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I know you did!
You: Allie – why haven’t you been blogging?
Me: I’m sorry. I only function as a human during Top Chef season. When it ends I evaporate back to my home planet where I spend 6 months eating and writing offensive jokes in preparation for the next season. Also I get my yearly hair cut and eye brow tweeze. I WAS VERY BUSY!
You: Oh. alright.
I can’t BELIEVE Top Chef Season 6 started last night. It feels like only yesterday I was watching Season 1 in the shared TV space in my college dorm. Yikes. Either I am getting old or this show is.
I’m pretty sure it’s me, because last night’s episode was really entertaining. Someone at Bravo was very obviously taking notes on this blog last season because that stale feeling I bitched about seems to be gone. There’s some craziness going on this season: french men with scarves! lots and lots of lesbians! tattooed James Beard nominees! Cancer! Brothers! It’s like I don’t even know who I am anymore!
So – a quick recap: This season of the show takes place in Las Vegas. The chefs showed up, Real World Style, checked out their sweet pad, talked some shit about their skilzz and then hopped along to Padma and Tom (who – btw: is so great. I mean, really, how great was it to see Tom again? I just… I just love that man. Pause for swooning: . . . . swooning complete) and began their first quickfire. It was – SHOCKING – relay race! Hai! Same thing that took out last season’s slow chopping fag hag just minutes before her gay was sent packing, too. Exciting!!
A few initial reactions about these “people” that have very little to do with food:
Dude: I did not understand one word this man said last night. Not. a single. word. He seems very sweet though. Please don’t yell at me.
DICK! Remember when he said he was surprised that a girl nearly beat him at shucking oysters? DICK! I really want to hate this guy. Too bad he is the executive chef at one of my most absolute favorite restaurants of all time. I feel the conflict building within me. It feels like general tso’s chicken.
Crush. Like — big crush. Big, huge, girl crush. She’s got a really handsome face. And – she made chicken liver ravioli. YUM. I love chopped liver. It’s not weird, ok, I’m jewish. IT’S GOOD.
NO. Her dish looked like poo poo. It looked like food from a Chinese Buffet, and not the fancy one, either. It looked like food from the Chinese Buffet by the gas station in the town where no Chinese people have ever lived. It looked like food from that place. And just when you thought maybe you could look past that – she spoke. Just – no.
WhyWouldYouOfferToShuckTheClamsIfYou’veNeverShuckedClamsBefore!??!?!?!?!??!?UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. I’m sorry to be harsh, but I have no time or patience for this kind of weakling, and I STILL don’t understand why Top Chef lets contestants on the show when they SO OBVIOUSLY won’t make it to the end. What’s the point? Knock it down to 15 people and let the judges bring someone back when they get kicked off, American Idol style. Right? Why am I not a Bravo executive?
No, seriously, why?
The rest of the contestants didn’t do anything interesting enough to mention. Except I guess Kevin with the tiny little eyes who won the elimination challenge: cook your vice. He made arctic char with salsa verde and turnips, so I guess his vice is … ??? I don’t even know. Oh and also there’s the girl who worked for ERIC RIPERT. Yes, I said ERIC RIPERT, did you hear me? ERIC RIPERT. He’s FAMOUS. He makes FISH. ERIC RIPERT!!
Last night’s disappointments:
1 – Wolfgang Puck DID.NOT.WANT the bacon donuts made my Ms. Lauren Wickett. He said they weren’t good, and that made me sad. Wolfie no likey the pig.
Speaking of Wolfgang Puck:
LOLZ! How funny was this guy?
and speaking of Lolz:
woaw! Wolfie in his Beatles phase. YIKES!
Jennifer with the gaged ear holes and her horrendous Chile Relleno. Sad – so very sad – and clunky! So very clunky!
In the end – I think I would have sent diarreha buffet Eve home instead of Jen, if for no other reason than Jen would have brought fire to season with that HOT TEMPER of hers. I guess the producers figured they have a backlog of tattooed meanies whereas the number of midwesterners to stomp on is significantly smaller. So bye bye, Jen. I hope your kid makes it to Harvard. No, seriously, I do!
What did y’all think? Who do you like? Are you excited about this season? How happy are you that I’m blogging, seriously? Leave comments, por favor.
I was so excited to tell you the NYC Bakery Crumbs does a kosher for passover (hag sameach to all you already sick of matzo) CUPCAKE (!!!!) but my friend Julia at Texas Casual beat me to it. So you can read all about them here. Because I’m lazy and don’t have time to give a full review and she does a damn good job.
I learned about these cupcakes my first year in New York and had never been more excited. And yet I’ve never had them. Anyone want to send me one to try? Anyone? Bueller? Ok fine, Passover weekend project :: get dem k for p cupcakes. Because cupcakes > matzo…even when it’s matzo pizza.
Happy almost weekend! Love to my partner in crime who’s in the motherland of Texas =)
Once upon a time, in the year 2000, the Grocery Hags went to Israel. Once there, I thought to myself “hey, keeping kosher isn’t so hard, maybe I’ll try this.”
