Friday, September 21, 2007

Chicken, Onion, Potato

Hey, Hung, we don't dislike you because you're an immigrant, we dislike you because you're an asshole. Assholery knows no borders. ...but I'm getting ahead of myself.


The chefs wander around New York and the Talking Dog likes the smell of car exhaust... or something... They end up having dinner with Sirio Maccioni at Le Cirque. During diner, they are told that for the Quickfire, each chef will get 20 minutes to reproduce their dinner in an unfamiliar kitchen with a staff that seems more than a little irritated to have them underfoot when they're trying to get ready for dinner service. They'll go one at a time, and the kitchen will get more and more chaotic around the chefs as it gets closer and closer to service.

Hung goes first and he nails it. Maccioni is impressed. When Hung gets back to the waiting room, the chefs are kicking around ideas about the dish, and they ask Hung how he approached it. Hung refuses to join in and says it's a simple dish that anyone can do.

Apparently not. The Talking Dog fails on the potato wrapping. Mohawk underseasons his. Battabatta's is tasty, but her sauce is a big ugly pool instead of a few spots around the edge of the plate. Second Sara goes last and is totally boned. Deep in the weeds to begin with, she can't find a saute pan, and by the time somebody finds her one, she is way out of time. It's totally raw in the middle when she serves it.

Creepy Old Dude thinks BattaBatta is hot, but gives the win to Hung anyway.


For the elimination challenge, they will have to cook for the teachers of the French Culinary Institute using three classic ingredients: chicken, onions, and potatoes. The other chefs are too polite to point at Casey and laugh when they see the onion. They'll have $200 to buy the other things they need. Hung's Quickfire win means that he will get to start half an hour before the other chefs.

They go shopping. Casey is Mohawk's new straight girlfriend ...or something. I'm confused. We already have a Second Sara. I'm so confused that I miss part of what he says next. Something something big gay chef something something our asses. Really? On Bravo?

Last Mohawk Standing says he's going to go balls out on this one. In that case, I'd recommend an apron.

They get back to the kitchen and four chefs cool their heels while Hung gets started.

Hung makes Chicken ala Ziploc, Pommes Dauphin (Lex interrupts: "What a jerk! He's cooking dolphin?"), and flashes back to the first challenge by serving up crispy chicken skin. You do that to a pig and you're making pork rinds. I guess chicken rinds are a little more upscale.

Hung asks for help plating his dishes. None of the other chefs tell him that his monkey can plate chicken, but I'm sure it was only because they were too busy. Dude, you had half an hour more than the other chefs, and you acted like a dick during the Quickfire. What did you expect? If you want to play the game, fine, but if they burn your ass and laugh then you have nobody to blame but yourself.

Second Sara's Fricken Chicken Tartare isn't going over so well. The Swedish Chef says "Hurr durr dippy doo" or something. Schyeah... See, I know you're, like, some kind of expert on meatballs and dill or some shit like that, but when your claim to expertise on Jamaican cuisine is that you've seen a couple of reggae bands, you may want to take advantage of this special, limited-time-only opportunity to sit down and shut the hell up. Just sayin'...

That out of the way, even I'm pretty sure that raw chicken isn't a traditional Jamaican flavor. Compounding her problems, she was afraid that their classically-trained French palates would surrender in the face of her spicy Jamaican heat (The food, people! Haven't we discussed this already? So childish...), and tried to play it safe by cutting back on the seasoning. It's not a good plan.

The Talking Dog made Shepherd's Pie. Apparently, he thought he was cooking for a preschool, because he felt the need to turn the mashed potatoes bright green. What a dipshit. Mohawk points out that it looks like a big green turd. The chicken is overwhelmed by the powerful game sausage he bought at the market.

The Last of the Mohicans makes Chicken Two Ways on Pureed Potatoes, but in the rush to plate, he self-destructs again. This time he omits the sauces that would have made the whole thing work. While commiserating with the other chefs, he says he's going to turn it into a staple of his menu when he gets back to Chicago. Those must have been some great sauces then, because without them the judges are out for blood.

BattaBatta's Faux au Vin finishes strong. The judges like the food but hate the name.

