Thursday, March 13, 2008

Top Chef Chicago - Episode One - "Douchebag Or Lesbian?"


Hello dear Dust Bunnies! Yes, Project Runway is over and I am now recapping Top Chef Chicago for your enjoyment.

Please bear with me until I find my Top Chef groove. It’s hard to just jump right into recapping until you get to know the contestants (or “cheftestants”, as they’re called on this show). As most of you know from my Project Runway recaps, the more we got to know about those Trannies’ quirks and personalities, the more fun we were able to have ragging on them.

Let’s face it – during the first episode of Project Runway, no one knew that Sweet P was actually sweet, or Christian/Mango was so talented, or that Victorya was such an evil insufferable bitch. It takes a while to find these things out.

So it was with the goal of “… ♫ getting to know you … getting to know all about you ♫” that I watched the first episode of Top Chef last night. In order to help me place the cheftestants into easily understood categories, I played a little game that I like to call “Douchebag or Lesbian?”. This is the PERFECT game for cocktail parties, political rallies, and softball games.

Warning: if you are an actual Douchebag, or a Lesbian, you will probably be offended by this recap – stop reading now.

We get our opening shots of the city of Chicago – which looked pretty nice. I’ve never been to Chi-town, but since one of my most loyal Dust Bunnies (Marker) lives in Chicago, I will NOT make fun of it. Even if it IS tired and boring. Kidding!

We see the chefs gathering in a Pizzeria Uno, of all places. Now I get it – Chicago is the birthplace of deep dish pizza, and I guess Uno was where this whole thing began. But come on – you couldn’t have gotten a more UPSCALE pizza restaurant? That’s like doing a New York City challenge at “Nathan’s Famous” hotdog stand on Coney Island! But if I know anything about Bravo, Pizzeria Uno probably paid PLENTY to be included on the show. Cha-ching!

We start meeting our cheftestants. We are introduced to Zoi (whose parents obviously can’t spell) from San Francisco. She made spicy pig soup in her audition tape. LESBIAN!

We meet Ryan, who’s parents signed some kind of “waiver” so he could start working at the family restaurant when he was 11-years-old. First of all, I’d like to see what kind of waiver says you can break EVERY child labor law. Where was this restaurant, Ecuador?!?

Anywhoo, Ryan says he was SO fantastic in the kitchen that his father was able to fire two line cooks who were no longer necessary. So let me get this straight: they fired two illegal immigrants supporting extending families with their meager wages so a snot-nosed kid could have a summer job? DOUCHEBAG!

Next is Mark Simmons from New Zealand. His accent is so thick that I thought he said his name was “Maximus” (which is a TOTALLY cool name!) It wasn’t until I looked up at the screen that I realized his name was actually “Mark Simmons” (boring!). He has annoying hair and sideburns, and I can’t understand a friggin’ WORD he is saying, other than “mate”. DOUCHEBAG!

We meet Richard, who has a “fauxhawk” haircut and says things like “super-pumped!” and “awesome!” and practices “molecular gastronomy” by cooking with liquid nitrogen. With that being said, do I really HAVE to tell you? Yes darlings, TOTAL DOUCHEBAG!!!

Then we meet another resident of San Francisco, Jennifer, who happens to have the exact same unfortunate haircut as Douchy Richard. POWER LESBIAN!

Wait a second…she and Zoi sit down at a booth beside each other and announce that they’ve been a “couple” for 3 ½ years. Oh Good Lord… The producers are certainly making this “Douchebag or Lesbian?” game easy for me.

Next up is Erik – who is big and scary looking and resembles Satan. He is ALSO from San Francisco. I’m too frightened to call him a douchebag, so I’m going to have to go with San Francisco LESBIAN!

Andrew is dorky and every third word out of his mouth is “fuck”. He wants people to “taste his passion” (ewww!). DOUCHY MCDOUCHEBAG!!!

