So much has changed, Poolers.
Last night at the Paradise I watched B-Real, Redman and Method Man smoke weed on stage as they performed.
This was certainly not the Ghostface Killer show I saw at the Paradise years ago when the opening act fired up a blunt and a Staff hulk smacked the Swisher Sweet out of his hand. Crushed that kid’s whole world. His index finger too.
Now you can get a contact high before a 21 year old drops his tallboy and it sprays you like a dissident.
The times, they have a-changed.
This was evident on Top Chef when the ep began with obligatory shots of Boston (aka landmarks where out-of-state college students have vomited) paired with a few chefs cooking (obviously staged) saying how they recognize being on TC can change their lives.
Little do they know it may also change their accents.
But one thing hasn’t changed.
And how people look at her hasn’t changed either.
Slick here is actually business partners in a Greek restaurant with former sore loser Slimer (Mike Isabella.)
Oh this is new too
Blais asks the Chefs to tell us a little bit about themselves.
Let’s see there’s the Mexican Japanese Kosher Chef (I did not make that up) Katsuji
Mei Lin works for Michael Voltaggio.
We need this guy on the Patriots. We lost Jerod Mayo, yo!
Eyester has been at it for 17+ and says he’s “proof you don’t have to have skinny jeans, tattoos and a fancy haircut to win Top Chef.”
Of course the next Chef has all those generic chef things.
This expectoration of titles causes the next chef to say: “…in 2008 I was the first female and first American to win the title World’s Greatest Young Chef.”
This is met with the following reactions:
Joy (aka Afro Joy) feels “under qualified” after listening to everyone else's qualifications
Blais tells them to look around because only one will have the title of Top Chef and worse- one is going home right motherfucking now. It’s a—
SUDDEN DEATH QUICKFIRE!
(Pads says their will be a few of these this season. Ouch!)
4 teams, 4 chefs each and it’s a seafood Mise En Place (dayum!) they have to prep 3 lobsters, 20 oysters, 8 mackerels and 20 clams. They must complete the task before they move to the next one and the slowest chef takes the Bolt Bus home (the Feds are still keeping the Fung Wah outta business.)
Immediately Generic wants to break down the lobster. 2008 wants it too. Generic has a technique where he doesn’t use a knife. 2008 feels most comfortable with lobster but she relents.
will.i.am— OH did I mention will.i.am left The Black Eyed Peas to be on Top Chef?
wants the mackerel but Slick wants it too. “That’s like my speciality just so you know.” He’s trying to pawn the clams off but it doesn’t happen.
Highlights: Of course Generic is slow with the lobster and will.i.am is awful with the mackerel. Additionally Mexikosher cannot shuck a clam and Doug has to be “bigger than everyone in the kitchen” because of his “short stature.”
In the end it’s Slick (Red Team) versus Mexikosher (Yellow Team) and Mexikosher wins.
Slick has to continue to shuck and the slowest person on his team goes home.
Slick is pissed thinking everyone on his team blew it. But no one was slower and therefore blew it harder than…
Yup, the guy who thought everyone on his team blew it blew it.
BUT Pads throws another Mickey Spillane twist-
Slick gets to pick one chef from anyone in the room to cook against. If he beats the chef they BOTH stay in. If he loses again. He loses twice and goes home. Technically three times just because he’s such a loser.
Since Slick wanted the mackerel and will.i.am got it…
They have 20 minutes to make whatever they want from the mise en place ingredients.
Aww Little Dougie works down the street from will.i.am in Portland, OR and says he’s a “monster.” The monster uses lobster, oysters and in a “chilled seafood trio.” Slick keeps it simple.
will.i.am: “Are you just using the fish?”
Slick: “Yeah how bout you?”
will.i.am: “I’m using three.”
Mise en place ingredient usage SLAM!
Pads and Blais make the rounds, eat the foods and we get another twist this season-
the split screen announcement of the winner.
So you can, in Bart Simpson’s words, see the exact moment when their heart breaks.
Turns out they choo-choo-chose will.i.am.
Blais said his dish was like a “really great first kiss.”
Slick and several other chefs have tears in their eyes as he leaves.
The first ever Top Chef Food Festival where each chef will have their own booth next to Boston chefs such as Barbara Lynch, Todd English, (smug former Iron Chef contestant) Ming Tsai, Jasper White, White Tiff (Sweet Cheeks BBQ) and Model Boston (Kristen Kish.)
They must make 250 plates. Have three hours to cook. 45 minutes to shop and $500. Oh and they're tasked with creating an updated version of the first dish they remember cooking. Whew.
Generic is going to make a dish he made with his late grandfather. Afro Joy says: “Whatever man, I’m a black girl, first dish I made was fried chicken with my Mom.” (Dood, you’re already a favorite of mine.)
NEW CHEF BOYFRIEND!
They get to the kitchen at the Museum of Science where the festival is being held right away we learn a chef is making a salad. Annoyed Aaron shakes his head like WTF.
