Thursday, February 21, 2013

"I am sweating in places I didn't know I could sweat."

Some due diligence before we dive into The First Part of Seven Parts Of The Semi-Finals of Top Chef Seattle on the way to the Finals!

First, thanks to both Kat and Karen E. Logue for sending me this-
Looks like Gail's gonna be hanging around The Bean, yo!
I can't wait to see her, convince her to have drinks (really, how hard can that be?) and get the inside scoop on what a fuck Puck is!

This just in from Colucci, apparently at the beginning of the month Don King was working really hard to get Chef Josie back in the race.
Yes, THAT Don King.
As you can see he didn't do a good job because we never saw the 'Jose Boomaye!' posters. I don't think he realizes that no one likes her. Or him.
But enough of the pipe dreams of the only two people in America who wear sweat bands on their fat heads, on with the show!

We see Sheldon at work in the kitchen of his restaurant, Star Noodle in Hawaii, lungs full of reefers and head full of a new hat.
It's blue!

He says he's been practicing since he knows Brooke comes from a serious culinary background and he obviously needs the Top Chef winnings for earrings for his wife and three daughters (count 'em three!)

Meanwhile in LA, Brooke and her husband (who she met when she hired him as her Sous. Mmm hmm) take their son to school and then bounce back and forth between the two restaurants they own.

Hm, so technically she has three kids too. Well, basically Sheldon has four if you count his restaurant. Bottom line- I don't see how either one of them are getting any sleep in their lifetimes.

When the two are brought together in the Product Placement car, Brooke says it's good to see him. Sheldon: "I wish I could say the same for you."

Sheldon: "Do you even remember how to cook?"
So someone went to the Valentine School Of Intimidation then?

They chat about who they'd be surprised to see coming out of Last Chance Kitchen.
Sheldon says Valentine (Oh Snap I thought you were boys?!) Brooke says Carla or Josie.
All great disses for the Top Chef Seattle Reunion, guys, keep 'em comin'!
They get to Colicchio's LA eatery, Craft, to find Pads wearing some sort of breastplate necklace.

She says only two challenges stand between them and winning.
Then we get a long ass video package of the Last Chance Kitchen web series and

OMG WILL YOU JUST TELL US?!? We've already spent so much unnecessary time in Hawaii and LA!

Pads says Colicchio has just crowned the winner.

And that is...

Oh Haaaay, Daisy and CC's bestie!
Brooke hugs her but grinds her teeth since "this is her stiffest competition." Let's do this!

Colicchio: It's only fitting since the season started in my restaurant, it will end in my restaurant. Craft opens in three hours. And you, are going to be my chefs."


An observation: it's craytown to do a task while someone is checking on you periodically OH and there are cameras everywhere OH YEAH and that task is in a kitchen you're not familiar with.
Colicchio: "...I'll be in the kitchen expediting with you."

Oh Lordy.

BAM!: "During this" Unibrow "and I will be going in the back and checking on you..."
WHUUUT, you guys too!?

Oh and we found your birth mother, Model Boston, she's gonna be in there and we're flying in your Grandpa Eddie, Brooke, and Sheldon? We're putting your 3 daughters in there, running around near the hot stoves, playing with Barbies.


Also- Please keep THIS away from my food!

Whew. This is loaded like Valentine's newborn baby's diaper.

Time Starts Now!

Sheldon grabs living spot prawns; Model Boston takes tuna; Brooke picks short ribs then stops then picks them again. In the Craft kitchen they tell each other their courses, Brooke only reveals she's doing beets as her first course. Sheldon picks quail as his main, Brooke says (To Camera) it doesn't sound like him and it's risky. "Especially now."

Then the Change Up!

Brooke: "Sheldon what happened to your blue hat?" He says (To Camera) he wants to show the Judges how he's grown by making quail. But how he's hasn't grown enough to wear his new blue hat while cooking.
Brooke decides to blow off the beets and go with sweetbreads but still doesn't know what her main course will be-
OMG BROOKE you're freaking me out!

