Thursday, January 15, 2015

“I’m thinking of serving the surf clam raw.”

Poolers!
I am fulla tequilas and Spanish reds and fun times so this may be a little loopier than usual but all you really need to know is we're down to the Final Four!
Let's get at it!

Slick (George Pagonis) says “it’s not gonna be the same with out Doug” as if he really knew Aww Lil Dougie or has been there long enough to actually care.
Come on, all you care about is the amount of gel you put in your gd hair.

will.i.am (Gregory Gourdet) says they all know it’s fine line between “taking a risk and doing something you know you can execute on that perfect level.”

Mel King hasn’t been able to “show what she can do” and it’s “an emotional up and down roller coaster” for her.
Hey, Mel? It’s been eleven episodes. You’ve been on eleven episodes. Why haven't you been able to show what you can do?
An analogy: I’ve been on two dates with guys and shown them what I can do.
You plate a little bit.
You leave something to the imagination.
You leave them wanting more.
What you DON’T do is tout knife skills over actual meals.
You deliver the fucking meals.
And those meals are delicious.
Or you do not date again.
Nawmean?

She's excited to be a part of the final four "but..." (honey, there are no buts- not even Seymour Butts! You’re in the Final MFing Four) she misses her family an her gf and it’s “difficult to be here and not have that support.”
Yawn.

Mei Lin: “…now it’s four.”

Then Slick says: “We got a little Asian…

Slick: “…a lesbian Asian, a gay Black dude…”

Slick: “…and a straight white guy.”
will.i.am: “Is that the start of a joke?”

Correction, Slick: and a Dead straight white guy.
You JUST got there. You don’t get to act like you can tell those kinds of jokes and throw around labels unless it’s labels to hair products. I’m DONE with you!
SEACREST OUT!

When they enter the TC Kitchen Pads, looking BLADE RUNNER hot, introduces 2014 James Beard Winner-
She says there’s no Quickfire because they have a lot of work ahead of them.
Say whuuuut?!

They’re going to Island Creek Oyster Farm where they’re picking their own oysters.
Android Pads says they’re each responsible for two:
And it’s a “huge job, so we’re gonna give you a little help.”

Mei: “Oh. My. God.”
It’s family time.
And jury’s still out on whether Mei’s reaction was about her brother or her brother’s shirt.
Is Mommy there…or…oh, I see, third person.

The '14 JB Winnah says some stuff about how being a chef means being away from your family blah blah blah this is special blah blah blah.
will.ia.m is psyched to see his sister, someone he “loves so dearly.”

Mei: “My brother is four years younger than me, we didn’t exactly get along growing up, he’s just a little brat.”
Okay so her initial reaction wasn’t about what her brother was wearing.

Then Pads says that family member is going to be their “Sous Chef.”

When Pads asks if Slick’s Dad can take direction he says he doesn’t know. His Dad is the boss, “Always is, always will be.”
That’s why he calls him “Mr. Tony.”
Beg Pardon?????
Apparently Slick’s Dad is a retired chef and Slick worked at his diner when he was little and he's intimidating and "nothing is ever good enough for him." Is that why you’ve created a hair helmet? It's for protection?

Pads announces the family member is with them for the next 24- shopping, staying with them overnight in Gloucester and “there’s one more catch...you will not be able to touch your appetizers
At All."
They have to be "executed entirely by your loved ones.”
Good God.
Then Pads says they want to see what they can do WITHOUT the fear of elimination.
Pads: “That’s right, no one will go home.”
HUH?!
She says they still expect to see creativity in both of their dishes.
Should we have expected this would be called an elimination challenge then? Cause you did. You called it an Elimination Challenge.

Now another news/twist/surprise/pee inducer:
The winner goes DIRECTLY to the Final Round in Mexico.
Well good on you for that, Bravo.
I still don’t know how you’re going to incorporate the Last Chance Kitchen chefs (Aww Lil Dougie-Doug Adams and Generic-Adam Harvey) but this is interesting.

