Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Top Chef 4 Live Blogging: Wedding Wars!!!

When it rains, it pours. I just finished installing my DSL software on my laptop, which I got back from the shop yesterday. $260 after an initial $99 fee. I'm a little down about that. This includes and a new hard drive to replace my old and shot one. At least they gave me back the old one, and told me how I could get data off of it myself. Coincidentally, the exact same problem happened to my mother's laptop after I borrowed it. I'm getting paranoid now - is it me!?

So after these last few days, I need a drink. At least I have a beer beside me. Tonight's choice: Leinenkugel's Berry Weiss, from Wisconsin (yeah, I didn't know they made beer in Wisconsin either). The perfect thing to drink when Spike/Lisa/etc says something irritating. Who will irritate themselves off the show tonight? Let's find out.

10:01 Maybe it's sadistic, but I'm starting to imagine a big slash through the picture of every eliminated chef. That'd be kind of a cool effect. Doesn't have to be gruesome - it's just the photo.

10:02 Spike has some problems. Fucking problems. DRINK! But Antonia points out something I hadn't realized: half of the competition at the halfway point is female, a first in Top Chef history.

10:03 No more immunity from quickfire. These people did know this, right? And which two classic challenges are coming up?

Steph, Antonia, Andy and Rich vs Dale, Nikki, Lisa and Spike. What is this?

10:04 They did a relay race last season? Oh that's right - last season sucked so I stopped watching. Peel oranges, trim artichokes, clean monkfish and make mayo.

Why do Lucy and Ethel pop up in my head? Conveyer belt? Chocolate? Just a thought.

10:06 Annnnnd they're OFF Lisa and Antonia are peelin' those oranges. Let's see which little lady doesn't slice herself apart. And it's Lisa in the home stretch, it's Lisa in by a rind, aaaaaaand iiiittt's LISA!

10:07 Next? Spike with the artichoke vs. Antonia and the orange still? Damn. But here's Andy-on-speed (thanks for that picture, Kit). A peeler for an artichoke? Hey, Lisa's lead is peeled away by Andy.

10:09 Jabba the Monkfish needs to be cleaned. Frankly I'd rather do the orange. That looks hard. Rich and Dale are gutting away, and then Nikki and Steph are there makin' their mayonnAAAAIIISSSE! Who will wind up with egg on their faces?

10:10 Yes Steph - makin' mayo is quite the rush. I heard something to that effect on WYPR the other morning.

Team Rich-Steph-Andrew-Antonia wins!

Jeeeez Dale, way to be a sore loser. DRINK!

10:14 Just to fill y'all in: this is what I am drinking every time someone on this show says or does something irritating.

Because they are being berry silly!

10:15 Aaaah, Restaurant Wars is being replaced this year (everyone but the competitors rejoices). It is now Wedding Catering Wars! Everybody is, um, let down. One team will cater according to the bride's specifications, the other team to the groom's.

AND, the happy couple are restauranteurs. Not only do they know crap even better when they see it, they can call you out on it. Heheheheheh.

10:18 THERE'S that discomfort-making "culinary boner" remark.

The groom wants Italian: bruschetta, crostini, scallops, sea bass - ITALIAN! And the bride? Southern food up and down, a native of Hotlanta! Steak, cheese, mushrooms, pulled pork. Classic American and Southern foods.

10:19 The groom's cake? German chocolate. The bride's? What was it again? I didn't catch that. Something with icing, whatever.

10:20 I'm really not catching anything these people are suggesting for their menus. I will just see it as they come out. I will say this: Everyone hates Dale, Dale hates everyone. Explains a lot.

10:21 At least they aren't limited to $10 this time.

10:22 Nobody said anything stupid yet. But I still want a drink. DRINK!

Restaurant Depot is massive. I don't think everyone is coming out of there. Ever see The Descent?

Aaaaaaaand more tension between Andy and Rich. Now I remember why he irritates me so much. DRINK!

Sunflowers? DOUBLE DRINK!

10:24 Chicago really does look like a lovely place to go. And at least that $2,000 got them something substantial.

10:26 The menus:

Team Italia: Flatbreads, bruschetta, tortellini, filet mignon, Chilean sea bass, and a chocolate hazelnut cake.

Team Dixie: pizza, pulled pork, short ribs/bleu cheese phyllo, crispy chicken, brisket, more filet mignon, and dark chocolate and lemon cake in layers.

Can I go to this wedding?

10:27 Dale bitches some more about his team mates. Do I have enough Leinenkugel? Oh well. DRINK!

10:31 Back from commercial. Rich is feeling pretty confident.

At the 9-hours-left mark...

God DAMN, Andrew. PLEASE stop with the sexual imagery. "Up to my elbows in spinach, I'm like Popeye's wet dream right now." That is one for the books. DRINK!

10:33 So it appears that Dale is trying to control everything, and Spike takes the sea bass for himself. Nikki is doing more homemade pasta. This is oddly interesting.

10:34 There are different philosophies about ragouts?

These people are dizzy. Andrew is crazy, crazy, crazy. Tell me something else I already know.

10:35 And a well-rested Tom Colicchio comes to mock our final eight competitors with jokes about - aaaaah - sleep. Dale's team is just out of it.

10:36 Tom, are you serious? They're actually exhausted? After not sleeping? SIGH. DRINK!

10:37 It never hit me that Southern food is so allegedly simple. Of course, that is not a dig by any means. But Southern food isn't necessarily easy, which Tom seemed to give the impression of. There's certainly an art to it. At least the variety that doesn't make it onto Paula's Party.

