Sunday, August 16, 2009

Recap Roundup: Top Chef Masters Episode 9

One more week down, one to go, and then we're back to good old regular, nasty, back-stabbing, young Turks. But until then, we still have last week's TCM drama to discuss. And oh, did the bloggers discuss:

David Dust on Chiarello's not-so-awesomeness (and the Quickfire): "Michael Chiarello is up first, and he’s all like 'Italian, Italian, Italian' – and I’m all like 'Puke, Puke, Barf.' FYI: The 'Italian' missed mascarpone."

Cliffieland introduces us to our competitors, via the food court:
"Hubert Keller: Au Bon Pain
Anita Lo: Panda Express
Rick Bayless: Chipotle
Michael Chiarello: Sbarro"

Jordan Baker with this week's haiku, saying goodbye to Anita Lo:
"Let me go wa-ah
Like a raw bar in the sun
Alas, Lo is done."

Reality TV Magazine on Bayless's hoisin ranch: "Rick does terrible. In fact, he thought that Hoisin sauce was ranch dressing. Not that I know what hoisin sauce is, but it sure doesn’t look like ranch."

Top Chef Examiner also doing some Chiarello-hating: "Those of you who were not yet fed up with contestant Michael Chiarello's overconfidence and oppressive penchant for schmoozing, after tonight's episode of Top Chef Masters, I think we can all safely anoint him the title of 'Top Chef Masters Douchebag.'"

It Happened Last Night on Spike. Just...Spike: "Spike is picked last -- and he’s typically delusional about it: 'In a weird type of way, it's very complimentary,' Spike says. 'They don't want me to outshine their food or anything.' No, Spike -- they just don't want to work with you, because you suck. As Hubert says, 'I'm stuck with Spike.' "

Speakeasy (WSJ) on the tension that is so foreign to TCM: "The injection of Top Chef contestants charges the atmosphere, dragging Master’s from the genteel show it’s been so far into the catty reality show it actually is. (Which is good? Tacky? I’m conflicted.) "

Premium Hollywood on what's to come: "I think it’s going to be between Rick and Hubert, but I guess if Michael has come this far and since he won last week’s challenge, you can’t rule him out either."

LA Times Daily Dish on Keller's libido: "Keller was in the bottom rung for this challenge -- perhaps his sense of taste is dwindling with his old age. Clearly his libido isn't fading though, as he admitted enjoying Kelly Choi placing the blindfold on him in his on-camera interview."

TV Guide Magazine on Chiarello + Spike: "Michael Chiarello makes his interviewees run around dicing vegetables. Granted, it’s a little demeaning, but Spike’s arrogant swagger is worse: “You pick me? We’ll win this challenge.” He then explains: '[Chiarello] is really full of himself.' Takes one to know one, I suppose."

That Warm Glow with some Bayless-Keller love: "Rick Bayless might be the Ned Flanders of cooking, but he never fails to produce a fantastic dish. I think he’s been the most consistently excellent chef this season. At first I worried that his nice-guy personality would grow tired, but he’s so sincere and enthusiastic and knowledgeable that he’s hard not to like. Like Keller, he excelled in building a collaborative spread that utilized the skills of his sous chefs perfectly."

Slashfood summing up the cheffery (plus: Fabio!): "If Rick Bayless presented himself as the kindest, most egalitarian boss you could ever hope to have, and Hubert Keller inspired a Gandhi-like following through his cool, collected perfectionism, Chiarello was the evening's dictator. Or as season five's Fabio Vivani best summed it up, 'I can tell this dude is Italian 'cause he's making everyone run around him like a chicken with no head.'"

Endless Simmer on sweet, sweet, angry Dale: "Oh Dale. It’s a bit too easy isn’t it? Your apology statement about what happened the other night just amused the hell out of me, as did the reader comments. So I say bygones be bygones, lets just remember the good old times. Like, hey Dale, remember that time you punched the locker and screamed “F%&K!” after the relay race? Oh man, you showed that locker who’s boss!"

Meal Ticket on why we should all thank Dale: "God bless ya, Season 4 hothead Dale, for refamiliarizing us with one of the simplest joys of this show: watching one person in chef’s whites post up on another person in chef’s whites because the first person in chef’s whites feels the second person in chef’s whites is HATING. You, sir, are our Gatorade, you refreshing bastard, you. Ahhh."

SF Eater on things staying the same: "Spike still comes off douchey, Blais still plays with liquid nitrogen, and Fabio still has his memorable one-liners (i.e, 'I'm sweating like a mountain goat at the beach.'). The great Jamie Lauren, who somehow ended up standing next to a giant person, was there too and had a memorable line of her own: 'Everyone wants to work with Hubert ... No one wants to work with Chiarello.' Aw."

BAM's Blog with some Bayless love: "As we’ve seen throughout the season, Bayless again exhibited grace, positivity and incredible cooking skills on the latest episode of the reality TV contest."

The Stew (Chicago Tribune) on the interview process: "The masters get only two minutes to interview each chef before picking teams. CJ has the best analogy: It’s like speed dating."

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