Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Top Chef Chicago

The cable is working again (at least for now) and not a moment too soon...Top Chef Chicago debuted tonight.

Let's see what Des has to say about it:

First of all, I liked the commercials. Finally, an ad for boxed wine! It was Fish Eye, though, which I have never had and don't think I'd ever buy. But boxed wine is great - if you get something other than White Zinfindel or Franzia, it will be good. Try Pinot Evil, a good boxed pinot noir, or the Black Box Shiraz or Cab. Last season some of the commercial products were featured on the show - who knows, maybe they'll use boxed wine!

I don't have too much to say about the episode. I don't like Lisa - I don't like the way she looks or how she reacted to being told that she poached her egg better than the other guy - she acted like she was so superior just for poaching an egg better. Now, poaching an egg well can be hard - too short of a cook time and the white part is slimy, too long of a cook time and the yolk isn't runny (Steve sometimes has problems with poaching eggs; my dad is good at it if I remember correctly). But still.

The two people I do like are Mark and Andrew.

Mark is from New Zealand, so I'm getting my New Zealand fix until Flight of the Concords is back and I can listen to Bret and Jemaine. And Andrew seems like a tool, but I like him anyway. ("Yo, casa motherf***s, like fatness." - he's like the celebrities from the Geico commercials.) He reminds me of Adam Goldberg in his intense, spastic, and hyped up on cocaine way. Although it seems like he may be a jerk and co-contenstants will not like him, he will be entertaining.

I'm glad Nimma went home.

Now lets see what Steve has to say:

It seemed like the judges (Tom, Padma, and guests Rocco DiSpirito and Anthony Bourdain) were really impressed with the four finalists from the elimination challenge. Stephanie ultimately won with her duck a l'orange. On the other side of the challenge, Des and I held our breath as our favorite, New Zealander Mark, faced elimination for his own duck a l'orange, but ultimately Nimma's oversalted shrimp scampi flan-kenstein sent her home.

Two things I noticed with Bravo's positioning strategy: It seems that they made a point to bring in more corrosive personalities than before...I think it took at least a few weeks for people to start hating Howie last season, but I think I already see a few smacked-asses. Also, the product placement and brand plugs appear to be saturated into the programming more than ever before, following the general trend of the industry.

One last point. I have a feeling the lesbian couple situation won't end well, but we'll all enjoy watching the train wreck.

All in all, it looks like the Top Chef formula is still working, it will be interesting to see what they do to keep things fresh. My early pick for this season's winner: Richard, whose smoked crab cake wowed Chef Colicchio.


Jessica Mac said...

Love Top Chef!

Anthony Bourdain is my Tim Gunn of the cooking world...except not as cuddly. Speaking of Anthony Bourdain, have either of you read his book Kitchen Confidential?

I agree about the "corrosive personalities" - a lot of these shows stole the idea from our favorite dinosaur Real World...add as many crazies as you can, then stir - and it makes good tv.

Jessica Sum said...

Yeah, Joe was none-too-pleased when I referred to Anthony Bourdain as "my future ex-husband and father of my children."

I don't think too many crazies works over a long period of time. One or two who can 'bring it' can work (see: Hung from last year, Christian from Project Runway). On that note, Nimma sucked hardcore. Boring, defensive, cold. She had so much going for her as far as why she should be interesting(beautiful! Muslim!), but, like her flan, she fell flat (zing!). At least they were smart enough to completely skip the redneck chefs from last year (Clay).

Los said...

I watched Top Chef as well last night. I liked the bald guy with the goatee - he seems to have a sense of humor ... I mean he had to with that poor Soufle attempt, right?

I absolutely HATE that one guy, Andrew. He is a tool, but not in the face of other people, which makes him a backstabber. Ya have to have a villain on the show, though - I mean look at the previous 2 seasons with Hung, and that guy that looked like Wolverine's little brother.

With regards to boxed wine - my taste in wines is so poor, it wouldn't matter if they boxed up flavored tap water - I wouldn't know the difference.