We also meet Nimma (where do they get these spellings?) from Atlanta. She looks like a half-awake poster-child for Prozac, and mumbles like Paula Abdul. She plans on living with her parents until she gets married, or goes off her meds – whichever comes first. She’s too sleepy to be a douchebag OR a lesbian.

Lastly (for now anyway) we meet Stephanie – who looks exactly like Rachel Ray. She also has that upbeat Rachel Ray attitude, and thinks things should be “positive and fun” in the kitchen. If she refers to Extra Virgin Olive Oil as “E.V.O.O.” or says the word “Yummo!” I am DONE.

Host Padma Lakshmi and judge Tom Colicchio come into the restaurant and welcome the 16 cheftestants to the 4th season of Top Chef. They all grab chef coats and proceed to the Top Chef Kitchen…

Robot Padma informs us that each chef was allowed to bring $200 worth of their own “secret” ingredients, which they will each keep in their very own lockers. She makes it sound like having a locker is the BEST.THING.EVER. I wonder if they get to decorate their lockers with Culture Club pictures like I did?...

It is now time for the first “QuickFire Challenge”. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the show, the QuickFire is a fast little “mini-challenge” that is done at the beginning of the show. The results usually have implications (immunity, etc.) later during the Elimination Challenge.

Today’s QuickFire challenge is for each cheftestant to create their own signature Deep Dish pizza.

Stephanie/Rachel Ray is immediately nervous, and is worried about cutting herself, which sounds like something a mental health professional needs to look into. In the immortal words of J. Harvey from A Socialite’s Life – it’s not “secret cutting” if you talk about it…

We see Dale who is a New York City chef, and total DOUCHEBAG! Valerie (which is NOT a cute name – have you EVER met a successful Valerie?) is a hometown Chicago girl, and therefore wants to do well. Lesbian??????

Manuel is the token Latino – and doesn’t seem like a douchebag OR a lesbian. But you all know how much I love the Papis! Unfortunately he’s not that cute…

Nikki is from Manhattan (Manny Hanny in the Hizzy!!!!) and doesn’t have clue #1 as to how to make a Chicago-style deep dish pizza. East Siiiide!!

Mark from New Zealand is using vegemite and I am going to die of barfness. Douchy Richard with the lesbian haircut is putting peaches and syrup on his pizza pie. Some of these pizzas are REALLY disgusting…

Lisa is from NYC and is doing an Asian BBQ duck pizza. Douchebag or Lesbian?...I’m not sure. But then she uses the word “orgasmic”…LESBIAN!

The guy who says “fuck” a lot (Andrew) can’t find a fucking pan for his fucking deep mother-fucking dish fucking pizza. So he is forced to use a mother-fucking cast-iron skillet. “Skillet” is a funny word and it makes me laugh. “Fucky McDouchebag”, on the other hand, does NOT.

Time is up, and we go to a commercial break. I think to myself how much better it would be to be recapping a bunch of fags sewing corsets…but life isn’t always fair.

Back to the show. The chefs pack up their pizzas and deliver them the “secret” judge – who happens to be Chef Rocco Dispirito. Remind me sometime to tell you the story of one of the corporate bitches who was on Rocco’s reality show (The Restaurant) and how she referred to me as “lazy” to our mutual boss when I worked with her. What a bitch! I swear, I WILL cut her before I die.

Anywhoo, Rocco and Padma chow down on pizza – and then separate the chefs into the winners and losers. Padma lets them know that these two separate groups will play a part in their first Elimination Challenge. She then informs them that the gorgeous townhouse they are in will be their living quarters for the show.

It’s now time for a Lesbian/Douchebag party! The ONE good thing about Top Chef is the fact that the producers let the chefs DRINK. And then act stupid. Which makes for excellent television.

Mumbling Nimma doesn’t want to socialize - and it’s time for her nighttime meds; so she crawls into her IKEA bunk bed and goes into a mini-coma.

