>Top Chef: Power Bottoms And Power Lunches

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QUICKFIRE
This will be quick.
The cheftestants enter the Top Chef Kitchen to find Padma waiting with Aaron “I’m-So-Not-Gay-That-I-Threw-Out-My-Favorite-Turquoise-Belt” Schock, the youngest, and gayest, member of Congress, to talk about eating food on a stick.

Something I think Aaron is quite thrilled about.

Pocket-Gay lets Padma explain that, in order to not unduly influence our elected representatives ::::::insert snicker here::::: by serving them lavish meals, our elected officials must eat Aaron Schock-sized, er, bite-sized, meals on a toothpick. No mention is made of offering up cash and drugs and hookers to our elected officials, but I guess they’re saving that challenge for Top Money-Grubbing-Drug-Addicted-Whore.

Anyway, I won’t bore you, or me , with what the chef’; made, I will simply let Aaron “I’m-Not-Gay” Schock tell you which items that he put into his mouth he enjoyed most:

He said Alex, of the Wonky Muppet Lips and Questionable Ethics [more on that later] had too much flavor, but that he did like the look of Ed’s, um, stick, but not so much what was on it; he found that Kelly’s stick lacked flavor–perhaps because she’s a woman and the, um, stick, is not standard equipment, but I digress.

His favorites, and his praise:

Of Kevin, he said: “You were the first item I tasted and I thought about it all the way around the room.”
Of Angelo, he purred: “Wow! [It] was like fireworks in my mouth.”
Of Stephen, he minced: “All I could think of when I saw yours was, wow, there’s a lot on that stick.”

Then he squealed like a schoolgirl and announced Angelo’s sexy stick as his favorite. But, and I will remind, Aaron Schock is NOT gay.

He’s not! Stop it!

ELIMINATION CHALLENGE
The cheftestants must prepare a power lunch to be served to power, um, lunchers, at Washington DC’s power lunch spot, the elite Palm restaurant. There they will be judged by Oprah Winfrey’s former personal feeder, Art Smith, as well as serving lunch to power players Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brezinski and NBC White House Correspondent Savannah Guthrie.

The cheftestants draw knives to see which of the Palm’s standard proteins they will be serving, and although there will be two of each dish, the judging is not side-by-side, but head on. It is a straight–no pun intended, Aaron–forward challenge, until it digresses into a special episode of Top Chef Mystery: The Case Of The Pureed Peas.

See, Ed bought peas to serve with his protein, and the day of the lunch the peas disappear. But Alex, who had no idea the night before exactly what he was going to do, suddenly had pureed peas.

Hmmmmmmmm.

THE LUNCH
The Porterhouse Gals
Amanda decided to debone her porterhouse, just like I imagine she debones her men, and served a New York Strip & Filet Mignon, Red Wine with Pomme Parisienne & Arugula.
She called it a “Duo Of Steak” because she knows that all great chefs often serve duos.
But the key word is “great” chef, and Amanda misses the mark.
She is sloppy and messy and scaterrbrained in the kitchen and I think she’s the one Tom mentioned when he said some of the chefs were pigs.
But the Power Lunchers liked her Duo, so go figure.

Kelly served a Porterhouse with Crispy Potato-Arugula Salad, Roasted Shallot Demi-Glace.
She chose to serve it whole, to honor it–like it cares–meaning she expected the diners to wolf done some twenty ounces of meat–and, No, Aaron was not at the lunch so don’t wonder if he could have done it.
He could. He has.
But Kelly, whose food has often been called bland, because she likes the delicate flavors, went wild with the salt, especially as other chefs [read: Amanda] asked to borrow it. Every time someone uttered the word salt, Kelly salted her steak; and her steak then asSALTed the judges palates.
There wasn’t much but salt and salt and salt.

The Swordfish Twins
Andrea doesn’t like swordfish.
She doesn’t cook swordfish.
She doesn’t serve swordfish.
So, she threw herself under the bus by serving the Swordfish with Israeli CousCous Risotto-style, and a–pardon me if I throw up a little in my mouth as I type this–Vanilla-Bean-Mustard-Buerre-Blanc. Which means vanilla, mustard, butter and white wine.
Her food was too much. Too sweet, too rich, too……….

My girl Tiffany, who is rapidly becoming my favorite because she tells it like it is, and then laughs about it, made more of a Mediterranean-inspired Swordfish with Olive-Raisin Tapenade with Broccolini & Bacon.
And while her fish may have been overcooked–and for that I blame either Amanda or Aaron Schock, because it’s my blog and I can say what I want–her tapenade topping provided enough moisture to satisfy food-slut Gail Simmons.
Which is saying a lot.
But Tiffany cannot get over the overcooked fish and she places herself in the bottom.

The Salmon Wars
Alex served Applewood Smoked Salmon with Black Forbidden Rice & English Pea Puree, but not before he told all of us that there were too many thing you could do with salmon: broil it, saute it, poach it, grill it.
Make it into a hat or a broach.
Or, and I’m just saying, maybe you could serve it with someone else’s pureed peas.
Which may not be far off the mark since the judges liked his dish–little ‘l’–but they Loved–big ‘L’–his peas. Oprah’s former main gay, and I don’t mean Gail, Art Smith, nearly had an orgasm when he slid Alex’s, or Ed’s, peas into his mouth.
Just sayin’.

Stephen’s Salmon with Warmed Vegetable Salad & Worcestershire Vinaigrette, by comparison, was called messy and sloppy.
Stephen, by comparison, though, used his own food that he made himself and didn’t pull it from the Miracle Pantry, AKA Ed’s ice chest.
Steepen was given the nearly invisible edit this week, except for the drooling he did over Aaron Schock–“We walked into the kitchen and I saw this very young man _________”
You fill in the blank.
And he provided comic relief for his Seminar on being in the Bottom Three.
That’s Stephen.
He’s there, but he’s not.

