Hugh Acheson

Hugh Acheson is optimistic that the best chef will win the whole thing.

on Jun 6, 2012

Nicole should not read out loud as she lacks a cadence and sounds like Keanu Reeves rehearsing for a role. Jenna is giving lessons in Florentine history, art, architecture, and sociology whether you want to hear it or not. 

Off to the Infinitis. Filippo the sunglass vendor plays a pivotal role, a yarn he will spin countless times to his grandchildren as they eat Big Macs and drink 64-ounce sugar sodas. Slow food, people. Invest in our future. 

They harvest olives by looking at the three pieces of equipment on the ground (rake, bucket, and tarp) and completely ignoreone of them. Finally, they realize what the green tarp is for, and things progress. They plod through and pant and wheeze and hopefully realize that every plate of food that they ever create as chefs has lots of unthanked and underpaid migrant labor behind it. Harvesting stuff is not the romantic Tuscan dream. It’s backbreaking work. 

Black Team wins and the exceptional ingredient is a monolingual Italian home cooking grandma. Jenna bursts into tears and we hear about her salami ring, which I would add anchovies and a cheese filled crust to… the true secrets of a successful marriage. Nonna Romanelli looks like a smooth cookin’ hobbit, and sadly her son is a food critic. She proceeds to confound all of the Black Team and they cast her aside as a hurdle that they will not be able to get over. She’s only four feet tall -- I could get over that hurdle. They should have had her just cook some stuff and watched. 

Jenna, who Gary calls Nonna-lite, is over-pronouncing things again. She’s a serial linguist and will not stop. 

Talking about the required ribollita Avery tells Nookie: “Dude, just make it today. It’s better the next day.” Truer words were never spoken when it comes to this dish. Like most bean soups, its better the next day as the beans absorb the flavors of the broth and vegetables. Apart from this sage advice it seems that though Avery has all the skills to win this thing, she is pretty homesick for her kids. I can relate. It’s hard to be away from your kids for that long. Power on, Avery -- you have what it takes.