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Top Chef: lamest. cold. war. ever.

I actually got pretty upset this week with Top Chef.  It started out simple enough, where the chefs were given exotic food items from emu eggs to duck liver which turned out to be duck testicles and everyone had a giggle at Angelo’s expense who chose the offending item.  Halfway through the quickfire challenge, Padma comes in and tells all the chefs to take the station to the right of them so now Kevin gets stuck with the duck testicles and Kelly has the emu egg.  I thought it was sort of a lame twist.  I actually wanted to see what the hell they could do with their dish.  Kelly ended up winning immunity by having an omelet with emu egg.  I love omelets so I was happy for her win.

The side drama: the guest judge is a competitor of Andreas.  Not cool.  Out of all the judges they could have gotten, they pluck one out with a conflict of interest with one of the chefs?  I understand that in the past sometimes people had previously worked under guest judges, but that relationship had ended by the time of the competition.  It wouldn’t be nice to have a chef with a current positive relationship and same goes with the negative.  What, nobody wants to play with Padma?

Then the elimination dish: to prepare a meal best served cold, hence cold wars.  They were in two different teams, Group A with Kenny, Kevin, Ed, Amanda, and Alex and Group B with Angelo, Tamesha, Tiffany, Andrea, and Stephen.  Each group would get to nominate someone for the win and someone for the loss.  Hmm…I wonder if there is going to be some strategy in play here?

We watch them cook and plan and be pissy and then the judging happens.  How long did it take Angelo to start attacking Kenny’s dish?  (Kenny’s not even that awesome anym0re!  I mean, he has the inflated of Angelo but sent to the bottom wayyyy too many times to justify it.  At least Angelo has only been there when HE HAD IMMUNITY.)  Angelo needs to think of a better enemy.  The group mostly votes against Kenny except for Andrea who points out that she got cartilage stuck in Amanda’s dish (which Alex had noticed and not bothered to mention).  Majority rules so Kenny is at the bottom.  Kevin is placed at the top despite being accused that it lacked acidity (though Tom was quick to point out that Kevin had indeed taken that into account when preparing the dish with lemons and tomatoes).

The second group comes in.  Everybody loves Tiffany’s dish – ahi tuna in gazpacho sauce – and she comes out on top.  Everyone else except for Andrea sorta sucked it seemed.  But they singled out Tamesha which made me smile because her attitude had been grating on me lately.  Her being sent to the bottom also makes the audience wonder if Angelo sabotaged her.  It doesn’t seem that he would do that to her this early in the game, but he was acting LIKE the executive chef and he made some bad calls about her dish.

So, Kenny whines and moans about how he’s only sent to the bottom because people are afraid of him.  Really?  How many times have you been sent here?  The guest judge ripped a new one for him.  Tamesha got ripped as well and for someone so young to be such an uppity little bitch on screen to get ripped like that was pleasurable.  I mean, seriously, at first she seemed like she was classy but then she just seemed to be a quieter, egomaniac with no record to prove it.  I’m the first person to say it could be editing by the TV people to have transformed her this way but in the end, you know you’re on camera, don’t talk about you’d kill another chef so easily WHEN YOU SUCK.  And part of becoming better is to admit when you make mistakes.  I don’t recall her doing that at all this season.  So Angelo’s little buddy got sent home.  Come back when you grow up.

But what really pissed me off?  No one, not even I’m-so-Asian-despite-not-being-sexy-Asian Angelo, tried sushi or sashimi.  I understand its actually very difficult to be trained in this arts but why is it on this show when I see a challenge best suited for Asian cooking, the best I see are Asian “influences?”  But seriously, when I think I want a cold dinner, I think I’m going to eat some sushi tonight.  (Actually, I really want to have sushi tonight!)  Can the judges shake things up and give them an Asian challenge?

Categories: Dining, recap Tags: ,

Top Chef Double Recap: Chefs collide

I actually thought I had posted last week, but it seems to have gotten eaten in the ether. Both of the last episodes showed the chefs getting contentious with each other. I know its reality television and all but am I the only to miss the camaraderie that existed in the last season?  I know there were definitely egos bashing but the Voltaggio brothers, Kevin, Jennifer, and Eli really made it seem near the end that there were chefs making good food as opposed to Survivor like flanks.  I miss that a lot. Read more…

Categories: Dining, recap Tags: ,

Top Chef: Kids and Kass

I really enjoyed the episode this week.  This week the guest judge was Chef Kass from the White House, and the focus was making nutritious food that was tasty.

