Hugh Acheson

Hugh Acheson examines Nookie's worldly skills.

on May 30, 20120

Getting around without the language is a little sketchy. Gary is lulling people into submission with his perfect French. The Red Team is getting hissed at. Oh the modern men of Morocco. Wake up, fellas. You let Bowles and Burroughs run free and wild -- now it's time to let the ladies enjoy themselves without full headdress. Call it progress. 

They all have to find the Ben Boubker spice shop and then pick out the makings of Ras El Hanout, a common spice blend used in many North African foods. 

The last team arriving is the White Team and they actually pull out the win, even with Nookie, literally, throwing his weight around. Chaz wears shades inside which now has me humming that Corey Hart song. He was Canadian you know. No apologies for our exports. 

They are now off to the top floor of some restaurant that specializes in mint tea. A bunch of old guys show them the secrets of the pour and then prod and beat them with sticks. Gary has been pouring shots into the gullets of sorority girls for years as their social coordinator and chef, so he may have an advantage. Alas, the Black Team wins and gets the special power amulet: a demure man named Ahmed, their guide through the world of tagines and their personal shopper through the medina. Looks like this will be a special assist and really give them an advantage. Oh, they also get to split $15,000 in cash, which makes Nookie very nervous. Slice of White Bread A once won $20 in a scratch off ticket from a truck stop in Illinois. Wow. 

Curtis is looking beautiful in this African sun. He knows it too. 

The tagine is a Berber dish. It’s slow braise cooked in a special vessel that has a shallow bottom with about two-inch high sides and then a conical top. The top allows the moisture from the cooking ingredients to circulate and steam back into the food. Hiss. It’s less brothy than a stew and usually has lamb or chicken and  vegetables in it with a full complement of spices. They each have to make a tagine and two sides. 

15 comments
Just Annie
Just Annie

The person I find the most obnoxious is Jenna - she's overly opinionated, judgmental and finds fault with everyone except herself. She should look in the mirror and the answer to why she is "the one to boot" will be staring right back at her. If I were Liz I would have clocked her long ago!

Bara
Bara

I'm really -- REALLY -- REALLY -- REALLY -- DISAPPOINTED -- with this show.

It seems that these chefs are NOT about cooking, they are NOT humble, NOT caring and definitely NOT RESPECTFUL. There are so many things one can learn from all the different cultures, and instead they are just focused on how to get rid of one another just so they can win money INSTEAD OF HONEST COMPETITION BASED ON THEIR SKILLS.

Since we viewers in front of the TV --CAN'T-- taste the dishes, the judges should be the ones judging. It made NO SENSE WHATSOEVER to have the team mates voting the person who should be eliminated.

I had so much hopes for this show, that it would show diverse cultures, chefs who truly are talented, and making great food. I'm not interested in listening to everyone whining. I watch a cooking show to see them cook!!! All the contestants talk about is who's going home, who they should vote to go home, what strategy they should employ to get rid of one another --- it's DISGUSTING !!!

NOPE, the exotic locations are the only attractions in this show. Everything else seems to be crap so far. Can't wait for Top Chef to come back. At least that's a real chef competition !

baker41
baker41

Hugh, you are hysterical. You give Anthony Bourdain a real run for his money when it comes to snarkiness, though I think his is a bit more mean-spirited (and therefore a tad funnier). Loved you on Top Chef Masters, Top Chef, and anywhere else I've seen you! You need more face time on the show.

Oh, and congrats on the James Beard award!

bethfan
bethfan

I have to agree with PaulainVA. Chaz is so delusional with his tight shirts and b*tchy ego. Everyone watching the show can see he's an ass and feels threatened by being around other great chefs. You put a great spin on things and say the truth in a great way. Way to go, I'm glad you stuck around after Top Chef Masters. Your great and I love that you choose to be southern chef. Thanks for loving and promoting our region. xoxo

carolynd1
carolynd1

Nookie is an a hole. He may be a good chef, but he is an arrogant obnoxious a hole. don't like him at all. Plus he thinks he is the best chef there. Needs to be put in his place.

Hen
Hen

You are the best! Great blog - I'm still smiling!

Thought+Food
Thought+Food

How does anyone serve uncooked beans and still stay on the show??

So Shore Blondie
So Shore Blondie

You are correct sir, Curtis looks damn good. Oh, how I look forward to your blogs! You are awesome.

Jules in Washington State
Jules in Washington State

I watched three shows and I am done.

I will read your blog here though, that is the most entertaining thing about the show now.

Keep on "doin' that thing you do".

roxi1013
roxi1013

I agree that the contestants voting each other off could easily lead to cliques and weaker chefs in the end, and I was afraid Avery would be eliminated because of this last night. So far, though, I think the weakest chef has been the one eliminated each week with the possible exception of Clara the first week. And even then, her dish wasn't great, just not the worst.

gerryg
gerryg

Thanks, Hugh! I finally found a reason to keep watching this show - your blogs!

Also, keep a weather eye on Nookie - he comes from the city where the prime commandment is "do unto others BEFORE they do unto you." Do not underestimate the Nookie. And it's the Green Monster, not the "Green Wall" at Fenway Paaahhhkk.

Seriously, your blogs are the best ever. You should have a show right after the episode ends (Sorry, Andy). The viewership would soar!!

smurf120
smurf120

Even if you give Chaz the wrong number it will be okay because somehow it will be Avery's fault.

AnnieGreen
AnnieGreen

I just love your blogs! They definitely enhance the enjoyment of the show. Thank you for taking the time!

athensmom
athensmom

Your blog is so much better than the show! My kids think I've lost my mind--laughing out loud reading a blog. We watch the show trying to think of what funny comments you're going to make. GREAT JOB!

PaulainVA
PaulainVA

Chazz has to be the most delusional chef I have seen on any cooking show. I don't think he has done anything particularly well in any city so far - remember the Godzilla-chicken in Lyon? I think that's when the stuff with Avery started, as she refused to let him claim credit for re-sizing the portions. The 2 White Slices are gonna have to step up soon and do something, now that most of the in-your-face chefs are gone.