This week, Top Chef taught us that imitation isn’t always the sincerest form of flattery, personality can carry you way further than actual talent, and French grandmas are liars.
Eh, a chicken’s a chicken.
Last week, CJ was left wandering around Jersey looking for a Greyhound station, but the remaining five Chefs have made it to Manhattan. I have to say I’m impressed the producers didn’t force them to do a toll booth worker challenge at the bridge to fully exploit this traveling theme. The Chefs walk around Washington Square, the same park a guy sold me a paper bag full of leaves off a bush instead of weed six years ago. That memory still gets my goat. I actually tried to smoke the leaves, which I think gave me some kind of cancer, because I still can’t walk up a flight of stairs without almost keeling over. Damn you, Washington Square!
Hung is psyched to be back in NYC. He lived there for three years, and it’s where he “learn” cooking and tricking. He was way too busy to study English. It all makes sense now, Dungy. Thank’s for the ‘splain. Baldhawk tells us that what drives him as a chef is that he’s unique, he’s a big mo, and he’s gonna outcook everyone’s ass. I’ll give ya two out of three on that one, tiger. He’s sportin’ khaki flood pants and combat boots today, and every gay man he passes bows his head in shame. Seriously, this is New York, Baldhawk. Pull yourself together.
Flash flood warning in effect. Hide.
Bunny Foo Foo is confident after her recent wins, and says that she doesn’t care what Brad and Angelina do anymore. She’s here to win, and when she has the cash at the end, she and Ross’ll buy themselves some cute babies from Darfur and show those bastards!
It’s your day, your week, your month and even your year, Foo!
Troll Patch is wide eyed and obviously scared out of his wits, but he puts on a Feivel hat and gets into the thinker pose, telling us that he loves being in New York. The fragrance, the cars, the people yelling…yay (?)!
Sir, you dropped a brick on the ground.
Today’s Quickfire Challenge is going to take place at the new Le Cirque, which floors Baldhawk. He tells us that the restaurant has opened it’s third location, which is just astounding! Hullo, ya ever hear of Chile’s? Scar greets the chefs in the dining room with Chef Sirio Maccioni, who is looking dapper in his power stripes and blue tie. He serves them a white sea bass wrapped in russet potato over melted leeks and oyster mushrooms. Everyone oohs and ahhs over their meal, and when Scar tells them that today’s challenge is to recreate the dish in 25 minutes, Baldhaw’s spoon shakes so hard he almost breaks his china.
They are taken back to the kitchen, where a group of line cooks looks at them like are going to beat their asses after school. Man, Le Cirque is scary. Remind me to never complain about my food in that place.
Who sent their steak back? WHO?!?!
The TV chefs get to ask the bruiser chefs questions, and Dung is first. He wants to know what number the slicer is set at for the potatoes. He looks smugly proud of his question, but the sous chef grins at him like he’s a moron. There are no electric slicers at Le Cirque, you silly mangirl! Get cozy with your madoline. Gulp. Sara wants to know if the potatoes are boiled before they are used to wrap the fish, and she gets the same shit eating grin from Sous. No, honey, they’re raw, and you’re pathetic for having to ask. Good luck, suckas!!
Dung is up first, and he tells us that he’s not skerd of this silly dish. It’s a duplicate of something he’s already been provided, and the whole thing is easy squeeze. Man, I hope he bones this one. He explains that slicing the potatoes just the right thickness is the trick. Scar and Sirio walk in to watch, and he suavely smirks as he chops the leeks like he’s about to segue into a very special rendition of “I Love Paris in the Springtime”. Ugh.
I’ll be here all week!
Sirio, who hasn’t had the benefit of getting to know Dung’s special personality and isn’t blinded by irrational disgust spasms like yours truly, loves the dish. “Bravo!” He calls it very close to the original. Of course, Dung is humble about his compliment and skips into the holding room to jump up and down and tell the other chefs that Sirio wouldn’t let go of his hand while praising him with multiple “awesome, man”s. I have only known Sirio Maccioni for five minutes, but I. Am so. Sure.
