Thursday, January 22, 2015

"I loved your pickled cherries...I thought they were tart..."

Poolers! We’re almost to the end!
But not before I reveal a billboard I saw in NYC for a new Bravo show!
PSYCH!
But, Dood, Friggin awesome, right?
Reason #138,989 why I Love New York.

On with the show!

Mel King is “completely surprised” she won the challenge and she’s already in the Top Chef Finale taking place in Mexico.
Yes.
So are we.

Mei Lin is surprised that will.i.am (Gregory Gourdet) is screwing up as much as he has been.
Again.
So are we.

Personally, I’m surprised that Mel King is suiting up this morning when she's already in.
I’d rock feety pajamas, say goodbye, watch Looney Tunes and eat all the INSERT NAME OF SPONSORS snacks while they sweat it out.

When they get to the TC Kitchen- hey! It’s the father of molecular gastronomy,
our old Pal,
The Little Dutch Boy!
He looks a little older than the last time we saw him. Perhaps because his eleven year old NYC restaurant, WD50, is closing due to a developer who bought the property and wants to put something up around the space.
At first The Little Dutch Boy thought he might be able to keep WD50 open but then light dawned on marblehead and he realized the sound of hammering, sawing and construction workers with New York accents paired with the smell freshly cut 2x4s, cement and construction workers' urine when they can’t make it to the porta-potty, would be too much.
The restaurant closed in November but oddly enough the website still says they’re open five days a week.

Pads, in an simple, purple maxi dress that probably still cost $689 (because, Pads), spins a yarn about Beantown BLAH BLAH beans BLAH BLAH molasses BLAH the challenge-

The Little Dutch Boy (TLDB) talks about under and over cooked beans and how they’re difficult to get out of his little velvet knickers when they fall off his silver spoon and Mummy and Daddee and Nanny get flustered because there will be beans in the wash amongst the clothing.

Pads announces the winner will get a trip to Napa.
Mel King- she actually says this: “…my girlfriend deserves a vacation, she works hard.”
Your gf has you trained, Son!

One hour to cook, TIME STARTS NOW!

Slick (George Pagonis) makes a joke about farts and says the way you elevate beans is to “make them taste good” (OMG that’s why you’re NOT getting a cooking show);
will.i.am says beans aren’t a part of Asian cuisine so he doesn’t cook with them at all (Dood. Open the scope!);
Mel King uses butter beans and says she’s here to challenge herself which she really just started doing but only (because that’s what her gf told her she should do);
Mei knew what she was going to make as soon as she saw The Little Dutch Boy. A lace pinafore. GOTCHA! He loves eggs so she makes eggs and a bean foam.
Bean foa-? TIME!

Slick’s dish was supposed to be made with seafood but there was none in the fridge:
Pads likes the texture.

Slick scoffs at Mei’s because he would never make a foam (though he’d use it in his hair.)
Pads: “Nicely done.”

Mel King's up!
TLDB: “Beans aren’t really the focus of this dish.”
Methinks someone’s gf just cut holes into their favorite shirt.

will.i.am used Pads’ favorite bean:
But “there’s some bitterness at the edge of it.”

TLDB: “Sake? Interesting…”
You know what's funny? That "interesting" is never good. It’s ironic because it has the word “interest” in it but it never means someone is interested.

Verdict!
After twelve Quickfires…

Mei wins!

Okay, Slick- just a reminder you're in a Reality TV Competition and you can be On Camera at any time so you may want to act a little excited for Mei like will.i.am here-

So if you could try-
Oh, forget it.
Mei: “Napa here I come. I’m gonna get wasted.”
That’s actually the tagline for Napa. It’s the tagline for Las Vegas too but technically it’s folded into “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” (along with “Vegas. Bring Bail Money.”)

And now for the last Challenge in Boston!
Pads: “This city is known as the center of new ideas…”
Wait, WHUT?!?
I'm from here and I never heard that shit before.
The chefs are basically told to go outside their comfort zone and push their own boundaries.
So…Mei smiles more?
Impossible.

Mei mentions it’s going to be difficult to showcase innovation for The Little Dutch Boy because he’s known for stuff like this-
Which looks a little bit like a super long blackhead that a giant squeezed out of his pimply face on top of wedge make up applicator sponges. Dirty ones.

