Happy Holidaze, My Friends!
I got presents to wrap and miles to go before I sleep so let’s dive right into the Pool!
The chefs get back to the TC house and review what just happened: Aww Lil Dougie (Doug Adams) won the challenge and Generic (Adam Harvey) was sent home but will be coming back per Last Chance Kitchen (don’t you just love it when you know something the other reality show contestants don’t?)
Aww Lil Dougie goes to wake up Mexikosher (Katsuji Tanabe) and says they will probably be friends for life which he calls “scary and sad.”
The the chefs go to some odd rooftop space none of us knew existed at the TC house and Mexikosher admits he misses his family- his wife is home running the restaurant.
And taking care of their baby.
And she’s three months pregnant. Dood.
I mean, as we all know chef owner statistics (cheftistsics!) and Eyester himself, when he was still a contestant, told us this isn’t possible- really knowing your child when you're a chef. Cue Sad Piano Riff.
Mexikosher wants to win to provide better schools for his daughters and leave a legacy (also known as a giant apology to his wife for not being there running the restaurant while watching a baby while pregnant.)
You BEST win, Mexi.
A producer tells the newest addition, Slick (George Pagonis) to say: “Alright guys, it’s about that time, you ready to go?”
Oh hey, did I mention I’m fresh off three glasses of Cote du Rhone?
I went to the Regal Beagle!
But...their Executive Chef, aka My Pick To Win this TC Pool aka Born & Bred (Stacy Cogswell) was not there.
Believe me when I say I’m going to meet her and we’re going to hang out and there’s gonna be some sort of crazy food and drink involved and it will perhaps result in a sandwich named after me. I’m getting my own sammy! Sammy Davis! HOLLAH!
The only other person I’m more interested in hanging out with is…
DOODS It’s Rob Gronkowski from the New England Patriots!
Lookit how adorable and delicious he is in this recent photoshoot!
Pads: “Do you mind if I call you Rob? I know everyone calls you Gronk.”
Pads: “You can call me Honey.”
Gronk: “Alright, Honey.”
Pads, I love you, seriously, but I will take you down for Gronk. Even though I understand you gotta put the moves on because, let’s face it. This is one of the best cuts of meat you’ll see in your life.
Pads: “I would have never guessed that you’re such a gourmand.”
Gronk: “You know, I love my foods but I’m Polish. And I want a Polish sausage today. That's what I want.”
Okay, now we’re just gonna do some line readings over here.
On a bed.
In the nude.
Slick says (To Camera) that he’s a big Washington Redskins fan.
I, personally, prefer to just say Washington’s Football Team.
(Yeah. I’m like that.)
Slick seems to be impressed by Gronk’s size. His mouth was like this the entire time.
Slick: “I hate the Patriots and now, Grok...is here. I’m like, great.”
You hate the Guest Judge AND you just disrespected my team and my city that hosts your greasy ass by calling him GROK?
I will deliver a beat down!
I'll have to hose the slickness of your sweat and hair gel first so my fist won't just slip off your face but best believe I'll do it!
Okay, back to the Quickfire-
the flirting is not complete.
Pads: “I get a feeling you eat a lot.”
Gronk: “Yes, I eat a lot. I need a big sausage.”
Gronk: “Honey, stop embarrassing me.”
Pads: "Okay, okay."
Time Starts NOW!
There’s a lot of talk about what makes a good sausage. People spend generations perfecting it so will.i.am: "An hour is tricky." Aww Lil Dougie says if you overcook it or don’t emulsify it enough there are problems. Coming up all I knew about sausages was throwing Jones brand or Brown & Serve breakfast links into a frying pan (when we could afford them) and the occasional polska kielbasa which I would say out loud for some reason while it fried.
"I'm making POLLL-SKA KIEEEEL-BASAH."
But then I spent a lot of time narrating that's that didn't require it.
Aww Lil Dougie offers up the pork shoulder he scored. He’s a giver!
