Iron Pundit vs. Iron Skillet: Top Chef Masters, ep.1
Greetings everyone! And welcome to the beginning of the liveblogging of Top Chef Masters!
Back in the day, the Iron Pundit would attempt to watch political chicanery while eating. This is going to be somewhat different. Eating while liveblogging a food show seems just a little bit of foodie overkill. So I have already had my dinner.
For this inaugural episode, I got takeout from the restaurant at my hotel. Hardly sounds Top Chef-ey does it? Well, what I haven't told you is that the restaurant is David Burke's "Primehouse" and the dinner was a fabulous 7 ounce delmonico steak with bleu cheese, steamed broccoli and a "mac and cheese" that would melt your heart (and harden your arteries).
You should also know that tonight I must deliver a very special Iron Pundit shout-out to my pal Mike M., who valiantly supplied me with a cable and internet hookup when I discovered that my beloved James Hotel did not have the Bravo network on their hotel cable offerings. (Iron Pundit may be having a discussion with the manager soon...) So I am working with equipment and in a space that is not my own. Yet I will endure all manner of hardship to deliver the liveblog to YOU, the Top Chef fans of OS.
So welcome to the party! Put your feet up, grab a glass of merlot and join in the fun....
ALL TIMES WILL BE CENTRAL TIME BECAUSE I AM IN CHICAGO...
7:53 pm -- I decide to finish my meal with a "dessert" of sorts: a nice glass of chocolate soy milk. I love chocolate soy milk.
7:54 p.m. -- I'm having to lean back in my chair to both type and see the TV....Mike doesn't have wireless Internet so I am typing from his desktop, which is not positioned for optimal TV viewing. I am hoping I don't go cross-eyed tonight.
7:57 pm -- the little countdown clock says there's less than three minutes until the new season starts. In the meantime, we have to watch Carla lose again and Hosea beat Stephan. I still like Hosea.
8:00 pm -- here we go....I have said before I am less than impressed with Kelly Choi's credentials, we'll see how she does.
8:01 pm -- So the first episode features Michael Schlow, a James Beard winner from Boston, who is repping for the Cam Neely foundation. I like his humility
8:02 p.m -- Here comes Hubert Keller.
8:04 p.m. -- Christopher Lee is the chef at Aureole. I've eaten at Aureole, and he's playing for Autism Speaks. And Tim Love is from Texas. Boy howdy is he from Texas.
8:06 p.m. -- bringing back favorite quickfires from seasons past? I'm not sure about this. But making these guys do dessert...priceless.
8:07 pm. -- I love that they have Girl Scouts judging. I'm liking Tim Love's style. The tequila, the juggling. His sense of play will be a real asset.
8:10 pm -- Christopher Lee is doing french toast, whcih is probably a good idea. Meanwhile, Michael Sclow is already in the weeds.
8:11 pm -- Michael Shclow has just plated perhaps the ugliest Top Chef dessert I have ever seen.
8:15 pm -- Michael Schlow KNOWS he did something stinky. I LURVE The chicken fried strawberry. It's awesome.
8:17 pm -- Hubert Keller knocks em dead with his critters. Chris Lee is not doing so well with his breakfast for dessert idea.
8:19 pm -- Hubert keller scores with the Girl Scouts. The challenge is awesome -- they have to cook everything on a hot plate and a microwave. I love it.
8:21 pm -- I can already see the chefs making critical mistakes -- salmon ina microwave? Yeah it's going to hold up better than say, roughy, but it's going to dry out.
8:22 pm -- the star rating method seems to be another way to keep the chef egos from being hurt. The judges do not have to reach consensus on who won or lost, they are not being "judged" so much as competing.
8:26 pm -- Tim Love accidentally put his stuff in the freezer. Oh my god.
8:27 pm -- nice touch putting them in the dorm rooms. I do love how they are driving them around in Lexuses. or is that Lexii?
8:28 pm -- Hubert Keller is a DJ? that's so random.
8:30 pm -- I love that Hubert Keller is cooking the pasta in the shower. That is friggin' genius.
8:31 pm -- iI like all these guys for different reasons. Hubert because he's wacky, Chris Lee because he's really into his charity, Tim Love becuase he's playful. Schlow is my least fave, but he's kind of funny and snarky.
8:33 pm -- It's interesting to watch the critics eat as opposed to the students. The students just can't believe it was made in their room, while the critics claim it's a cop out for them to do a raw course as a starter.
8:36 pm -- So far they have been plotzing over everything Hubert Keller did. Michael Schlow's stuff seems to be a miss overall, and Tim Love and Christopher Lee have some hits and some misses. I think this is Hubert's to lose at this point.
8:40 pm -- On a side note, I think someone from the New Jersey cast of Real Housewives will end up with cement shoes.....
8:41 pm -- I like the montage of "chefs attempt to use microwave..." Do none of these men have children for chrissakes?
8:42 pm -- This is why it's such a travesty they don't have more women in the competition. A woman would have smoked these guys asses with a microwave.
8:44 pm -- Kelly Choi seems really stiff and scripted. The critics are digging the shower story.
8:46 pm -- Gael Greene's accent and her desire to make everything sound french will drive me to drink soon.
8:47 pm -- If I were single, I would want to go on a date with Tim Love, with Hubert keller cooking us dinner.
8:49 pm -- "homely cooking?" the soup was "homely"?
8:51 pm -- the "Critic's Table" doesn't seem to have the same oomph as it does during regular Top Chef. I don't know if it's because they are critics and used to being measured in their words, or if it's the fact that we all know that they aren't trying to convince each other of anything so much as rehashing their personal opinions.
8:55 pm -- Okay, the whole thing is going to drag out as we go blind listening to who got how many stars.
8:56 pm -- Christopher Lee is doing really well. Surprising to see 4 stars from both Gael and the long haired guy...what was his name? Argh.
8:58 pm - Hubert Keller wins....as if there was a doubt.
8:58 pm -- I have to wonder if there isn't a little rigging going on in the brackets? I'll have to articulate that a little more down the line...but it just seemed obvious that Hubert would win.
Well, that's it for this episode folks. On the whole I think we are in for an interesting season, if only becasue I get to meet tons of new chefs to crush on. Thanks for stopping by.....
And Tim, if you're out there....if I wasn't married..... ;)