TOP CHEF: You Dim Sum, You Lose Sum... - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

TOP CHEF: You Dim Sum, You Lose Sum…

January 6, 2011 by  

At the top of tonight’s episode, we are once again reminded that someone other than Jamie was voted off, and that Jamie is still here. Jamie, how are you still here? Richard comments on how he hasn’t seen her make anything this season, likening her to an octopus: “comes out every once in a while…cooks some chickpeas…crawls back in their hole.” Incidentally, I’d love a chickpea-cooking pet octopus.

I couldn’t help but notice, though, a couple tidbits that weren’t shown in the prior episode, including Angelo offering to add more olive oil in Spike’s dish, and Spike agreeing. It didn’t seem like Angelo was intentionally messing anything up, he just seems to enjoy being on a power trip, if anything. Sabotage may have just been a convenient scapegoat, and perhaps the true nail in Spike’s ALL-STAR coffin was him falling short on fully taking responsibility for his dish.

But I digress… Moving on now…

The long-awaited Tom Colicchio quickfire is here (and by long-awaited I mean since just before Christmas)! The cheftestants are shaking in their kitchen boots. Why? As was evident in TOP CHEF: MASTERS, seasoned and well-respected chefs are brilliant but presumably have not been working on the line for a while and are therefore rusty and slow. Apparently, that isn’t the case for Tom, as he whips around the kitchen like a ninja, juggling and squeezing lemon halves, and shucking clams with ease. He even knocks over a tray of ingredients with a whole fish. Bing, bam, boom: a sea bass dish in clam sauce with tomato and zucchini…done in 8 minutes and 37 seconds! The challenge is to make a great dish in the same amount of time.

Colicchio warns that degree of difficulty will be taken into consideration, and a raw dish made in two minutes will not be impressive in this particular case. But Angelo does what he wants, so he makes a raw fish dish, thinking “cool technique” will “recompensate” for it. It doesn’t. Dale goes out on a limb and makes noodles from scratch, which bites him in the be-hind, and he ends up with a dish that tastes like “doo-doo.” If only he had a wok. If only I had a tree sprouting money in my backyard. If only I had a backyard…

Marcel and Mike Isabella (who must always be referred to by first and last name, even though he is the only Mike in the competition) make two of the better dishes, but Marcel, like the vulture he is, tries to take credit for Mike’s success by saying the judges were still tasting the lingering flavors of having just tasted his dish before moving on the Mike’s. WTF?

The elimination challenge is to cook at a dim sum restaurant. I’m not certain how this is going to go, but I am inclined to predict that it will be something that rhymes with “it show.” Marcel says: “going to Chinatown is essentially going to China.  Everybody there is Chinese, everybody speaks Chinese, you can get really cheap massages…” Lord, help them.

Dale and Angelo have a leg up in this challenge, since all they cook is Asian food. And Tiffany D. at least lived in China for a month. Everyone else, I’m fairly certain, is screwed. You can’t bullshit your way through something as particular and culturally specific as dim sum. I am Asian, raised in Asia, but I’m not Chinese, and eating at authentic restaurants in Chinatown feels foreign to me, even though I grew up eating the stuff.

I can’t imagine what the producers told restaurant patrons about what was going on… “These white people are going to be taking over the kitchen, and making your food for today.” I wouldn’t be surprised if they told them nothing, because I don’t know why they would agree to stay. These silly Caucasians are so meticulous with their plating that they can’t keep up with the hungry customers. Dale agrees with me that this is a **it show. But he wins. Tiffany surprises me with a spicy pork bun that guest judge Susur Lee finds “very Chinese.” Impressive.

At judges’ table, there are a whopping five people up for elimination. Tre made a sad, runny, orange dessert. But is safe. Carla made a beautifully wrapped Vietnamese summer roll. It’s not Chinese. Which, if it was a good dish, I think would be excusable considering no one there is an authentic Chinese chef. However, it was completely bland. That’s not okay. She too is safe, though.

Antonia made one good dish, but shared a crummy dish with Jamie. Why anyone would share responsibility for a dish with Jamie I will never know. Jamie’s other dish was a scallop dumpling, which is possibly the 624th scallop dish she’s made on the show since her first appearance. (“This is ‘Top Chef,’ not ‘Top Scallops!’” – Fabio.) Nobody liked it. Padma throws Jamie a bone, and says she applauds her for making more than one dish.  For making one-and-a-half crappy dishes then?! Why?!  Meanwhile, Casey, who at least had the balls to attempt to cook chickens’ feet – a dim sum staple – and worked her ass off to cut off those chicken claws, gets eliminated for poor execution.

Jamie, how are you still here?

Comments Off on TOP CHEF: You Dim Sum, You Lose Sum…


Comments are closed.