Stay tuned for a little tin-foil-hat musing after the post – and a double-header: Occupy Top Chef, plus Feminist Top Chef.
With the chefs still at the rodeo recovering from the chili cook-off, sleep deprivation, and the emotional impact of losing Richie, Padma appears. Sarah interviews that a Quickfire right now would do her in. But no, they’re not that assholic: it’s just a warning to sleep well, because they’re hitting the road in the morning, heading for Dallas. Edward is disappointed, since he was getting attached to the house; he packs his pillow. Beverly thinks of the Dallas Cowboys (the way she says it, I’m not sure if she realizes it’s a football team or just think there’s a bunch of cowboys running around Dallas), and the country singer with the like really, uh, Dolly Parton, she’s from Dallas, right? Not exactly, Beverly, she’s from Appalachia, the East Coast, but you get points for knowing the name and her cup size. There’s a comment about Ugly Chris, which I gather means ChrisJ. I hope he started that himself, because otherwise it would be pretty mean. ChrisJ is not ugly. Though I understand the temptation to set him up as an antithesis to ChrisC.
They drive to Dallas in three product placement cars. Heather tells the charming story of her brother getting carsick on trips and throwing up on her. Thanks for that, Heather. Edward just had his one-year wedding anniversary. He says he’s been very happy since he accepted her into his life, which is how people usually talk about Jesus, not their spouse. They ask Ty-lör his marital status; he has a boyfriend. Edward asks him if he gets a float in the Gay Pride Parade if he wins Top Chef. ChrisC lost seventy pounds in the past two years, inspired by his delightful friends calling him Fatty when a picture of him in his chef coat ran in a Chefworks uniform catalog. Thing is, he doesn’t look that big in the picture. He looks pretty normal-sized now. He certainly doesn’t look seventy pounds thinner. Maybe thirty or forty.
They encounter a dramatic roadblock and a stony-faced State Trooper. Dakota is worried, because she got a too-expensive ticket in San Antonio and didn’t pay it, so she figures there’s an arrest warrant out for her in Texas. Forgive me for being a prig, but I think she’s got a helluva lot of nerve admitting she’s a scofflaw on television. Heather stars in the “scared of the cops” routine. The chefs finally notice Padma is in the field by a bunch of picnic tables where they are pulled over, along with someone else. Now, forgive me, but they are alone on the road, which means the road was blocked off just for them, and Padma and a bunch of tables are kind of hard to miss, so this whole “oh, no, what’s this, a cop pulling us over” is a big sham. I hate fake theatrics, and this was really poorly done.
They gather around Padma and the someone else turns out to be John Besh. ChrisC sees “the reflection off his white teeth and his hair blowing in the wind. John Besh is a handsome man, I’m not gonna lie.” I understand a little better now: the Formerly Fat are sometimes obsessed with hotness. Then again… John Besh? What amazes me is that ChrisC is first in the Fan Favorite polls.
Padma tells them this challenge will see if they are resourceful and inventive. “This is your kitchen” says John, waving around at the picnic tables and the fields around them. They have survival packs in the heretofore unexplored trunks of their cars (possibly leaving the practical-minded among them to wonder, where did our luggage go?). Their job is to make the best possible dish with whatever they find in there. Edward is worried because they don’t have a cutting board, but it doesn’t really matter because they don’t have knives. It doesn’t look like they have can openers, for that matter. Sarah isn’t feeling it because the wind is blowing and the burners aren’t putting out much heat; she’s been camping but not like this.
Lindsay finds her pack contains Vienna sausages, canned tuna, and crackers. Her father used to eat Vienna sausages out of the can when she was a kid (she’s from North Carolina, and her Southern accent comes out while she’s talking about Dad), and she always thought they were disgusting. She makes a play on “soup & sandwich” with a triple club of tuna and sardines on saltines, and French onion celery soup with Vienna sausage. She’s not comfortable cooking out of cans, but John Besh tells her it was great; the sandwich, which scared him at first, put it over the top, and she is the winner. She thinks it’s ironic she wins a QF with Vienna sausages, and gives a shout-out to her dad: “I hope you’re proud.” She gets $5000 and immunity. We see a picture of her dad. Edward interviews it must’ve been one helluva sandwich because it looked dry as the Texas land they’re standing on. Why, just because it was on saltines? It was in soup, remember. It does sound pretty awful to me. But what do I know. John Besh sounds like Bern Folds – that same slightly nerdy, slightly smarmy nice-guy voice with the muted Southern accent.
