Top Chef
Season 2 Finale, Part II

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Keckler: B | Grade It Now!
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So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish

On to the second course! Also known as, what will Bravo fuck up next? Ted Ilan gets fish advice from Elia in the kitchen. Actually, it appears that Elia cooks the fish herself. Elia tells us, "I am fighting for someone else. To weeeen the title. It's very hard but I know I am not going to screw up Ilan." Always disappointing me, Elia. Always. Ted Ilan explains the second course: Pan-Roasted Moi with Macadamia Nut Gazpacho. Ted Ilan explains that the moi is dressed with Spanish olive oil. However, I did see someone zesting Buddha's Hand in the kitchen -- that weird yellow fingery-looking object -- and I think that might be sitting on top of the fish as well. All the judges really like the dish. Conant even says, "That's what I look for in a young chef; he really gets it."

In the kitchen, Elia cooks meat for Ted Ilan. What is he doing? He doesn't cook the fish or the squab, which we later learn is so difficult to get right, so why is he -- oh, forget it. I really don't care anymore. "I need you guys and I love you!" Ted Ilan tells them. During the plating, Betty manhandles the shrimp. "When I started to put the shrimp on," Betty singsongs to us, "the heads started to detach from their bodies. And I'm like omigod! Because I didn't want to ruin it for him." I wish her head would detach from her body. Ted Ilan orders Betty to slow down. The food goes out. The third course is Seared Squab with Seared Foie Gras (going for the pleasure-center jugular, I see), Poached Shrimp, Braised Leeks, and Lobster Sauce. Hubert Keller is impressed by the medium-rareness perfection of the squab. Roy says surf and turf is his game and he loves it. Colicchio gives high praise to the sauce.

Kitchen. Elia cooks the beef. I'm sensing a theme here. Sorry, I said I didn't care anymore and I don't. Really. Truly. No caring going on here. Ted Ilan presents the Braised and Grilled Beef Short Ribs with Romesco Sauce and Mushrooms. Gail thinks the short ribs could have been braised a bit longer, but she still thinks the dish is tasty. Michelle Bernstein whines (I'm sorry, I'm sure that's just her voice, but it's very whiny), "I think I'm just looking for a little more. A little more flavor, a little more juiciness. You know? I want to sop it up with something." Roy -- I'm not trying to be over-familiar, but it's hard to use his last name when his restaurants are just ROY'S, you know? -- really liked the romesco sauce. "It goes back to his Spanish background," Padmadala says laboriously. Yes, dear, I think they all know that. Go smoke another joint. Gail is interested in the dessert because she doesn't think he has much pastry experience. "I know what he's doing and it's very smart," Colicchio brags.

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