Thursday, February 5, 2015

"And what's in this bowl?"

If you’re from here, Poolers, today I cannot call you Poolers.
Yes, you are a Pooler, this is a pool. But today, if you’re from here, you’re a Champ.
Because the New England Patriots won! They are NFL Champs again and,
through a process of osmosis, cheering and giving the gas face to anyone who spells out the word JETS (because come on, that's just a silly cheer) we are all Champs!

I spent the better part of the day out in the crowds with my Champfellows.
Basking in the glow of football love and Gronk's shadow. Gronk's deliciously tall shadow.
Listen I'm not gonna make you suffer through any more Gronk gazing. Okay, just one more-

On with the show, Champs!
Mei Lin is disappointed in herself for being on the bottom even though she’s in the final three and now she needs to win for her and Mel King. And her parents. Also for women chefs everywhere. And for dolphins. The cuteness of them and the sweet dolphin meat.

The finalist drive into the mountains to a beautiful organic farm in Jalpa, Mexico and Mei Lin is THE most animated she’s been in the series thus far.

“Oh My God! This is sick!”
In a fresh produce type of way.
She and (Gregory Gourdet) proceed to call out the names of different vegetables and herbs as butterflies (seriously, butterflies!) flit in and about the greens. says he feels like he’s in wonderland.
I'm wondering too, about this dress.
Come on, Pads, it’s almost the end of the show. Wear something that's going to make us miss you!
It’s not like you were trying to match what this PuppetHead wore.
Woooooo I've been told my head is big!
I'm pretty sure when this guy isn't cooking he has to stand with his back to a wall so his head won't fall over and his wind pipe won't be instantly crushed Elephant Man-style.

Last Quickfire!
They must cook with Mexican chocolat (a far cry, I’m sure, from our GMO and rat feces riddled Nestle which purports to make the very best) and have to make TWO dishes.
One sweet and one savory. Guess who doesn’t “do desserts at all”?
Either that or he’s passing a kidney stone on camera.

As PuppetHead talks about Cacao (CACAO!) Aww Lil Dougie (Doug Adams) says he knew he was going to have to make something sweet in this competition. So the reason you didn't practice or at least try to add sugar to a dish is...???

Pads: "You all get to harvest your vegetables directly from this chef's paradise..."
[TRANSLATION: A lot of vegetables in this garden will be trampled but it's okay we paid extra for it],
the winner gets the first pick of Sous Chef in the Elimination Challenge,

So lemme get this straight, 45 minutes to shop at the original Whole Foods

run to their stations,

and cook two di--?!
30 minutes left! is doing a baby carrot and chocolat spiced deal, Mei is making duck and with 20 minutes left Aww Lil Dougie knows he’s going to do seared hen with chocolat and chilis.
Just then- uses cocoa butter instead of white chocolate!
Aww Lil Dougie: "14 minutes!" "Shut up!"
Mei asks what Aww Lil Dougie is doing for dessert: "White chocolate."
Mei: "And what?"
Aww Lil Dougie: "Whipped cream."
Mei: "Whaaaaat?!"
A chocolate covered train wreck is on the horizon. Pads enters and...I think she may have just said "Hands up, utensils down" in Spanish. Lookit you, Pads! Are you fluent or did you practice?
Maybe it's Maybelline.

Mei’s up first:

Then she presents this thing that looks a little bit like what might come out of you after you eat a chocolate chip flavored something.

Next up!

Pads: "And what's in this bowl?"
Doo doo. I think it's doo doo. Aww Lil Dougie admits he’s not big on sweet flavors.

Pads: “It almost tastes like alcohol that’s not burned off a little.”
Hey, try it again! I bet your assessment burned the alcohol off and it tastes just fine now!

Aww, Lil Dougie.

Next looks good

I like how he echoed the swirl action.

