Old Family Recipes

Is it me? Or did this past week’s show play a love/hate role with me? I was on the edge of my seat and I know what happens! At the end, I couldn’t tell what in the hell was about to transpire. The chef’s families commenting and the judges in love with everything as if they were at a war time peace rally- or better yet, Woodstock! The chef’s have come a long way, and they are actually looking pretty good mentally healthy and ready for anything. Too much love and not enough competing! Though I am proud of the way they support one another and want each other to succeed. That is the way I would want it to be if I were still in the competition. But, secretly, aren’t you waiting for that very moment when one of them is going to snap?? I was reading some of their tweets after Wednesday’s show and was somewhat surprised at their commentating as it unfolded. “Richard, stop being so nasty!”, was one of the comments. Richard was referring to positive feedback from Padma and the chef from Blue Hill in NY to one of the chefs that Richard felt should have put more effort into their dish. I can’t help but look for his reactions every time they give the win to someone else besides himself. Yeah, we get it Richard, “you are crazy” and you are basically going to jump off a cliff if this is not a W for the Blaisers. I hate to break it to you Richard, but this is just as much anyone else’s competition at this point! The other chefs are giving you a run for your money, litteraly!

Having Padma in the cast house is just plain creepy. Remember Padma tickling me in my own bed!? It is where we have time to LIVE. The house is a place to get away from the competition to revive our thoughts, bodies and emotions from the days events. Granted, we are never really free from it because the house is constantly chocked full of t.v. cameras and we are almost sure, microphones.  We can’t prove it, but why wouldn’t they?! I will admit, that Antonia has some sort of psychic ability when it comes to Top Chef. She was constantly guessing the upcoming challenge, or who the judge might be. So when Richard asks her what is about to happen, the chefs must have been told to stay in the house and I bet the lights were up and ready to shoot. And, who walks into One Brooklyn?? The P to the D-ma. Get up to “tha roofs, my darlings so that mummy can show you to tha next challenge, whaat do you saay??” (That was in my best English voice-type. I don’t know why, it just fit there) Get your already pressed and ready to go chefs coats on and meet me at the top. This is where Padma will instruct them to meet her and the judge on Ellis island. Now, I like this challenge. I too have cooked on a boat and it is not easy. Especially when you don’t have the tools to cook anything. Let me highlight some of these amazing dishes for you once more.

The boat blasts the horn. GOOO!!!! The chefs scramble over the concession stand counter, which I am sure is a real sanitary place. Have YOU ever been on a ferry in NY? I am pretty sure the same rodents that walk the streets in Manhattan, have a cozy spot on the ‘ole ship to Ellis! They are uptown rats! The chefs have the basic 10 minute boat ride staples. Hot dogs, buns, bread, cheese, nachos. Am I missing anything? Oh yes, oranges. WHAT!? Fresh fruit? I guess the challenge is not to make the best concession stand snack that the boat employees would sell. It sounds as if it is to make a dish with anything with you find. This is some real jacked up sh*t right here! Tiffany didn’t get the message about making ANYthing found with the ingredients because she goes right for a different kind of nacho plate. The kind of nacho plate we wish they would serve you when you purchased boat nachos. LOADED! But, is this going to win over the judges? Richard says it isn’t, so, I bet it isn’t going to.  Antonia makes a grilled cheese and apple sandwich on the hot dog roller. Now, I thought this was pretty smart. But, we all know that those things never get turned off and they never get cleaned. Have you ever been into 7-11? So, I wasn’t surprised when the chef judge pointed out the “pork” aka “hotdog” flavor in the grilled cheese. So, basically, she made a hot dog, apple and cheese sandwich. King Richard says this also is not genius enough- she basically “used ingredients from one sandwich on different bread”. Carla goes for this mysterious fresh orange salad because, “no one else will have a fresh dish” like this one. Did I catch crumpled potato chips on those oranges? Mikey. Mikey, Mikey, Mikey. This is one of those moments you will wish you could take back on TC. You were flustered and in the end, you served hot dog bread soaked in something. This isn’t a hot dog eating contest. I don’t even think liquids with the bread is going to make that go down any easier. Let’s move on. King Richard has an MRE bag that he has been waiting to pull out of his knife bag so that he can tell this story. You place the food in the bag and add water and it will boil, like instantly. HOW DID THIS MAKE HIS DISH ANY BETTER?? He made an open face hot dog. Genius enough? So, when the winner is announced, again I look to Richard’s face. Carla wins with her orange salad because basically, the rest of the food was not impressive. Not even the fruit and popcorn that Tiffany served along side her nachos. Richard, are we starting to see a pattern here? I am looking at your face from now on every time the winner is not you. It is priceless. “Why not me?? My dish was the best…every one else’s were not creative enough! I brought an MRE bag!!” LOL!!!!! ROLLING!