Pads tells them they’ll have 3 1/2 hours to cook and TLDB reveals that the restaurant (Catalyst) will be full of James Beard Award Winning Chefs, Nobel Peace Prize Winners, Scientists and Pickpockets.
The Winner joins Mel King in the finals and gets $10,000!
btw Mel King is doing this challenge too. (Mostly because her gf wants a gazebo. Even though they live in a fifth floor walk up.)

Time To Shop!
will.i.am says (To Camera) "Taking a big risk as this stage in the game can be dangerous so I'm using the Asian flavors I'm familiar with and adding texture..." by introducing "chicken skin and salmon skin."
Huh?!
Did you-?
Are you-?
Come ON!

Slick wants to do something he hasn’t done before and doesn’t want to come up with a “whack ass flavor profile.” He wants pork belly and octopus but...they have no pork belly.
Slick: “Now my whole plan’s ruined.”
“Fuck, fuck, fuck, FUCK!”
Not pictured: The child in the Whole Foods aisle with a $9 juice box who now knows the word “fuck.”

They get to the TC house for the ’Why do you want to win Top Chef’ video package.
will.i.am wants to prove himself since he’s now sober (5 years, Hollah!)
Someone asks what Mei's brother does and she says he's going to pharmacology school so her parents definitely love him more than they love her.
Awwwwwwwww. So sad.
Mei was pressured to go to nursing school (ugh!) because it’s what her parents wanted. She went but she always wanted to go to culinary school and dropped out to do so.
Her parents were pissed.
How pissed?
They rubbed out the actual real-life faces of Mei’s culinary school friends!

The next morning- Bombshell!
Slick has both a white AND a black wife beater?!?
Also, no one slept well. Slick reveals he was “sweating.”
Further rationale for his nickname.

At Catalyst- 3 1/2 hours til serving time!
Mel King does a miso based dish; will.i.am makes a chicken skin garnish for his soup; Slick gives him shit- “I smell cocoooonuuut.”
(btw that’s often what people say when I walk into a room, I consider it a compliment as smelling like coconut is a life goal for me.)
Slick puts octopus heads through a meat grinder to give his fritters texture. Grossssssssssssss.
Mei makes a duck curry with yuzu and Mel King says Mei is badass. She thinks it would be fun it came down to the both of them.
Mel King: “Hope you make it girl. Let’s go to Mexico. I have extra duck if you need it.”
Wait- whut?
Mei: “You have extra duck?”

Slick says the girl's dishes look similar, they’re both using duck and if “I’m gonna win this challenge, I’M gonna win it.”
Mel King tells Mei her sugar is burning and she turns it off for her.
Mei sees Mel King as an “older sister” ("older"?!? SLAM!) and says there’s a lot of camaraderie in the kitchen but she’s going to beat every chef there.
Interesting…
(meaning not good…
for Mel King…
cause I get the feeling that Mei’s the type that’s gonna kill her with those expensive knives if she has to. She’ll make it look like an accident! Homie went to nursing school, I doubt she forgot those skills!)

“Hey Chefs!”
Slick explains his innovative dish, TLDB: “Nice” and Colicchio says it’s seems like a “complicated plate.”
Mel King’s focus in on innovative tastes, she's made a walnut miso (two flavors she thought would go together.) When Colicchio says she’s already in and has no pressure on her “at all” she explains that she’s really there to “help out her colleagues.”
Beg pardon?
Mel King: “Mei and I were making the farro together and we’re gonna sear a bunch of duck.”
Soooo now you’re Executive Chef?
She says it would be nice if she and Mei got in (for the tenth time) "she's my buddy, you know?"
Dear Calvin Klein, I think we've found your new Obsession commercial.

Mei explains her light curry to Colicchio and TLDB and they seem to suddenly be more interested in my Forever Chef Boyfriend, Michael Voltaggio. They ask if Michael gave her a little bit of help in terms of what to expect, she says No, TLDB asks if she's channeling some of his innovation BLAH BLAH BLAH let’s go to what’s really important here:
So cute when he smiles and he's not looking all serious and angry.
Listen, Taggio, (I call him Taggio sometimes, he hates it but then he looks all serious and angry and I love it.) Um, I gotta finishing blogging the show so I'm gonna be home a little late tonig-
I'll be there in 10.