Chuy makes dirty mouth dirty rice, which sounds more like a warning than a dish, but it’s a signature Creole dish and John Besh might like it. Basmati rice with black eyed peas, shredded jerky, green chilis and canned smoked trout sounds a lot better. He’s one of the top three.
Edward, aka Mr. Catastrophe, pulls his back, and is not pleased to be hurting and standing in the hot sun in a muddy field. This is the same field that was dry as Lindsay’s saltine sandwich. I guess it was dried mud. He sees everyone making mess hall food; he’s not going to make Flintstones food. He makes Thai peanut soup, and a crab cake wrapped in nori with hominy. Wait – survival packs have nori? Just what kind of survivalists are these? John Besh likes his dish, and he’s in the top three for his attention to detail.
ChrisJ runs over to a neighboring cornfield (which looks pretty yellowed) in case there’s something usable there, but it’s pretty dry. I vaguely remember Alton Brown talking about the different types of corn; sweet corn is a pretty specific thing, not the same as the stuff that’s grown in massive quantities for cattle feed, so I’m guessing it’s not the kind of corn you eat. Aha, here it is, a nerd’s guide to corn. ChrisJ gives up on the corn but uses the husks for plating. He ends up with fried chicken (I’m guessing that means seared in a skillet as opposed to real fried chicken) with lemongrass noodles, and crunchy noodles on top.
Grayson works on some pickled herring with hearts of palm salad with dates dressed with herring juice, because she wanted something that tasted really fresh. Yeah, herring juice just screams freshness to me. But John Besh seems to think it kinda worked.
Ty-lör makes black pepper chicken stew with some plain rice. Padma’s impressed by the rice, which is pretty good for the circumstances. Yeah, no more excuses for bad rice in the kitchen, guys.
Sarah worries about her dried beef on pineapple rice with hearts of palm salad. It passes without comment.
Paul makes pork and beans spiced with coffee, and basmati rice.
Dakota makes sweet and spicy noodles, and throws on pineapple juice for acid. Bad move, since Padma says the pineapple juice is way too sweet. Dakota’s in the bottom for her one-dimensional sweet corn-on-pineapple.
Whitney doesn’t see a lot of inspiration in her pack (hey, they’ve got nori and basmati rice and smoked trout, we’re not talking spam and protein cakes here). She makes beer and peach glazed chicken with green beans. Beer isn’t inspiring? I guess not: John Besh didn’t feel the love. She’s in the bottom three. At least she was shown actually cooking something.
ChrisC has an Asian survival kit, including lemon drink powder (beloved all over Asia). He makes spicy garbanzo beans (another Asian delicacy) with crab and artichoke cake (and again, Asian staples) and tofu (finally, something Asian!) and uses the lemon powder for acid, which strikes John Besh as inventive. But not inventive enough, because otherwise it’s underseasoned and he lands in the bottom. I wonder if John Besh still looks handsome to him.
They’re headed for Highland Park, one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in Dallas. Three neighbors are having a progressive dinner party, which is not a political event but a division of labor: one house for the appetizer, another for the entrée, another for dessert. John Besh tells them Southerners love to eat and they all have opinions (as opposed to those of us in the North, where we have to be force-fed and will agree with anything).
Padma tells them this will test their ability to make dinner party food. She divides them into the three courses (it looks pretty random, though who knows, they could’ve been told where to stand). Dakota‘s not happy to be stuck with dessert again. Ty-lör is fine with cooking for the rich and famous, he has a lot of experience catering for Bill Gates, rock stars, and movie stars. Something about that progression amuses me.
The Appetizer group – ChrisJ, Paul, Whitney, Lindsay, and Sarah – gather at their host home to discuss the menu. ChrisJ is reminded of Desperate Housewives. Whitney grew up poor, living in hotel rooms (and not nice ones, she specifies), so this is pretty different for her. The wife is a life style and entertaining expert. Hey, me too! Different lifestyle, though. She thought of having a theme of pink, and when she sees the faces of the chefs she says “but we decided against that.” She doesn’t like bell peppers, cilantro, or any food that sticks in your teeth or causes bad breath; it has to be easy to eat. ChrisJ, being the MotoMan, asks about new ways of preparing foods, and she balks; she’s not very adventurous with food. He keeps pushing: what if it’s food you like, just presented in a different way? “For you, yes,” she says, and any idiot can see she’s just saying that. But ChrisJ is not just any idiot. And he’s still reeling from losing his little buddy last week.
