Aug 23, 2007

Top Chef 3: RVA Foodie's Recap of Last Night's Episode

Dear Readers: RVA Foodie is the coworker with whom I discuss all things foodie! He has graciously agreed to write a guest blog about last night's Restaurant Part II Epidsode. Here goes.

Bad News Bears rise to the challenge while the all-star team suffered from over-confidence. Could this be a theme for this season? Personally, I have to wonder about matching relatively raw salmon with pesto. I mean, I could eat pounds of those things separately, but together in my mouth... no. Like those two ingredients, the talented members of the Restaurant April just didn't compliment each other, and their leader underwhelmed while serving up two flops. Sorry Tre. Playing it smart and conservative can sometimes leave you in the dust if imagination is what is called for. A little more creativity and I saw you in the finals. Now, how about that cameo.

Part of me really wanted to eavesdrop on Stephen's didactic and verbose tableside seminars, but he's not part of the competition this time around, so it's probably appropriate that they edited him down. Nonetheless, he nearly stole the show, certainly whetting our appetites for that certain something that we're not quite seeing in this season's line-up of chefs.Okay, the quick fire challenge. It was really painful watching Casey muddling through those onions. Foreshadowing for sure. She'll get the ax soon, unless the producers want to preserve some element of gender equity. Anyhow, she used the a chopping method that I've seen on countless cooking shows (leaving the end of the onion intact), but she never got a rhythm going. In fact, she never looked confident or competent with the knife. Really weird.

Meanwhile Sara, Howie, and Hung stepped up and knocked out their prep tasks. But I don't remember Dale's role. I just keep seeing him dressed like he's shopping at Target when in fact he's competing in a fine dining contest that is broadcast on national television. Yeesh, he musta shaved a little too close to the scalp this week.
1:31 AM

RVA Foodie said...
One last thing... Ms. Place asked me and one other coworker to drop in and guest-blog. So, I'd like to mention one or two more items.Tom dropped a bomb on the chefs when he announced that he'd be looking over their shoulder during the whole service. I thought that was great. Tom's reserved inspection is one of the weekly highlights that I enjoy most. This time, he was all up in their... business. Too bad the producers didn't highlight his behind the scenes observations during the judging. He looked so serious throughout, he shoulda schooled them about XYandZ.

Hats off to Sara for exhibiting commanding leadership when the chips were down. That's what it's all about in the kitchen (according to the Bourdain books, anyhow). It just goes to show that you can do better with a well led group of second choice scrubs than a bunch of prima-donnas running in different directions.

Okay, I forgot to mention the Dale diss on Stephen during service. He asked him not to over-talk the guests and basically keep it pithy. That was a long overdue critique that probably spoke for scores of viewers who reluctantly love Stephen's refinement. Of course, Dale could learn a few wardrobe tricks from his fellow redhead.
1:47 AM


becca said...

I've thought all along that Sara had some potential. She's from Jamaica. Anyone who has gone there knows people there are generally easy going and laid back.

Anthony Bourdain is right. Madonna's brother is an asshat.

Anonymous said...

Nooo! I was rooting for Tre. Doesn't past performance count?

frogboots said...

all I want to know, still, is when will howie leave?? he hasn't done much but beef around and sweat into food lately....

and casey! my god! i handle a knife almost as "well" as she did during the onions, and I'm a miserable cook.

WHY she let herself be set up like that is a mystery.

madonna's brother is totally an asshat; anthony bourdain is totally a hero.

i was sorry to see Tre go....he seemed like he could make it to the end.

great guest blogging!!!!!

RVA Foodie said...

Thanks for all the comments to round out the guest blogging. Watching a rerun of last night's episode, I'm reminded that Tre has a tattoo that says something about "passion" and he's referred to his passionate approach to life's challenges. And yet, he chose his dessert because "I can do bread pudding in my sleep." He figured he'd finish with something easy rather than something impressive. So, what happens? Does "easy" become amazing with tableside sauce-pouring? Not a chance. It goes the only way possible according to Murphy's Law: He screws up "easy." Fitting... and if you're a Tre fan, tragic.

Twists like this made the most recent episodes one of the better ones in my opinion. There were cameos, including Madonna's pretentious brother, that funny and pretentious wine guy from season one, several eliminated cast-members, and Tom breathing down their necks in the kitchen.

Add to the mix, the imposition of iron-fisted matriarchal hierarchy and some of the prettiest dishes we've seen thus far and the season seems to be headed for a strong finish.

Anonymous said...

Kudos, rva foodie, for your insightful recap in Ms. Place's absence. (Ms. Place, have the nuns tossed you out yet?) Sara has emerged as a force to reckon with. I had suspected that her easy-going ways belied some true vim and talent. However, I was so disappointed to see Tre go. I guess cookin' up a steady stream of crap for two shows will get you the boot. The turnabout does make for some good TV and water cooler conversation with my talented colleagues though. Seeing Christopher Ciccone return made me wretch. I would have brought that a-hole a banana after his previous comment, "If that's a vegetable medley, I'm a monkey," but the chefs exercised better judgment and were grateful for his advice. Everyone seems so reserved this season. I want to see someone get really mad and throw some dishes or something. At least season two had a forceful near head-shaving. Hung and Howie are powder kegs waiting to blow, so maybe there's hope yet. We'll see.

ArtfulSub said...

I'm considering looking up "didactic".

Anonymous said...

Why is this Top Chef boring me? I loved the past seasons and continue to watch this one, but disappointed?

I think its kind of funny that Tre has a passion tattoo. He not only lacked passion, but personality, in my opinion, he was quite boring... At least Howie is someone entertaining (an annoying, I know). But maybe all that sweat really adds flavor to the food he prepares... you think?

Ms. Place said...

Thank you for a great recap, RVA foodie, and for taking the time to create this post. You attracted a huge amount of visits to this humble blog. No, anon, the nuns didn't kick me out! In fact, they had a supply of wine glasses and a wine opener in their kitchen. What a hoot.

Yeah, frogboots, I was sorry to see Tre go on the one hand, on the other hand BEC was right, Tre lost steam. He never had that twinkle in his eye that made you root for him. I'm enjoying HUNG, actually. The guy can cook and he has all sorts of personality quirks that make for great t.v. After this week's performance, how can we root for Casey, she-who-needs-to-learn-basic-skills? And as Rocco said, C.J. was cowardly in abrogated his leadership role.

Howie? Y'all know what I think of him. So this leaves very few chefs left that I can root for. Hung and Sara and C.J. That's about it. And I'm not jumping up and down with delight for any of them.

For my thoughts about this hiatus, go to Bravissimo. I'm pissed, that's for sure.

BigAssBelle said...

It was really painful watching Casey muddling through those onions. . . . good grief, i wanted to whack her with a knife and take over. it was PAINFUL, excruciating. ouch.

poor tre. i loved tre. :(

i much enjoyed sara ordering howie around the kitchen. delicious.

and let me just say this to confirm my provincialism: raw salmon? eeeeeeewwwwwww.

Marius said...

Great recap, RVA foodie.