When they get to will.i.am he says he’s taking the skin off the salmon and making a soup and he’ll be using some crispy chicken skin "as well."
TLDB: “How will you be using innovation today?”
will.i.am: “Ummmmm”
Is your innovation over there? The new Innovator 3000 is just over your shoulder? will.i.am?
will.i.am: "Texture is an important part of what we eat so…”

No.

No, did you really just say that? Come. On. Look at this man’s face.
You did not just say that to this man!

will.i.am: “I’m just kind of playing with different ways to add texture…so…”
“…you know…”

No.
No we don’t. And they don’t.
The only thing we all know right now is, unless your salmon walks out with a cane wearing a top hat and sings WB frog style and then skewers itself so the Judge’s can eat it, you’re taking Air Alaska back to Portland. Air Alaska? They have direct flights from Boston. They’re pretty cheap too. Air Alaska. Their tagline is: “Sarah Palin Can See You From Her house.”

But hold your water cause here comes the Judg-DAAAAAAAAAAYUM!

I bet sometimes Pads just slaps $3 wash cloths over her private areas and announces,
“Let’s go car shopping!”
You know, for fun.
And then gets every MFing car free. Lookit Blais! He knows it!
He gave her his Toyota last night!

Oh hey, this guy is here-
And he works with TLDB to use cooking as a way to inspire science BLAH BLAH BLAH you’re not wearing anything half a awesome as Pads so, sorry, I’m Yaaawny Yawnington.

Meanwhile the line? In that kitchen? In the back? It’s small.
How
small
is
it?
“Back back back!”

“Hot hot hot!”

“Behind! Behind!”

will.i.am is first up and has one minute left to get his food to the window!
!!!!!!!!!!
MADE IT!
He talks about coming from NYC to Oregon and how life slowed down for him and he focused and says these are the ingredients he fell in love with.
What the hell does that have to do with innovation?

Gail: “And what’s the innovation here?”
Oh hay Gail! It’s Gail, everyone!
You look good, Hon, but honestly you couldn’t turn a head if your stylist was Cinna from THE HUNGER GAMES. Look at your competition tonight.
Pads thinks the dish is delicious and will.i.am touts playing with texture as his innovation.
The Scientist thought the dish was good, Colicchio said the skin on the salmon was really good “I’m just concerned about the innovation.”
When he gets back to the kitchen Slick asks how it went and will.i.am says "alright" and that they took issue with his innovation.
Um, will.i.am, you are really slipping here.
Let me tell you how you work a reality TV competition show:
First of all you make an innovative dish and don't try to skate where there are like No People Left.
If you DON'T innovate you spin a yarn about how Asian food goes back to the beginning of time and they'd never combine poultry and seafood and you did that and created harmony.
THEN You tell Slick it went Great.

You tell him Pads said it was delicious. (She did.)
You say you feel good. (Even if you don't.)
Because all Slick’s gonna do is get out there and go on and on about how innovative he is because he KNOWS you weren't.
Get It Together, will.i.am. The tour bus is leaving!

Mel King up!
Unprompted she says she’s not into “molecular cooking, so I didn’t really want to go that direction with innovation…”
You just lost.
Yeah.
Bite your lip. That's how I always apologize. Lordy Day.
She cleans it up a bit with: "...but, for myself, this was out of my comfort zone."

Turns out Gail loves the miso and walnut; Colicchio loves the dish but says a jus is missing;
TLDB says the duck was perfectly cooked and there was a nice balance.
Pads: "I loved your pickled cherries too, I thought they were tart and just the right amount."
Mel King leaves the table thinking she won. Blais loved the dish “the way that duck was cooked?” but TLDB said it wasn’t out of her comfort zone. Blais repeats what Mel said verbatim: for her, it was.

Meanwhile, Slick adds a little extra flavor to his dishes.

And he’s nervous as fuck.