Dis vas da bomb diggity my homie.
Baldhawk asks Dung if he baked it or used the stovetop, and Dung doesn’t answer. Everyone looks at him like he’s a complete ass, which he is, but come on, people. Why the f would he tell you how to do it? Baldhawk is pissed. He knows Dung’s a jerk, but come ooooon! When he gets into the kitchen, he is a sweaty, confused mess. He doesn’t know how to slice his potatoes on the mandoline, and he has to ask if the white grainy stuff is salt. Oy. Bunny Foo Foo goes into an explanation of how hard it is being a female in the kitchen and she expects respect! I wonder what set her off, but then they show the bruiser chefs standing around her while she cooks gawking at her like she’s a monkey in a cage. They might have been judging her, but they might have been excited to see boobies at Le Cirque. Who knows? Either way, it fired her up to do her best.
Sirio didn’t like Baldhawk’s underseasoned rendition, and even though Troll Patch didn’t properly wrap his fish with the potato, the taste was good. Bunny’s version is heralded as the best so far, and when Dung finds out she was complimented, he shakes his head and makes a pissy face. Baldhawk loves it. He says that the best food comes from the heart and when you don’t have one, your food will suck. Ouch.
Sara’s not having an easy time. Her turn falls in the middle of dinner service, and she feels like she is inconveniencing the bruiser chefs by asking where everything is. She doesn’t finish in time and has to send her fish out raw. Sirio takes one look at it and says “no”. Sara goes back to the holding room trying to act chipper, but she admits that she boned it. Dung smiles like his therapist finally gave him the go ahead for the full change. So. Gross.
Scar wheels Sirio in, and he congratulates the Chefs. He points accusingly at Sara for having raw fish, and he says it’s between Dung and Foo. He wants to give the prize to her because she’s so beautiful, but he picks Dung. WTF?!?! Do you not remember calling Bunny’s the best so far after you ate Dung’s? Objection! I demand a recount due to amnesia! Damn old people.
Baldhawk tells us that to be in the final five is humbling. Then, in his next breath, he says that people sitting at home think they can do these challenges, but honies, ya can’t. Humbling indeed. Dung spends his time alone in his room while the other four talk about how afraid of him they are. He tells us that he’s “an immigrant to this country and before he goes to bed without saying goodnight, he says “I’m doing this show all the immigrants in America that it takes hard works, and a dream, and dedication, and you will get…whatever you..destrive for.” This is one chef’s book I’d buy.
His peers were worried that the next challenge would be classic food, giving him a leg up, so it’s not surprise that Dung is the only one that doesn’t look suicidal the next day at the French Culinary Institute. The challenge is seemingly simple. They will be given a chicken, a potato and an onion, the idea being to create something original and delicious with very standard products. Dung smiles, nods and nanny nanny boo boos through the explanation, so maybe that’s why I am confused when the Chefs are taken to the Farmer’s Market to shop. I thought they just got the chicken, the potato and the onion. I’d rewind to listen again, but I can’t take any more of this face.
Make it stop.
Troll Patch thinks he can make a shepherd’s pie with the ingredients he was given, but is tempted to use a fresh pheasant sausage he sees at the market. Well, it’s not a piece of fish, so good for you, TP. Baldhawk tells his new BFF, Foo, that he’s gonna go balls out for this one. She’s like “ew. Balls?” and he explains that he just means he’s gonna do something none of us has seen from him before. I cross my fingers that he means he’s going to wear full length pants and shave the hawk, but I have learned not to get my hopes up on this show. Since bringing her dead grandma into the equation seemed to work for Foo last week, she does it again. She’s going to make coq au vin, cuz her grandma was French and taught her about French food and French French. French.
