Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Top Chef plus kids

Quickfire: 15 minutes with Uncle Ben...yeah, OK, it was a decent challenge, designed to showcase the Uncle Ben's product more than anything else.
Everybody went 'back to their roots' and 'stayed true to who they are,' which I guess is a good thing. Ouch, my man Mark (who apparently has a lady, sorry girls, and plays a mean dirigidoo) hasn't been on a good run lately. Padma couldn't tell his turkey from chicken, and needed some sauce.
As usual, Richard and Dale are on top, but Antonia emerged as another consistent contender with her mother's rice and salad. That doesn't sound to me so bizarre that Oprah's personal chef needed to be 'made a believer.'
The elimination challenge involved creating a dish for four on a $10 budget. Considering that the chefs shop at Whole Foods, I expected that they'd each be able to buy a bag of me, with Des on her juice-mania cleanse, we've done a little shopping there.
Then the little kids came into the picture, and when they got to pick which chef they would help out petshop-style, Mark was the first chosen. So I guess you don't have to be the best chef in the judge's eyes to be the coolest. Too bad the big Hell's Angel dude (Papa Souffle) wasn't still around for this, he would have either scared the kids away, or they would have loved him.


Oh no, our New Zealander is gone! When does Flight of the Conchords start again?! Do they realize that Lisa is gross?

And speaking of kids, have I written yet about how they should NOT be allowed in restaurants? I apologize in advance to those readers who have kids.

Who wants to either go out for a nice dinner or go out for dinner or even happy hour at a bar restaurant, only to turn around and see kids at a table with their crayons? In the nice restaurant situation, you are paying money to enjoy the food AND the atmosphere. When you have to deal with kids running around, popping up under tables, crying, etc. you are not getting what you paid for. At the Indian restaurant down the street, a family allowed their kids to bounce up and down on seats - and not even their own seats, but seats at an empty table near us. And when you go out to a bar, who wants to have to worry about having a kid around while you are drinking a beer?

From the parents' point of view, I guess they may want to go out to eat and have to bring the kids. But stick to Pizza Hut - I remember going there every week when I was a kid to use my Book-it coupon for a personal pan pizza. My parents were happy too, because they got a pitcher of beer.

There are a few exceptions to this general rule of no kids. First, bring them to any mid-range exotic-ish place - sushi, Indian, Moroccan, etc. (unless of course they are bouncing, cryers, or brats). Teach a kid to like good food instead of just hot dogs and mac and cheese (hmm... previous Top Chef episodes?) early - it works to "expand their culinary language", as judge Gail says. Second, if you must go somewhere nice, go during the week. My birthday was on a Wednesday this year, and Steve and I went to Patou in Philly that night. There was a very well-behaved 7-10 year old, and I didn't have any problem with her being there.

Finally, if the kids do come along, make sure they are dressed appropriately. Appropriate dress for a nice BYO does not include tight pink sweatpants with words like 'juicy' on the butt. I hope you are listening family-from-Narberth-who-took-the-kids-to-Margot-on-Saturday-night!



Los said...

I can't agree enough about the kids at nice restaurant thoughts ... of course, i don't have kids ....

Poor Mark ... he got too sloppy and full of himself.

Jess Sum said...

Mark really started phoning it in. Bummer. I like Antonia, but was sad to see Stephanie in the bottom three...but tomato and peanut butter??

Des, agreed. But you know what? It's not the children so much as shoddy parenting. Like you said, kids can be in nice places, and you don't even notice them. I'm willing to bet that rewind 20 years on you, and you were very well behaved while dining out (Danny Boy however...). Kids need to learn general manners, and restaurants are a great place to go. However, if they're bouncing off the walls at Friendly's, we may want to ban them from Morimoto.

Also, I had a chef tell me once that she wanted her kids to eat well, so they taught their first kid to appreciate oysters, and foie gras, etc. Guess what? The kid was never ever satisfied with mac n' cheese and hot dogs. They fed the second kid crap, and decided that was the more economical way to go. Ha!

David Dust said...

Lisa IS gross...

Click here for DavidDust's Top Chef recap.


Jessica Mac said...

Booo, I won't see Top Chef until I catch a repeat. I'm glad I have your recaps to keep me up to date!

I am 100% with you on the kids in nice restaurants...and I won't continue on with a rant of my own because, well I'm just not a big fan of children in general. There are a few exceptions, but not many.

mom said...

I'm a little behing on reading the blogs but your maternal instincts shine through on this one!

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