December 11, 2008

Top Chef: Sploogefest ’08

Filed under: Top Chef — Chris @ 10:56 am

Let’s say this right off the bat: I like Stefan. Every season of Top Chef has at least one polarizing cheftestant. If that cheftestant is a joyless lesbian (Tiffani, Lisa, um, Jamie?), I will hate her. If that cheftestant is a whip-smart, cocky, and socially awkward man (Marcel, Hung, and Stefan), I will shower him with unconditional love.

There is no reason for this that I can think of.

Sure, he was dead wrong about the sorbet and got under Jeff’s skin about it, but he was damn sure right about Eugene’s “deconstructed” plate of random crap nobody would want to eat (and the teddy bear pants! Oh, Jamie, give him that kiss!) and Eugene refused to listen because Stefan is an “asshole” and Danny “Dumbbell” Douche-beard clouded his mind with the power of delusional thinking. This calls for a new rule:

Rule #10: If you let somebody get under your skin for purely personal reasons, you will lose. “I would rather be on Satan’s team than be on Stefan’s team.” Seriously, Radhika?  Because Stefan is going to be in this competition longer than you, I guarantee it. Just ask: Betty (Season 2), anybody who ever worked with Lisa (Season 4), but, curiously, not Ilan (Season 2).

Now, on to Danny: out on Rule #8 (“Be prepared to defend your dish at Judges’ Table”). This does not mean: be prepared to recklessly assert your unsuccessful dish was good. There is no doubt in my mind: if Danny had simply admitted that the dish had failed and been clear-headed about why, it would have been Eugene who went home (since it was his disastrous concept). The question is: is Danny really so insane as to believe that was good food, or did he make a massive strategic error by trying to bluff the judges? (Rule #8, Danny! They never fall for it!)

Note to Jamie: Historically, even top contenders only win 1 or 2 elimination challenges (and 1 or 2 Quickfires) in the whole season, often only in the back half. Don’t act so chagrined when you don’t get called out. (Also, as H shouted at the screen, a carrot puree will never win over well-cooked meat.)


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