juice." At Winner's Circle Stephanie says she likes Brooke's combinations.

Colicchio says Model Boston's has great flavor, he loves the stock.

Gail admits the texture was spot on and the uni was perfect but her leeks, because she left them long and stringy, were difficult to cut and eat.
Unibrow thought Model Boston's dish was unique and balanced and loved the braised leek. He "wasn't bothered by the fact of using a knife, I'm good with a knife..."

OMG GAIL- get him outta there next season! Him and Puck! Fuck 'em!

Here we see an interesting turn of events, CJ plays the dummy and Kuniko, the ventriloquist.

Since this vote could potentially end it and crown Model Boston, we get a little banter.
(Screw the bantah! Give us a winnah!)
Colicchio asks if Model Boston is surprised to be here since she was "out of it."

She says being there now she forgot she was ever out of it.
When asked, Brooke says she wants to win because she wants to prove she wasn't winning just because Model Boston wasn't there.
Now I know why you fear things. Cause that's an odd Mickey Spillane twist to make up in your mind. If you win, you win. Who gives a crap. And let's be honest, the two of them are gonna make an assload of cake from now on regardless. Shit is real.

Pads: "For either of you, these results could change your life...."
And, as we all know, Bravo is deciding how that works because now Pads (imho) is just bopping about asking Judges who won which course...

I dunno, maybe, because it's a Live Audience you think they haven't had time to talk and decide but bottom line you can't have people in line to get to a cash register and then just say- Oh, haaaaay, you that's 4th in line, you go first and then that person only has a 100 dollar bill and now that register doesn't have ones and has to close while someone runs to the back to get change doubling your time in line.
Can you?
Does that even analogy work?
No, I'm not drinking tonight, I've actually been straight edge for three days.
So you're saying that analogy doesn't work?
Awww, Shaddap!

Gail picks... Model Boston.
Her flavors were harmonious and she couldn't get enough of the uni.

BAM! looks like he sat on the can opener he brought to poke a hole in the can of the Evaporated Milk he needs to drink in order to sit at a table for this long.
He picks...Model Boston. He loved the whole combination.

If she gets Colicchio's vote, she's Top Chef.

(Yeah, she and Model Boston DEFINITELY made out. At least this chick Wanted to, right?)

Colicchio votes for...ARGO!!!

Well, kinda.

Pads: Model Boston "you are Top Chef!"

Brooke gets a kiss from the curmudgeon. Stefan realizes his chances with Model Boston are finally dead. CJ schedules back surgery.

Pillow Fight!

I guess Model Boston's Mom couldn't be there but her Dad tells her she's very proud- Aww

Brooke is disappointed. Sure.

Brooke: "To have gone through so much and not gotten there? But I think I made my son proud."

Honey, your son doesn't know what's going on.
He's been up all night at a dinner table sans Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or the reward of using your iPad.

Finally Brooke admits that she's proud of herself. Yes, Brooke!
You made YOURSELF proud!
That's what matters. Your son will not remember this at all.
Even when he's 21 and watching videos on the microchip implanted in his skull (as all 21 year olds will be given the option in 2028) I assure you, no one will have saved these reality show episodes and by then we'll all be on reality shows ourselves.
You'll float around in your hovercraft wheelchair and chat with him on your Google glasses as you run your new restaurant on Mars from your kitchen at home on Earth and be all: 'When you comin' home, Son?' and he'll say: 'I don't know when, but we'll be together then, Mom. I know we'll have a good time then.'

Kevin says congratulations, Voltaggio considers banging Model Boston and...yes. Your eyes are NOT deceiving you that's "Chef" Josie (sans headband) who ran over to give Model Boston a high five-

The MFing Audacity Of Josie!
(The New Harper Collins book that comes with a sound chip of her hideous laugh activated every time you open it.)
Of course Model Boston is a class act so she high fives her back and Josie makes said laugh which, dentists have found, actually removes the tooth enamel of the people within a five foot radius.

Model Boston says a trip to Korea is in "the very near future." Most people just go to Disney World, Honey. Think about it!

And so I must now ask GBG, Lucy, Jenna, Meriden and Myself (Hey!) to pack knives and get the frig outta dodge.

And SHIT it doesn't look like they're gonna- wtf- they're not doing a Top Chef Seattle Reunion?!? Aww that's ass!

Well my Friends, I guess that means this is the last entry.
You know, until I end up having drinks with Gail when she's in town. I'll tell you all about that!

I'd like to thank you all for playing. I hope you had as good of a time as I did.
And I'd like to Congratulate Jet, Keith and Daisy- YOU are Top Chef Pool Winners!!!

The check is in the mail. The checks, I mean. Okay, nothing's in the mail, I'm still collecting interest on that cheddar, yo. ;)

JET Model Boston
KEITH Model Boston
DAISY Model Boston