In the entrée house, Ty-lör, Beverly, Nyesha, Heather, and Chuy discover cilantro and raspberries are anathema. How can anyone not like raspberries? It must be the seeds. The husband likes spicy food and beef, but the wife won’t eat red meat, which must make for some interesting dinners. Chuy dismisses her as high maintenance; in his restaurant he can kick people like her out. Yeah, I bet you do. I’m getting a little tired of Chuy. Ty-lör smells money. I thought he was used to this stuff? I mean, these are nice houses, but they’re not Bill Gates nice.
For dessert, Edward, ChrisC, Grayson, and Dakota gather to plan. The good news is: ChrisC doesn’t pronounce anyone to be hot. The people like cupcakes, bananas, fudge, and punch; it has to be worth every calorie. The husband loves gummi bears; in fact, his wedding cake was a giant gummi bear. Edward can’t compute (his word, not mine) that someone with that kind of elegance (his phrase, not mine) is telling him he should cook gummi bears (his shock, not mine). I suspect the producers encouraged that particular revelation. It’s amazing that some guys are ok with admitting on television they had a groom’s cake in the shape of a gummi bear. They later say the wedding was a month ago and was attended by twelve hundred people (prompting Gail to admit she, a high-end magazine editor, doesn’t know 1200 people. I’m willing to bet they didn’t know most of the people at the wedding, either.). I assume it was a groom’s cake; if the wedding cake was a gummi bear, that’s a whole different kettle of gelatin. I gotta tell my buddy Marko about this. He’s famous for gummi bears.
The Appetizer People start:
Lindsay remembers the wife said she likes balance, and to her that means having raw, roasted and poached items in one dish. That’s a different interpretation; I would think it means flavors. Or maybe textures. She makes a raw and roasted beet salad. One of the guests love it, but John thinks it’s boring. A guest says it’s really colorful, and Tom laughs. I suspect that was a scene cut in to make it seem like he was laughing at the naïve fool who likes colorful food, though I’m not sure why that’s such a laughing matter.
ChrisJ makes a cigar. Not a real cigar, of course. But he noticed the guy had some cigar lighters around, and he took off with the idea. It’s roast chicken and sweet corn wrapped in collard greens, with edible ash of cumin and sesame seeds. I still remember Howie’s mushroom pastry cigar on the boat; one of the comments was that it wasn’t appetizing. This cigar is even worse. Edible ash? It’s a Moto dish (though made with Cuban pork). I’m sure it goes over really big when someone goes to Moto because people who go to Moto expect edible cigars, but these people are here to become famous and audition for Real Housewives of Dallas, not to try new food. The wife says it’s “daunting” which is PoliteSpeak for “WTF?” The real trouble is, it’s not a successful dish; Tom says it’s dry, and Gail complains that picking up a big greasy cigar isn’t something a lady does while wearing a cocktail dress. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes it’s not something you want to stuff in your mouth after all. It’s the kind of modernist cooking that often gets slammed on this show. ChrisJ is gonna be in trouble.
Sarah, however, sees ChrisJ’s cigar in the kitchen, and starts second-guessing herself, because he’s produced something so whimsical and she did what she knows, which is Italian food, so she just has these Roman artichokes with date puree. The wife loves it.
Whitney makes a seared scallop over sweet corn. It wouldn’t have started a conversation. Poor Whitney, she’s wallpaper.
Paul‘s theory is, if you impress the lady, the guy will go along with it. And he doesn’t think cigars will impress the ladies. He makes fried brussels sprouts with grilled prosciutto. The wife is crazy about his Brussels sprouts; she roasts hers, but his are much better. Because, of course, they’re fried, not roasted. Everything, from Padma’s toe on up, is better fried. But I have to give her credit for realizing they weren’t boiled, I guess. Actually, I’m being unnecessarily snippy. I’ve made roast Brussles sprouts that were so crispy on the outer leaves, they might have been fried. But that was an accident.
