Jun 17, 2007

Top Chef 3: Miami Protein Vice

Was Top Chef 3 worth the wait and anticipation? You betcha! Bravo wasted no time introducing us to the cheftestants as they came off the plane and entered the land of art deco buildings and water and sunshine, and treating us to revealing bikini shots in the opening credits.

Before we could ooh and ah for too long, our new crew was whisked away to Gianni Versace's former McMansion, where they were introduced to each other. "I'm glad I had Tabatha Coffey do my hair," thought Sandee, "'cause compared to these other Bitches, I look hot!"

Spread before them was a bountiful feast. One hour into their banquet, Tom and Padma arrived and challenged the cheftestants to create an Amuse Bouche with the food they were eating, one that would reflect their personalities. "Quelle horreur!" thought some, "We've been double dipping. Wonder if anyone noticed?"

"Amuse who?" Clay wondered as the camera crew began to lovingly follow him around.

The chefs raced around creating their tiny Amuse Bouches with tiny plastic knives. Mica won with her Tuscan Sushi, and it looked like the women were off to a fabulous start.

Our cheftestants were then carried to their penthouse digs at the Fountainbleau with its fabulous views of the ocean. The following day they were introduced to their new kitchen. But their eagerness turned to astonishment when they saw the tables of protein spread before them. The exotic food seemed inspired by Chaucer. The only items that were missing were neet's tongue, drakes feet, flesshly foweles, the gleyre of an ey, a hynde joint, pigges heed, quayles, sqwirelles, swans, and a haunch of venysoun.

Tre smirked as he viewed the boar, monkfish, eel, rattlesnake and ostrich meat. "Cooking bat's knees would have been hard," he thought confidently, "but this shit is easy."

The cheftestants picked out a knife with a number, and were asked to choose their proteins in number order.

Hung, wearing a button that said Certified Professional Asshole, laughed inwardly with glee. "Ha! I don't care what protein I get. I'm a CPA and I know what I'm doing. I don't give a f-ck about anything but winning."

Hearing they would have two hours to prepare their meals, Howie was ecstatic. He knew he would have more than enough time to prepare his frogs legs and sea urchins. "Lemme see," he thought, "Maybe I'll go surfing and then get a massage before I start cookin'."

Meanwhile, Clay was having a melt down. "Do people really eat this stuff?" he worried, as the camera lovingly lingered on each and every one of his boyish features. "What the hell is monk fish liver? I could have performed miracles with possum and catfish, or even some 'gator. Too bad that was gone by the time I got to choose."

The women huddled round in a group. "Look," said Sara, "All we need to do is survive. Those men lack the balls we have."

"I know that the tall dude isn't competing with a full set," said other Sarah.

"Are we cooking genitals?" asked another female chef perplexed.

The chefs then began to rush around making their surf and turf dishes with eel, abalone, spider crab, and snips and snails and puppy dog tails. Just before the two hours were up, Howie rushed in. "Dayum!" he thought, as he threw his sea urchin/frog lollipop meal together, "I might have cut it too close." When the time was up, he was left holding his froggies unplated.

The scene switched to the judges table, where Tom, looking at the assortment of newt's eyes and black chicken claws, said politely to Gail. "You taste first."

"No, you first," Gail said sweetly to Anthony Bourdain, guest judge.

"No, ladies first," Anthony told Padma.

"Oh, please, you first, Anthony, you are the guest judge."

"Who should be first?" the judges appealed to the camera crew.But the crew was paying no attention to the judges, as they were still lovingly aiming their cameras at Clay.

"Tell you what," Tom said. "Let's all dig in at the same time. Anyone know where we put the Maalox?"

The judges choose Tre and Hung as their top two choices. "So, what did you think of each other's dishes? Did you taste them?"

"Yes, " said Tre. "I loved Hung's dish. It was well hung. I mean done." "Loved yours too," Hung said sweetly. "Loved yours more," said Tre. "Loved yours better, A-Hole," Hung retorted.

