Here's so ALLEGED antics I'd like to relay to you, my audience. It appears that I need to amend my nickname for Padma from Salman Rushdie's Trophy Wife to Salman Rushie's Trophy Ex-Wife. OOOOOORRRRR Tom Colicchio's Hot Tamale. So for the rest of this episode I am so looking for alleged romantic glances between SRTEx-W nd Chef Tom. It could explain how Tom' shirt keeps getting unbuttoned lower and lower.
Anyway, open with Casey talking about that she's in it to win it. And Howie who likes being the underdog. At the kitchen, Dale is happy because the kitchen is filled with cocktails and his last job was mixology and food pairing. This makes Casey nervous. With all this screen time she's destined to win or crash and burn. The quickfire is to pair an appetizer with a Bombay sapphire gin cocktail. Bombay Sapphire mixologist, Jaime Walker, is on hand for the judging. He talks about hte pair is about balance and a marrying of flavors. And he also says that these days top restaurants don't jsut have sommeiliers but also master mixologists. Which I say bring that on because I love me some cocktails (no really I do).
The contesants draw knives to see what cocktails they will be pairing with their appetizers. All of thise cocktails taste great. On a related note, this January I discovered the joys of a good gin and tonic. I always thought gin tasted like lighter fluid but I had a sip of a friend's gin and tonic and I LOVED it. The chefs love the cocktails and are drinking them under the pretense of making sure they taste them thoroughly. Joey especially likes his. Casey is befuddled with her strawberry balsamic ricky and has no idea what defines a ricky. I think it's lime juice as a gin ricky (also very good) is a essentially a mojito with gin instead of rum. I christen Casey's cocktail a gin lucy for the addition of the red strawberry. Casey says she'll make French toast as her appetizer. Hung, on the other hand thinks hard alcohol is unrefined and doesn't go with his food. Bite me Hung, I spent an entire Italian meal sipping on limoncello. F4 with product placed stoves.
Ther's much tasting by Jaime and like those sitcoms in the 60's where people have double martinis at lunch, I wonder how Jaime is able to stand up with all the sipping he's doing. At the end, Joey's scallops and risotto and Hung's salmon and cream. Hung is all snotty aobut the criticism in his voice-over. Jaime's top three are Dale's foie gras, Casey's French toast, and Tre's halibut. Surprisingly, Casey's french toast is the winner. Ok fine, but can there be a Top Chef season where we go one episode without scallops, foie gras, Colorado lamb or lobster?
For the elimination challenge, they divide themselves into teams of three to make a tasting menu. Each team makes a trio of dishes using the same ingredient. Lia is anxious about the first team challenge of the season. They will have to make their dishes for some guy named Barton G and his Chaine De Rotisseurs. Pluh-EASE! Hey Scott, can we make up some secret society called the Decolletage De Saute? SRTEx-W emphasizes that the Chaine has VERY REFINED PALATES!
The chefs initially draw for teams. Dale is unhappy about being with Howie and Casey who has immunity. Hung is unhappy with being the last course. Dale switches team to create Team Pineapple with Sarah M and Camille. Casey is in a team withmortal enemies Howie and Joey which will be subsequently named Team Tuna. Hung is match with Lia and Brian who want Scallops but will be Team Shrimp. Finally, the remainders are Team Beef. Already, Howie is completely not seeing any value with working as a team. I think this would spell his doom in the later rounds as the chef's ability or lack thereof to get along with other chefs has been a key factor in being Top Chef. It's kind of like Survivor in that sense.
At the Top Chef hotel, Casey is trying to put her ideas out there but Howie is wanting to shut her down because she has immunity. Howie and Joey are really awful as they then ding her for NOT participating. You can't have it both ways.
The next day, the chef's go shopping with only $150 per course. Seriously Bravo, that is totally absurd. Team Shrimp notice that the scallops are totally frozen and decide to go with shrimp. Then Team Tuna sees that duck is really expensive and goes with tuna. Dale talks a lot about pineapple being his idea.
