Category Archives: Top Chef

WOAW

Big shock this morning: this exceprt from Top Chef’s Casey Thompson re: her role as Carla’s Sous Chef 

from D Magazine:

Carla was not prepared and in over her head. The show did not talk about how the first course (crab) took her half of the friggin’ cooking time that day, I was left to work the rest of HER dishes.

I am done with TC. I did not influence her. She has NO ideas of her own, oh, except a cheese course.

She also did not have a plan. The ONLY thing she had in mind was a cheese course! I would NEVER do a cheese course. And where in the hell did french come from!? She is not even classically trained! It (the show) didn’t talk about how I worked on a sauce for 2 days and Carla forgot to put it on the plate… It didn’t show how the 2nd course (fish) was MINE. It didn’t show how she took the sous vide idea and decided to GRILL it last minute causing it to be tough… And it didn’t show how she WANTED to do the souffles which she does not even know how to make! That was HER food, because it certainly was me asking her how she wanted to do this and that while she was busy picking crab the entire time and making a souffle that didn’t rise!

Yowza! I get Casey’s anger: if all her accusations are true, I’d be angry as well. But I didn’t know Casey was so bitter about Top Chef! Seems someone never got over getting thwarted on live television. Damn, girl! This finale is so heated…

Another Blog about Last night

I’ve just stumbled upon a lot of things I want to bring to your attention; most of them involve Twitter.

1st: Poor Gail, she’s feeling just as bad as we are RE: Carla

from amusebiatch and Gail’s twitter:

gail

Ugh, horrible. Great pic of Gail, though! She’s such a beaut, and she’s got fabulous breasts. Moving on…

2: A conversation between a Twitter interview and Top Chef subsitute Judge Toby Young:

DUDE: Are you coming back next season? Or for any other TC projects?

TOBY: My people are talking to their people, as we say in show business. I hope they can work it out — it’s been a lot of fun

HMMMMM, I’ll take that as a NO! If the complete lack of Toby the Terrible in the past three episodes is any indication, I think the producers got the picture: WE NO LIKEY.

ok 3, from Amuse-biatch again, a big “WTF” that we missed:

 

ew

Ew. He gets the girl AND the title? What is wrong with this world?

For more funny/angry/confused Top Chef blogs and videos, I suggest the following:

TIME magazine (yes, thats right)
enjoy!

WORST. FINALE. EVER!!!

Wow….247 people have already checked this blog for our reaction to last night’s Top Chef, and its not even 10am! I guess you really care what we have to say. That, or you’re just as PISSED as we are and you’re looking for a place to vent. Either way, I think we all agree that the only possible reaction to last night’s Top Chef is: WHAT THE FUCK!?!??!

Never in my life have I been so unhappy at a Final episode of a series.  NEVER. Even the Sopranos ended better than this. My trust/love/respect for this show is shot to hell, truly. It’s been nearly 12 hours and I’m still angry. Mother Trucker!

Oh, you mean some of you don’t know? Ok: The idiot gap toothed baldie bear jerk , with the help of  Top Chef Season 4’s far superior Richard Blais, beat Carla and Stefan for the title.  The judges loved his venison…they loved his red snapper app…they thought his only mistake was serving meat instead of a sweet for his final course, but they loved the damn meat, so they forgave it! And Carla totally bombed. And Stefan shot himself in the foot with this dessert Padma so hilariously described as “Pedestrian at best.” HA! The one bright spot in the show, for me anyway. Padma is so stupid. Anyway…

It just kills me how Casey, Carla’s sous chef, came back and, in her one chance to redeem herself from her shotty showing at her own Top Chef Finale episode in season 3, she COMPLETELY recreated the exact scenario she was in 2 years ago: a strong contender who coulda gone all the way doesn’t cook what she knows how to cook and she ends up in a distant 3rd. So sad.

What killed me is how upset she was.  Carla – what did you learn when cooking for Wylie Dufrense? Jacques Pepin? Freakin  ERIC RIPERt? You succeed when you cook your food!! C’mon, there’s no Love in Sous Vide meat! You don’t do sous Vide meat! And why would you not make a tart!? The judges LOVE your tarts! Seriously Carla: I am so dissapointed.

