Friday, July 13, 2007

Veterans Of Foreign Foods

What the hell? Did I miss the early morning montage or did they leap right into the Quickfire? Will Hung act like an ass? Will the judges make someone cry? Let's find out.

Evergreens And Rubbing Alcohol
It's a commercial for Bombay Sapphire, I mean, the Quickfire Challenge. The chefs must pair food and booze: they have to create an appetizer to go with gin cocktails. I'm going to have to give a disclaimer up front. I hate gin. There is no cocktail that cannot be improved by substituting vodka for the gin. Vodka martini, vodka tonic, vodka rummy... all better than the gin version. Gin is the touchstone for how desperate man can be for alcohol. When left with no other option, they'll distill the bushes. In my humble opinion, there is no reason for such extreme measures when there is a fully-stocked bar on hand. However, the chefs must soldier on.

It's time to sell some gin. To the knife block! The chefs draw knives to find out which horrible, disgusting cocktail has been foisted off on them. OK, I withdraw my previous comment. The pine might actually help kill the taste of the wretched crap the gin has been mixed with. Are these actual drinks or practical jokes? I mean, I've had something like that Sherry and Gin monstrosity that Last Mohawk Standing pulled. Once at a party, a really drunk girl thought my glass of Lenin's Choice on the rocks was empty, and she topped it up with cheap burgundy when I wasn't looking. It didn't register that the liquid in my glass was suddenly red until it was already in my mouth. Swallowing was the more polite thing to do at that point, but I was not happy with any of my options.

Last Mohawk Standing is psyched. He used to be some sort of mixology consultant. Yeah. I did a lot of "mixology consulting" in college too. Freelance mainly... Hung is dismissive of the challenge. Only commoners drink hard liquor. He doesn't think it rises to the level of his refined food. Also Lurch is tall, according to the guest judge, who apparently moonlights as an obviologist.

Hung is in the bottom three, and... there it is! He sticks the landing! The guy who never pairs hard alcohol and food pretends he knows more than the guy who does it for a living... using the specific alcohol in question. What a dick!

Last Mohawk Standing makes the top three, so he must not have just been blowing smoke. Tre is there to round out the numbers, but it is Casey who gets immunity, despite being saddled with something called a "Strawberry Balsamic Rickey"... I think I just threw up in my mouth a little. She made french toast, slapped on some foie gras, and put raspberry sauce on it; and since I just made a vomit joke about the drink, I'm stuck with just saying that the appetizer sounds nasty.

Da, Da, Da.
The theme for the Elimination Challenge is Trio. They're doing a tasting menu of four courses, each done three ways, for some group of gustatory elite. I'm not sure exactly, but it sounds like some sort of traveling team for gluttons. Whatev'. The chefs decide to draw names from a hat to be fair. Then they discover that if you draw names from a hat, you're likely to end up with assholes on your team. Last Mohawk Standing is the first to bail. It gets schoolyard-ugly really quick as everybody scrambles to reform their teams. When the dust settles, Tiny Bald Howie ends up with Joey Bagadonuts and Casey At The Bat. I'm guessing that won't end well.

Last Mohawk Standing has jumped from the frying pan into the fire, if I may be excused a rather obvious cliche. Nobody on the fourth course team has dessert experience, but they may get screwed if they don't close with a dessert. Damned if they do, damned if they don't, they decide to go for it.

They all scramble to form a cohesive menu and head for the store, where they promptly throw the agreed-upon menu out the window. Shrimp are kinda like scallops, right, and what is tuna but a sort of underwater duck? No? They whine about their budgets, they buy their ingredients, and they retreat to the kitchen to cook, where it's chaos, catastrophe, and climbing on the stove!

