Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Top Chef Season 5, Episode 2

My husband thinks I've sunk to a new low.

I am playing the Top Chef Fantasy Home Game on I missed the first week, but considering some chefs have negative point totals, that could work for or against me.

It's a tricky business, this game. It's not as easy as, say, Tom's Fantasy Football League, where you merely want to pick the best players. In the Top Chef Fantasy Game, you do get points if a team member wins and lose points if a team member gets auffed (oops, that's another Bravo show), but the game also gives you points for things like helping each other and takes away points for things like getting bleeped. You can win a Top Chef Cookbook for being one of the weekly winners! I love cookbooks! I absolutely do not need another cookbook (just ask my husband -- he says that when I die, he's going to give my cookbooks to the library so they can build a cookbook wing in my name). I can't justify buying them, but I so love winning cookbooks!

I wanted to stay true to the Americans and females so this week I recruited Gene, Jamie and Leah for team Schuh Crew.

So onto my two cents about the show...

They start with a quick reaction to last week's competition.

"In Italian they say it doesn't matter how many dragoon you keel, ees who take home the princess," Fabio says. What? I had to rewind it a couple of times to understand what he was saying. Oh, it's how many dragons you kill. They should give the guy subtitles. "I go for the princess," he says with a smile. I'll bet he can get himself a lot of princesses with that accent and that smile.

On to the QuickFire ... Padma announces it's something that New Yorkers like so much that they spend over $100 million per year on them ... Tom yells "hot dogs!" I'll be damned if he wasn't right! Out comes a hot dog cart, with a professional hot dog maker to cook against the cheftestants. The cheftestants have to make a signature hot dog. It's not such an outlandish idea -- I'm pretty sure I remember someone making seafood hot dogs in a previous season. By the way, this is about the only culinary area that my husband has one over on me -- he actually has made his own Polish sausage in the past.

"I looove hud dug," says Fabio. "Do I know how make hud dug? Nuh, I have no idea how make hud dug." I'm starting to like heem a leetle...

They have 45 minutes and there's lots of the usual running around. Fabio decides to make sausage in a panini. That isn't going to cut the mustard, I just know it. Stefan also is doing a hot dog panini. Paninis must be big with the Europeans.

Jill is putting a ready-made hot dog into sushi. Sounds like a bad idea.

A lot of those hot dogs look pretty darn tasty but I can't keep track of which chefs are which yet. Jamie's has a piece of bone in it, which I hope doesn't lose me points. Although that would be a good rule -- lose points if any part of your dish comes back out of a judge's mouth.

The losers: Jill's sushi dogs and Stefan's global dog.

The winners: Radhika, Fabio (shows what I know), and Hosea (it had bacon ... how bad could that be?). And none of these people are on team Schuh Crew ... boo... Radhika wins with a hot dog with an Indian spin -- didn't she say last week that she didn't want to be known as the girl who cooks Indian? Anyhoo, she wins immunity.

On to the elimination challenge. They are going to open a Top Chef restaurant.

"I open seven restaurant already," says Fabio. "I'm thuddy. To be a Tup Chef is not just aboud da food. Bring it on." Wow, seven restaurants already -- I'm impressed.

They have 30 minutes to shop and two hours to cook for 50. The theme is New American Cuisine -- what does that mean? They have to have appetizers, main courses, and desserts.

Chaos ensues ... pretty boy with blonde hair Jeff says he lets the kids scream for awhile, then he gets them organized in teams of five. I wonder if that counts as helping other contestants ... it would get him points ... nah, I think it was just him being bossy. They head to Whole Foods -- I've never been to Whole Foods. I've got to go to one.

"We go to the grocery store and all the soccer moms are there buying their groceries," Jeff says -- he'd better not be dissing soccer moms -- "...and 15 adrillin filled young chefs run into the store with their baskets. It looks like we're robbing the place..." Adrillin? Does he mean adrenaline? I don't think he can blame that pronunciation on his accent ...

Hosea is doing a seafood dish and decides to use canned crab. That won't be good.

Fabio is doing a beef carpaccio. I love the way he says carpaccio.

Jill decides use ostrich eggs in quiche. Sounds risky to me. Sure enough, back at the kitchen, Jill doesn't know how to open the ostrich egg.

"I see Jeel," says Fabio. "She's ponching the egg, shaking the egg, and the eggs is not opening," he says, laughing. He goes over and expertly sticks the tip of a chef's knife into the egg for Jill. How nice. I've never been into Italian guys, but at this point I'm swooning over Fabio. And him helping Jill will give him points. He is so on the Schuh Crew next week.

Tom C. pops into the kitchen and tells them they'll be cooking at his restaurant, Craft. Nice PR for Tom's restaurant!

Carla says "we're like what??!!" with those crazy eyes and hair of hers.

The diners will be 50 NYC chefs -- a badass bunch, no doubt -- who tried out for the show and didn't make it. Oh, this will be good.