But you know what? We still love you, HOOTIE – FOREVER! And I’m putting my money on Carla being Fan Favorite next week at the reunion. Screw Fabio. Yes – I said that.

It really sucks that the judges based their final decision on one meal instead of the competition as a whole (especially since they so obviously gave Stefan a pass in order for him to get into the finals) but that’s the TC policy since day one, weather we like it or not, and that’s why this guy is now “Top Chef,”

hosea

And why I have to go barf now.

Please comment and share your angry rants with us. We need to bond together in times like this. Its not healthy to go through these tough moments alone. To quote Harvey Milk, “I KNOW YOU’RE ANGRY! I’M ANGRY!!!!!” Let us heal together. In the comments.

Top 5 Smackdown

I have basically nothing to say about last night’s Top Chef. Well, nothing too snarky, anyway. I though it was a fantastic episode from start to finish. I loved the quickfire, especially the always deliciously nerdy Wylie Dufrense, in whose restaurant Ben and I celebrated our one year anniversary with Popcorn Soup, Waygu skirt steak, and foie gras. It was certainly the most uniquely yummy meal I’ve ever had, and I’ll never forget how nicely the staff treated us. I’m always happy to be properly waited on, particularly in New York. But I digress…

I also loved the Elimination Challenge: it was FABULOUS. It gave the chefs the chance to just cook something and cook it well. Plus, we at home got to play our own, “What would your last meal be?” game. Mine: Tex-Mex. Easy, no question. Chips and  fresh salsa, guacamole, tamales, rice and beans, I’m happy. That, or pepperoni pizza. And Mac&Cheese. Damn! Other picks I heard: fillet Mignon, ribs, and biscuits & sausage gravy. mmmmmmm

The standout last night, and for the past couple of nights was, OBVIOUSLY, Carla. 

"like this"

First she made a great looking take on “Green Eggs & Ham”, and then she rocked the Elimination Challenge with Squab and Peas…of all things! Is she fantastic or what?

I heard a bit of dissension from my Top Chef crew last night about Carla’s abilities, credentials and whether she really deserves to be in the top 4, but ultimately I think she does, and here’s why: she’s learned. Carla had all these problems stemming from her inability to focus and her tendency to do too much, but she learned, and she fixed them! She realized, “this isn’t working,” so she went another direction: good, simple, great tasting food, and guess what? It hits the mark every time!

 

I hate when the cheftestants, like Hosea, make all this fuss about “Do I go all out? Do I go traditional? Hows my facial hair?” etc. Look, its not what you do that matters, its HOW you do it, and if you don’t get that by now, then you are going to lose. Make. good. food. that’s it.

Another stand out last night: my lover Fabio who, with total class and stick-to-it-iveness, made a whole meal with only 9 fingers, and he didn’t even flaunt his handi-capability to the table of Chefs when he introduced his dish. Now THAT takes restraint, seriously!! Bravo, Fabio! You deserve 2 of those HUGE bottles of wine.

Total shit-shows: Leah, Hosea and Padma. Leah, Hosea: go away. I’m so glad Leah finally went home, it only would have been better if she’d taken Hosea with her. Hosea – you suck. You think Stefan is your only competition and I predict that that will be your undoing. And Padma, were you um… cold?

YOWZA!

YOWZA!

And maybe…um…STONED? C’mon! I get why you would partake of the herb before eating a HUGE delicious meal, but on on TV, Padma! Kids watch this show!

Best Padma line of the night: “Your two kinds of Spinach tasted like one kind of Spinach.” THANKS!

Anyway, I’m satisfied with the final four, and I’m excited to see what happens in New Orleans. Preview: GAIL RETURNS, Fabio expresses his new found love for the Sex Pistols, and Carla meets a hair straightener. GOOD TIMES! 