The next day the chefs return to the kitchen to find out what the Elimination Challenge will be. It turns out that the winners of the pizza Quickfire Challenge will each pick someone from the losing group to compete against (“Mano y Mano” or “Lesbo y Lesbo”). The person who is picked then gets to choose which dish they will both be making – selecting from a list of “classic” dishes (Duck a l’Orange, Lasagna, etc.). The pairings are made, dishes are chosen, and everyone heads to Whole Foods to do some shopping.

New Zealand Mark has figured out that Duck a l’Orange consists of duck and oranges, so he’s obviously on his way to winning. NYC Dale really IS a douche (I called it earlier!) – he’s doing Steak Au Poivre and says “my flavors are on point”. Anybody who says “on point” is a douche…unless they are an attractive Latino man, then it’s just fine.

Satan/Erik and Lesbian Zoi are doing soufflés – and are NOT happy about it. Apparently neither of them has made a soufflé in ages because they are just too hard to make. Which is the exact same reason why I don’t go to the gym – it’s just TOO HARD so it must be avoided!

Cooking-Since-He-Was-11-Years-Old Ryan is trying to remember what’s in Chicken Piccata. He’s looking for pasta or rice. Even I know that you better locate some lemons and capers…and some CHICKEN you asshat!

Which brings me to this point: how in the HELL do you go on a cooking competition show without knowing and practicing the BASIC culinary school stuff?!? That’s like those Project Runway designers who were CLUELESS as to how to design menswear. Do some preparation – my entertainment (and sanity) depends on it!!!!

One of the most interesting pairings is Douchebag Richard (with the Lesbian haircut) going up against Fucky McDouchebag. They are making crab cakes. Richard bought mayonnaise at the store, since he knew that you usually need some mayo to make crab cakes. Fucky McDouchebag thought there would be mayo in the Top Chef kitchen (there wasn’t) and didn’t know that you could MAKE mayonnaise by blending together eggs and oil. He didn’t know that!?!? Where do they get these idiots?!? Mama Bunny used to make homemade mayo when I was little and we were poor - it was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

Richard is using his own electric smoker to smoke his very own special blend of North African spices. Lord, this is going to be a LONG season…

Nimma is going up against Antonia (lesbian??) – and they are making Shrimp Scampi. Antonia seems to know what she’s doing; Nimma keeps talking about doing some kind of cauliflower custard/flan thing. Nimma, if you could just get a moment or two of clarity you would realize that you MIGHT want to concentrate on the shrimp!

Nikki, the Italian chick from Manhattan, is channeling Carmela Soprano and is making lasagna – with HOMEMADE pasta! I keep waiting for her to wander upstairs and tell Anthony Junior that he better fill out those college applications or she’ll “cut his throat”! I think MY meds are kicking in…

The time is running out, and Padma finally yells “Utensils down, hands up!” – which is the exact same thing the Policia yelled during the raid of Ryan’s restaurant in Ecuador (after receiving complaints of child labor law violations).

Time for the judges to get all judgmental. Today’s judges are Rocco, Tom, Padma, and Chef Anthony Bourdain. Chef Bourdain is a total egotistical ass, but he also seems like a fun drunk – since he CONSTANTLY talks about getting wasted.

First to be judged are New Zealand Mark and Rachel Ray. They did Duck a l’Orange and the judges REALLY likee Stephanie/Rachel’s dish. Yummo!

The Crabby Douchebags are next with their crab cakes. Mister LesboHaircutSmokedSpices Richard wins easily. Andrew (Fucky McDouchebag) doesn’t say the f-word to the judges – which is a good sign.

The judges LOVE Carmela’s lasagna – but maybe they’re afraid of getting whacked. They also liked both Spike’s Greek version of Eggs Benedict, and Lisa’s more classic version. Anthony Bourdain talks about being hung-over, and wants a Mimosa or a Bloody Mary. Alcoholic!

Douchy Dale and Mexican Manuel did Steak Au Poivre. Tom Colicchio thinks Manuel’s Mexican version was “greasy”. I KNOW he did NOT just equate “Mexican” with being “greasy”. Who does he think he is, Geraldine Ferraro?!?

