Thursday, December 11, 2008

In Which I Say WTF?!?! Many Times: Top Chef - Episode 5

OK, did anyone have any doubt in their mind as to who was going home? As soon as Danny was all like, "She'll be a hot bride" about Gail and started making and adding those inexplicable mushrooms to the salad, I knew it was over for him. He seemed like he was a nice, funny guy, but was WAY too cocky this episode for my taste (and apparently, the judges) and I still cannot believe he's 25. Seriously? Chef work has made him look 40.

In the opening segment, I found it hysterical that Ariane was sweeping the house. First, they don't have someone come in and clean for them? Second, it was awesome that the mom was taking care of everyone. Also, Stefan hitting on Jamie was great. Does he not know what lesbian means?

Anyway, onto the Quickfire Challenege. I like the palate challenges. Ever since they started having them, I think they've been interesting and actually showcase a talent many great chefs have. That said, I think this version sucked. I didn't understand that they had to outbid each other for the first round, and I don't think Danny did, either. Once I did get it, I just kind of thought it was stupid. Why couldn't they each just write down as many ingredients as they could identify, then eliminate the one who got the least (or the most wrong). They way it was set up, you could move on without even doing anything. Dumb. Even more dumb, Hosea winning by correctly identifying vegetable oil. However, it did bring us the highlight of the evening, Stefan saying, "I don't give a f*** about these people." Both awesome and not, as it made me lose points on my fantasy team.

Elimination Challenge - cook for Gail's bridal shower. I think this was a tough challenge, because the chefs had to cook for people that know a lot about food, know what they like and don't like, and would be hyper-critical of anything the chefs put out for them to eat. That said, I feel like the chefs are always complaining about having to cook for people with uneducated or retarded palates, or whatever, so they really had the chance to try out some very complex and refined dishes. I think it would have been better if they had gotten to choose a course (appetizer, salad, fish, meat), rather than theme each dish after "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue." Plus, the way the courses went out didn't make any sense. The tomato course was alright as a starter, but after that, the system kind of broke down, right? I mean who wants to eat sea bass after eating a chunk of lamb with Indian spices? Maybe that was the chefs' fault for not talking with one another about the logical progression of the courses, but it seemed a little odd to me.

Random musings on the EC:

- Of course, Ariane, no one who ISN'T married could possibly know the "something old, something new..." phrase.
- Stefan's been married twice. To the same woman. And is now divorced. Again.
- I was almost too amused by Danny lifting weights while Stefan and Eugene sat around and smoked right in front of him. It would only have been better if Danny had been smoking WHILE lifting.

Borrowed: Indian (Radhika, Jamie, Ariane) - lamb
New: Surf and Turf Sushi Roll (Eugene, Danny, Carla) Tom says it's crazy (spectacular or horrible), rice gets overcooked, Eugene adds chili
Blue Melissa, Fabio, Leaf, Sea Bass "ocean" Tom says it's boring
Old: Tomatoes (Stephan, Hosea, Jeff) trio - tureen, carpaccio, gazpacho

At the shower the next day:
Why did Padma feel the need to say "beee-YOU-tiful women." Then Fabio had to copy her later and say it again! WTF? It was awesome that Tom had to lurk and leer about in the because he wasn't allowed to eat with the women at the shower. I felt so bad for him every time the camera showed him, all alone, shoveling food into his face in the kitchen. Although, I think I would have preferred to not eat with 40 women, so maybe he got the better end of the deal, getting to eat alone.

Team Old: Tomato trio. This was a nice first course and it all looked really good, too. The tomato sorbet sounded delicious and I love all heirloom tomatoes, so I imagine the terrine and gazpacho were both awesome, too. Despite Stefan's lack of team-playing, I think they did a good job, although it was probably helped by Hosea having immunity and not being a third voice, arguing about what to serve.

Team New: Ugh. WTF was up with Danny and those mushrooms? I would have cut him if he tried to mangle a dish I had made like that...Carla is a much stronger woman than I am to hold back and not freak the F out. I loved Hosea talking smack about their ridiculous plate, mostly because I was thinking the exact same thing when I saw what they were making. It looked like some kind of plate you'd get at Denny's or your local diner, if they served make-your-own-sushi. Even worse, Danny had to go and say "splooge" in reference to their food. To which I responded, "gross." Then he followed it up with a reference to the bridal shower attendees "taking their clothes off." To which I responded, "more gross."

Team Borrowed: Some lamb with Indian spices, carrot puree, and wilted chard. Um, yum? I'll take two, please. I'm kind of mad everything ended up OK for them, even though Ariane proved, once again, that she has no place in a fast-paced restaurant kitchen. But, I'm glad for Jamie and Radhika that it turned out OK. Actually, I guess I'm mostly glad for Ariane, I think Jamie would have cut her if the lamb wasn't done on time. The best part of their entire segment was Tom angrily leering at them while they were standing around waiting for the lamb to finish cooking.

Team Blue: I agree that it seemed a little blah, especially after the lamb, but I think that goes back to stupid course placement and themes. It was extremely smart of them to send Fabio up to talk to the ladies, though. I would eat almost anything Fabio served to me if he called me "beeee-YOU-tiful" first. For serious. Bitch is hot.

Judge's Table:
Not really a surprise - Old and Borrowed win. Ha! Best part - Stefan's face when the judges told Jeff that his sorbet was the best part of the dish. Worst part - Ariane winning for basically roasting some lamb. WTF? At least Jeff's sorbet was difficult, and don't get me started on the tomato terrine. What about the delightful carrot puree? I'm not saying roasting 8 racks of lamb to perfection is easy, but I think a lot of dishes were more creative and involved, not to mention that some of those chefs did a lot more work than Ariane.

Also not a surprise, New and Blue lose. Eugene and Carla both kind of bailed on their defense of the dish, while Danny stuck with it. And that was his death knell. Note to the chefs: if Tom is basically trying to get you to say you think a dish could have been better, say it. SAY IT!! I kind of felt badly for Fabio when they started smack-talking his fish, but it was good that he kept his mouth shut (for the most part, not until I had lost more points on my fantasy team, though).

In the end, it was Danny, for having a craptacular plate and palate, and for defending an indefensible dish. And probably for calling Gail a hot bride, too, who am I kidding? WTF? Hopefully, next week, Eugene will pull out a win and Fabio will continue to be hot. And Stefan will leave Jamie alone. And Melissa will get rid of that stupid green trucker hat. WTF?

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