Friday, November 14, 2008

Deconstruction Time Again

Pleased to Meet You
Hope You Guess My Name

We start out with the obligatory meet the contestants montage. Damn, there are a lot of them. If it's all the same to you, I'm just going to call them all Bob until they earn a nickname. There are some bald Bobs, a couple of European Bobs, Bobs with tattoos, and there's a Bob with a very silly beard.

Bob tells us that he's a big queen and that his inner queen is most concerned about what Padma's wearing, even though it's just so queeny, because all of his queen friends back in Queens want to know. Because they're queens. I kid. He's actually from San Diego. Damn. How am I going to come up with a nickname for this guy? If only he had some ridiculous affectation or verbal tic that I could seize upon for comedic effect.

Chutney tells us that she doesn't want people to think that she's going to make a lot of spicy curries just because she's Indian. Damn. I could go for a spicy curry right now.

Awww! Army Wife's friend Moby from culinary school is here and she tells us that they're bestest buds and that they had so much fun together in culinary school, and it's going to be totally awesome having him here during the competition. Awwwww. Aren't they adorable? I hope nothing happens to either of them. That would be sad.

I Know It's Over,
And It Never Really Began

The judges arrive and we jump right into the Mad Knife Skills Quickfire. Ha. No phony party for you this season! This is New York, bitches, and there are 3 and a half billion people in the food services industry here. Or something like that. I wasn't paying that close attention, and I'm not about to go and count them all. Like they'd even hold still long enough. Now peel some damn apples!

Fifteen apples, Tom whispers to Padma, is a lot of apples. Yes, Tom. Yes it is.

Bork, The Finnish Chef, is an apple-peeling machine and he gets immunity.

Oh! In the rush, Bob decapitates himself! I mean, he cuts off his thumb! OK, he just cuts himself, but he really is bleeding like a stuck pig. Bob thinks he's done, despite my suggestion that apples covered in blood are probably worse than apples that lost a little too much apple with the peel. In a stunning reversal, Tom overrules the at-home judge. Pommes avec le Sang it is. For those of us keeping track at home, the judges have now ruled in favor of both spit and blood in your food, so we've only got a couple of bodily fluids left before someone gets a bingo.

The next time you go to Craft Steak, you should probably pass on the Hollandaise.

The last spot is taken, and we're on to phase two. The chefs have to speed dice 2 cups of apples. Oh! Apples... I see what you did there.

Bob has suspect knife skills, and Tom is picking big chunks out of her cups before she can continue. Bob gamely soldiers on, though, and she makes the cut. Makes the cut! Ha! I made a funny!

The four remaining chefs must now cook with apples, and the loser will go home without even seeing the Top Chef KitchenAid Calphalon Wusthof Cusinart Kitchen.

Army Wife calls upon the power of bacon and Chutney decides that her best way to avoid being pigeonholed as "the Indian chef" is to make Apple Chutney in the very first challenge. Solid choice. Hey, they're in New York. I understand that you can get pigeonholed just off Times Square for as little as $20 if you know who to ask.

Oh, drama! It's down to Army Wife and Moby. One of these two dear, dear friends will have to send the other one home. Army Wife looks right into the camera and tells us that she hopes Moby goes home. Karma pricks up its ears.

We come back from commercial to find that even the power of bacon can't save her. Army Wife is redeployed back home. Aaaaaaaand, Karma sticks the landing!

Here is the House
Where it All Happens

So we get back to their snazzy apartment and get some face time with the remaining contestants. Bob looks over the balcony at a high school track and football field and says something nonsensical about the Taj Mahal. Hunh?

It's a good thing Moby's still in this thing, or I'd have to make an Unambiguously Gay Duo joke about Team Rainbow right about now.

Nobody likes Luigi and Bork. Their strange, foreign opinions on whether vinaigrette is an emulsion or not have already alienated the other chefs. At least they have their shared love of subtitles and the... how you say... football?

Wait. Back up a sec. You're telling me Stretch isn't on Team Rainbow? Are you sure? She has very gay-friendly glasses.

Hey, Hey, We're The Monkees
And People Say We Monkey Around

The chefs somehow get paired up and sent into the neighborhoods of New York, and there's some kind of head to head challenge involved. There was either some bad editing, or I stepped out of the room at an inopportune time. If you weren't watching, you'll never know. Never mind. We'll figure it out as we go.

The chefs wander around. They exchange bewildered looks with shopkeepers. They buy ingredients they've never heard of. They go back to the kitchen and cook.

