Top Chef: this is not a recap.


No, no, I’m not trying to be ironic or anything. This really is not a
recap for the Top Chef episode that just ran last night. Why not, you asked? Well, I just could
not be arsed to, frankly. Plus, there’s no way I can do as good a job
as the Socialite’s Life did on Project Runway -now that’s a recap and they should seriously do one for Top Chef!

So –I mean it- this is not a recap, I’m merely opining. I felt the
need to, well, because Little Miss Betty really should have been out on
her fanny this week. She cheated -admitted to it even- but was somehow
allowed to stay. This is an outrage, ok, not Alan Richman Goes To New
outrage, but still. (I see Adam agrees with me.)

Well, I should tell you I’m not a fan of Miss Betty to begin with. Her
nicey nice smile –and that weird singing and swaying act she pulled while
selling her ice cream last week- kinda scared the living daylight out of
me. Betty smiles, people go oooh she’s n-y-c-e, and me, me go hide
behind the couch. Not to mention, of course, that tiny red halter
number she got on in the photo and in the first couple
episodes. Betty, dear, put the dress down. Step away from the dress.
Slowly now…Oh, right, and double-you-tee-eff was her Fromage Frittata
She took three words and two languages to make absolutely no sense whatsoever – and the dish looked rather icky on top of it all. Just stick with the badabang, Betty, stick with the badabang.

Her arch nemesis doesn’t bother me nearly as much. Yeah that know-it-all Marcel is arrogant. But, he’s, like, twenty-five or something, no? Weren’t you too an arrogant arse when you were twenty-five? I know I was. The bottom line is, he’s a kid. He works in a good kitchen, so of course he thinks he knows it all. I couldn’t help wondering though, since he kept going on about being so good at Molecular Gastronomy, what he’s doing working for Joël Robuchon? Oh, by the way, this might be news to you Marcel, but Molecular Gastronomy, elle n’existe pas!

But on the whole, this season looks quite a bit better than the last. Padma is a marked improvement on last year’s fembot of a host they got. She is also way prettier, and she seems to have more fun with it. She is just all around better -that the Satanic Verses is also much cooler in my book than Uptown Girl not withstanding, even. I so hope that they keep her so we don’t have to move on to Arielle Dombasle next year!

Some of the food on the show this year looks surprisingly good and polished –although all but one or two of the contestants tonight were not quite in on the concept of amuse-bouche. An amuse bouche is supposed to be bite-size, the stuff they made on the show looked bite-size alright, if we’re talking Godzilla’s mouth!

What’s up with that Mike dude, by the way? He so should have been kicked out last week for that sloppy steak sandwich. Who mess up a steak sandwich? And then top it off with this week’s phallic-excuse of an amuse-bouche? Stick him in a paper bag and give dude a kitchen knife, he’d still be in it a week later.

I hope the producers give up their weird fascination with crappy food soon though. Seriously, what top chef cooks out of a vending machine? (An Iron Chef, on the other hand…)

Oh, right, and while I’m at it, where is my Gail? I’ve heard lots from Tom, but hardly more than a thing or two from Gail. Give her more airtime. She’s got spunk. She’s got opinions. She once worked for Jeffrey Steingarten -and survived- for goodness sake. Give her more airtime!

P.S. If you want to hear what sour grape sounds like, you might want to pop over to Chow and listen in on the podcast interview with Emily. Now that girl is misguided –ok, not Marisa Thinks She’s So Pretty misguided, but nonetheless. And oh man she’s mean too! That’s not to say she wasn’t robbed last week -Mikey absolutely should’ve gone home in her place- but someone who has cooked highfalutin food for years like she has should have known not to over-salt a dish to the point of being completely inedible.

Stay tune for next week’s show, where the chefs will be asked to cook a twenty course tasting menu with only the ingredients found inside the cages Kate and Sawyer have been locked up in……


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13 Responses to “Top Chef: this is not a recap.

  • Vanessa Balchen said:
    November 9th, 2006 at 3:41am

    Oh yes, I am chuckling. I haven’t even watched this season, but now I’ll set it up on tivo and give it a look. Thanks for the laugh.

