Maybe Tom should start some carts called Wiener Craft to go along with his very successful 'Witchcraft Catering. You told me yourself Tom that's where the money's at and maybe we can get Spike from last season "The King of the DC Burger Scene" to do some consulting for you.
Thank you to some of the Top Chef alumni for coming out to San Diego and enjoying the SD Food and Wine Festival with me this last weekend. C.J, Casey, Richard Blais and very incognito Ilan Hall, you guys all rock and I want to extend an invitation to the rest of you to come on down next year. And a special thanks to Amuse Biatch for keeping us up to date on all your twisted thoughts and ideas, for those of you who don't read her, it's hilarious.
Now down to business with the ups and downs of the second episode of NYC Top Chef:
1. Fabio: "It doesn't matter how many dragons you kill, it matters who brings home the princess." It was obvious in the first episode he had the mad skills to excel in this competition and he really put it all together in this episode. The Mediterranean Dog sets him up for success from the beginning. He shows he's more of a team player than his other European counterpart by helping Jill crack her Ostrich egg or maybe he just saw the tragedy in the making but I doubt it. He shows respect for Tom and his highly acclaimed restaurant by declaring that he is "inspired" just being there. The Carpaccio and the awesome olives lead him to victory. We also get a glimpse of his humor when he is confused at why he is at Judges' Table. He also backs up my point that a "Top Chef" is more than just about the food. So all of you who got up in my grill last week about my thoughts about Hung, CHILL!
2. Stefan: No doubt in my mind he is going all the way to the end with Fabio. He is enjoying the competition with a constant beer in hand and hates to lose. I'm sure like the rest of you he is starting to grow on us all ... the Euro is killing our Dollar and now the European chefs are in control of our competition.
3. Hosea: Not a great week for him but he had the right combinations just not the right seasonings. From one seafood chef to another "Dungeness has no substitute." I hope he doesn't lose his focus flirting with Leah. From my own experience, nothing keeps you out of the bottom like seeing it firsthand and you all know I saw my fair share. 4. Jeff: Gives us all a better look at who he is with his great leadership skills getting all of the other contestants focused as they divide into teams. I thought it very interesting that so many wanted to be on desserts and yet they all explained later that they were all unsure of their dessert skills.
5. Eugene: Still looks to me like he's lacking the confidence to take this one all the way home but he's so hard not to like with the sushi dog and the Aloha Vibe.
6. Daniel: The big man gets delicate with his pound cake and NYC Dog.
7. Jamie: She took the smartest approach with the simple corn soup that the judges love. Take it from the guy who threw the whole kitchen at the elk shank, simple keeps the sails full. The "Bone Dog" was a misfortune but I believe she and Leah are the girls to take on the boys this season.
8. Richard: Life in the middle is nice, it's a great place, and the "After School Snack" is a compliment in comfort, I think.
9. Leah: For all of you who are hoping for a Top Chef romance, everyone has to sign a little contract that says no contact on the set. Save that type of drama for the Real Housewives and for love of sanity save yourself Andy Cohen from the Atlanta crew.
10. Melissa: The grilled avocados were not good enough for the top and not bad enough for the bottom.
11. Radhika: Great Job with the Indian Dog but she did say early on that she didn't want to be typecast as the Indian girl that only cooks Indian food. I don't know a lot about Indian food but if sweet guacamole is a dessert then she might want to try something different, said the guy that only cooked seafood.
12. Carla: Great energy, almost motherly to the rest of the crew. When she said that she was nervous about having to cook in a new kitchen just after she got used to the Top Chef kitchen I had to laugh -- has she not seen this show? She will be cooking in every type of setting if she stays in the competition and next week looks like an outdoor nightmare.
13. Alex: So little face time this week and last week and pulling pork as his big gun, I just don't see it. The worst secret of Top Chef is that who ever gets the most face time in each episode is going to be either the top or the bottom so I don't see him going anywhere for awhile but I have seen nothing to sway me in either way.
14. Jill: I agree with her that Ariane should have been the one to go, although her argument to stay broke the Ostrich egg. If you can't crack it don't try and cook it.
15. Ariane: The fact that she was going to let all of the other contestants hear all about it if she got kicked off was as bad as the comment about being able to experience food from her books. She even admitted that she makes this dish at her own restaurant all of the time after confessing she didn't know if it was any good. O MY! I hate to see anyone cry so I hope we can get by this unnecessary drama and just work on cooking some great food.
A few extra thoughts:
Damon Weiss, the Chef of Craft NYC: His boss is one of the most popular chefs on television and you could tell he wanted nothing to do with the invasion of his kitchen. Now that's a real chef ... Rock ON!
The guest chefs who did not make the show: I thought some of them were great and open-minded but some of them were (as NYC Chef and Contestant on my season "Joey Pickles" would say "DoucheBAGS!") One guy was so unoriginal that he said of Hosea's crab dish "I would have done that dish differently" not that he would have done something else but he was explaining how he would have fixed someone else's dish. No -- what would you have done with the world and cameras surrounding you? Finally another guest was so proud to say how he didn't use any animal fat or butter in his cooking ... To him I yell from the top of my lungs " LIVE LIFE AND ENJOY."