The Lobster Lovers
Ed did what he called a Poached Lobster Ballotine with Eggplant & English Pea-Asparagus Fricassee.
English peas, leftover from the missing pea puree.
I hear Miss Marple is on the case.
Everyone loved his lobster, and loved the roasted eggplant, but felt the dish didn’t need the addition of the English Peas.
No, what it needed was his delicious English Pea Puree that went out with Alex’s salmon.

Angelo also served butter Poached Lobster, but he paired his with a Lobster Froth and a Jicama, Arugula & Asian Pear Salad.
What’s this? More Asian food from Angelo?
Quelle surprise. Not.
The judges thought his lobster chewy and Morning Joe didn’t know what to make of the Lobster Froth.
I bet Aaron Shock knows what to do with a froth. You pair it with a turquoise belt and wear it to a picnic and then…..what? Oh! Froth?!? I thought you said ‘frock’.
Aaron Schock is still gay.

The Lamb Lads
Kenny, who has been getting called out for throwing everything, including the kitchen sink–which he literally slewered and served at the Toothpick Quickfire–into a dish, opted to go minimal ::::giggle::::: and offered the diners a Peppered Lamb with Fig-Pistachio Bread Pudding, Fig Jam & Vanilla-Morel Demi Glace.
Simple, right.
If i was gonna simple it down, I would have made Lamb sandwich on Wonderbread with Miracle Whip.
That’s simple food from a simpleton, er, wimple man.
But the judges like his fig jam, and his figgy pudding.

Kevin, AKA Dust Bunny Grande Dame, DavidDust’s husband, gave us Double-Cut Chops with Olive & Goat Cheese Rissole, Mache & Tomato Concasse.
Everyone thought his lamb was overcooked, and that his concasse was too hot. I don’t know how many times I’ve made a hot concasse, so I can feel Kevin’s pain.
But, and this is what I don’t get about the judging, Gail called it fiery, and said she liked her food, and apparently her men, hot and spicy, but at the judges table she called Kevin out on the heat.
Make up your mind Gail.

Back in The Stew Room
The conversation turns, as it’s apt to do, toward the Case of The Missing Pea Puree.
Miss Marple has arrived and spent most of the evening questioning the cheftestants.
No one will admit to seeing Ed’s puree stolen, and no one will admit to seeing Alex actually make a pea puree.
But, upon interrogation, Alex crumbles a bit when he says the idea of him having a pea puree and Ed’s pea puree going missing was puree, er, purely, coincidental.
Miss Marple, the cheftestants, and Bob in Smallville, are not buying it.
Then Alex says he had no idea Ed was doing puree and Miss Marple goes to the videotape of the night before the challenge when Alex is in the kitchen and Kenny tells him that Ed made a pea puree. I think Alex’s eyes glimmered a bit, and he spent the rest of the evening in his room, with the Candlestick, plotting his crime.

THE JUDGING: THE WINNERS
Tiffany , Ed and Alex are called before the panel and declared the winners.
Tiffany, and, again, for the record, I am now Team Tiffany, began to weep because she thought her overcooked fish would have landed her in the bottom. But Gail assures her that the tapenade had enough moisture to save her.
I like that about Tapenade. It always saves me.
Ed Volkswagen-sized lobsters were given high-praise, but then the mood turned sour.
Alex was praised from one end of the table to the other over his silky, rich, fabulous pea puree. While his salmon was perfectly cooked it was the pea puree that sealed the deal. Once again, Art Smith has an orgasm as he declares the puree, er, Alex, the winner.

The prize is that the Palm will add Alex’s dish to their menu–probably for about an hour, on a Tuesday–and that he will get his caricature, and by caricature I mean photograph because Alex already is a caricature–on the wall.

I’m hoping it’s the wall of the men’s room, right above a urinal.

THE LOSERS
Andrea, Kevin, and Kelly are dragged kicking and screaming from The Stew Room to face the inquisition where they are all charged with Crimes Of Stupidity.
Andrea gets called out for that vanilla-mustard sauce. personally, I would have shot her on the spot. And then she goes on and on about how she doesn’t eat, or cook, or serve, swordfish, and Art Smith says, We know, it showed on the plate.
SNAP!

Kevin, who seems, with the exception of once, to be a true Bottom Boy, and gets the Colicchio Beatdown for his overcooked lamb. He tries to cover by saying he likes his lamb medium, but he wasn’t serving the lamb to himself. And we’ve already gone over the Gail Simmons Red Chile Pepper About Face on his concasse.

Wow! That sounds dirty.

Kelly is up next and is charged wit a simple case of asSALT with a Deadly Spice. She does her best to cover, but as the judges sit at the table, all of them drinking from garden hoses, her arguments are mute.

It”sToo.Much.Salt.

THE PACK YOUR KNIVES AND GO AWARD
Andrea is told to get out because of that vanilla bean fiasco, and she offers up Standard Reality Show Excuse For Getting Kicked Off Number 751: I didn’t get to show my true self. I was too busy playing the game.

Well, Andrea, now you have lots of time to show your ‘true’ self, only, seriously, honey, stay away from the vanilla.
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1 Comment

Filed under Bravo, Reality TV, Top Chef, TV

One response to “>Top Chef: Power Bottoms And Power Lunches

  1. >It wouldn't be TopChefDC without a intrigue and scandal – PeaGate! And of course we were all – the production people tipped the judges and you know the pea puree was going to factor in the judging – I call undue influence of the production lobbyists.And really, a whole meal vs. a meal on a stick is going to sway a political person??? What about a truckload of campaign contributions vs. a carload?

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