Friday, February 4, 2011

I'm Running Out of People to Root For (TC 8.8)

With Marcel recently departed from the Top Chef Stage (that sound you hear is me sobbing in the corner) the Chef's are in need of a new villain, because you know there is always one. So whose going to fill the void: Russian Bride Angelo, Pissed-off Asian Dale or Douchebag Mike. My bet is on Douchebag Mike.

QUICKFIRE: The Chefs come in to see Lord of the Crazy Isaac Mizrahi standing in there Kitchen, causing Fabio to quip that he going to have to make a great dish and then Mizrahi is going to wear it. But alas, it is not something that interesting. The Challenge is to make a plate that will be judged on presentation and aesthetics only.

For the record, i hate these kind of challenges. It's not that i have a problem with aesthetics, god knows i won't eat food that doesn't look appetizing. It's just that if the plate is beautiful and the food sucks it is just as bad. So i think it would have been more interesting if the Chef has to create a pretty dish and then the judges had to eat it too.

Anyways there as some kooky plates including Angelo's egg-bag-crocodile skin thing that looked like vomit in a bag. Hand of Death Antonia created a tree on her plate modeled after The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstien. Professor Blais made some sort of black and blue ice cream vomit thing. Tre basically put colored squiggles on a plate. My Favorite was Carla's green and red plate; she made a green lattice and then layered beets and cucumber, it looked gorgeous and i wanted to eat it too. But somehow Blais's Black ice cream thing wins. I'm still scratching my head on that one. Black food in general is unappetizing because food, generally, isn't black. Sure you can say blackberries, but name me another food that is black.

ELIMINATION: Then 3 men come waltzing into the room like something straight out of the Godfather. I mean all they needed was machine guns in there briefcases and it would have totally fit into Godfather 4. The chefs were then divided into 3 teams: Frankie No, Jr, and Dino. Contestants would have to create a dish inspired by the Rao family, who own a very famous Italian restaurant in NYC. Team Dino would have to do Antipasta, which is a starter with no pasta (duh). Team Jr had to do Primi, which is the pasta dish and Team Frankie No would be doing Secondi, which is a meat dish. Teams were divided as such:
  • Dino/Antipasta: Hootie Ho Carla, Hand of Death Antonia and Other Tiffany
  • Junior/Primi: Douchebag Mike, Tre and Pissed-off Asian Dale
  • Frankie No/ Secondi: Russian Bride Angelo, Professor Blais and Italian Sausage Fabio
 Onto the cooking: They introduce the judges and guest eaters and I got distracted by Rao's Bartender's vest. It was like a shiny sparkly travesty. I think you could see it from space. That's a What Not to Wear episode all in itself. Anyways the Antipasta group goes off without too many hitches. Other Tiffany manages to burn some of her polenta but otherwise the judges seem to like everything they make.

It's not so good for group Junior/Primi. The Judges basically hate everything they made. Douchebag Mike's rigatoni is undercooked. Tre's risotto is way too heavy on the garnish, and they hate everything about Dale's pasta-pancetta travesty. Team Frankie No/Secondi saves the day though. Italian Sausage Fabio's Pollo Allo Cacciatora and Polenta is delightful; the Judges just rant and rave about how good it was. They don't love Angelo's pork chop saying that it drowning in sauce but it is still better than anything Team Junior made. Professor Blais's pancetta cutlet is also generally well-liked.

We head in to judges table and Douchebag Mike is ranting about how Other Tiffany's dish wasn't really an Antipasta. Doesn't matter the Judges call all of Team Dino/Antipasta and Italian Sausage Fabio into the winner's circle. I thought for sure that Fabio was going to take the Italian challenge but it ends up going to Hand of Death Antonia's Mussels and Fennel dish. Fabio complains the dish is actually French, but it doesn't matter a win is a win.

On the flip side, all of team Junior/Primi is brought in for elimination. They pretty much slaughter all of them. Mike's undercooked pasta, Dale's bland dish and Tre's over-garnished Risotto. I was hoping Douchebag Mike was going to get knocked out or Pissed-Off Asian Dale. But alas it was Tre, the only cheftestant that i could never give a nickname too because he never does anything worth giving a nickname too. That was always my problem with Tre, he is likable without doing anything interesting.

WINNER: Hand of Death Antonia

OUT: Tre

**Quotables**

"Make a great dish and then i have to wear it."- Italian Sausage Fabio

"It looks like a godfather movie scene. I love it."- Fabio

"That goes like Charles Manson or something."- Isaac Mizrahi

"Some poor bastard in the witness protection program is eating this right now."- Anthony Bourdain
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