Monday, 7 December 2015

BRR Top Chef Recap S13:E1 Stop The Presses

I've been wondering about this show for awhile now, as I am a big Hell's Kitchen fan, but I'm not super familiar with what makes it different. Except that CDaN calls Padma Lakshi a giant wh*re. That's it, that's all I got! Let's meet some peeps!

The seventeen chefs competing are: Amar (Queens), Angelina (Miami), Carl (Bahstan), Chad (Spokane whut whut!), Frances (Manila), Garret (Rockford, IL, not files. Sad panda), Giselle (San Diego), Grayson (New Holstein, WI - cheese curds?), Issac (Rayne, LO woot woot! I hear all they DO is eat there!), Jason (Seattle, hey gurl hey!), Jeremy (Jacksonville), Karen (Kearny, NJ), Kwame (Bronx), Marjorie (Ukiah, CA), Phillip (LA), Renee (Shawnee, KS, sooooo) and Wesley (Mobile, Bama).

I'm interested in the prizes, so imma reel 'em off just the oncst. A feature in Food & Wine magazine, an appearance at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, $125k from S. Pelligrino (your water SUCKS. still waters ftw) and the title. Well, the money sounds cool. I've not heard of the magazine because it's not Cook's Illustrated.

Let's meet some chefs of tomorrow!  Isaac from NOLA looks like a hillbilly/biker/racially insensitive sterotype and I just hope he covers that chin beard.

Padma has an unusual voice, not pleasing to the ear but indeterminate at the same time. She says they will be competing up and down California's Gold Coast and everyone 'cited. Only in winter, yo. I hear it's hot there.

Tom Colicchio of Craft Restaurants is the authoritative cueball from the commercials,  he blah blah blahs lot to live up to blah blah strong group.

Padma asks who is an Executive Chef and apparently that would be everyone but Frances, a Sous Chef from NY via Manila

raises their hands. Daaaang, gurl, don't let that get in your heed! Now go prep the onions and peel potatoes.

Sweet baby jeebus, Renee introduces herself as THE super sassy chef from Kansas City OUT LOUD, in front of people. I repeat, NOT IN INTERVIEW. People laugh out loud. She says that in the kitchen she "try not to have very much emotion except for being genuine and authentic to myself and that person happens to be really happy" which I guess means calling yourself both super AND sassy. She works in a "fabulous" and Imma have to call for an intervention: just because you like gay men doesn't mean you are one.

Amar makes fun of her in interview, but I think you may need to worry about yourself there, chokernecklace. So 2000 and late

Padma is determined to intimidate as many people as possible, so she asks how many James Beard nominees there are in the room. My friend Mr. Google says that the James Beard Awards are The Oscars of Food. 4 chefs raise their hands and 24 year old Angelina from Miami throws up.

Current James Beard nominee and terrific enunciator Karen from Jersey is ALSO a chef/owner / partner, someone hold Angelina's hand, I think she might pass out. Everyone is hella pedigreed, which begs the question: Y U HEER?? Karen's picture is attached to Carl's bio below because it's late and I'm TAHRED.

Grayson is a retread, I gather, she played in season 9 but Texas broke her into little pieces. And made her gain weight? I don't know, she said she's fatter! She looks just as lovely to me.

Garret from Washington thinks his background of sciencing food dishes with his 'rents is gonna be a big deal but I'm more concerned as to why he said he was from Rockford if he's from Washington. I've not been to either place, but they sound difficult to mix up.

Down to business! Its the Quickfire Challenge which sounds speedy at least.  17 dishes could take awhile. The first part is a Mise en Place race challenge and I dig that shite!! Can you tell I was also a Sous Chef? Although I never worked anywhere fancy enough to be called that,  more like Prep Cook or hey, go prep onions and peel potatoes.

The first 9 chefs to finish will move on to part 2, which is using first come first served ingredients. Kwame from the Bronx late of Washington looks unsure and so, so very young

But I like him already. There's something soothing about him, and 26 and opening his own restaurant, all the props for working his way up.

Phillip from LA

likes to swing his dick in a lot of competitions and apparently has even won Chopped and a couple others. Guuuuurlll, what are you doing here?? Are you the Prince Farming of the reality cooking world?  Do you just need to see yourself cooking on that small screen that much?? Do we need another intervention? ? GO HOME. Let someone else play! It's such a tiny little world, this reality universe.

Angelina chooses asparagus to start, Tom says he woulda knocked out the chicken or artichokes first. Giselle from LA hasn't supremed an orange in 8 years, she has line cooks for that!

