That's a Spicy Meatball!
Bravotv.com's Senior Editor wonders whether not utilizing Nonna was smart or fatal.
Welcome back, my little McRibollitas! This week, the chefs (and, of course, we) travel to Florence, Italy -- another destination to which I've never been. For some reason I've never felt an overwhelming urge to visit Italy, not like I know many of my friends have expressed to me, but I will say this episode made me hungry. And angry. Hangry, if you will. First, Cat and Curtis tell Nick and Gary that they will be split up since they're the remaining members of their defunct team. They will select their opponent's team. In the end, Nicole, Nookie, and Avery end up with Nick. And Jenna, John, and LIz end up on Gary's team. After they're split up, their Course begins.
First, "Find the Men playing Bocce Ball at Terrazza Il Belvedere." I could just go to Wiiliamsburg to find people playing bocce ball, but the two teams find the men with a fair amount of ease. In the car on the way to the court, Jenna starts her Italian language domination. She knows the language and is not afraid to use it. Much like she did with Spanish, and Gary with French, they're both all too willing to speak their second languages, and as Hugh points out in his blog this week, overpronounce it. You may wonder why I always reference Hugh's blog, and it's because it's hilarious and getting it in my Inbox every Wedneday is a highlight of my week. OK, enough of that -- don't want him to get a bigger head than he already has! Back to Jenna. Even thought Gary thinks Jenna will be nothing but an asset, even he's ready to find her a muzzle. I have to say I've travelled with know-it-alls before, and it's insanely annoying.
Course 2: Find Il Cernachino Cafe and Order the 'Reboiled Seasonal Dish.' Ribollita! one of the buzzwords for this episode. Both teams eventually find it and taste it. Next, the teams have to find Carapina and order the "tasty treat mistaken for cheese." Although Gary's team gets to Carapina first, this clue has them completely thrown. Luckily for Nick's team, they come across an English speaker on the street who knows the answer. And it is... ricotta. Well, my mind was blown. Maybe I should have known this, but i had no idea ricotta isn't really a cheese. You learn something new every day! I actually dislike ricotta cheese, so somehow this new knowledge comforted me.The next task is to find Filippo Mannoni at El Duomo. There, they'll find out they have to drive to Villa del Cialinano and go olive picking! More specifically, they have to fill four crates using the provided tools. It isn't until the Black Tam is a couple of crates in before they realize the correct method with the tarp provided. The Red Team realizes it too, but not in time. And the Black Team wins. They'll get the Exceptional Ingredient in the Takeover which is to cook traditional Tuscan cuisine.
In the meantime, we learn a couple of tidbits about our chefs -- Jenna feels guilty being in Italy wihtout her fiance, who proposed with a salami ring! Aw. NIcole Lou bases everything she knows on the film Under the Tuscan Sun, of which I've watched th beginning about 100 times, but have never seen the whole thing. It's just one of those movies I don't care enough about, but maybe i will now. l'll keep you posted on that important development. The Exceptional Ingredient is Nonna Romanelli, an Italian-only speaking grandma, ready to share her wisdom. After a few minutes with Nonna, Nookie and his team decide they're wasting time because they don't undertand what she's saying. I cant' decide if this is a smart use of time or the biggest blunder of the season. It turns out it's the latter because, as Curtis criticizes them later, they could've had her demonstrate how to do something without understanding what she was saying. Food is a universal language. Or is it music? Who knows. The Red Team has their own challenges in that their Ribbolita, made my Gary, gets accidentally tossed on the floor by John. The way that whole scene was shot with John, an unidentified figure with a hood, not having his identity discovered till he turns to the camera, was eerie. But it was an accident, and so the whole team helps Gary to create a new Ribollita. Oh, and Liz, who has immunity, effed up the pasta for the gnocchi. She's on Jenna's last nerve. Yikes! The two teams serve their meals. While the Red Team's Ribbolita did seem to be better received (Nookie took a misstep by putting priscuitto in his), the Black Team won. Ultimately, the Red Team's menu just wasn't Tuscan, but wait Jenna knows eveything about Itally! Mm-hmm. Nicole won MVP for her spicy meatball, and the Red Team has to decide who to send home. Since Liz has immunity, that leaves Jenna, Gary, and John. Sure, John accidentally knocked over Gary's Ribollita. Sure Jenna selected a non-Tusan menu, but no one spoke up, did they? Ultimately, it was Gary's time to go. And so I'll say, "Au revoir, mon ami!"
Next week, we're in Bologna! Hold on to your tortellini. Until then, Have a Nosh!