In the Entrée house:
There’s an interesting little turf war going on, starring Beverly the (not)Meek. Heather and Nyesha are annoyed with her because she’s using the whole sink and two collanders and wants Nyesha’s pans and moves the blanching water and the strainer… it’s all very low-key and mostly conducted in tone of voice (and interviews) rather than direct confrontation. Even though someone, I’m not sure who, says something about sabotage, it’s all very polite. I don’t know what actually happened, but Beverly is pouty that they’re singling her out for leaving stuff around and making her clean up after herself. This messiness hasn’t been shown to be an issue with her before (though her meat counter behavior makes it clear she is the only important person in the world), but neither have Heather or Nyesha been shown to be overly fussy before, so who knows. It’s a nice kitchen, but it’s small for making five entrées. I wonder if Nyesha still thinks Beverly is meek. Chuy and Ty-lör must be cooking somewhere else, because they’re nowhere to be seen.
Chuy, in a play on bagels with lox and cream cheese (I wonder if Next Iron Chef is coordinating with them), is making sockeye salmon and goat cheese wrapped in corn husks with a cherry tomato and avocado relish; he’s a little worried because the salmon seems slightly overcooked and the cheese looks funny. Tom mentions the salmon is very overcooked. One of the guests likes it, though. I once got into an earnest discussion with a server about salmon doneness. I practically had to sign a disclaimer to get mine medium.
Ty-lör is a worried, because he knows presentation is a major factor in high society (oh, for pete’s sake, these people aren’t high society, they’re pretentious fools) and while his dish tastes great, it looks like crap. I’m not sure how that happened or why he can’t fix it, but it is, as they say, what it is. He loves how Heather’s dish looks. They’re good friends. I don’t know if that means they’ve been good friends all along (he’s in New York, she’s in Chicago, but maybe they went to school together) or if they’re good friends of two weeks’ duration. He serves his grilled pork tenderloin with summer slaw and pineapple. Gail says it’s sloppy and a little dry. One of the guests says it’s something her mother might’ve served in the 50s. Seems like Ty-lör doesn’t understand the upper crust as well as he thinks he does.
Heather makes garlic and rosemary grilled lamb chops with charred garbanzo beans and a mint chimichurri sauce. One of the guests loves the garbanzo beans – they’re fresh ones, it seems, since they’re green – but Tom can’t get past how overcooked and tough the lamb is. Uh oh.
Beverly has a seared scallop over creamy polenta with white truffle. The guests like it. White truffles are expensive, so of course they like it. I’m not clear on whether it’s actual white truffles (which would seem prohibitively expensive unless they’re sold by the shaving in Dallas), or white truffle oil, because I was under the impression that white truffle oil is considered evil by those who know (and by Gordon Ramsey as well). One of the Iron Chefs used it in the last challenge, which makes my point (when a Chopped contestant used it, the entire panel screamed, “No!”). Most truffle oil isn’t made from actual truffles anyway, it’s made from a synthesized chemical that imparts the fragrance to the truffle. For someone who wouldn’t eat a truffle unless it was literally the last thing on earth and isn’t likely to ever encounter one in any color or form, I sure know a lot about truffle oil. That’s what comes from watching too many cooking competitions.
Nyesha makes filet of beef with red wine sauce. One of the guests doesn’t like it because the sauce looks like blood. John Besh reassures her that it’s red wine reduction. I wonder how hard they had to look to find these people. I’ve tried to be nice so far, but they’re beyond hope.
And on to Dessert. Gail hopes for ice cream.
ChrisC has a recipe for a basic cupcake, but he’s never tested it so this is a learning experience at a bad time; he’s nervous. He’s pretty sure dessert people tend to go home. I’ve always been adamant that anyone appearing on Top Chef should have three simple desserts ready for gussying up with amazing flavors; sounds like ChrisC had the right idea but not enough follow-through. He makes a strawberry cupcake with banana custard, fruit, mint ice cream, heath bars, and the kitchen sink. All that’s missing are the gummi bears. Poor ChrisC. He can’t choose between pleasures, can he? So he throws Padma, Fabio, and John Besh all on the plate, and adds in a little Britney and a dash of Bieber and maybe a sprinkle of Betty White just to cover the entire spectrum. One of the guests says she’s never had a fine dining cupcake; they should talk to the couple who requested cupcakes, and the guy who had a gummi bear groom’s cake. Tom says his mom taught him if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all, so he’s gonna stop there. Tom reveals in his Bravo blog that he was dealing with his own back pain that night, and he was very cranky.
