home Archive Top Chef: Chicago, Episode Nine – I Have A Culinary Boner Right Now

Top Chef: Chicago, Episode Nine – I Have A Culinary Boner Right Now

Lisa likes her flatbread and Tom notes that the two teams each did pizza and … HANG ON! Padma has brought the big guns out tonight in her gorgeous burgundy dress. Anyway, must concentrate. J.P. likes the flatbread. Spike starts to cut the bread for the bruscetta and it is rock hard. Shut up, no jokes. Dale made the bread. Top Chef Foley editors have a ball with the crunch sounds. Corey is worried about spillage on the dress.

Dinner. Rich is at the carving station and folks are admiring Steph’s cake. For the first time, Mr. & Mrs. Marchetti!

Rich calls theirs the Americana table. Antonia is serving from the chafing dishes, Steph is the food runner and Andrew is in the kitchen. Antonia tells us that Andrew is not allowed to talk to the guests, seriously. Good call, Antonia, remember the football helmet at the tailgate party.

Nikki is working as Antonia’s counterpart and points out a Sicilian tuna salad which we have heard nothing about until now. She fears a lack of focus and is worried about making it through the reception. Dale is doing all of the cooking and would have liked some assistance. We don’t see Andrew bitching about having the EXACT SAME TASK! God, Dale, who would you want to help? Your imaginary staff?

Rich sings the Bridal March. Nothing more there. A guest is gassed about there being creamed spinach and claims to make a good one. Antonia feigns interest. Rich tells Padma that he likes weddings and is getting into it. He sells another guest on the horseradish sauce. May I add that Richard’s hair looks really good without the fauxhawk? He also tells a guest that the brisket has been cooking for 24 hours, working as long as they have.

Antonia makes a bad joke about dieting to look great in a dress, and then have a great meal. Padma loves the brisket and filet. Gail raves about the horseradish sauce and wants to eat whole thing. Tom doesn’t like Andrew’s chicken and calls him out for it being similar to his chicken in the last episode. Not the first time Andrew has recycled a dish, by the way. Gail thought it was better the last time

Nikki sells J.P on the veggie dish. There is also butternut squash on the tortellini. Where Spike goes, you can expect hats and butternut squash. The bass is served with capers and olives. Spike comments on being awake for a long time and a random guest compares them to a med student. Pretty good analogy, random guy.

Padma thinks the tortellini is too sweet, but likes the ragout. She also says the veggies are not appetizing. Gail calls them unoriginal. Antonia gets great feedback from a very hot blonde. Spike describes something as liquid love – thanks for the mental picture, Spike. He gets mad props on his bass though. Corey and J.P. cutely squabble over which menu was better.

Cake cutting. Thankfully they don’t mush the cake in the face. I hate that. Rich thinks Steph’s was well done. Lisa is so nervous that she can’t watch. She thinks hers was nice and pretty. Well, it certainly wasn’t. But it seems to taste good as J.P. gives her a thumbs up.

Commercials – That Ruby Tuesday burger looks good – of course, they have some of the worst food for you in any restaurant chain. So there is that risk.

Meat Locker of Doom and a very funny montage of yawns. Gale raves about Steph’s cake and how it is “difficult to take on. Even for those as good as me it takes days and days and days.” Modest, much?

Tom is surprised that they took the bride and Gale agrees because the bride is usually stressed. Tom wants to know why and they send for Team Corey.

Spike gives it up to the cake girls and Antonia agrees. Nice move, Spike. Lisa has her shoes off and I can smell those dogs from here. Padma still in burgundy heaven brings the winners in, and there are defeated looks on the others except from Dale, who looks a little smug.

Tom asks his question and Rich cops to it. He says that because he is married he picked the bride because it is about her. That logic should have made him pick the groom, but whatever. Tom also calls out Andrew on his chicken. Rich actually takes the blame for the taste on the spinach and Andrew says he wasn’t happy with it. This prompts Rich to make a face. They win and are happy.

Steph gets praise from Antonia for the cake and then from Gale. Tom tells Antonia that her pizza was better than Nikki’s. Padma loved the meat – shut up! Gail thinks it was perfect and Rich smiles. Gale gives the win to Rich and he immediately gives it Steph. He says that she deserves it for the cake, “I didn’t want to do it, and I couldn’t do it.” She wins $2000 worth of Crate and Barrel, a place I jokingly call Cracker Barrel to piss off my wife. Steph splits it with Richard.