We have a new guest judge for the Elimination Challenge. Out goes the booze pusher, in comes a restaurant owner that I've never heard of. Sorry, restaurant owner slash caterer. OK, then. Now that we've settled that, the guests arrive, bedecked with medals for... eating? Really? "Oh yes, I got this Purple Endive with Cilantro Leaf Cluster for throwing myself onto an overdone fillet. We ordered medium rare and when it arrived at the table it was medium well!" "This is the Legion d'Wankery. I cleaned my plate, even though the hollandaise was decidedly pedestrian." Tell them I hate them.

The first course is shrimp three ways from Brian the Talking Dog, Hung, and Sassy Lia. Brian with another seafood dish, way to stretch yourself, dude. Because I'm the bigger man, I won't comment on how tiny Hung is serving the shrimp course. Bigger man! Ha! Because... he's... oh, you got it.

Second course, Team Tuna: Tiny Bald Howie, Joey Bagadonuts, and Casey At The Bat. (yeah, I know it's lame. She'll get a better nickname when she shows a personality.) The Pretension Brigade hate this course, but they haven't seen what's coming up.

Beef, it's what's for third course, or something like that. Tre, Sara, and Lurch fail to step up. One of the guests suggests that Sara's dish seems like something you might get at Denny's. You can't see it, but I'm rolling my eyes. Like he's ever eaten at Denny's. Oh wait, he's wearing a campaign medal from Operation Grand Slam. My bad.

Finally, a menage a pineapple from Second Sara, Last Mohawk Standing, and Camille Who? Even Mohawk knows they're screwed, and he makes friends with the handicapped by saying they would have been fine if only the guests were blind. Everybody failed: Second Sara had to try to turn her pannarunny jello into a semifrozen custard, and it went downhill from there. Still, there are a lot of empty plates despite the whining. The guests leave to design their new "Terrible Food, Tiny Portions Medal of Valor".

The Center Cannot Hold
The judges despair. The judges wail. The judges have too much suck from which to choose. They take care of the easy stuff first. The only course that wasn't really bad was the first. They call them in, and my girl Sassy Lia takes the prize, which includes a gig as the featured chef at a big charity event. Her olive oil poached shrimp was the best. Hung must settle for the lesser title of Zinc Saucier and somehow manages to keep his mouth shut, despite the lack of double prize money. The judges tell Lia that she is going to have to bring a lot of people back.

Tre, Sara, and Lurch share the Good God, Man, You Can't Call Them All To The Table! Producers' Immunity for this round. Half of the chefs do get called up for elimination, including, for the second week in a row, the chef with immunity. Casey At The Bat cries when she hears how much she sucks, says she feels guilty that one of her team mates might get kicked off because of her, but fails to step up to the plate (Oh, come on, you knew that was coming) when she fails to offer to take the fall instead.

Last Mohawk Standing takes the blame for the choice of offering a dessert and for choosing the ingredient. He defends their choices though, and lays the smack down on the chefs who played it safe by taking easy choices and shooting for mediocrity, but the judges are having none of it. They rip into everyone and send them out to cry in the waiting room.

When they're called back in, it is Camille Who? packing her knives. Camille's cornmeal-based Hockeypuck Upsidedown Cake with Ginger Dribble was the lowlight of a spectacularly dismal dinner. People cry, people hug her, Lurch picks her up, and then she's gone. Last Mohawk Standing has the decency to feel genuine remorse that she is gone in part because of his choices. If you ask me though, and why else would you still be reading, I think 4th course would have been hosed regardless of what they did. If you're going down, you might as well go down in flames.

Holy crap, this was a long post. I'll pass on the predictions and closing comments.


Flannery Alden said...

Where's all the haiku?

deadspot said...

Voting on Friday,
on Monday comes the haiku.
Are you happy, Flan?

Flannery Alden said...

Haiku always makes me happy. So, yes.

Natalie said...

It was a sad episode all around. I may miss again Wednesday. Boo.

vikkitikkitavi said...

1. Drinking gin is like drinking my grandma's perfume.

2. Obviologist. I am so stealing that.

Once again, awesome recap, Deadie.

deadspot said...

Aw... thank you, Vikki.
This week will be short but sweet.
Welcome back, Viks! Hug!