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Live-Blogging Top Chef 5.2 Show Your Craft November 20, 2008

Posted by Amy Yen in Top Chef, TV.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

9:59 – Previously on Top Chef, we were introduced to waaay too many chefs. The gay & lesbian chefs immediately form Team Rainbow. Stefan is a Finn, yet also kind of a jerk. And two chefs who totally never deserved to be there in the first place were promptly dismissed. Working our way through the 3 second intro openings, yo.

10:00 – Man this show comes on late. I’m tired, y’all.

10:01 – Apartment open. One of the Team Rainbow members laments Patrick’s deserved elimination. Hey, if he didn’t want to get eliminated, maybe he should cook good food. Meanwhile, Team Incomprehensible Accents (Stefan & Fabio) interview incomprehensively.

10:03 – In the kitchen, Padma introduces guest judge Donatella Arpaia, of Davidburke & Donatella. The chefs are impressed as usual. Padma says the Quickfire is to make something beloved by New Yorkers & they have to cook against an expert. In comes…a hot dog stand. The hot dog expert is named Angelina. The chefs have to cook against her & Donatella will judge if anyone stands up to her. Heh, this should be interesting.

10:05 – The chefs almost universally interview panic in the face of having to actually make a hot dog, let alone one comparable to Angelina of the Awesome Dogs. Many of the chefs decide to do variations on the dog, such as Indian dogs or Asian dogs or sausage dogs. Oh dear.

10:07 – Time’s up. The first chef Donatella & Padma come upon is one of those that didn’t make their own hot dog. Nobody is pleased. A chef named Eugene, who I think I like because his 3-second opening intro is him just standing there all serious & then awesomely grinning in the last second, decided to make hot dog sushi. And then Padma almost chokes to death on a bone in one of the chef’s hot dogs. Padma & Donatella are mostly non-reactive. In the end, Jill & Stefan(!) are on the bottom, & Radhika, Fabio & Hosea are the favs. Radhika wins! She gets immunity. She’s pleased since she was on the bottom last week. My very preliminary judgment, based on his win celebration & what little I remember of her last week, is that I do not find Radhika repulsive.

10:14 – Elimination challenge time. The challenge is to open a Top Chef restaurant in Manhattan. They each have to make a New American dish for a lunch for 50 New Yorkers. After Padma & Donatella leave, all the chefs begin immediately screaming & yelling & trying to kill each other for assignments. Surprisingly, some people actually WANT to do dessert. They ARE learning! Eventually, someone named Jeff, who looks like Chase on House, calms everyone down & comes up with a system for dividing everyone up. Yeah! Go Chase!

10:17 – Product placement shopping trip. The chefs descend upon the unsuspecting existing shoppers in the store like animals coming upon their prey. It’s fairly hilarious. A chef named Jill chooses to get an ostrich egg, which looks like a giant egg, basically, because she thinks it’s pretty.

10:19 – In the kitchen, Jill of course has no idea what she’s doing with the egg. Fabio has to help her crack it. Other chefs & I think she is ridiculous. Tom C shows up for an announcement. The restaurant they are cooking in? Tom C’s restaurant, Craft! Whoa! That’s cool. Also? The people they are cooking for? Chefs who did not make this cycle of Top Chef! Touche. Tom C clearly looks apprehensive of the chefs ruining his hard earned restaurant empire, & with reason. I ate at Craft in downtown Dallas: it’s kinda awesome, y’all. Like when we ordered dessert, they came with a “pre-dessert,” the actual dessert & a “post-dessert.” We were pleased. I would not be pleased with what Ariane is describing as her dessert. She tells us she’s not a pastry chef… slow burn. And I thought they were learning! Jeez! Learn one stupid cake recipe!

10:27 – Apartment open, part 2. Some chefs are a little freaked out about the whole cooking-at-Craft thing. This challenge definitely shows the varying degrees of experience among this group.

10:28 – In the Craft kitchen, the chefs get two hours to prep. Ariane continues to be concerned about her dessert. Fabio scoffs at Jamie’s simple soup & explains to us in interview a complicated technique in an incomprehensible accent. Carla’s pie crust is looking kinda not pretty. Ariane runs around & forces everyone to taste her lemon meringue martini. The few chefs who agree to tell her their opinion say it’s too sweet, but she doesn’t feel like doing it again. Red flag!

10:31 – In the restaurant, the rejected chefs discuss how unimpressed they are with the chefs that made it. In the back, Tom C comes in & tells the chefs that he will be expediting & calling orders. He immediately starts yelling at the chefs. Outside, the judges get seated while we see diners order.

