I'm getting tired of these Top Chef posts. Let me keep this short.
Now it's Christmas in the Top Chef kitchen ... makes sense since it was Thanksgiving a few weeks ago -- in ROCHESTER, remember?
Quickfire: one-pot holiday meal, with Martha Stewart as the judge.
"When I was six, I was evil ... I was a bad boy," Fabio says. Can't you just picture him as an adorable little six-year-old with a mischievous twinkle in his eye? His Grandma solved the problem by having him stir the polenta for an hour. So he makes polenta. Too stinking cute.
That's about all I remember from the Quickfire. Then it's judgment time ... am I the only one who would have been SCARED TO DEATH to have Martha judge my food? I agree with Leah ... she's badass ... not only does she have an intimidating presence, she has also done hard time.
Martha turns up her nose at a few dishes -- including Fabio's -- she said his polenta was gray, but it looked yellow to me. She awards a copy of her new book to fellow New Jersey gal, Ariane. Although Ariane is on a winning streak, I still don't see her lasting. The stuff she has cooked thus far has been very simple, and although she does them well, she's bound be be unseated by some of the more creative chefs. And that's it for Martha -- she stopped by long enough to plug her book, then buh-bye.
In comes a gospel choir from Harlem. Good God can they sing. Dang. I've always wanted to go to a service that had a really good Gospel choir. If the chefs were really puzzled about why the choir was singing "The 12 Days of Christmas," then they are pretty slow. The challenge (duh): a dish inspired by the 12 Days of Christmas. This is a tough one, but if they do anything that remotely can be applied to the song, they will be ok -- so they shouldn't overthink it.
They had the chefs sing a few bars and what a surprise -- Fabio can sing! He's no Pavarotti (and I did see him in person, at Ravinia near Chicago), but his voice is pleasant!
Anyhoo, some of the chefs are pretty clever in being inspired by the theme. Some of the harder ones:
- Jeff gets the Lords a Leaping -- a difficult one -- and looks for frog legs, which I think is clever. There aren't frog legs in Whole Foods, so he's stumped, until he remembers two different Greek cheeses, so he's going to leap from island to island. Not bad for an arrogant dude.
- Stefan has the drummers drumming, so he's doing chicken pot pie. No explanation of how the drumming applies to the pot pie. Confused.
- "Once again, I peek the crappy theme," says Fabio. "What you gunna do with nine ladies dancing that resembles, somehow, food." I love the way he says "food."
The next day ... bad stuff. A fridge is warm. They don't say why. Was it on the blink? Left open? Anyhoo, Radhika and Hosea seem to be screwed ... until the whole crew pitches in and helps them. Nice. Very much in the spirit of Christmas (in July).
The AmFAR event appeared to be a success, with everyone serving a finished dish and fitting in the theme, some better than others. Stefan's pot pie was supposed to resembled a drum. Hosea did smoked pork, because the pipers reminded him of putting something in a pipe and smoking it. Hmmmm ... I wonder what that says about Hosea. Gene came up with some kind of a goofy story about the golden rings ... hello, he was using pineapple -- all he had to do was cut it into golden rings! Another case of him overthinking -- he seems to be his own worse enemy.
The winner: Hosea, whose dish ended up being a group effort. So Michelle Bernstein gives all the chefs a copy of her new book. Pretty funny, because I'm sure some of those chefs would rather forget Michelle Bernstein!
In the end, nobody goes home, but Tom lectures all of the chefs that he was disappointed with the food. He's tired of the chefs playing it safe. Not exactly a ho, ho, ho ending ... it would have been a bit nicer if the chefs remained because they did a heck of a job for a worthy function ... but that's reality TV, huh?