Thursday, March 20, 2008

Top Chef Chicago - Episode Two - "The New Zoo Revue"

Last night’s episode of Top Chef begins with scenes of sunny Chicago – and I start feeling bad for making fun of the shirtless beefcake shots on Project Runway. I mean really, Rami in nothing but a perfectly-draped towel sipping coffee and staring out the window was a lot better than Wrigley Field and the Sear’s Tower. Seriously.

We begin with Stephanie/Rachel Ray pretending that she gets up every morning and works out. She and Valerie are hangin’ – they worked together previously and are friends. You just KNOW that chubby Stephanie decided she was going to use the show as an opportunity to start working out – kind of like I ALWAYS say I’m going to use the hotel gym while on vacation (yeah, right!). I guarantee we won’t see Rachel Ray in the gym again.

And is it just me, or is Valerie giving off a Rachel Dratch/Debbie Downer vibe?!? I’m just waiting for the close-up of her face, and the WHA – WHA – WHAAAAA... sound effect after everything she says.

Plus – as I said last week – I’m not the biggest fan of the name Valerie. Unless it’s Valerie Harper – who is fierce. That time that she played Michael’s Italian mother on Melrose Place and threw the pasta against the wall?…perfection!

Anywhoo, in another room LesbianJennifer and LebianZoi are trading clogs…seriously. They are trying to keep a little distance between them since this is a competition and they are in a relationship – however, sharing foot fungus doesn’t seem to be a problem. I’ve got 3 words of advice for them: Tough Actin’ Tinactin!!!

The Quickfire challenge will take place at the Green City Market – a farmer’s market in Chicago. Robot Padma explains that they must create an entrée using only five ingredients total (farmer’s market and Top Chef kitchen ingredients included). The only additional “free” ingredients they may use are salt, pepper, sugar, and oil – which is my entire diet.

The cheftestants begin their mad scramble through the market – knocking down mothers, scaring children, and practically snatching Marble Rye bread out of old ladies’ hands. Kiwi Mark is harassing the vendors, and complaining they’re not moving fast enough. Douchy Dale doesn’t want any sub par ingredients, and is expecting the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for every shallot he chooses. LesboHair Richard is looking for eucalyptus (what is he, a Koala?!?) – and I’ve decided he’s basically a show-off. COOK something – don’t experiment!!

Then there is Spike. Spike has decided to chill…and is kicking back and listening to a street musician. Remember last week when Padma announced that each cheftestant was able to bring $200 worth of “secret ingredients” and keep them in their lockers? Well, let’s just say I have a PRETTY GOOD idea what kind of “herbs” Spike has stashed away. Dude!

On the way out, Kiwi Mark realizes that in his mad rush he forgot his lettuce… “Bumma!” he exclaims. Or maybe he said “butta!”, because that’s what he decides to use instead of lettuce. Substituting butter for lettuce?!? Now THAT’S my kind of substitution!

Back in the kitchen, it’s the typical culinary clusterfuck. Spike has figured out that instead of beef tenderloin, he got “dog food”. If he wouldn’t have been stoned, he would have been able to tell the difference. Drugs are BAD…mkay?!

DebbieDownerValerie is having trouble pushing her way to a burner. I don’t know why she would bother; she’ll probably just burn herself and get sent to the hospital…


Richard is “psyched” because the guest judge this week is Wylie Dufrense (which is pronounced “big nerd”). He looks like he should be working for Microsoft. Chef Wylie is a fellow “molecular gastronomist” – a term which Richard uses 3 times in 3 minutes. Richard defines molecular gastronomy as blending traditional ingredients with science…I call it “making shit up”.

“Utensils down – hands up”! Time for the Quickfire judging:

Chef Wylie Coyote no likee:

Richard’s “Chicken Soup” flavored with eucalyptus (which is only edible in ‘small doses’). “I’m shocked” Richard says. I’m not – just COOK like a normal friggin’ person, you ass!

Erik/Satan’s lamb chop. It’s described as “just a piece of meat”…which is exactly how Dust Bunny Marker describes Erik/Satan (Marker really likee!).

Spike’s “Apples and Tips”, which turned out to be “Apples and Dog Food”. Drugs are BAD…mkay?!

Chef Wylie Coyote likee:

Ryan’s steak salad (thank GOD he didn’t try Chicken Piccata salad!)

Kiwi Mark’s “Sirloin Sans Lettuce”.

Then we come to Andrew. Fucky McDouchebag used 6 ingredients (instead of 5), and is therefore disqualified. He describes himself as a “scatterbrain” and a “dumbass”. I would like to add “insufferable crackhead douchebag”…for the record. Andrew is my SourFace Victorya this season…I will not be happy until he is gone.

