Thursday, December 4, 2008

Top Chef Season 5: "Today Show: Rocco DiSpirito"

I should really subtitle this post, "Today Show: Rocco DiSpirito or the overuse of 'little.'" Seriously. What was that about? Every chef, in describing their Quickfire and Elimination Challenge dish, used the word little excessively. "I just put a little balsamic drizzle on it." I made a little toast with a little egg and a little tomato." "I just did a little..." and "I just took a little..." "And I just took out my little knife and cut you." (OK, that last one I made up). Seriously, listen for it next week, soon it's all you'll hear and have to stop watching "top Chef" before your anger forces you to throw your mug of licorice tea at your flat screen.

Anyway, the Quickfire challenge was alright, I like the idea of having each chef make and Amuse Bouche, although I kind of wish it was one that reflected their culinary point of view, rather than breakfast. I don't think any restaurant serves breakfast amuses (?). It seemed like a kind of random meal to have them prepare. Although, now that I'm thinking about it, maybe it was because the winners of the EC were going to The Today Show in the morning, morning = breakfast...I don't know, maybe that's a stretch. Regardless, Leah's was by far my favorite, both in looks and in my imagination of how delicious it would taste (it was my favorite dish of the episode). Jamie's looked good, too, but I agree with Leah, the challenge was to make one bite, not make a mini breakfast. I think trying to eat a fried egg, with your hands, in two bites, might be the most disgusting thing ever, I'm sorry to all of you who feel she was being bitchy and nitpicky. I think she was right and I'm glad Leah won for both making something delicious and following the rules of the challenge.

Also, why do they insist on bringing Rocco back every season? That bitch gets more and more annoying each time I see him. He's so arrogant. And kind of a douchebag. I believe heprobably is a very talented chef, he should have just stuck to the kitchen and not put himself out there for ridicule...I wish Anthony Bourdain and Rocco would judge the same challenege, then just argue between each other, culminating in Tony kicking the crap out of Rocco, followed by them both sitting in the stew room, passing a bottle of wine between them.

And I LOVED Fabio calling him out about not being Italian, but at least he was complimentary of Rocco's food - I guess you don't want to talk smack about someone who'll be deciding if you go home. Fabio's kind of growing on me, though, I'm so glad the editors have stopped focusing on Stefan and Fabio being douchey about Europe and are now focusing on Fabio's awesome sense of humor and his actual ability to cook. That said what's up with Stefan? And Eugene? I think they had a combined 10 seconds on camera last night...

The Elimination Challenge was stupid. I'm sorry, I said it. They did the challenge better on Next Food Network Star, and that's not really saying much. I mean, come on. Let's throw a bunch of chefs with no TV background in front of a camera with no training and no helpful pointers, then just rip them apart for being uncomfortable or pissy-looking. You know, I get that it's important for chefs nowadays to be comfortable in front of the camera, but that's something you get with time and practice, not with a two and a half minute demo, one time. Remember what Emeril and Bobby looked like during the early days of Food Network? yeah, not pretty. I don't remember, but I bet Tommy C. wasn't that great during the first few episodes of Top Chef Season 1, either, and he didn't even have to cook anything. If there had been some training or if they all had to demo the same dish, at least there could have been a more fair comparison among the contestants. It's like they couldn't think of a challenge, then Kathy Lee Gifford called them up, begging to do a segment on Top Chef and the producers were like, "Well, we don't have anything better to do..." Whatever. It's done, and Alex got to go back home to his fiance to write his vows.

For the winners of the EC: I think Jeff was hilarious the entire time - he was so pissy, it was awesome. I don't remember exactly what he said, but his interview about having to serve Middle Eastern food to a bunch of ladies with average palates at 5 am was hysterical! I was actually choking on my aforementioned licorice tea. Fabio, too, was adorable ("I'm fresh out of the boat"), I'm glad he was one of the top three - it seemed like he was a little bit nervous about talking about his food on camera, so it's good to see him come through. As for Ariane, I don't know. She clearly has no shot at winning and I don't know what to say after that. I think her salad sounded good, and it was presumably seasonal when the episode was filmed in August or so, but I kind of agree with those who said she too the easy way out. I mean, I probably would have done the same thing, if I only had two and a half minutes, but I'm not trying to say I'm one of the best chefs in the U.S. Hilarious sidebar: When Alex was talking smack about Ariane winning with her salad after the EC and she interviewed that she felt "some people" thought she took the easy way out, was anyone else thinking, "Great powers of observation, Ariane, since Alex just said EXACTLY that, right in front of you two seconds ago."

On the EC losers: Alex deserved to go home, and, let's face it, we all knew he was going home as soon as he said he missed his family 30 seconds into the show, right? Why would you choose to do a dessert? A dessert that clearly takes more than 1 hour to prep, at that? When he interviewed that anyone who does a dessert gets a "free pass" I was like, see you later jackass, hope your fiance isn't pissed you threw yourself under the bus!" Jamie was clearly too good to go home and it would be horrible to send her home based on her pissy attitude for 5 minutes after she knew she F-ed up. Who wouldn't be pissed off? The judges are lucky I wasn't there...I would have cut a bitch! Melissa - eh. I don't really have any impression of her at all, but it was clear Alex didn't care to fight for himself as much as she did, so I guess she deserves to stay. She'll probably go home next week, anyway. I was mostly concerned about why all three of them appeared to be preparing for a flood. Seriously, why do you need your pant to be that short?

Next Week: Gail pimps out her wedding shower for TV. Awesome. If I were one of her guests I'd be so pissed. Showers are annoying enough as it is, can you imagine having to attend one that's being filmed for your friends' TV show?

Random rant: Again with the random cut-in before the elimination. What the F? What's up with the porno music playing across the entire 20-second spot? Why do we need to see Hosea and Leah starting a relationship or friends-with-benefits situation? I don't care. I just want to see the food.

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