On Thursday, Bravo presents The Top Chef Holiday Special at 9PM. Watch as contestants from season 1, 2, and 3 of Top Chef battle it out to win a holiday challenge to feed Santa. Preview after the jump.
Last night, the winner of Top Chef was crowned live. Would it be Casey, the Rachel Green lookalike? Dale, the big gay chef with a mohawk? Or Hung, the brash youngster?
Sigh. Hung won. Congrats to him, I guess. He didn't bother me during the episode at all, really, so whatever. Before the episode started and we saw Marcel sitting in the live audience, I said to the geekboy, "I wonder if the judges will self-correct for letting assface Ilan win last year over Marcel." And it looks like they did.
Casey choked, Casey blew it. I knew she wouldn't win after the pork bellies thing. It's weird she chose to do a short braise after Malarkey got shit for it last time, no? I did think Dale made a wonderful meal - a WINNING meal. Stacking up what he did next to what Hung did...Hung had Sara make him a basic chocolate cake! The judges usually get pissed over stuff like that!
Anyway. I thought the finale was really fun - the celebrity sous chefs was the GREATEST idea. I actually gasped when I watched Rocco walk through the door! How fun for everybody.
So, what did you think? Did Hung deserve the win?
On Top Chef, our group is down to the Final Three. Yes, three people will be cooking at the end this time instead of two. Who will they be?
Exactly who we thought they'd be. Casey, Hung and, wonderfully, Dale. Dale did a great job this week and really is pulling it out in the clutch as well as providing the best commentary ever. "I've slept with cowboys, but never cooked for any!" Love.
Hung's attitude became insufferable this week, and Dale's statement from last week about how Hung's food has no soul was echoed in the sentiments of guest judge Eric Ripert. In fact, Hung was so full of himself that, during the Quickfire when he finished early, he stood around laughing at the others instead of double- and triple-checking everything. Turns out he forgot to add lemon juice to the fish. Lemon juice! Even I know that. It appeared that he actually attempted to lie about it, then thought better of it. Sigh.
Casey won the Quickfire with her simple and clean ingredients, and Dale won the Elimination Challenge with a huckleberry/blackberry sauce that impressed everyone. Hung was called out for his lack of heart, and then proceeded to make a "heartfelt" speech about how food and cooking is his entire life. Blah blah blah.
As for Malarkey, what can we say? He dropped his fish on the ground, he put 3000 ingredients in his final dish, and (GASP) made the great chef Eric Ripert CHOOSE HIS OWN CHEESE. The nerve. I love me some Malarkey, but it was time for him to go.
I cannot WAIT for the finale.
So, we have our Final Four on Top Chef. Chuck mentioned to me in an email that it's amazing how mature and nice these chefs have been compared to last season. With the exception of Hung, of course...
Listen, there's no denying that Hung is an extremely talented guy (I'm awed by his knife skills), but he's SUCH an ass! He can't accept a compliment without ragging on his fellow chefs, and he can't take criticism without blaming it on everyone but himself. I hope that the judges take his attitude into consideration when choosing the winner; a real chef needs to inspire and command respect. He does not.
I am thrilled to see Dale and Casey in the Final Four. After the guy from Le Cirque made the comment about Casey being attractive, I realized how tough it must be to be a female at such a high level of chefdom. Is "chefdom" a word? Anyway, Malarkey squeaked through to the Final Four as well, even with that bright green vomit on a plate that really had nothing to do with the main ingredients the chefs were supposed to use. But Sara blew it with undercooked chicken - Gordon Ramsey would have gone berserk, eh?
So, on to the Finals! Go Dale! And try not to be such a spaz, okay?
Susie pointed out over on my blog that I've been ignoring Top Chef. Guilty as charged! We are still watching it. I suppose because this season's crop of chefs is so mature and talented, there isn't a ton of drama, so I forget about posting. Plus, I've been reading Anthony Bourdain's blog, and it's so much better than anything I could say that I don't even see the point. But, here are my opinions so far:
I was truly disappointed to see CJ go last night. I was also disappointed to see Trey go earlier on. The thing about this season being so full of great chefs; it's tough to see anybody leave. Although I wasn't sorry to see Howie go. I would also be fine with Hung leaving. I don't care for his "they just don't get me" attitude, and his lack of teamwork. He's young; he'll mature into an incredible chef someday.
Right now my favorite is Dale. I like his positive attitude and I think he's solid and does good work. Bourdain doesn't think he's too creative, but I don't know about that. I don't really see many of the chefs taking risks this season. Sara is also starting to grow on me, but I don't know that she has the goods to win. Malarkey probably doesn't have much longer on the show, either. Enough with the fish already, my god. Casey could be our first female Top Chef, I reckon.
What about you guys? Who do you think should/will win?
