Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Top Chef: Sellin' It.

Oooh, Hung is getting some serious close-up in the “Previously” scenes. We know what that means.

Rocco Dispirito is the guest judge.

Quickfire. A culinary bee. This should be fun. Oh, I thought it would be questions. Instead it’s another Identify That Ingredient challenge.

Oh Joey! I knew that was yucca. And your buddy Howie cooked with it last challenge,

I agree with CJ – it’s Hung’s douchebaggery that hangs him up. Should have tasted those seeds.

I can’t believe they let Casey off with “bow-tie pasta.” If that’s one of the items, she should at least have to come up with farfalle.

Some chefs are just slurping the mystery ingredients which is a pretty dicey move. "It's . . .*gasp* *choke* . . . chili oil."

And Casey wins the quickfire. This looked like a lot of luck of the draw.

Hmm. Just noticed that Joey has a goatee in the challenge but he’s cleanshaven in the interview.

Elimination Challenge. Create a frozen pasta entrée. The chefs are paired in teams of two, which will be interesting for Dale who is paired up with the now immune Casey.

When I saw DiSpirto in the previews I assumed it was because he was coming back in a new reality series, Top Chef being big in cross-promotion. In fact, he’s shilling for these Bertolli frozen dinners. I have a problem with that not being disclosed in the show. It sounds like this renowned fine dining chef happens to think highly of this ready-to-eat food. Which maybe he does, but he’s also paid to speak highly of it.

By the way, the foodie gossip sites are enjoying some serious schadenfreude over the former “It” chef now hawking frozen food. And apparently the campaign started with stealth marketing. This looks like more stealth.

Anyway, once you hear Tre, CJ and Hung say the key is freezing the products separately, it seems obvious. And I can’t believe that 1) Joey slops the stuff together regardless and 2) Hung just lets it happen. Hung not only goes to the asshole card when he shouldn’t, he leaves the card in his hand when he needs to play it.

OK, Sarah was probably in the hot tub wearing a strapless suit, but we may have a new escalation in the hot tub shots. And she was talking to Casey. Based on my sitemeter hits, Casey could probably sell a calendar about now.

Speaking of selling, part of the challenge is that the chefs also have to "sell" their dishes in a grocery store based on the samples they cook up. Actually, they are giving them away, but it looks like customers can only choose one.

Judge’s Table

There’s Rocco again, talking about this like he just happens to be observing that “the great chefs of the world” are looking at the “home replacement” market. Bravo does a lot of selling inside these shows, but this is their sleaziest move to date. Again, consistent with how Bertolli has been handling the campaign generally. Though I notice they bought time for some Dispirito commercials which again are something other than Rocco saying he endorses the product.

Padma is cooling down her Mystery Woman act when she brings in the winners. Which is a relief.

I can’t help but think that Hung’s arrogance is at least partly to blame for their failure. If he wasn’t such an ass so much of the time, Joey might have listened to him.

The winners – Tre and CJ – pretty obvious, especially when DiSpirito says he got a frozen meatball from Casey and Dale.

More of Howie being Howie. Again, he didn’t tell Sarah when she was wrong, he just let himself get bent about her nagging him.

And Joey is out.

Interesting. When he and Hung get back to the wait-and-stew room Howie and Sarah are sitting there, Howie looking like he’s surprised to hear the news. It looks like they dismissed the second-to-last team before announcing who was packing knives.

Awww, Joey is one of those big loveable heart-on-his sleeves guys. Of course he cries during his exit interview.


Jeff said...

Great report!

You know, Hung did in fact warn Joey explicitly that the sauce had to be frozen separately. Joey ultimately ignored this becuase he was panicking about getting all the stuff into the freezer before time ran out. Joey's protestation that Hung didn't do enough to stop him was really disingenuous.

Not only was Sara for all intents and purposes NAKED in that hot tub shot, she was drinking and smoking! Hubba hubba!

Actually, Dale was smoking too ... I thought that serious chefs were too concerned about the delicate taste buds to smoke?

Anonymous said...

considering these people know so much more about food than an ordinary home cook like me, I was genuinely shocked that they all just threw their cooked pasta and sauce in a bag and thought that would work. I even spread raspberries out on a cookie sheet in the freezer for 10 minutes before storing them long term, otherwise you end up with an inseparable clump that doesn't thaw properly.

Too funny to see Rocco shilling for Bertolli. Is it just me or does the guy age in reverse? I can't really remember what he looked like on The Restaurant, but I swear he currently looks about 21 years old.

Finally, go CJ and Tre.

Anonymous said...

casey is by far my favorite top chef conestent.She is such a nice women and i look up to her for cooking advice. i liked her before but what really made me realize how nice she was, was when she had won the quickfire challenge and even though she couldnt get iliminated she was, and even told the chefs that she was feeling guilty because even though she couldnt get iliminated she said that she should be the one going home!That by far is a true chef and definetly a true women. i admire casey and i think other people should to!