Slick works on pork, fatback and fennel to make it “a little juicier.”
Mexikosher is, of course, working with a lot of ingredients and now, a lot of machines.
He’s using liquid nitrogen to cool down the sausage so the fat doesn’t break. Interesting...
Mei Lin is going Asian style with shrimp, garlic, ginger, pork butt and fat back.
Mel King is trying to make spicy boar sausage but the meat isn’t grinding.
Then…Slick notices all the other chefs “moving along” and he’s not.
Mel King is having problems too, her links come out small but she manages to get it in the casing.
Slick goes with a sausage patty.
Aww Lil Dougie asks who’s making burgers. Slick calls him a dickhead.
Welcome to the real world, Slick.
Gronk says Aww Lil Dougie’s would be a good pe-game meal and calls Mei Lin’s sauce good. He calls Mexikosher’s fine dining and says will.i.am’s (Gregory Gourdet’s) gets spicier as you chew. When they get to Slick’s Pads asks why it’s not in a casing. Slick bring them to Excuse Village and then says he’s a huge football fan but "I can't say I'm a fan of yours."
Other Chefs: "OH!"
Wow. Slick’s a Dick.
Pads: “What NOT to say to a Judge.”
Notice the sweat.
Gronk didn’t like Mel King’s- not big enough, or will.i.am’s -didn’t dig the toppings.
He liked Aww Lil Dougie’s and Slick’s "even though" he’s a Washington Football fan.
But the one he’d “probably never get tired of?"
Slick has immunity and everyone’s shocked.
Gronk leaves with a “thanks for feeding these muscles.”
I’m not touching that.
I mean, I want to but, I promised I wouldn’t so...
A normally physiqued guy wheels in a bookcase like a bearded Vanna White.
The are literary legends on the shelf and have to serve as inspiration for their creations.
Ok someone’s gonna do something with blood and someone’s gonna make green eggs and ham, right?
They have three hours to prep and cook for notable authors, literary fans and the Judges.
Pads goes right down the line for this one but it’s unclear- I’m 80% sure they lined them up this way so that- will.i.am picks Edgar Allan Poe;
Mexi picks Stephen King;
Slick picks Dr. Seuss (Pads says not to give them green eggs and ham);
Mei Lin picks Thoreau (when asked admits she’s not that familiar with his work);
Mel King picks Hawthorne and Aww Lil Dougie?
He gets stuck Aww Lil Dougie: “…the kid from Texas gets Emily Dickinson.”
He doesn’t know any of her poems.
Pads tells them to take a moment to study up before they go shopping.
Mei decides to go vegetarian since Thoreau talks about nature; Mexi is going to go “Carrie.” When will.i.am asks if he’s “gonna splatter blood on the Judges?”
He illustrates the splatter size.
As they get ready at the TC House the next day will.i.am talks about reading a lot of Poe’s work at the boarding school he went to (where DEAD POETS SOCIETY was set) and being grateful for feeling like the environment was safe enough for him to come out to his parents soon after. Hm, are we getting to know him or...will will.i.am go home this week???
He can’t, right?
In the kitchen!
Aww Lil Dougie is making carrot soup but realizes it has to be one of the best for Colicchio to like it. Good move, Little One!
Slick is going One Fish Two Fish style and going to put a lot of color on the plate. He pan fries fish.
He has immunity and he’s frying fish. Mexi: “Take a risk!” Meanwhile, Mexi wants to make people say “shit” with his dish.
Or maybe just take one?
Don’t remind us, Colcchio. No one picked him in this pool.
And please, Bravo, don’t do the Reality Show Standard where the person come back from some second change creation like Last Chance Kitchen and wins it all.
Yes it happened with Model Boston’s (Kristen Kish) but at least she was on top for the majority of the show. She screwed up once and came back and won the whole thing.
Meanwhile this guy just gave Bearded Vanna a fist bump!
There’s Gotta Be cross contamination there!