3 Hours to Prep Cook and Serve and here comes MegaBrow-

He reminds us that he picked Brooke to compete in TC in "his kitchen" and then turns into an even more annoying version of Ted Allen from Chopped (actually Alton Brown is the most annoying version of anyone) and reminds her of dishes she made before and asks if she can do that.
Thanks, Assy!

Colicchio does his usual low key interrogation with Model Boston who reveals she's doing a velouté, tuna and a "chocolate thing" for dessert. She's keeping it simple so she's not doing too much in a short of amount of time. He asks if she's been so successful in LCK because she hasn't had the time to overthink it. Hmmm...
She agrees.

Next up in the "Hi, just checking in on you when you have NO TIME to talk to me" sessions, BAM! slowly rounds the corner like Sheldon's a deer sipping from a lake that he's about to bite the neck of- hey, he's hungry.

He's Always hungry.
BAM!: "Filipino? What are you doing?"
Um, WHOA and huh, that's an odd greeting.
Oh, you're asking him if he's COOKING Filipino. Oh-kay.
When Sheldon tells him he's cooking quail BAM! says he has one piece of advice: "Taste, brother."

Time is dwindling- Brooke burns her pistachios and is behind in her prep since she took so long to decide. She makes a brown butter cake that she hasn't made in years! Sheldon says he's "never" made a dessert and preps a white chocolate mousse with apples and fennel! Model Boston asks for sesame oil, Sheldon yells that she doesn't cook Asian: "I cook white people Asian."
(Hey, she said it, not me.) Model Boston leaves herself half an hour to make a dessert that kind of looks like a pudding: "I am sweating in places I didn't know I could sweat."
Well get ready to sweat some more because the Judges are taking their seats and here comes the harshest one in a $250 apron.

Colicchio: "Get your stations all set, ready to go...also can we take a second to clean up, this place is a mess."
Is he serious?!?!?!?
Screw you, Dad! Also I'm not taking the station wagon to the prom, I want a limo like everyone else!

Pads (still pretty in pink which I'm sure she's bummed about because she's used to a 2 costume change minimum per ep) welcomes the table which includes this host of over 3,000 TV shows and author of 30 cookbooks:

(Hey, no Gail?! Boooo!)

And former Top Chef Master competitor and John Edwards look alike:

Pads says Colicchio won't actually be joining them because he's expediting and torturing the chefs ZERO DARK THIRTY style in the back.

OMG Here we go! Order Up!

BAM! says his was "absolutely perfectly cooked." Yan calls it delicate and Besh admits he was having an affair while on the campaign trail- oh wait, that was John Edwards- he admits it was a tough dish to pull off. Translation: He can't cook like that. He can bake the fuck out of a butter biscuit though.

Yan says the raw Brussels Sprout was a fine addition but Unibrow thought it needed a pickle or something bitter. Besh wanted a touch of acid. (Don't we all?)

Pads loves the intensity in flavor, Unibrow say he was back there when she was talking about making this and they discussed cleaning sweetbreads and "I wouldhavecleaneditalittlebitmoreandandthenIwouldn'thavecutitsothinbecause..."
Seriously, he said it that quickly. Honestly? I think YOU'RE on acid, Unibrow. And you're sad about not getting enough credit for cooking all of a sudden. STFU!

In the Craft kitchen, Colicchio makes Brooke replate her main course because it's cold (in his opinion) and he wants to show the world that he's nicer than Gordon Ramsay but also has standards and could possibly throw a plate and call someone a "Donkey!" if he wants.

Next Course!

Yan loves the tuna; Pads thought the lemon curd was too harsh; Besh had one bite that was borderline salty (well why don't you have another bite- I mean, honestly the five of you are sharing one plate? Do you KNOW how many babies BAM! is going to have to eat after this just to keep his heart pumping long enough to get to his hotel and collapse on the bed and watch porn while he inhales Pringles (which, btw at any hotel are $6 a pop. Don't pop, BAM! you won't be able to stop.)