Frances! Supreme my oranges!
Frances and I are right in our element and we may even be humming a little as we work. Sous Chef challenge! She calls us the biatches of the kitchen and I prefer kitchen wench. It's the bewbies.

Renee also does all her own breaking down, so she has a little assembly line going in a nice rhythm. That's the thing,  yo. Working in the kitchen, handling and preparing food: it's the closest thing to dancing this middle aged mama does and I lurve it.

Two people are done: Renee, who doesn't know it but has made 1987ChokerNecklaceAmar eat his own words,  and Wesley from Atlanta, Gee-Eh, who figured that was his strong suit. I like his accent, it's thick and so is he. Heeeyyyy

Phillip the FameHewer squirts himself in the eye with orange juice and in true Bravo fashion makes it as dramatic as possible while quickly identifying it as an excuse for later,  just in case he doesn't make it or something.

Isaac clears next, fist bumps all around. Another hairy dude makes it and Marjorie from ALSO Washington and not California (Y U LY 2 MEE WIKI??)

worked for a Top Chef runner-up and is feeling alls the pressure. She's kinda chubby and kinda acts all hunchy so I hope her confidence is up to speed. That can be a killer in these competitions, right, Ashley Nell Tipton, most recent winner of Project Runway?

3 more male chefs make it through, what's going on, Frances?? I thought we had this! Oh, and she's next! ^5!

Garret thinks he's done, but one single broken yolk puts him back to try again and again.  Jason from Seattle

makes egg yolk pasta everyDAY, son, and he's clear. 1 spot left!

Grayson yanks the last spot right out from under Garret's broken yolk story and as expected, FameHewerPhillip blames his loss on the orange eye squirt. Anyone wanna place any bets on how long until "I'm not here to make friends, I'm here to win!" comes up? Giselle snorts in his face and I love her for just that.

The 9 chefs are now competing for immunity. Please tell me there are no idols buried anywhere?? They're in teams of three and have to make a dish that highlights one of the ingredients from the Mise en Place challenge. Padma thinks that's too easy, as she stands to the side with a PUH and artfully placed fan. It turns out that each team member not cooking has to use a blindfold and I sincerely hope not the same one. Eye diseases are real, Padma. Not just on Cuffs.

The cool part is that the whole team will get immunity,  so that's cool. Nobody wants to be sent home frist and that I get.  They get a minute to plan and decide on lineup and Jeremy from Miami

says Wesley is a hell of a plater. I do not believe that is a compliment. Make MY FOOD THAT I TOTALLY COOKED look pretty,  please. I could be wrong.

Frances hasn't been blindfolded since she first met her wife, clarifying that true lub still exists and that stereotypes come from real people.

We get Blue Team Renee's backstory; bright healthy blah blah gonzu blah and Isaac,  well, he's a Cajun man. Cajun Man 5000, to be exact.  Sounds futuristic AND old timey!

And I'm not sure those two styles exactly go together. Will he be throwing paprika and blackening her fresh veggies? Oh! My bad, he's on the Green team, never mind. Cajun rustic chicken will be their dish.

Jason is starting the Red Team without a plan and he seems really stressed oot aboot it, like you would. He's cooking all the different parts of the chicken and boiling eggs and me and everyone else have no idea what the hell all that is gonna make.

Grayson whoops in relief when she sees Isaac's chicken cutlets, with her Italian background,  it's a slam dunk. He meant CAJUN, Grayson!!

Jeremy is completely lost as to whatever Jason was doing. I mean, boiled eggs? Are we throwing a 1983 Key Party?  Are Pigs In An Inapropriate Blanket next? Aww Jeremy is a single dad and he seems sweet but boiling carrots in cream doesn't sound like Imma get to know him much better. He's setting the stage for Strong Plater Wesley and that is gonna be one tough anchor shift.

Wesley does not have one chance. There is chicken in the oven and carrots in cream on the stove and he is rummaging around new veggies. He does find the burnt chicken on the grill (but not the lovely seared breasts roasting in the oven) so decides to cut tiny unburned slivers off to use. Team Red is worried.

Carl from Bahstan (and Karen from Jersey)

is finishing off Team Green's Italian Cajun Cutlets, and he feels confident. I was too until I heard that thought.  That's the Death Knell!!

Amar is rocking and rolling and whatnot, he's going with a Dominican sweet and sour sauce, ehhh. He uses a tonne of yellow mustard and it does not compute.  He is making hot dogs?