Family Time!
Mel King’s Mom: “…and I keep telling her, no matter how old you are, I’ll still call you baby.”
So cute!

Meanwhile-
Mei: “I’m just not…lovey, dovey with my family.”
Mei says she’s the black sheep (Hollah!), her parents are in the restaurant business, they work 7 days a week, 14 hours a day.
Um, it sounds like you guys have the same hours and kinda do the same thing.
There’s no bonding over that? Bummer, Inc.

Her brother is still in school and listens to her parents and they “give him whatever he wants.”
She asks if he can use a knife.
She says she doesn’t need him bleeding all over the food.
Hoo boy.
Before Mei can throw more shade we meet the guy raking in the clams at his restaurants. Litrally.

Apparently Island Creek Oyster farm started over 20 years ago and they sell oysters all over the US and not just in Kenmore Square where it’s next to impossible to get a table.

“We’re gonna go out in the water and see what…they…gathered up for us today.”

They get into two boats and as they explain they’re going to dredge the bottom and ask who wants stop operate the lever-
Mei’s brother BREAKS THE FUCKING HANDLE OFF!
Everyone: “Awwwwww.”

Now they have to do it by hand.
And suddenly WE ALL hate Mei’s brother.
Mei: “It definitely keeps getting better and better.”
Honey, I think I understand why you have perennial Resting Bitch Face.

In the other boat, Tony, I’m sorry, Mr. Tony (btw I would not be calling him that- what am I, his maid? Racist!) is grossed out as these two eat shellfish in tandem.
Slick says he has an advantage since his father knows his way around a restaurant but he does fear having to tell him what to do: “…he’s always been Mr. Tony, the boss.”
What is up with this relationship?

What do you think you’re Dad’s gonna-
Oh Hey, Mr. Tony!
I mean, Hello, Mr. Tony! Sir!
I’m gonna stop typing now and do some push ups.
I'm pretty sure Mr. Tony wants me to.

Meanwhile Mel King asks “what can you do with these things?”
Um, this is why people don’t think you should be in the “Final Four.”
Don’t you think you would have heard of New England Horseshoe Crab Soup by now?
It would be served in the shell. So would Horseshoe Crab Dip. How do you Not Know This?!?

They get back to shore and there’s already two boatloads of shellfish they begin putting in Island Creek branded bags- little necks, thick necks, rough necks.
Mei’s “thinking of serving the surf clam raw" and thinks the flavors of her sauce will stand out.
Mel King is thinking of having her Mom make an egg custard with clams- when she was little and couldn’t sleep her mother would put a glass of milk and an egg in the microwave with sugar. Dairy Bomb Tap Out!

will.i.am and his sister are shopping and she’s his best friend and it’s gd adorable!
They talk about failing at making a cake when they were little.
will.i.am’s sister: “Instead of trying to leave any evidence that there was a cake, we wrapped it up in plastic bags, rode our bikes down the block and dropped this bag full of burnt cake under a bush.”

Coincidentally that’s what a lot of people do with Black Eyed Peas' CDs. BURN!

Twenty Minute Left To Shop!
Slick loses track of his father who is literally just wandering around the Whole Foods.
Mei is tells her brother to “Go, go, GO!”
Have NONE of these people seen Top Chef before? I mean, you’d think when your child or sibling was on it you’d see and know the running comes in the Whole Foods. Whole Foods=Running. For all of us if there are free salsa samples.

They arrive at a tricked out home- Hot Damn!
and start making dinner. Before the plethora of reminiscing...
will.i.am’s sister asks if they want to put them to work making the meal.
Smart!
But Slick tells them to relax.
And will.i.am says them they’ll be doing a lot of cooking tomorrow.
I would have said- here’s what we’re making- let’s do a trial run and I’m going to time you on shucking a clam. For reals.

Mel King’s Mama says Mei always watched cooking shows instead of Sesame Street and tells a cute story about how Mel wanted to go to CIA whens she was little. Her mother thought she wanted to be a spy! HAAA Classic!
Her parents are split up now and her Mama is her main support. Her Dad has never come into any of her restaurants and still denies her daughter’s profession and sexuality which is GRADE A ASS!