Back in the Craft kitchen, Colicchio is desperate for Model Boston's veloutés and "feels like he's talking to himself" Brooke says him expediting is making her "pee in her pants a little."
Not a good look for anyone in any kitchen or for anyone eating the food coming out of said kitchen.

Brooke's short ribs look like black berry jam on top of green clovers.

Yan thinks it goes well together, Unibrow digs the Parmesan sauce and BAM! loves the nettle purée, two words that don't sound like they go together at all.

Yan calls Sheldon brave for making quail because it's difficult. Unibrow says it's okay, but not his favorite and "overall this is not Sheldon, this is another chef who has put on Sheldon's hat." (!!!) He pretends to cry and says he wants the old Sheldon back.
Besh laughs.
BAM! agrees and says it's been "brainwashed" Yan's face drops. He was born Guangzhou, China.

I don't think he takes brainwashing lightly.

In the Craft Kitchen, we get more of "I really need those" INSERT NAME OF DESSERT HERE from Colicchio anxious to portray his standards.

And now, a quick SideBar if you'd please?
While Colicchio is all freaked about plates getting out, I'd like to say one thing about the service that I noticed- several plates were put on the table and sort of hit it- you know, like hit the table and made a noise. It was noticeable.
One server put down a dish and it actually smacked BAM!s water glass! (With no apology!)
And, the coup de however you spell it, one female server, going in to pick up a finished plate of Model Boston's velouté from a diner, asked her if she wanted to "lick the bowl." And she was Not Smiling when she said it. The guest, uncomfortably- "Oh, how embarrassing."
Fuck the expedition, crack down on your serving team, Colicchio! Or just hire Stefan. He'd fit right in.

Last Course!

Besh: "That. Is really. Really good." Yan says he likes the balance and it's not overly buttery (which is usually a compliment.)

Model Boston's effort is up next-

"Interesting." Pads likes the combo; Unibrow "I dunno! It's not a great idea, it's a basic dessert."

Pictured above is BAM! upset that no one told him they're getting paid per word on this episode. Unibrow is making more cheddar than him! Also, BAM! requires more cheddar! There was a hole in his suit jacket and his cache of Polly O String cheese fell out!

Pads love the flavors- Besh says he found it distracting and Yan thought it was too much fennel. Unibrow is silent. I think I'm gonna try apples and fennel. I love fennel! Oddly I hate licorice though and Sambuca. And Schnapps. That stuff's like alcoholic mouthwash to me.

After the last plate, Colicchio goes out front and talks smack, basically he snitches that Brooke's mise en place was shit city but says she got a hold of it. Yan and Besh thoroughly enjoyed the meal. Unibrow says he thought the whole thing was too simple. Please eat him alive, BAM! Just crawl on his shoulders and consume his head Praying Mantis-style in front of the whole restaurant!

Stew Room-
Model Boston is worried about her dessert; Brooke doesn't want this meal to be her "last note" and Sheldon throws down his red hat and calls it stupid. Finally! I think if you realize you shouldn't be wearing a wool hat (especially in friggin Hawaii) then all this has been worth it.

Colicchio changes into something a little more uncomfortable and then...
Album Cover Stare Down Time!

They take aim at Sheldon's hat: His appetizer was cooked perfectly; Colicchio thought his quail was subtle and the pine nuts were chunky. They weren't roasted. Colicchio makes a face like someone snipped off his pinky toe with kitchen shears.

BAM!: "Yeah Sheldon, you made a comment to me saying that 'you're gonna see a new Sheldon tonight.' First of all there's nothing wrong with the old Sheldon."
Pads: "Amen."

Pads- goin' to church!
Unibrow says it was well cooked but not what he'd expect from him.

BAM! asks him about the fennel in the dessert; Colicchio thought it was kind of cool and those flavors could work "but you can't just put raw fennel in there, it's an incomplete dish."
Curious, Pads asks if he came prepared with a dessert.
Sheldon: "I have a dessert for the NEXT round."

