Friday, February 18, 2011

Top Chef 8x10: Can You Tell me How to Get.... How to Get to Target

Before I begin this recap, let me just say how much I loved this episode. I have seen every single episode of all eight seasons of Top Chef and I definitely have had episodes that I loved more than others. I can say, hands down, that this was the best episode of Top Chef EVER. Anyone who knows me knows that one of my two dream jobs is to work on Sesame Street. I even wrote a post about the show last year discussing why television is so important. The work Sesame Street does is truly amazing. So to combined Top Chef, Sesame Street and Target in one episode was almost too much for me to handle.

Post Elimination Pity Party: The chestestants are sitting around the stew room sulking after the elimination of our beloved Italian Fabio. Anyone who still thinks that the producers make the judges keep chefs around because of their personality should shove that theory up their ass after this elimination. I am pretty sure that Fabio is the most adored Top Chef contestant ever. Blais is bummed that Fabio didn’t ask him for help on the challenge even though Richard owns a burger joint. I truthfully don’t think that he would have changed what he was doing. Fabio didn’t want to make a burger so he didn’t make a burger. This is a recurring theme for him. As the three Chicago chefs cheers their season, Dale tells that camera that he doesn’t believe in this “everyone is a winner” philosophy people are talking about these days (Dale definitely couldn’t be a counselor at Campus Kids).Winning is all that matters, Dale wants to win and will rip apart young children and use them as protein in order to win this season.

Cookie Time: The chefs walk into the Top Chef Kitchen and Padma starts talking in rhyme. “Why is she talking in rhyme?” you might ask yourself. The answer is because sunny days are chasing the clouds away. Out from behind the table pops Elmo, Cookie Monster and Telly Monster who are going to be the judges for the Cookie Quick Fire challenge.

This was so much fun to watch, I can’t even begin to imagine how much fun it must have been to be on set. As Padma is announcing the challenge Cookie Monster keeps interrupting her just yelling about cookies. Whether that as scripted or not, it still made me smile and giggle like a 5 year old like a little kid.

Blais and Antonia are super stoked about this challenge because they both have kids that love the show. Actually it seemed like Antonia was the most star struck out of all the chefs. She couldn’t stop smiling and singing to herself. On the other hand though there is Mike and Angelo who apparently have never made a cookie from scratch before. How is this possible, I mean I think my ten year old cousin can make a cookie. Dale struggles to not to curse out the cute and furry Muppets as they heckle him for using potato chips in his cookie . See Dale, that anger management class did you good. In the end using those potato chips was a good thing since it won him the challenge.

Padma had a ton of fun judging the cookies with Muppets. Here are my two favorite moments of this challenge
1) After Padma utilizes a “teachable moment” (something Sesame Street is all about) explaining that the spices cardamom and cinnamon come from the same region, Elmo responds with “TMI”
2) Although everyone agreed it was delicious, Elmo says Antonia’s cookie looks like a “cow chip"

Elimination Challenge: So Padma announces that this week’s challenge is going to be the biggest money that Top Chef has ever given away in a single challenge. If they are saying that this is the most money they have given away in one challenge this season then this is true. If they are saying that this is the most money given ever then this is not true. In Season 6, Top Chef gave away $30,000 for the Bocuse d’Or challenge which Kevin won. This just seems bizarre that they would announce the $25,000 dollar prize as the largest sum they have awarded to the winner when that isn’t true. I know that I am obsessed with television’s continuity and details, but if I can notice this error the producers of the show should notice.

This week, in order to win the not biggest prize the show has ever given, they chefs have to cook a meal at Target and can only use items in the store. This means that they can’t bring their own knives. Half the chefs just had a heart attack and the other half already started to feel separation anxiety. Their faces say it all.

They get to THE BIGGEST TARGET STORE IN THE WORLD at midnight to start the fun. They had three hours and full access to any items in the store. It was a lot of fun watching the chefs run around with their carts just grabbing random shit from the shelves. There seemed to be absolutely no order to what they were grabbing, just anything they could maybe possibly use. Mike and Angelo are apparently the new married couple on the show and are sharing cooking appliance and calling each other honey. They are grabbing things for each other, helping each other out, or well actually Angelo just keeps doing what Mike asks. Carla struggles in this challenge and all I want to do is shake her and tell her to get her head in the game. Dude, no one cares about linens. I understand that it is midnight and you are tired but you are in a cooking competition. FOOD should be the first this on your mind!! But like always she is running around like a chicken with her head cut off and she is the last one to set up her table. In the end her food struggles.

The only two people that really wowed me in this challenge were Antonia (as she always does) and Dale. First, they didn’t soup which, as the show mentioned many times, almost everyone did. Antonia made eggs to order… for 100 people at 3 AM in the morning. Ballsy, this girl is ballsy and that is why she is my favorite (also she was wearing that cute purple/pink shirt in her interview that I like so much). Dale on the other hand won my heart over by making the most perfect drunk food with an iron. Yes he used an iron to press the grilled cheeses down to crisp the bread. He then placed it in some tomato soup which looked delish. 

Carla, Angelo and Tiffany are on the bottom this week. It was one of the most tense and emotionally charged non-finale judges’ table I have ever seen. Tiffany give an emotional speech about how amazing this experience has been for her and everyone starts tearing up.  In the end it was Angelo and his overly salted potato soup that got sent home.

So that is my recap. Were you guys as jazzed about Sesame Street as I was? Did you think it was the best episode of Top Chef ever also. Let me know!



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