Thursday, November 13, 2014

"It's pretty hard to conceal a musket."

I started getting the emails just before 1pm on the 6th.
The first one came from former Pooler, Colanto who is (now) a mother of two
(Congrats again, Colanto!)
Then Kat.
Then it was a cavalcade. Which should be the name of a sundae at Friendly’s.

Yep.
Can't say I'm surprised but that's pretty damn awful.
By the way, TMZ's new tagline is-
TMZ. Now more reliable than CNN.

I understand that in this country you're innocent until proven guilty (with the exception of some areas in NYC, LA and generally below the Mason Dixson Line) but, for the first time in Top Chef Pool History, I’m changing a name mid-stream: Annoyed Aaron is now Asshole Aaron. Asshole/Ass for short.

We begin with him recapping his team’s win in the last ep: “I can work on a team.”
Great!
The leader of the chain gang is gonna love to hear that. He'll also love having his salad tossed.
Not this Salad.



Or this one.

Just use your imagination...

Born & Bred is demoralized for “being on the bottom” as much as she has been. She slings an arm around Aww Lil Dougie and he worries his significant other might mind.

Mexikosher pours out some Sam Adams for (Who Is) James (Rigato), LaMalfa “…and for Dougie.”
Oh no he didn’t!

Almost everyone laughs except:
Aww Lil Dougie (To Camera): Mexikosher is “a little like having a brother, it’s like- man, I love you, but I wanna punch your face all the time.”
No comment.

Generic talks with his hands- “...there are ten of us left and it’s gonna start getting tougher…” Then he realizes…
Mexikosher is parroting him! Mex, enough. Also you've been wearing those gd sunglasses all the time, even when you're cooking, what are you- Mexican Jewish Guy Fieri?!?

When they get to the kitchen they’re greeted by
who we're gonna call JB and has spared no tattoos for this outing.

Pads (in Escada separates perhaps?)
says by now they’ve been sizing up the competition and they’re going to put that knowledge to the test. When she calls a chef’s name they must pick one chef to go head to head against and THAT chef will pick a cooking method and dish using-
INSERT Reynolds Wrap commercial by Pads and JB HERE (including the use of the words “variety,” “cooking methods,” “steaming,” “hot smoke,” “cold smoke,” and “heat.”)

Now the big news- whoever wins gets 10k!
That’s a lotta lettuce.

Pads starts with Mexikosher (who is the first chef to her right) and he picks-
Asshole Aaron: “Perfect.”
He picks smoked salmon as the protein and method of cooking.
Mexikosher says (To Camera) he wants to teach the Asshole how real chefs behave and cook, “give him a little slap around, you know?”

The irony.

Aww Lil Dougie picks Generic who selects steamed mussels.
2008 picks Born & Bred because “she’s the weakest.”
Really? You know nothing about Boston winters, 2008. Nothing! If you did you’d know anyone who survives here has strength that runs deep. And silent.

Mel King picks Salad who selects smoked BBQ and will.i.am and Mei are left and he picks steamed dumplings (Whoa!) He knows it’s her thing but he’s confident he can beat her and still go on tour in Madagascar when Fergie gets back from maternity leave which will hopefully mean she’ll stop shopping at Bandana Bobs.
Bandana Bobs - for all your bandana needs.

Time Starts Now!

Mel King thinks she has a beat on Salad who is making a “pine nut baked bean.” So that’s pine nuts as if they were baked beans...?
Mexikosher is smoking with liquid nitrogen and pretty proud of himself.
Mei Lin has been making dumplings since she was Seven Years Old.
(God, I was playing Barbies then- well, one Barbie and then the Sunshine Family
I named them Tony and Tonisha and Tinisha.)

Time’s Up!
JB asks Salad if she ever made pine nuts like baked beans before. Nope.
Asshole tells Pads and JB that he and his little brother smoke things all the time (I bet you do) but they brine them first “usually we have more than five minutes.”
Generic talks mad smack as he and Aww Lil Dougie present against each other but they hug it out after. Well, Aww Lil Dougie hugs Generics thighs. He’s Lil you guys!