It's pretty clear that Hung and BattaBatta are the tops, Second Sara and Mohawk are the bottoms, and The Dog is just filler. Well, crap.


Hung is a pissy little crybaby because the other chefs didn't want to help him plate his food, but he wins anyway. You've just got to assume the little tattletale got stuffed into a locker or two during culinary school.

Sara and Mohawk are on the chopping block. Mohawk knows exactly why he's here. Sara, hun, if they say that your chicken was undercooked, I'm not sure that telling them you personally checked every piece actually helps your case.

The judges decide that poor execution trumps poor conception, Mohawk cashes in his producers' Comedy Central: South Park Portmanteau Immunity and Sara must go. Shit. I should have kept my mouth shut about how much I liked her last week. That's it, Radicchio, I'm cutting you off. Stop reading my blog.


BeckEye said...

At least Brian didn't put lobster in his shepherd's pie.

Anonymous said...

I know the guest chefs are supposed to be picky but cripes, doesn't it seem like this year the judges are being big dicks to these chefs? Granted, non of them are "top chef" material but man, they sure do seem picky as hell this season. I think its gonna be Casey vs. Hung final showdown, with Hung making enough mistakes along the way to keep it close. This far out from the end and even with Casey's winning surge along with her newly found confidence aside, as much as I hate to admit it , it's kinda obvious to me that Hung's the winner here. You agree? After all I was right about Sara last week :-)

vikkitikkitavi said...

1. I heard Hung's monkey could make Pommes Dauphin.

2. I love how he tried to throw everyone under the bus by saying that his potato puffs WERE poofy when he made them, but when he got no help plating them they must have deflated.

3. Hung is too immature and petulant and blame-y. He won't win for that reason.

Johnny Yen said...

Kim was watching that one and I got sucked up in it. What amazes me is that in the 27 years I've worked in the restaurant business, I've worked with some people like these-- full of themselves, without the talent to back it up. I mean, how in the hell does a cook not cook their food and not know it?

I'm glad I wasn't the only one who found the green mashed potatoes horrifying.

Writeprocrastinator said...

"Last Mohawk Standing says he's going to go balls out on this one. In that case, I'd recommend an apron."

Heh-heh-heh! Absolutely!

It was one giant spliff too many, that made the Swedish chef think he knew anything about Jamaican seasonings.

The Talking Dog would've gotten a negative five on that "Shepherd's Pie" if he were on "Iron Chef" and Procrastinator Junior's misunderstanding (packed with subsequent laughter for the whole family) of the dish's name, pretty much summed up that presentation.

"Mohawk points out that it looks like a big green turd."

It looks like goose shit, actually.

Yeah, Second Sara? Salmonella is definitely the way to win them over. I'm going to miss her, though. She stood up to Howie and she seemed to be Top Three material.

deadspot said...

Oh yeah... comments.

I think it's clear to everyone that I need to stop making predictions.

The thing about this season is that they're all maddeningly inconsistent. Hung has been in the bottom more than he's been in the top. Casey has no skills but is winning at the right time. Dale seems good, but is prone to making boneheaded mistakes. Brian just seems kind of clueless when he's not doing seafood. How much ceviche and fish sausage can one guy make?

I agree, Vikki. The guy is such a tool, he just can't win. I'd be sick.

There are cocksure talentless hacks in every business, Johnny. That said, I'm sure Sara wouldn't have served that first dish under normal conditions. She knew it wasn't done when the clock ran out, but what could she do? In a real restaurant, it goes out in a couple of minutes and no one is the wiser. The second dish, I'm not so sure about. Did she really not know it was undercooked or was she trying for plausible deniability? We'll never know. Sara wasn't nearly as bad as she looked in this episode, but I still don't think she could have won it.

If Sara and Mohawk hadn't given the judges such easy targets, I wonder if Brian would have gone home. His sheep turd pie was clearly sausage flavored, not chicken flavored, so one could argue that he didn't complete the challenge: which was to showcase the simple flavors of chicken, onion, and potato. Unfortunately, the missing sauces and the undercooked chicken made it a moot point.

cube said...

I'd be happy with anybody but Hung. He is such a jerk.