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Top Chef: Just Desserts 2 – Ep 2 – This One’s A Lemon


Zzzzzzzzz….er…sorry, I’ve been asleep since Wednesday when this episode aired. Goodness gracious, Just Dessserts seems to have lost its mojo rather quickly. It was as if the show’s casting directors decided to cast a chefs who were either bland, unlikable or a cartoon character. My wife had bailed midway through this episode, and the next morning asked me who won. And I had to go back and check. It was that memorable. And I got Vanarin’s name wrong, called him Tamarin. At least I kept it in the cooking family.

Really, am I wrong or was this version of Top Chef a LOT better last season? And I didn’t particularly care for the contestants last year, but it just feels dull now. I wonder if the loss of Elvis’ pompadour took the excitement from the show as well in a Samson-like phenomenon. I am worried that this is not going to change and this season is going to turn into a train wreck.

I’m going to have to make the most of it, so what I have at my disposal is the ability to spice it up with nicknames. I know, not exactly the spice of life, or even the Tamarin of life. But it’s all I have. Now, there is a nickname change. Last week, I called Craig Napoleon because I felt he resembled Napoleon Dynamite. That may have been a bit off, and rather unfair to Jon Heder’s character. He was much cooler. I think I have a better analogy for Craig.

I noticed this primarily when there are several chefs together and each of them get a turn to talk. It goes like this – Normal voice, normal voice, normal voice, CRAIG!!!! Nails on a chalkboard and just incredibly strange. I have no idea if Craig has some sorty of speech impediment or learning disability or birth defect or anything. If he does, I apologize and if informed will drop the Craig mocking. Until then, when jumped to mind during these moments was the Kristin Wiig SNL character who has baby doll hands. Craig is Baby Hands.

Also this year, we have several chefs who have awesome built-in last name nicknames. Last week, Chris Hammer was an easy nickname. Hammer. This week, I’ll add some others. First is Amanda. This cutie needs some personality, so Amanda Rockman will become Rock. And might I add, Rockman would be a great superhero, albeit a Thing ripoff. Nelson Paz? La Paz. Gotta take a world capital joke whenever you can find one. Sally Camacho? Macho. Boxing fans will understand that one . And of course, the crossover between boxing and Top Chef fans is a rather common occurance.

Anyway, the episode. Margaret Braun was the guest judge. Gail called her a Sugar Artist Extraordinaire. I would have gone with Sugar Artist Priestess, but I’ll let Gail have hers. Braun presented the Quickfire as a challenge to “reveal the secret of the lemon.” I think that’s the plot of the new Nicolas Cage movie – National Treasure: The Secret of the Lemon. The interesting things – Rebecca injured her wrist in the house and dealt with lots of pain while juicing. Matt took a chance with hazelnuts which paid off, and Orlando got smacked down for doing the crazy thought of lemon plus chocolate. Katzie made my favorite dish of the challenge by turning crepe ribbons into a fettuccine-like dish.


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