Thursday, June 24, 2010

Top Chef in DC - Week 2, still no hot chicks.

As week two got underway I waited with little anticipation to take my notes to write this review.  There's just something missing about this season.  Yes, we have some cocky chef's.  Yes, there is already a rivalry between Angelo and Kenny albeit not one where you can really take sides.  Angelo is a little schwarmy and wimpy all at the same time and Kenny is kind of a pissy whiner.  You want to beat Angelo, Kenny?  Here's a hint:  Cook better food.

Anyway, quick fire with Assistant White House Chef Sam Kaas.  Kaas is also a bigwhig in America hater the First Lady's Let's Move campaign to fight childhood obesity.  When did the position of "First Lady" come with a political agenda?  I don't care what letter is behind your name, there is no job description for first lady in the Constitution and no first lady should be allowed this kind of power.  From "Just say no" to this, it is a complete waste of taxpayer dollars and resources.  For crying outloud, when Clinton was president his wife tried to take over 1/6 of the economy with healthcare.  ITS NOT THEIR JOB.  Michelle, how about this?  You make sure the kids are doing well in school, iron some shirts, have some of the gals over for tea and let your inept, incompentent gutless husband continue to take us to economic ruin.  He really doesn't need your help.  But I digress.

Quick-fire challenge is to make a sandwhich.  Two chef's pair up and put on an apron that only allows each chef the use of one hand.  How ingenious.  Tracey and Angelo win.  Tracey admits that she has the screaming thigh sweats for Angelo but Angelo doesn't know yet how deep her passion burns.  Stay tuned.

The two of them are given immunity for this week's political statement challenge.  The chef's have to form into teams of four and come up with a school lunch.  Are you effin kidding me?  They're CHEFS!! Not C student nutritionists.  Sure they have an idea about health and nutrition but they didn't go to culinary school to come up with new and exciting ways to make franks and beans.  Sidebar - when I was in Catholic school and we were having franks and beans, all of us boys would be standing in line saying "did you donate? did you donate?"  Boys.  I'm glad I'm one.

Here's where I have a problem with the challenge and what Bravo is doing.  Is there a problem with childhood obesity?  Yeah, all indications are that there is some kind of problem.  Does it have anything to do with school lunches?  Not one damn thing.  Zero.  Not one piece of evidence can tie childhood obesity with school lunches but that won't stop Aunt Ester Michelle from trying to control more of your kids' lives and raising more of my taxes.  Here's a question for you, how can 1 in like 6 kids be going to bed hungry and we still have an obesity problem?  Are the fat kids eating the skinny kids' food?  I think I brought that up in a random thoughts but its still worth mentioning.

Kelly is the only chick contestant that's really catching my eye.  Yes, Kelly, you have a little bit of my attention.  Teams go get their food and start prepping then they go back to the Chef House.  Kelly is outside talking to Tracey and .........SHES WORKING A HEATER.  GAWDAMMIT!  C'mon Kelly, we could have had something, then I saw you with a lung dart in your hand.  The only other chick that looks good and stays in my target age range is Jaqueline and she's not really putting her best face forward tonight.  Just sayin.

So we go to judges table and blah, blah, blah.  Angelo made celery and peanut butter. He has imunity so what does he care.  Very gutless move and one that I hopes comes back to haunt him.  Little hint Angie in case you haven't watched any of the previous 6 seasons.  A couple of trips to the losers table and you'll be back making ruebens in a deli cart in Central Park.

Amanda cooked her chicken in sherry so Jaqueline couldn't afford to buy chocolate for her pudding.  Kelly made tacos and everyone else made some other kinds of food.  The effiminate Arnold kind of chewed Kelly out the night previous for not being a team player.  Guess what Arnie, you owe Kelly an apology because her tacos ROCKED.  Kids like tacos dipshit.  Kelly made the right play in taking full credit and just really worrying about her dish.  Well played.  Your Winna, Winna, Taco Dinna!! Maybe if you keep it down to a pack a day there might be hope.

The loser is Jaqueline.  I honestly thought she got hosed.  She tried to compromise and it cost her.  Not really all her fault.  Ed on the other hand just plain made a shitty dish and should have been sent home.  Besides, Ed doesn't look like this in his bio picture.
Where was this hiding?

Anyway, my favorites and not-so-favorites are really starting to exposed themselves.  I can hardly wait for next weeks challenge.  Maybe the guest chef will be the guy who tastes all of Obama's food. I think the challenge should be something like, "you're serving food for six congressman who are shitfaced on a Tuesday afternoon.  Your elimination challenge is to prepare a meal that a drunk congressman won't know is catpoop.  You'll have $40 each. Your time starts...................NOW!"


fishy said...

I do agree with you about this season, so far, not really having any stand outs. There does seem to be an odd blend of cheftestants with uber egos and/or uber insecurities.

I thought the challenge was a good one. The statistics of American children who are fit is not stellar. Certainly too many kids eat via some government program all of which is starch-fat-salt-sugar saturated. So conceptually this challenge had relevance. The budgets were okay and probably realistic. I think the correct neurotic chef was sent home for that starchy-sugar loaded pudding!

Did it seem to you the loaner judge from the White House was rude as hell? Sort of reminds me of his equally arrogant bosses.

As for First Ladies having a mission beside social obligations?
Well I loathe Mrs. O representing American women in that roll. She is mannerless. But I do think it is valid for women to not have to abandon "self" because of who they may be aspoused to. I am not certain the White House would have been restored or the many collections archived had it not been for the expert knowledge of Jackie.