Ryan and Valerie did Chicken Piccata, and Ryan still has NO EARTHLY IDEA what the hell Chicken Piccata is. Rocco wants to know: “where is the lovely acidic butter sauce?”. Ryan tells the judges about his 11-year-old sweatshop situation – basically talking out of his butt. Clueless!

The two soufflés (Satan/Erik and Lesbian Zoi) were pretty bad. Satan’s dish looked like HELL!! (ba dum bum!). Thank you ladies and gentlemen, I'll be here all week...

Stephanie/Rachel Ray wins with her Duck a l’Orange dish. They HATE Ryan’s Chicken Picatta, Satan’s soufflé, New Zealand Mark’s duck, and Nimma’s Shrimp Scampi.

Each of the 4 losers proceed to the Judge's Table to defend their dishes. The judges think New Zealand Mark’s dish was “pretentious”, but Chef Bourdain didn’t mind because it came with booze; Satan/Erik wasn’t proud of his “glorified nachos” soufflé, which collapsed under the weight of tortilla chips (WTF?); Ryan is STILL not sure what Chicken Piccata is; and Nimma blamed plastic wrap for her salty Shrimp Scampi disaster (WTF?).

Nimma and her mood stabilizers are sent home. She mumbles something about being passionate and not stopping, and then nods off to sleep – as do I. Good night Bitches!!

39 comments:

Howard said...

A fine start to the season! Actually, more for you than for the show. I am not sure, but Fucky McDuchebag could be one of the more offensive characters on BRAVO reality TV - if I discount the Bobby Brown show - and most of the men do seem like douchebags. With the amount of testosterone flowing with the cheftestants, I am thinking huge bowls of tranny-mess ice cream are just around the corner!

The Troll said...

Excellent review. Interesting blog, in general. I'm hoping Antonia is neither a lesbian nor a douchebag. But the former is preferrable.

SailorAlphaCentauri said...

You can't just drop a story about some heifer who called you "lazy" without dishing the details! I must know more....

Anyway, I am loving this! I don't usually care about Top Chef (I kind of keep forgetting to watch it), but your recaps [and catching the tail end full of people who make me look competent in a gourmet kitchen with my barely-cooking self] are drawing me in. I'm looking forward to more.

David Dust said...

Howard - Tranny Ice Cream is JUST what Top Chef needs. I'm calling the producers now...

Troll - welcome, and thank you.

Sailor - in due time I will tell you the story of that Biatch!!! And isn't it funny that a bunch of "chefs" don't seem nearly as good at cooking as normal people? Amazing!

Cold Turkey Is Jive Turkey! said...

David,
If you're a fan of "Mean Girls" you will highly appreciate my estimation of the fact that Zoi is a grotsky beeyotch.

Jennie said...

I was so afraid I was going to have to pick up yet another TV show, but I think I'll just read your recaps. They are way more entertaining than the show!

David Dust said...

Cold Turkey - Unfortunately I'm not familiar with Mean Girls, but I'm sure Zoi is one of whatever those things are...

Jennie...thanks dear! You know, Bravo should be paying ME - instead of friggin Pizzaria Uno!

Cold Turkey Is Jive Turkey! said...

Oh you must watch the movie!!! A pre-completely insane Lohan, Tina Fey stars and directs, a burn book... come on!!!

David Dust said...

Cold Turkey - Sold! I'm renting it this weekend...

Beth said...

I have to be honest here...I've never watched this show but since I am Now Empress Bunny, I feel the need to be in on every aspect of your life...so I watched last night.

I gotta tell ya, everything you write...I think in my head!!! You just ahve the balls to say it outloud! ;) The guy who says Fuck all the time? DOUCHBAG BIG TIME!!! Oh, I don't like him already!

and the Lesbian power couple? WINNERS!!!!

I don't really have a fave yet, but I'm sure I will...although I loved Our Tranny from get go!