As usual, the episode started with a quickfire challenge that actually made me giggle out loud.  Told to make a “bipartisandwich,” the chefs also were required to wear apron where they were joined at the hip.  So each chef only had one hand/arm to work with.  Obviously, having someone left and right handed together would be best but it still was rather amusing to watch.  Frankly, I was disappointed in the chefs lack of respect for each other.  There were a couple who were afraid while holding onto an item that the other chef was going to chop off their hands.  Really?  They’re contestants on Top Chef and they’re accidentally going to cut something off of you?  Now, maybe you’re concerned it wasn’t accidental…well, I understand there are liability waivers but I doubt anyone is willing to risk the lawsuit that would entail you losing the ability to do your job.

Angelo and Tracy ended up winning quickfire giving them immunity during the elimination challenge.  It would have been pretty bad if Angelo hadn’t won given that he runs a sandwich shop in NYC.  Tracy made some kind of reference for having a crush on him but I thought that was tongue in cheek (isn’t she a lesbian?).  Having their immunity, then strategy came into play.  They ended up picking Kenny, they’re biggest competitor, to be on their team.  Thus, in the event that they would be on the bottom, Kenny would have a 50% chance of going home instead of 25%.

Then came the elimination challenge: cooking for 50 middle school children but pleasing the pallets of a bunch of high end chefs.  They were limited to the budget a local public school would get which is $2.68 not including labor and supply costs. There was some drama with the winning team, as Kelly, who made some kick ass pork carnitas in an oat taco shell started to be a control freak who was claiming credit on everything.  This drama queen moment aggravated the actual drama queen of the team, Arnold.  They had some “face off” but it was tame at best, IMO.  They clearly brought the whole vision together and took the top prize for cooking winning the elimination.  (And yes, Kelly was at the very top.)

What was more interesting were the losers of the group — reality television show at its best!  Sort of.  First off, the teams started to bash each other.  I don’t know if it had happened before and they never showed it but it was the first time I saw it on Top Chef.  Stephen blasted the other team over their lack of vegetables, and then Ed retorted back and the preposterous use of sherry (for children and for a budget!).  There also was some smack talk over the use of peanut butter for its over-processed sugars.  But my favorite moment?  When Tom asked Angelo point blank that he may have thrown his team under the bus because he had immunity, Angelo, like the pansy he is, pleaded the 5th.  What. the. hell.  Either say you would never do that or say you completely did that.  Stop being such a wuss and you just look slimy for it.  People can respect a manipulative asshole; people can’t respect a wussy asshole.  I wish he didn’t have immunity so the judges could have thrown him out for that.  In the end, however, Jacqueline was sent home despite the sherry mess Amanda dished out.  It probably had to do also with the fact that Jacqueline screwed up the week before, honestly.  But I’m glad to see her go and I just keep on waiting for Angelo to have his fall…

P.S.  There is one part of the episode that pissed the hell out of me.  I understand that I was weird as a child because I liked vegetables, but for once can we introduce Asian inspired food to children who are not exposed to it?  Nothing makes me happier than a vegetable stir fry and noodles.  Cheap, healthy, easy to make.  I realize that kids for this competition would probably not be open to it, and its better to stick to thinks they are familiar with, but seriously, you want your child to like veggies more?  I’ll give you some stir fry recipes that your kids will ask for again and again.  And, duh — NO one did Sweet Potato Baked Fries?  The mousse was too disgusting?

Categories: Dining, recap Tags: , , ,

Top Chef Returns!

This past week started the season 7 on Bravo.  It was fun reuniting with the old faces as well as the new group now in a new city: DC.  As it seems with the first episode, we get bombarded with all the new contestants.  Trying to keep up with, “wait, which one are you?” and “what EXACTLY are you doing?” is always a bit challenging in the beginning, but such is the format of Top Chef.   Read more…

Categories: Dining, recap Tags: , , ,

Choose my birthday dinner!

December 4, 2009 2 comments

My birthday is coming up in a couple weeks, my husband and I tend to go out to a fancy place for dinner.  (We literally go out to a fancy place three times a year — one for his birthday, one for mine, and one for our anniversary.)  Because of our recent home purchase and the financial strain that came with it, we haven’t really gone anywhere.  So, I really want to go someplace nice for my birthday and to end the year as well.  Despite knowing that very few people read this blog, I thought I’d take a poll from whoever for their input.  You can add any of your own choices as well.  I starred the places I haven’t eaten at before.

If you’d like to see the restaurants’ websites, click on these links: Yamashiro, Daily Grill, The Dining Room at the Langham, Scarlet Tea Room and Fine Dining, and Gyu-kaku.

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