Kiwi Mark wins with the buttery Sirloin and now has immunity during the upcoming Elimination Challenge.

Elimination Challenge:

The cheftestants “draw knives” – all of which have various animal names on them. Manuel gets “Vulture”, Dale gets “Bear”, and Fucky McDouchebag is PRAYING he gets a “Lion”. To further illustrate his lion lust, he gives us a growl (literally) and makes a comment about “El Tigre”… which is a TIGER, not a lion (you asshat!). Then he draws a knife with a Penguin on it and says “Penguin, Yo – that’s dope!”. I HATE HIM AND HE MUST BE DESTROYED!

Padma explains that they will NOT be cooking Gorilla, etc. – but they WILL be catering a staff party at the Lincoln Park Zoo. They MUST base their dishes around the particular diet of whichever animal they have chosen, and are given a booklet describing their animal’s dietary proclivities.

Team Vulture (Kiwi Mark, Manuel, and LesbianZoi) think they might have to hit the highway for some roadkill, but are happy to find out that Vultures eat fish, rabbit, and lamb.

Team Gorilla (DebbieDownerValerie, Antonia, and StephanieRachelRay) are thinking of adding a little meat to their all vegetarian lineup – which DebbieDownerValerie thinks is a bad idea (quel surprise!)…


Antonia has her OWN doubts – about Valerie’s cooking skills – and constantly voices those concerns behind Valerie’s back.

Time for shopping at Mood…I mean, Whole Foods. Spike is “molesting the produce” (drugs are BAD…mkay?!), Richard the Lionhearted is barking orders to the butcher, and one of the lesbians trips over a Brussel sprout and falls on her ass.

CarmelaSopranoNikki is telling the other members of Team Bear (Douchy Dale and Stoned Spike) to return some of the food because they need “table decor”. Oh MADON! – she is so NYC Italian! She is doing stuffed mushrooms and some cheese/honey thing. The other two are doing venison and salmon.

Back to the kitchen – where they have 3 hours to complete their “prep” before heading to the Zoo. Team Penguin (Andrew McDouchebag and his two lesbian backup singers – Lisa and Jennifer) has decided to create a flavored “glacier” using Andrew’s “special thickening agent”. Ewww.

Over at Team Gorilla (Valerie, backstabbing Antonia, and StephanieRachelRay) they are using Rachel Ray’s mom’s banana bread recipe. “Gotta go banana!” Stephanie cheerfully exclaims. I’m sure it’s just Yummo! Valerie is having trouble making the blinis (WHA – WHA – WHAAAAAA!). They also made some soggy chips which “can’t be wrapped”. Uh oh…Glad is the primary sponsor of this show – these gals better be careful. Remember last week when Nimma blamed the plastic wrap for her failed flan?!? We all know what happened to HER!

Chef Tom Colicchio visits the kitchen to do his Tim Gunn-style mentoring. Oh, how I long for the days of the “Happy Hands at Home Granny Circle” or the “Coffee Filter/Maxi Pad”!!! What I wouldn’t give for just ONE “make it work”…

Chef Tom is talking to the lesbians about Penguins liking fish and I’m not going there. Spike wants to know how Andrew’s “icicle” is doing. Dale is hatin’ on Carmela’s mushrooms and adds some Pecorino cheese. Spike says they look like “turds”. Drugs are BAD…mkay?!

Utensils down, hands up!! This is a stickup bitches!! I just love that.

They move to the zoo, where the various teams set up their tables for the party. I just hope they’re not in the Monkey House (because ALL true Dust Bunnies know all about the Monkey House). Team Bear is having mushroom/turd issues – they aren’t hot enough, and they look like HELL. Carmela keeps trying to make them look pretty – no wonder she needed “decor”. They finally decide not to serve them.

Team Gorilla has decided to serve their soggy crab salad without soggy chips. Team Lion is serving Bison, which was my high school mascot so they BETTER lose. Don't eat the Thundering Herd!!!!

The judges are introduced: Wylie Coyote, Chef Tom, and Food & Wine Magazine’s Gail Simmons (who is showing boobies in her party dress). The judges LOVE Team Vulture’s lamb meatballs and Mama Ray’s banana bread. They REALLY love Douchy Andrew’s ceviche, and even his “glacier” (“special thickening agent” and all...ewww!). They hate Team Bear’s mushrooms (which dumbass Nikki let them taste after they had been pulled), and Stephanie’s soggy salad. But they REALLY hate Valerie’s blinis (which “sound” delicious, but aren’t…ouch!). She says “I could be screwed right now”…


The cheftestants all gather in the back room which, “coincidentally”, is filled with racks and racks of Glad wrap. Robot Padma enters and solemnly states: “We’d like to see the Vultures and Penguins”, which cracks me up.

