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ToP Chef S5, Ep5 (JP Recap)


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Oh god…they made this 15 minutes longer than usual…get ready for tons of Real Desperate Housewives and Swanson commercials. (I totally want the mom in that commercial to be like, “Wanna know a secret? You were adopted and now we are going to cook you alive in this chicken broth.” I hate child actors and actresses…they make me want to puke. And don’t even get me started on the Desperate Housewives show…seriously, if they want to make this show interesting, have it be about early-20’s hotties always in their bikini, not middle aged fat women.)

Anyway, on to Top Chef. Ariane won last week and she’s still frustrating the hell out of me. When you think of Top Chef, don’t you want an aspiring Boulud, Ripert, or Keller? Not some Jersey mom? I dunno, maybe she’s a much better chef than I’m giving her credit for, but dammit, do something to wow me. (Then again, maybe the competition is just that bad this year…in fact, I’m really beginning to believe that this year just has incompetent ass-hats pretending they can cook.)

So Top Chef can still continue to surprise and intrigue me, and this week’s quickfire did it for me. Testing your palate is a great Top Chef challenge. And I like the tournament style chalkboard. (Side note, even though the BCS has looked fondly on my beloved Sooners a few times I would love a playoff in college football.) There are a lot of clips of people showcasing how much they hate Stefan, but damn, I kinda dig this cat. Jamie knows he has a crush on her, and even wonders if he knows what a lesbian is. Um…honey, he’s EUROPEAN! Straight, gay, it’s all the same with him. Hell, he’d probably bring Fabio into the mix. Anyway, back to the tasting palate challenge. Hosea wins, and with it he gets immunity. Also, there is a confessional that both Leah and Hosea have significant others, but they still flirt a lot. To this I say: I’m still not seeing this great rack on Leah.

The cheftestants are broken up into 4 groups, “old”, “new”, “borrowed”, and “blue”. They all know this has something to do with a wedding. Do women even abide by that old saying? I mean, I’m not sure if Abby really is, and I don’t see why she would either. Who would want something old or borrowed on their wedding day…and if your wedding colors are different, why would you have blue if it might clash? Weddings are dumb…

The elimination challenge is for the cheftestants to cook four dishes (one from each group) for Gail’s bridal shower. Since Gail works for Food and Wine magazine, the 40 women who are attending will be foodies of some caliber. Throughout this challenge the cheftestants talk about their significant others and their weddings. Fabio’s wife is a hottie. Of course, I wouldn’t have expected anything less. The dude has the “Joey Tribiani” smirk every time he talks and it’s a winner with the ladies. Ariane talks about her family and they show a picture of what I would classify as the typical Jersey family. Jamie talks about how she hasn’t had this experience yet. I guess that means she never will either, what with her living in California and all that Prop 8 business. The big reveal comes when Tom does his sniff and sneer and Stefan mentions how he’s been married twice, to the same woman. This is also probably a good reason Alex was let go last week. He probably would have cried like a little bitch talking about how he’s missing his wedding planning, etc. I’m starting to believe Bravo is picking people off due to agenda, instead of talent.

So team OLD does heirloom tomatoes, something I would never have guessed of doing. I guess heirloom tomatoes are old tomatoes. Great… I guess. Stefan comes off as an insufferable know-it-all, and Jeff and Hosea aren’t thrilled. Jeff does a sorbet and it does fabulously, even though Stefan thinks it looks like crap.

So team NEW does deconstructed sushi, which sounds cool until Eugene decides he can’t cook properly anymore and Daniel…well old Danny boy goes ape-shit. Like he goes completely nuts! He adds mushrooms to Carla’s salad (a big no-no in my book…don’t touch other people’s food) and he adds way too many sauces all over the plate. Craziness. When they were discussing what they were making, I knew it would either be a complete success or disaster. There was no middle ground here. Sadly, it was the latter and they were the worst dish.

Team BORROWED, borrows from Radhika’s Indian culture and they go out and celebrate thanksgiving with all the white people, who of course then proceed to rape their women and give them rats. Oh wait…it’s the other type of Indian culture they borrowed from. They make a lamb spiced with some sort of Indian marinade. It goes all dramatic with the cooking of the lamb (of course done by drama queen Ariane) but it’s cooked perfectly and tasted great. Dammit…Ariane is safe for another week.

Team BLUE, lead by Fabio and his dream of the deep ocean, go with “controversial” Chilean sea bass (also known as Patagonian Toothfish, but if it was still named that, no one would ever buy it, but change it to Chilean sea bass and everyone including Al Gore will eat it even if it’s being over fished) and some sort of yellow and green sauce. Fabio ties it all together to the 40 horny and drunk ladies in the bridal shower, but sadly the food doesn’t match up to his charm. It’s bland. Seriously, it looked boring and like crap from where I was sitting. They are up for elimination with team NEW.

Jeff and Jamie are praised for their work by the judges, but Ariane wins again. WTF??!?!?! Is this season that bad? Where is the magic in all these chefs? I think Jeff totally got robbed, and you definitely can make a case for Jamie too. Radhika, I believe, made the actual marinade for the lamb. So all Ariane had to do was put it in the oven and take it out when her thermometer said so. That’s it! All those wonderful flavors the lamb had, was not because of her! Ugh….

Anyone from team NEW could get kicked off and I wouldn’t be surprised. While team BLUE’s food definitely wasn’t exciting, at least it wasn’t a complete disaster. I take back what I said earlier…if Carla leaves, I’d be surprised. She was quiet and didn’t speak up, but she didn’t screw up on a dish she’s known for (Eugene with sushi) or go absolutely nuts like Daniel. (That’s saying something when you out crazy “Crazy-eyes” herself.) In the end it was Daniel’s turn to go. He looked like he was about to cry when they said it, but he left with some dignity. While he grew on me as a cheftestant, his chops seriously weren’t there for this competition. He’s only 25, so he’ll get a bigger palate soon enough. Martha Stewart next week…yikes…