Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Top Chef: Ilan Won Because He Resembles Drew Coursin

So, I'm sitting here writing my first realtime post, whatever that means. I guess I mean some stuff JUST happened and here I am writing about it already! If there's one thing you Scrumptulescents (you like that? Like adolescents or descendents...whatever) deserve is timely reporting on food-related stuff.

Todd, Geoff and I are sitting at my place, drinking PBR and watching the finale of Top Chef. This was, I confess, was my first episode of the much-touted kinda-cooking-but-mostly-fighting reality series. All I can say is: I'm glad I only saw one episode, because this show is rubbish. First, I'm not a big fan of reality TV, other than Real Housewives of Orange County, The Real World, Next, My Super Sweet Sixteen, World's Most Shocking Police Videos, The Girls Next Door, and really anything about plastic surgery, exploiting painful family drama, or transexual hookers. Okay, so I dig reality TV on a superficial level. Or whatever, stop judging me.

Anyway, back to Top Chef. The finale was your basic drawn-out nonsense with both "chefs" (they're no BK, that's for sure) preparing the best meals of their lives. Tall order, huh? Not so much, apparently, since both Ilan and the Wolverine-meets-Dragonball Z-coiffed knew what they were going to cook in about .2 seconds. I mean, really, they were in Hawaii, they'd been eating there all week, blah blah blah. I'm afraid both competitors, when faced with unlimited budget and an exotic farmer's market, got sucked into what I call Iron Chef Syndrome - if you give someone who usually eats grilled cheese sandwiches a handful sea urchins, those urchins will appear to be the most amazing comestible EVER. Uni-what?!

Long story short, Ilan and Marcel prepared five-course meals for such chefs as Wylie somebodyortheother, this "Molecular Gastronomist" (excuse me? Please keep your molecules away from my food), among others - you can tell how much I cared about this whole affair.

Ilan won. Geoff and Todd yelled at the television. I strolled indifferently to the computer to write this.

I am disappointed in Top Chef. But I still love food.


Bryan said...

I kind of like Top Chef, and saw most of this season. I still haven't watched the final episode. Marcel was annoying as hell, and his reliance on those molecular gastronomy techniques annoyed me quote a bit, but it was more his attitude and his way of dealing with others. I understand that chefs are kind of crazy and unique individuals, but if I ever owned a restaurant, I wouldn't feel the need to have someone like that around, no matter how good they were at cooking. Ilan was ok. I like how everything he did was Spanish, like, the whole season. Some of his dishes seemed to glow yellow with the amount of saffron he added.

Anyway, regarding your Iron Chef Syndrome comment, I tend to agree. Some of the chefs definitely go overboard with the esoteric ingredients, hoping to shock instead of please the palate. I love the current Iron Chef America, although I don't watch it often. I like it mainly because Alton Brown is the play-by-play guy. He's very cool. But my favorite Iron Chef moment came in an Asparagus battle on the original Japanese version of the show. One of the chefs took a sheet pan and covered in in rock salt. Then he spread some rather large asparagus spears out over the salt. Then he took some rare species of lobster, and covered the asparagus with the lobsters (still alive, I think. either than or he killed and split them). Then he baked them. Then he threw away the lobsters and the salt and served the lobster infused asparagus. The judges were rather annoyed, as the announcer claimed that this rare form of lobster was worth like $200 a pound. Sweet.

Faye said...

so, my comments won't be nearly as long as Bryan's, but Drew, I must say a few things:

1. calling Marcel Wolverine-meets-Dragonball-Z wins you kudos (the snack bar, not the accolade). I forgot all about Dragonball Z.

2. you cannot, absolutely cannot, say that watching the Real Housewives of Orange County is somehow superior to Top Chef. Marcel puts silicone in his molecularly gastronimized food and the wives put silicone in their breasts. not a big difference, really, since you kind of want to stick your face in both...

3. Ilan's kind of a douche and you shouldn't say he resembles you because you're not a douche.