Back at the apartment they show Fabio saying to Stefan, "In Eetaly we say it doesn't matter how many dragoon you keel, was that matter whose breeng home the preencess," even less intelligibly than in the morning. I wonder if this was after some vino.

And then they give him SUBTITLES!

"We'll see who the princess comes home with," says the subtitle, even though that's not even close to what it sounds like. Subtitles or no, I'd be the guy's princess, if I didn't already have prince of my own. He says more heavily accented stuff -- I don't know what it was but it all sounded good -- and then kisses Stefan on his bald head and starts wrestling with Stefan. I would say something about the kissing and wrestling but my husband and in-laws read my blog so I'll just let it go.

The next morning they show Carla opening her eyes really wide to put on eye makeup and oh my goodness, they look like the eyes of a pug. I've heard that pugs' eyes sometimes pop out. It looks like hers could. Although she seems to have a good personality otherwise.

Then Gene gets bleeped with subtitles! Damn him, that will lose me points. Maybe he's who I replace with Fabio.

Fabio is doing something with olives. He purees them, then puts them in a chemical so they become solid on the outside. Hmmm ... I'm not sure if that sounds good or bad.

Hosea is working on his canned crab salad and is feeling great. They show him enough that you know he'll land in the top or bottom, and I have a hunch it's the bottom.

Ariane is having everyone try her lemon meringue martini. It's too sweet and it's obvious she's going to be on the bottom.

Carla is talking some more with those eyes, so you know she's probably in the top or bottom.

As Tom gives the chefs their instructions, he tells the chefs not to taste and put the tasting spoon from their mouth back into the dish. That's too funny -- how many bloggers have commented about that? I'm sure he doesn't want that practice to ruin all the good PR his restaurant gets from this episode. Good businessman, that Tom.

Jamie makes a chilled corn soup. I don't like cold soup but it's well received. Hosea is confident, but the diners don't like it (surprise, surprise). Leah's scallop dish is sandy and is said to be 80s in its presentation. She is so not getting me points. Fabio's dish is well received.

Jill's dish is compared to dog food and glue -- that's not good. Gene's dish is an open-faced meatloaf sandwich. It's panned -- I think he's putting me in the negative zone this week. I should have known not to trust a guy covered with tats.

When they taste Radhika's dish, Padma tells the other judges that it's Radhika's dish and it has immunity. Now this is strange to me. Wouldn't it be more fair if the judges tasted the dishes blind first, and then found out who cooked them?

Padma spits out Ariane's dessert. Seriously, I think Bravo should make that lose points.

In the end, a lot of the diners are very negative, which strikes me as sour grapes. I think competing on Top Chef is harder than it looks -- plus, I'm sure the casting is done based on personality in addition to skills. A few diners give props to the chefs, though.

Judges Table: They call six chefs to judges table. They commend Carla for her apple pastry. Fabio starts fervently defending his dish, and finally the judges explain that they LIKED it, and that's why they called him to judges table.

"Oh, that's gud," he said with a lopside smile. "I'm glad you like it. That's why I made it." Everyone laughs. OK, Fabio is being drafted to my team, even if he's not American or female. He's a dreamboat.

Jamie is also in the top three for her cold corn soup. I personally wouldn't like it but WAHOO! Go Schuh Crew!

The winner is .... Fabio! He says something with subtitles, but it's actually spoken in Italian this time. And it appears that he doesn't win a dang thing for the win. Later, Stefan gives Fabio a kiss on the lips and a big hug to congratulate him. Since those two are not on Team Rainbow, European men are clearly a different breed from American men. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Either way, those European men are kicking some American and female butt.

The bottom three: Hosea, Ariane and Jill. Ariane said her dessert was something they do at their restaurant, which isn't good PR for her restaurant! Jill stammers out a defense but she looks and sounds like a stoner.

Jill is told to pack her knives and go. Behind the scenes, Jill and Ariane sob. Ariane says she doesn't deserve to be there and Carla reassures her.

Time to revise the Schuh Crew -- I'm definitely recruiting Fabio -- although the site is down right now. Apparently I'm not the only person pathetic enough to waste time to have the chance at winning a cookbook.


Judy said...

Ok, You're invited to visit me, and we can both go to Fabio's restaurant, Cafe Firenze, which is only 20 minutes from my house. He's my favorite, understandably -- a local boy with a top-rated restaurant.

Tracy said...

Judy, I'd love it! Hmmm .... now to figure out how to get across the country to California!

David Dust said...

I totally thought Jill seemed stoned also.

And Fabio could recite the phone book and I'd be happy!

CLICK HERE for DavidDust's Top Chef New York recap.


ToyLady said...

We just watched this episode last night - and my husband totally called the hot dog challenge, too. . . though really, that shouldn't surprise me - the first time I went to Jersey with him, he took me into The City for a "real" hot dog. Meh. It wasn't my beloved white hot with hot sauce.

I hope they lose the Jersey Girl, Ariane, soon. And the freaky hair woman is. . . weird. I would so boot her out of my kitchen.

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