Decision Time!
JB decides that Asshole’s salmon didn’t have enough smoke-Mexikosher wins.
Mexikosher: “Wooo, you been smoked.”

Ha Haaa! "We laugh because it's funny and it's true and, most of all, because it's you!"

JB thought Aww Lil Dougie beat out Generic-
Damn them eyes rolled hard.
[Say like Jay Z: “Roll so hard…”]

He thought the fish was more textured and flavored in 2008’s dish- dammit, Born & Bred!
Between Mel King and Salad- the winner is… Salad!
So many upsets!!!
JB announces between the two heavy hitters- will.i.am took it.
The winner between the five? The one who walks away with 10k?

Now he can afford to buy one of his own watches! HOLLAH!

Elimination Challenge!
Pads announces it’s gonna be Quickfire Losers vs. Quickfire Winners.
Bravo, Bravo! Pretty damn smart. She pulls a string and a scroll drops down revealing the five “most critical battles of the revolutionary war” blahblah history.

Bottom line, they each have to go head to head with a chef on the opposing team.
Notice Mei Lin is shocked to be with the riff raff.
When a chef wins, their team gets a point. First team with three points is safe. Someone from the losing team gets launched into outer space and tries to land on a comet.
Bounce Bounce!

Each team has to decide who will compete in each battle. Generic is PISSED: “I want some redemption right now, put me up first.” The winners talk and Aww Lil Dougie goes back for seconds. REMATCH!

Second battle! Mexikosher wants next but Generic doesn’t want Asshole to go against him, he wants to win three in a row. Mel King accepts.

will.i.am wants next and Mei Lin is in- REMATCH!

2008 throws up her hand and Mel King takes the challenge.

That leaves Asshole and Salad- at it again!

Pads tell them they have to serve One Hundred People at the Watertown Arsenal.
Then JB announces: "...in times of war food was scarce" so they’ll only have $1,000 to serve those hundred people BEFORE the judges arrive (?!?!)
Hoo boy! That’s $2 per person!!!
JB: “You’re gonna have to be very strategic with your dishes.”
Um, broth anyone?
Oh and the head to heads start AFTER that!?!
Yeah, so you better save the best broth. Lordy Day!

30 Minutes to Shop!

Generic decides (wisely, I think) to just give everyone on his team $200 but that's where the mentoring ends. "Get your food on the plate and make it better than the person you're up against."
Born & Bred doesn't have a problem with the budget. She's had a job since she was 14 to buy school clothes and help her mom out so - Oh!
Adorbs!!!

2008 wants to use a strip steak or fillet but grabs hamburger. Mexikosher gives her the gas face- when she tries to throw more stuff in her carriage. Yet Mei finds a way to buy strip steak, hmmm...

Back in the TC kitchen-

Mel King is concerned about the texture of her gazpacho. Mei Lin assures her it'll be okay once the bread it soaked. Mexikosher is concerned that Mel King has worked at Michelin starred restaurants so he's doing a tostada,
with goat cheese,
green olives,
dates,
charred cauliflower,
OMG...also that sounds disgusting.

Salad: “Aaron, are you doing the shrimp noodle thing again.”
Asshole: “This is what the shrimp noodles should have been.”
Ass, Ziploc isn’t sponsoring this shit. What's the point?

Salad makes an imperial stout cake with pomegranate molasses, strawberry and smoked sour cream. Someone’s borrowing from the Mexikosher cookbook.
It's called Too Many Ingredients and only available at one Barnes and Nobles.

Meanwhile will.i.am takes the role of Executive Chef and asks to tastes everyone’s food.
Not a bad idea. I definitely want to be on this guy's team for Restaurant Wars.
He asks if he can taste 2008's meatballs. She said she already made one and tasted it and it was good but if he wants...
will.i.am: "I'd love to."
To camera he says everyone's dish has to be amazing. This guy.
Class act.
Meanwhile Generic says he’s the one leading the charge but he's not the Executive Chef of the team: "Do I have some concerns? Sure but ultimately we're individually responsible..."
That sounds like a car headed towards the train tracks and bound to stall when it crosses.