Poll:

A little Gail Goes a Long Way

Thank heavens for BravoTV.com. I found today that they had a little bit of what I need, and that’s Gail Simmons

gail

Gail does a fabulous job in her blog this week explaining the decision that ultimately got Jamie sent home. On TV, it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense, but from Gail, I get it. Good parts bolded below:

 

Were you surprised that Jamie was sent home?

No. She went home because she didn’t like her dish as much as anything else. From the get-go she knew this was not a technique she liked. She didn’t want to do the bass right off the bat. It was her least favorite dish, so I think a lot of it became attitude. I love Jamie, I loved her from the first day, and I actually think she’s a great talent. I have a lot of friends in San Francisco who are obsessed with her restaurant. I know she had a shot at being Top Chef just as much as anyone, but I know she can be negative when she doesn’t like what she’s doing. That is a problem for chefs, because it’s easy for them to forget that they’re not cooking for themselves, they’re cooking for customers. There are always going to be tasks, dishes, flavor profiles and combinations, and ingredients you might not like or might not be your favorite thing to do.

You can argue that as an executive chef of restaurant you’ll never have to do something you don’t want to, but even that’s not true, especially now. If a customer comes into your restaurant and pays $100 a person or more, as they would be at Le Bernardin, and a customer says, “I want a side of Caesar Salad with my fish” or something like that, that’s what you do for them. Cooking cannot be about your ego. Chefs often get into a lot of trouble when they stop cooking for other people, and they start cooking for themselves only. I think Jamie can fall into that trap. I think part of her demise on this episode was that her head wasn’t in the game because she didn’t love what she was doing. She saw the challenge as a hindrance to her success.

Gail, right? She knows.

Now for a tiny spoiler:

Can you give us a little teaser about the Finale?

What I can tell you is that I had the most amazing time in New Orleans. I can’t believe how dynamic the city is, and how good and diverse the food is. You will get to see a lot of that on the show. New Orleans will really show the true colors of the remaining chefs. Nothing is as it seems. Nothing.

Ok, now I’m excited!

Return to Form

I think we can all agree that Top Chef was a return to form last night: It was a seriously entertaining episode with a good challenge, a great guest judge, and some quality dishes. Lets start at the beginning.

 

First: Ripert. When you see him, you know something good is coming. Before I continue, I have to post this picture I found of him on teh google image search:

I will love you and then I will cut you

I will love you and then I will cut you

Wow. Just, wow!  There are tons of pictures of Ripert on teh interwebz looking all sexy and shit. They’re a little silly, and they make me like him  a lot. He seems like a nice dude, and he gives the best quickfire challenges. Example: last nite’s fish off.
During round one I was totally caught off guard by fabulous, loveable Carla and the way she charmed the PANTS off Eric Ripert. How cute was that? She just talked to him like some dude, unlike Hosea who couldn’t stop going on and on about how he’s a fish chef and he was dissapointed in himself, blah blah blah. Is it just me, or is Hosea A LOT less likeable than he used to be? Seriously dude, enough with the America vs. Europe shit. As my friend Sophie said:  Its not a U.S . vs. E.U. thing, its a YOU vs. STEFAN thing. OOOOOO! BURNED!
Carla totally melted the ice  off this French fisherman’s heart, and you could tell that he liked it. 
 ripert23
Oh ya, Ripert likey!
Round two was boring (except when Leah just gave up for no reason, but I’ll get into that later) and then, I gotta tell you, when Ripert pulled out that eel – my eyes popped.  AND, when Stefan nailed that eel to the cutting board and ripped off its skin with his bare hands, my jaw pretty much hit the ground.  That was a little too much violent German for this Jewish girl’s taste, I’m just sayin.
So, Stefan wins OF COURSE, and the Cheftestants retreat to Williamburg where they go to bed, get up, and get all dressed up and snazzy for lunch at Le Bernadin. Except Jamie. What the hell, Jamie? Putting on hoop earrings does not appropriately dress up your t-shirt for lunch at a 5 star restaurant. This is New York, not San Fran. Adapt.
Anyone with an ounce of sence, besides the cheftestants it seemed, knew what was about to happen. They were going to eat 6 fabulous dishes, and then be asked to recreate them. I couldn’t beleive how suprised they all acted. Are they really that dumb? They’ve done this EXACT challenge on the show before: hello: Dale, Casey, Hung and Brian, Season 3 with that potato, leak, fish thing! Maybe that tall guy was there too. What was his name? Whatever. ANYWAY!
The elimination challenge went along as most elimination challenges do, and in the end, it was Jamie who went home. Personally, I think it was because she didn’t respect her large-egoed elders. She didn’t dress up for lunch, she talked shit about the dishes and, in the end, she was not excited to cook the food. She made her own bed, I get it.
But truly: I wish it was Leah who had gone home last night. I’m SO SICK of her. She never makes anything great, she never says anything great, she never acts great, she never nothing. She’s so bland. She’s like pasta with butter. She’s chicken you cook in the microwave. She a jelly sandwich. Enough with her. SO SICK of her.
 
