Thursday, March 20, 2008

Mushroom Turds and Quinoa - "Top Chef - Zoo Food"

Well, interesting episode of "Top Chef" last night. By that I mean, it was kind of boring, right? Where's the tension and drama? They tried to bring it in with Dale throwing Nikki under the bus (seriously, how glad are you the "Top Chef" contestants finally got rid of THAT expression), but bitch deserved it. She was serving those gross pecorino-blueberry-mushroom piles after her team decided not to serve them, or did I miss something?

Anyway, let's start with the Quickfire. I liked the farmer's market/you can only use five ingredients idea. I think, too often, chefs (like other non-chef people) like to make food too complicated. I certainly prefer simple, clean food, so it was nice to see some of them were able to create awesome-looking, probably awesome-tasting dishes with limited resources. And, clearly, twitchy Andrew effed it up by adding balsamic. What a crack-ho. I'm sure they went through the rules with the over and over and he still messed it up. You know how they were allowed to bring some "secret" ingredients they can't live without with them to Chi-town (yeah, I know, Iko, don't ever say that again) and keep the ingredients in their locker with their tools? Yeah, Andrew's locker is filled with the rock. No question.

Also awesome about the Quickfire, Wylie Dufresne was there! I think he's so awesome and incredibly creative and whimsically so. I'm not too hearting of the whole molecular gastronomy thing, if I want to eat locust bean gum and citric acid powder, I'll just have some citrus-y creamsicle Kraft makes, it's not what I want to eat when I go out to eat at a fancy restaurant - that's just not what appeals to me. That doesn't make it wrong or any less interesting to see what his mind can come up with. That said, I was annoyed when faux-hawk said molecular gastronomy is using science to make food better or whatever. Um, yeah, not so much. I think it's using science to make food different and interesting. And, as we all know, "science is whatever we want it to be." In this case, science makes food crazy. Also, as my old roommate pointed out, Australian (New Zealand?) guy probably won the Quickfire because of his sideburns...that comment by WD totally made me crack up (or maybe it was all the wine I was drinking while watching the show).

For the Elimination Challenge, I was totally concerned (just as the chefs were) that they had to cook penguin and gorilla. I was like, WTF "Top Chef?" This isn't really that legal...but, the challenge was pretty cool, although the results were pretty much less than stellar and a little boring. I think the best part of the second half of the episode was the Colicchio "sniff and sneer" in which he appeared to be covered in some kind of bronzing powder. Seriously Tommy, are you hitting up the fake n' bake with Padma? Or maybe Paris Hilton? He looked like a shorter, slightly chunkier Mr. Clean.

And, if it was sunburn - dude, you HAVE to put on sunblock when you go outside. Chefs are allowed to die of heart attacks from eating too much butter and cream, but skin cancer? That just means you didn't spend enough time inside cooking at (one of your many) Craft(s) and too much time OUTSIDE frolicking about with Padma.

I guess I should write about the food a bit, too? Well, the blinis CLEARLY didn't go over well. I think everyone watching the show was like, "WTF, Valerie? Why would you fry something, transport it, then reheat it? Aren't you a chef? Shouldn't you know it's never good to fry something you need to bring somewhere else?" As my notes from last night said:

Blini shipped in Gladware? Yeah, try again. No frying, transporting and reheating, ever again, please! Poor chefmanship.

Also, I'm sorry, ranting side note: WTF is up with every person on the show last night (Tommy excluded) not knowing the difference between a blini and a BELLini? Or at least knowing the correct pronunciation of each?

Stephanie disappointed me, too. I thought she'd be good after last week, but again, why would you try to make crispy celery chip that you then need to transport in some Gladware? Then to try and save it, only to dress the crab salad (apparently I have drugs on the brain, too, Andrew, damn you!! I just wrote "crack" salad instead of crab salad) too early so IT became soggy, I think you're better than that, Stephanie. That said, I'm kind of pulling for her. She seems nice and appears to be a good chef, aside from some sogginess issues. Also, while those mushroom things did look horrible, I seem to remember an issue with Howie and the term "mushroom turds" last season? Don't you think the chefs should learn from previous seasons? Or, maybe, the cameramen/editors shouldn't re-air the same drama from season to season.

On the other side, Team penguin did do really well. I liked their glacier tablesKape, in spite of it being somewhat Sandy-esque. Their food looked good, too. Also, as much as I want to punch Stephanie in the groin for her salad debacle, her banana bread with SALTED CARAMEL sauce looked awse! The Vulture teams' meatballs and quinoa looked really good, too. I kind of hoped they would win, I love meatballs and saying the word "quinoa."

Some final toughts on the episode:

Padma looked pretty bitchy when she came into the chef's waiting area and asked for Team Vulture and Penguin. One would think she wouldn't need to try to emote when she calls the teams to Judge's Table. Everyone must know by now that they call the winners first, then the losers.

Colicchio calling something a "great bite" during judges table was my favorite moment of the night, with the exception of when I realized he looked like Mr. Clean.

To my boy Dale: you always lie and say you tasted the dish. ALWAYS. Also, you should ALWAYS wear a shirt under your chef's coat, otherwise you look filthy and guido.

What's up with Nikki's blue glasses? Is she trying to be like Bono?

Preview for next week: Why are all the chefs wearing douche-y hats? RICK effing BAYLESS! I hope they do a Mexican cooking challenge and he rips them all apart. Except for Stephanie. And Dale (I still like him, even if he is super-bitchy).

1 comment:

The Troll said...

Funny stuff with a few serious points made in the process. Well-written.

The forefathers of what is now called "molecular gastronomy" jointly wrote a statement on the subject a few years ago.

You should search for it.