Back at the Institute, Hung decides that he will show off his classic training for this challenge. He is doing a chicken sous-vide, which is chicken slowly poached in a vacuum packed bag. He reminds us that every chef worth his beans should know this technique. Well, any chef that has been classically trained. Like him. Then he snaps and rolls his head as the other chefs stand back and stare like “oh shit we’re screwed.”
Foo Foo says that she isn’t classically trained, but there’s so much more than classical training in cooking! You might not wanna bring that up at the French Culinary Institute, sugar. Just fake it til ya make it. Sara says she’s thinking outside the box on this challenge, and I am immediately scared for her. Simple and classic, Sara! She’s gonna do classic, but with a twist. Yikes. Please just chop your damn onion and stay in the game, woman!
Dung watches as Troll Patch tries to figure out how to turn on the mixer and tells us that TP’s food looks like a pile of mess. Troll Patch has found a way to describe it a bit more flatteringly. “I have a bright light/extreme heavy, peasant/expensive gourmet meal. Umkay. His plan is to use dark meat on the bottom of his shepherd’s pie, top that with mashed potatoes, and fold in “neon green” leeks. I am kinda afraid for him, and I don’t know why. Neon green doesn’t ever sound promising, does it?
Sara is making a friscasee chicken, which is a Jamaican specialty marinated in goat’s yogurt, mustard, and “stuff.” She will also be serving a potato and cous cous risotto, which is kind of ballsy since she was called out for crappy cous cous last week. You gotta hand it to Sara. She’s the only contestant in three seasons who has turned cous cous into a giant “fuck you”. Congrats!
Baldhawk is preparing a duet of chicken. In other words, he’s going to make two different dishes in case one sucks it. Daddy Tom approves of both of his preparations before moving on to Troll Patch. Instead of asking “Why the hell would you make peasant pie in a classy ass food challenge, you retard?” he just nods and smiles in that amused way of his. Tom isn’t too sure about any of the Chefs today. Troll Patch says he’s keeping it simple, but his pie’s looking pretty complicated. And slimy. Foo Foo’s making coq au vis, but that’s usually done with an older rooster, not a chicken. Baldhawk’s getting a bit too involved in making too much and might not have time to finish, and the last time Dung attempted the potatoes dauphin was eight years ago. So far, it’s anyone’s game.
Daddy’s check in wasn’t intimidating enough, so he brings in the Judges for the challenge. They are the deans and chefs that run the school. Baldhawk says it feels like the Last Supper. Foreshadowing? He’s had a lot of face time today, which usually means buh bye. I suggest you make like the Last Supper and have a glass of wine, betray someone to get the gold, and pray very hard.
The Guest Judges gather in the dining room while Dung runs around trying to finish plating his food. He asks Foo Foo for help. Sorry, sucka. You had an extra hour! He doesn’t bitch and moan about it like any of the other chefs would have done, which makes me kinda like him. A tiny bit. As if sensing this, he looks into the camera with those half open Garfield eyes and rolls his head until I walk up to the TV and smack the screen. He is the first to serve, and boy is this guy heartless. The second CJ was booted, Dung jumped him in the alley, stole his remaining ball, and fried it up for the Frenchies. It’s not enough to beat a man, you have to steal his dignity too??
The Guest Judges like the dish overall. It was a bit salty and the dauphin wasn’t right, but the woman who heads the school says that they can talk all they want but she ate the whole thing so it must be good. Interesting logic coming from the headmistress of the French Culinary Institute. I just ate a whole bag of stale Doritos and guess what? Not so much.
Sara is nervous serving her fricassee chicken to a room full of French Culinary experts when she isn’t classically trained, and her fears are realized. The first sign of trouble comes when Scar isn’t stuffing her face. That woman will put anything in her mouth.
Sara’s confit was off and nothing tasted Jamaican. The headmistress says that the concept was good, but Sara needs a couple of years at this Institute. Owie. Well, howdy, Gail Simmons! Where has your ass been, woman? “The chicken is undercooked. it’s quite pink. I’m not a fan of that.” LOL. Missed ya!
