Thursday, November 20, 2014

"I've never actually smoked a clam before."

Let's dive right into the pool, Poolers!

Mexikosher pours out some Pabst Blue Ribbon (which ultimately was NOT purchased by a Russian company- ‘Murica!) and 2008 says everyone’s relieved Asshole Aaron is gone.
Other chefs say he was messy.
Oh yeah, that was the only problem.
will.i.am notes it's gonna get tougher because "they all like each other." Asshole Aaron watches this through the bars of his holding cell and drops his unshorn head. No baseball hats allowed in prison, Son!

Generic lists his competition (essentially everyone I chose not to pick to win this Pool): Aww, Lil Dougie, will.i.am, Mei Lin and Mel King.
He calls Mexikosher a “mess in a dress” but says “ultimately he’s making delicious food.”
The next morning we see that mess in bed.

And this, My Friends, is why I will never be on a reality show.
Because at some point, despite whatever you do, you are gonna look real. And for real Homeboy looks like he's sleeping with a raw turkey on his shoulder area. But that's how people look when they sleep!
It's all about hair and make up. You think Teresa Giudice from The Real Housewives of New Jersey is freaked about going to prison? Ask her hair and make up people. They’re outta work for 15 months. And that was a lot of work!

Mel King has a package of notes from her girlfriend for her stay on the reality coaster.
One for each day she’s there. Mel King: “Little love notes to keep me going.”
The notes say: “hashtag my girlfriend’s in Top Chef” and “hashtag Sugar Mama.”
Um, Honey?
Those sound like promissory notes.
If you win a car in this ep you best mail those keys home before you even get on the plane.
Mel thinks winning would really be a great way for them to build something together.
I bet her gf is thinks that something is a house.

Suddenly without knocking-
Oh snap, White Tiff in the house!

You may recall White Tiff (thus named because when she was on Top Chef All Stars in 2010 and I blogged back then, there was also a chef named Tiffany on the show who was Black aka Black Tiff.) If you go back to the archives here you'll realize that was so long ago I didn’t even feature photos in the blog!

White Tiff says she has something really special for the chefs they haven’t seen before that are unique to the area. You guessed it…
They’re going to watch Ocean Spray commercials!

Everyone does their best American Eagle Outfitters pose-
A woman in waders shows up and does an infomercial about cranberry bogs and White Tiff tells the chefs they have to harvest them and the first four to fill the crates will get an advantage. They won't have to cook? Because that would really be the best advantage.
“Trust me, you’re gonna want it.”
Notice White Tiff’s hair is pretty curly. And she’s doing A LOT of smiling.
That’s because, since the very first season of Top Chef (and in Top Chef All Stars) and also, according to everyone who works for and with her (courtesy of a Pooler I know), she’s a Megabitch. She’s doing a her best here to show that she’s not.
Perhaps she's trying to turn her restaurant, Sweet Cheeks, into a chain?

will.i.am asks if the water’s warm.
White Tiff: “That needs to be the least of your worries right now.”
(Meow! See what I mean?)
Meanwhile Mei Lin can’t swim and is five foot two and, appropriately, freaked out.
I’m sure a PA will save you, Honey. Now RUN!
Literally, run to the bog, scoop up cranberries in that wooden thing that looks like a weapon from Game of Thrones and run back to shore to fill the box! Mexikosher is “quite tired" after the first “one.”

Salad is an athlete and having practiced “skiing, snowboarding, running, hiking” and salad making she’s ready to take them down! She's-
Holy Shit, she did it!

She’s followed by Generic, will.i.am and Aww Lil Dougie.
Not Mexikosher who is on his ass almost until they leave for the TC Kitchen.
Oh THAT’S why White Tiff’s hair is so curly.
She has to stand next to Pads. Standing next to Pads has been known to inspire plastic surgery. Seriously. On the plastic surgery price list it says: "Have To Stand Next To Padma Lakshmi."

We see every Ocean Spray product known to man as she announces-

The four fastest chefs have access to high end ingredients in the pantry,
the other chefs get-
welfare foods.
(Hey, I’m not dissing that cheese though. That cinderblock of welfare cheese was the bomb!)
Time Starts Now!