Michael makes sriracha pearls. He says he has the “personality, I have the look, I have the style.”
Also- you have a look. Great. So that means George Clooney is a Michelin Starred chef? Let your food do the talking and let your glasses (in the name of all that is holy and out of respect for people who have to wear glasses) be real.
But wait here they come! Colicchio and Blais in…the tightest chef’s top I’ve ever seen in my life.
Mei is speechless but explains she’s making congee. Annoyed Aaron, when questioned about the time it will take to properly braise his pork, says in the end this is Top Chef and he didn’t come here to “toss salads.”
Mexikosher is making a shrimp quesadilla with cheese and squid ink.
You read correctly.
Pan fired tortilla
saffron cous cous
fried shrimp and hard boiled egg
“I’m not done yet”
Blais is like
Boston Local and head chef at The Regal Beagle in Brookline (Born & Bred!!!)
2008 says she has two amazing children and has been away from them her entire life. Um, how long have you been gone? Cause if you’ve been gone since 2008 I don’t think those are your children.
Here comes the Mod Squad!
Gail and Colicchio hit up Afro Joy first
Colicchio says everything is well seasoned and that she did a great job-ANNNND we’re getting feedback immediately. Oh-kay.
Some chef named Rebecca gets slammed for saying she had ginger cherries when they didn't taste gingery enough.
Aww Little Dougie (who told Gail to call him Dougie) serves this dish-
Collichio really likes the sweet and salty nature of the dish.
Mexikosher is calling his mashup of a meal "Petroleum Shrimp." He's also added this to his ensemble:
Btw his dish looks like Denny's and Hojo's took a joint poop on a plate.
2008 gets called out for "olive oil snow" -Blais is not having it. Another chef does a fried chicken with watermelon and Colicchio calls it "sour."
They seem to like Mei's dish because it "keeps changing"
Katie's (aka Salad's) salad has bacon powder
Colicchio said Michael's soup had no heat and the soup finished too fishy.
Okay, son. When you say something's wrong with someone's palate you are in complete denial about everything in the cooking world. Also whatever that is in the soup that looks like bugs? Gross. I don't want that. Mostly because then it's too easy for a bug to crawl in there and for you or I to tell the difference.
will.i.am did a play on his grandmother's dish that she'd make all the time and checked in with his guests as he prepared it (smart!) Pads says it's "strange and funky but I like it."
When it's time for Annoyed Aaron to serve his dish-- Pads: "Did you mean for me to have so much of the fat on it?" Pads spits it out immediately and Annoyed apologizes. Then-
Pads: "I'd love to see you clear up not only your act but your station."
Aaron's gonna be Annoyed for some time to come. Especially when he's sitting on his couch with his hand jammed down his pants and hears Pads say: "I can count on one hand the times I've spit something out in a season."
The Mod Squad breaks people apart whilst standing near the Charles making us think maybe there's not a traditional Judge's Table but SURPRISE there is!
And EVERYONE gets called in for the Album Cover Showdown!!!
Pads calls out names and everyone else stands on the side and watches as she announces the favorite dishes.
Mei’s congee, Aww Little Dougie's fried chicken and will.i.am's Haitian dish that Blais describes as a high speed motorcycle chase in a movie. Alrighty then.
But the winner is-
Everyone claps until Pads calls out the makers of the worst dishes:
Katie aka Salad; Michael and Mexikosher who actually says “fuck” under he breath.
Katie says she feels bad that the focus was on the bacon powder. Yaaawn. I hope you didn't unpack.
Michael says he tasted the fishiness in his dish but it was already on the menu and it wouldn't look good if he took it off.
Colicchio: "So you tasted it?"
Michael: "I thought it was a little fishy but I didn't think it was too bad.
Colicchio: “You thought it was bad or not bad enough?”
Michael: “I liked it.”
Colicchio: “You liked it or you didn’t like it?”
Do you know who this is, Son? Stop talking Michael. Stop it. Now.
Mexikosher actually says he's like a kid in a candy store and if he COULD have put more on his dish he WOULD have. (!!!!!!!)
He lists the other ingredients that Gail doesn't: chiccharon,...
But who does Pads ask to pack their knives and go?
You had the look but that means shit if you can't cook, Son.
In the end Michael said he tried to be original and "go outside the box."
“Maybe Tom should be a little more open minded.”
“Sometimes you gotta grow with age or get left behind.”
“I don’t care what you think, Tom.”
Ever hear of a little online show you might be on called to perform on named Last Chance Kitchen?
Or- have you heard of this- humility?! Take your look and leave!
So that's it. One show down, 15 chefs left and one week until the choices are locked!
All I need are your (two) picks and your ($20) cheddar before 10pm next Wednesday and you're in! Just think about all we have to look forward to this season including THIS!
Pads!? GROCERY SHOPPING!? Herself? Meaning NOT having an assistant who makes minimum wage do it? Aweeeeeesome!
Until next time, Poolers!