The loser gong sounds as Team J.P. lines up. Lisa looks like she is in some MSNBC expose on women’s prisons with the face she is making. Dale looks pissed.

Lisa did the cake, Dale did several things, Nikki did the pesto and pastas and Spike did the fish and veggies. Tom asks who was driving the bus and Nikki says definitely not her. Dale and Lisa look surprised and no one is buying Nikki’s line of bull that she tries to use.

Gale asks about the cake. Lisa explains that she didn’t want it to overpower the bride’s cake. Tom says she accomplished that but also tells her that hers tasted better. Lisa is relieved as she knows she is now safe.

Whose idea was the antipasti bar? Nikki blames J.P. Tom says that is all well and good, but it didn’t taste good. Also, the tortellini was dry and tasted like dessert, the pizza was dry and hard and Gail adds that the filet was overcooked. Tom says they had simple food, but didn’t do it well.

Then the hard bruscetta is brought up. That led to this exchange:

Dale – That’s another thing that I did.
Spike – Get it all out, man. Come on.
Dale – Dude, I hustled. I straight up hustled. I came into this kitchen…
Nikki – Dale, nobody disagrees
Dale – Look at the prep lists.
Tom – You’re saying this as if somebody else dragged their feet
Spike – Dale, come on please. Get it all out. I mean, come on. Point some fingers if that’s what you are doing.
Dale – Were they going to get done if I didn’t get them done? Like the time you asked me to do your zucchini for you?
Spike – It’s a team effort, you know what I mean. Like, I’m not going to let you stand up here and tell them you were God in this elimination round and you did everything for everybody. That’s BS, dude.
Dale – I banged it out today.
Spike – Well, I feel I pushed harder than you.
Dale – BS, BS.
Spike – I feel like my prep load was a little more difficult than yours was.
Dale – BS.
Spike – Dale, you’re such a little bitch, bro. Seriously.
Nikki – Come on guys.
Spike – No, I’m just angry, and I’m the only one standing up for all three of us.

And… scene. Thanks, Dale for making me agree with Spike. Shut. Up.

Gail tries to get control and asks about the sea bass and tells Spike that everyone loved it. Dale has to get one more line in there. “Of course, they did. It took him three hours to make it.” They go back to the Locker and Spike gets a drink right away.

Padma deadpans “That was interesting.” Gail doesn’t think that Spike’s one fish dish was enough. Padma defends him by pointing out his veggie work, but throws in that it was not done well. Gale says that it was time consuming and probably swallowed him up

Gail points out the ego war brewing between Dale and the others. If he was taking on too much, he should have said so and edited the list. Tom thinks Nikki was disappointing and that the dishes were not very Italian. Ouch. Padma wanted a better planned menu.

In the Locker, Dale says that it is frustrating having a sense of urgency that the others don’t have. Nikki scolds him well: “You can’t point fingers at the judge’s table, you become THAT guy.” Spike agrees – ask Zoi about pointing fingers, Spike. Pot, meet the kettle. Nikki adds, “They are not going to look at you any better.” Quite true, Nikki.

Commercials – some strange asthma drug ad called symbicort. Have I mentioned my extreme hatred for drug ads?

Final judging. Tom sums up. The team didn’t focus on flavors. Dale did the bulk of the work badly, Nikki didn’t assert herself, Spike didn’t carry his fair share.

Nikki gets knifed, and really, it was some time coming already. She gets a hug from Spike and then he and Dale have a dude hug to make up. Nikki is proud of herself and says that this is life changing and she is happy to get this far. She is going to go home to her wonderful family. After her trip to Sequesterville, I assume.

Next week: Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome that Cooks. Antonia wants some of that. Lisa is pissed at someone, we are led to believe it is Spike. There are many Chicago police taking a break from their pursuit of the Blues Brothers. Tom tells Spike that Tom’s opinion matters. Andrew gives a creepy stare.

Menus according to Bravo website:

Team Corey
Steph – Short ribs and bleu cheese in phyllo
Antonia – Prosciutto and goat cheese pizza
Antonia – Pulled Pork Sandwich with pickles
Andrew, Antonia & Richard – Braised brisket of beef, creamed spinach with star anise, and potato gratin.
Steph – Dark chocolate and lemon cake.

Team J.P.
Nikki – Roasted tomato bruschetta
Spike – Chilean sea bass with artichokes, capers, olives and tomatoes
Dale – Filet mignon with potatoes and horseradish cream
Lisa – Chocolate hazelnut cake

Feed Jeremy Beef Wellington and Duncan Hines at jeremy@realityshack.com.