Top Chef
Food On The Fly

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Nuke it Up A Notch

The next day, the chefs pull up at a big ol' mansion, and the Katie Leebot stands there in her black Jackie O glasses and dress and reminds us of their mission to product place the KENMORE microwaves. Chefferson is back as a judge along with the usual suspects. The chefs unpack. Andrea was confident because she knew the women were between the ages of twenty-five and forty, her core audience. "It's become clear that this competition is not totally about cooking technique -- you need to have the total package, you need to be able to serve your product, you need to be, you know, personable," Harold tells us. Miguel tells us, "I feel very confident in the dish I prepared -- no matter if the president sat to it or a homeless sat to it, they would both enjoy themselves. It was nothing fancy, it was simply good food." In the fancy kitchen, Andrea jokingly asks, "Can I practice how to use this thing?" about the microwave. Apparently, she hasn't used one in TEN YEARS. How the hell does she make microwave popcorn with the Agent Orange cheese sauce? Candice worries what the microwave will do to her dish, "It might make it better, 'cause it's eggs and cream." As usually, I don't follow Candice's meandering chain of thought. Stephen tells Miguel that he's never had a TV dinner. Miguel's surprised, "Really?" "No, of course not," Stephen confirms. Miguel shrugs at Stephen's "of course not," and adds, "I'm sorry you didn't get to experience that." Do you think Stephen was ever, you know, a kid? Or did he spring, fully suited-up from his mother's head? "You'd eat anything, wouldn't you?" Stephen asks Miguel. I don't really like his tone here. It's sneering and taunting. Miguel says he'd give everything a shot. Spoken like a true chef. "I'm sure you were the kind of guy -- your family sat together and ate right?" Miguel asks. "Of course," Stephen ponces again. There's no "of course" about that, Stephen. God, did you ever look around you and realize there's an entire world out there? Stephen asks why Miguel and his family didn't eat together. "'Cuz I grew up in a single-parent home. My mother worked eight hours a day and came home and whatever she put together, that's what we ate and then we got to homework and then it was bedtime," Miguel says, wiping the self-satisfied grin right off Stephen's face. "Nothing wrong with that, man," Stephen says, trying to clamber down from his ivory tower and be all plebian with his "man."

Oh, lord. The Junior Leaguers are prominently drinking Sofia in a Can. I'd have though they'd have more taste than that, but maybe it's more PRODUCT PLACEMENT. Dave hops around the kitchen and repeats, "Boom, load, micro, go!" He could be a cheerleader for Iron Chef America. Dave tells us that he knew his dish looked like shit, so he had to make sure all the Jr. Leaguers knew where his time was spent in the kitchen. We see Dave outside, pacing and waving his arms around, deep in thought. Harold tells us, "Dave was going out there with the hand motions and talking to himself, and I was like, 'That's great man, if that's your style, just roll with it.' But, you know, I think there's a good chance that he might be going home." Dave welcomes the Jr. Leaguers to the Microwave Pool Party, which gets a big laugh out of the ladies for some reason. I think they're drunk. He begs for a few minutes to get set up after which he promises to chat. He pushes some buttons and tells the ladies that his focus was on "flavor and functionality." He serves them a Dual Sauced Lasagna with a Colorful Veggie Medley. He tells them he wants adults and kids to be able to eat it, "The dog can eat it if it's that bad." More laughter. The ladies sample it. Some comments are that they love it and would "totally do it." They love the multi-colored veggies and say their kids would eat them because of their color.

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Top Chef

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