These are the judge’s two favorite teams. And out of both of these teams, they REALLY likee the Penguins. And out of all three Penguins, they REALLY likee…ANDREW!! Penguins, yo that's dope!

Fucky McDouchebag wins the challenge and I think about canceling my Time-Warner Cable subscription.

The losing teams are the Gorillas and the Bears. Of all the dishes from both teams, they hate Carmela/Nikki’s mushroomturds, DebbieDownerValerie’s bad blinis, and Rachel Ray/Stephanie’s soggy crab salad.

Pecorino-head Dale tries to throw Carmela under the bus. If he’s not careful, he’s going to find himself at the bottom of Lake Michigan. Padma is calling CSI Chicago to try and determine “who is responsible” for the shrooms. They “looked like something a bear would produce, not eat.”, Gail says. This is serious.

Now on to the Gorillas. Stephanie’s crab salad was a “mushy mess”, but the judges seem focused on Valerie’s blah blinis. There are problems with sogginess and uncooked rutabaga. Someone must pay!!! The judges ask Antonia who SHE thinks should go home – and backstabbing Antonia doesn’t hesitate to nominate Valerie.

“Valerie – please pack your knives and go”.


Next week...lesbians cry! Till then bitches!!!!


Howard said...

Ah, once again you prove your mastery at the blogging ritual. Frankly, my dear, your recap was more interesting than the actual show. And I can't help but agree, the shots of near-naked Rami was way better than the shots of Wrigley Field.

And, like you, would pay cash to have McDouchey off my TV screen. Think Robo-Padma would help a Dust-Tranny out?

Joy said...

You did it! Not easy with that episode, but you made it so much fun!

Yes, I long for Project Runway, too - no one is like Tim Gunn.

David Dust said...

Thank you both - I have to say, it was NOT easy making this episode funny and/or entertaining. Top Chef is going to be the DEATH of me...

SailorAlphaCentauri said...

I wasn't even thinking about Andrew's special thickening ingredient like that until you said "Ewww". Now I'm having glacial nightmares about his "special ingredient".

I loved this recap; I couldn't stop laughing at the Debbie Downer references, and Richard does need to learn how to cook something without it being pseudo-scientific bullshit. Good job on making this recap far more entertaining than the episode itself.

And, to show that I am mean inside, I love it when somebody falls so that probably was my favorite moment of the show (My mamma raised a mean little girl).

bertas said...

:) I love the recap, but still I dont feel like watching they all seem so douchey? :)...
I do hope my dear for your sake it will heat up (all pun intended) as it goes along...
Right now I indulge myself with some Gordon Ramsay, he might be foul mouthed old bollocks but at least he is... fun :)

Howard said...

They don't do good by themselves by running the first season before this episode, with Cheftestant Tranny Dave getting all meltdowny and tearful and all before going to the boring crowd. I mean, can any of these cheftestants truly utter 'I'm not your bitch, bitch' and seem credible? Dave certainly did. He was fierce!

Mo said...

Thanks for visiting & commenting on my Top Chef post @ Captured By Gravity - I'm glad I wasn't the only one who thought "eew" at Andrew's special thickening agent!

Beth said...

oh how I hate to see lesbians cry...not looking forward to it ata all.

I hate "Sourface" for this year....he just gets on my last nerve. And I really don't want to know what his "secret ingrediant" is...I'm thinking it starts with ejac and ends with ulate...EEWWWW!!!

And that chick TOTALLY looks like Rachael Dratch!!! HA!!!

I love you David totally rock...but oh how I miss me some Tim Gunn!!! This show is...ok, but it aint fierce enuf for me!! Work it!!!

Love you Tranny mess!

David Dust said...

Sailor - one of my best friends growing up LOVED it when someone fell. We always tried to keep our balance around him so as not to be ridiculed.

Bertas - thank you darling. And they ARE douchey...but don't EVEN get me started on Gordon Ramsey...

Howard - Top Chef would definitely benefit from some "Dave Drama" this season.

Mo - Welcome. Andrew is just SO Ewwwwww!!!

Trannybeth - I love YOU more.

Marker said...

I wouldn't mind a little of Andrew's special thickening agent. Actually I vote for DALE as most obnoxious, with his non-stop (fake) bad-ass routine.

