Thursday, April 17, 2008

Top Chef Chicago Episode Six

The show opens with the aftermath from last week:

Dale sorta kinda apologizes for his crude pseudo-gangsta crotch-grabbing blow-up at Lisa from the night before. She insists that if someone has a problem with her they should tell her...then when Dale says he still has a problem with her negativity, she's all "whatever, talk to the hand." That's what communication is all about, kids!

The chefs head to the Top Chef kitchen where they are met by Padma looking like a model for the latest in prisonwear chic, and Koren Grieveson, an expressionless robo-lesbo from Avec restaurant in Chicago. Padma and Koren were about to drown their sorrows in a couple dozen pitchers of assorted beers when the chefs demand their fair share. "Hey! We're sick of that crappy Michelob served up in the Glad Family of Products Commemorative Storage Room!"

When they finally pry Padma's hands off a pitcher (and Koren's hands off Padma), she declares that the chefs need to sample three beers from what was left, choose one, and create a dish that pairs perfectly with it. Spike declares that all beer tastes the same to him (which is why he can drink all that Michelob without gagging) and there's sundry whining from the rest of the peanut gallery, but eventually everybody picks a beer and commences to cookery.

Padma and new BFF Stoneface Grieveson eat and drink (merrymaking comes later) and then give the good and bad news: Nikki, Spike, and Dale are on the bottom; Richard, Stephanie and Jennifer are on top. And because lesbians need to stick together, Koren pronounced Jennifer's seafood beignets the winner.

Padma then announces the Elimination Challenge - they were going to Da Bearssss game and cook at a tailgate party for 80! Go Bearssss!

Next we see the cheftestants frantically racing around Whole Foods. Spike buys every damned chicken wing in the place and we see Ryan buying fruit.

After two hours back at the kitchen prepping and packing their food into the Glad Family of Products, the chefs go home to get their relaxation on.

Spike, on the rebound, decides to take a friendly bath with Mark. "He's got curly hair. He's a cool looking dude."

Mark tries to fit in by practicing saying "da Bearsss" but it comes out more like "da be-ahs" in his Kiwi accent. No doubt Spike thinks he's damned cute.

The next morning, the chefs unpack their containers from the Glad Family of Products and cook their dishes for the hungry hordes at Soldier Field. Former Bears luminaries like William "The Refrigerator" Perry were on hand to enjoy the food (and there was a brief worry when it looked like he might eat all of it).

The judges try to fit in by coming in Bears jerseys, curiously all wearing punter Brad Maynard's number 4. Apparently, Koren Stoneface was injured in the first half of the game and replaced by someone with a bit more personality - Paul Kahan of Avec and Blackbird. Padma is understandably disappointed by the appearance of a man in old-man jeans and a dorky hat.

For the most part, the chefs' offerings were well-received. Richard's fancy hamburger, cleverly called a "Paté Melt" is one I wanted to try for myself, along with Dale's Indian-style ribs. As a Chicago native and big Bears fan, he was particularly tickled about this challenge and one could see the excitement on his face as he was approached by former Bears players for a taste of his food.

Next up, judges table. People attending the tailgate party chose the top and bottom three dishes based on flavor, and the judges picked the ultimate best and worst of the bunch. Padma, wearing her grimmest face, calls Stephanie, Antonia, and Dale out before the firing squad. The cheftestants look equally grim. Don't they yet realize that the first to go out are the winners? Or is it just edited to appear that way? Although Steph's pork and Antonia's jerk chicken sandwich are raves, Dale's unusual preparation of ribs and potato salad wins the challenge. In addition to bragging rights, he gets a fancy schmancy grill from Weber to cook up more tailgate chow. And he also gets to go back to the Glad Family of Products Commemorative Storage Room to get the three biggest losers: Mark, Nikki, and Ryan.

Mark is called out for being a slob - his grill was a mess, and he was caught tasting from the same spoon he served with. Gack! Nikki ran out of peppers and sauce before the judges got to her, but her biggest sin was not making her own sausage. I want to know why she sliced the sausage into bits - whole links would have been better. And Ryan prepared food that was difficult to eat, unattractive, and just bad-tasting. I knew from the beginning that making poached pears was a stupid idea - it's a tailgate, moron! If you want to make a dessert, how about brownies or cookies? They're portable, easy to eat, and known crowd-pleasers. And how does one feck up hot chocolate, particularly when it's spiked? Ryan has some special talent there. When questioned about his poor choices he blathered on and on, daring to mention "California cuisine" and generally boring the judges with his spew of idiocy. (Nina Garcia would have had him drawn and quartered.)

Padma finally gets him to stop talking by asking him to pack his knives and go. On his way out, Ryan whispers some sweet nothings in Spike's ear that sound suspiciously like, "I wish you would have noticed me earlier. We could have been good together."

Looks like something pulled out of a garbage can to me.

Good thing Ryan plans ahead.


Anonymous said...

I'm guessing they wore the number "4" on their jerseys because this is season 4 of Top Chef. Either that, or they wore the kicker's number because they knew they would be kicking someone off the show before the day was over.

David Dust said...

If Ryan shows up on my Step It Up and Dance I will die of barfness.

Excellent recap, as always...

Anonymous said...

The 4 is for Top Chef 4. There is a picture of the back of the jersey on Bravo's website and it says Top Chef instead of a name.

Unknown said...

Thank you for a fun blog.

This week should be a good one, so I'll be back.