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:
BLAM! I mean, BAM!
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.