I love you David Dust...and I got your back, girlfriend....if someone needs cuttin, I'll do it!!!! Do NOT talk bad about my Tranny!!!! I will cut you bitch!!

Love you Baby Girl!!

Kwana said...

Ahhh. Bravo! Job well done, David. I've now had my laughter for the week. My recap is no where near as funny but check it out:http://kwanawrites.blogspot.com/

Kwana said...

Oh and the fauxhawks made me crazy!! It's becoming a real problem, eh?

David Dust said...

Kwana - since we both live in/near a REAL city, can I asked you a question? When was the last time you saw a FAUXHAWK here in NYC. It was like 3 years ago!! I guess the rest of the country didn't get the memo!

And Beth, I am glad you are clear on your "Empress" duties ... watching TV and cutting bitches!!!! XOXO

Cold Turkey Is Jive Turkey! said...

Fabulous, glad to hear it. I want to see a full entry on the blog on Monday!!

David Dust said...

Goodness - you Dust Bunnies are DEMANDING!!!! XOXOXOXO

Kathy said...

Love it! Top Chef isn't a hot tranny mess like PR, but maybe the lesbos will spice things up.

Richard, the guy with the lesbo hairdo was a challenger on Iron Chef America. Batali beat him, but I seem to remember he gave him a good challenge.

Do you have to mention Rachael Ray? I hate her.

I'm still working on my recap...but it'll be up on my foodblog soon enough (http://minxeats.blogspot.com)

Frances said...

OMG, that was the best review. I nearly wet myself. I think I'll just give up my lil lame reviews and just read yours each week. Now I gotta go find if you have old Project Runway reviews around.

David Dust said...

Dear Kathy - I am SO not a fan of Rachel Ray! I thought I was the ONLY one. I HATE it when she tells you to "just eyeball it" when measuring ingrediants. Um, Rachel? It's a COOKING SHOW... and us losers are out here trying to figure out how to make what YOU are making. It would help if your a little more specific than "just eyeball it"!

Whew! I feel better now.

And Kathy - goodness gracious, you have a blog for EVERYTHING! I'm looking for a blog for lesbian fans of Spiderman who live in Guam - what is the URL? I know:

http://minx-guamanian-lesbian-
spidermanfans.blogspot.com

Am I right?!?

XOXOXOXO
DD

David Dust said...

Frances - welcome. You are now a "Dust Bunny"!

And I don't mean to toot my own horn, but my Project Runway reviews are nothing but fierce tallness and walks for days. And I'm kind of a big deal... :)

Seriously, ask anybody...

XOXOXO

DD

Beth said...

Oh, you are SUCH big deal to me!!

Joy said...

You ARE a big deal! Definitely a huge tranny-mess fierce deal, and I loved your post about Top Chef and have something to look forward to again.

I've eaten at Pizzaria Uno in Chicago because it was the thing to do. What you said - OK? Chicago has some excellent restaurants, good theater, and Frank Lloyd Wright houses. It's worthwhile to visit - especially if you live where I do, but maybe not if you live in NYC.

Marker said...

Never been here, but you just know it's boring and tired. Ah yes, spoken like a true (transplanted) New Yorker.

Marker said...

Nikki worked for Manufacturers Hannover? Was she even born then?

Travis Yanan said...

Hilarious, David. Why was I not reading your Project Runway recaps? Why, I ask!?

your mother said...

So the recaps will get even better? I guess I'll need some paper bag to breathe in.

I haven't seen the show yet but from what you've written.. I am so "taping the rerun" ;o)

Greetz from Germany :o)

bertas said...

Hm well it seems interesting enough, much more then the squealing wannabe models :) Ok David, you have me convinced I'll give it a shot... but if it sucks I'll just read your recaps :)

And you made me damn hungry I have to say with all this talk about chicken and whatnot :P

And if any bitches need cutting, well I'm short but I pack a mean punch :)

David Dust said...

Joy/Marker: I KNEW I'd have people bitching at me about Chicago ... so sensitive! :)

Joy: I think you are a big deal as well...and pretty fierce!

