home Archive Top Chef New York, Episode 4 – Did Somebody Actually Compare Tom Colicchio to Johnny Cash?

Top Chef New York, Episode 4 – Did Somebody Actually Compare Tom Colicchio to Johnny Cash?

Luckily for [b]Fabio[/b]’s mom, he’s making Tuna with Roasted Carrots and Asparagus Salad. He jokes with Gail about being “fresh out of the boat” because of his accent and it is charming. Fabio has an excess of personality and it works on this challenge.

[b]NY Daniel[/b] has an excess of personality and it doesn’t work. He is making Ginger Soy Skirt Steak with Cabbage Salad and TONS OF SMOKE! Wow. Oh, and he’s brought excessive camera mugging to go along with it. He mugs so much that Robin Williams is watching at home saying, “take it down a notch, smoky.” He tops off this display with a “Baba booey,” officially making him dead to me.

[b]Finn[/b] – Minestrone Soup with Pancetta and Herbs. And apparently Fabio and NY Daniel sucked all of the energy from Finn as he does his like a German Automated Chef. Sorry, Finnish. German was funnier, I thought. He does the smart thing and whips out the prepared product from below, or as Tom calls it, the “swap out.” Padma thinks it was delicious.

I remember once being forced to watch The View and Padma was guest hosting and all she did was eat during the cooking segments. It was hysterical to watch this gorgeous, thin model essentially chow down for an hour. It was then that I knew it was love.

The Tuna Cutting Twins go next. [b]Hosea[/b] – Crispy Ahi Tuna Roll with Wasabi Peas. And that’s all for Hosea. [b]Eugene[/b] – Tuna Sashimi and Pea Shoot Salad. He gets an embarrassing moment where Rocco asks him the difference between sushi and sashimi and Eugene is unable to give a coherent answer.

[b]Melissa(Who?)[/b] – Blackened Habanero Shrimp. Well, it has a kick to it. So much so that Tom has to run off the set to put the fire out in his mouth. Not good.

The time limit montage begins. [b]Carla[/b] – Tortilla Soup. Time. [b]Radhika[/b] – Sweet Shrimp and Cucumber Salad. Time. [b]Leah[/b] – Duck Breast with Corn and Blueberry Hash. Time. Padma scolds her that if it were on TV all they would have on their plate would be the hash.

[b]Judges Confer[/b]
Padma was not excited about Jamie’s runny egg white, while Gail clarifies that it was raw. Tom criticizes Leah’s lack of confidence that “the second she opened her mouth, it was downhill.” He thinks it is a good thing that she has immunity. He also thinks that Alex’s decision to make crème brulee was a “silly choice.”

Rocco thinks that Carla has “a nervous energy that didn’t make me feel comfortable.” Spot on, Rocco. That is exactly what she seems to be like. Gail thinks NY Daniel had a lot of charm, personality and was lovable. Wow, unexpected window into Gail’s tastes. Tom thinks his biggest problem was smoking up the entire studio, and that mugging to the camera is not good.

Tom says that Finn was smart to do the swap out but his personality was not good. Padma was amazed at how spicy Melissa(Who?)’s shrimp was. Rocco says a host would never have her back on if she served such spicy food. Melissa(Who?) says in the Stew Room that Tom spitting out her food is not a good sign. You think?

Tom liked Jeff and his confidence on camera. Jeff describes his strategy as never stopping his hands. Rocco thought Fabio was a “dream guest.” Gail wanted to hang out with him all day. Again, another window. Tom liked how Fabio made fun of his accent and put everyone at ease. Padma thinks that The Nanny hit is “out of the park.” Tom thought she had a perfect presentation.

Padma goes to the Stew Room and announces the Bottom Three: Melissa(Who?), Alex, and Jamie. The Top Three are Jeff, Fabio, and The Nanny. She tells them that Judges Table is tomorrow. Hmmm, you think something may be up?

Jamie is pissed at herself and goes straight to bed. She says she beats herself up when she messes up. I hear you on that one. I’ve been known to give myself a bloody nose from time to time. Alex wonders if he should have “pussied out and did a salad.” The Nanny calls foul on that one and thinks she was smart to do one. I have to agree with The Nanny here. Simplicity was needed here. Alex went WAY too complicated.

Alex goes on to talk about how he’s getting married in three weeks and is distracted. What the hell is he doing on this show? Three weeks? My wife would have killed me for disappearing for a month or so just before our wedding to go on a reality show. Of course, the only reality show on TV in 1996 was the Real World, so no court would have ever convicted her.

Leah tries to tell Melissa(Who?) to stand up for herself at Judges Table and that Alex’s head isn’t in the game. Melissa(Who?) thinks her reputation is on the line.

At 2 a.m., Tom shows up at the house. Uh oh! He wakes up The Nanny, Jeff and Fabio. Jeff confesses that when he sees Tom “with all black on, it’s like Johnny Cash walking in.” At the time, Jeff mutters “you gotta be sh*tting me.”

Tom tells the Top Three that the hosts of the Today show will be judging the dishes and choosing a winner. The Nanny is excited. Tom tells them to go to 30 Rock and find Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey… um… no, to go to the Today Show to cook their dishes and watch the judging from the Green Room. Fabio is looking forward to seeing the big NBC studio.