Fast forward nine years, I have since become the food-obsessed eater you know today. And since everyone and their dogs have become slightly interested in bacon (and chorizo. and pancetta. and pork belly. and sausage. I would go on but we’d be here awhile), I surrendered.
ANYWAY, the food world’s bacon worship has been going on for a couple of years now. I know you thought the bacon log thing that was all over the internet late last year was the culmination, but oh no.
Enter Bacon Camp.
Held in San Francisco over the weekend (Broder, why didn’t you go?), it more or less established the Church of Bacon Saints for all those needing to pray. Bacon was eaten in all ways, shapes and forms. I’m assuming there was an EMT or two on call. Can’t decide if I would be in heaven or hell, but this pretty much is a great description of a little nugget of bacon-ness that I find totally intriguing and also completely disgusting:
Appetites were quickly regained to try the chicken fried bacon with sausage gravy, which was so wrong and yet so amazing: Two bites was more than enough to feel like the arteries had been sent directly to hell, but it was definitely worth it. Fortunately, they were nugget-sized, which was actually quite thoughtful.
I would have one bite, I swear. And go straight to the cardiologist.
You can read about it here . Someone get me that Bacon shirt!
Oh, and I made this bacon-free recipe last night. I highly recommend it for anyone who cannot believe it is still so cold outside right now!
Apparently: Stefan loves blogs! Or so he mentions in his fantastic exit interview on endlessimmer.com. Honestly, this guy has a soul. I’m sold on him. The good parts of his interview are bolded below for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!
Q: I thought the dessert was gonna put you over the top last night, but it kind of bombed. What happened?
A: The problem — and the other chefs will back me up on this — is that the plates are too fucking small. You’ve got a 4-inch plate. How are you going to put a decent dessert on that?
Q: How pissed were you when Fabio said Hosea’s food was better than yours?
A: Absolutely not. You know, Europeans are honest. You’ve got to be honest. In one episode I said that Fabio’s lamb was overcooked; you’ve got to be honest. I can take it. By the way, I love bloggers. You guys are fucking awesome. I love reading it all. I just read and laugh and laugh. I take it like it is and just laugh so hard.
Q: You’re not phased by being disliked?
A: I’m always very confident. People call it arrogant, cocky, I call it confident. Did I look like an idiot on TV? No, I looked like a million bucks, so I’m very happy about that.
Q: But you must be mad that you didn’t win Top Chef.
A:I did win Top Chef, buddy, read the blogs! Hosea gets a $100,000 egg. I am the chicken who is going to lay a lot of eggs and make a lot of money. I’m selling t-shirts at cockychefclothing.com — I’m selling panties with a picture of a cock on it, it’s great. And I’ve got a book coming out called Dirty Dishes, it’s a bunch of chefs writing recipes and writing about me and my life.
Q: What about that teary moment with Carla? You’re really a softie, huh?
A: Let me tell you, Carla is a very sweet lady. I had some tears in my eyes when I watched that on TV. I can’t see women crying, it fucking breaks my heart. That’s why I picked Marcel. I saw Carla’s face and I knew she couldn’t deal with him. He’s an ass, I’m an ass, so I could deal with him. Marcel was a very good sous chef, by the way. He’s a bit of a twat, but who isn’t?
Q: Speaking of the t-word, I can’t believe they let you say that on TV!
A: Twat is not that bad. Cock made it onto TV. I said cock twice on national TV. Look, it’s an English word, we all know what it means.
Q: Are you gonna do more TV?
A: Let me tell you, I’m working on it. I think I have a good shot at something.
Q: Maybe you and Fabio can get a show?
A: That would be hilarious, but I think it would be better if me and Jamie got a show.
Q: Are you still in love with Jamie?
A: How can you not be in love with her? I love the lesbians. Who doesn’t? It wouldn’t be the first time. That chick has a great smile and the best laugh. Love her. Leah too, by they way. She also had a great laugh. If Jamie reads this, if she’s ever ready for babies, I’m ready for it. We would make pretty babies.
Q: Do you hope to open a restaurant?
A: Let me tell you buddy, write a check. I want to open a restaurant, but I want to do it in the right way; not too high-end, especially with the economy. I went to a place last night where Bud Light was $13. That’s retarted. I want to do a restaurant that’s fun, where people can just go sit outside, sit by the fire, have a good time.
Q: What did you learn most from Top Chef?
A: You gotta be on the good side of the bloggers, that’s the key.
Q: Anything else you want to add?
A: You guys gotta lay off Hosea a bit. He’s getting a lot of shit and it’s really tearing him up. He doesn’t deserve that much shit. He deserves a little bit of shit but not that much.
WOW!!!!!! He’s so so so likable. I want him and Carla to have babies. And I want to sit outside and eat at his restaurant.
As for that last bit: SUCK IT, HOSEA!
As I eat my leftovers from last night’s dinner, I feel compelled to tell you that you should make this meal. Seriously, it’s that good. And it’s that easy. And it makes enough for lunch the next day (possibly two days if you aren’t a fat kid like me). And, because it’s from Food & Wine magazine, I like to think our girl Gail made it. Hence, if you make this dish, you will be Gail Simmons.