Edward, speaking of bad backs, was doing fine until ChrisC asked him how his back was feeling, at which point it started to bother him again. Yeah, I know how that is. Edward’s making panna cotta. Oh no! Panna Cotta is right up there with risotto in the Bad News category. He figures, in spite of what the idiot clients told him about cupcakes and gummi bears, what if everyone’s expecting an elegant dessert and he goes out with a bowl of fudge? First, if your fudge is in a bowl, you’ve made it wrong. He serves cardamom scented panna cotta with cantaloupe consomme. One of the ship of fools says it looks jiggly. I guess she doesn’t know it should quiver like the inner thigh of a seventeenth century courtesan (™ Nigella Lawson). Seriously, where did they get these people? Was the object to make fun of the Dallas rich? Because they’re doing a great job of that. Better watch out, Bravo, you’re going to find yourselves running out of gas on a lonely highway somewhere.
Dakota has made a milkshake, but she doesn’t have a vessel for it. So she makes a shot glass out of dates. Because rich people don’t have shot glasses in their houses, not a single one. She smashes the date into thimble shape with her bare fingers. I’m thinking she used to make little balls out of Wonder Bread when she was a kid. She’s a little worried about the texture of her bread pudding. She serves banana bread pudding, banana mousse, and her date banana milkshake. That’s a whole lotta banana. But the wife declares it’s worth every calorie, nice and creamy.
Grayson is worried her sponge cake won’t be spongy; dessert is not her thing (see my earlier pronouncement on the necessity of having three desserts in your pocket, Grayson). She makes chocolate sponge cake with caramelized bananas (I hope everyone likes bananas as much as Dessert Wife does) and chocolate covered pretzels. One of the husbands says it was too rich for his tastes. Tom is surprised anything could be too rich for Dallas; that was a backache comment, wasn’t it?
Entertaining Interstitial: Chuy has a lot of stories about his dad. He built every piece of furniture in their house. He could build a house, just tell him where. He’s superman. ChrisJ loves Chuy’s dad, he’s awesome. They show a picture of Chuy’s dad. Lots more family pictures this season.
Padma calls Sarah, Grayson, Paul, and Dakota to Judges’ Table. This must be the best dishes, since I’m positive ChrisJ’s cigar is going to be in the bottom. And they are. Tom loved Grayson‘s chocolate covered pretzels (I do, too – not Grayson’s, but my own, and Snyder’s, and, in a serious pinch, Nestle’s). John liked Sarah‘s refined flavors; they worked together. Gail liked Dakota‘s bread pudding; it was moist, nostalgic, and comforting, sort of like a vagina. No, Gail didn’t say that about the vagina. Tom loved the textures of Paul‘s dish; everything on the plate made sense.
John declares Paul is the winner, for his focus, finesse, and for listening to what the clients wanted. Paul is happy, since he’s from Texas and he’s representing.
ChrisJ (I told you so), Ty-lör, ChrisC, and Chuy come out to face the music. Heather and her tough, overcooked lamb chop somehow escapes the interrogation, but that may be because it’s Feminist Top Chef (Tin Foil Hat speculation coming up). ChrisC was all over the map; it was like a three-year-old’s party. He defends himself by saying he was giving them what they wanted. John says fine, but you have to listen and not give in to every whim. Padma asks Ty-lör if he was satisfied with his dish; he says no, it wasn’t clean enough. Gail agrees, everything was out of proportion; John says the meat was hacked and his knife skills were inadequate (which is a huge surprise; this hasn’t come up before, and he has the kind of international experience you’d think would require knife skills, especially in Asia). Chuy says his dish was from his restaurant, causing Padma to raise her eyebrows. Tom questions him about the dish, and finds out the salmon has to be cooked to well-done to get the cheese to melt properly, so it’s a poorly conceived dish, one that cannot possibly work. ChrisJ wanted to go big with the cigar when he saw the guy was a cigar afficionado; he doesn’t mention it’s a Moto dish, but I’m sure Tom knows that already. Tom tells him to look at the ingredients and figure out if it’s the best dish to make with those things. John says it was a gimmick (oooh, Homaro Cantu’s gonna get you), the collard greens were stringy, the ash was unappetizing; focus on good food, not tricks.
