Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Top Chef New York Episode Nine

It's morning at the Top Chef apartment and some of the eight remaining cheftestants still have their minds on the previous challenge.

She probably feels worse for reluctantly admitting she helped do a shitty tie job on the lamb roasts.

Speaking of Stefan, out on the balcony...

After Stefan makes himself comfortable, he asks Hosea what will be the first thing he does when he gets back home. (Like he gives a rat's ass.)

Leah has a boyfriend at home too, whom she is trying to forget. For now, she's into hot baldy action!

The cheftestants finally get their acts together and head over to the Corporate Sponsorship Kitchen to meet Padma. She introduces her homely friend as...

I noticed in the previews and in the recap on, Hosea calls Starr a chef, clearly not knowing who he really is. But in the aired episode, Hosea has corrected his mistake, probably after the prompting of some smarter individual off camera.

Starr is owner of several restaurants in the Philadelphia area, including Morimoto and Buddakan and their outposts in NYC.

This week's Elimination Challenge is no secret - Restaurant Wars! But first, the related Quickfire: create a tasting to impress an investor. Namely, Starr, who will pick two winners. These chefs will not receive immunity in the next challenge, but will be chef/owners of the two restaurants in the upcoming War.

Fabio is ready to play dirty.

They get a measly 30 minutes to prepare their showcase dish, using any ingredients found in the Glad/Dr Pepper Kitchen. Fabio spends most of that time attempting to get into the refrigerators. Looks like he skipped his farteriffic Breakfast of Champions this morning.

Leah was in a bit of a tizzy over her dish, especially after the first batch of fish she picked up had the whiff of taint about it. Fitting, no? Wait - it gets worse.

Finally Padma calls time and she and Starr wander around for the tasting. He's not fond of Fabio's weird lunch concept and he thinks Jeff's salmon is mushy.

But you know he think's you're cute, Fab. Even if he calls you FABeeo.

His favorites dishes are Radhika's (RADika) and fishy-smellin' Leah's. They become chef/owners and must choose teams. RADika chooses Jamie, Carla, and Jeff. Leah goes for Hosea first (naturally - he's the only one who can deal with her stink), Fabio, and finally is stuck with Stefan, the little boy none of the other kids want to play with because he is clearly superior to all of them.

The chefs get $3000 to spend on food at Restaurant Depot and Whole Paycheck. But first, after a quick 30 minutes of planning, they get to spend $5000 at Pier One to decorate their restaurants.

If you're still learning, guess that doesn't make you "natural born," huh?

RADika's team decides on the name "Sahana" which means "strong, powerful" in Sanskrit. She takes front of the house duties, and Carla is assigned the desserts because she's had success with them before. Leah's too busy being pissed that she has to work with Stefan to come up with a restaurant name. Fabio takes front of house duties, and Stefan declares that he will do desserts.

The teams then go shopping for decor.

It's called shopping euphoria, FABeeo. Usually you have to have estrogen or be gay to experience it.

Back at the apartment, the teams plan their menus. Stefan plays the role of team leader while Leah continues to act like the petulant little girl that she is.

Hosea plays Pots and Kettles:

Later, Hosea gets extra-special cozy with Leah. BINKA-BINKA-BANK-BANK!

The next day, regret hangs heavily in the air, along with the smell of bad fish.

But the show must go on! Time for the cheftestants to hop in their gas-guzzling product placements and head to Whole Foods and Restaurant Depot. Hosea and Leah split up for the occasion, lest they find themselves renewing their infidelity among the broccoli rabe.

Everyone knows you'd make superior babies.

While FABeeo and RADika decorate their respective restaurants, the chefs commence to cooking. They have six hours before their guests arrive.

Stefan and Carla have problems with the freezers. Hosea says his flirting has thrown him off his game. RADika takes to boozing.

Finally, all is done and diners start arriving. We see the judges dining at RADika's Sahana first. They enjoy the appetizers and the lamb shanks, but Carla's desserts are an absolute nightmare. Not that the judges had utensils with which to taste the mess.

RADika is nowhere to be found for most of service, as she's probably hitting the sauce.

The judges then mosey over to the Sunset Lounge, a weird name for an Asian-influenced restaurant, but whatever. The food doesn't go over as well. The amuse bouche was underwhelming and Leah's cod was severely undercooked.

However, Stefan's desserts are a smash hit. They are probably the most favorite thing out of both meals. The Superior European strikes again!

Back at Judges' Table, Team Sunset Lounge is called out first. Because of Stefan's desserts, they have won by a narrow margin. And it didn't hurt that FABeeo was completely charming and attentive in his job as host. Leah's dish was the worst of the evening, but because she's on the winning team, she doesn't get her ass eliminated. The winner of the challenge is Stefan, who is further rewarded with a suite of GE appliances. Those desserts must have been seriously impressive.

Team Sahana is then brought out for a tongue-lashing. Carla's desserts are called a hot mess (by her, but still) and she tries to defend them by saying she put a lot of love in them before they went to table. The judges were both flabbergasted and disgusted at the revelation and didn't want to think further about the source of said love.

RADika, so-called team leader, made lots of excuses for the lack of silverware and her absence from the dining room. She also allowed her cooks to plan and execute their own meals without her guidance. For these egregious errors in restaurant management, plus the fact that she drank most of the wine, she was eliminated.

Bye RAD - knew you would be eliminated sooner than later!