I got the idea to “live blog” Top Chef from the various political blogs that humorously did the same for the Democratic and GOP Presidential debates last year. But since I have no internet in my living room – where my TV is – and I didn’t bother to hook up the modem, I’m uploading this during the commercial breaks after the fact. As soon as the commercials hit, I save it to my flash drive, bolt to my computer, load it and put it into Blogger!
This won’t be a regular occurrence. For a much better, much more comprehensive review on tonight’s Top Chef, go to Xani and Erin’s blog. (CORRECTION: Oops, that was a typo: they aren't doing a week-by-week of TC4. Kit at Mango & Ginger is, or at least has been trying to. Definitely read her blog, and read Black Coffee & a Donut also. Lots of pictures that'll make you hungry.)
10:01 Culinary dream… title of Top Chef… blah blah blah. Still like the new opening a wee bit better, even though the chefs are supposed to act stupid.10:03 I don’t know who he is! Should I leave? I’m bummed. Should I know Daniel Boulud?
Ooooooh, and they have to do some classic techniques for the Quickfire! Ryan? Not pleased. Glad I’m not doing this.
10:07 Oooh, Dale, vegan sashimi! Very impressive! Richard Golden Boy? Pretty presentation. Why does this remind me of TC1’s Stephen? No. Manuel’s reminds me of Stephen’s.
10:09 Sigh – Richard simply cannot fail. But Dale wins. Woo hoo, Dale!
10:10 The elimination challenge: create a dinner based on your favorite movie. I reiterate: America should be thankful I’m not on this show. How am I not going to get booted with my Dawn of the Dead-inspired masterpiece?
And everybody’s piling on Richard.
10:12 This’ll be fun to watch. Ryan has apparently not set foot in a Blockbuster or a Loews since 2006. His partner Mark rattles off movies and Ryan looks all deer in the headlights. This is going to be a funny episode.
10:16 Geez Rich – Willy Wonka? A movie about food? Isn’t that a little, um, unoriginal. Jen & Nikki are choosing something Italian, but they’re mumbling. Oh, Il Postino. The Postman – not the sucky version by Kevin Costner.
10:20 Steph and Lisa are fucked over with another dessert – no? A dinner for dessert? Something about a cow suit? Top Secret.
Ah, let loose with $150 at Whole Foods. That should buy you a box of spaghetti and some olives.
10:22 I so hate
10:24 All this intense work in the kitchen. This Top Secret menu sounds delightful. I wish I knew everybody’s names. Otherwise, it’ll jus tbe Top Secret girl, Willy Wonka boy.
10:26 Richard’s smoking machine worked well for the crabcakes in Ep 1. Not so good now.
10:30 Thank God for long commercial breaks (never thought I’d say that).
10:31 The Willy Wonka dish sounds appetizing. The folks seem to like it. white chocolate fizzy drink and salmon.
10:32 Goooood MorningVietnaaaaaaam! Very sparse plate. The plates look good, but the diners are, again, underwhelmed. Gooooooooood night Vietnaaaaaaam?
10:33 Il Postino through tortellini. “It’s not GREAT, it’s good.” Less kind words have come out of Tom Colicchio’s mouth. Woman in the red shirt is duly impressed.
10:34 Oh I LOVE that scene in A Christmas Story! They’re doing the scene with the Bumpus hounds, Da-d-d-DA-d-DAAA! They are just lovin’ it all.
10:36 Talk to Her with lamb and cauliflower. I love the presentation. The diners? Eh. Aisha Tyler: not transcendant. Not what you want to hear but it won’t get you kicked out.
10:37 Top Secret – here’s the real secret: it’s more dinner for dessert. But they like it!
10:38 Ted Allen – Val Kilmer – cow suit. Y’all figure it out.
And now the judges’ assessments: Il Postino wasn’t as bella as they let on, ditto Talk to Her. As for Top Secret dinner-for-dessert? Again, very impressed.
I think the Vietnam folks are in trouble.
10:45 And we’re back. Why does Padma look so not happy? Maybe because she had to ask for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory? Looks like the judges were muy impressed with them and Top Secret. Willy Wonka was the weirdest, with caviar and salmon and white chocolate, Top Secret much less, um, unconventional but when Ted Allen calls your dish “harmonious” can you really complain?
10:47 Willy Wonka wins! The crowd goes wild (yay).
10:48 Oooh, Antonia rippin’ on the Willy Wonka team. Someone has a bad case of sour grapes.
10:49 Oooh, Antonia in the bottom four. Good Morning Vietnam and Talk to Her led to less-than-sensational courses.
10:50 Disjointed Swiss chard and pickle in a spring roll. Kind of boring, this dish. Tom not impressed with typical hole in the wall Vietnamese restaurant food that Spike and Manuel made. Again, these boys are in trouble, especially Spike.
10:51 I hate it when Heidi, Michael and Nina play that “Who would you pick to go home?” game. Oooh wait – wrong show. Spike don’t play that neither.
10:52 My vote is Spike.
10:56 I hope Holly wins. Damn, wrong show again!
10:57 Moment of truth – am I right? Is hat boy homebound? Well the Talk to Her gals are safe.
10:58 Oh SNAP! Manuel!? Come on folks. Sure he’s a follower, but the dish was Spike’s idea.
10:59 Next week: massive dinner, Ming Tsai (hey, recognized HIM), Richard starting to suck and looks like folks are callin’ each other out.
So this live blogging thing didn't work out the way I had hoped. And maybe I should have given people, umm, notice that I was doing this, so most of you will be reading it after the fact. Still, pretty disjointed effort on my part. I did like this episode, as well as this season. So far, count for count it is light years over the previous one.