10:41 Out of Leinenkugel. Don't want to open another bottle. I guess I'll stick to soda.

10:43 How lovely. Even purty-er than that gay wedding from season one.

Damn, Padma is tall!

Two Gails today - our regular Gail and a Gale, pastry chef and authority Gale Gand.

10:45 Ribs and cheese in phyllo? They are popular. Pulled pork and pickle, goat cheese and prosciutto pizzas. The wedding party is pleased so far.

On the Italian side, sausage pizza and flatbread is also a winner, but did anybody else see a note of disappointment in the judges' faces?

Oh yep. "A little loud" one guest said.

10:47 And now for dinner. The bride is wearing a gorgeous... uh... screw it. It's a dress. That's all you need to know.

"Andrew's not allowed to talk to the guests" - now that is smart.

10:48 >>EXASPERATED SIGH<< I'M the only one who stays behind and cooks. I get no help. I want a divorce! - Dale. DRINK!

That brisket has not been cooking for 24 hours, dude. You didn't even know about this challenge 24 hours ago. DRINK! And EAT! These guests love this stuff. Most of it. The chicken is, as Andrew was warned, not a winner.

10:50 The groom comes by with his super-big toothy grin. All the better to eat this with, my dear!

So much going on! But the tortellini was not good (oooh Nikki-haters, your time may finally have come).

10:51 Which team is Antonia on again? Whatever, theirs is the favored team among the judges. The bride's cake is absolutely wonderful looking, the groom's, um, it looked a little messy at first but on closeup it looks just fine. Yep, good looking. The cake, I mean.

10:53 Aw damn, this is a 75 minute episode?

No I don't like her. But I love that little look that Lisa shot towards Dale. That "fuck you, you dumb little bitch" look.

10:57 Someone throw Ripa in the oven, please.

10:58 Whoa, total 80's flashback - the incidental music they came back with totally sounded like Fleetwood Mac's "Everywhere". Not a big hit, but I liked it anyway.

10:59 And the bride's team is the winner... Of COURSE it is - it's the team with Richard on it. And Antonia.

11:00 Damn, Andrew is tall!

Despite winning, they didn't care for the spinach. Loved you but screw you anyway. Favorite dish? The cake: that is Steph, who made a three-day cake in 14 hours. Everything but the spinach is adored all-around.

And the winner-among-winners? Drum roll?

What. a. shock. Richard. Wow. That is original. But wait! Rich is passing the award to Steph! Hey, my respect for Richie boy just shot up a few notches.

11:02 Let's see how the groom's team defends themselves. Dale is the indignant one, as he has been all night.

Just for old time's sake - DRINK!

11:03 Lisa did the cake. It was tasty but subdued. And the groom gets the blame for much of the wedding menu. Maybe some judicious pruning of his requests was in order?

Other bad things: hard, crunchy pizza and bruschetta, flavorless horseradish sauce, etc.

And Dale shifts into bitch-mode! DRINK!

11:05 Dale is doing everything he can to say that he did everything but when Spike calls him out and demands examples, he ain't givin' em. I reiterate: I hate these people.

At least they liked the sea bass.

11:06 So the fish was tasty but boring, not a centerpiece. Spike's veggies were, eh.

Ego Wars! "What did Dale not do?" Gail not Gale suggests their judicious pruning.

Nikki's "Italian" food disappointed Tom especially.

11:07 Dale shut the hell up. Please.

No criticism of Lisa. That's a first. I guess Dale can't take criticism either.

11:11 Let's hurry this up, people. I got stuff to do. Yes, even at this late hour.

Which chef annoys me the most? How about Dale, Lisa and Spike all together?

11:12 Ooooooh way to burn Dale - you did the most but we didn't care for it.

And the loser is...

...Nikki. I figured it'd be her. We saw the least of her this time. And strangely, it seemed like of all the times she should have been kicked out for, it wasn't this. But whatever. Nikki is out. Let's still work on the rest of her teammates now.

11:14 And next week... WHO is trying to screw everyone else up now? Cooking for the police academy. Hmmm.

That's about it. Next week promises sabotage. I must admit: my curiosity is very aroused. But not in a "culinary boner" kind of way. Again, ick.


Kathy aka the Minx said...

FI. NA. LLY. Buh-bye Nikki!

David Dust said...

I am jealous of all the drinking you do. And I'm finding it hard to control my culinary boner for next week...

Click here for DavidDust's Top Chef Chicago recap.


John said...

Really David, it was just one bottle of beer. I just took a swig every time somebody did somethin' stupid. Now were it a SHOT instead of a sip, well then I would've been on the floor before that "Popeye's wet dream" comment.


Kit Pollard said...

I actually thought dale might go home - too much whining. But I am SO glad to see the back of Nikki. Her whole "I don't want to be the leader" thing was just ridiculous. Like she thought she could save herself on Italian Night.

BTW, I'm sorry Andrew's ruining men for you. If it's any consolation, I think he's on his way out pretty soon. He's been riding on Richard's coattails for a while, and I think this week it was obvious that he just doesn't have the skills that some of the stronger chefs have.

And speaking of skills - I was so not a Richard fan earlier in the season, but I've really come around. And not just because he's clearly going to win. He's just a little funnier and more self-deprecating than I'd expected. And such a team player. Though I'm guessing he also probably understands that this is TOTALLY his to lose.