Fashion Week not starting until Feb 10th. Anyhoo...the challenge is to create something aesthetically pleasing, and Isaac tells us that "food and clothing are related." Sure they are. If you eat too much, you need to go out and buy new clothes! Simple math, actually. Anyhoo...the chefs are tasked to make a pretty plate that will not be judged on its flavor in any way.
The chefs scurry and seem to have a bit of trouble working only on the visual and not on flavors. Fabio, however, gets a concept and runs with it.
Angelo, too, has an idea. He tells us, girl, he loooooves fashion, and his favorite designer is Roberto Cavalli who is famous for his crocodile prints(?) And of course crocodile can be mimicked with pineapple skin and an egg sealed in a plastic bag.
Doing the rounds, Isaac makes lots of amusing comments about the chefs' plating. Angelo has graffiti'd his table with the word "crocadile" and Isaac notes that not only has he has spelled it wrong, but it looks a bit like something Charles Manson might do. Isaac also raises an eyebrow at the mention of Cavalli being Angelo's favorite designer when of course he should have said Isaac Mizrahi. He seems to like Antonia's depiction of the book The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, which apparently is his favorite.
Exit Isaac, enter Frank Pellegrino, Frank Pellegrino, Jr., and Chef Dino from famous, tiny, and hard-to-get-into NY Italian restaurant, Rao's. The cheftestants first draw knives bearing the names of these three wise guys to find out which of three traditional courses they must prepare for an Italian dinner at the restaurant.
Chef Dino/Antipasti: Antonia, Carla, Tiffany
Junior/Primi: Tre, Dale, Mike
Frankie No/Secondi: Blais, Angelo, Fabio
The antipasti gals present their dishes first to a large table of mostly-Italian diners. Besides Padma and Bourdain, we have actress Lorraine Bracco, the Pellegrino boys, a dude in a tacky sequined vest called "Nicky the Vest" who happens to be the restaurant's long-time bartender, Ron Straci, a co-owner, and Joe, the restaurant manager.
Between each course, the chefs who have finished their cooking wait in a storage room. Mike, all full of himself yet pissed-off at the way his pasta turned out, decides to take it out on Tiffany by insulting her polenta and sausage dish, saying that to him it wasn't an antipasto.
Finally, the secondi boys present their wares. Fabio's chicken cacciatore with polenta gets raves, the diners seem to enjoy Blais' pancetta cutlet, and there are mixed comments about Angelo's pork chop. All three seem pretty safe.
When they get back to the Stew Room and Antonia announces her win to the remaining recheftestants, for a few seconds there is only shock. Mike actually sits gape-mouthed. Eventually someone is polite and congratulates Antonia and she gets some weak applause. Then the primi boys are told it's their turn to face the judges. All three are excoriated for the mistakes in their dishes. Although Mike's pasta was tough - something Tom attributes to using too many eggs - his sauce was good. Dale's dish had no redeeming qualities, but Tre's missteps were far worse. His risotto was not the loose consistency of a proper risotto, and his vegetable garnish was too clunky and detracted from the rice. Bourdain said it seemed like he was trying to hide a body.
|Sorry, one of his teeth has a shadow on it and it|
immediately reminded me of Alfred E. Neumann.
Buh-bye Tre. He was one of my two choices to win (the other was Blais...still my favorite) and I'm so sorry to see him go so early, especially before Mike I. :(
So what did you think?