Salad is making cranberry borscht.
Cranberry. Borscht. Aww Lil Dougie gives this the gas face.
Born & Bred is going for a soup. Mexikosher is making steak tartare with skirt steak (which is a super tough cut according to Mei Lin) with chilis, mayonnaise, cranberries and cranberry oil.
Generic tries to make a “cranberry dirty water- fully seasoned liquid to rehydrate his cous cous” but
So he brushes puts some cranberry sauce on a steak instead???
TIME!

When Generic presents he’s completely deflated: "I stand before you a battered, battered man, idea one collapsed at the seams."
So much drama.
White Tiff says she wishes he were "feeling more joyful instead of wah wah."

Pads asks 2008 how it went and she whines about how it was challenging to look at the high grade pantry ingredients and have to deal with the welfare stuff.
HA HA. Yeah.

Lows!
Mexikosher for not dicing the skirt steak. Generic who “begged” them to “hate his dish.” And finally, Born & Bred (Come on!) “you’re my hometown girl” but she found her soup clunky.

Highs!
Aww Lil Dougie, Salad (Salad?!?) who used the cranberries instead of vinegar in her borscht, Mei Lin “super complex and elegant.”
Eye roll!

The winner of immunity is...Salad!
(Salad?!?)

This is greeted with gas faces.

Pads tells White Tiff goodbye. White Tiff smiles.
I'm pretty sure she spent thousands on a PR person.
Here she is in a Boston Globe Magazine article trying to win us over with her pets. Anyone who can put their forehead against their cat's forehead is a sweetheart, right?!
Don’t even mention that cat would rub it’s head against an open pair of scissors if it meant it could scratch an itch.
Here Pads tells White Tiff not to use Aqua Net. Or Aqua Velva.

Pads: "...Thanksgiving is right around the corner, we have the cranberries out of the way and now it's time to serve the rest of the meal."
As a group.
At Plimoth Plantation.
(I'm pretty, pretty sure there are no General Electric products there.)
They won't see the pantry or the cooking equipment until they arrive and they’ll only have access to what the colonist's arrived with on the Mayflower: dysentery, rickets and serious body odor.

As a potential cultural powderkeg, there will be Indians from the Wampanoag Tribe and descendants of the colonists at the meal.
OH, perhaps the Wampanoag’s get to beat the shit outta the settler descendents!?
Just askin.

At the TC House, they talk turkey- Mexikosher is just getting into the holiday.
Aww Lil Dougie’s Dad makes pizza. Mei Lin and Mel King’s families both eat a "big, fat duck stuffed with sticky rice." High Five! will.i.am notices someone isn’t vibing.

Born & Bred "should have had" that Quickfire. She's feeling very alone.
She separates from the group and Skypes with her bf who is in the Marines.
She cries a bit and asks if he’s happy saying “I didn’t have feelings until I met you, you’re an asshole.”
Born & Bred (To Camera): “I’m turning into a little bitch.”
Um, hey. HEY! Feelings are great, Honey. Don't run from them. Have them and pour them into your dishes and win this gd thing because you’re the only pick I have left!

Next morning - High Five Fest!
will.i.am high fives Aww Lil Dougie- he admits that at first, he wasn’t sure about tiny one but he’s been doing great lately.
will.i.am: “He’s kind of a little guy, he’s very cute and kinda fuzzy.”
Let's turn him into a plush toy!
Then another high five from Aww Lil Dougie to Born & Bred: “I wanna churn some fucking butter.”
Oh, see.
I know what you're doing, Bravo.
Yup.
They’re setting us up, Poolers.
According to Classic Reality TV Show Competitions™ and Top Chef in particular, either Born & Bred or Aww Lil Dougie are going home...mark my words...

They get to Plimoth and I realize I’ve never been there. Once my ex-bf (yes, he was a redhead, come on, you know my weakness) and I were driving out to North Adams to go to Mass MoCA and sped by the Plantation Inn.
Him: “Bet you don’t want to stay there.”
I laughed my ass off.

