Top Chef, episode 3

*We’re skipping a week. I was on vacation and saw it, so my first-blush reactions won’t count*

3rd episode, 26th March, minus two cheftestants.

Opening talk, boys screwing around in the bedroom (bunk beds… kill me), girls missing the one that got the boot last week. Ironic talking about changes in perceptions of lady chefs while at the same time drawing attention to two lesbians in the house. Yeah, way to play both sides there, Bravo.

Enter the kitchen for the quickfire challenge. My buddy Rick Bayless is with Padma. I pass him on the street sometimes and he seems terribly nice. Their challenge is recreating the taco. Eric is annoyed someone’s trying to make them create fancy food out of Mexican food since it is inherently casual. Hmm, he should chat with Chef Rick… he lives in a really fancy pad making street food nice.

Duck tacos. Jicama taco shells. Pomegranite/jicama salad – is jicama the new thing and I don’t know it?

Chef Rick has pointed out the amount of street tacos in the mix. He wanted higher class. Eric again with the bad presentation and lip about street food isn’t fancy. He’s on his way out soon – or he’s the new Marcel who refuses to do anything anyone says and goes to the final anyway. Richard wins with his wacky jicama-shelled taco and it’s going on the menu at Topolobompo (I intend to go there and see). Nice one.

The elimination challenge requires the cheftestants to ransack a neighborhood’s pantries in order to prep food for their block party the next day. Picnic fare: sliders, mac & cheese, pasta salads, something called a ‘sexy drink’ which includes lavender, mini corn dogs, a Waldorf salad (which I love) but Chef Tom has just thrown a curveball by telling them that their replacement white balsamic might backfire as mayo is what keeps the ingredients fresh – though might also kill people. Tomato, tomahto.

Hmm, smore on a stick. That would be a great restaurant dessert, actually. And not that make-your-own contraption either.

Judging time. Some snobby guy in a hat just told the judges that they were cooking for “middle America”, not the four judges with specially honed tastebuds. Nice, man. Way to insult anyone that actually likes to eat that happens to be from the Midwest and way to cook for people that aren’t deciding your fate. They did dumb down their food. Shame on them. Go work for Applebee’s where you’ll never have to care about what you serve or who you impress.

And they booted snarky Eric with the soggy mini corn dogs. He makes them all the time in his restaurant, but he knew they would go soggy in a portable steamer. Fair enough, he was an arrogant loose cannon who would never have taken criticism with any sort of grace.

And next week we have the kid with ADD annoying everyone. Maybe he can make himself a Ritalin souffle.

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