Thursday, January 15, 2009
Lamb to the Slaughter: The Top Chef recap
They say that one day television will be completely interactive—that everything you see on the screen will be instantly available for one-click download and purchase. We’re not quite there yet, but Bravo is sure doing it’s part. No sooner did I take note of the fact that Hosea was wearing an I Heart Padma shirt, then a little note scrawled across the bottom of the screen: To purchase your I Heart Padma shirt, log onto. . .blah, blah, blah. Oh Bravo, you’re so predictable.
Anyway, the “Previously on. . .” focused on the budding romance between Hosea and Leah (quite possibly the least sexy, least intriguing reality TV romance since Vincent was “turned on” by his dresses in Season 3 of Project Runway) and I thought, “Oh well. One of those two is going home.” Yawn. Little did I realize that this preview was merely spelling doom for my favorite cheftestant!
Onto the Quickfire they go, where Season 3 winner Hung is there, looking as smug and self-satisfied as usual. (It could’ve been worse, it could’ve been Ilan.) Hung is all about seafood, so the cheftestants assume that the giant misshapen mountain of boxy looking stuff covered by a sheet behind Padma would be an enormous pile of . . . fish? Uh, okay.
Instead, it was the contents of my cupboard—I mean, a whole lot of Spam and macaroni and cheese and canned stuff. The challenge? Make a tasty dish (in 15 minutes) using all processed food. Welcome to my world, chefs!
(If nothing else, the canned food challenge taught me one thing: Add an artful little drizzle of sauce on the plate and anything can look gourmet.)
All the chefs went grabbing for the various canned food items, elbows akimbo, which Jeff likened to a “mosh pit” (he strikes me as more of a The Peach Pit kinda guy, but what do I know?)
There was some brouhaha because Fabio had two cans of artichoke and didn’t share with Hosea and then Hosea had Spam and he did share it with the villainous Stefan (sucker!) and in the end, Stefan won the challenge and Hosea was left slapping his forehead saying, “Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!”
Now onto the Elimination challenge—to prepare a simple, seasonal lunch with one of the following three proteins: Pig, chicken, or lamb.
I kept waiting for the catch on this challenge, but there really wasn’t one, except the food was literally farm-to-table, as they were cooking at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Westchester, NY.
Team Pig was Jeff, Fabio, and Radhika.
Team Chicken was Jamie, Stefan, and Carla.
Team Lamb was Hosea, Leah, and Arianne.
Most of the tension, needless to say, was emanating from Team Chicken, where Stefan, as always, put on his Bossy Pants and acted like he was in charge. And Jamie was all, “Not so fast, you Fiendish Fin!” And Carla was all, “Where’s the love, people?” And then Stefan very patronizingly told the camera that Jamie was cute when she got angry. Can somebody deck this guy? Please?
Once at the farm, Stefan was alone with Carla, Jamie, the female farmer, and the hens, so he naturally proclaimed: “I’m the only cock in the stable.”
Then in a moment sure to launch a thousand GIFs, he gleefully repeated: “Cock!”
So here’s how it broke down: Team Pork and Team Lamb didn’t respect their protein. Instead, Team Pork cut all the fat off their pork and Team Lamb pounded their lamb into submission and didn’t know how to tie it properly.
“I wanted to have sex with this pork,” sighed new judge Toby. “I didn’t even get to first base.” (And yes, even this ill-fated romance is more interesting than the one between Hosea and Leah.)
Stefan, Carla, and Jamie apparently respected their farm fresh ingredients so they won.. “See?” Stefan said to Jamie. And suddenly it was one big lovefest. Even Carla let out a “Woo hoo!” Sadly, her husband was not around to reply: “Hootie?”
No single winner this week. They all win. (Boring.)
Team Lamb and Team Pork were in the bottom. Radhika almost got the boot because she pretty much just stood around and grilled some corn. Padma said that she felt sorry for Arianne because her team forced her to butcher a lamb when she clearly didn’t know how to do it. Toby said that he felt sorry for Arianne because she can’t cook. (Ouch. )
Padma got about as pissed as Padma is going to get, and defended Arianne, noting that she had made some great dishes in the past.
Would my girl be saved? Would Leah go home, breaking up the so-boring-it’s-practically-Amish love affair between Leah and Hosea? Nope, in a cruelly ironic twist, the OPG goes home on a protein challenge. Sweet over-achiever Arianne is packing up her knives and heading home.
Girl, you made Jersey proud.