Videogum

Top Chef S07E10: Take Me Out To The Bowlpork (Cooking Puns!)

As this week’s episode opens, Ed is wandering around the house in one of Tiffany’s dresses. Everyone, Tiffany especially, finds this hilarious. Is it just me, or is anyone else amazed that in 2010 people still find men dressing up as women to be comedy gold? I guess maybe back when people gathered around the crystal radio set to listen to word stories about the big city this might have passed as amusing, but still? If I lived in the Top Chef house and saw Ed walking around in one of Tiffany’s dresses, I would have said, “Ed, go change into your regular clothes, unless this is how you are choosing to express your idealized self, but in either case, I’m not going to give you attention that you have not earned. This is not a frat house on Halloween, and I’m not a piece of shit with horrible taste.” Speaking of the Top Chef house, I had never really paid much attention to it before, but it’s actually pretty nice! Much nicer than, say, the Real Chance of Love horror ranch. It made me kind of sad. You know, for the house. All that history, all those human dramas played out within its walls, and now this. “Fuck my life” — the Top Chef house.

Anyway, for this week’s Quickfire Challenge, Padma gets reaalllllll cute. “We want someone who will be the top banana, not someone who is a monkey brains in a cup of soup. We are looking for the big cheese, not the hobo toast. Do you guys get it? Let me know if you get it.” No, Padma, no one gets it. “Idioms, duh!” Oh sure, duh, idioms, of course, duh. WHAT?

I mean, I guess idioms are as acceptable for a challenge as anything else on this show, and at the very least it allows the chefs to choose one ingredient (beans, salami) and make a nice dish, but also 3/4 of this show’s dialog is a poorly fabricated pun-based reference to cooking and/or government, so it’s ridiculous of Padma to speak the way she always does and pretend its a puzzle. Also, she says “Top dog.” Is someone going to cook dog? No. Shut up, Padma. Also, one of the idioms was “hide the salami” but no one actually chose that, which means it was just for us.

OH, THANK YOU SO MUCH. Also, the winning dish will be added to the Schwann’s line of frozen hospice dinners. Cool? I bet the frozen fish dinner (grosssss) will be a huge hit with the end-of-lifers. Anyway, Ed hates Amanda. Amanda loves mac and cheese. Angelo is done playing games but is just getting started talking to himself like a crazy person. And Kevin’s bacon foam dish is complete nonsense if you think about it.

Ed wins for his herb & roasted garlic gnocchi, spring vegetables & mushroom fricassee. Amanda says that she is throwing herself a pity party, and then proceeds to speak in a “funny voice” about how good mac and cheese is or something. You guys, I’m worried about Amanda!

This week’s Elimination Challenge is to cook food for a baseball game. Well, not really. When they actually get to the stadium, no one will be there, and when people do finally show up, they’re clearly not there for a game. Just to be absolutely clear: there is no baseball game featured in this episode. Admittedly, “Your challenge is to cook food and serve it to 50 people who answered a Craigslist ad at an otherwise empty baseball stadium” doesn’t sound as exciting. Amanda points out that these days, at a ballpark, you can get (eyeroll) anything. CODE DECIPHERED: you can get pills at the ballpark.

Shop shop shop, cook cook cook. Ed’s running is hilarious. Someone should make a GIF of the many instances of Ed’s running. I’m not going to do that, because this is Top Chef, not Top GIF. (It is also Top Lazy.)

The night before they go to the stadium, Angelo STEPS UP TO THE PLATE (do you get it? IDIOMS!) and offers to take the orders, but once they get to the stadium, he seems to be backpedalling. Kevin gets mad. You mad, Kevin. Kelly wants to tell Kevin not to be so mad. Shut up, Kelly. I wasn’t mad like how Kevin is mad until Kelly started talking and now I’M mad. Angelo finally agrees to lie in the bed that he made as long as someone will cook his dish. Ed agrees to do it, but then a few minutes later he says he has decided he’s not going to help Angelo. “Are you serious?” Angelo asks. “No, I’m kidding. I’ll do it.” Haha. CLASSIC ED.

The baseball players show up with their knuckles dragging on the ground, and the ladies seriously cream themselves. I know that’s a really gross IDIOM, and I apologize, but also it’s the only accurate description of what happens. And by ladies, of course, I mean Angelo. Angelo seriously creams himself. “It’s really cool,” he says. About the baseball players. “They’re very big and strong!” he says, probably. “I’m half-Dominican so I want some baseball player in me I MEAN BASEBALL IS IN ME!”

Speaking of Angelo, he is just losing it. He stands a very real chance of going out in a Richard Blaise of the-opposite-of-glory. As the episode opens, he explains that he used to keep a shrine to all the best chefs, and he would cut out photos of “four-star chefs.” Quick question: what is a four-star chef? According to what scale of measurement? The Atlanta Journal-Constitution? And in the quick interstitial segments, which normally I skip if possible, he talks to his Russian fiance on the phone? HOLY COW! That is just a very normal, very real relationship. “We’ve only seen each other once or twice, and I need to win $250,000 to settle her Visa complications.” SURE! Love is compromise! (Huh?) This is apparently how a grown man talks on the phone:

And this is how a grown man ties his shoes:

You guys, I’m worried about Angelo.

They showed that advertisement for the completely unnecessary Samsung “four-door refrigerator” again, featuring Eli from Top Chef Las Vegas giving us all a special recipe specifically designed for the “four-door refrigerator.” The recipe requires you to put cold cuts and cheese on a plate, and then PUT THAT PLATE IN THE REFRIGERATOR. Good recipe. Important invention. (Kill yourself, Samsung.)

The judges fake eat their food in the stadium seats just like at a real baseball game! Guest Judge Rick Moonen says of Amanda’s tuna tartare (seriously, Amanda?) that to prepare raw fish at a stadium takes real “baseballs.” Good one, Rick Moonen. You are a master seafood chef, and also a master of the worst fucking puns on Earth that you probably didn’t even come up with on your own but had handed to you written on a scrap of paper by a sweaty PA.

At Judges’ Table, the judges want to see…EVERYONE! The contestants look at each other with shock. It is completely unheard of for a reality show to slightly modify the typical patterns in an effort to keep the flagging suspense from flagging so much. Tiffany and Ed have the winning dishes, but in the end Ed wins with his deep-fried fritters and jalapeno aioli. He gets a copy of Rick Moonen’s book. At first I am about to be mad for him, since everyone else who’s been winning the Elmination Challenges has been getting things of actual value. But then he also wins a trip to Australia. Cool. He can take his ex-girlfriend there to try and win her back for all the pain he caused her by flirting with Tiffany (and wearing her clothes) on national television.

Everyone else is on the bottom, but Amanda is eliminated for her gray, slushy tuna tartare which she made with a meat grinder. On the one hand, she wasn’t planning on doing fish, but Kelly kind of pushed her into it. And then she made the mistake of listening to Angelo when he said “you should definitely cut your tuna a day in advance using a meat grinder,” and then she made the mistake of not knowing how to make a thing that she shouldn’t have been making in the first place. The truth is, the only person to go home who would have really shaken things up is Angelo, and he still might go early if he doesn’t get some thick twine and tie his head back onto his neck. But Amanada was definitely next in line to leave, as this season has been an (Kenny excepted) unsurprising single-file line to the door. Next week: goodbye, Kevin, I bet! But this week: goodbye, Amanda.

You were a pill who flew too close to the mouth.