Sunday, April 13, 2008

Top Chef: Chicago: Meals on Heels, the Mary Kay story!

Padma: "Meals on Heels is the inspiring true story about a tough woman who started her own meal empire!"

[sound of crickets]

Padma: "It's staring Shirley MacLaine!"

OK, I'll watch it.

We start the episode with scenes of Mark sharpening his knife. No, that isn't a euphemism.

The guest judge for the quickfire is Ming Tsai:

Ming: "Taste is very important. We will be testing your taste level by having you choose the higher quality item."

Padma: "So, here are two eighteenth-century chairs. Which one is Louis XVI and which one is a lower-quality provincial imitation?"

Chefs: "Huh?"

Padma: "I'm sorry; that's incorrect. OK, one of these is a genuine Herm├Ęs bag and one is a Chinese knockoff. Which is which?"

Chefs: "We don't understand."

Padma: "How about this one: what do you think of my outfit?"

Chefs: "Uh, it's OK?"

Ming: "This is hopeless. These chefs have no taste. Just look at their shoes."

Antonia wins immunity because she had the best taste in movies last week.

The elimination challenge is to make the first course for the 2007 Meals on Wheels Chicago Celebrity Chef Ball:

Padma: "Your inspiration this week will be the 1970s Chicago musical group Earth Wind and Fire."


Dale thinks Team Fire should try not to be too literal and, instead, base their dish on riddles:

Dale: "When I think of fire I think of devils. Do you think Whole Foods sells Tasmanian Devil meat?"

Lisa: "Yeah, I'm just not really a fan of anything Dale says."

She thinks they should do Asian for Ming Tsai:

Lisa: "I really think the best way to disappoint Ming Tsai is to do Asian."

Lisa is complaining about everything her teammates want to do. Dale is being the Lisa Whisperer and trying to calm her down.

Team Water is using the sous vide technique to poach salmon in water:

Richard: "I think water really brings in the water element."

Uh, yeah, except the diners aren't really going to get that. Why not just serve the fish floating in a bowl of water. I'm sorry, but this dish is conceptually really stupid.

Antonia is forcing Team Earth to make carpaccio even though Spike isn't happy about it. Spike wants to do a squash soup, which sounds like a pretty good idea and Zoi seems to like it, too. In fairness to Antonia, she does actually say she will make squash soup if she absolutely has to:

Antonia: "If you two morons force me to, I will make squash soup. But it's such a terrible idea, everyone will hate it and we will probably never be able to find work again."

Spike: "Well, now you're making me second-guess myself."

The chefs are cooking in the kitchen of the old Marshall Field's building. Mark is surprised by its size:

Mark: "This is how big Yankee Stadium is? That seems a little small for sporting events. You Americans are so weird."

Jen is not fucking around:

Jen: "It's true. I'm not fucking around. Nobody had better suggest that I'm fucking around because I'm not fucking around."

Lisa is bitching about everything and screws up the bacon, which is supposed to be her specialty.

Ryan uses all the pomegranate juice but some of it was supposed to be reserved for the stupid champagne cocktail:

Ryan: "Gosh darn it."

Nikki: "Ryan, swearing like that just brings attention to yourself. Is that what you want? Is this just a desperate cry for attention?"

Nikki talks about Ryan in a private interview segment:

Nikki: "He's a little disorganized. Do you like my hair?"

Tom wants to know who is doing what in the Team Earth dish:

Team Earth: "Oh, it's really a collaborative effort."

Tom: "Cut the bullshit and tell me who made what."

The Richard Blaise charm has worn off Tom Colicchio:

Tom: "I just have to clarify that I never found Richard charming."

So Tom asks Richard what his element is:

Richard: "Obviously it's water. Didn't you notice the blue aprons, dumbass?"

Tom: "Hey, the last time I checked, the sky was blue, too; OK, douchebag?"

Richard: "So we're doing a sous vide salmon. Who does a sous vide salmon anymore, right?"

Tom looks a little confused:

Tom: "That's right. Most people don't do it because it's not very good."

The chefs serve dinner to 80 guests:

Team Water is Mark, Richard, and Andrew and they make poached salmon with faux caviar, parsnip puree and watercress salad. There are scales on the fish and it's not very popular.

Team Fire is Dale, Lisa, and Stephanie and they make grilled shrimp with pickled chili salad, deviled aioli and miso smoked bacon. Everyone seems to love it even though the shrimp is really hot:


Paris Hilton: "Yeah, that's hot."

Team Air is Nikki, Ryan, and Jen and they make duck breast with citrus salad and pomegranate prosecco aperitif. Some woman is totally irritated with the aperitif. Everyone agrees that little drinks are annoying:

Tom: "I am not a fan of the little drinks. They make my hands look so big."

Seriously, the guests were already drinking champagne, so that little drink was completely pointless.

Team Earth is Antonia, Spike, and Zoi and they make beef carpaccio with mushroom salad and sunchoke aioli. The diners hate this dish. Everyone says how much they would love squash soup instead:

Spike: "See?!!!"

Who deserves a spanking: Antonia, Dale, or Lisa?

America picks Dale? OK, apparently the viewers have a spanking fetish and are attracted to Dale because he really didn't do anything wrong this week.

Team Fire wins, obviously. Congratulations, Team Fire! Lisa wins for making bacon:

Ming: "I've never had bacon before!"

Lisa wins a holiday. Dale is bitter:

Dale: "She made bacon! Are you fucking kidding me?"

The losing teams are brought in:

Padma: "Who cleaned the fish?"

Richard: "In what regard?"

Padma: "In regard to cleaning the fish. I want to know who cleaned it? Do I stutter?"

Spike and Antonia argue about the soup that they should have made.

Zoi is out because she seasoned the mushrooms with rosemary:

Gail: "Rosemary?! Are you fucking kidding me?!"

Back in the waiting room, Spike yells at Antonia for not taking a back seat and letting him and Zoi make the decisions.

For some reason, Jen gets mad at Spike and starts yelling at him like it's his fault Zoi is out.

Then Dale gets in on the act and says that it isn't Spike's fault.

Next, Lisa tells Dale that he isn't helping the situation.

So then Dale yells at Lisa about bitching all night.

Jen kicks a chair into the wall. Problem solved! The end.


Anonymous said...

DO I STUTTER?? hahahahahahahahhhahahahahh love it

Cliff O'Neill said...

Oh no! Paris Hilton has now also invaded my Top Chef!!

Andrew, save me!

mumblesalot (Laura A) said...

"Dale is being the Lisa Whisperer and trying to calm her down." Hah!

That was so much fun Eric. I am still chuckling over Tom saying the glass makes his hand look big. It is so well worth watching the show, just read this delightful recap.

Ms. Place said...

Padma: "Your inspiration this week will be the 1970s Chicago musical group Earth Wind and Fire."


Oh, how I wish this show was as superb as your writing. I'm already tired of it. Perhaps too many team challenges? Great recap, Eric. I am still chuckling.

wildflower38 said...

Great recap Eric!