leave your inhibitions at the door
It’s week three and, until now, I haven’t really seen anything that sets apart Top Chef from any other cooking competition show. You have some set ingredients, a time limit, voiceovers from contestants, some whiny punks, some cocky douchebags, and the occasional cut finger. Now that we have the roster of sixteen contestants, hopefully I’ll get a glimpse of what makes this show so great. Or at least a glimpse of that big black guy in the mansion’s hot tub. (That’s gotta happen, right?)
OK, quick note… and I swear I don’t’ watch other Bravo shows – but WTF is Padma wearing? I’m ok with the brown pants with the rings on them, but there was something on her shirt that made her look like a hunchback. And that graphic headband and shiny gold shoes did not work for her.
Also, in last week’s post, I mentioned that Lindsay’s thick neck, mushroom cap hair, and the fact her hair, skin, and shirt were all the same color made her look like a penis. You can’t tell from the website pic, so I took a pic of my TV…
Quickfire Challenge – Create a dish using rattlesnake
The guest judge was Johnny Hernandez, a local San Antonio chef and expert on snake and other game meat. I do like how Padma channeled Samuel L. Jackson with her “muthaf*kin snakes on the muthaf*kin plates”. The winner of $5k and immunity for the day was Dakota – aka Twitchy.
She made a beer battered snake, warm succotash salad, and zucchini almond gazpacho. Not that snake is an everyday thing for me, but that didn’t seem very exciting and some of the other presentations were more innovative. I’ve had rattlesnake in Arizona and Texas and both times they were deepfried like a chicken nugget. Either that’s the only good way to cook it or she’s pretty shrewd in doing something that the judge would probably appreciate.
Elimination Challenge – Create a buffet for a Mexican Quinceanera party
The chefs were split into two teams and given the task of catering a 15th birthday celebration. In addition to the judges, we got to hear the scathing commentary from the girl. Sure, she’s the guest of honor, but she was brutal. If she wasn’t correct, I’d say she was downright annoying.
The Green Team won the challenge handily as their dishes were deemed more authentic. They didn’t push the envelope any more than the Pink team, but just did everything better. The individual performances were strong and they were a lot more cohesive. I guess it helps when you have a true Mexican on the team. This was pretty clear-cut.
So this is the part of the show where the four worst from the losing group is brought in, slapped around, and then one of them gets the axe. Twitchy would’ve been there for her lousy cake, but she won immunity earlier. So the four were:
Keith (Who looks like TV on the Radio guitarist) – He made enchiladas with flour tortillas which is a bad idea – they get mushy. The team was also supposed to make a shrimp cocktail, but he bought pre-cooked shrimp. Apparently that’s a no-no.
Ty-Lor – His Fritter with avocado was blasted for having no taste and being misproportioned to the dipping sauce. To be fair, this was a last minute concoction because of Keith’s cooked shrimp debacle, but I did like how he took owndership for the failure. He also made a carne asada that drew high praise from everyone. So it was unlikely that he would go.
Sarah and Lindsay (The Penis) – they put together the cochanita pibil, a Yucatan pork specialty. Theirs was considered lacking spices and generally unauthentic.
And the one eliminated was Keith and his big ol beard.
Bummer, because he could’ve been a lot of fun to watch. I really wanted to hear more about his background in the slammer – why he was in there and maybe some anecdotes from behind the barbed wire. But wait, he may come back in some kind of future challenge.
– There was a brief moment where they showed Padma in a doorway staring at the party with a really creepy look on her face. Sure she’s hot, but if it was my party I would’ve locked the doors after that.
– I went through it a couple of times and didn’t see what Whitney made – either in the Quickfire or the Elimination. I don’t think she even competed. Wonder why.
– I do like there’s some collaboration between the chefs and it’s not all cutthroat. Yet.
– Some of these chefs aren’t going out of their comfort zones. Beverly (from Chicago’s Aria) cooked her way in with Korean comfort food, made rattlesnake nigiri, and made short ribs with kimchi. I guess this is ok at this point in the competition, but hopefully they aren’t one trick ponies.
– Chefs that are my favorite to watch so far – Richie, Ty, and Twitchy!
– Best foods so far – Chuy, Sonny Chiba, and Beverly
– Hating – Sarah from Chicago – fat, ugly, and catty
– It looks like Beverly is going to be the weepy reality contestant who cries at every moment. Ugh.
– I think an ongoing theme is going to be preparing something that’s reflects the chef’s artistry/style/preference versus giving people what they want.
– So there’s Real Housewives of Atlanta and Beverly Hills. Can I be the first to ask for Real Housewives of Ann Arbor? You’ll see hairy legs, breastfeeding, and all kinds of Subarus….
What did you think?