DDust thanks for the shout-out - I do HEART Erik. (Love the k - very hot.) To think he was here in town and I didn't know it. Sigh.

[You didn't say anything about how Chef Tom was overwhelmingly voted a Bear via text messaging during the commercial breaks.]

bertas you are right - Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares is one awesome show!

Sadly, I'm afraid I'm totally PW'd by Bravo on Weds and Thurs these days - right now I am eagerly awaiting tonight's MMaS episode. Too bad you can't review that show - I think it's bitchier than these cheftestant freaks.

David Dust said...

Marker -

NO MORE lusting after Andrew's juices...that's the kind of thing you must keep to yourself!!

I didn't include the whole Chef Tom/'BEAR' thing because I would have had to explain it to many Dust Bunnies who weren't familiar with all the various Gay Subcultures. I couldn't "make it work", so to speak. :)

Have fun with your MMaS tonight - it looks like it will be Ferosh!

Kwana said...

Oh, I loved it. Great job. They all had better watch out for the Glad Wrap Mafia!

And special thickening agent! Ewwwww.

Marker said...

Addendum: TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE photo of Erik on his bio. The photo is totally unflattering and what he's wearing is completely age-inappropriate. The whole thing screams DOUCHEBAG ALERT! Take off that fucking hat, K-Fed.

Way better and back to being adorable in the "Get To Know . . ." video.

Have I crossed over into stalker territory? Back to "work" . . .

David Dust said...

Kwana: 'Glad Wrap Mafia' ... that sounds scary! But personally the 'Reynold's Wrap Gang' worries me more...

Marker: TOTAL stalker...I'm so proud of you!

Jocelyn said...

Valerie as Debbie Downer is spot on! Thanks for your comment on my blog (

Kathy aka the Minx said...

And you mentioned RR again! Ack! That's even more disgusting than Andrew's Special sauce...I mean...thickening agent ewwww!

Mistress Maddie said...

David your crazy as hell!! I don't watch the show,but the Rachael Dratch segement in the recap is funny as hell.I loved her Debbie Downer on SNL.I think you hit the nail on the head!

Chelsey said...

David -

I know, right? How did the "glacier" take it home? Fucky McDouchebag needs to be sent packing. However, I fear the "Bravo TV execs have something to do with who stays and who goes" clause will keep him about for some time. I think New Zealand's weird ass looking sardine should have won. They all love-a-ed it. It has also been my experience that Top Chef does not truly get interesting until about 1/3 of the "Cheftestants" are gone. Please stay tuned!


Chelsey said...

oh an p.s. another molecular gastronomist as judge. common bravo.

Bayjb said...

I love the Debbie Downer/Valerie images. Wow she does really look like her.

Meeg said...

Speaking of herb. You've heard how Padma smokes pot all the time right? Seriously, check it out next time you watch the show, she is high all the time. Also, this episode I felt like maybe she shared some with Gail before the tasting because (whereas Gail is usually kind of harsh) she was all "Mmm this is so good".

David Dust said...

Jocelyn - thanks!

Kathy - Girl, I'm afraid we're BOTH going to have to deal with the Rachel Ray references. These cheftestants give me SO little to work with!

Maddie - since when were you ever sober enough on a saturday night to watch SNL????!!!!!????

Chelsey - I'm hoping things will pick up, and Fucky McDouchebag goes home!

Bayjb - thanks!!

David Dust said...

Meeg - Holy crap! That seriously makes SO MUCH SENSE. Padma is ALWAYS weeded, and Gail was high and mellow at the event! Gail seemed to love EVERYTHING!

Cliff O'Neill said...

Hey there!

Love the blog. And will forgive your dissing of my future husband Andrew.

Carry on.

Polgarra said...

I have to say, Padma has grown on me cause she is having so much fun and really loves food. I just figured she was a fun drunk. But if she was high that would make sense too.

I love that she is rocking the Scar. I read about it last season and I think that it is great that she has learned to accept it as part of who she is. And she is dressing better. Overall.... I may learn to love her.

Thanks again for blogging Top chef, I am feeling bored with nothing to read now that P-Run is off the air.

David Dust said...

Cliff - We MUST talk about your love for Fucky McDouchebag...

Polgarra - I have to totally agree with you. Padma is less and less a Robot, and seems to be relaxing ... although that COULD just be the weed. She's growing on me, kinda like Heidi does each season on ProjRun. I TOTALLY didn't like Heidi during the first season. But now the biatch is dangling sausages...and I'm biting!

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