Chef Tell: Savory's Finale a Little Sick, Sweet's Premiere a Little Sour
First of all, let's get something out of the way. We all need closure. After our lovely Tiffany Derry packed her knives and came home to Dallas to get hitched, I didn't recap the finales. Partly because I was heartbroken they sent Kelly home over Kevin or Angelo on Part 1 and partly because, well, there was no one from Dallas on there anymore. But I have to address who won the big show don't I?
It was he, the spongerdog. The guy who seemed like a total spare for a while. The guy who didn't practice using a wok before traveling to fricking Singapore for a cooking contest. The guy who, I'll admit, I did not want to win...until dinner service in last night's episode: Kevin Sbraga.
Ed, my favorite after Tiffany and Kelly, grew so unbelievably cocky and smug you could taste the bitterness through the screen. He used to be sarcastic and funny; last night he was an egotistical douche who actually responded to a criticism with "What'd you want me to do?" like he was a Real Housewife of New Jersey. Fuckin' Ed with his complex veggie cockles, duck two ways, fish eight-gazillion ways and his lame cake with salt cream.
Angelo -- with his troubling, intense sickness and shots in the ass from a tall, smiling doctor -- rallied to compete, and I liked him for it. I had actually started rooting for him a bit more when he teared up at Kelly's departure. I forgot about his whole Tony Robbins thing since I hadn't seen him speak mantras into his cereal bowl for several episodes. He's so strange, and yes, cocky, but when he said he was happy for Kevin, I absolutely believed him.
And so Kevin was named Top Chef. And Eric Ripert looked absolutely gorgeous. But it was a little anti-climactic. The teaser for the reunion next week, however, wasn't. It showed T-Derr calling out Creepy Bald Dude for pea thievery and Padma alluding to crazy-big changes for the next season. Care to take a guess? I want Bourdain and Ripert with Tom in the middle...and a new journal for my slashfic.
Anyway, the contestants arrived at the airport and such pretending to be happy to meet one another, scanning for potential shower hook-ups, scanning for weaklings, bad clothes, messy hair, weak handshakes, purty mouths and all the things one might look at when one knows there will be a time in the near future when one must establish a roommate situation.
They all boarded a double-decker red touring bus and sat on top where everyone's hair would be sure to stay really awesome as they drove around and picked up more cheftestants and finally, host Gail Simmons, head judge Johnny Iuzzini and Iuzzini's pompadour.
Dallas's own Morgan Wilson, of the Ritz-Carlton, commented that he thinks pastry chefs can do a savory chefs job but a savory chef could only be a mediocre pastry chef. I heard a weird sound that was a little like knife sharpening coming from the direction of the Ritz-Carlton, but it could've also been sprinklers or something.
Quickfire Challenge: Signature desserts in one hour and 30 minutes! Winner gets immunity! How totally boring!
Seth, or Princess Dexter, because he is such a diva and looks like Michael C Hall, was already grating on everyone's nerves. Mine and the cast's and Johnny pompadour's. You could tell. Zamboyant, the super dramatic and hilariously bitchy Zac, provides the best commentary. If he gets whisked away, I hope they'll let him narrate. These two, I can tell already, will prove to be either huge competition or allies for Morgan. Something about their flair for the drama and their candid remarks. Could end in bloodshed or a gorgeous fondant, it's hard to say.
Gail and JohnnyPomp threw everyone a lame-ass curve ball and told them to modify their recipe into a cupcake. Morgan said "Everybody crapped their pants" but I really didn't notice a huge problem or excessive freakouts. I, however, had a problem: Enough with the cupcakes, people. I'm so over them. But whatever.
Princess Dexter won with something involving a basil buttercream. Zamboyant fell into the bottom three with a girl who didn't finish and a guy who didn't make a cupcake but who put sweet soup in a bowl and acted like it fit the challenge. So Zam acknowledged that he had the worst "actual" cupcake. Nice.
Time for the Elimination Challenge! Hey, speaking of pants crapping, has anyone at Bravo ever considered that on a food show, perhaps we shouldn't have an "elimination" challenge? It sounds so...digestive. Anyway, it was all about chocolate and serving 50, including guest judge "Mr. Chocolate" Jacques Torres in place of Hubert Keller. Yikes.
Prep was bland and boring. No one has their workroom TV vibe up to snuff just yet. But we did get plenty of shots of GE Monogram appliances lest we forget who's sponsoring this show. And back at the house, things were definitely more entertaining. Princess Dexter has insomnia so whoever shall be his roommate shall suffer! Morgan needs a cold house or he won't sleep and neither will you! And Zamboyant cited "bathroom issues" but I do think he was just making fun of the other guys and their needs.
The next day the judges (Gail, JohnnyPomp, DailyCandy's Dannielle Kyrillos and Torres) ate so much chocolate it was a little hard to watch comfortably. Zam blew on his food with "disco dust." Not a good move, but he made it to the top three with Princess Dexter and Heather. She won. She seems nice. I can't remember what she looks like or what she made. She's gonna need to amp that shit up.
Morgan and his fried chocolate pie and milk chocolate bourbon flan landed in the bottom three with Sloppy Tart and Grainy Mousse by PJ Harvey. He was pissed and not in a disappointed-in-himself way. More in a ragey, uncomfortable-to-watch and everyone-else-is-a-loser way. That's going to be interesting. I picked Sloppy Tart for the wisk-away, but PJ was send home. I liked her vibe.
Season teaser: Morgan shouting that he wants to hurt someone. Morgan stealing all the butter. Morgan antagonizing another chef. Morgan announcing it was time for sabotage. An altercation in front of the judges. Cirque du Soliel (naturally). Outdoor cake decorating. More shouting. A fight. Namecalling. I'm not kidding. I could go on.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Dallas dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.