And so Rock won Hell's Kitchen. Yay?
Top Chef is still fun, as Howie continues his reign of terror, as well as hang onto the bottom of the pack by his fingernails. Hung continues to insult every master chef that walks into the joint. And makes cauliflower ice cream. What is WRONG WITH HIM?
I might as well add in the latest episode of Top Chef. It was the perennial favorite - Restaurant Wars! This season, both teams were so equally crap that they are being given a do-over for next week. Seriously, Dale, scented candles?
My apologies for forgetting to do a Hell's Kitchen/Top Chef recap last week. It appears none of you noticed, anyway, hee hee. Anyway, let's get to it.
On Hell's Kitchen, the remaining three contestants (yes, we lost Waffle House Julia in a very touching elimination) meet Gordon's mom and cook for their own. Everyone cries, especially Jen, who is a REALLY ugly crier. She and Amber from Big Brother should cry together. Jen wins this challenge, and gets a $1000 shopping spree at a chef supply store. I hope she bought gifts for Rock and Bonnie. In the elimination challenge, each contestant takes turns in the front of the kitchen. Bonnie is suprisingly good at being a hardass. Remember she's also the same person who's never heard of franks and beans. WTF? So, come elimination time, Gordon chooses Rock and Bonnie as his Final Two. Eliminating Jen. WHAT? BONNIE? I guess Gordon really wants Rock to win. Alrighty then. I must say this was a lackluster season of Hell's Kitchen. I hope that his Kitchen Nightmares show is better.
Over on Top Chef, the Quickfire Challenge is moderated by Rocco DiSpirito, a chef who was once on top of the world and now sells frozen dinners. Nice! The challenge involves the chefs identifying certain foods, vegetables and spices by taste or sight alone. Casey wins, although I feel it's a bit unfair when she has to identify "bowtie pasta" and Brian gets some bizarre-looking "japanese eggplant." The thing of note here is that Hung is so sure of his that he blurts it out without even tasting it, then tastes it and realizes he's wrong. HA HA!
The Elimination Challenge is to pair up and make a frozen Italian dinner that can be cooked in a skillet in 10 minutes. Now, the secret to this apparently is to freeze every ingredient separately. I'm shocked that was considered a "secret." Who didn't know that already? Maybe I eat too many frozen dinners. Anyway, Hung and Joey were paired up. Recipe for disaster, which it was. Hung, who never before has had a problem with being obnoxious, is totally cowed by Joey and doesn't push the issue of individual flash freezing. Big mistake. In fact, the ONLY team that freezes their product correctly is Tre and CJ, who win the Challenge AND a trip to Italy apiece. AWESOME. Joey is eliminated, and he breaks down into tears when he says goodbye to his new friends. Awwwww.
This week on Hell's Kitchen, Jen went from mild-mannered boring chef to bitch on wheels. It was weird. The boys finally won their first challenge and got to play paintball with Chef Ramsey. Who beat them all. In the elimination challenge, Ramsey informed them they all sucked, with the exception of Julia, whose strip steak and shrimp dish was very popular and was cooked well. Can Julia really win this? Maybe she will, but Ramsey will defer the prize and give her the chance to study with him instead? I don't know. She's got some raw talent, though, that's for sure.
Over on Top Chef, Hung stunk up the place. His Quickfire chocolate mousse pie sucked butt, and his Latin-inspired dish was soundly rejected by the cast of Latino telenovella actors. Good to see him knocked down a few. Joey and Howie ended up being the top two, with Howie winning the Elimination Challenge. He gave his prize, a bottle of fine wine, to Joey. Awwwww. Fat Guy Love. Unfortunately, Lia, last week's winner, packed her knives and left. Rats.
Over on Hell's Kitchen this week, the chefs have to create lobster recipes. On Top Chef, teams are asked to create trios. There were high points and low points on each show, that's for sure.
First off, Bonnie, I'm not sure I understand why you are on Hell's Kitchen, hoping to be a master chef, when you are afraid of killing a lobster. That kind of squeamishness is ridiculous and I was surprised that Ramsey didn't give her more shit about it. Oh well. That whole challenge was weird anyway - Ramsey was very kind to them about all of their dishes, and it seemed like a draw. Funny that the women won the "magazine shoot" reward, huh? Rock reacted by going batshit insane. On her new team, Melissa sucked even harder than usual, and Ramsey, thank christ, kicked her off.
Over in the Top Chef Kenmore Gladware Bombay Sapphire kitchen, the Quickfire asks the chefs to make a dish to pair with a gin-based cocktail. The judge doesn't care for Hung's, and Hung immediately tells us that the guy was "confused." This is the second master chef/food professional that Hung has decided is stupid because they don't like his food. Also, he makes foam. Enough already. Casey (who?) wins the Quickfire, with an improvised french toast dish. In the Food Trio challenge, though, she seems to coast on her immunity status and her team ends up near the bottom. No matter, though, as Dale, Camille (who?) and Sara's team decide to make desserts and totally fumble. Camille packs her knives and goes, and I don't care because I could have sworn I'd never seen her before. The winner is Lia, who I find completely adorable, so yay.