Baldhawk’s up next, and he tells us that he’s really going out of his way in the presentation department today. He has made a duet of chicken, but the only difference is that one is served over a potato and onion puree with truffle oil, and one is served over a potato and onion puree without truffle oil. Wow, those are two staggeringly different ideas, Baldhawk. He’s decorated the plate with two flowers of different colors, a vanilla candle, and a string of Christmas lights. It’s not a float, Mary. Calm yourself. Unfortunately, he spent so much time stealing flowers off the bushes outside the school that he forgot his honey rosemary sauce. The Judges aren’t impressed. The dish is cold, the chicken’s dry, and potato puree is booooring. Baldhawk has been pretty lucky so far in this game. He’s sucked it plenty of times, but there’s always someone who bones it harder than him. Will he be so lucky today?
Troll Patch tells us that he really learned a lot about simplicity from Le Cirque. Poor Sirio is gonna roll over in his almost grave when he hears that and then sees a shot of this dish. It looks like Sad Kermit finally jumped off a highrise.
Miss Piggy’s gonna be devastated.
Daddy Tom questions whether or not there was any artificial coloring used. HA. He looks at the plate kinda disgustedly, but his tune changes the second he tastes it. Everyone loves it, even the oldest, grumpiest, Frenchiest of the bunch, who says it’s the first one that was done right. Atta boy, Troll Patch! He is confident that his dish will get him to the finale, and it looks like he’s right! Sorry, Kermie.
Bunny Foo Foo is nervous about her coq au vin, and she gnaws a rolling pin down to a toothpick before she presents her dish. She says it would be great to see a woman (who isn’t Sara) win Top Chef, and she hopes she can do it!! You’ll need a little more confidence, lady. She is stuttering and shaky as she presents her dish to the Judges, and she completely forgets to use the words “French grandma” over and over like she’s practiced for two weeks. At first I wonder what her damage is, but then we get a shot from her viewpoint and I can totally see where she’s coming from.
Headmistress calls the dish rustic, unpretentious and delicious, and everyone agrees. They are torn between Dung’s dish and this one, and they are also not in agreement on the bottom dishes. Baldhawk’s hula chicken twins are referred to as “disgusting” and Scar says she thought Sara’s was even worse. Well, we can all see where this one’s going. The chefs are nervous. Bunny Foo knows that she’s up against Dung, but she feels she should take it because he keeps using the same preparation over and over again. Baldhawk says that he put his balls on the table and is proud of himself. I still don’t see what was so risky about his dish. Dry chicken over potato puree? Your balls are boring, Baldhawk. Please stop putting them on tables.
Scar, who somehow lost her dress during dinner and had to fashion an outfit from the tablecloth, comes into the kitchen to thank the Chefs, but she says it in a severely bitchy, disappointed way, as if she just can’t recover from last week’s elimination. When she leaves, Foo kinda rolls her eyes and says “interesting”. Ha. I love it that, same as last season, the chefs can barely hide their disdain for Scar towards the end. I want someone to start screaming and pulling her hair.
In the holding room, the tension is high which means Baldhawk is running his mouth. Who expects a dish to be perfect the first time? He’s always perfect the fourth or fifth time he makes something. Dung looks at him like he’s a waste of space, and for the second time tonight, we are in agreement. Good luck on your fifth reality show, looza. They are called in to the Judges Table and Dung’s up first. When asked why his dish should win, Dung says that his was hands down the best because it was simple and delicious and he’s the finest chef to ever walk the Earth and if he doesn’t win he’ll cut someone with a nail file. The Judges pause. The chicken was cooked to perfection, but the old Frenchie Judge who wanted to eat the Bunny thought his potatoes were all wrong.
Oh no he didn’t!
Daddy Tom tells him to put the file away and stop acting like he’s protecting his corner. The potatoes were supposed to poof, and they didn’t. Dung says that they would have been poofy if he wasn’t ditched by his fellow Chefs and left to plate all by his poor little self. Ass! So much for winning on your own merits.
