Thursday, June 3, 2010

Scream Therapy

Issues. We all have our issues. Lately I've had a lot. If you thought there was an extra large set of cranky pants floating around here, wait until you see the Michael Moore size set we've got going on now. First to the most obvious "Technical Issues" Technically when your body rebels against itself so much that it hurts to do your normal everyday things, that's an issue. There's no need for gruesome details, just a need to move forward. Although, note to self, these would have helped.
Then there was this.
Last week's offing of Susan from Top Chef Masters. I won't go into massive detail but here's the gist, they had to make a dish drawing inspiration from a mythical god assigned to them. Susan chose Aphrodite, the goddess of Love. They were making tasting portions for 50 guests. Yet another catering style challenge but whatever. Susan made a dish that she loves and played on her interpretation as Aphrodite being the goddess of reproduction. Did the dish taste good? Gail Simmons liked it but that's about all the critique of how the dish tasted we got from our judges. What we got instead was suddenly an edict that a sandwich, no matter how it tasted, is not substantial enough to be considered Top Chef Master material.
I guess someone is going to have to break this news to Tom Colicchio. Susan goes home and here at the blog we're reaching Def Con Level 3 of Crankiness. I know I'm letting my emotions play way too much into this but I heard the faint echos of Top Chef judging creeping into Masters. I like TC Masters so much because it is not regular Top Chef. I grumbled to myself and set out to try and enjoy the last few episodes of the season.


Issue No. 3. The Great Top Chef Master Hoax. When this program emerged and the first season was done, I was pretty excited. I loved the show. I loved that we were getting to see adults acting like adults and really getting into the food. But let's face it, both TC Masters and Top Chef have hit a wall.That wall is the producer's belief that everything they throw up on the wall makes interesting TV or even makes culinary sense. You KNOW every Top Chef Crack Monkey out in the audience inwardly cringed (or outwardly shouted NO at the top of her lungs like I did) when Kelly told the chefs they had the night off and they would be enjoying a night of improve with the Groundlings. For those of you who are not TC Crack Monkeys, the idea is to make a dish from the words screamed out by the audience members at the Groundlings show, such as Burnt Sienna Depressed Avocado. Brilliant huh? I just don't get the logic of bringing this particular challenge back for Top Chef let alone using it for TC Masters. It sucked as a challenge then and it sucked even more as a challenge last night. My question is: Was this challenge worthy of being a Top Chef Masters Challenge? Oh. Hell. NO! So all that previous bullshit about Susan's sandwich not being good enough to represent a true Top Chef Master looks even stupider when they trot this thick gristly ham bone of a challenge for the last four chefs of the season!! I mean, Jonathan missed out on the finals because he had to make a dish that 1) tasted good, 2) incorporated or was inspired by the words Burnt Sienna Depressed Avocado and 3) make a dish worthy enough to be considered Top Chef Masters material. What asshatery. I want to see challenges that incorporate some of the things that actually happen in a real kitchen, like equipment failure in the middle of a dinner rush, finding out your supplier sent you the wrong fish and the cook who checked in the order from the supplier didn't catch it and now you have to totally improvise a new dish with that fish, or how about cooking in a power outage? I know plenty of restaurants who find ways to cook and serve during storms and weather events no matter what. But please, start smoking a better brand of crack than the one you're on now that lead you to believe the Improv Challenge was funny. It was not. Unless of course you find food shaped like a vagina endlessly funny because if that's what being a Top Chef Master means, somebody better get Michael Midley sobered up and ready in time for Top Chef Masters Season 3 because he will smoke anyone you put up against him.
If it was the producers intention to fool well known, established chefs into thinking that they would not have to dance the dance of Top Chef's stupidity, bravo, mission accomplished. It's only a matter of time before we see Top Chef Masters waking up in some horrendous bunk beds and when it happens it will be a sad day indeed.


Making Space said...

Welcome back, crankypants! Didn't know orcas wore pants but welcome back anyway.

Ah Susan, Susan...

Well sounds like the show sucked but your description of it made me laugh so welcome baaaaack!!!!

Sharon Rudd said...

So glad to have you back, Shamy - at full, cranky-pants blogging strength indeed! I missed most of last night's episode (hmm, sometimes a phone call from a friend trumps TV even for this TC crack monkey), so must catch it in its entirety. So sorry to see Susan go, and I'd love to eat Obi-Wan Waxman's food anytime.

Dani said...

Woohooo! We've missed our girl!

Syd said...

I turned off the TV when they busted out those ridiculous improvised words.

I did see some screencaps of the food and it looks like Sosur had dogshit on his plate.

Big Shamu said...

I'm sure it was Masterful Dog Shit Syd.

Buzz Kill said...

I actually saw most of this episode and you're right. This was more luck of the draw than chefly (is that even a word?) skills. All the dishes looked like hot messes so I'll have to take it on faith that the judges tasting was on. Something was different about Gail in this episode and I couldn't quite put my finger on it.

Anyway, I liked the quickfire challenge more. And I like the picture of the Midge with his cancker sore. Did you see they have have the Season 7 cheftestant bios over at BravoTV?

Aunty Belle said...

Mercy, Chile, I'se been in own fog so long I din't know ya wuz havin' tech issues. SORRY!

As fer TC /TCM, uh....why does it escape these producer- goons that a reaal audience of reaaal people who like to cook will be sufficient. Ain't no need fer such novelties as ya list above--jes' honest skills applied to reaaal life food events--I mean, WHO would even want to eat food that wuz an compilation of idiotic improve set-ups?


Shamy, go to someplace SUNNY--cures tech issues (at least fer awhile.

LaDivaCucina said...

Yay! Sham's back! Sorry you were out and feeling cranky. You weren't the only one.

I agree with every last word. YES, let's see how they deal with kitchen disasters. And that whole vagina thang reminded me of an episode of Beevis and Butthead...."hehehehe, he said "vagina" on tv....heheheh...." LAME asshattery indeed.

I loved Susan's energy and was very surprised that she got booted over Ethiopian boy. Boo.

Anonymous said...