The winner of the QF, Carla. What did she get? I don’t even remember at this point. All I see in my head was Richard’s face during the announcement. Here they are standing on Ellis island in the dark. I sure hope this place is safe! Because out of the park darkness comes people they don’t recognize. Wives, moms, and husbands. All of the chefs are very emotional. I can relate. This is a long time to be away from your loved ones. Richard’s wife is now showing a baby bump. It sounds as if it was not there when he left. Mike has not seen his Mom in 6 months. Carla misses her husband. Tiffany and he Mom are talking about the Lord and Antonio seems to wish her daughter were the one there instead of her Mom. I know how much Antonia loves her daughter! The chefs sit down and go over their family history and this is what the challenge will be based on. I love this idea and think it will teach us each a little more about each chef. Meet with your loved one and discuss the dish you will make for them. This is an emotionally attached challenge. Time to go shopping.

Tiffany is doing creole. She is going to teach Tom how to love okra. Mike and Antonia, finding out that they are related (weird) are doing Italian. Richard is Irish, English with a sad story behind his dish and Carla, southern. They get to the kitchen they will be cooking in and it is nice to see that they all have space. When it gets down to so few cooks, the chefs have an opportunity to really showcase their craft because there is room and an abundance of pots and pans! Cooking is going smooth for most, but time is short. They will cook in order. The first one up, Mike. Mike’s gnocchi brings a tear to everyone’s eye because he tells us that his grandma was the one he learned this recipe from and from my perspective, the dish looks amazing. That is something that I would love to eat, right there. He had me at whipped burrata. Second chef, Antonia. Her risotto was ballsy, but I have no doubt that she will pull this dish off. It looks incredible and they say it takes incredible also. Tiffany, Creole inspired montage. She lost me with the ring mold of rice and pork, but the table seems to love it. Richard brings a beautiful corn puree with fried bone marrow, YUM! And his wife, gives the nod of approval. Wow, I got the feeling that the whole table was nervous about her critique. Even Richard was nervous! I wonder what that is all about. Is it because she is competitive too? Lastly, Carla serves up a good ‘ole helpin’ of cheddar biscuits and won ‘um all over. That’s a wrap people! Rub noses and let’s get outta here! We have judges table to get back to!

Back in the stew, the chefs are nervous because their family members either, a)told them theirs was good, or b)told them theirs was “safe”. They don’t know what to think. But, Carla reassures them that everything will be okay. They have come this far and they should be proud. I can’t help but look to Richard’s face after her pep talk. (Still laughing) Padma wants to see…everyone. High fives all around for this is the last NY elimination. Yay!!! At judges table, each chef is asked to describe the inspiration behind their dish. Tom has a new perspective on okra, Gail tells Mike about his Mother’s love for his gnocchi, and Antonio takes the prize. Pan to Richard’s face. LMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s too much-!  Hold on, please, I have to stop typing for a second to catch my breath…

Okay. We are back. Antonia wins a car and along with Mike head back to the stew where she tells him that her risotto won a car. Left with the judges the “girls” and Richard. One of them surely is going home. Remember, the judges didn’t really have much negative to say about any of their dishes, so who could it be?? “…Richard, please pack your knives…and return to the stew room because you are going to the Bahamas.” This is getting you back, you realize that Richard. Don’t you? When your sh*t doesn’t stink anymore, Bravo will provide the roses! You gotta watch those sneaky producers! Padma didn’t make that up on her own, you know? Come one people, really? Richard almost faints and returns to the stew. Carla and Tiff are left standing. But, in the non-climatic end, Padma tells them they are both going to the Bahamas. Kisses, hugs, screams and jumping take place and then champagne (3 out of the 5 don’t drink). I yelled at the tv, wanted to throw my remote and sent a disgruntled tweet. Has Bravo gone soft? I went to bed feeling cheated out of a hanging. I had a first flight out to NY to see everyone in the morning. Can’t wait to catch up and give some people some taunts about the things I have seen on tv. It is weird being on this side of the tv this time. But, I must say, it has been kind of fun also.

Have a great week! Talk to you all on Twitter and FB! Good things coming!!