Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Family Fuel

Having finished with our fruit salads, we now proceed to the Elimination Challenge of this episode. As Kelly first describes it, it sounds kinda fun, update and modernize a family meal. However real American family meals and real American families just aren't sexy enough so someone had the bright idea of feeding the cast and crew of the TV show Modern Family.

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Really? Cooking for an American family in 2010 is best expressed by cooking for a 125 member cast and crew of a TV show shot in Hollywood? I know when my mom cooked for my family, she would have the toughest time getting me to come out of my air conditioned trailer to sit with my brother, the lighting grip, while the food was still hot. Can you say out of touch? So now we've taken something potentially interesting and turned it into a catering steam tray challenge and nothing about family at all. Must be time to go shopping.

On the bright side I'm beginning to get one of those chef crushes on Jody. Not only does she help chefs shorter than herself...

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...but she also asks to taste the bacon she wants to buy!!

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Whatta woman.

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Why does this woman look so happy? Pork Belly my friends, pork belly. A giant slab of pork belly.

Back at the kitchen, we learn that Susur is still steaming from his disastrous Quickfire score. He puts a quick call into the wife to whine. Mrs. Susur will have none of it and immediately tells him to pull his head out of his ass and MOVE FORWARD!

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Gotta love when the Chef of the Millennium gets good advice from home. Of course she's got 3 teen-aged boys so that might have a little something to do with it.

Ratcheting up the Sassy Kitchen Wench quotient is Jody again. She's trying to describe her frustration of cooking for 1 1/2 hours only to stop and start again the next day. Let's just say she feels like it's Cooking Interruptus.

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You have to watch those gingers, they will surprise you.

Ladies and Gentlemen, start your STEAM-TRAYS

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There you have it. Hollywood Family food. Feh. The cast mostly liked the food. Although there is a mystery. Debbie Gold kinda got screwed by one of her co-chefs who dropped her Pork Belly on the floor the night before thereby rendering it unusable. So what ever she had planned suddenly she had to switch into Plan B. We'll just call it The Ballad of the Lost Pork Belly. On top of that we have The Spoiler. Plenty of people caught it, even I caught it standing at the watch party. They (who ever produces the previews for the next week) included this in the preview commercial.

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This preview ran before the final judging had happened on the show. So much for the drama of Judge's Table. It may seem picky to point this out but if you only knew just how tightly the reins are held on the many folks who participate in the money making bonanza that is the Top Chef franchise, you'd think something as simple as not flashing the winning chef before he's won would be a piece of cake. In the grand scheme of life it matters not a bit but it does seem very sloppy. And if I hadn't already been fired up about that, then there was this guy to work my last nerve.

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I'm all for passion and confidence. Smug superiority is not exactly something that resonates with me. Rick apparently thought he had it in the bag during his first appearance at Judges Table. Even worse was his attitude in the stew room. He begins to lecture other chefs on the whole "Master Chef" title. Then he starts demonstrating his knife skills on a radish...

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...again telling the other chefs "...you need to practice". Now I know what games the editors can play with a big pile of stew room video but it certainly seemed like Rick was setting that Top Chef Master mantle on his shoulders just a little prematurely. What Rick didn't realize is that Karma still had a hand to play and that hand was full of stars.

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Not only did he win the last spot to the Champions Round he was a half a point away from a perfect 20 score and that last half star was in the diners score. The three critics gave him a perfect score of 15 stars.

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Not exactly the scenario Chef Tramonto had envisioned.

Next up, Top Chef Masters Wedding Wars (a little Bridezilla anyone?)


intuitive eggplant said...

This is why I leave the TC recapping to you, Shamy. Better pics, better commentary, and much more detailed observations.

I was aware of the premature “preview commercial” giveaway about Susur. Heck, I’m still annoyed they posted Jonathan Waxman’s winning dish on Bravo.com before his epi even aired. There’s a purported spoiler out there about who takes it all – and I DON’T want to know. Same thing happened last season about Bayless winning. I don’t begrudge his win at all. But day-um, it takes so much fun out of the show if it keeps leading up to leaks being true.

However, say what(?) on someone dropping Debbie's pork belly and rendering it, so to speak, unusable/underdone? I totally missed that!

P.S. Mrs. Susur is my new hero. “Get your head out of your ass and move forward” – words to live by.

Big Shamu said...

Actually I didn't know what happened to her pork belly either until a friend asked her on her Facebook page why the pork loin instead of the belly we saw her buying and she said a chef dropped it and she had to buy new the next day and ended up frying it, chopping it up and mixing it in with the salad.

I'm with you, I don't want to know the winner, I'd stop watching if I knew. Spoils the fun.

Making Space said...

Oh, clarity on the pork belly now. Haha

Mrs. Susur ROCKS. I want to be her when I grow up.

Jody's cute.

That food? For a FAMILY? My children would rather starve. Color me not impressed. Where the hell is the mac and cheese? The spaghetti? The pancakes? The chili? Gimme a friggin' break.

Grumblegrumble I'm off to look at Hairy Cake Guy again to cheer up.

Captain Obvious said...

Susur and a croque em bouche? I didn't see the preview, but making one of those is no joke.

Dani said...

Dang! There's never been anything like that cooked in my kitchen.

Big Shamu said...

What? Dani do you mean to tell me you don't have a row of steam trays to serve your hungry young-uns?

Captain Obvious, Susur's croque em bouche looks more put together than what the other wedding team was doing. Should be a very interesting episode.

Aunty Belle said...

terrific commentary!

Always enjoy this....

intuitive eggplant said...

Woot, Shamy - you made Eater.com! http://eater.com/archives/2010/05/05/top-chef-the-tour.php

Big Shamu said...

BWHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAH. Damned right I'm a cranky blogger. Dude made a freaking meatball.

Making Space said...

Shamy! Happy dancin' with high notes and jazz hands over here! Excellent!!!!!!!!

Dani said...

"Shamu Cranky Pants" BAWAHAHAHHAHAHA!!!

WOOOHOOOOO!!MS is breakin'out the jazz hands. Can yah feel the love?!!!!!

moi said...

I can't dance or do jazz hands, but I can high five! So cool. Next time I see ya, don't be surprised if I say, "Howdy, Miss Cranky Pants!"