Friday, July 13, 2007

Top Chef: Miami: Episode 4 Recap: Group Therapy!

Did you enjoy that little break from Top Chef? Well, vacation's over, suckers!

Tonight's episode is brought to you by Alcoholics Anonymous and the guest judge for the quickfire is master mixologist Fat Boy Slim, the favorite DJ of middle-aged white guys! OK, let's mix it up on the dance floor and get those records spinning!

Padma: "What the hell are you talking about? A mixologist creates cocktails."

Oh. Well, in that case, I'm a little embarrassed about making Fat Boy Slim come all the way down here for nothing.

Fat Boy Slim: "Don't worry about it. It's not like I had anything better to do."

We are then introduced to Bombay Sapphire gin, that comes in a "plethora" of vapor-infused flavors. Everyone ignores the fact that they are standing in the middle of an extended commercial. I wish they had just brought that elephant from the commercial into the kitchen. Then, at least, the elephant in the room would have been literal.

The chefs are assigned cocktails and they have to pair them with appetisers. Casey knows how to pair wine but not cocktails. Hung says no cocktail is good enough to be paired with his food. Dale seems shocked that there is alcohol in his cocktail.

Hung is told by the guest judge that his dish isn't paired very well with his cocktail.

Hung: "So sweet doesn't go with creamy?"

Oh! Burn! He did NOT just say that! I don't think the guest judge will ever recover his dignity after being slammed like that!

Hung: "Well, I think he was confused so I had to call him out on it."

It really, really pains me to say this but I think Hung is kind of an asshole.

Hung: "YES! Finally! Thank you!"

Casey wins immunity with her foie gras french toast and, according to the editing, spends the rest of the episode eating sandwiches, laying in bed, and hiding in the walk-in refrigerator.

For the elimination challenge the chefs will form four teams of three, with each team creating a trio plate consisting of one main ingredient prepared three ways. Got that? They pick names out of a pot to see who is in each team and then argue about what each team is going to make and whether they need dessert.

Dale: "I'm switching teams!"

You're going straight?

Dale: "No, I'm going to make dessert."

Well, that's even more ridiculous. Dale manages to find two other chefs willing to try to make dessert. I have to say that if I'm eating a multi-course meal I want some damn dessert! So I'm glad they are going for it, even though it is a suicide mission. Seriously, every season the chefs always make a big deal about how none of them is a pastry chef. I completely understand that baking is a very exacting science and it is difficult to do without a recipe. But if you are going to go on a competition show like this, you should take the time to memorize a few basic dessert recipes. Even I can make a simple cake batter without a recipe. And, of course, there are plenty of desserts that don't involve baking at all. Of course we've seen some decent desserts on this show (last season had a few) but everyone always acts like they are being asked to perform brain surgery.

Anyway, they are sent to the market without enough money to buy ingredients, for some reason.

The team doing the first course is Lia, Brian, and Hung. They went to get scallops but the scallops were frozen so they bought shrimp instead.

The team doing the second course is Casey, Joey, and Howie. They were going to do duck but they couldn't figure out how much the duck costs so they bought salmon instead. They have to change all their plans so Casey has a snack and takes a nap.

The team doing the third course is C.J., Asian Sara, and Tre. They are doing filet mignon and truffles. Surprisingly, this is expensive.

Dale: "They are not taking risks. Just doing a little seared piece of beef? Hung's monkey could do that."

Hung: "Leave my monkey out of this!"

The team doing the fourth course is Dale, Cheesy Sara, and Camille. We are told, "they didn't have to do dessert but they chose to do it anyway," about two dozen times. We get it! Dale thinks he is the one who chose pineapple:

Dale: "I said, 'make it fun, make it fruity, make it gay!'"

Everyone: "Make it gay, make it gay, make it gaaaaay!"

I love it when everyone sings!

OK, so they are making dinner for the Shane Rotisserie-Chicken Dining Club, or something like that. Who are these freaks? They are wearing ribbons and medals like they just won best in breed at the Westminster Kennel Club. Other Eric and I are pretty sure one of them is Chip from The Amazing Race. I guess eating live octopus qualified him to be in this club.

Everyone loves the shrimp course. I'm not going to mention Hung's foam, though.

Ted: "The shrimp course was like poetry. But, like, good poetry. Not like most poetry, which is shit."

All three parts of the dish were good but the judges chose Lia as the winner:

Guest Judge: "I'd like to invite you to the Hamptons."

