Saturday, August 11, 2007

Top Chef: Miami: They love the nightlife, they got to boogie!

Howie: "I'm such a sensitive person. I have a hard time getting close to people because I know they will have to leave and if I let myself get too close I will be heartbroken."

So that's why you act like such as asshole?

Howie: "Pretty much."

This week's quickfire is brought to you by Cold Stone Creamery. If you enjoy eating tasteless ice cream with a bunch a stupid shit in it that someone has mashed together on a slab of marble for no apparent reason, then Cold Stone is the place for you!

The guest judge is Govind Armstrong:

Tre: "Fun fact about Govind Armstrong: he's African American!"

Yes, we can see that. Anyway, this week's guest African American tells the chefs to create ice cream from the heart.

Padma: "You have to create an ice cream flavor. You may want to avoid bacon and eggs ice cream or avocado ice cream because that is so last season."

Hung plays it safe and goes with cauliflower and sawdust with an infusion of used motor oil and sprinkled with crushed glass and sesame seeds. Well, that may not have been the exact recipe but I'm guessing it was something like that, judging from Govind's reaction to it.

Sara N. spends the entire time chopping one almond.

Howie macerates his berries. ON NETWORK TELEVISION! I really didn't need to see that! Govind liked the salt in his ice cream:

Other Eric: "I hate to tell him but that was sweat."

Casey used chili paste. It could have worked but apparently didn't.

Dale borrows Hung's monkey once again and creates a delicious peach cobbler ice cream. He wins!

Padma: "You are all off the hook for now for the elimination challenge. You will get to go out and enjoy the famous Miami nightlife!"

Oh, Padma, you lying bitch.

I mean, really. She could have mislead them without actually lying. She could have simply said that the chefs would get to experience the Miami night life and just let them think they were going out for a fun night on the town. I totally understand why some of them were so pissed off when they found out they were lied to. It was just unnecessarily cruel.

So, anyway, they all get dressed up as best they can and are chauffeured via limousine to the catering trucks where they will be working all night:

Sara N.: "I can't go shopping in heels! That is just so wrong!"

Padma: "Oh, for Christ's sake! You should do everything in heels!"

Sara N.: "But my cleavage is showing!"

Padma: "Yeah, what's your point?"

Dale gets to skip the challenge and go on a date with Govind. They make a cute couple.

One team has C.J., Sara N., Howie, and Casey. They were a disaster. They didn't work well together, most of their food was terrible, they did not do a good job of attracting customers, and they were slow.

The second team of Brian, Sara M., Tre, and Hung seemed to do everything right. They were well organized and worked well together, their food was good and plentiful, and they attracted a huge crowd of customers. Brian seemed to be the leader of this team and, while I find him annoying, I have to give him credit for doing an excellent job. Not only did his enthusiasm attract customers but it was also a good idea to maximize space in the catering truck by having a table of chilled foods out in front. (I agree with Tom that a raw oyster bar in a parking lot at 2:00 AM was a risky idea but it turned out to be very popular.)

So the winning team was never in question but choosing the individual winner and loser was a little more difficult. I think Brian should have won, since I really think he was most responsible for his team's success. But the judges gave it to Tre for creating the best individual dish. I can't remember what he made:

Me: "Hey, Eric, what dish did Tre make on the last Top Chef?"

Other Eric: "Shrimp wrapped in bacon and served on grits."

Oh, yeah. Holy crap, that sounds good! OK, he deserves to win. He wins a book and a VIP club card for something.

It is hard to say who did the worst job on the losing team. The judges decide to send home Sara N.

Padma: "Sara, pack your knives and go."

Sara N.: "I can't pack my knives and go dressed like this! It's totally unprofessional!"

Padma: "Oh, alright. We'll give you a few minutes to change into some hot pants."


Ms. Place said...

Conga line with Brian? Totally. Love the man. I'm betting on him and Tre to go the distance!

Anonymous said...

not sure if you were being snippy at tre for noting that Govind was another African American chef but I thought his excitement at seeing another African American chef in an industry not known for being all that supportive of black chefs was well taken...and added to his very visible happiness at excelling at the challenge in front of a chef he clearly wanted to impress.

Blogging Top Chef said...

"Howie macerates his berries. ON NETWORK TELEVISION! I really didn't need to see that!" OMG, I think I woke the neighbors laughing so loud. You again have made my week buddy. Thanks

Sous Chef Humor

mumblesalot (Laura A) said...

Padma: "Oh, for Christ's sake! You should do everything in heels!"

Sara N.: "But my cleavage is showing!"

Padma: "Yeah, what's your point?"


Great job Eric

eric3000 said...

Anonymous 8:48 PM,

I was just teasing Tre. I completely understood what he was saying. Sorry if it seemed snippy.

frogboots said...

i love brian. and tre. even CJ.

BUT: i think this show ended up being incredibly sexist. The women chefs were at a distinct disadvantage. I thought when both casey and sara n. said they never let their kitchen staff see them dressed up - that was a telling moment. Women's fancy-dress-up-clothes are a lot less comfortable, and a lot less practical, than men's clothes. The guys just rolled their sleeves up, or, in Tre's (gorgeous) case, took off their shirts altogether. But the women were stuck wearing strange, slippery flowy clothes, high heels (which must have hurt, standing and cooking all night long) and - yes - their boobs hanging out. Sure, maybe they should have been able to suck it up, but the judges' utter coldness to the problem of the women's clothes struck me (and my mom!) as sexist.

If you've never had to work, professionally, with your boobs hanging out, wearing heels, then you simply don't know how much it affects your psyche.

eric3000 said...

Yeah, Frogboots, totally unfair (and a little dangerous) to make the women work like that in heels.

However, Sara N.'s comments actually pointed out a different type of sexism: she was afraid of looking sexy because she thought she wouldn't be respected as a chef. I don't think that's something men worry about.

wildflower38 said...

"Howie macerates his berries. ON NETWORK TELEVISION! I really didn't need to see that!" ROFLMAO!!!!

"Govind liked the salt in his ice cream: Other Eric: 'I hate to tell him but that was sweat.'"
That's exactly why I wouldn't eat Howie's food. There's been too many shots of him having sweat rolling off his face.....

BigAssBelle said...

haha!!! this is hysterical, as usual. it was quite a party out there in those little trailers. can't say it compares to my own disco days, where the trailers after-hours were full of tamales and hot links. certainly would have been fun to have exited the bar to find those tasty little treats.

i thought the big deal made over being out in party clothes was CRAZY!! get over it! if you can't handle something so simple, what will you do in a real restaurant??

Marius said...

Great post! I agree with frogboots, the judges and some bloggers were a bit insensitive about the whole thing. However, Sara got what she deserved. Sometimes you just have to deal with hardship and move on.