Mei has made a little drawing of the way she’s going to plate. She’s making a charred onion “soil” she charred onions, made a powder, added breadcrumbs and butter and it looks like...
Mel King wants her plate to look like a garden and recognizes that Mei is doing a garden too. Hey maybe she should rely on knife skills. Sharpen ‘em fast cause- here come the Judge!
Pads is resplendent in- Whoa! Are those cut outs on the side of that dress?
will.i.am (Edgar Allan Poe) is first up:
Bearded Vanna: “Wow.”
Gail:“I was worried that you gave us all this meaning and when I tasted it it would feel forced but it has great flavor and the nori tied it all together.”
will.i.am leaves feeling great but then she asks Bearded Vanna if he’s cool with the “doneness” of the meat and he says he would have wanted to see better technique with the meat. His was well done. Pads and Colicchio both say theirs was cooked perfectly but Bearded Vanna goes into Ye Olde- it’s a restaurant and 4 out of 5 plates cooked well doesn’t work.
Or maybe you just want more TV time?
Slick’s (Dr. Seuss) turn:
The Judges agree that it looks and tastes beautiful but, according to Gail, it feels a little “tight” and she wants him to be more loose, it’s Dr. Seuss for Grinch’s Sake! He should have-
HEY what’s up with this- Bearded Vanna?
Mei Lin (Thoreau) presents saying “when spring arrives he watches the snow melt.”
Colicchio says it’s flavorful, she told a story and she had the technique to pull it off.
Mel King (Hawthorne) isn’t sure about the “fall” aspect in her dish:
Mexikosher is next. Gail hopes he’s gonna “go big.”
In the kitchen, Slick says his dish looks like a massacre on a plate.
Um, that’s the point, Slick. Carrie?! Ever read it? Or, if you’re like me, watch the movie when you were little with all the lights on and closet doors open and a knife by your side?
Mexi: “So this is actually inspired by…”
If you were watching in real time you’d know that, yes, a commercial comes next. Way to go, Bravo! Luckily I still have an old Comcast cable box and remote with this special trick Colucci programmed into my remote so I can advance exactly :30 seconds! Thanks, TechPal™ Colucci! What you do is you-
Annnnnnnnnd we’re back!
Pads says: “Stephen King” which puts Mexikosher back on the right track and he presents-
Colicchio: “Congratulations, you’ve made probably the most unappetizing dish I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Mex: "I don't know if it's good or bad in this case."
Colicchio: "It could be good."
Gail think the beat is vibrant and likes the discordance but she wished the sauces were thinner. Pads says given the challenge Mexikosher "executed his inspiration beautifully."
Man- so who fucked up here then? According to Reality TV Show Law, it’s will.i.am, I think based on the back stories that came out- OH it’s Aww Lil Dougie's turn! I almost forgot! He’s so little!
Pads calls it delicious and Gail likes the depth and says of all the dishes it really popped. Colicchio says he was married in Martha’s Vineyard and there’s a beach on Menemsha they went to and when the sun went down they’d applaud and he’d applaud that dish.
In the Kitchen after Mei mention they didn’t say anything bad about her dish.
Everyone says the same. Mei: “We’re fucked...everybody feels good? That’s bad.”
The Judge’s go back and forth- damn they’re gonna deliver the news right there at the table- no going back to the TC set? Then—
Hey, those are cut outs! Gangsta!
Pads asks to see everyone.
Mei Lin, Mel King and Aww Lil Dougie.
There’s some banter about how they felt cooking that is silly to relay. Here’s the important thing, the winner (whom Bearded Vanna called "flawless") Mei!
Gail called it the most delicious satisfying plate of vegetables she’s ever eaten. Here’s who’s not happy about that:
Pads tells will.i.am that they should be able to see what their inspiration was on the plate.
Since he had two different proteins she asked if he was worried The Raven would be lost. He eloquently says he picked apart the poem and talked about what was important there.