Tom held up his hand. "Stop this love fest already. Hung, you're too beige, I mean your food is too beige. Tre, you managed to make ostrich look like flank steak and taste like pepperoni pizza. That was amazing. You win. Plus you get a shitload of Anthony's books and an opportunity to treat him to dinner the next time you're both in Paraguay."

Four guys are trotted out next. The women, realizing they were safe, raced for the hot tub. "Last one in has to clean the kitchen!"

Standing in front of the judges were Howie, Brian, Dale, and Clay.

Anthony Bourdain raised an eyebrow. "Howie, what is your major malfunction? What kind of chef goes surfing instead of completing his meal? "

"The kind of chef, Anthony, or can I call you Tony, that sasses back and can quote your book verbatim. The kind who, with one hand tied behind his back, can finish half a meal in half the time. The kind that ... "

"You've got balls, you sonofabitch, and I admire that. However, I want my food now, I want it hot, and I want it when I want it. I want it fast and I want it right. I want it high and I want it low. I want what I want when I think I might want it. However, I like your chutzpah, so you can stay."

"Brian, Dale, your food sucked," Anthony continued, "but the camera crew chose to focus their attentions on Clay, so the viewers think they know him already. He's gotta go. Bye, Clay."

"But I represent the South! And I finished my dish! You should be kicking Howie out! Waahh!"

"You came to kick ass, Clay," Bourdain agreed, "But I like Howie a lot more, so we're kicking out your ass instead."


Marius said...

I know that the tall dude isn't competing with a full set

LOL, I love this post! I should have read it before working on mine. Bravo knows exactly how to pull at my heart strings. Yep, just have the cameras follow the sweet Southern guy around and then send him packing. Sad!

I've recovered, and I'm ready for another episode. :)

ArtfulSub said...

LOL. Hilarious post with astute observations.


BigAssBelle said...

fabulous, darling. love it. poor little clay. i've not yet recovered from the fact of the poor child being eliminated with such speed.

that guest judge gave me the willies. i am not certain i am comfortable with folks who have no boundaries in even the area of food. i fear that it leads to a boundary-less life in other areas as well. what i'm actually thinking, and am just going to say, despite the fact that it's crazy, is that i think he's a serial killler. :-)

Calady said...

"I know that the tall dude isn't competing with a full set," said other Sarah"

Oh this is going to be a fun season. Great job my lady.

RVA Foodie said...

Interesting that Bourdain has been turned into an authority on extreme cuisine and misadventures with meat. I liked his previous persona as a man on a mission to deliver a kick in the ass to the restaurant industry. I guess they gotta play up his current show, "No Reservations" (which I love).

The real way for a Top Chef to win his/her way into Anthony's heart is with fundamentals, hence, Tre's victoriously straight-forward meat and starch. Oh, but that guy who left out the frog legs should have been corrected when he said "Ecuador- ee -an." It's Ecuadoran! The quick quote still scored points with me, of course. But, if Latinos are really the backbone of professional kitchens (undoubtedly a true statement) when is Top Chef going to attempt to be representative of the industry and give them a chance to compete?

eric3000 said...

Funny post, Ms. Place!

What I didn't bring up in my recap is how strange it was that the six chefs in the top and bottom were all the guys! How did that happen?

rva foodie,
there may be more than one pronunciation but, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, he pronounced Ecuadorian correctly. It sounded wrong to me, too, so I went to look it up right after the episode.

eric3000 said...


rva foodie,
maybe you're from Ecuador and know the real pronunciation; I'm just pointing out that the way he said it is apparently an accepted variant.

Oh, no; not another lychie/leechie incident!

Ms. Place said...

Thanks for the compliments, y'all. I'm going to ask a friend about that pronunciation, rvafoodie and Eric3K. I'm willing to bet she knows; so I'll keep you posted.

RVA Foodie said...

Shoot. I'm not hispanic, just going on a hunch based on Marcel's persistent offense with "gelee."

RVA Foodie said...


Looks like both are acceptable.