By the time Stretch gets all the bones out of her smoked fish, it looks like it was prepped streamside by a bear, and she comments that she really hopes that she doesn't miss any. Bob suggests that perhaps she should have considered buying the fillet. You know, like he did.

Hair Product is shaping up to be this season's uncontrollable spaz. He decides that he's doing so well on time that he should really make some more garnishes. Because if there's one thing we've learned from past seasons of Top Chef, it's that judges love it when you desperately clutter your plate with unrelated crap. He's so busy making garnishes that he completely runs out of time and only gets like 2 of his 19 garnishes on the plate.

Guest judge Van Goghbitussin (or something like that) loves Bork's meat oil, and I decide that I've probably already exceeded my Team Rainbow jokes quota. Bob just wants to get Tom drunk. His opponent, Bob, has served up a "Decontructed Greek Salad". Nobody is impolite enough to point out that her deconstructed salad appears to have been mysteriously reconstructed into something that looks suspiciously like a "Greek Salad". Except me. Just now. Sorry, Bob. Guest judge Van Hurghhurghhurgh takes advantage of this lull in the conversation to drop some smack by suggesting that (the other) Bob's "technique" of overcooking his lamb didn't work, just like he did it on purpose. Nice! Hair Product begs for mercy, and beats Luigi despite his missing frippery. Stretch doesn't choke any of the judges on fish bones, but her unintentionally hilarious Caviar Crazy Eyes loses anyway. The Mouse thinks a steak is Italian cuisine as long as you put some marinara sauce on the side. Ohhhh kay then. The judges kindly suggest that she just needed a little salt and move along. Bob and Moby don't know jack about Chinese food, but Moby's gummy noodles cost him the Chinese Buffet Steam Table Battle.

The high point of the episode for me, though, came with Top Dishwasher's pair:
Tom: "How about you, Bob? Do you have any experience with Indian cuisine?"
Bob (with misplaced confidence): "Well, fortunately I have experience with Latin cuisine and they're pretty much the same thing."
Boy, it's a good thing he didn't say that in front of someone who knows Indian cuisine, 'cause, damn, that'd be embarrassing as hell. So then Padma... ohhhh, right. Oops. So then Padma turns to Top Dishwasher and tells him that even though he didn't really know what he was making, he not only made a classic Indian dish, but he knocked it out of the park. Either Padma really hates Bob or Top Dishwasher just pulled a Monkeys Typing Shakespeare. Either way, I can't stop laughing.

I Cannot Save You
I Can't Even Save Myself

Bork, Top Dishwasher, and one of the Bobs get called back to see who wins. It's Bork's meat with meat oil! He's taken both challenges on the first episode.

Either Jersey Girl or Moby will go home. The judges rip into Jersey Girl for her lack of culinary curiosity: "What if somebody tells you they want an Indian meal?" She answers, "I have books to look at," and if the crickets weren't stunned into silence, we'd hear them right about now, but they were, so we don't. Lex thinks she was making a joke that just completely failed, but I'm not so sure. If she's a comedian, her delivery makes Steven Wright look like Rip Taylor. It was deadpan, that's what I'm saying. Damn, people, don't you have google?

The judges send them back to the storage room to squirm for a little while longer, and then they drop a two-fer on our little human interest story at the top of the show. Here's Moby now, going to the east side. He packs up his knives and he starts to ride.

Next week: More smack talk, fewer Bobs!


SouthernBelle said...

You have earned my love with this post.

But, silly man, it is not the Top Chef KitchenAid Calphalon Wusthof Cusinart Kitchen, it is the Top Chef KitchenAid Calphalon Wusthof Cusinart Glad-Bags Kitchen.


: )

deadspot said...

I was hoping no one would notice that.

GETkristiLOVE said...

I thought for sure Jersey girl was out after her earth-shattering news that there are books on cooking... poor Mobius Dick - he's gone for bigger fish to fry.

SouthernBelle said...

Deadspot, there is a shout out on my blog for you today!

Also, you are blogrolled.

: )

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen the bitch yet, which one is the bitch? Ya gotta have a bitch!

Natalie said...

I went through a period where I named everything Bob. It is a good name. I must say this season is shaping up quite nicely. Plenty of freaks around but Bluez is right, where is the bitch?

SouthernBelle said...

C'mon where;'s your episode 2 recap?

; )

Dale said...

Excellent recapping Bob!!