Tom moves on to Foo Foo. He can’t get over the fact that she called her chicken coq au vin when that dish is made with rooster. Why didn’t she just call it braised chicken? She says that her grandmother was French (atta girl!) and taught her how to make it with chicken. Tom says that he is going to dig Frenchie grandmother up and make her pack up her knives. Rude! Guest Judge Bunny Eater loved it, but two hours wasn’t enough time to do a coq au vin. Foo says that she made a bold move and is proud of it. Oh, and French. Grandma. Well done.
Sara tells the Judges that she made something she loves, but Tom says that there wasn’t enough of the Jamaican spice in the dish. Scar says that the headmistress thought her chicken was rubbery, but Gail’s was undercooked. Sara shoots a “shut your lying slut face” look at Gail, who insists that she and the chef next to her were served chicken that was raw in the middle. Sara claims that she sliced and checked every piece herself and none of them were raw and Gail’s a lying ho. Then she adds an “I’m so sorry.” I would like to point out that Dung plated her dishes, and he did so with such calm and grace that it made me scrunch my face at the time and mutter “fishy”. I’m just saying.
Well I never!
Daddy Tom gives Troll Patch props for the Kermit Suicide, but was it refined enough to get him to the finals? He says he was going for “fabulous” and thinks he achieved it. Guest Judge Bunny Eater chuckles at the use of the word “fabulous”, which cracks me up. Baldhawk admits to forgetting his sauce, and when Daddy Tom suggests that the two pieces of his dish were battling each other, BH says “The duet was a mistake.” Wow. You betrayed your own hula twins. Shame on you.
The Chefs are sent back to the holding room, where Baldhawk continues to ramble on about how no dish is excellent the first time and when he gets lots more chances he’ll make his dish work. Hullo, dumbass. Please stop with that. Your chance was now, and you boned it. Stop. Talking. Sara says that Scar and Gail need to stop toking before judging, because there was no way she served raw chicken. Man, I am liking Sara a lot today. So sad.
Gail liked Bunny’s the best, but the Guest Judge says if he had to hire someone, it would be Hank. Tom agrees, but Scar preferred Troll Patch’s. The chefs are called back in and Dung, Bunny and Troll Patch are called out as the top dishes….and Hank wins! Damn you, France! He celebrates by doing that subservient head bow thing mail order brides do before the papers are signed and they are free to start plotting their new hubby’s middle of the night throat slicing.
Don’t trust her. She’ll cut you.
Foo looks pissed, but is over it by the time she gets back to the kitchen. She made it to the finale, after all! She tells us “I can’t believe I made it through all the bullshit. I really can’t.” HA. Glad you did, sweet cheeks. She even congratulates Dung and gives him a hug. Aw, winning.
Baldhawk and Sara are left alone with the Judges. Daddy Tom wants to know what drives them. Baldhawk goes for sassy, saying you can always tell in a kitchen who got laid the night before because cooking is like love. He’s the first one to call out his own faults because he doesn’t want to pass them on to anyone else. Sara shouts that she loves everything about food and cooking and it drives her every day! Kind of a let down from the whole “I’m upfront about my STDs” speech, but she showed some passion. Tom says that this whole season, he’s never heard Sara say anything about her passion. Maybe because you haven’t talked to her for more than two seconds, Mr. Sensitive. Scar tells her to pack her knives and get the fuck out.
Baldhawk is officially the luckiest bastard in Top Chef history. It’s just amazing. Sara understands that it was her time and she should have crossed her t’s and dotted her eyes and WAAAAAAHHHHHH. So much for that cheese farm in Jamaica. Next week, it looks like the Chefs are going fishing and camping. The five second preview had me rolling on the floor, and I’m expecting top notch entertainment from the slightly uptight Foo Foo.
Um, this fish has guts in it.