Thursday, December 04, 2008

Top Chef Season 5: the Rocco episode

Today I get an email from, and the headline read, "Fabio Fulfills your Fantasies." Uhhhh....

Then I read that Fabio netted me 10 points in the online Top Chef Fantasy game. That's great, but my two gals netted a negative 7. My fantasy season isn't looking good. Oh well....

Just a few observations about the Rocco episode...

Am I right or have they started showing Ariane eating breakfast at the beginning of every episode? At least she's not eating yogurt with a huge spoon. And is it my imagination, or do they always play scary music whenever they show her?

Quick Fire: a Breakfast Amuse Bouche
- Rocco, Rocco, Rocco ... I'm still not sure what I think of Rocco. He was so arrogant in "The Restaurant." And such a lame dancer, although I guess I give him credit for trying.
- Fabio says that what he likes for breakfast is something "zweet," like brioche, some fruit, and some cappuccino. Yum. I personally thought his strategy of going sweet when the others were going savory was a good move, and what he made looked yummy. Guess the judges didn't agree. Either way, I predict Fabio is going to become a star from this. The combination of his looks, his charm and his accent ... I'd watch him on a cooking show any day of the week.
- Stefan's eggshell presentation idea was clever. So was Daniel's stuffed zucchini blossom, even though the execution didn't work. Many of the others seemed to do, ''a piece of toast, bacon, and some bullsh1t egg," as Fabio put it. They all looked the same to me, but two were in the top three, so what do I know.

Elimination Challenge: a cooking demo for home cooks
- They announce that the challenge is a demo suitable for live TV, and then immediately cut to Carla with her crazy eyes. But you know, I like her. She seems to be an up, caring human being. Her wacky stuff makes her interesting
- Then they go to Whole Foods ... Whole Foods, Schmole Foods ... Wegmans is at least as good as they are, and they should have shown Wegmans in Rochester last week. I'm still bummed about that. And oh, by the way, what would happen at Wegmans or Whole Foods if WE asked to go behind the counter and cut our own fish or meat? Yeah, I don't think so.
- Ariane does a simple salad with tomato, watermelon, feta and basil oil. I've had a similar salad and I just do not like the combo of watermelon and tomato. They give her a cheer for finishing with 14 seconds left. What???!!! On live TV, that would be an uncomfortably long period of dead air or filler chattering. It shouldn't have been a race as to how fast they could do the demo. Thumbs down to the judges for not calling her on that.
- Jamie's salad of a duck egg, bacon "lardon" and caviar seemed out of whack for a demo to home cooks. I don't think I've ever seen a duck egg -- even at Wegmans -- but I could be wrong. And I don't know lots of home cooks who use caviar. And the uncooked egg white - ugh.
- Am I the only one who thought that the caption said that Jeff worked at D!ldo Beach Club? I had to do a double take when it came up. Either way, I don't care for him or his attitude.
- Fabio's tuna looked beautiful with that crust. I hate tuna cooked that way, with just a little sear on the outside, but boy was it pretty. When they asked when he came from Italy, he answered, "I'm fresh outta da boat." Cute.
- Tom spit out Melissa's habanero shrimp. This must be the year of judges spitting out food. I was sure she was going home.

The judges' discussion about the contestants bugged me -- to judge them based on their personalities? So they've gone from elements of Hell's Kitchen (last week's losers cleaning the kitchen) to elements from The Next Food Network Star. The thing I like about Top Chef is that people are not made-for-TV personalities. They are kind of hardcore, which is what's cool about them. I'm not crazy about that twist, but I think the elimination was about the food.

In the end, Ariane wins with a simple salad and a too-short demo. She seemed pleased with herself for winning ... but let's remember she has done well for roasting a turkey and making a salad I've had several times. As much as I'd like to see the gal in her 40s do well, I'm not seeing it yet.

Melissa or Alex-- either elimination would have been ok. Still too many chefs to keep track of... although I might have sent Alex packing for the flood pants with the green socks.

I meant to watch Ariane on the Today show this morning ... did anyone catch it?


HoneyB said...

I got a real chuckle when you mentioned the caption where Jeff worked. I actually thought it said the same thing!

Sounds like we are in agreement with the show, well said!!

Jodi said...

Add me to the list of those that did a double take on Jeff's caption. I even paused it and pointed it out to Mike (yes, I act like a 13 year old sometimes!).

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