And: I wish it was Carla who’d won last night. I know Ripert was DYING to give it to her, but he just couldn’t. Maybe Stefan’s dish was a tad bit better, but damn, can you imagine: Carla shadowing Ripert for a week and then roadtripping it to Aspen together?
FOOD AND WINE OR BUST!

FOOD AND WINE OR BUST!

WOOOOOOOOOOOO! CAN YOU IMAGINE? I’m sure Carla would trade her superbowl tickets for a chance at this trip. This scenario is SCREAMING spin off, or at least prime time special.

Let us pray for this in the future.

Top Chef Recap episode 20384240million

Let me start this post with the things I liked about last night, since I was oh so negative last week about this dear show that I do, actually, love quite a little bit.

OK first: I love this gal:

hoodiehoo!

hoodiehoo!

GIRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRL, I am so happy she finally won one! Now when she gets kicked off next week, we don’t have to feel so bad about her sticking around and never winning. Plus: she is just so fun.  A little stupid, but so damn fun. Gotta love her enthusiasm.  Also my friend Emma’s friend wrote Carla an email asking if she could take her out for a drink, and Carla said YES! Gotta love that. Last but not least, I’m glad she beat Andrew, never liked him much.

2: Andie pointed out that the show did a GREAT job last night of playing down Toby PooPooPants’ involvement with the judging. Dear  Top Chef Producers, GREAT JOB! Thank you for getting it. Toby, we no likey. The less of him the better!

3, and this is a big one, the challenge last night was great. I loved the game with the points, love playing against the “All-Stars” (although I would hardly call that sorry pack of Top Chef losers All-Stars. Miguel and Nicki, come on. Seriously?) loved the audience participation and seeing little old Ariane in the audience wearing what seemed like a huge purple Jersey dress with no pants clapping and showing off her killer legs, LOVED IT ALL. Great. Challenge!

4. Just have to mention that  Fabio said “I want to honor the Wisconsin Green Bay,” and I got a kick out of that. I have a soft, cheesy place in my heart for Wisconsin.

Now, for what I didn’t like.

1 – the guest judge: too mean. I hate mean guest judges. Unless you are Anthony Bourdain, you must play nice. It is a privilege to go on this show; it’ll get you a lot of business. Don’t push it.

2 – the oats. ENOUGH with the product placement already, Top Chef, Jesus God! I am already pulling Gladware out of my ass, I don’t need oatmeal up there too.

3-Stefan – I can’t BELIEVE you got FIRST pick and, rightly so, you picked the Dallas Cowboys, the best football team of all time, and you had to use Texas style cuisine, made of what are arguably the best ingredients of all time, and you made TWO SALADS?!?!?!??!?!?!?!??!?! I am disgusted: truly and horribly disgusted. And while we’re at it: when people think of San Fransisco they think of Sourdough Bread? And the contestants who had Green Bay weren’t given any bratwurst to grill???? Who made these regional baskets?

I think the right person went home last night, but I sure was sad for Jeff who said his disappointment in losing would probably last around, oh I don’t know, A DECADE. That is too long, hunny. This is reality TV, not the Pulitzer. Get up, make yourself an omelet, and move on. For all of us.