I’ve always been a really picky eater, but I have to credit the little culinary delights I do try to the awesome contestants on Top Chef. Without them, I would never know that my plate has to have lots of color, that everything is better with a little more acid, and that Tom Colicchio is a sexy beast. And now all my faves are back for another round!
Of the faves, I’m most happy to see: Spike, Fabio, Jamie and Elia. I’m not happy to see Stephen, who’s annoying as hell, but hey, it’s all for entertainment value. We start with the chefs mingling at their new New York City digs. “He’s too loud for my face,” Fabio says of Marcel in his classic “seems to-be-fake-but-is-very-much-real” accent. I love him.
After hugs and jabs, they make their way to the kitchen and all have epileptic flashbacks to the Top Chef seasons of yore. The Quick Fire Challenge: team up with the other chefs from your season and make a dish that represents the city it was filmed in. Chicago wins with a hot dog. Top Chef never ceases to amaze me.
So we move to the Elimination Challenge and it seriously may have been the best one ever. After a season in D.C. where the challenges were serious disasters (make space food, create bipartisandwiches), this one was kicking ass and taking names – cook the dish that sent you home. O.M.F.G.
“It would really suck to go home for cooking Eric Ripert’s food bad, twice.” That Jamie is so witty.
So everyone is cooking, things are on fire, there’s liquid nitrogen everywhere, etc., etc. Top four are: Angelo, Jamie, Richard and Spike. HOWEVER, Richard gets told to leave Judges’ Table because he went over his time and was still plating his food when the two hours were over. Dale, in the Sit and Stew, is not happy about this. But it gives Angelo the win.
Sidenote: Spike got sent home during his original season for using frozen scallops and he was a badass about it. So this time around, he made the scallops, but made the rest of the dish so good it didn’t even need the scallops. Apparently this is the ultimate culinary F-you. To which Anthony Bourdain asked “Is this the craftiest motherfucker that’s ever been on this show?” To which I answer, yes.
Side Sidenote: Jen and Margo tried to kill me once in Washington, D.C. in the middle of August on the promise that I was going to get to eat food at Spike’s Capitol Hill restaurant. We walked about 15 miles in 90-degree heat and humidity, uphill, and I didn’t speak to them for a good hour. I almost died. They’re lucky that food was so good.
So the bottom three are Fabio, Elia and Stephen. Stephen’s food was called “swampy,” which has got to be the worst classification of food ever. Kind of makes me want to vomit. Fabio gets all up in Bourdain’s grill (great pun by me) and tells him not to make fun of him, which is totally fair. Elia tells the judges to not eliminate her. “I mean it,” she says. Well, apparently she wasn’t assertive enough, because she packed her knives and went home. Which sucks, because I really liked Elia. But her palate was all effed-up and she and Tom didn’t get along. Plus, she admitted to not tasting her food before it went out. Classic Top Chef mistake. Act like you’ve done this before!
I’m so excited Top Chef is back to its old tricks. These people have a chip on their shoulder and are willing to do anything to finally win. “Let the food fight begin.”
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Sidenote: The burger at the end of the trek from the Washington Monument to Good Stuff makes the near death experience well worth it.