After 27 years of owning a diner, Slick’s Dad took that money and invested in Slick’s restaurant.
So nice!
Here we see how happy his partner, former Top Chef contestant and all around annoyer, Slimer (Mike Isabella), is about taking that money.

Sidebar: Can we just talk about how much better and less slicker Slick looks sans gel?
I mean and this is the Same Day.
He's wearing the Same Clothes.
No one took a shower. So that means this is what your hair naturally wants to do, Slick. Why not let it? Otherwise, if you’re gonna use that much hair gel, get a sponsor!

The next morning -finally, someone goes over what needs to happen, step by step.
Mel King has made her mother a detailed list.

Slick hasn’t seemed to have made a list, also-
Really? Wait until Colicchio stops in and asks what you’re doing WHILE you’re cooking WHILE the clock is counting down.
This is just breakfast, Mr. Tony.

Slick said if his Dad knew what they were gonna do he never would have come.
Ooooh, so Bravo didn’t tell em! Damn, that’s just mean!
Well, My Mama woulda walked away from that. All of it. You do not tell My Mama she’s coming to see me on reality TV and slap an apron on her and make her cook a dish for world renown chefs. Mama don’t play that!

They enter the kitchen at The Lobster Pool in shifts. Mei has already given her brother the recipe and gets him to work on a sauce. He stands like a robot. A non-working robot.
Mei: “Get a cutting board. Get a cutting board.”

Oh right! They’re not allowed to even TOUCH anything in that app- their family member has to do it all themselves.
Mei: “Get a cutting board. Get a cutting board. Get a cutting board. Get a cutting board. Get a cutting board. Get a cutting board.”
Honey, I’ve seen my friend's three year old, Fausto, juice lemons faster than this WHEN HE WAS TWO!
Mei admits if something isn’t organized it drives her crazy but also I hear she may hate her brother. He begins to add a tablespoon instead of a teaspoon into a mixture and yes, once again, we hate him too.

will.i.am is making halibut with oysters and mussels (umami flavors instead of his usual bright acid jammy) and instructs his sister, cooking show style, while he does it. She needs a little help with her knife cuts but he’s totally understanding.
He asks Mei how it’s going.
Mei: “He’s annoying the shit outta me.”

Slick and Mr. Tony enter next and Slick tells his Dad to cut the celery a bit smaller since it has to go in an oyster.
Mr. Tony, did you NOT just eat breakfast?

Mel King starts in on lobster (it’s her mother’s favorite dish) and admits her mother doesn’t listen very well but she’s hoping- Uh oh
Moments after being introduced: Colicchio: “Do you realize your brother is burning his mushrooms?”
Mei is going to kill her brother. I might help.

40 Minutes Left an Here Come The Judge!
Pads is Pantene commercial radiant. Who is worthy of her beauty?

You?
No way, your strategically placed chin hairs pale in comparison.

You?
I liked you better when you were my JV basketball coach.

BLAIS!
Finally someone with a haircut and a jacket priced high enough to be in Pads’ presence.

Former Top Chef Masters contestant Ricky?

With that shirt and that blazer?
Honestly, what is up with that company? What’s the deal with that name and that logo? And I’m supposed to say it Joseph? Should I- Oh, wait a minute, my name is DeMane. Apologies.

At the table, Colicchio explains that the family member is making the appetizer. In the kitchen, Mei explains how her brother should serve his dish as she prepares to-
oh man she’s doing the deal where you pour the broth into the dish table side!
Mei ain’t no joke!

Mei and Her Brother UP!
Her brother gets kudos for shucking the oysters (his first time!) and then Pads- OMG HE HAS TO PRESENT WHAT HE MADE TOO??
Wow. I can’t wait for Mr. Tony to get up there. Also, Wow!