The venue!
Asshole announces he’s “ready to beat” Salad.
Again, no comment.

He says “she’s baking a cake so”

and you don’t “really take cake to war.”

will.i.am: “God he just loves to loves to talk shit, this guy.”

Asshole: “It’s war” will.i.am.
No. It’s not, Dude.

6 Minutes until service!

Suddenly…Mei Lin: “Ahhh, Aaron, Aaron, AARON?!”

Dashi broth DOWN!
He says he doesn’t now know that possibly happened.
I do.
That’s called karma, Asshole.
Keep talking shit eventually your broth falls into it.

Luckily Mei Lin has instant dashi mix to lend him.
Mei Lin: "It won’t be good enough but it may just keep his noodles and meatballs moist.”
Know who’s smiling at this spectacle?

Then just like that, one hundred people stroll in-
Um, they’re not.
They’re not eating at Sportello, they’re cooking night and day. Who is this person and do they know anything about reality TV?

Generic says what we’re all thinking- as much as he likes hearing what they people have to say about his food they don’t mean anything, it’s about the judges.
Yep, they’re just there to deplete your supplies, Dood! Like I said, save the best bites cause Here come the Judge!

Unibrow (he's back)
asks JB if he brought a musket. He answers he doesn't have a concealed weapons permit.
Pads: "It's pretty hard to conceal a musket."

Pads announces it's time for the first battle to begin, the Battle of Lexington and Concorde (which is how she pronounces it.)
Pads: “Chefs, you have five minutes to plate!”
REALLY?!
My Lord why don’t you just wrap all their ingredients in Reynolds wrap or put oven mitts on one of their hands? Oh right, that was a few seasons ago.

Muskets!
(A term traditionally reserved for when the Patriots make a touchdown.)

Aww Lil Dougie doesn’t know who won the Battle of Lexington and but he’s “gonna guess it was the U.S. of A. Go ‘Murica!”
He’s Lil, you guys! It’s cute!

Time!
Salad (yells): “Go DOUG-GAY!!!”
Mexikosher: “Please don’t do that.”

Generic vs. Aww Lil Dougie FIGHT!
Unibrow: “We’ve had some really crappy grits on this show, those are not crappy grits. They’re pretty kickin.”
This guy with his one eyebrow and awful slang. Where’s Blais? I paid for Richard Blais!

JB says the sourness of the tartare works well but Colicchio says the meat itself needs to be a bit more seasoned.

JB picks Generic,
Coliccio picks Generic…
and so do Unibrow and Pads who tells Generic to take his flag.
“Hey guys, first blooood! WOOOOOO!”
Take it down a thousand, Kid.

Mexikosher and Mel King, Fight!
Mexi’s hands are shaking- “I’m sweating cold, I’m having a panic attack that’s coming out of no where…”
Maybe because you presented a Ritz cracker with seven almost unidentifiable things on top?

Pads thinks it was a little rich with the amount of oil on it, Colicchio agrees but Unibrow tosses out a few compliments like errant eyebrow hairs (he has a lot of those.)


Unibrow thinks the consistency is watery and JB agrees but they split on picks.
The majority goes to-
We’re tied!

willi.i.am and Mei Lin Fight!

will.i.am loves his curry so much he jumps back when he tastes it.

JB calls it “refreshing hot weather food” and Colicchio says it’s perfectly seasoned.

Colicchio says the beef is perfectly cooked and all the chefs agree they both nailed their dishes.
Unibrow picks will.i.am;
Colicchio does the same and
JB picks…
Let’s get it started in here!!!

If 2008 wins against Born & Bred it’s over. Her Asshole teammate says she can’t cook.
Born & Bred presents-
JB says it’s good but Colicchio wanted the horseradish to be stronger and said the yogurt was on the bland side. Damn!