Here's Colonial Whole Foods!
Geese, lobsters, clams.
There’s a campfire and a fire pit.
There’s even vintage Le Creuset.

They break down who’s gonna do what- Aww Lil Dougie; 2008; and Mexikosher and Mel King are all gonna go first.
Salad is doing a lobster stuffing with blueberries, cranberries and walnuts.
Clearly taking a page from Mexikosher’s book.
Mei Lin is making a duck fat roasted cabbage with a trout vinaigrette. “It’s definitely something they never had before.”
2008’s bluberry pie crust isn’t coming together.
She quickly switches to venison. Venison?!

Born & Bred: "I've never actually smoked a clam before.” She likes her kitchen clean and she’s literally cooking in the dirt. Like plating while sitting on the ground. Yeah.

will.i.am is zoning out, cooking his goose in the hut with the only "ventilation system" when in walks-
Oringer owns Toro, Clio, Coppa, Uni and a non mono-syllabic restaurant called Earth. He really liked will.i.am’s food in the first episode and he wants to impress.
Oringer asks why he chose goose- it’s tricky. It's lean. He didn't have to pick it. will.i.am hopes the goose doesn’t bite him in the ass.

2008 reveals her former blueberry pie filling is being repurposed for a venison sauce.
Good luck with that.
When the duo asks Mexikosher what the biggest challenge has been he says the smoke.
Apparently he’s not the only one who’s fighting it.
Oringer (with a smile): “You look like you’re having a hard time.”
Dood, either fan these guys or step off.
Thankfully it's time for him to change into his special shirt that shows jussssst the right amount of his chest fuzz.

Everyone takes a seat,

Pads says it’s an honor to eat with the descendants of the Wampanoag Tribe.

And the descendants of the colonists from the Mayflower.
Now there's an awkward MTV Real World Series. Hands off Bunim/Murray, that's mine!

First Course!

Doug went “big.” He realized they probably wouldn’t have forks-
WHOA, this is the first and last time we will ever see Pads eat like this!
You can tell later she had her assistant (the one with the tiny hands) scoop caviar directly into her open mouth to make up for the horror of eating with a giant spoon you’d usually find on the wall in the living room of my Aunt Claudy’s house.

“The rabbit is excellent..."
"but we always have it whole. We just tear it apart and pull the meat right off.”

Pissed!
Don’t worry Lil Dougie, Pads was NOT gonna be down with tearing meat apart with her hands. Unless it's the carcass of her assistant (the one with the tiny hands.)

Hey, looks who’s here!
Haaaay Gail! Eyebrow powder and lashes are banging, Hon. Well done.
She thought Aww Lil Dougie's rabbit had just the right amount of smoke.
Colicchio also thought it tasted great.

Next up!
Turns out
“Wampanoag’s use lobster as bait to catch more desirable fish…”
Well dayum.
But…she really liked it and so did Colicchio.

Colicchio: “Remember the other day when I said you had to dirty up your food..."
"...this is exactly what I’m talking about.”
Whew.
He always wanted her to go more rustic. Born & Bred tells everyone she plated on the ground. He said that wasn't what he was talking about but he was happy see she didn't use tweezers. Gail and Oringer note some flavor in the dish they can’t identify...hopefully it’s not salmonella.

Colicchio thought Mel King's zucchini could have been cooked more but-
liked it and said- overall the four "really brought it."
Rare praise!

Backstage at Pilgrim Central-
will.i.am’s goose is hard.
"Goose is real hard."
He's the one who thought it was important to put a bird on that table and Aww Lil Dougie loves him for that. He'll also love taking his bunk bed if he packs his knives and goes.

Time!

Generic’s dish looks pretty damn tasty to a vegan like myself.
The members of the tribe say that “this is succotash” and Gail likes the earthiness the goat milk adds.

Salad's up next!
Gail and Colicchio both say it’s sort of wacky (Colicchio: "I know, it's so wacky.") but they both love it and Gail can’t stop eating it.

Mei Lin's dish looks a little like something that was washed up on shore.
But Oringer said the vinegar pops and Gail called it lovely.

