TOP CHEF RECAP: This Is “Lamb,” Not “A Lamb”


This is a recap of Top Chef New York Episode 8, “The Life And Death Of Lambie The Lamb”. If you haven’t seen the episode already, don’t read on or you’ll learn things that are none of your goddamn business, ya hear?

Simpsons Lamb Chops– I was sorely disappointed by the chefs’ trip to the farm; the preview from last week made it look like the chefs were gonna have to butcher their own animals and face the regret of killing cute things (a la Kid Nation), but instead, they just saw the animals for twelve seconds, Jeff picked some green tomatoes off the ground, then magically, cleaned, readily-butchered animals were waiting for them back in the kitchen. L to the F-ing to the -ame.

— I liked Bravo’s anti-product shots in this week’s Quickfire Challenge; because the theme was “cook with this sh*tty sh*t you never cook with,” Bravo went out of their way not to display the Hormel Chili logo or any of the Del Monte canned vegetables, but still managed to slip in the weekly inconspicuous eighty-second shot of the GE appliance logo. Bit of a conflict of interest for the producers, perhaps? “Here’s this canned crap that no chef ever uses — but seriously, Uncle Ben’s microwavable minute rice is chef-tastic!”

Hosea lending Stefan Spam for the Quickfire wasn’t quite the thrilling controversy Bravo made it out to be, we knew neither one had a chance of getting eliminated this week. It was the least controversial controversy since The Case of the Phantom Frog.

— Jeff’s Quickfire looked pretty awesome…

Jeff Quickfire

..but you could probably put anything on those sweet three-compartment fancyplates and it’d still look delicious:

Jeff Alternate Quickfire

After the jump, let’s discuss Elimination Challenge, Bravo mercantilism, and ask in our worst Seinfeld voices, “What’s the deal with Hosea?”

Ariane was finally eliminated, but no one will ever take away her Best Bravo Company Line-Tower Award; she kept insisting two episodes ago that it was Christmas, she mentioned Dr. Pepper eight times last episode and drank some and poured some in her Quickfire dish, then this week, she even commented “this is nice!” while playing with the window of her Toyota Sponsormobile. Maybe it’s like Monopoly — you roll doubles three times, you’re out. (High five to commenter Brigid for also noticing this last week)

Hosea Dish– That being said, as much as we’ve all ripped on Ariane in the past, she probably didn’t deserve to go home this week; Leah was begging to get sent home by contributing almost nothing and not even attempting to defend herself at the Judge’s Table, but how about Hosea? He’s clearly one of the better chefs in the group, but he left the butchering to Ariane and continually passed the buck in front of the Judges, then when Tom asked him what he made, he actually mentioned “the potatoes.” F*cking roasted potatoes! I could’ve made those in college, and that’s back when I was still doing my laundry with Easy Mac. None of the Judges called him out on this? I’m not saying he should’ve gone home, but Hosea’s top three chances took a shot this week (bro).

— The EW recap speculates that Bravo just wanted to milk the Hosea/Leah relationship for another week. Sounds probable, but I’d buy it a little more if Hosea had a vagina.

— Also, how two-faced was Ariane when she finally got eliminated? In Week 2 when she probably should’ve lost but didn’t, she kept crying and saying “I don’t deserve to be here,” then as soon as she was actually asked to leave, she immediately started whining about the other chefs. Have we forgotten a little thing called The Golden Rule? “If you whine about other people, you do not deserve gold.”

Lamb– Also, it seems almost too elementary to mention, but why, five seasons into this damn show, do teams still insist on cooking things they don’t know how to cook? If you don’t know how to tie a roast, don’t tie a roast! No one’s forcing you! You’re on Team Lamb, not Team Must Do Perfectly Tied Roast [cue Fabio voice]. I don’t go to cook dinner for myself and say, “I think I’m gonna make a soufflé tonight. Aw crap, I don’t know how to make a soufflé. This soufflé didn’t turn out great, but I tried my best to salvage it, please give me one more week…”

— During the dessert round, my roommate pondered, “Has anyone ever cooked a successful crème brûlée on Top Chef?” I believe that would be a ‘no’ — it’s the only dish more frequently botched than scallops (per capita).

— On a lighter note… Now available on the Bravo website, the “I Heart Padma” T-shirt:

Salman hearts padma

— I’m only mentioning this week’s “DVR-buster” segment about Stefan’s ‘cock’ to declare that it wasn’t even worth mentioning.

— Coming up next week? Hosea and Leah doin’ a little o’ this.

Updated Power Rankings:

1) Stefan

2) Jeff (still convinced he could overreach and screw himself on any given Wednesday, but he’s ballsy and talented and drug-dealer-banker-looking enough to make the finals.

3) Jamie

4) Hosea (The Final 3 can only be so bald, right?)

5) Fabio (Hasn’t made anything inspiring in weeks)

6) Radhika

7) Carla

Next To Go: Leah

Thoughts on Top Chef: Farmerland, people? Leave yer reactions, predictions, Lisa The Vegetarian quotes in the comments, please.

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