With a tentacle like this you probably should be.
Even when I ate squid I didn’t like it that much just KNOWING it was squid.
I always called it calamari. And it was always fried to high heaven.
And it came with some sort of sauce I slathered over it. I did the same thing to fried clam bellies. And when I ate cherrystones too...I put tons of— Jesus I just loved the sauces!
No wonder it was so easy for me to give up seafood but hard to lose tartar sauce! Mmmmm tartar sauce...

TLDB asks if Slick ever made a green harissa before. He says he just came up with it.
Pads and Colicchio love the harissa and apple combo. Even with the good news Slick looks like he’s going to ooze into faint.

Then Colicchio says something’s bitter. And everyone talks about the char of the tentacle.

They’re "noticing it a lot."

Slick is so shocked Pads had to TELL him to go back to the kitchen.
The judges say he could have taken something away- the lentils, the rhubarb- wait- there were lentils and rhubarb!? Slick turned into Mexikosher (***) ingredients-wise?

Mei’s up and it looks gorgeous-

Colicchio: “This is a tough one…”
“I like it, but I don’t know how to describe it…”

TLDB: “I think that’s a good thing!”
Colicchio: “No, it is, it is, it absolutely is.”

Gail likes the skin. Colicchio says as you eat it it changes.
Colicchio: “...in a good way.”

He says you keep finding different things and different flavors and it’s really complex.
Whew! That was a coaster ride!
Gail says the dish felt like a breath of fresh air. But not truly because that would meant they would have been served empty dishes.

Time To Talk Turkey! (even though no one served it.)

Blais says Mel King had the tastiest dish and it was the most innovative. Gail says it didn’t thrill her like the other dishes and proposes Mei’s as number one.
TLDB would take Mel’s duck and Mei’s curry.
Pads: Well that’s not a dish.
And this isn't a hair cut.

Colicchio lays it out- “so you think the worst dishes were” Slick’s and will.i.am’s?
Let The Rock Throwing BEGIN!

TLDB says Slick swung for the fences. Colicchio says he burnt his octopus and “that is not out of his comfort zone, he’s cooked that a million times!” Dood sounds like he’s taking this pretttttty personally.
He said in terms of innovative flavors Slick did that but “it was a circus. It was a circus.”
Circle giggles.

The Little Dutch Boy: Slick “wanted to win, he says if I go home, I go home fighting” and pounds the table lightly with his soft hand -shotrly after Nanny serves him his berries and cream, berries and cream.

Gail says will.i.am phoned it in.
Blais says he knows that’s a good dish that most people like most of the time and “hoping to get to the next round.”
Finally the Scientist speaks up and says: “…and I would rather eat that.”
Pads says that's valuable- they’re encouraging them to take risks but they’re also faulting them if their risks don’t pay off.
The Little Dutch Boy: “So well executed...does that trump creative and disjointed?”
No one speaks and the music gets dramatic and everyone gets a close up.

Judge’s Table
Now we get the 'with innovation sometimes comes failure and I’m not sure how far some of you pushed out of your boundaries especially when Pads' dress was more innovative than some of that shit you put on those plates' speech.

Pads tells Mei and Mel King they served their favorite dishes of the night-

Mei is going to Mexico but Mel King is going with 10k!
Someone’s gf just bought a hot tub AND a time machine!

Now the bad news.
Colcchio says Slick’s grill was too hot and the octopus was charred in a bad way. Gail loved the green harissa and said it tied the whole dish together.

TLDB says will.i.am’s dish was restaurant quality but he played it safe.
will.i.am: “Aw,
will.i.am: "I pushed my, I sweated all day, so.…”

Talking back?!

will.

i.

am.

Where is this attitude coming from?
You Do Not Talk Back Like That!

TLDB: “I’m not saying you didn’t work hard. I’m just saying you might want to stick your neck out a little more."
Finally will.i.am wakes up and says “I understand, Chef.”

Pads announces only one of them will be joining Mel King and Mei in the finals.
Then…

she…

asks…Slick to pack his knives and go.
Slick: “It’s cool…”
He remarks that will.i.am knocked him out twice- Oh yeeeeah…
But Colicchio tells him he still has a chance to come back!

Holy
Crap
That's Right!

