Saturday, January 15, 2011

Chefs Just Wanna Have Fun

OUCH! Let's face it, nothing good ever starts out at 4:30 in the morning on Top Chef. Oh sure it's great fun to see chefs with a raging case of bed face but creating dishes before you've even had that first cup of coffee is usually a recipe for a big plate of ugly. So it's with a certain amount of trepidation that our chefs arrive at the kitchen. They are in for a surprise.

Padma's not there (she was whisked away to their eventual destination in a private helicopter) and it looks like they are going fishing.

(Just a side note to give a Good Job to the set designer who came up with the wine rack background used in this shot. Not so much the wine rack design but the way they have been using light to make it personal to whatever is in front of it, whether it's lit back light green to match a Butoni box, it's own special color for judges table or in this instance, lit to look like skin and scales of a fish. Nice job. Not sure if it was the lighting designer or the set designer but Bravo to both.)

Looks like the chefs are going to Montauk to fish for their proteins. 4:30's not looking too bad when you've got at least a two hour car ride you can sleep through out to the outermost tip of the Long Island and end up here.

No Quickfire for this episode because there's got to be enough time to actually catch fish. Fairly simple elim, five hours to catch and cook enough fish to feed 200 people for a beach party. Immediately the question pops up, what if you don't catch enough fish? These people are chefs, not fishermen. Fish, while plentiful in Montauk, may not be biting. Is there an Anthony Bourdain stunt fish component here they're not telling us? They will be split up into four teams of three, two teams to a boat. Plus the dreaded Double Elimination. Of course there's some snipping and grousing about teammates. No matter, off to the boats.

Now some chefs are reluctant to go fishing. Seems they've got Jawsaphobia, an irrational fear of a giant white shark bursting out of deep water and chomping you in half due to the heavy exposure to the movie Jaws.

Too bad, to deep water they go. First the chefs get a quick lesson at the beginning of their 5 hour tour in what to do and what not to do.

Since only two people can fish at a time, it's gives the other four chefs time to reflect....

...on just how many pole/rod jokes that can be made and how many will actually be aired. Quite a few, I gave up trying to count. It's not long before there's a fish on the line.

Dale wins the First Fish lottery. I'm really loving this episode because I think this is the first episode in the history of Top Chef where the chefs get to have fun. This kind of fishing is fun. It allows their competitive sides to battle against nature and each other in a good natured way. There's five hours of sitting on a boat, fishing, enjoying what looked like a beautiful summer's day. I don't know if they got to enjoy any adult beverages while they tootled around Montauk? I thought it was pretty much a requirement when you get on one of these boats. One boat seems to be having much more fun than the other boat. They fish....

...they squeal like 4th graders...

...and they shake their fish catching booties.

For the other boat, the first two hours drag on....

...and on resulting in... fish.

More pole jokes ensue at the expense of the fishless boat. With two hours left the other boat finally starts reeling them in.

They too begin to have fun. Fun in a different way than the other boat...

...that involves a lot more pole handling. A lot more. Who ends up putting their pole to their best use to catch the biggest fish?

That would be Dale with this sweet striper.

All in all a joyful experience of chefs just having a good time doing something I think a lot of us either enjoy doing or would love having the opportunity to do.

Especially when you end up with a lot of beautiful looking fish like this.


the dogs' mother said...

good lord, that fish was almost as big as Dale!

Big Shamu said...

I know, wasn't it funny?

MakingSpace said...

I'm glad you caught Carla's look at Tre. That was the only one of the thousands of rod jokes that made me laugh.

It was a REALLY fun episode to watch. Lots of genuine laughs.

Captain Obvious said...

Captain Obvious says:

At least Magical Elves didn't F that one up.

Captain Obvious has many friends who make their annual pilgrimage to Montauk and fish shoulder to shoulder, elbow to kidney, foot to groin-crowded shoreline to fish for the mighty Striper.

Captain Obvious is glad they didn't have to use any stunt fish and that they actually caught some fish while shooting the episode.

Magical Elves didn't F anything up on fish ID this time. Amazing.

Big Shamu said...

I know. Even better? Minimal judge shots. No Tom, no Padma. Just chefs having fun fishing.

Although I never did see a shot of the porgy.

Captain Obvious said...

Captain Obvious had to post again and is still amazed that Magical Elves didn't call the Striped Bass:

'Black Sea Bass'
'Green Sea Bass'

or something not even related to bass like maybe Rainbow Trout.

MakingSpace said...

The porgy was off at a voice lesson learning to sing "bass, you is my woman now!"


Big Shamu said...

MS.....I......salute you for not making a pole/rod joke. Didn't think I'd see a Porgy and Bess joke but there it is.

You people are too funny.

MakingSpace said...

I ain't doin' rod jokes. Hmph.

EVERYTHING has a song. Heee