They love the oyster! Mei's next:
Colicchio says it’s a balance, there’s sweetness from the coconut, the seafood if perfectly cooked “this is…a really good dish.” They call it a revelation. Pads asks how it was working together. He says he got yelled at (yeah, you get yelled at all the time, Kid, just suck it up) Mei says she's proud of him.

Back in the kitchen, will.i.am is busy telling his sister how to plate and almost overcooks his halibut! The oven was hotter than he wanted it. Crap. Well his sister’s dish looks awesome.
Blais loves the flavor and says it had enough savory-ness to it. My coach tells will.i.am he did a great job coaching her and Colicchio says he gets the feeling she’s not going to be a bystander in the kitchen anymore. Then…
My JV basketball coach asks if he was happy with the way the fish came out. Yeah. Same look he gave me during windsprints.
will.i.am: “I think I would’ve had my oven at a lower temp.”
Coliccio: “So far everything you’ve given us is clean and bright. This isn’t.”
Well dayum!
And literally there are no more comments.
Hoo boy.

Mel King is slow poaching her lobster “time is definitely against me cooking it this way.”
Still time for mugging though! Cute!

Also, Bravo’s new tagline should be: Destroying Families. Watch What Happens! (indeed!)
Slick is impressed with his father’s performance, “he hung in there,
he put up with it for the day.”
He won’t beat your ass with a belt later, maybe?
Correction- he won’t hit as hard- can’t- too tired!
Mr. Tony: ”...Slick “tell me how to do it.”
Laughs from the table- they don’t want to get beat either!
Ricky loves the oysters but he wanted some brine. Mr. Tony makes a mental note to burn Ricky’s JoS.A.Bank jacket with him in it.

Slick has prepared a pretty plate despite his hair grease.
They all dig how delicate it is but Colicchio: “I’m really loving the lobster dish but when you a beautifully cooked lobster and a the sun chokes…you really do not needs this stuff.”
MicroGreensSLAM!

Mel King’s Mom is “ahead of schedule” she asks if she can help her daughter! Fantastic!
Now I don’t like custard, and not just because I’m vegan, I never liked it. Custards and flan- FLAN?! No, it’s like you’re eating flesh. But this looks MFing gorgeous.
The JV Coach says it’s silky and delicate and Ricky likes the smoke from the bonita flakes.

The lobster is perfectly cooked, but the “vegetables,” according to Colicchio, are the “absolute star.”

Picnic table side- they were surprised that will.i.am did a better job coaching his sister than making his own dish. They loved Mei’s broth and dug Slick’s sun choke purée but when you “start to pick a part” Slick’s lobster, Mei’s wins. Speaking of lobster- Ricky says Mel King “handled that crustacean perfectly.”
HAR.
My JV Coach said she “took a risk.”

In the Stew Room, will.i.am: “I’m definitely on the bottom today.”
Slick: “At least you’re not going home.”
will.i.am: “You’re right, I’m not going home.”
Slick: “Dammit.”

Pads asks to see all of them. On the way out, Mr. Tony pokes Mel King’s lobster.
WTH?
Slick: “Dad, go!”
Ten extra lashes for not calling him Mr. Tony!

Pads says two dishes stood out

Here Slick ponders the beating he’ll get after being beaten.

Mei’s dish had a “romantic restraint” (huh?) and didn’t even need the lobster.
They’ve all had butter poached lobster before but Mel Kings was cooked “perfectly.”
Colicchio: “I wish right now we could put both of you in the Finale but that’s not how it works.”

The winner that moves directly to the finals, passes ‘Go” and collects $200 bucks?

Mel King?!
WOW!

Mel King!
Damn Mei’s gonna kill Mel King AND her own brother!
Mel King says (To Camera) it was about having the confidence to tell her mother she could pull it off.
Hugs all around!

Except from Slick and Mr. Tony.

No, for real, even AFTER Mel King’s Mama says: “It was so wonderful to meet you” and cries some more.

Come on, you’re still in the competition, Slick! Be happy.
Well, not too happy. Because one person is coming back.
That's right, it's
Last
Chance
Kitchen!

