Thursday, June 12, 2008
Designstar starts from scratch,hot chicks invade Hell's Kitchen and the winner of Top Chef is...
The second half of the Top Chef finale began with a choice of three established chefs for the Final Three to select as their sous chefs for the last challenge. There was one last knife pull to decide who would go first(since Richard and Stephanie were tied in the number of Elimination challenge wins)which Stephanie won and was able to get Eric Ripert.
Richard chose Dan Hill and Lisa wound up with April Bloomfield(the two of them seemed to actually get along there). The challenge was to make a four course meal in tasting menu style and servings,with dessert being mandatory. Richard went for a blend of the old and the new but his food planning wasn't focused enough and it showed,especially in his pork belly with pickled radish. Most of the folks who ate that dish(included at the tasting were the three celeb sous chefs,who called in "sick" for the rest of the cooking time)said that the meat needed to be crispier and more seasoned.
Richard's banana scallops appeared again for a third time(with bacon ice cream)and did well for dessert but his performance over all was found wanting. At the Judge's Table,he admitted that he choked on this meal and could've done better. That's a hard thing for someone to own up to,and while I feel bad for him,I also salute Richard for his flat out honesty.
Lisa went with Asian food,scoring well with her Tom Ka soup and dumplings. I thought her Thai rice pudding might crash and burn,given her past experience with burnt rice but it turned out to be a real crowd pleaser.
Stephanie was the one who delivered the knockout punch in the third course with her roasted lamb with mushrooms, braised pistachos and blackberries. That dish created a lot of love at the table,with Ted Allen marveling at just how great that such an odd combo of flavors tasted so amazing together. Her earlier course were well received(there was some grousing about the leeks in the red snapper dish)and even tho her ricotta pound cake wasn't too exciting,it became clear who the real winner should be.
So,congratulations to Stephanie,our first female TC winner! She's right up there with Harold as one of the most deserving people to take the top prize on this show.
Next week is the big Season 4 reunion show and then we'll be done with Top Chef for now. I was wondering when we were going to get a reunion episode or not(something Bravo slips in between the finale shows,to stretch things out). From the clips that I saw last night,Lisa's going to be doing a lot of complaining about how she was perceived by the fans. Sounds like they need to hand out some crying towels for this pity party!
Christina had a really good week in Hell's Kitchen;she won the cooking school challenge over Corey(note to Christina,Corey is not your friend. She may buddy up with you at times but trust me,Corey would gladly push you off a cliff if given the chance)and got a nice reward. She and Ramsey had lunch with a couple of local well renowned chefs,who also gave Christina a demonstration of their techniques.
It helped that Christina wasn't distracted by the Beverly Hills babes who were the students(unlike Petrozza who pretty much drooled over his and Jen,who marveled at the size of the chestage on hers). Jen was so jealous of Christina's win that she kept trying to listen on the cooking lesson when she was supposed to be cleaning the kitchen on punishment duty with the rest. She even tasted the leftover food on the plates,hoping for some advantage-talk about desperation,sheesh!:
Christina did pretty well at dinner service,despite a slow start. Bobby and Jen seemed to be taking turns at screwing up their stations,with him burning the beef and her either overcooking the chicken or undercooking the fish. Jen had a major run in with Ramsey when Petrozza brought up a dish of hers too soon(not on purpose,in my opinion). Jean-Philippe was freaked out with all of the food disasters but he cheered up when the twelve top of Hawaiian Topic models showed up:
In the end,it was General Bobby who was given his marching orders. Jen came close to being dismissed,but Bobby's butt kissing routine made Ramsey sick to his stomach. If I have to hope for someone to win this mess,it would either be Christina or Petrozza at this point. Jen talks the talk but her food doesn't follow thru and Corey is just a devious bitch. Again,love the farewell montage:
The cast of season three's Design Star got a a hell of a surprise,as their first challenge is to literally build their own home! They were given plenty of materials to use,along with cots and sleeping bags and a budget of a hundred grand.
They were also given seven days to finish the job,so hopefully that will work out. It's too early to root for anyone just yet but I do like Michael Stiebling. He was way too nervous at his audition(Vern Yip called him back to give him another chance because he really believed that Michael has talent there. Vern Yip is one of the nicest people around,I swear)but his motto of "Give the client whatever they want" is an excellent creedo:
THE NEXT FOOD NETWORK STAR: Nipa nearly lost her spot as she got miffed during the Judging session and dramatically stormed out of the room. You know,if you don't want to hear criticism,maybe being on a reality competition show is not a good idea for you,honey.
She managed to save herself by coming back and making amends but the judges put her on notice,no more of that diva crap will be tolerated. Kevin was sent packing instead ,for his confusing theme of romantic cooking which seems to mean to him making his food way too sweet:
THE MIDDLE MAN: This new ABC Family series about a single gal who winds up working at a Men in Black type of agency premieres next Monday night and even tho it may look cutesy,I see some signs of wit which may make it a good show to check out. The PSA ads they're using are nicely done:
ALIEN TABLE MANNERS
TO CHEAT OR NOT TO CHEAT
A DNA LESSON
BE CAREFUL ABOUT YOUR PLAYTHINGS
WATCH WHAT YOU EAT BEFORE IT EATS YOU
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