2008-
Pads wasn’t crazy about it but loved the jam. Colicchio said he had a different dish, the meatball was dry, all he got was onion and the jam was too sweet. Go back to 2008, 2008.

Colicchio admits to Pads he didn’t think Born & Bred’s was really good he just thought 2008’s was “really bad.” Yipe.
2008 immediately tells Salad it’s up to her now. WTF!
Salad: “It’s not up to me it was up to all of us.”
PREACH!!!

Last battle…
Asshole says if chocolate cake kills him today he’ll shoot himself in the face.
Well, there are already muskets on site so…

FIGHT!
Here’s Unibrow making a smirk at Colicchio and him putting his nose in Asshole’s dish like what in the fuck is this shit?

Perhaps it’s because Asshole took a doo doo (as you would imagine one does)-
which is what My Mama said the last time I told her my stomach hurt.
“Clean yourself out,” she said “Take a doo doo.”

Asshole is so flummoxed Pads has to ask what he made.
He answers: “I kinda did like an Asian inspired meatball, ah, with scallop noodles so the inspiration was kinda like spaghetti and meatballs. But done… in an Asian fashion.”
Two Asians, two meatballs, two kindas, two likes? Not your best descriptors, Ass.

Unibrow asks if he’s happy with the noodle and delivers this face
which, quite frankly, is a face none of us want to see. Not when we’ve done something bad or good or even on a holiday.

Asshole says the noodle doesn’t have the texture he was looking for and Colicchio agrees “they just kinda fall apart.” He likes the idea of the dish (much like he liked the idea of doing Coca Cola commercials when the first checks came in, but then he got the backlash, stopped the madness and helped produce a documentary on obesity.) He said the dashi is okay but lacks balance.
Asshole plays a tiny violin: “My broth fell on the ground today.”
Eyebrow up!

Salad presents her cake-
and Colicchio thinks is moist and Unibrow likes it, calling it good and classic, just “not that exciting.”

And the winner is…

Pads: “So this is not the first time you guys have gone head to head. What’s the feeling between you two?
”

POT STIRRING!

Salad says she’s fine with it, she thinks it’s interesting “when we start getting riled up and across the way you hear someone say ‘ah, doing a dessert’s a cop out.’
Ass smiles nervously.
Salad: “and then you start…”

Colicchio: “Why would someone say doing a dessert is a cop out?”

Salad: “you know that’s a really good question, let’s ask Aaron.”

AWWWWW SNAP!!!!

Colicchio: “Cause desserts is usually where people screw up on this show and if you’re strong doing desserts…”
Asshole: “Oh I totally agree but I thought this was a war challenge and I just don’t see them bringing chocolate cake to a war.”

Unibrow: “Have you ever seen them bring a scallop noodle to war?”

GIANT LAUGHS all around. Like on some MEAN GIRLS shit.

Here Asshole imagines where he’d remove a pound of flesh from Unibrow.

Colicchio picks…Salad.

Unibrow picks Salad. Pads AND JB pick-

Asshole apologizes to his team (shocker!) “They didn’t like any part of it.”
Funny, the emphasis on “they” as if someone else may have loved it.

The Judges decide that Generic and Mei are safe.
Now the talk is about Asshole, Born & Bred and Mel King.
Unibrow thought Born & Bred’s beet dish was “great” but when JB asks if he’d put it on his menu-
“Nooooooo.”

Colicchio thought Mel King’s gazpacho was better but JB hated it, saying Asshole "came with a lot of weapons to the battle but didn’t load them."
Did someone write that for you, JB? I hope you didn’t do that to yourself.

At Judge’s Table,
Pads asks the blue team to step out of the line of fire.

Colicchio schools them on teamwork, he understands it was a competition but, come on.
Generic and Mei Lin are told they’re safe but they’re not allowed to go to the sidelines which means they're supposed to feel some shrapnel.