Colicchio asks Aww Lil Dougie and Generic who they think they're going up against. And then says: "No one was eliminated."
"You're going up against each other."
"You're going head to head."

Generic says they've been waiting for this. Aww Lil Dougie won the first time they went up against each other in challenges, Generic won the second and now...

Colicchio steps in front of a crudité platters and then does a commercial for-
GROSS!
He actually says no crudité is complete with out it. AND it's America's favorite! Sigh.

The challenge is to create a "dish using these simple ingredients." The catch- those platters are their only source of produce.
Someone's pissed!
Generic: "These challenges are hard enough."
Tell your story cooking, Generic, cause Time Starts Now!

Generic makes a fresh pasta with ranch dressing as the sauce. He's trying to replicate the idea that ranch put on a pizza crust is delicious.
Wows!
Mexikosher (Katsuji Tanabe) chants his name and then: "Hashtag, I took a risk."
This guy...

Aww Lil Dougie is doing a roasted red pepper ranch sauce and searing up a steak.
He has at least 15 minutes left but puts the steak on. Um, too early?
Mexikosher chants "Chi-qui-to" which means small in Spanish !!!!!!
Colicchio walks around and asks what they're doing and starts tasting their sauces...without saying a word.

Five minutes left. Aww Lil Dougie realizes his steak is medium and that won't do for Colicchio.
Aww Lil Dougie: "It's just full on panic."

As Generic hits his stride Aww Lil Dougie runs around and actually TELLS Generic: "I'm fucking toast, man."
Now this is happening.
Yep. We're staring at a fridge, folks. Fucking brain freeze! With-
OMG
He grabs what can cook in a short amount of time: crack!
I mean, pork loin!

Meanwhile the peanut gallery is MegaImpressed with Generic's dish:
"Oh My God that looks amazing."
"Dude, you're there."
They call it beyond imaginative.

Peanut gallery comments to Aww Lil Dougie?
"Don't overcook that pork!"
"Come on, dude, it's gonna be fine."
"Don't worry about it."

Awwwwwwwww, Lil Dougie...

TIME!

Generic is up first.
It has ricotta, mascarpone, parmesan, the ranch dressing and some of the veggies from the crudite.
Colicchio: "Thanks."

Colicchio: "Hey, Doug, you can either sit here and tell me how you overcooked your beef or you can tell me how great you made this pork."
"It's your choice."
Geez, Dad, stop being so dickly!
Aww Lil Dougie: "Ah, the pork is really good."

He talks about spicing the meat with the "ranch packet" which sounds simultaneously space-age-y and completely unappealing.

Colicchio: "Thanks."



THE VERDICT
Colicchio: "Only one of you will move on to Mexico where you'll compete in the final round of Last Chance Kitchen for a spot in the Finale..."

HOLD

UP

WAITAMINUTE!

You know what that sounds like?
It sounds like whoever loses in the next TC competition has to go up again whoever wins here- right?
So it's not even like they'll get to slide in, they have to compete one more time.
Hmmm...

Colicchio thought the dishes were good and showed creativity.
He called Generic's crepe "thick" and he wished he had used more vegetables in the filling.

Colicchio: Aww Lil Dougie, "...obviously you screwed up, I'm still trying to figure out how you overcooked a piece of steak."
That said, he thought the sauce was good and the cauliflower was nice. The pork would have been better if it were more thought out.

He tallies up how long they've both been there...


He says they're amazing competitors...

OMG COLICCHIO COME ON!

He tells Doug...
to "pack his bags"


He's going to Mexico!

Generic: "Holy shit."


HOLY CRAP!!!

Aww Lil Dougie Did It!
Generic says it's not the last time we'll see him. And it's true.
Whenever we see a chef with a cotton scarf doo rag with a yin yang pattern on it he'll be there.
Whenever we hear someone in a kitchen complain about getting burned or being used or looking for a garnish.
He'll be there.
Whenever we see a chef with more than 63 tattoos.
He'll be there.
Cooking.
Just for you.

Until next week, Poolers!

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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