Marker...lol at the Manny Hanny reference!

Travis: welcome to the Land of the Dust Bunnies!

Bertas: I'm so glad I passed the test!

Your Mother: "Mama Bunny" (my REAL Mom) is NOT happy with you. See post from earlier in the week... I however, LOVE my little German Bunny!

Joy said...

No, no, no, I wasn't bitching or being sarcastic about what you said about Chicago. I've only visited there and NYC and meant that compared to NYC, Chicago wouldn't have the appeal that it does to me since I live in a small town near Nashville, TN. See what I mean?

David Dust said...

Dearest Fierce Joy - Oh honey, I know...

I've been to Nashville! When my brother and I were little, my parents and grandparents dragged us to the World's Fair in Knoxville. But we swung by Nashville so we could go to the GRAND OLE OPRY! Oh Lord - was I ever miserable.

Although I DID get to see Minnie Pearl...who was pretty fierce (although I didn't realize it at the time).

Anonymous said...

My dear son -- that concoction of eggs and oil that I prepared was to be used as furniture polish!!! You ate that crap?

Your loving Mama Bunny

David Dust said...

Dear Mother -

I guess it was JUST the worst of times then...

XOXO

life of chike said...

David -
Seriously with another molecular gastronomist?? I feel like Bravo just has a preordained script that they must follow, 5 lesbians, check, bitchy molecular gastronomist, check, gail simmons' impression of nina garcia, check!
Also: I'm an import, so I could really give a fuck less, but give the Chi a chance, you won't hate it. I was hoping they would go to Gino's East, which to me is more neighborhood, but whatev.

c.

David Dust said...

Dearest Chike - your "checklist" made me lol. It is SO true. And don't worry, I'll try to be gentle with Chicago.

Marker said...

Just watched one of the 1000 reruns - WANT Erik (Satan). He is hot.

A few questions for the DDust online community:

1.) Why was a Cathay Pacific 747 landing at O'Hare? They don't fly here.

2.) Why would someone from Atlanta be arriving on Continental airlines? That doesn't make any sense. [No I am not a FA--not that there's anything whatsoever wrong with that.]

3.) Could Rocco be any hotter? I want to grab his curly hair and--you know.

4.) What's with the "Yes, Chef", "Thank you Chef", "Chef Tom" designation? Has the title of "chef" been elevated to the same category as "Yes, your honor" or "Yes, your excellency" or "Yes, my liege" or "Yes, Master" or "Si, Papi"?

5.) Spike Mendelsohn? Gotta love it. What did he say his real name was? Evangelicos? (I guess I could go to bravotv.com to learn more) Evangelicos Mendelsohn? Really?

David Dust said...

Dear Marker:

1)Bravo's legendary product placement

2)Bravo's legendary product placement

3)Rocco has had work done (seriously). Botox and/or a facelift.

4)As someone who has worked in restaurants since he was 17 (which was, like, 3 or 4 years ago) - I can tell you that the whole "Chef" thing is a sign of respect. And the "yes Chef" thing is part of kitchen communication. When something is "called" to you, you are supposed to acknowledge it. However, I MUCH prefer "Si Papi!".

5)Notice I did not criticize your lust for Erik/Satan?...here's why: I TOTALLY think Greek Spike is kinda hot! I bet he cleans up real nice. And I don't care WHAT his name is...

TV Fairy said...

Funny recap. Thanks for reading mine!! It's going to be an interesting season...

Meeg said...

Ha! I loved the Geraldine Ferraro slam. And am I the only one who thinks the Judge's picked Stephanie's dish because she made egg rolls? No one wanted to mention it but you know that they liked the egg rolls.

David Dust said...

Meeg...thanks for acknowleging the Geraldine Ferraro thing! You know, sometimes I write something I think is pretty good - and nobody says a word about it...

And thanks for making me hungry for eggrolls! How in the HELL am I going to get carbs out of my life?!?

David Dust said...

TV fairy - thanks and welcome!

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