Judgement time!
PuppetHead tells Aww Lil Dougie that his chicken was well cooked but his dessert wasn’t well balanced. He liked Mei's duck and the chocolate and Pads liked the crushed cocoa nibs. PuppetHead really dug’s lamb and the carrots and the ginger and rosemary which he called "the final best touch."
he wins!
PuppetHead: “I work with carrots here all day long…”
wait, now it’s a carrot farm because I’m sure I saw other stuff…
PH: “…I would like to ask you if I could use that recipe here in Jalpa…” is very honored and finally feels like he’s back in his groove and he writes a terrible song about it called Back In The Groove and in the video he's the needle on the arm of a giant record player!

Elimination Challenge!

Pads tells them they have to work together to create a six-course progressive meal (Good God) highlighting six of Mexico’s most beloved ingredients. They’re each responsible for two dishes.
Shop today.
Two hours to prep and cook before service begins,
their Sous Chefs get to shop and prep with them. And- hey Eliminateds!
Who’s not hung over and wants to cook instead of drinking more tequilas?
Oh, I guess Eyester is cause he’s not there! Must be in a Mexican prison. gets to pick first and takes…Slick (George Pagonis)?! “We have a very long history together.”

Of course Mei Lin picks Mel King and Aww Lil Dougie says: “Vamos!”
Mexikosher (Katsuji Tanabe) and Aww Lil Dougie, together again!

Pads instructs them they’ll find their six mystery ingredients at their villa and gives them time to plan. Probably like 20 minutes. I swear to Jesus these shows are getting shorter and shorter with he time restraints. I can't wait for the spin off of The Bachelor- The Inception where we rush a baby's gestation so we can see it pop out in 58 minutes.

At the villa they find the ingredients they must divvy up and use: gauva, avocado, Mexican queso, poblano peppers, a fungus that grows within the ear of corn (Oh God) and escalmoles which are ant eggs.

Ant eggs.


Eggs. doesn't want them, he's a little weirded out by them. Mel King says they're salty, Slick says it's like barely. Mei: "Caviar."
Aww Lil Dougie: "It's so weird."
Mexikosher: "Did you taste them? They're amazing."
Aww Lil Dougie: "Yeah but weird."
Then Mei quickly says she’ll take avocado and the corn fungus, says what he wants guava and poblano peppers and Aww Lil Dougie? He literally freezes-
Aww Lil Dougie: "Oh so I"m gonna get these two fucking things?"
Cheese and ant eggs.
He tries to jump bad after and says it doesn't work like that.
Honey, it just did. It just worked like that.
Mexikosher: "You don't open your mouth you might not have ended up with anything."

But let's be honest, he has a secret weapon.
He says they’re so expensive, they’re hard to find. Dougie asks about frying them and Mexikosher says it’s good.

btw this is a progressive meal so they all sorta have to agree and there are no surprises.
They’re in the same gd car! says he doesn’t want to make dessert even though he has guava and Mei Lin decides to make......
That is not a typo.
I'm waiting for her to locate the only TGIF in Mexico and get it from there. It would save time which is definitely a commodity when the grocery store looks like this-
Have you ever seen me in a store I like?
Actually I'm just efficient. I either know exactly what I want and go to it or if it's a new, cool store I systematically take in everything until I've seen the entire establishment.
A grocery store in a foreign country! Good God you'd never get my ass outta there!
I’d be taking photos of cow heads, hanging hams and knee deep in bags filled with ponchos and small candies with awesome logos that I could fit into my suitcase to give as gifts!

Aww Lil Dougie: “I picked” Mexikosher “to be my Sous Chef because we’re both ummm…”
Mexikosher: “…sarcastc assholes…filthy human beings…”
Aww Lil Dougie: “It’s really just because he speaks Spanish.”

Meanwhile does a cooking show (I'm realizing now, late, I know, that a lot of the times I thought he was doing voice over he was actually talking about what he's doing while he's doing it- MF is camera ready) explaining how difficult it is to get fresh guava int he states and going on about how he researched Mexican ingredients and growing up his mother made a lot of one pot meals-
I would have KILLED for an outfit like that with my name on it when I was little.
It would have actually taught people how to spell my name! What a time saver!

