Thursday, January 15, 2009

Top Shitheal

No, I didn't do this just to put up a picture of smokin' hot Padma.  
I love Top Chef, what could be better then food porn and elimination TV?  This season has been a bit strange. The producers are getting more manipulative (they left a fridge open in one episode to see how the chefs would react, and the t-giving and christmas in july was just dumb) and the cast is strangely ambivalent.  But it is here in New York, which is fun.  I liked the first episode when they had to go to small markets in ethnic neighborhoods for their product.  Of course the show quickly degenerated into Whole (shit) Foods shopping and product placement (Sequoias, Gladware, GE appliances, etc etc etc).

So I was excited last night when they drove the pampered little brats out to Stone Barns.   First off, Stone barns is a first rate farm with incredible educational and outreach programs.  They practice Management intensive grazing which we got to see in the episode - when the Lamb team was moving wire fences around and the lambs were scampering to fresh new pasture; and (did you notice?) the chickens in their chicken mobile (which allows the chickens to follow the sheep in organized fashion).  They primarily serve the two Blue Hill Restaurants that are directly associated with the farm.   

So the cast shows up at Stone Barns and everybody starts whining about not being able to go to Whole Foods, and how their menu ideas are shot, particularly douchebag Jeff.  (and I can hear Ian Mckellen quietly muttering "Pearls before swine")

But they adjusted and seemed to get excited that they could go (every chef's dream?) directly from farm to table for once in their lives.  

but there has been a recurrent problem this season...the chef's kind of suck.  Fabio, the drippingly italian, yet California based chef shockingly smothers his ravioli in pesto, Radhika wanders around waiting for a truck to drive right through the middle of her left eye, and Ariane, what a train wreck.  I mean, we knew she was a train wreck already, but for fuck's sake woman, you are given a freshly slaughtered beautiful baby lamb and you turn it into a sorry excuse for "Mutton" (i think that was colicchio who said it).  Thank god for Toby Young who is so fantastically mean to the chefs that he makes it all bearable.  

Now I don't know much about cooking, but I know lamb.  And I learned the hard way a few weeks ago, that cooking a boneless leg is a horror show.  it doesn't cook evenly, temperature readings are impossible, and if tied improperly, looks as if a wild boar tore into it, briefly.  But throw a bone-in leg into the oven and an hour or so later you have beauty on a stick.
So I am screaming at the TV when ariane is boning the legs!  Then, she slathers the insides with a paste of herbs (what is wrong with americans and lamb??), and ties it all into a lumpy morass.

Then there's Jeff.  Oh Jeff, you are a douche, yes you are.  He proves he is almost as dumb as Ariane, when he slices out the best tasting fat off the pork loin.  Later, staring at the judges he gives a little self-important nod when Colicchio calls out his fried green tomatoes as "saving" their dish.  What a douchetastic douche-a-lot.  I hope this guy gets booted soon.  

But that raises the question, should any of these champions of mediocrity stay?  I kind of like Jaimie, but her affinity for Scallops makes me feel awkward, and Stefan is a good chef it seems, but he is also an asshole.  I liked the filipino dude, but that was only out of partisanship, as my fianc√© is filipino.  I guess as long as Toby Young is ripping the little bastards to shreds then I am happy...

Watch Well.


earlgrey said...

MMMMM padma...but I come over here for something nice to look at and almost get a spoiler for the dvr'd show I have!!! Bad Luke!...will have to read it after we watch it tonight ;)


Luke Weiss said...

thanks for checking it out philly! Sorry for almost killing it, next time i will add "SPOILER ALERT".

Francesca said...

disagree about Jeff, Lucas. I don't know that he is the top chef but I think he's got potential. Pity what he did to the pig but one is allowed to make mistakes and learn...pig thing might be forgiven if he continues to make fresh and clean and pretty food. At least he had a plan...Ariane on the other hand, should not have attempted the lamb given that she she knew that she couldn't even tie the thing, alongside her admission that she knew nothing about lamb. And Padma is eye candy for both men and women...what a beauty..Ophelia (mom)