Chef Tell: What's Black and White and Bitchy All Over?
Even from the previews for last night's Top Chef Just Desserts it was clear that Heather H. had daggers for Dallas' Morgan Wilson. And from the top of the episode, she was making it clear with free character analysis (assassination perhaps?) that seemed to stem from a greener place deep inside than from any concrete incident we've been privy to.
What was it she said? Oh yeah: He doesn't play fair, he degrades women, and something to the effect of his being an annoying bug she just wants to stomp on. Wow. Lots of aggression there. And, as a woman, I'd have to say that I've seen Morgan's testosterone shine through his choco-LBD challenge, but Heather H. has got the line on grudge-holding.
For the Quickfire, Gail introduced Michael Laiskonis, author and executive pastry chef at Le Bernardin NYC (as in, Eric Ripert's restaurant). Morgan and Zamboyant felt intimidated by his presence but they also looked a little starstruck.
The challenge was to create a one-pot dessert in one hour using savory ingredients. Mixers, ice cream machines and appliances typical to dessert making were off limits. What wasn't off limits was Dawn Hand Renewal soaps, which were pimped in just about every other shot. It got old really freaking quick...even if the camera's hands stayed touchably soft.
At the start of the hour, everyone raced to the ingredient table and Morgan went up against Zam for some golden beets, yanking a bunch from his paws...like ya do. In the process, he landed an elbow to Heather H.'s lip. This did wonders for her opinion of him, and she immediately began telling everyone on her Team Go Diva that he was a big accidental bully.
Morgan's response: "If you go to the post and Shaq knocks you on your ass, you learn not to go to the post with Shaq." All right, so maybe not the best response. Prolly shoulda said "Sorry" or some such before going straight into the b-ball metaphor.
The chefs grew tired of each other during this challenge. Go Diva was hording ingredients between them, Erika was resenting the hording and Morgan was racing around, cackling and raving about liquid nitrogen...kinda like Princess Dexter from days of yore.
But he wowed Laiskonis -- as Heather H. held ice to her lip begging for Gail to ask her what happened -- with a sweet potato risotto with golden beet sorbet (hence the liquid nitrogen) and sweet fried ginger-infused carrots. And Heather H. landed in the bottom, shaking her head dramatically in dismay when Laiskonis announced his tops were Morgan, Zam and Yigit. I can't figure out if she was more astonished that he didn't like hers or that he picked Morgan over her. Either way, she really knows how to show respect to a guest judge.
Zam was pleased that he was "no longer the Susan Lucci of Top Chef Just Desserts" as he won with a steamed beet cake with sweet goat cheese cream and lemon thyme gremolata. He then traded his immunity for $5,000 from Dawn -- say it with me -- Hand Renewal and immediately regretted it.
The Elimination Challenge was to create 200 desserts (each) for the LA Times' 128th anniversary party, in a strict color palette of black and white. They had $500 to spend in 30 minutes at Albertson's, four hours of kitchen prep and one hour of prep time on-site.
Zam was hard at work on a deep-fried whoopie pie. Really? I'm so over this whole whoopie pie trend. They're coming at us from all sides. Meanwhile Morgan was slaving over his dessert that celebrated the concept of columns and blocks that he thinks of when he thinks of a newspaper. That made this newspaper employee happy.
At the event, Heather H. was convinced that Morgan sabotaged her by stealing her rice krispies treats. He called "bullshit" and responded, "Team Go Diva, they're back-stabbing two-faced liars. I don't trust 'em as far as I can throw 'em. I can still throw 'em pretty far."
And so the war raged on. Oddly, the missing treats were never mentioned when Heather was called up as part of the Bottom Three before the judges and asked if her dessert was how she envisioned it. She claimed to be pleased with it, so I guess we should assume those allegedly missing treats didn't make a big difference.
Morgan was praised for his construction and Zam shouldn't have regretted his lucrative trade, but Yigit earned the win for nailing the spirit of the challenge and having the technical chops. Erika was sent home.
The viewer poll was all about Dallas' boy wonder. "Is Morgan too arrogant?" By the end of the show, 59 percent responded "Yes, he's full of his own frosting" and 41 percent responded "No, the proof is in his pudding." And this one person sat on her couch thoroughly grossed out at how perverse Bravo made frosting and pudding seem just by personalizing them. Way to go, Bravs. Way to go.
Next week: Desserty restaurant wars. Morgan cusses. The demise of Go Diva?
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