Gail calls will.i.am's goose breast "toothsome" (uh oh) but Colicchio said the flavors were nice and he chose something difficult and gave them a nice dish.

Oringer called 2008's effort well done and members of the tribe said they never had that combination and really liked it. Shocker!
Pads: "Well done, guys, Yay."
Yay? Pads don't yay, yo.

Colicchio: "This is tough."
When asked for favorites they point out Mei Lin’s and Aww Lil Dougie’s.
Pads loved Mexikosher’s squash, calling it sublime.
(Thankfully he didn't add lime.)
They didn’t think Mel King’s dish had a lot of flavor and Oringer: "If you had two plus hours to cook with an open fire would you make that?"
He also didn’t totally dig will.i.am’s.
2008’s blueberry sauce was too sweet on its own and Pads said Born & Bred’s "stuffing upstaged her clam." (That's so dirty I can hardly stand it!! Also, never put clam in a corner!)

In the Stew Room, will.i.am says he thinks he's in trouble.
Mexikosher (To Camera, verbatim): will.i.am “…he’s right now like the kiiiing of the Top Chef, they loooooove” will.i.am, “if he goes home tonight this is gunna be a game changer for everybuddy.”
Everybody in the Pool too, Son!

At Judge's Table, Pads calls out the favorites.
And then the winner…
Mexi-
Mexikosher?!?!
Wow!!!
He throws his arms up and his eyes get watery and he adds some salt and saffron to his tears.

“All the dishes were delicious” but…
Here we go.

Oringer tells will.i.am he had: “...quite a bit of cojones to pull out that goose.”
He says it was tradition and he thought it was important.
Pads asked if it was too much a risk.
will.i.am, well versed in the reality show game answers: “I absolutely 100% think it was too much of a risk.”

Mel King watches but does she follow?

Oringer asks if she would do anything differently.
Mel King: “I was really happy with the dish.”

This is the: You should not have been happy with the dish face.

Gail asked if she was concerned with the simplicity. Mel King says she chose not to incorporate a protein and to execute it nicely and have perfectly diced vegetables. Gail said it blended into the background.

Pads: Born & Bred “Are you feeling any pressure because honestly you’re frome here and this is your hometown?”
She answers: "Oh my God, so much."
There was a lot that Gail really loved about the dish but there was this "dirtiness."

"Maybe it was the dirt."
Why Did You Say You Plated It In On The Ground?!?!?!

Lemme just jump to the former Bravo and current Lifetime series: Project Runway.
In the finale this year when SPOILER ALERT, DO NOT READ ON IF IT'S STILL ON YOUR DVR eventual winner (Sean Kelly) had to preview three looks from his collection the day before the show in the tents, he was asked how much fringe there was in his collection.

I knew every single piece had fringe on it.

HE knew every single piece had fringe on it.
His answer: “Just enough.”
Project Runway Judge, Zac Posen: "Good answer."
See! You don't tell them everything!
Actually don't tell them shit!
Unless it's gonna help you win.

In the end,
Pads asks...Noooo!
Born & Bred to pack her knives and go.

Dammit!

Coliccio tells her to hold her head high because it was a tasty dish, just the least tasty out of all the others.

Born & Bred is sad but “kinda relived” saying the pressure kept her up at night.
“You don't want to let your hometown down. And the person that’s leaving tonight is someone who doesn’t have to beat themselves up anymore.”
(Awwwwww, damn that’s tear inducing, Homie.)
“Someone who is really proud to be who they are. I made Boston proud. I really did.”

Sigh.

That means I must ask Kat and...myself (Crap!) to pack our knives and go. Dammit

Before Born & Bred breaks out, Generic says: "Boston is what it is. You're a gem, girl."
Dood! That’s SO GENERIC. (The opposite of That's So Raven.)

Next week, it's Thanksgiving! Enjoy your swole bellies, Poolers!

Then, in 2 weeks, it's Restaurant Wars!

And then in 3 weeks-

Awwww yeah...

Until then Poolers!

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- Mei Lin

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

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