  • NS said:
    November 9th, 2006 at 9:19am

    Alright, I have to ask — what in the world is up with Marisa Churchill? I stumbled across her website a few days ago and found myself painfully embarrassed for her. Does she really think that the picture of her torching a creme brulee in her underwear is sexy? Disturbing is more like it. The odd thing is that, based on her desserts at Ame, Churchill seems to have some real talent. Perhaps if she focused on the quality of her food rather than trying so pathetically to serve it up with a side of her self-vaunted sexuality, she wouldn’t be faring so miserably on the show.
    Michael is a moron who should have been kicked off long ago. The producers undoubtedly have kept him on, however, solely for the color and rank ineptitude that he brings to the show. Who else would have prepared something so asinine as that preposterous cheeto amuse bouche? Tune in next week for his advanced garde manger techniques for Cheez Whiz.
    As for Padma, I’ve heard many people rave about her, but I just don’t see it. She strikes me as having a “deer-in-the-headlights” demeanor, as though she’s not exactly sure what she’s doing on national TV or whether she’s qualfied to give opinions about the food. Maybe she’ll loosen up a bit as the season progresses and let her personality come through, but so far, I see her as only a marginal improvement over last year’s host.

  • s'kat said:
    November 9th, 2006 at 10:22am

    I keep trying to watch this show, but come away increasingly disappointed with each episode.
    Boo to you, producers!!!

  • cakegrrl said:
    November 9th, 2006 at 10:25am

    The Betty singing during the ice cream challenge scared me, too!
    Great post. I need more Gail, too. I am not sure who will win, but I do think most of Cliff’s concoctions have consistently sounded practical, yet innovative & delicious.

  • Mondira said:
    November 9th, 2006 at 12:07pm

    Thanks Pim. Now this has got to go on my Tivo list too!

  • One Food Guy said:
    November 9th, 2006 at 12:42pm

    Pim, I read your post this morning and while home at lunch today, I set up my DVR to record the first four episodes on repeat and start recording the rest of the season next week. Thanks!

  • Lisa the Waitress said:
    November 9th, 2006 at 3:42pm

    Dear Pim, my eyes are bleeding from seeing Marissa’s website, but thanks for the link anyway. That is some funny stuff.

  • Kat said:
    November 9th, 2006 at 3:59pm

    I refuse to watch this show until they host a challenge on cooking up Lost Fish Biscuits for Gordon Ramsey.

  • Diane said:
    November 9th, 2006 at 5:05pm

    I just discovered this show this season – it’s a total guilty pleasure for me!
    I agree with you on Betty – at first I liked her – seemed like she was making the uphill battle as a caterer jousting with real chefs – but now she just irritates me. She’s just not nice. And yes, despite her, “who me?” response to the accusation, she should have been thrown out.

  • Dianka said:
    November 10th, 2006 at 11:53am

    Love this show, great comments. Seriously I agree that the Mike dude needs to go- not only are his creations awful looking but his attitude makes it even worse! Hopefully he’s out next week!

  • James said:
    November 12th, 2006 at 2:01pm

    Yes I was just reading a few of your recent posts and a thought about the last top chef series and the episode with Hubert Keller (one of the most over rated chefs in the Bay area). OK fine….don’t use your finger to taste a sauce. I feel you, but while your at it chef… how about a frickin hair net!

  • janelle said:
    November 28th, 2006 at 2:58pm

    Betty is sooososososooo not nice. So not nice. Marcel did innovate for THX dinner, and Mike tried to be teacher’s pet with a cheese course?
    We DVR the show, then start watching it about halfway through so we can blow through the commercials.
    I am too scared to go look at Marissa’s site.
    I vote for Sam or Cliff!

  • Karl Wilder said:
    January 14th, 2009 at 11:58am

    I don’t like chef competitions. What you do in the kitchen is so personal. Would you have a contest to see who is the best at sex? It all depends on the chemistry of the partners and in the case of a chef the tastes and associations of the diners. If I make you the best pork belly but you don’t care for pork as a judge then I fail…

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