10:33 – Service begins. It’s a little chaotic because it’s really a real restaurant setting. The appetizers seem to be hit or miss. Predictably, the rejected chef diners sit around complaining about how much better they would have done. It gets old REALLY. FAST.

10:35 – One of the entrees gets called dog food & glue. Oh great. Eugene’s dish gets called out for presentation, which does look pretty bad. The Finn again does very well. Jeff is falling behind & gets yelled at a little by Tom C, but everyone likes the dish, even the whiny rejected chef diners.

10:37 – Dessert group. Radhika’s dessert gets panned, as everyone points out she has immunity. One of the dessert chefs, whose name I think may be Daniel, does a good job with a little cake & strawberries. Ariane’s lemon meringue…is the dish that we saw Padma spit out “for the first time ever” in the promos. Oh dear God, put her out of her misery. After everything goes out, Tom C tastes everything while the chefs watch tentatively. Meanwhile, you guessed it, the rejected chef diners hated every minute of it & take their remaining four seconds of screen time to complain some more to the camera. Good bye, rejected chefs! I can only assume that you were rejected for your crippling lack of personality. Or you’re just not very good chefs. You choose. Whichever it was, I don’t care about you.

10:44 – Tom C comes to the back instead of Padma this week. He expresses much disappointment over the food this week. He asks for Jamie, Hosea, Ariane, Fabio, Carla & Jill. Huh. Are these all the bad people? That’s a lot. At Judges’ Table, Padma again helps defeat the chefs’ remaining self esteem by pointing out once again how very disappointed they were in everyone. Oh, so this isn’t just the bottom group. They start with the top: Carla had good pie after all…and then Fabio goes into a long defensive rant about how he sells his dish in his restaurant VERY SUCCESSFUL HE MIGHT ADD & hey, how about YOU, JUDGES, tell ME, FABIO, why I’m here. Padma’s like, um. You’re one of the top picks, stupid. Fabio is charmingly embarrassed. The judges like the complicated technique Fabio described earlier. But they also liked Jamie’s corn soup. Touche, condescending Fabio. And that’s it for favorites…Fabio…WINS! HA! That’s hilarious. I think he should make another defensive speech, heh. In interview, he yells that he won something in subtitles. LOL. He then immediately loses points by bringing up Stefan in the War of the Incomprehensible Accents. They are now tied for elimination wins. Whatever, Fabio. I like you, but this is week 2. Let’s hold the phone on the over-celebration.

10:48 – Huh, I wonder why they changed the format. I kind of miss Padma’s fake asking the winner to do the “unpleasant” task of sending back the losers. Back out at Judges’ Table, Hosea tries to defend his dish, which was apparently supposed to be a crab salad. He thought he’s be one of the favorites. The judges all try to hide their smirks. They then turn on Ariane. Padma tells her about the thing where she spit out her dish. Remember? SPIT IT OUT! Remember, promo department?? Actually, all that happens is Padma tells this to Ariane, Ariane nods & then they move on to Jill & her stupid ostrich egg. Everyone on this show should freaking STOP with the using of ingredients they’ve never used before!

10:51 – Judging. The judges still hate everyone. Ariane is the obvious choice here, so she’s probably safe. Everyone feels Jill’s ostrich egg defense was the lamest thing ever, lame-o. Hmm. Tough call here. Except for with America, since we all know that Ariane deserves to go after two duds in a roll.

10:56 – Tom C’s self esteem destruction speech this week is about standing out, which makes me really think this is going to be Jill. Padma counts to 10…Jill, please pack your knives & go! I knew it! That is uber lame! Touche, ostrich egg. So, Ariane lives to incompetence another day.

10:57 – In the back, Jill gives a fairly sad exit speech. I give it a 7/10. Ariane weeps in the backroom about how she didn’t deserve to stay. That’s right, Ariane, you didn’t! I’m so glad you recognize it!

10:59 – Next week on Top Chef, OMG!! THE FOO FIGHTERS!!! AWESOME!!!! LOUD NOISES!!!!!!


1. ;ia - November 20, 2008

Hey, Ariane and her husband own a top rated restaurant. I think that should speak for itself. High on ther Zagats list and the NY Times. Tough luck the first few weeks for her.

2. Amy Yen - November 20, 2008

That’s interesting, I have no doubt since many of the chefs that come on this show have some level of success in their careers. I really just don’t think she’s a very good competitor. For her to have such little faith in her own dish that she had to go ask all of her competitors to taste it (when it wasn’t a team event), I think it says a lot. And then, for her to not even listen to the feedback she got… Seriously, Jill deserved to go, but to me, Ariane is clearly the weakest competitor still standing. She’s lucky to have made it to the next round.

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