At this point I thought it would be Ty-lör; he should’ve been able to make that dish, and I still don’t get why he couldn’t. Or maybe Chuy, who was flawed in concept and execution. ChrisJ at least was ambitious and had a good idea, and ChrisC did serve a decent cupcake; no one complained about any of the elements individually, not the cake or the custard or the ice cream, just that there was too much stuff (I’ve already been told I’m wrong about this, so I’ll pay closer attention next time I watch). As John Besh says, a cupcake is one thing, but pork tenderloin, really?
It’s Chuy who’s out. He’s the youngest person in the competition and he wanted to make it work. He doesn’t seem all that broken up, maybe he’s just stoic. We don’t get any “my father will hate me” which is a relief.
Last Chance Kitchen:
Chuy says “That’s what I get for being the funny guy.” No, honey, that’s what you get for overcooking salmon. Though I still am not sure why it was you and not Ty-lör, and I really don’t get why the tough lamb chop escaped censure completely. He gets The Letter, and finds Keith and his orange tool box waiting in the kitchen. Tom tells them the challenge is all about beef. They go to a meat shop and the butcher takes them into the back and pats down a side of beef.
Digression: why is meat so slappable? The urge to slap a chicken or a roast is irresistable. I first realized it wasn’t just me when I saw a scene on Northern Exposure which had Maurice using a 778 pound forequarter of beef as a punching bag. There’s something about a big slab of meat that just begs for the palm of your hand. Butternut squash and eggplant, too.
They walk out with a rib rack each, which fits so nicely into the trunk of their product placement car, they are moved to discuss the roominess back there.
The task is to butcher five bone-in ribeyes, and cook one medium rare steak. Tom shows them a sample steak so there will be no question of how the butchering should be done. It has to have a nice crust but not be overseared, and be evenly cooked on both sides. They have forty-five minutes to butcher, cook, rest, and serve. Chuy declares himself the Puff Daddy of steak (and I declare him, finally, to be annoying). He grew up in a family of butchers (who made furniture and invented Habanero peppers). Keith asks him why he got kicked off, and he says he overcooked the hell out of an unovercookable dish, which is I guess one way of putting it. His bones are going to be spotlessly clean, like a dead body that’s been laying in a coffin for a hundred years. Now there’s some appetizing imagery. Almost as good as cigar ash.
Keith seasons his steak with something he calls blackening salt and cooks it on the back of a cast iron skillet, something he learned early in his career because he never had a full cast iron something, so he just turned the pan over and it was nice and smooth. I’m not sure I follow, but I doubt it matters. Chuy grills his steaks and puts them in the oven.
Tom comes by for tasting. Keith has tied two of the butchered steaks. One has a little messy spot on it, though the bones are fairly clean, and the sizes are a little different. He cuts into it and discovers it’s a little more cooked on one side than the other, and it’s “almost there.” Keith thought it might be more rare than medium-rare but he wasn’t sure because he hadn’t seen Chuy’s steak yet. I’m not sure why Chuy’s steak would have any impact on whether his was undercooked or not, but I seem to be missing a lot of this. The seasoning is spot on, and it was nicely rested.
Chuy took the fat cap off, which Tom finds disappointing since there’s a lot of flavor in there. And I would think the sample steak wasn’t done that way, but maybe Chuy didn’t look. The bones are perfectly clean, and it’s a nice medium rare.
He says they’re about equal except for the little mess that Keith made so Chuy wins. I think it was more lopsided than that; Keith had a host of flaws that Chuy didn’t, but maybe cutting off the fat cap was a bigger sin. At this point, I’m done with Keith. That’s what’s so great about this system, by the time someone’s really truly out, I don’t care about them any more. Does that make me fickle? Hey, it’s reality tv, not marriage.
Next week, the chefs tour the Southfork ranch (sorry, I never paid any attention to who shot JR). And Ty-lör cuts his hand. This must be a pretty boring episode if that’s the high drama. Hell, Edward cut his hand in the prelims and kept cooking while he was being bandaged. But “if it bleeds, it leads” isn’t just for news any more.
Tin Foil Hat time:
Usually it’s a parade of women out the door in the first few episodes. I wonder if this group of women is particularly strong, or if there’s some effort to counter the past complaints by waiting until mid-season to start cutting them.
And this was filmed in July and August, before the OWS movement started; but tonight skewered the 1% (ironic since Tom and Padma, and possibly Gail now that she’s a TV star, are in the 1%). I resent that the Real Housewives audition (and I’m convinced that’s what it was) intruded into Top Chef. Seriously, how does Bravo find people so vapid and stupid?