Don’t tell me you don’t have everything – they sell ramen down the street at your bodega and I’m pretty sure you can use any kind of thin spaghetti if you wanted. I used some random Asian noodle from Gourmet Garage. I bought a pound of meat intending to use it all and ended up deciding to freeze half for another day. I didn’t use the Sherry (honestly, who has that?!). If you can’t find baby bok choy (or adult bok choy for that matter), spinach would work too. In fact, I should have thrown the spinach in regardless now that I think about it.
And if you don’t have sesame oil and like to cook anything Asian influenced on a semi-regular basis, I cannot stress how much you need to walk down to a grocery and buy it – you don’t even have to go to the fancy one. It does wonders and makes any stir fry taste that much better. Plus, it’s a strong flavor so you will only use a little and therefore it will last forever.
Ok, I’m done shilling sesame oil and all it’s wonders. But seriously, if you need something good, healthy and filling (and warm! It’s cold in NY) – print this out and get to work.
Top Chef finale tomorrow – who’s winning?!
A day late, but if you still care I have a few things to say about Wednesday’s Top Chef:
Now, saying that something “rocked” is NOT something I would do normally, but I was so impressed by this weeks TC, that I gotta pull out what is arguably the most embarrassing phrase of all time to explain how much I liked it. I watched it TWICE it was so good! DAMN! Ok, lets get started.
First – a set change: New Orleans. Top Chef + New Orleans = BRILLIANCE, why did we never think of this before? Is there a more culinarily exciting city in the U.S.? NO! Anyone who has ever eaten a shrimp po-boy from Brother’s, a restaurant so old school it has no website, will agree. DAMN! I looooooooooooooooooooooooooove me some Cajun soul food. New York, you’ve got some amazing restaurants, but I’ll take Jambalaya over $15 Pork Bun any day.
Plus: New Orleans has so much life, It was practically jumping off the screen at me. I love any challenge where catering and large groups of local people are involved. You can always tell the most successful chefs by the opinion of the real people eating their food, particularly when local cuisine is on the menu. But I’m getting ahead of myself, back to the beginning.
The show started off with a great Quickfire, guest-judged by none other than Mr. Nawlins himself, Emeril Lagasse:
What a fun dude. I’ve never been much for his show on the Food Network, but he really won me over on this Top Chef episode. He was comfortable, kind and fun to watch. GREAT guest judge, and the first Food Network star, I might mention, to grace our little Bravo show. Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse in one season? That’s huge! Who’s next, Paula Dean? Rachael Ray? 30 minute meal quickfire? The possibilities are endless!
OK: so we all should have seen it coming that the last 3 eliminated contestants would be back, but I did not, and I was excited to see only one of them: Jeff, the winking cutiepie:
I felt so bad when he got kicked off and he was like, “I’ll probably be sad about this for at least 10 years,” so it was nice to see him come back and redeem himself. He deserved it too, unlike Jamie and Leah, at who I would have been annoyed if they’d made it back into the running.
So the 5 new finalists go to a fancy dinner and then they get their challenge: catering! I LOVE catering, and so do Stefan and Carla who had an obvious advantage seeing as they’re both PROFESSIONAL CATERERS. Not to be outdone, I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by Hosea, who really seemed to have done his homework before coming to New Orleans. Dude studied up on Cajun/Creole cuisine, which was SMART. As much as I hate to say it, I gott have respect….damnit.
I was underwhelmed last night by Fabio and the magic fauxhawk who made Pasta, AGAIN. I know you’re italian, but come on:
Oh, AMAZING bit of info from Fabio’s exit interview on endlesssimmer.com:
What are you up to now?
I’m getting a lot of offers, being asked to do TV shows, license my image on a line of cooking products, so all kinds of things. I hope you liked my face, because unfortunately, you’re going to be seeing a lot of it.
Another TV show! Tell us more.
Aaah, I can’t say yet, but let me just say – Watch What Happens.
WAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! FABIO’S COMING TO BRAVO, FULL TIME! Damn, if you didn’t see that coming, you are dumb as hell, or you seriously don’t watch enough TV. But, YAY!! Can’t wait for that shit. You can read the rest of his silly interview here.
All the food the chef’s made last night looked AMAZING: gumbo, corn cakes, cheesy grits and cocktails? Sign me up! But I must say that, as much as I would have liked for Jeff to stay on, Carla’s meal really took the cake.
I mean, girl made deep friend sausage-shrimp balls. What could really be better (and less kosher) than that? NOTHING! Could she really take it all next week?? I dunno!
OH FORGOT TO MENTION: GAIL WAS BACK! yay! Love her! The judges were so much more together with Gail there. Without her, Tom was the only regular judge with any really legitimate things to say about the food. Now we have the Gail and Tom dynamic, which I happen to love, and which seems to shut up Padma (who all the contestants seem to hate, btw) and that’s a good thing.
All in all: I’m happy. I’m exciting. I can’t wait. The finale, the reunion, its gonna be good shit. I’m glad this season is ending with a bang. God now’s my broke ass needs it.