Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Top Chef - 5/7/08

The men cry about the loss of Mark. No one to have manly bubble baths with anymore. The women are feeling great about being even with the men at this point, which has not happened before on Top Chef.

Time for the Quickfire Challenge, with just Tom and Padma. The contestants are confused. There is no more immunity with Quickfire wins! The chefs are divided

Antonia, Andrew, Richard, and Stephanie are on one team.
Dale, Nikki, Lisa, and Spike are on the other.

The first part of the challenge is the relay race (where Hung reigned supreme). This year, they have to peel and do something else that I am not familiar with oranges, fix up some artichokes, clean monkfish, and make a lot of mayo.

Nikki complains about the lack of power tools to make mayonaisse. Dale is annoyed.

First up is the oranges, and it's Lisa vs. Antonia. There can be no seeds, and the oranges have to be in one piece. Lisa wins it easily.

Spike and Andrew are head to head on artichokes, and Andrew pulls out the peeler and rocks the heck out of it, while Spike breaks his. I have newfound respect for Andrew after seeing him work that artichoke. He's completely spastic, and it works for this challenge.

Dale and Richard are head to head on the monkfish. Dale is quick but his fillets are not pretty. He and Richard end head to head.

Stephanie and Nikki are pretty much dead heat with the mayo. Nikki sucked at the whisking, and Stephanie just kept going, and she won the challenge for them. Dale is less than pleased, and flipped, punching things and cursing in the kitchen. I think that Antonia said it right, he had a temper tantrum and "then, had to have his diaper changed." Classic.

The winning team gets an "important advantage" in the next challenge. Padma announces that there will be no Restaurant Wars this season, which is sad for most of the contestants, who look forward to that. No one is excited about "Wedding Wars."

One team will be catering to the Bride's side, the other to the Groom's Side. The kicker is that the happy couple also owns a restaurant and runs a wedding venue, so they know what they like. Richard's team picks the bride, and Spike's side picks the groom. They will be working through the night, with some cots set up for them. Andrew is really excited about this idea, because he has boundless energy and he and his Redbull personality should do well with this. He uses the term "culinary hard on." I giggled, I admit it.

The groom wants lots of Italian food, and the Bride wants a lot of Southern cookin', with Meat and Potatoes.

Nikki takes charge of the Groom's side, because she and the groom connected "on flavor profiles." Everyone seems to hate Dale. That ought to work out well for them. They send Lisa to Restaurant Depot with Dale, to get rid of him, and they send Lisa because she is "thick skinned." lol.

Restaurant Depot is insane, and I want to shop there. There was a wheel of parm as big as my five year old.

Thanks to the magic of modern technology, a floral crisis is averted, and Richard does not get sunflowers for the wedding. Stephanie says "boys just don't know how to pick out flowers."

The Groom's Team is making:

Appetizers - Assorted flatbreads, bruschetta
Buffet - Tortellini, Antipasto, Filet Minon, Chilean Sea Bass, and Orecchiette with Ragu
Dessert - Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

The Bride's Team is making:

Appetizers - Pizza, Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Short ribs and Blue Cheese in Phylo
Buffet - Crispy Chicken, Brisket, Filet Minon, Potato Gratin
Dessert - Dark Chocolate and Lemon with cream cheese filling

Nikki is reluctant to be a leader, even though she is the leader in the menu, and Dale says he is picking up all the slack.

Andrew has to make creamed spinach, which he says he has never made before. He says he is "Popeye's f-ing wet dream." When he goes, I am going to miss his quotes, that's for sure.

Lisa expresses concern over Dale having his fingers in so many different pies, and is worried that none of the pies are going to be done well. Spike grabs the sea bass to make something his own. Nikki says that Dale is not a team player because he doesn't put tomatoes in his ragu.

As the night wears on, the chefs get tired. And more tired. Apparently, a tired Andrew stops talking. Could be a good thing. He should go sleep deprived a bit more.

It's time for transport, and the two teams have different philosophies when it comes to cake transport. Stephanie is bringing it in pieces, so that she doesn't have to worry about carrying the tall cake. Lisa carefully places hers in a box, saying she's going to "hold onto it for dear life because if it gets crushed, I'm going to need therapy."

We see some moments of the wedding, which looked pretty (and huge). Gale Gand is one of the guest judge. That's impressive.

Time for service! Something about Pulled Pork in a wedding dress is dangerous looking. Dale apparently made "breaking teeth bread" that was cut too thick for crostini. Too messy. Pin it on Dale.

When it is time for the buffet, Andrew is "not allowed to talk to the guests" according to Antonia. Dale is feeling deserted in the kitchen because he has to make all the hot dishes by himself. Richard is serving the filet minon, and it looks beautiful. I want some. Andrew's chicken is not so successful.

The veggies on the groom side look yummy to me, but the judges didn't like them so much. Nikki's pasta didn't get good reviews. The sea bass goes over super well.

Cake time! Stephanie's cake is fantastically beautiful. Lisa's cake looked yummy, but not as pretty. Great. Now I want cake.

Let's see how the judging goes.

It's yawn central in the Waiting Room. Poor chefs.

I think that Lisa and Stephanie are safe, because they made great cakes, and cakes are hard.

The Bride's Team is called in first. Andrew gets called out for his chicken, and the addition that Richard made of Star Anise to the creamed spinach did not go over well. Still, the team is chosen as the winner. Stephanie gets props for her cake, Antonia for her pizza, and Richard for his brisket. Richard is chosen as the winner for taking a leadership role, and he gives the win to Stephanie. She gets a gift card for $2000 to Crate & Barrel, and she says she wants to share it with him. Richard just gained a lot of respect from me, because that was the absolute right thing to do. I've made cakes. I've even made a wedding cake. That cake was phenomenal.

The Groom's Team gets called in next, and Nikki renounces her leadership role (saying she was in no way the leader). Her tortellini is too sweet, the pizza was not good. Dale complains that he did most of the work, and Spike rolls his eyes. It's a pissing contest between the two ridiculously tired men. Dale snaps at Spike's Sea bass success "You should have liked it, it took 3 hours to make it!" He turns into a total bitch when he is tired.

I think that Lisa is the only safe one on this team. Nikki is criticized for not taking a leadership role. Spike is criticized for not doing enough. Dale is criticized for doing too much and not doing any of it super well. Nikki is sent packing, and I am actually really happy, because she totally wussed out of taking any responsibility at all. I don't think I will miss her.

It looks like someone is going to sabotage people next week. Looks like it might be Spike. That's just mean. Can't wait.

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