Milk River Madman said...

My problem with the challenge is that it really doesn't fit the show and was totally political. Yes, the statistics of unfit children is not very good, but I find it hard to believe that school lunches are a major contributor. The problem with the budgets is that schools are buying in HUGE quantities.

The WH chef needs to learn some manners frontier style.

I agree with what you are saying but I don't consider changing the dietary habits of the nation a "social" role. What I don't like is that we elect a leader and their spouse seems to take on a political role making policy.

Great comments Fishy. Thanks.

fishy said...

I would agree with you on the challenge not being a good fit for the show in many regards. However,it was interesting to me because I believe it will take more than nutritionists to create healthy public school menus that are desired for taste first and benefits second. It will take chefs, really good ones.

Definitely the spouses should be prevented from taking on political policy making activities. They should however, maintain their rights to freedom of speech

Sharon Rudd said...

I'll agree with you on the right to free speech. And I'm guessing TC/DC has plenty more quasi-political challenges and bad puns in store for us. On the subject of school lunches and childhood obesity, have you read Colicchio's Bravo blog? I don't recall Tom ever getting up on his soapbox quite so fervently before, but there's some interesting food for thought there.

Meanwhile, MRM, I'm new to your blog, as you are to mine. Don't know whether you do much cooking, but I'm guessing you have an interest in food since you're recapping Top Chef. In case you're interested in participating - or just checking out the entries - I've announced the theme and details of the July Culinary Smackdown.

I'm kinda still in my "can't keep 'em all straight" phase with the new season of Top Chef. But I'll keep watching.


Big Shamu said...

Well, since you brought it up, first ladies. There is no defined role. Anywhere. So I guess each one makes the role her own. To pretend that Hilary and Michelle have somehow broken some ancient taboo is...well...extremely whiny. Perhaps a bit of history? From Abigail Adams (nicknamed Mrs. President)and Dolly Madison to Edith Wilson (really the first woman to assume duties of the president after Woodrow suffered a stroke) and Eleanore Roosevelt to Nancy Reagan (Just Say No campaign) and Hilary, first ladies were always in the mix, sometimes in a big way, sometimes not.

As for Top Chef and the subject of healthy food for children, that too has a long history. Who can forget Tiffany's aggravation at cooking for kids in Season 1? Or the whole Cheating Did She or Didn't She in Season Two cooking for the fat camp? How about the whole Cooking a Family Meal for $10 in Season 4? One of Top Chef's "messages" is to cook for families and kids as healthy as possible. Having them go back to a school and cook for kids on a limited budget is totally in line with the Top Chef history. You say you don't think school lunches are a major contributor but that's one meal a day, five days a week, 180 days a year. Don't you want kids to eat healthy meals? Vegetables, less fatty proteins, less sugary, overly processed desserts? Were you this upset when Laura Bush was advocating our government's commitment on AIDS? On literacy? Or humanitarianism?

First Ladies, god bless em, have minds and voices of their own.

Jenny said...

Woot! Shamy and MRM together talking Top Chef Smack, with a little politics tossed in.

I actually liked the last show. I am fascinated with creating healthy food on a budget and would have loved more air time during the shopping trip. Sherry over chocolate? Wow, neither of them had a clue. But why just pick on the children? It's their parents that also feed them like crap when they get home and I feel it's not the job of the government (male or female) to teach kids how to eat properly. It's the parents.

So, it was political. As with all of the BRAVO reality shows, I typically wait until it gets down to 10 to really start looking at the skills/personality of each contestant. At this point, it's just shooting fish in a barrel. Too many to count.

moi said...

Shamu perfectly made the same point about first ladies that I would have, so I have nothing to add to that.

I also agree with Boxer's point. I enjoyed the show because the challenge was interesting—make somethign out of nothing (parents, take note!)—not because I believe children have the right to a free lunch.

In my opinion, parents, not the state, are ultimately responsible for their children's well being. But this is opening up a can of worms as to whether or not I even believe in the public educational system and this is not the time and the place to go there.

So let's just say, I do not and never will have a problem with feeding indigent or poor children who, through no fault of their own, were born to idiotic parents incapable of caring for them.However, I DO have a problem with feeding every child across the board regardless of parental finances.

Milk River Madman said...

Let me start by saying I'm not against, nor ever will be against free speech. No where in my post to I even advocate it. Was it sexist and degrading towards the current First Lady? Absolutely!! I don't like her. Period. I will take as many shots at her and her incompetent gutless husband as they will allow.

I know that there is no "defined role". I have no problem with FL's promoting or advocating a cause. I have a huge problem with them writing legislation like Hilary tried with health care and Michelle is trying with school lunches.

How can school districts in rural Montana with a smaller tax resource be expected to have the same menu as Beverly Hills? This is pandora's box and more govt' waste will be a result.

On a couple of other points. Laura's advocacy didn't upset me but if she had attempted to write legislation it would have. The
25th amendment was written because of what happened with Woodrow Wilson. A first lady will never again be able to do what she did. I didn't start watching TC til season 5 but thank you for the history. Was totally unaware. In the seasons I've watched it hasn't been near as over the top politcally as this year.

Let me also say, that my degree is in education so children to matter to me very much. The reason's obesity exists at the level it does in this country is bad parenting, not school lunches.

moi said...

Thanks for clarifying your position on the first ladies. I agree with you most heartily that advocacy-turned-to-legislation is a bad idea. Look where Just Say No got us.