At Barton G's, Team Shrimp is the first course and seem to have their ideas well thought through. Team Tuna is completely disconnected to each other. Casey is concerned about the lack of soy for her tartare. She's trying to deal but Howie and Joey are really nasty. Team Beef seems to be thoughtful as well.
Chef Tom comes for his sniff and sneer (TM Televisionwithoutpity). He asks Team Dessert on their pastry experience. Joey is really defensive about Tom criticism of Team Tuna. He acts as if Tom is singling him out but Tom criticizes EVERYONE. Get over it. Wow Joey is being a baby. In confessional, Casey thinks Joey's histrionics are a waste of time. WORD. And in the second year in a row, the gelatin dessert falls apart. As Keckler from Televisionwithoutpity points out, the enzymes of the pineapple would prevent the gelatin from setting.
Wow, this group of foodies is so pretentious they have sashes with medals and chains. Can I get a medal for EATING? Actually, I would settle for a tasteful emerald bumblebee pin. Another thing is that it looks like a sash is the ONLY thing of skanky looking woman is wearing. Let's just say we know exactly how much she spends on her implants. Sadly, none of the editing shows any longing, lustful looks between SRTEx-W and Chef Tom. Maybe they're playing footsie underneath the table.
Team Shrimp is first up - Brian does a shrimp ceiviche with citrus and caviar. Lai does an olive oil poached shrimp with cucmber and poblano lime. Hung does sauteed shrimp with corn pudding and a corn/shrimp foam. The judges like all the dishes. They think Brians is a bit salty and don't like hung's foam.
Team Tuna is next - Howie is STILL bitching. But Caset seems literally out to lunch when it comes to serving. Casey does a really boring tuna tartare. Howie does a tuna with blood orange marmalade. Finally Joey does a confit tuna with cherry tomatoes and bacon. They don't like the marmalade and Casey's tartare.
Team Beef - They seem get along and come up with a beautiful presentation. CJ does a filey carpaccio with a sherry sauce with a cigar tuille. Sarah N. does a butter braised beef with asparagus and carrots. Tre finish their dish up with a beef on top of a risotto cake. They like both boy's dishes but someone compare's Sarah's to something you get at Denny's. And that would be a compliment for me because I loves me some Denny's grand slam breakfast.
Team Dessert - Looks like ass. Sarah does a pineapple semifreddo. Dale does a pineapple tart. Camille does a pineapple upside down cake. The diners hate it. Chef Tom just can't eat all of it because it's so dreadful. Dale gives himself a backslap for taking a risk.
At judging, they bitch about the pineapple course. Everyone does like the shrimp course with the exception of the foam. Everyone does like Brians dish. Ted is happy with the shrimp course calling it poetic. SFTEx-W calls Team Shrimp in trying to fake them out but at this point everyone knows the first called up are the winners. Many compliments on the dishes. Hung calls it "corns." Lia is pronounced the winner. She's dead in the next episode given the track record of this show. Her "prize" is to slave over a hot stove for some pretentious friends of Barton G.
Team Tuna and Team Dessert are called up. Team Dessert is criticized for even thinking of dessert, along with the fact the dessrt tasted bad. The chefs defend their risk taking. Particularly Ted, snarks on the Camille's pineapple upside down cake. Team Tuna is reamed for the lack of cohesion. Casey is targeted for her tartare but the judges wonder why the other two didn't even taste each others' dishes. Casey cops to letting her team down and snuggles under the judges "guilt blanket."
WHile the judges are deliberating Casey shows some class and apologizes to her team. Yeah, yeah, yeah the judges bitch about Team Tuna but seriously, the edit is so fricking obvious, it's clear one of the Team Pineapple ladies will be getting the boot. In the end, Camille gets kicked out. Thanks Bravo for spending so much time on her that we care she gets eliminated.
This is the achilles heel of competitive reality shows on Bravo. The judging is totally inconsistent. Dale, as the ringleader should have been flat on his ass out as the ringleader, but he's are of the white guy trio of inevitability. Dale, Brian and CJ may get some lumps but they always seem to rise to the top in the next episode. Nevertheless everyone is sad about Camille leaving.