And as the three anointed ones go to the Stew Room to drink champagne and jump up and down (not in that order) we go to the interwebs and San Miguel, Mexico for our last chance to see
Last
Chance
Kitchen!!!

Slick isn't surprised to see Aww Lil Dougie (Doug Adams) but knows he can be beaten.
Aww Lil Dougie: "He's had enough chances, it's time to knock his ass out."
Aww yeah, Lil Dougie! Last Chance Kitchen put some hair on your tiny boy chest!

Colicchio reminds Slick of the two reasons he lost: First he couldn't shuck clams fast enough and lost to will.i.am. Most recently, he charred the octopus to high heaven. So, of course, he has to make a Mexican themed dish with either clams or octopus.
But, Colicchio: "Since you haven't had the best track record with making decisions" (can't make a decision BURN!) "we're gonna let Doug do it."
Aww Lil Dougie picks...
clams!
30 Minutes to cook in an outdoor kitchen that Starts Now!

Aww Lil Dougie asks what Slick is making, Slick has begun cooking but has no idea.
Uh oh.

Dougie says picking clams was "absolutely strategic."
One, he lives in Oregon and, two, he wasn't going to let the guy who owns a Greek restaurant get to make octopus. Oooooh that's why Colicchio was so hell bent about Slick's charring. I must say, this 'picking whatever the chef effed up on' is great, Bravo. Next make them negotiate getting their pot and pans from an ex-lover. Oh snap, that's good- I'ma use that, forget I said it, Bravo!

Slick asks Aww Lil Dougie what he's making.
"I'm gonna do a charred jalepeno and pineapple butter.."
Huh?
He's never made a Mexican version of steamer clams.

Aww Lil Dougie: "You shucking clams?"
Slick. "Fuck no."
He's steaming and doing a salsa verde. "Maybe like a soup?" Though I think, to really impress Colicchio, he probably shoulda shucked 'em. Just sayin...

14 and a half minutes lef--- Hold Up,
Wait A Minute!

The trio enters the villa where these guys are cooking for their lives in the backyard!?!

Holy shit what's the name of this property?!
will.i.am: "This looks big enough for a few more cast members, which I hope isn't happening."
You know what's Definitely not happening?
Murray/Bunim isn't slapping a bunch of Road Rules/Real World kids into this place, it's too expensive for them- that pool would be filled with urine and throw up within moments!

Slick: "Clams are cooked."
He seems oddly calm. He reveals that he opened a Mexican restaurant before and Aww Lil Dougie doesn't know all the flavors! Secreeeeets!
Dougie thinks Slick's clams may be overcooked but he's just trying to concentrate on creating bright flavors.

CUT TO-
will.i.am: "There's so many rooms I just feel like, Padma's gonna pop out any second..."
Well you're in Mexico so she'd probably be in a bathing suit which would be great for ratings, it worked that time they-
Mei: "Oh shit."

Colicchio: "Hey Chefs!"
"I have a surprise for you upstairs."


"Welcome to Last Chance Kitchen."
Aww Lil Dougie really wishes he were on the other side of that table. Aww.

The Shocker?
Mei (To Camera) wants Slick to come back (!!!!) she wants to beat "the best of the best."
will.i.am (To Camera) wants Aww Lil Dougie, of course.
Slick jokes (To The Trio and Colicchio) he'll be the first chef to be eliminated three times.
Yeah, you probably shouldn't joke like that.

Colicchio tells the two to finish and bring their plates upstairs. Um, should they give out drink menus first? What Goes On?!
Slick proclaims his clams cooked perfectly.
This guy is cool as a cucumber!

TIME!

Colicchio tastes both dishes with no comment at all.

Finally, he proclaims them both "really, really good."

Both have a good sweet and sour combination going on.
They're both smokey, spicy and briny.

Colicchio: "I could keep eating them all day long."

"Really, I have a hard time choosing one."

"The winner..."

"of last chance..."
"kitchen..."
"is..."

Oh you SONAOFABITCHES!


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- Mei Lin

Greg- will.i.am

Q- Mei Lin

KK- Mei Lin

Ed Kearns- Aww Lil Dougie and Mel King

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