Time's up! Green Team's breaded chicken breast with browned butter and asparagus is well received and Isaac jumps allllll over the credit.  Calm down, Tiger! This here's a team challenge!  You can give the judges handies in the washroom later if you need to stand out that much this soon.

Red Team's grilled chicken leg with orange, anchovy and potato looks...really small. And is heavily laden with said anchovies.

Blue Team has done sweet and sour chicken with marinated slaw *herk*. Looks pretty

And I just have to say: these dishes all look MILES beyond what I am used to seeing on Hell's Kitchen. I'm starting to understand Top Chef now.

The Red Team is clearly the losing team, too much anchovy! Blue Team wins and yay, Renee, Frances and Amar cannot be sent home first, which is very important to Frances. I'm not invested yet so no high fives.

The elimination challenge is the following day, they will be cooking for 200 food critic VIPs, which is an oxymoron, no? The other judges will be Gail Simmons from Food & Wine Magazine (the Nina Garcia!) and Emeril Lagasse (the Zac Posen?). Isaac has worked with Chef Emeril for a decade and I call shenanigans!

They get $500 and 45 minutes in Mood, I mean Whole Foods and that has to be part of it, right? Budgeting, quick planning, eyeballing fresh food.

Jeremy is doing a fish something, and Grayson is staying true to her Italian roots with pork and veal meatballs. Now. I mean they're delicious, but do they help you stand out from the pack? Did you see the plating on the last challenge?  This ain't no rodeo, sister!

Frances is making a papaya and bitter melon dish which apparently tastes poisonous? Good strategy!

Phillip likes to brag about his food blogger VIP (oxymoron? ) pals but not plan his meals. That's gonna work out GREAT! He buys a lot of crab.  Thank you Whole Foods!

Amar and Grayson are both making meatballs, so it IS a 1983 Key Party after all! Jason, get them deviled eggs over here! Get Isaac to fancy them up with some paprika!

Jeremy pretends to order around the lone sous chef, but Frances has immunity; she just laughs and laughs and laughs.

Garret is making pasta and uses all kinds of expensive words like "Cooking is a continuation of philosophy because it is a study of esthetics. Gustatory esthetics but there is nothing more connective with human existence than the cultural manifestation of cuisine." Wow. I have never met anyone too smart to cook before.  I mean, this is the guy that couldn't separate eggs.

Wesley's tomato water is drawing a few side eyes and he is SO MESSY. Again! Stereotypes come from somewhere,  peeps.

Emeril and Tom come in and Carl pees on himself. Apparently he's almost a big a fan of Emeril as Isaac, WHO WORKED WITH HIM FOR 10 YEARS.  Angelina is afraid of old pokerface Tom, but she's making croquettes and she stonefaces Tom right back.

The judges move over to Isaac and his Unpronounceable Cajun Fish Thing, Emeril and he talk about Isaac's mama and it's all very homey. I gather when Hurricane Katrina hit, Emeril himself paid to keep places like Isaac from Toups' Meatery alive with his own money.  All the high fives, E. BAM!

I cannot believe the state of Wesley's work station

For the love of god, man, you've been there for five minutes! You look like a hoarder! They laugh at him when he says he's gonna try something slightly less complex next time.

Emeril takes a minute to explain the connection he has with Isaac, full disclosure but says that he will be harder on him than everyone else. 10 minutes until end of day!

The chefs retire to the Hotel Roosevelt to pick roomies, Frances and super sassy Renee are bunkies, and guess what? Frances' s wife looks exactly like Renee! NO need to feel lonely!

Grayson and Karen are roomies; Karen's spouse LJ attended the Beardie Awards on her behalf and wah wah, Karen didn't win Chef Northeast. Honour to be nominated,  Jersey!

Finally we meet the real beardie boy Chad!

He's from San Diego and 'cited about all the food bloggers and I'm eyeing that non-fishnet covered scraggy old ginger face wombat. That beard is part of his strategy,  as are agave worms and grasshoppers.  Just a minute, must spew.  Okay back!

Garret talks some shite about Marjorie's boss while she wants some of his confidence.  I wouldn't mind some of his bigger words, but I may not be able to comprehend.  I can separate eggs.

FameHewerPhillip is smoking something with pee grass and Majorie is NOT impressed. Plating! Everyone arrives!