Hell's Kitchen last night...holy crap. Did anyone else hurt themselves trying to actually reach into the television to put a gag in Melissa's mouth? Seriously, SHUT UP. And TIE BACK YOUR HAIR, FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST. Personally, I do not care for long curly hairs in my food. Short ones either. Ew. I just grossed myself out. Also? What is happening under her lip? Is she growing a goatee? Or is it a removed labret piercing? Either way, yikes.
So, during this episode, Melissa basically screws up in hundreds of different ways. She screws up so badly and so bizarrely that Ramsey starts to think she is trying to sabotage her team. I don't think she's trying to sabotage as much as she is falling all over herself to try and impress Chef, and screwing everyone over in the process. She's obviously not used to working with a team, which is odd, considering we're constantly hearing about her TEN YEARS OF EXPERIENCE. I mean, it's not like she's a personal chef; she should understand the concept of teamwork.
Anyway, this week the Chefs cater a wedding, so we know that dinner service will be completed no matter what - even Ramsey isn't crazy enough to shut down the kitchen during someone's fake special day. Jen rebounds nicely from the spaghetti incident and manages to shine, despite Melissa's mania. She nominates Bonnie and Melissa to go. Ramsey takes Melissa's jacket, everyone mouths, "THANK GOD! YAY!" and Ramsey...doesn't cut her. He puts her on the men's team instead. WTF? In his voiceover, he said it's because he wanted the chance to figure out how she could go from so good to so bad so quickly. In reality, though? I imagine production sees a goldmine of drama in this girl and are not going to let go of her so easily. Feh. Whatevs.
This week on Hell's Kitchen Top Chef, our storylines dealt with the sense of taste. Ramsay's people participated in a blind taste test, and over in the Top Chef kitchen, we got a bunch of snobs crying about fried chicken.
Let's start with Hell's Kitchen. This was my favorite episode to date, mostly because of the new and colorful ways Gordon Ramsay has learned to swear. "OH, FUCK ME SENSELESS" is my new motto. Add into that his impression of Melissa and his "dumb blonde" dance for Bonnie? He's a one-man show. I also greatly enjoyed Mr. Narrator's snide remarks about Vinnie struggling "to handle his meat." Along with Bonnie's perky, "I love putting things in my mouth," this was an episode for the immature kid in all of us. At the end, Ramsay chose to get rid of Vinnie. Good riddance. He gave me the willies.
As Top Chef began, I remarked to the geekboy that, despite thinking I would, I didn't really hate Hung. Five minutes later, I reversed that decision. He's kind of an ass. Anyway, Brian won the Quickfire with a seafood challenge that was right up his alley. The main challenge was taking American comfort food and putting a low-cholesterol spin on it. Can I just say that these "chefs" reacted with such disdain, such snobbery and bullshit? "Ew, gross, I would NEVER eat something like that, so disgusting." Oh, STFU, all of you. There is nothing I hate more than food snobbery. Especially Micah. Speaking of whom, stunk up the place and was eliminated at the end. Another good choice. I was nervous for Dale, who used instant potatoes and pre-cooked chicken for his entree, but the judges loved his dish and I liked that he stood by his time-saving decision.
And congratulations to Howie, who emerged from his cloud of past mistakes to win the Challenge! Take that, Joey.
This week on Hell's Kitchen Top Chef, Gordon Ramsey gets so frustrated he can only say, "whuh...who...who...," and Padma continues to prove that she actually has a personality. Who knew?
Over at Hell's Kitchen, our contestants are woken up early and the Crying Asian Cowboy is unable to dress himself without assistance. Later, he faints (again) and is sent to the hospital and removed from the show. Diabetes much? Waffle House Julia rocks the breakfast challenge, while the Blue Team falls apart in the absence of a leader. At dinner, Joanna serves rancid crab and Jen attempts to serve pasta out of the garbage. Way to go, Costanza. Melissa and her hair try to get rid of Julia because she didn't know how to make creme brulee. Shut up, Melissa's hair. Ramsey doesn't fall for it and sends home Joanna. Oh, and I hate ALL of the guys.
Down in Miami, our Top Chefs are asked to create upscale barbeque. Sandee takes "bbq" to mean "not bbq," and Joey takes "upscale" to mean "chicken wings." Howie once again blows it on time management. Malarkey makes a seafood sausage that I would love to try, and wins the challenge. Sandee packs her knives and goes for not following the rules. I really thought it would be Howie. He's got one more strike...