Padma: "Well, that's a little inappropriate."

Guest Judge: "No; I'm inviting her to participate in a charity event."

Padma: "Oh, that's alright, then."

The beef course was pretty good. The salmon course was bad. Casey's was apparently terrible but she has immunity so she may be responsible for sending home either Joey or Howie:

Casey: "You've laid a guilt blanket on me."


Casey: "You know; like a blanket but instead of being made out of yarn, it's made out of guilt."

Oh. Right.

The dessert course was total crap. Camille's cake was like English desserts, which I would have taken as a compliment but which Chip meant as an insult. No one mentions Dale's dessert, which sounded delicious; but he gets blamed for making the decision to do dessert in the first place and for choosing the totally gay ingredient of pineapple. Cheesy Sara did not fool Tom by freezing her pannecotta and calling it semifreddo:

Tom: "I'm not as stupid as I look."

Well, this has been a good group therapy session for Casey, Joey, and Howie. Joey and Howie patched up their differences through their mutual disdain for Casey during most of the episode and then they made up with Casey at the end when she apologized for making the worst dish in the history of food.

Ah, everyone is happy! Oh, except for Camille, of course. She's gone.


frogboots said...

FABULOUS recap!!!

i have been DYING to read recaps ever since the Best-in-Show Eaters appeared with their sashes and medals and shit. there were all these weird cleavage shots of the lady Rotisseurs, too (or whatever the fuck they're called. Padma butchered the french pronunciation appallingly. they should have a french person on set to nastily correct all the mispronunciations).

Eric3K, you're the best!!!

trixie said...

Yes frogboots: what was with all the cleavage shots (with damaged fried chicken skin) of the lady Rotisseur? As if Hung's foam hadn't already destroyed our appetite?

This was a really weird episode.

There was the delusional Hung calling the judge out on his sweet and creamy confusion. Hung, by his own admission doesn't drink hard liquor. So he wouldn't know that if you have a sweet hard liquor drink then a creamy food would be too rich but Hung has these weird OCD "rules" for everything that supercede taste.

That said, french toast with a sweet cocktail sounds like the kind of delicious breakfast you can't resist, you eat too much of, and you will be seeing later on in the day, and regretting well into the evening.

Did anyone else have to go to the mute button subtitles to find out what the hell Casey was talking about when she said she was cooking "flisghagd"? Her pronunciation problems have been noted on Amuse Biatch but I think she has some sort of problem with aphasia.

Pineapple desserts? Was this a church potluck? I mean I'm a total potatoes and bread peasant when it comes to food but even I would have at least gone with strawberries. Raspberries would have been better. With chocolate.

These were the most inept desserts I've ever seen. They could have easily made little tarts, like galettes de pommes. Pardon my French if I didn't spell that correctly. They could have even used Pepperidge Farm puff pastry.

The Westminster Kennel Club Diners: oh my god that was a Monty Python sketch waiting to happen.

Eric: this was one of your best lines ever:

"Everyone ignores the fact that they are standing in the middle of an extended commercial. I wish they had just brought that elephant from the commercial into the kitchen. Then, at least, the elephant in the room would have been literal."

Great recap!

Calady said...

"I wish they had just brought that elephant from the commercial into the kitchen". I love this commercial. That would have rocked.

Great recap! It is one thing to watch the show... it is another to read your recap. You win out everytime.

Ms. Place said...

Your recap was funnier than the show. I had the hardest time getting an angle on it this time, but you captured it perfectly. Kudos!!

Marius said...

Oh, frogboots, I love reading your comments almost as much as I love reading Eric's recaps.

Hung finally proved that he is in fact an asshole. However, I think he's a big wuss. And I totally agree with your comment about making desserts. It's not brain surgery. As you suggested, all they had to do was learn a few basic recipes.

Great recap!

mumblesalot (Laura A) said...

Ok I am obviously not all here tonight. A few posters mentioned frogboots so I reread the your recap to find out who made frog legs .

Great name frogboots.

Great recap Eric.

BigAssBelle said...

hahahahahahahaha!!!! that is all.

oh yeah, i am SO looking forward to tonight :-)

frogboots said...

OMG Eric3000 commented on my blog!

a brush with celebrity!!!!!!

(seriously. i'm dorkishly excited about this development!)

K. L. Smith said...

Eric3K...I love the recaps (been catching up), but if you'll review, I think you'll find that Casey, Howie, and Joey had TUNA, not salmon.

Looking forward to reading the rest!