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Top Chef: Masters Ep. 3 – Once Rick Bayless Slips You Some Tongue


OK – still not up to regular Top Chef standards, but at least this episode was a bit more fun.  Perhaps it was the bizarre meat. Perhaps it was the crazy French guy.  Perhaps it was the tongue tacos.  Not sure, but I didn’t recoil as if I ate some tripe from this one even though people were … umm … eating tripe.

I have also begun a new policy. I am boycotting the judges.  Jay, Gael the Hat, and Bert are so wildly uninteresting I can actually hear my teeth grind while they talk.  They are so boring I consider turning on NPR and listening to the show about tea.  They are so boring I contemplate whether or not I should alphabetize my bookshelf.  They are so boring they make me want to watch the Nationals game. 

Why can’t these judges actually criticize? These master chefs have often commented on how they were nervous appearing before the great Gael.  Meanwhile, what have her comments been?  “Mmmm, creamy.”  And the one-liners at the end? It comes across like a conclusion in a written article – which makes sense since they are all newspaper and magazine critics.  Either way, it is boring television.

The contestants this week, and you know what, I liked them enough that they get to keep their names this week.  That of course, is not related to me being unable to come up with any creative, snarky nicknames for them.  No relation, whatsoever.

Wilo Benet from San Juan, Puerto Rico.  He was the judge during the finale in Puerto Rico during the Chicago season.  Tom makes a cameo to tell us he is the first celebrity Puerto Rican chef.  He is playing for the San Jorge Children Foundation.

Cindy Pawlcyn from Napa Valley.  She is borderline boring and forcing me to quote Bert – she is the Queen of Napa.  Which I think was a villain in the last Hellboy movie.  She is playing for Clinic Ole for the underinsured.  For that, I will mock her much less.  Good cause.

Ludo Lefebvre from Los Angeles, via France.  He is our token European who needs subtitles.  Sir, you are no Fabio.  He started cooking when he was a teenager and is like the Sidney Crosby of French cooking.  He is playing for CHASE for Life, which teaches people CPR to save children.

Rick Bayless from Chicago.  He is the owner of Frontera Grill and Topolobampo, the latter of which was once called the best restaurant in America.  Well, that is quite a formidable opponent.  He too is a former guest judge, in his case from Season 3.  He’s playing for the Frontera Foundation, which seems like an awful coincidence.  When I next play for a charity I’ll be going for the JNT Association.  It is a worthy cause. I recommend everyone donate as much as they can.

And here I must interrupt my commentary with this sad announcement – I took some down time while waiting to get something approved at work to come up with those brilliantly witty and insightful paragraphs you have just read.  However, in my haste to beat the rain on the way home (I didn’t), I left my notes on my desk.  So, I must now go back and watch this episode again and take notes again.  This does not make me happy.

I fell asleep while taking notes.  Wonderful.  Let’s try again tomorrow.

I’m back.  Now where was I?


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