Hands down, my favorite part of this week’s episode was the moment where Top Chef turned into a slapstick comedy. In fact, I am spinning off a brand new sitcom with this season’s chefs involved. Here is my pitch – and remember – there is a show about dudes dressing up as women to get jobs currently on the air right now (meanwhile Community and Cougar Town amazingly are NOT on the air. Discuss.), so there is a good chance that this pitch could get made.
Living together in an Upper East Side apartment are three up and coming chefs who get into mischief together. Clumsy Beverly has confidence issues and they translate into some sloppy moments and crazy slapstick moments. Her roommate Grayson will say anything that pops into her mind, especially when overtired, including such gems as “it’s like sex in your mouth.” The two ladies share living space with Edward, a grumpy fellow who likes to sit in his favorite chair with arms folded and make snarky remarks about the exploits of his two wacky roommates. The three chefs work for Hugh, a monobrowed Master Chef who teaches them cooking lessons, and life lessons from week to week.
Would you watch?
This idea, of course, came from two moments. The first, and best, was when Beverly was serving her Quickfire meal to Padma and Modernist Cuisine cookbook author Nathan Myhrvold. She was using a device to squeeze out her whipped cream and, well, she failed. As she forced it out, she sent curry cream flying all over Padma’s crotch. After I blacked out from a moment processing that image, I rewound the episode and noticed it got on the other guy two. In her flustered reaction, Beverly managed to knock over several loud clattering pans, turning into an Asian Lucille Ball. It was so perfect, natural and crazily hysterical.
The second moment came from the all-nighter the chefs had to pull for the Elimination Challenge. This was a Texas BBQ challenge – which meant slow, slow, slow cooking of meats. The chefs were cooking overnight. Grayson was over-over-tired. It seems that whatever small filter she possesses normally for what she says disappears completely when she is overtired. It was awesome to see Tom come by for the prep inspection only to have Grayson tell him their meat would be like sex in the mouth. After blacking out for a second time due to this image, I rewound and found Tom’s reaction to be rather funny. Was the Big Kahuna blushing a bit?
The challenges were good, yet again. That is one thing Top Chef keeps delivering in all three incarnations – almost consistently good challenges. There should be an Emmy for this. I mean there are so many specialized Emmy awards already – Best Makeup in a Three-Camera Law and Order Series – why can’t there be one for a Reality Show’s challenge team? Hell, turn the award into a challenge during the broadcast!
Having the chefs do a BBQ was essentially a necessity during the Texas season. And what stunned me was that the team that took the most chances with the challenge wound up winning it.
Grayson/Paul/Lindsay of the Corn chose to make their Texas BBQ an Asian BBQ. This is a Texas BBQ! Of all regional challenges, one would think that Texans would be the most inflexible when it comes to their signature cuisine – dead animals slathered in sauce and slow cooked for a gazillion hours. But this worked. Good for them for taking a big chance.
Meanwhile, one of the traditional BBQ menus came from the other Texan in the competition. Except Sarah had another issue about to happen. Sarah, meet Michael Skupin. Survivor fans know Michael – the Season 2 leader who, riddled with Survivor-induced exhaustion and malnutrition, breathed in smoke from the campfire and passed out into the fire. His scalded hands were shown on camera peeling away and he had to leave the game. Sarah stayed up all night cooking their meal, and while doing so breathed in smoke and couple with her exhaustion led her to have to be wheeled out on a stretcher for medical attention.
This meant she was not there for the tail end of the prep, and Edward and The Destroyer were forced to finish up by themselves. The guys had to abandon the preferred plan of cutting the meat to serve, and they hastily chopped away hurting their plating display. This was especially dangerous for Edward, since The Destroyer earned immunity at the Quickfire. No wonder he was pissed. With only two guys serving, they were really at risk for losing. Interestingly, Sarah returned just long enough to serve the judges. I am guessing this was producer decision to have her on camera for the display of her dish. Because otherwise, not cool. Not cool at all.