Sunday, May 25, 2008

Top Chef: Chicago, Episode Eleven: The Global War on Restaurants!

We start this episode with Tim Gunn showing up at the apartments early in the morning:

Tim Gun: "Wake up, designers! We're going on a field trip!"

Nick Verrios: "If it isn't a fabulous penthouse apartment then you can just drop dead."

Just ignore Nick. Tim takes the designers to another Chicago institution. Because if anyone needs to be institutionalized it's the contestants on this show.

The designers have five minutes to make a garment out of fried eggs.

Tim Gun: "You know what I always say: you can't make a garment without breaking a few eggs."

Tom Colicchio: "Cut it out! It's too early in the morning for this crap!"

Well, obviously it's too early for Padma. Sorry, Tom. I'll stop joking around. The chefs have to work the egg station at Denny's.

Lady who owns the Denny's: "It's not Denny's!"

Whatever. Dale and Antonia did a good job and Antonia wins it! She will actually get a real advantage in the elimination challenge. Seriously; it will really be an advantage!

We learn that Tom will not be around for the elimination challenge because he just has better things to do.

Tom: "It's a charity event!"

Yeah, that's what I always say when I'm trying to get out of something, too.

Tom: "Well, you're an asshole. I actually have to go to a charity event."

Fine! So, the chefs have to advertise some phone with a GPS device for absolutely no reason:

Kiefer Sutherland: "Padma's been kidnapped by terrorists and the chefs only have one hour to find her. Minus commercial breaks. Oh, and there's probably some sort of dirty bomb involved."

OK. The chefs find Padma tied up in a warehouse:

Padma: "The only way you can stop the terrorists is by creating a really good restaurant. You must stay the course. You are either with the restaurant or you are against it. Otherwise the terrorists will have already won."

That's right: the Global War on Restaurants is back! So, the chefs have fifteen dollars for food and five million dollars for scented candles from Pier One.

Padma: "Antonia, as winner of the quickfire, you get to choose your teammates."

Oh, my god! That's a real advantage!

Padma: "You sound surprised."

I am! So far, the "advantages" have always sucked but this one is really good!"

Antonia picks Richard and Stephanie to be on her team. Dale thinks that was a good decision:

Dale: "If I were her I wouldn't have picked me either."

Antonia, Richard, and Stephanie are doing fine dining in a relaxed atmosphere. That's a pretty lame-ass theme but I'm sure they'll pull it off.

Team Loser (Lisa, Dale, and Spike) will be totally making kick-ass Asian. A slightly more specific and yet still equally pathetic theme.

So the chefs have 24 hours to create restaurants and also capture al-Qaeda operatives and possibly stop Tom from killing the president at a charity event.

Kiefer Sutherland: "You've never actually seen 24, have you?"


Somehow Team Loser is unable to find any Asian ingredients at Whole Foods. Does Whole Foods really not sell Calrose or a similar variety of rice? I find that hard to believe. But maybe that's why Andrew didn't have rice in his sushi last week. Anyway, they end up buying rice pudding instead! Seriously! They're doomed.

The teams end up with five hours to set up and decorate the restaurants and make all the food. That seems like less time than previous restaurant wars.

Bourdain is in the house!

Bourdain: "Antonia's team is not setting very high expectations so if Dale's team can pull off their menu it will be quite an accomplishment. They won't, of course."

The teams get an extra set of hands. Dale picks Jen and Antonia picks Nikki because she needs someone to roll out pasta.

Team Loser is messing up all their dishes. Dale screws up his guacamole and, for the second week in a row, someone sabotages Lisa's rice.

Lisa: "Son of a bitch! Why is it so hard for me to make a goddamn pot of rice?!"

Lisa starts freaking out because she thinks Dale is freaking out:

Lisa: "I'm not going to be all 'Let's go play baseball!' Know what I mean?"

No. I really have no idea what you're talking about.

Team Antonia's restaurant looks pleasant enough. Everyone loves all their food.

Team Loser's restaurant is pretty tacky looking. Of course, it is decorated from Pier One. The judges hate all the food except for the dumplings and the halo halo.

Spike: "I think I was the best member of our team."

What a shock.

There are no surprises at judges' table. Antonia's team wins. Stephanie wins a trip! Congratulations, Stephanie!

Team Loser loses, of course. Bourdain either loved or hated the decor. I honestly couldn't tell:

Bourdain: "The decor was a major problem because it made me expect that the restaurant would be a place where I wouldn't hope to be delighted by being served a greasy dumpling."

Um . . . what?

Lisa and Dale argue about who grabbed the rice pudding boxes off the store shelf, as if anyone cares. They also argue about everything else.

Spike, of course, took the easy way out by staying out of the kitchen but the judges couldn't actually find anything wrong with his performance so he's safe. Lisa and Dale both made horrible dishes but since Dale chose to be executive chef he gets the blame.

Dale is out. You know what Dale will miss the most? The people. Because he's a people person.


Cliff O'Neill said...

You know, this elimination challenge was totally lacking that one key to all Restaurant Wars, Madonna's brother.

High-larious as ever, darlin'!

DebbyT said...

Picky me...
Did you call Richard "Michael" by accident, or did I miss something?

eric3000 said...

Nope, I meant Richard. It's fixed. Thanks!

mumblesalot (Laura A) said...

Oh Eric, I need that. Did they ever untie Padma? She was really slurring her words, it must have been the truth serum after effects. Thank goodness for the gps
phone, they might have had to ask a cab driver to take them to the address.

That was hysterical.

mumblesalot (Laura A) said...

oops I needed that

Eric I bought a new house and thought it was ironic that the builder would only let me have granite counter tops. What was the luxury item, and as you know not my favorite, is now the standard. One of colors of granite offered looked like someone had dropped slices of pepperoni into the granite before it hardened. Very ugly unless you have a pizza motif for your house.

vindaloo said...

All of these Top Chef posts are cracking me up. My husband has to keep turning up the volume on the TV to drown out my laughing.

Eric3000, you rock!

eric3000 said...

Thanks, Vindaloo!

Congrats on the new house, Laura! Yeah, you pretty much have your choice of granite, granite, or, if you're very lucky, granite. You can always cover it with Formica!