They get to the kitchen and are greeted by Jawn Chasteen, the Executive Chef of Patma Restaurant Group who sets them up at workstations. Jeff already knows he’s doomed. He says, “I’m serving Middle East flavors to a bunch of ladies with unsophisticated palates at 6:30 in the morning. I’m pissed.” Meanwhile, The Nanny is ready to rumble and “take on the kid chefs, move over, here comes the old lady.”

Bianca the food stylist for the Today show tells them to put their dishes on the cart to be wheeled to the studio. I cry foul on this. That is not a real job. She is the Cart Lady. Nothing more, nothing less.

Back in the house, the other chefs wake and realize something is up as the Top Three are missing. Either that or someone is a serial killer. Hosea has noticed a TV set up in the living room. Back at 30 Rock, Fabio is nervous and Jeff is amazed that so many people are hanging out outside the studio on a weekday. Tourists, Jeff. Tourists.

Commercials. I hate the Real Housewives series. Does that make me elitist?

Tom is on the Today Show with Meredith Vieira as the chefs watch in the house. Radhika actually looks cute in the morning. That is not easy to do. We return to the studio as Meredith and two other ladies I don’t recognize are joined by the scariest woman in the world, Kathie Lee Gifford. Can someone tell me when the Today Show turned into The View? And when did Kathie Lee become relevant again? For the first time in my life, I feel bad for Matt Lauer.

So, Meredith hates watermelon, so The Nanny is worried. She eats it without the fruit. Fabio can’t seem to understand what’s going on, and I can completely understand that. Jeff says when they ate his he heard “a couple of mmms, ahhhs, wows and then a gag from Kathie Lee.” Fabio points out the obvious that it is not good when someone spits out your food. For once, Kathie Lee gagged as opposed to making millions gag. By the way, real classy, KLG. Spit out your food on national TV and embarrass the poor chef. And not to his face either. I feel really badly for Jeff here. That sucked.

The Nanny is picked the winner by the not-View crew. She is really excited. Back in the house, Carla is scary excited. The Nanny still thinks that Fabio and Jeff feel that she took the easy way out. So what. You won. That’s what matters.

Skip forward to Judges Table. The Nanny gets a tool kit from Rocco and learns that she will cook for the Today Show the day after the episode airs. Pretty awesome prize, especially for a woman whose business is only 30 minutes outside of New York.

In come the Losers. Melissa(Who?) says that her food may have been too spicy for some of the judges, but she likes spice and tasted it and it seemed fine. Rocco thinks she’s full of it and says it was spicy beyond belief and inedible. Padma says the left side of her mouth was throbbing. I told you, Padma is trying to kill me tonight. I must resist all of the jokes I have for that line.

Gail adds that habaneras were a bad choice because people at home are not as experienced with that spice and it could be dangerous.

Jamie says she was frazzled and the clock threw her off. She repeats the story about choosing to finish and risk it being uncooked. Rocco thinks the host would be worried about salmonella. Tom suggested that she should have flipped the egg if she was worried about time. Gail says you have to learn to roll with the punches. Rocco also says that she folded her arms and recoiled a bit in what looked like anger or resentment. Jamie reiterates’ for them that she does that because she is mad at herself.

Alex wanted to be different and Tom wonders why he would be different with a dish that was physically impossible to finish. Alex says that the point of the show is to push yourself, and Tom corrects him that point is to win. Alex says he set himself up for failure. Gail repeats that live TV is not a good tome to push yourself.

Melissa(Who?) says that she wants to be there more than anything. Tom picks up on this and asks if one of the others doesn’t. She doesn’t take this opportunity to attack Alex. But it looks like she wants to.

As the judges confer, Rocco thinks all three were inedible. Tom thinks Jamie was so close to a good dish, but Rocco trumps him with the raw egg card. Rocco also harps on Jamie’s reactions as unforgivable. He is also stunned that Melissa(Who?) (maybe I should retire that name now that she actually spoke this week, I’ll think about it) is still defending her spices.

Back in the Stew Room, Melissa tells Hosea that she focused on wanting to be there. Alex wonders if she wanted to throw him under the bus, and Jamie thinks Melissa wanted to but missed her chance. Hmm, I guess I killed the nickname.

Gail and Rocco harp on the impossibility of Alex’s dish. And it seems rather obvious who is out. Back in the Stew Room, Jamie takes a deep breath, Melissa is almost in fetal position, and Alex wonders what he was thinking.

Commercials. In the extra scene we get more of Hosea and Leah flirting, complete with porn music. Carla thinks the two have sexual chemistry. Ok. So not interested in that plot line.

[b]Final Decision[/b]
Tom tells Melissa her dish was too spicy and would cause an on-air host to flinch. Alex made the wrong dish, and couldn’t complete the task. Jamie made a raw egg and was standoffish.

Padma knifes Alex, so he and his faux-Spike hats are out. See ya, remember to get fitted for your tux before the wedding.

Next week: Gail’s bridal shower. Hosea curses. Fabio flirts and someone makes old people food.