Mei is psyched to work with the black corn fungus otherwise known as huitalacoche.

But honestly all I can think about is that commercial that was on the Super Bowl-
Yes that’s a big toe. With a helmet on it.
The big toe and his toe brothers have fungus.
I believe the story ends there because it’s when everyone changes the channel or leaves the room to gag in private.

Mei is psyched to have Mel King back and Mel?
“Girl you better fucking win this.”
Or her gf will kill you both.
Actually just Mel King and then Mei Lin would kill the gf. Mercy killing. Remember Mei went to nursing school, yo!
She says Mei has to carry the torch “girl.” (enough with the girl)
as Aww Lil Dougie (barely seen here because, Aww, Lil)
Tells Mexikosher he can only have two beers tonight.
Mexikosher: “Are you not paying me for this by the way? I have to pay rent, bro…”

Next Day!
The Chefs sit on the deck of their swank villa and look over their menus. Aww Lil Dougie reveals he wants to eventually have his own spot in Montana where there can operate a lodge, a fly fishing guide and put out great food. I'm imagining he'd be tethered to the pier when he's fishing so he doesn't float away.

Mei says her parents told her not to make herself look bad. She says she’s never heard that they’ve been proud and thinks she’ll finally hear those words after she wins.
Ummm Spoiler Alert- those words aren’t coming.
Also your brother is a dolt.
So most likely they'll praise him for not getting tomato sauce on his chin during dinner just as you save a life while simultaneously serve that tomato sauce.
Look within, Homie.

The get to the largest kitchen I've seen in Top Chef Pool History! instructs Slick to put the poblanos on the fire as he prepares the 1st course, pickled guava- something “spicy to awaken the palate” and, I'm pretty sure, make the next course taste like crap.

Mei: “I wanted to make a guacamole with a twist, it tastes traditional but it looks completely different.”
Um, if it tastes traditional then it doesn’t matter what it looks like.
It’s guac.
You can get that at Mexican Hooters. I’m sorry, Tetas.

When Aww. Lil Dougie puts the ant eggs in the oven…
they melt…
Let’s see- what could make something gross more gross? If that gross thing melted.
He’s making a Spanish tortilla with crispy eggs on top and “tons of ant eggs.”
Correction- More Gross: if you melt something gross and add eggs on top of it.
He hopes the more ant eggs you add the better the flavor will come out.
(Thus far he hasn’t appeared to have tasted said ant eggs as he preps them so…)
Mexikosher: “When do you hope ever to cook with ants in your life?”
Aww Lil Dougie: “I hope never again.”
Mexikosher: “Excuse me? You racist piece of shit.”
HAR! I believe we call that ant-ist!

Mei cleans the corn fungus (irony) and she’s adding corn broth.
She’s allocated Mel King to make fresh pasta for the fungus dish.
Mel King: “Win this!”
Mei Lin: “Women!”
ME (to the TV): "Stop it!" is making a poblano chili stew and wants to “represents the poblanos as best” he can since they’re serving “esteemed Mexican chefs” who really just want to gaze into Padma’s eyes (boobs) and do her bidding.

Aww Lil Dougie is doing a lot of different components -crunchy, sweet, savory and salty.

After the sweet dish debacle in the Quickfire I’m expecting-
Yeah, that sounds about right.

He best run down to the bodega now cause Aquí viene el juez!
Pads, wearing the bones of something exotic she ate last night,
makes a toast “to Mexico and to cooking”
and to not smoking weed the whole time they've been there for fear of being dungeoned.

First up- oh its a soup! Interesting…

It’s called-
“…the perfect thing to start with.”
PuppetHead calls it beautiful and Colicchio says the scallop adds a nice texture, is nicely cooked and the heat builds.
When he leaves the table Blais: “Fruit soup sounds easy, high degree of difficulty to make it as good as”
Good commentary, Blais! We haven't seen you in a while and this is how you stay top of mind with us. Also never ever let your eyebrows grow together like Unibrow (Huge Acheson.) Kthanksbye!

