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Top Chef, Season 4: Let’s Dish! AND Giveaway Winner

Posted By Susan On March 27, 2008 @ 8:54 am In Cooking,Giveaways,Top Chef | 15 Comments

Three down and thirteen more to go. I only hope I can last that long! Last night, Episode 3 of Top Chef, aired and frankly, I’m still not feeling it. Half of the contestants are coming off as an unruly bunch of toddlers and most of the rest don’t seem to have any personality at all. Where are the Tiffanis, the Daves, the Stephens and Hungs? I’m even missing Marcel! I’m still hanging on to the hope that this new crop of Cheftestants just hasn’t hit their stride yet.

Last night’s episode was called Block Party. In the Quickfire Challenge, inspired by guest judge, Rick Bayless, the Cheftestants were called upon to take the lowly taco and elevate it to fine dining status. I thought it was a pretty good idea for a challenge. A taco is something that is lends itself to endless different kinds of interpretation. I really liked what some of the chefs came up with. I probably wouldn’t have chosen Richard’s jicama taco as the winner. Even though, his spin on it was pretty creative, his dish reminded me more of a spring roll than a taco. Fine dining or not, I need my tacos to have a little more heft to them. My favorites were Andrew’s duck taco, Antonia’s fish taco, Manuel’s chorizo taco and Spike’s ground pork taco. I would have probably chosen Andrew’s or Spike’s dish. Too bad, I don’t care for either one of them.

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I loved the concept of the Elimination Challenge. In it, the Cheftestants had to cater the annual block party for a group of neighbors on a cute little residential street tucked somewhere in the big city. I don’t recall if they actually said where it was. They self-divided into two teams: the Red Team and the Blue Team. How original. Couldn’t they have come up with better names than that? Anyway, the catch was, that they had to scrounge all of the food they used from the residents, themselves. It was hilarious to see these guys running up and down the street with their shopping bags a la the Keystone Cops. The neighbors couldn’t have been more gracious and looked like they were loving every minute of their camera time. I have to say, they certainly were prepared. That one woman had enough stuff in her pantry to open her own Sam’s Club! Do people really buy like that? Seemed a little OCD to me.
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The block party looked like tons of fun! I wish I’d been invited! They had a dunking booth, for god’s sake. Who wouldn’t love that?!?! Team Blue went for the “haute cuisine” party theme while Team Red “dumbed down” the food, supposedly to appeal to the unrefined palates of their clients. Can anyone say “condescending”? Most of the food went over fairly well with the neighbors, but the judges were another story. They decided that Nikki’s mac and cheese “brick”, Erik’s soggy corn dogs, Ryan’s waterlogged chicken salad, and Zoi’s “meh” pasta salad pretty much sucked.
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Afterward, while the members of the Blue Team were busy patting each other on the back for kicking the Red Team’s asses, the judges were awarding the win to the Red Team. WTF!!! Team Blue was utterly shocked and outraged, and they let it show to the point of offensiveness. They acted like petulant children. Andrew, yet again, let his asshole colors shine through with his ridiculous comments about “owning this place” and “needing security guards to get him out of there”. Um…..is this guy for real? It’s like he has Tourette’s or something! All I can say is it’s a good thing that Gordon Ramsay isn’t on that judges’ panel! Even Ted looked pissed!

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In the end Stephanie scored another win for her fruit crumble and cinnamon-sugar fried wontons, and it was Erik (Mr. Soggy Corn Dog Man) who was asked to pack his knives and go.

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So, what did you think of this Block Party episode? Of the Cheftestants’ shenanigans? Of Richard’s strange hairdo? Of the “hoarder lady”? Of anything Top Chef? Leave a comment on this post between now and next Wednesday at 10:00 p.m., and you will be eligible for my next Top Chef giveaway! Next week, some lucky reader will win one of these “I’m Not your Bitch, Bitch” sticky note blocks. Who wouldn’t love one of those!?!?
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Come on! Let’s Dish!
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And now, it is my pleasure to announce the recipient of this week’s giveaway, the Top Chef oven mitt.

Drumroll, please!
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The winner is……….PatsyK!
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Congratulations, Patsy and thanks for participating! If you’ll email me your mailing address at
stickygooeycreamychewyATgmailDOTcom, I’ll get your prize out to you as soon as possible.


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