Isaac's Shrimp Court-Bouillion (that did NOT sound like what he was saying)

Angelina's gets poor reviews (cold gritty goat cheese, not quite crispy croquettes) but it looks nice

Garret's does better but I was too busy side eyeing the idea of a Vietnamese / Italian mashup. Tom and Padma do not love it, however, Garret being a victim of over complicated mise en place and inattention to details like burning the garlic.

And Renee's is somewhere in the middle. She calls her food and herself approachable and I had no idea that was something I could put on my resumè.

Kwame's food is weird

Amar has essentially made a sweet and sour meatball, just need some grape jelly and barbecue sauce for Reno's crowd, whut whut! People love them, though

Karen and her 8 thousand ingredient meal with raw salmon and apples? And some nuts and shite? Is loved by the judges.

Let's just say there's a pecking order in rolled meat spheres today, and Grayson's totally typical pork/veal ones are right at the bottom. Padma says it tastes like Jersey red sauce and they not impressed with Grayson's 400 balls.

Carl made spiced carrot soup reflects his part of Bahstan and I would SO EAT THAT

I don't know what Jeremy made but I ain't eating it. The judges love it. Good for them

There are tonne of industry people around, mostly buzzing about Amar's special meatballs. Now I want some!

Wesley's complicated clam and shrimp and potato salad(?) gets good reviews : would not eat. However, El Slobbo licked a spoon AND THEN PUT IT IN FOOD and me and Padma aren't having it.

Phillip spent $400 out of $500 on crab that he didn't use and it looks exactly like he sneezed on a plate. The judges love it. Gesundheit!

I love cauliflower AND almonds, but something about Giselle's dish looks...not yummy. Beautifully done, just..not for food? Good feedback means I will get to mix her up with Grayson another day.

If Heirloom chicken is anything like heirloom tomatoes: pass. Sorry Jason. I like the word Apicius, though! Tom lurves it!

Chad's dish looks so lovely, I just found myself checking for stray beard hairs. It has  deeply funky bottom and I gather that is a good thing?

Frances and her mung bean soup is enjoyed by alls the judges but not the critics. Bitter melon ftw!

Amar's meatballs are definitely the big winners among the critics, but Isaac, Carl, Jeremy and Kwame are in the top as well. In the bottom are Angelina, Renee, Grayson, Garret and Frances. I would just like to thank Garret for making that not just a bagina-laden bottom.

I guess this is judging? They stand around at a little high table in the field and there's no separate room and no lights and I'm confused. Oh! That was the preliminaries, now comes the real stuff.

Judges table! Which seems odd, because they aren't eating...anyway! Carl, Jeremy and Amar are the top three.  Jeremy BEAMS and his organizational skills are highlighted as well and he WINS! Yay!

Bottom three are Angelina, Garret and Grayson. Angelina says she went safe and Tom makes a face like she just physically caused him pain in his nether regions. Garret's inconsistent dish is called on the carpet and he admits there were two separate experiences with his dish. Grayson is cocky and angry and the judges, especially Padma, ain't having it. Grayson sneers "I'm sorry you hated my meatballs!" And they are quick to remind her that 20 OTHER people really didn't like her meatballs in its predictable Jersey red sauce.

And Garret is sent home. That was it. I say this all the time on my recipe blog: DONT BURN THE GARLIC!

Drinkie time for everyone left; the next morning they get a card to head up to the roof. The next challenge is Amazing Race style, with the chefs racing all over Los Angeles and that sounds like Phillip's to lose.

And we owt! There may be a different writer taking it over,  fingers crossed!  Other than that, you got me. IKNORITE??


  1. Holy shit lady, that was a recap for the ages. I feel bad that I said I would look at doing it, but obvs did not.

    1. No pressure lady, I know you busy, and I thought you watched already. It was SO LONG! Ain't nobody gonna read all that! It tried to kill me! I'm hoping just the premiere is that long

    2. Good intentions and whatnot.

      I will see how I am going later in the week

    3. No worries, lady, let me know whenever you want to take over and I will drop it right into your lap! If you end up not having the time or the inclination, don't feem bad that way either.

      I enjoyed the show, its' cuisine is at a much higher level than others like it, but the first few epis will be hectic because SO MANY PEOPLE. They ditched the wordy dude right away, though, so small mercies

  2. Nice Jim Rockford reference!

    Too bad Frances isn’t American Indian. Then she could be a Sioux chef

    Blindfolds and pink eye for everyone.

    Garret can’t separate eggs, but he sure do talk purty. Wonder how long he worked on that little speech?

    Frances likes to scissor a known.

    Approachable and affable look great on a resume