Thursday, March 20, 2008

Top Chef Chicago, episode 2

I should be doing Easter preparations but couldn't resist firing off some random thoughts about my favorite show. (If you haven't watched it yet, there are spoilers ahead.)

- The Andrew dude that was such a jerk last week was a lot less annoying this week. And the profanity level (thankfully) seems to have decreased a bit.

- So far the show seems to be getting away from goofy quick fire challenges like making something out of the junk in the vending machines ... but there's a long way to go in the season. It's more fair for the chefs to compete with five ingredients from the farmer's market, but it was also fun to see what chefs did with some of the wilder challenges in previous seasons. Hung's crazy cereal creation from last year comes to mind.

- It was disconcerting that in a city that was historically known for great beef and sausage, none of the chefs seemed pleased with the meat that was available to them. Maybe it was just that particular farmer's market? (After I wrote this, I found that Ted Allen addressed this very topic on his blog.)

- I was sure the curly haired guy would be screwed when he left his lettuce behind. I admired that he had the wherewithal to come up with a different idea and win the challenge.

- I liked the theme of the elimination challenge. The penguin team's iceberg idea was cool and creative, although I'm not sure I would want to eat it. I'm surprised there wasn't more of that kind of creativity with other teams.

- This week's turd comment is about ... drumroll please ... the mushrooms! And even if they didn't have that appearance, I'm not sure about the combination of mushrooms and blueberries. And Pecorino cheese?

- The gorilla team should have been knocked for not keeping it vegetarian. The reason for a "gorilla" station could have been to accommodate guests who were vegetarian.

- I don't recall having ever eaten a blini.

- Stephanie's Banana Bread with Salted Caramel Sauce & Meringue sounded divine. A banana bread with a caramel sauce, plus a caramel meringue browned with a torch -- that is calling my name. I am making that as soon as I can. Even though Stephanie was in the bottom four last night, she is one of my early favorites.

- How many shots of Padma shoving food into her face did we need to see? Are they trying to let us know that the skinny gal really does eat? Or do guys find something sexy about a gorgeous woman eating? We saw Tom and Wylie eating, but not like the way they shot her, with closeups of her taking a messy mouthful of awkward foods, like lettuce wraps. (And while we're on the topic, can we get over lettuce wraps as finger food? It's a clever concept, but it's impossible to eat them without stuff dripping all over the place.)

- Rick Bayless is on next week! Hooray!


Catherine Wilkinson said...

Hey! You should be a reviewer! That was fun to read, especially since I missed it! And I'm not feeling any Padma love...she really seems out of place...send her to Top Model.
And I agree about that banana bread. Yikes! How awesome does that sound?

Deborah said...

I totally agree with you that the gorilla team shouldn't have been able to get away with not going vegetarian. I totally thought they would say something about it, but it didn't seem to be an issue. What good are the themes if people don't follow them?

Emiline said...

Ha ha- I totally didn't think about all of the close-up shots of Padma eating, but you're RIGHT! I think it might be some sort of fetish? I dunno. Not going there.

I wonder if the subject of poop will come up every week on Top Chef? We'll just have to wait, to find out. Oooh, the suspense.

Anna said...

-- Agree. Andrew was less annoying.

-- What was gorilla group thinking with the meat? I mean seriously?

-- Love New Zealand guy! Glad he's doing well.

-- Love Padma! There were a lot of shots of her eating, but she is a food judge so it makes sense. So she's thin. She looks healthy and radiant.

Tracy said...

Catherine, Deborah, Emiline & Anna,
Thanks for the comments ... so nice to be able to talk Top Chef with my food friends. My husband watches the show with me but isn't into it. Other than Padma maybe.

Speaking of Padma, I didn't mean to knock her. I think she rocks. She is gorgeous and is a thousand times better as a host than Katie was (and she'd probably be great on Top Model, too, although I draw the line at watching that show). It's just that when she eats, they do such a tight close-up that you can practically see down to her tonsils. They don't do that with the other judges. Not that I'd want to see Tom Colicchio's tonsils ... it just seems kind of odd to me. (And Emiline, thanks for agreeing. :-) )

Check it out next week.

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