Thursday, July 1, 2010

You Be Grillin': The Top Chef D.C. recap

Well, damn. I actually liked Tracey.
I liked the fact that she looked like Turtle from Entourage in drag.
I liked the fact she was swoony over Angelo.
I liked that the fact that her nutty internal monologue—“Put your back in it!” “Look at me go!” “Sugar snap peas!” (I think this was a profanity of some sort)—was never going to not be funny. 
I liked the fact that she was "psychic."
But mostly I liked the fact that she did the thing so few Cheftestants have done—completely spazzed over all the delicious food the other competitors were making. The moment she finished her picnic challenge, she gleefully made her way from station to station: Squee! Ribs! Yes! Pork butt! Yum! Lamb kofta!
“None of these are worse than mine,” she admitted, happily munching.
I’m going to miss that girl.

But, as usual, I’m ahead of myself.

The competition started with a shameless (does Bravo do it any other way?) promo for their new series: Top Chef: Just Desserts.

Johnny Iuzzini, who’s apparently a big deal in the pie world and might actually be cute if he just got rid of that Bob’s Big Boy hair, is the cohost, along with Gail Simmons. I’m glad Gail is getting her own show: She’s such the Mary-Ann to Padma’s Ginger.

So, as usual, the Cheftestants were completely freaking out about having to make dessert.

“It’s a dessert that always sends someone home!” they moaned.
(The logic here is somewhat faulty since everyone is making a pie. Also, it was the Quickfire elimination, which doesn’t send anyone home.)

Also, it sort of bugs me that these people can’t make a damn pie. It kind of reminds me of what happens on Project Runway (now seen on a competing network!) when the designers are asked to make a dress that’s size 8. They freak out like they’ve been asked to design a dress for a woman with an extra set of appendages.

In particular, Tracey had no idea what she was doing, leading to this hilarious moment with Andrea:

Andrea: What kind of pie are you making?

Tracey (truthfully): I don’t know.

Andrea: It’s top secret, huh?

Tracey (liking the way that sounds): Uh, yeah.

Andrea (slightly ticked): Alright, I’ll remember that.


But Tracey wasn’t alone. For the most part, these pies were a sorry lot.

But there were a few standouts: Kenny and Kelly.
Kenny won with his delicious looking Bananas Foster pie. (A good thing, too, because after last week’s banana pudding debacle, the banana needed a confidence boost.)

The Elimination Challenge? Make a grilled picnic lunch for Capitol Hill interns.

In an interactive moment on maxthegirl, I ask you to pick the next joke:

a. BBQ + Capitol Hill interns = The dream Bill Clinton had last night.

b. Whee! Another chance for Rep. Aaron Schock to break out his pink checkered shirt and teal belt!

(Google it.)

c. Monica Lewinsky was last seen grabbing a fork and taking off in full sprint.

Anyhoo. . .
Arnold was very upset about the grill challenge because, in his own words, “Not a grill guy. It’ll clog the pores way too fast.”

Arnold’s obsession with skin care is getting a little . . .strange.

We also find out this episode that pretty Amanda had a little episode involving, “pills, cocaine, and anything I could get my hands on” back in her 20s. Whoa. Didn’t see that coming.

There’s a funny moment where Amanda and Alex (lead singer of Deconstructed Borscht in case you forgot) are arguing about who gets the oven and Tom Colicchio walks in. It’s always embarrassing to get caught in a hissy fit in front of Tom, since everyone always tries to be so suave in front of him.

Later, in the house, Angelo muses out loud over Amanda’s skills in the kitchen:

“Amanda’s a good chef. Can Amanda beat me? No, she can not beat me.”
Glad we cleared that up.

So everyone has an exalted opinion of their own food:

Alex claims that he could “eat the ass out of this pig all day” (ewwww.)

Tim thinks that his dry rub is his secret weapon. (The bowel-evacuating duck apparently disagrees.)

Moist-eyed Stephen thinks that his bacon/sea bass dish is a can’t-miss. (“Unless the sea bass gets dry,” he says—twice.)

In the end, the Top 3 are Angelo with his lettuce wraps, Amanda with her ribs (nice!), and Arnold, who sacrificed his pores to create a yummy looking lamb kofta.

And crater-face Arnold wins!

“Surprise, I win,” says Arnold in an amusingly blasé way.

Bottom 4:

Timothy, whose ribs were okay, but whose cous-cous was bad-bad.

Tracey, who was right: None of the dishes were worse than hers. (Apparently, her Italian sausage was so bad, Tom Colicchio took umbrage on behalf of all Italian people. Now that’s some bad sausage.)

Stephen, whose sea bass was not just dry, it was inedible.

And Kevin, whose Puerto Rican BBQ tasted exactly like, well, a Puerto Rican BBQ—but not one manned by a professional chef. (Ouch.)

I was kind of hoping concerned looking Stephen would be the one to go, but no, it was Tracey.

“I deserve to go home,” she said. Oh, sugar snap peas.


donna said...

I wish more recappers were like you: funny and silly but never mean-spirited. I liked Tracy, too. She was down to earth and honest and I would have enjoyed a few more eps with her. Ah well, she was a good sport.

Jennifer Mendelsohn said...

Pitch perfect, Max, from start to finish. I'm only a little sad you didn't find a way to work in Tracey's startling resemblance to Rosie O'Donnell!

Jennifer Mendelsohn said...

Oh, and while we're talking celeb lookalikes,Amanda is the poor man's Gina Gershon.

Cliff O'Neill said...

I'm still kinda retching from that Alex's porcine sexual innuendo.

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maxthegirl said...

Funny Jen.