Bearded Vanna: “I understand the symbolism but I’m not sure what that brings to the plate.”
Gail says he loved the idea of Mexikosher’s plate. He says "I took a huge risk in making it explosive" and as a chef you always want to create an experience and he think he accomplished that. Colicchio says the sauce was too thick and you can do a beet juice that would have been more vibrant. Then he sums up with “unfortunately for one of you, today’s your last chapter.”
Well now you’re making me think you thought of that line before you even though of the challenge itself. Ew.
In the end Pads asks…
Mexi to pack his knives and go.
Basically the food wasn’t good enough to merit the messy presentation.
hey, great switch up, Bravo editors! You show us Mexi early on, in bed, as usual. Tell us more of his story then switch to will.i.am mid-stream to make us think maybe HE’S going home. You got me, you got me on that one.
Mexi gets a little teary and nods his head a lot and says he thought he’d be gone the first week or the first day. He’s grateful for the experience.
Here Slick awkwardly tries to participate in a group hug as Aww Lil Dougie, again, plots his death.
Colicchio already told Mexikosher he has one more shot to get back in...
Mexi saunters in with a fresh haircut not expecting to see two chefs!
He says he knows he can take down Salad (Katie Weinner) and he can get Generic (Adam Harvey.) Colicchio says he’s never, in twelve season’s of Top Chef, seen a contestant cook with as many ingredients as he has.
The peanut gallery is amused-
We get a Video Flashback of Mexikosher’s dishes and crazy long ass ingredient lists.
Then Colicchio tells them they can cook anything they want.
As long as they use 20 ingredients.
Salt and pepper don’t count.
Generic says if Mexikosher DOESN’T win this he should be “slapped by his Mama.” Oh dayum.
They have 20 minutes.
Time Starts Now!
Mexikosher just starts opening containers with his teeth and tossing ingredients into a VitaMix. Asshole tallys.
Mexikosher: “They say twenty, I’m not afraid to go for forty.”
Salad is doing a Middle Eastern/Indian deal.
Generic is making a ceviche “my challenge is to pull together ingredients that make sense.”
He says the literal translation of Mexi's dish is: “Bullshit I put in a VitaMix.”
Who is James Rigato asks: “How is it?”
10 minutes left, Colicchio walks in to be a pain in the badoobie.
Generic tells him his mussels are steaming and his fish is marinating and he hates that he has to play Mexikosher’s game but he will.
Salad reveals she isn't using a protein, instead she’s using an eggplant. Hmmmm…
5 Minutes Left!
Colicchio: “Plenty of time to add more ingredients.”
Look at Mexi's tally now!
Eyester says that maybe Mexi can “bottle the sauce and sell it at Mexikosher.”
Mexi: “I’m being consoled by someone who does catering?”
OH no he didn’t!!!
Ha haaa! Jokes!
Okay so that’s how this is gonna go? Two word reactions? The same words each time?
Oh not with Generic's
Sounds like an excuse to me, Kid. Zip it!
Colicchio enjoyed all the dishes, calls them super focused and says he really enjoyed everything. Who’s moving through? Mexi! Yup. 31 ingredients.
In a final insult Colicchio asks her to leave the kitchen. But maybe that’s not as bad as stripping down to your regular clothes and joining the peanut gallery.
Colicchio then tells Generic he had his favorite dish. Nice.
But Mexi says he can taste victory, it's a combination of Salad’s tears and Generic’s sweat. Seriously Bravo, spin off show, now!
They take on a legend!
Truth be told even the ghost Julia Child would kick some ass!
Until next time Poolers which I believe is...next year?! OMG for reals?!
Here's to a SupaSwell 2015!
I have my eyes on a little stocking stuffer...
Splitz- Mei Lin
Kyle- wil.i.am and Mei Lin
LB- 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
Q- Mei Lin
KK- Mei Lin
Ed Kearns- Aww Lil Dougie and Mel King