Thursday, July 1, 2010

Top Chef Season 7, Episode 3: "My flame goes poof"

Haterade is in the air in the third episode of “Top Chef Season Seven,” and Amanda from Water Grill in Los Angeles is feeling the heat. Partially from her crazy Where’s Waldo grey and yellow striped prison sweatpants, and partially from her fellow chefs who think she should have gone home last week for attempting to feed children a liquid lunch.

The rivalry between Kenny and Angelo continues to grow with Angelo whining about how Kenny tried to throw him under the bus at judge’s table because he tried to throw him under first by making a peanut butter and celery salad when he had immunity and the Master K didn’t. Poor, poor Angelo. The whole sordid affair “really put a damper on [his] mind and makes [him] want to isolate [himself] from everybody.” We could cry the kid a river, we could. Tears streaming down our faces – really!

Kenny just wants to have his own show. Called the Kenny show. With chickens (aka Angelo) he can butcher for sport.

For this week’s Quick Fire, the chefs are half delighted and half horrified to discover that Johnny Iuzzini, the head pastry chef at Jean Georges, is the guest judge for the challenge. Tamesha squeals about how hot he is (apparently side burns and hair gel make her swoon), and Andrea likens him to a pastry god. They are less than thrilled when they discover that they will be making a pie for him and Gail because Bravo wants to promote Johnny and Gail’s upcoming show, “Top Chef Top Desserts.” Everybody’s faces fall, except for Kelly who makes desserts at her restaurant and is totally happy to be annoying Arnold with her pie-making prowess and prettier hair.

Even Angelo is feeling the pressure. He says, “I never cooked a pie in my whole life. So I kind of just trick my brain and I say, ‘Angelo, this is not a pie challenge. Just see those ingredients over there? Why don’t you just turn it into a curry challenge?” He’s just so clever that one. He can trick his brain, he can trick Tracey into turning into a pile of goopy mush when he touches her…

Ed, who hates Alex because his thought process is underdeveloped, he’s a slob, he has no technique, and he looks like a lemer, is also getting tricky. He decides to make a banana cream pie and asks himself, “What else [can] I do to elevate this pie?” His conclusion – add celery. Because, duh, all banana pies should have celery! And, duh, celery was totally a homerun when Angelo used it in last week’s competition. And, duh, the judges hate it and think his grandma would hate it too and could go on for an hour about how gross it is to put celery in pie. Whose thought process is underdeveloped now, Eddie Angry Face?

The judges also school Tracey for her sloppy attempt at a blueberry almond pie that doesn’t contain any starch in the filling, and Alex for making them a tapioca quiche. Tracey’s like so sad – “It’s like living in a trailer park.” We’re not sure if she’s talking about the disappointment from being in the bottom again, or because her pie is only fit to be served in a trailer park.

The judges single Kelly, Stephen and Kenny out for their stellar pies, and Kenny ultimately takes it for his bananas foster pie with currants and Chinese five spice. Angelo huffs and puffs because he can trick his mind but he can’t trick the judges into liking his curry yam pie, and Master K is in a groove and when that happens “it’s over, it’s a wrap” and Kenny gets his own chicken-butchering show.

Kenny has immunity for the Elimination Challenge which will require the chefs to grill food for the interns of Capitol Hill at a summer picnic at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estates and Gardens. Alex. the underdeveloped slob, is really pumped to be there. He confesses, “Mt. Vernon – I’ve never been – home of George Washington, plus I’ve never taken advantage of an intern.” Apparently he’s only taken advantage of other lemers in the jungle during mating season. And suddenly Eddie Angry Face doesn’t seem so wrong in his assessment of Alex…

Arnold is predictably not as thrilled with the challenge because, would you believe it, he’s “not a grill guy!” I mean, hello? It’ll clog his pores way too fast! He decides to make lamb meatballs instead of a traditional grilled protein because he likes cozying up in lamb’s wool during winter time and he likes balls. He’s confident with his choice, but says, “Like really can my like magic ingredient be my sous chef in my back pocket please seriously,” because his lower lower lower lumbar region could really use a good massage from all the tension of hating Kelly.

Meanwhile, Tracey, who later confesses she’s psychic, is trying to cast a voodoo spell on her Italian sausage so that she can stop feeling like she lives in a trailer park because everybody hated her starchless, burnt and undercooked pie. She chants, “Sugar snap peas, that’s right, put your back into it, look at me go, look at me go,” and Stephen, who she previously described as a “hick,” just stares because they don’t grow that kind of crazy in Ohio.

Angelo is confident about his “bad ass” Vietnamese style beef – so confident that he isn’t even scared by Amanda’s intimidation tactic to run spastically everywhere she goes – in the kitchen, through the aisle of Whole Foods -- as quickly as possible. She says, “Heaven help any women, children or old people in my way.” Poor, poor Lynne…

The chefs arrive at Mount Vernon ready to fire up their grills in the name of nourishing poor little interns (aka “bitches”) – or in Arnold’s case, ready to copy everything Master K does because he, again, predictably, doesn’t know how to work a grill. Arnold admits there’s a two-second time delay between everything Kenny does and everything he does. “His flame goes poof and my flame goes poof and I know I’m all good.”

Guest judge “Top Chef Masters” finalist Jonathan Waxman and Tom, Gail and Padma agree with Arnold’s assessment. They love his sesame lamb meatballs and he ends up in the top with Angelo, Amanda and Ed. Amanda is praised for her dry-rub baby back ribs with grilled asparagus that even Angelo admits is better than his Vietnamese lettuce wrap and smoked egg salad. Ed, who tries really hard to be “Slap Happy Ed” instead of Eddie Angry Face because it’s a picnic, is also singled out for his spiced grilled tuna loin with lentil hummus. Ultimately, Jonathan announces Arnold as the winner because “[He] did it for [him]” – without compromising the integrity of his pores.

Timothy, Stephen, Tracey, and Kevin are called before the judge’s table for their lackluster grilling efforts. Tim is heckled for his vegetables that were either undercooked or overcooked, Stephen is slammed for serving them an unappealing bass wrapped in flaccid bacon, Kevin is reprimanded for cooking safe Puerto Rican rice and beans, and Tracey is sent back to the trailer park for her undercooked, overly seasoned Italian sausage. Tom spits, “It’s almost insulting to Italians,” and Jonathan announces, “I think my 10-year-old son could have probably made that patty.” Tracey, who apparently didn’t put enough of her back into it, is told to pack up her ouija boards and go. But it’s okay – she’s 85% psychic remember? She already knew this was coming! Which I guess would qualify all of us psychic too.


Esi said...

Master K all the way!

I can't believe that dude did not see the wrongness of putting celery in banana pie. So sick.

bagnatic said...

hahaha, i don't even need to record this episode, i can just read your post!

i'm kinda excited about the top chef top desserts...mmm.

Anna A. said...

Did not watch last night so will not read, just comment ;)

weezermonkey said...

I finally caught up on Top Chef last night. I was glad to see that Rosie O'Donnell got the boot.