Everyone laughs as he says he's "kicking himself in the ass" for it. Kick yourself hard enough for your hat to pop off! That would be kinda cool!

Model Boston's turn in front of the firing squad: Her soup was "really nice and velvety" according to Colicchio but Unibrow says it was one note and safe and he wanted her to push the limit. I want to push You off a cliff. Maybe he just wants Brooke to win it all because that will validate him in some bizarre way?

The consensus is that her tuna was perfectly cooked but Colicchio isn't sure that the bitterness, the lemon with the celery purée (which she admits she was actually going for) worked.

When it comes time to discuss her chocolate curry, Pads asks if she was happy with it.
Model Boston cries out, 'No.' Really, she cries it out.
Model Boston: "It was in a fucking...bowl and I gave you a bowl of chocolate, like, I don't know, no."

Unbrow calls it a "badly thought out pot de crème that was kind of overdone."

Model Boston: "Ouch."
BAM! admits that he liked the flavor and thought it could be something but "not tonight."
Model Boston: "Brutal."

Ahhh, lemme just say this, MB, you started in criticizing your own dessert.
You blew it apart and used the word "fuck" when you described it.
If you had said what you were going for and knew you didn't make it and genuflected you would have been fine but you got all smiley like that was going to pull you through and this was a joke. You CAN'T be surprised then when someone stabs your dessert in front of you after you already shot it in the face.

Time for Brooke to be filleted: Colicchio thought her sweetbreads were cripsy, Unibrow says he would have cleaned them more. She admits she cleaned them to order and Colicchio slams her mise en place.

BAM! compliments her short ribs sauces. Pads says her sauces were better than the sauces in any in that course.
Pads: "I was about to take tuna that" Model Boston "did and sweep up some more of that sauce."

Well dayum, Brooke! You don't have to look at Model Boston like that!

Unibrow calls Brooke's dessert perfectly moist and beautiful and the topping was great- um, are we talking about her dessert or something else here, Unibrow?
BAM says it was good and Yan and Besh thought so too.
Colicchio begs to differ: it was nice but it wasn't a restaurant dessert. To him it seemed unfinished.
Brooke replies that she had a rough night and she can do way more than she did tonight and would "love the chance to show it."
Mmm hmmm, Brooke knows how to play reality show the game, Model Boston and Sheldon.
Make note of it.

When the three are sent to the Stew Room the Judge's sort of forgive Sheldon for trying something new. But then Unibrow doesn't and says it fell flat. He admits Model Boston has an amazing skill set and all the Judge's say they dug the first two courses but her dessert wasn't executed well. Unibrow is proud of Brooke for getting herself out of the miss en place problem, Colicchio says she wasn't focused.

At this point I get a text from Ellie Lee who says for the first time she likes all three finalists. I concur! What will happen!?!

Stew Room - Sheldon says "anyone of us..." Brooke cuts him off with "It's a one in three chance."

As if to remind us of all important fractions. And that Valentine or Vandaele Industries or Most Hated aren't going to show up and be thrown back in the mix. Thanks for that!

We get a few more Album Covers...

and then...

Pads tells...
to pack his knives and go.


He says he got to cook for Hawaii and honor his father and the vaca from smoking reefers was helpful. He breaks protocol and, in true mahalo-style, hugs everyone goodbye.


He says it's heavy. And he's right. Because, sadly, I must ask Mo, Tripp, Q, Karen E. Logue, Grace and Colucci to pack their knives and go.
Crap. That's a lot of Poolers, Poolers!

And then there were seven. And two.

And next week, "for the first time ever" the Finale takes place

in front of a Live audience!

OOOOooooo I bet them Iron Chef people are mayad that Bravo is biting!
And in that audience? TC Winners Hosea, my bf Street Foods!!! And Michael Voltaggio!
Next week is it, My Friends!
Until then-

GBG Brooke
JET Model Boston
LUCY Brooke
KEITH Model Boston
JENNA Brooke
DAISY Model Boston
ME Brooke

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