Monday, July 20, 2009

Recap Roundup: Top Chef Masters Episode 5

One more episode down and three more chefs tossed back to their home kitchens. No Gail on this episode, but still some boobie talk. Plus, the promise of meat on a stick. We know the bloggers like that...but what else do they think?

David Dust on the Chiarello smarm: "Speaking of Michael, could he have been ANY GROSSER while hitting on every woman who stopped by the table? Even Lachlan remarks that Michael is the 'most comfortable showman'. Translation: 'Michael Chiarello will sleep with Gael Greene AND James Oseland if it will help him win this competition.'"

Cliffieland with a different take on the Chiarello: "The veteran back in the ring for another shot at greatness. From the Napa Valley. Hasn't been in a restaurant for some time. Oh, and he’s as hot as an oven. Yow. ... Jus’ sayin’. "

Jordan Baker on what I was thinking about Lachlan Patterson, too: "Lachlan Mackinnon Patterson enters hotly, hotly banters with the older chefs, then hotly tells us about his Beard award."

My Monkey Could Do That on everybody's Nils Noren/Jay Ray/Muppet confusion: "Jay Ray says he is very much the Swedish Chef, and I think he means the Muppet, but then he says he’s cool and precise, so that doesn’t make any sense."

Endless Simmer on the Quickfire dishes: "Swordfish meatballs by Chiarello as an interpretation of fish sticks. Nil had fried shrimp but didn’t fry the shrimp, Lachlan took the hot dog but didn’t cook the dog, and Rick took my favorite of the choices, corndogs, most likely out of spite so I would get angry at him for not plating anything. Well played Rick, well played."

Chicagoist sums up Rick Moonen: "We learn that Rick has ADD and cooks seafood."

Fans of Reality TV on the Flipping Out crew (with sentiments shared by many, many bloggers): "They’re going to be judged by some particularly douchey looking scenesters, who turn out to be stars of some other show on Bravo called Flipping Out. I don’t know, but apparently they’re junk food experts."

TV Fodder on the scope of the Elimination Challenge: "For the elimination challenge, the masters had to create a three course meal for 100 people all by themselves. Yikes. They did breathe a sigh of relief when they were told that the dishes were to be appetizers. "

Slashfood on the curse of the writer-turned-TV star: "Is it just us, or are the Top Chef Masters judges unduly fond of alliteration? Usually it's Saveur's James Oseland who rocks the tongue-twisting final-round zingers -- so good in print, yet so weird to hear on basic cable. Wednesday it was Gael Greene's turn, surprising us with an oh-so-delicately catty swipe at Swede Nils Norén's 'lapsang lapse' of a dessert"

Speakeasy (WSJ) on history repeating itself: "As in weeks before, several chefs were undone by their own ambition. (Don’t they watch the show?)"

Las Vegas Sun on what hometown boy Moonen's loss means for Sin City: "With Moonen out of contention, it means just one Las Vegas chef, Hubert Keller, will represent our city in the final rounds of competition."

Meal Ticket on possible behind-the-scenes Critics' Table drama?: "Britcrit Jay Rayner and Green seem to strongly dislike James Oseland from Saveur (look at Green mean-mugging!), which I find interesting. Who knew TV food judging could get so damn cliquey? Somebody throw Oseland an ally up in there to at least even up the first-world squabbling."

Onion AV Club because somebody had to make the "balls" joke: "Only Chiarello seemed to really grasp the spirit of the challenge and actually fried his take on fish sticks. And what do you know, the “white trash with money” panel liked his fish balls (tee hee, oh we’re so naughty!) best."

Starpulse on overused dishes (like ice cream): "This is the dish that has been getting out of control lately, and it's really starting to bother me. Michael Chiarello, Wednesday's winner, pushed the envelope by making a basil-flavored ice cream as part of his dessert. OK, we get it. You can make just about any flavor of ice cream if you have the proper machinery, but that doesn't make it right."

It Happened Last Night on Gael's knife aversion: "Gael is appalled that Michael's shrimp required cutlery. You don't bring a knife to a stand-up cocktail party! she sneers. No, Gael -- you don't bring a knife to a gunfight. A cocktail party? Maybe, depending on the crowd. But perhaps I hang out with a tougher group than you do."

Serious Eats on that panna cotta-boob thing: "Judge Jay Rayner, slightly inappropriate? 'A good panna cotta, if it's set right, is meant to wobble like a woman's breasts. I share this with you in the interest of general knowledge.'"

Yum Sugar on network-sanctioned sabotage?: "When the appliances don't work — like Chiarello's ice cream maker — I can't help but wonder if Bravo planted a faulty machine. Thoughts?"

Reality TV Magazine on Critics' Table non-drama: "Now it’s time for the critics to talk with the chefs about all the smokiness and intense flavors their palates experienced. It’s a riveting conversation that is best not repeated. Trust me."

Reality TV Calendar on Chiarello's underlying motivation: "Michael did step back for a while and became a television chef, as Jay says that Michael may feel he has a lot more to prove than the other chefs, since he was out of the restaurant world for so long."

Top Chef Examiner on cheffy aversions to junk food: "I guess high end chefs really cringe at the thought of junk food, and in Chiarello's case can't even seem to recognize a lot of the foods most of us grew up on. A little pretentious much? But I guess there's no such thing as fried food in Napa Valley."

Televicious on the jokes that David Dust likes to make: "Jeff from Bravo show Flipping Out is the judge. Cross-promotion! Lachlan is all about grinding up the pork sausage. He’s got some gorge blue eyes. Hmmm… insert dirty pork sausage here. I’m too food-illiterate to do it."

Premium Hollywood on all the jokes that were in the commercial: "The two funniest comments were from Gael Greene, who said she didn’t like lawn clippings in her ice cream, and from Rayner, who likened a good panna cotta and the way it jiggles to a woman’s breasts. Nice!"

Thursday Night Smackdown with the obligatory IKEA joke: "Nils is prepared and not scrambling like anyone else. Then he assembled a dresser made entirely of plywood with off-centered drill marks and wooden pegs in under 15 seconds."

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