Then they pose the 'what would you have done differently' question to Asshole, Mel King and Born & Bred.
Rote reality show shit.
Here's what you do. You say you tried hard but you blew it and you’d do it differently and you really want to show them you can make better food and you tear up but you Don’t Cry. There are 10 chefs here. Crying is for single digits. 6 and under.

JB gives Mel King a tutorial about tasting every ingredient and understanding the textures and asking what the dish needs and how you can fix it. No one has ever said that before. I dig that, JB. Nice job. Maybe I'll go to Toro. If I can friggin get in...

They tell Asshole he tried too many things and he admits the mushiness of his noodles, he "wanted a texture contrast"- Busted! You knew the noodles were weak!
The Judges jump on this immediately. Unibrow: "I wanted a different texture too."
These two are just clownin’ folks now.

Pads: “Did anyone think to say-" (to Asshole Aaron) "Really? You’re doing scallop noodles and a broth and a meatball. Nobody thought to say is this a wise decision?"
BLAM!
will.i.am reaches back and pats the back of his head like when you have a weave and it itches but you don't wanna scratch and mess up your tracks.

Generic says he had confidence in Asshole’s decision but suddenly-
Pads: will.i.am “you’re raising your hand?”

will.i.am: “I would have never...allowed that to happen.”
HOLY SHITBALLS!
He goes on to say "If you want to win as a team you have to work together as a team and we’ve seen each other work together enough to know what we’re strong at and what we’re weak at.”
YUP.

Generic: “I’m not gonna sit here and say that I didn’t potentially see a disaster that was on the horizon…”
[this is the ‘Call your date and take off that tux, prom is cancelled’ face, btw]

Generic: “…but that was the decision he made I thought he could probably beat” Salad “with that dish.”

With everyone still in shock, Colicchio goes after Born & Bred saying she probably thought she won her battle. She nods and says she thought she did.
JB asks if she thought she would have beaten anyone else with that dish.
Nod. She felt strongly about it.
Unibrow: “You went up against a weak dish.”
Slight slam but damn near a kiss on the forehead compared to what everyone else received in their buttock areas.

In the end,

Pads asks...

Asshole to pack his knives and go.

Just in time, methinks staying on and being dickly would have made his pending court case worse.

Suddenly Asshole becomes a real live boy with emotions and says it’s been an honor and uses the word grace and tells us he’s the youngest chef there and didn’t go to culinary school and seems to speak so earnestly he garners this look from 2008.

He admits he “caused a lotta shit and didn’t make any friends” but he proved something for someone who hasn’t been trained.
I guesssssss that you can piss off the people who have been trained by being a Hefty bag fulla hate?

Asshole: “I’ll see you in LA”
Mexikosher (in his head): “I think I’m moving out of LA.”

The cherry on top, Asshole transforms into someone running for office: "I want people who think they have no chance in life that they can come from nothing with no help and no support and if you put your all into it, you can achieve what you’re looking for."
A baseball hat.

Sadly I must ask Elli to pack her knives and go. (It was too quick, My Friend!

Meanwhile, Godspeed, Asshole. Perhaps you’ll discover that orange is the new chef whites.


Splitz- Mei Lin

Kyle- wil.i.am and Mei Lin

LB- 2008 and Mei Lin

Meriden- will.i.am and Mel King

Rich E.- Aww Lil Dougie and Mei Lin

Colucci- Aww Lil Dougie

Jenna- Mei Lin

Mari- Born & Bred and Mei Lin

Kat- Born & Bred

Keith- Aww Lil Dougie and will.i.am

Martha- will.i.am and Mei Lin

Karen Logue- Aww Lil Dougie and Mei Lin

Jet- will.i.am and Mei Lin

Brownie- Mel King

Lucy- Aww Lil Dougie and Mel King

Holly- Generic and Mei Lin

Greg- 2008 and will.i.am

Q- Mei Lin

KK- Mei Lin

Ed Kearns- Aww Lil Dougie and Mel King

Me- Born & Bred

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