Mei presents

Mexican Bryan Cranston
likes that she didn’t “hide the flavor of the avocado because that’s the main element.”

Pads said she took care to slice the avocado beautifully “but it is just refined guacamole.”
Hm. Maybe you shouldn't have called it that?

Then this Spanish Only Speaking guest-
says that he would have liked to have tasted a little more of the prickly pear that was inside.

When Mel King asks how it went-

Mei (To Camera): “The judge’s don’t get why I did what I did. Ugh. Why did I decide to do a guacamole?”
You’re asking us?!

At the table-
Colicchio: “On one hand she's really, really courageous to...just do guacamole, on the other hand there's so much more she could do with avocado. This is the finals of Top Chef, I think Mei left the door wide open for someone to come knock her out of this competition.”
Pads: “Let’s see what” Aww Lil Dougie “does.”

Aww Lil Dougie: “I’m serving ANT EGGS. Escamole…”
Okay, maybe don’t begin that way?

He explains how he toasted them with garlic and made an aioli of them.
Blais: “I think you have to have a certain amount of huevos to make this dish.”
Spurred by the power of his purple eyeglass frames, he says the idea to use it like that was brilliant and he’s a smart chef but one of the Guests says he wanted more of the flavor of the ant eggs.
Colicchio thought the textures were the same and you couldn’t tell where the potato ended and where the eggs started.
Hoo boy all this is making my stomach curdle.

In the kitchen Aww Lil Dougie gives Mexikosher this-
But then the only Spanish speaking guest says the flavor is impressive and with a bit of fine-tuning it could be spectacular.
Everyone who doesn’t speak Spanish shakes their head like they know what the hell he's saying.

Mei and Mel high five at least twice (that they show) before she presents her next dish

Comments: “Pasta is well made”; “You can really taste the” corn fungus; one guests says the fungus is bitter and Mei answers that she thought the sweet broth would round it out. The Spanish Only Speaking guest says he'd order it again! When she leaves Pads says it’s one of the strongest dishes they had so far. is worried his stew doesn’t have enough flavor so he adds more poblanos and spices at the last minute...!!!
The Spanish Only Speaking Guest: “ Mexico.” Pads: "He's very emotional" he liked the dish that much!
Yeah, I'm with that. I get teary when I eat the cazuela at Barcelona. And then I order another one and weep openly.
Blais says he took it to another level. Colicchio said it had texture and earthiness and there's a sweetness. They damn near give him a hand job On Camera.

Aww Lil Dougie really thinks he’s gonna “take it” with this, his last dish and the last dish of the evening.
Colicchio says it’s the most difficult course and he approached it really nicely. PuppetHead loves the combination!
Blais said "boring could have been used to describe a cheese course but this is definitely not boring."


When the plates are cleared the Spanish Only Speaking Guest says there are “three very different chefs.”
One is technical (Mei);
one with many flavors (
and one with technique who can improvise (Aww Lil Dougie.)
Also, too much air time, Pads says it was great meeting them and everyone is shoveled away.

Within the first few minutes, they all agree... is in.
No mystery there.

Then it’s avocado versus ant eggs.
Colicchio says it was a missed opportunity. Blais: it was beautiful an “incredibly uninspired flavor-wise.”
This is Colicchio’s you took the words right out of my mouth face-
-and he had planned to eat those words later because Mei’s first dish was bunk.

Mexican Bryan Cranston-
Sorry- that’s real Bryan Cranston.

says he thought it was good because “all of her self, her family and everything was presented in that dish.”
Her family is guacamole? You knew her family was in that dish and you ate it? First ant eggs then cannibalism!

Blais said Aww Lil Dougie’s ant eggs were greasy.
(More Gross: a gross thing that's melted, there's more of it and it's greasy.)
Colicchio agreed he still doesn’t know what ant eggs taste like.
No worries, they’re hatching in your colon as you speak.

Pads liked Mei’s broth but if she’s comparing the pasta to Aww Lil Dougie’s cheese plate?
The cheese stands alone.
Mexican Bryan Cranston thought the creativity of the cheese course was incredible but Colicchio would give that course to Mei…

You know what time it is...

Album cover showdown!

Colicchio says he was impressed by how they embraced the ingredients.
Pads asked how they divvied them up.
Mei: "Once we saw the ingredients each of us had an idea of what we wanted to pick."

Colicchio: “Doug was like-“
“I want ants!”

Pads: “Doug?”
Aww Lil Dougie: “Is it my turn?”
Aww Lil Dougie: “We walked in and it was pretty much grab and go.”

In the words of Bill Duke from MENACE II SOCIETY- “You know you just fucked up there, right?”
“You know you done fucked up.”
If she hadn’t spoke up you could have maybe thought that she was stuck with the avocado and it threw her but now she's just admitted she wanted the avocado and THAT’S what she made.
She fucking made guac.
In Mexico.

Spanish Bryan Cranston says’s stew brought him back to his childhood and, thankfully, he didn’t hate it. (His childhood or the stew.)
Guess who’s in? is “stoked” and a lot of other stuff that sounds generic.
Know what? He speaks so generically sometimes he rivals Generic (Adam Harvey!)

And then there were two.
Mei lets a single tear drop
before they start to pick apart her avocado to find- avocado.

Spanish Bryan Cranston liked Mei’s dish, it didn’t seem like anyone else at Judge’s Table, Blais called it guacamole using air quotes. Ouch! Colicchio is conflicted- "Was it good? Yes. It wasn't the best I've ever had? No." But he admits she had fans amongst the other chefs the way she presented it at the table.
So plating points?
Spanish Bryan Cranston thought her pasta dish was very well done. Then he tells Aww Lil Dougie he lost the flavor of the ant eggs in the ant egg dish.
Colicchio: "You had a little too much going on in that plate, when you have a product that's that special, you don't want to lose it." But Pads thought he did a great job with something he knew little about and an even better job with the cheese course.
Colicchio: “You really made that an exciting dish.”

He says just getting this far means so much and to “erase that disappointment very quickly because you can’t look at this as failure.”
Pads asks them to take ownership over what they’ve done. They both cooked amazing dishes all season long but it’s-
Aww Lil Dougie?!?!?!


Awwwwwwww, Lil Dougie.

Colicchio says it was small details that made the differences in between their dishes but he’s gonna go out to Portland and they’re gonna fish and play some music together. (They're guitar bros now?) But Lil Dougie.
Aww, he feels horrible.

He can’t put it into words.
He was right there.
Just that one dish.
Poor little guy.
And so I must ask Colucci, Lucy and Ed Kearns to pack their knives and go.

Aww Lil Dougie: “Bring this shit home.”

Mei doesn’t hug Aww Lil Dougie in the end (at least it’s not shown) and he sort of taps her back like -get the fuck outta here.
Really though.
Get out.

The moral here? Speak up when it's time to pick ingredients and don't add potatoes to something like ant eggs that already had a potato texture but, Lordy Day, is not a potato and now I'm checking my potatoes for ant eggs. I'm doing that. I'm doing that right now.

Next week- no more surprises, no more Last Chances,
this is the final episode of Top Chef Boston!
Be prepared for Magic!
Or at least some chemical that makes you feel like magic has taken place.
Oh! Get ready for ecstasy!
Yeah. Why not? Cause we're CHAMPS!

Until then, My Friends!

Splitz- Mei Lin

Kyle- and Mei Lin

LB- Mei Lin


Rich E.- Aww Lil Dougie and Mei Lin

Jenna- Mei Lin

Mari- Mei Lin


Martha- and Mei Lin

Karen Logue- Mei Lin

Jet- and Mei Lin

Holly- Mei Lin


Q- Mei Lin

KK- Mei Lin

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