By: T.R. Slyder, TRSlyder@yahoo.com
Since the Cubs and Sox got rained out tonight, I wasn't sure what to watch on television. After employing my 6th and 7th remote-handling senses, I landed on the FoodTV reality show/competition show called Chopped. I figured I'd at least watch the introduction of the four contestants. Glad I did.
Contestant #1 was kinda the straight man. He's what you'd expect on this show- a graduate of culinary school and is the head chef or something at a restaurant. No big surprises from him, but he seems like he'll be a solid contestant.
Contestant #2 is the opposite. He started his intro by saying that he doesn't have a fancy-pants culinary degree. But. But. But! He is from Queens, NY. He goes on to tell us that he's like the Rocky Balboa of this competition- sure he doesn't have the requisite tools to win, but he's "got the balls" as he says. It's not wholly unlike those Holiday Inn Express commercials-
"Are you a doctor?"
"No, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night."
"Are you a trained chef?"
"No, but I'm from Queens, NY and I have an Uncle Frank accent"
Contestant #3 is also from NYC. She runs her own culinary school or academy, so she seems like a solid competitor. Then while the camera is on her during her little introduction I realize she does in fact have an oral cold sore. Now that's appetizing. Do you get a hairnet kinda thing for that? a Herp net?
Contest #4's name is Fritz and he's from Denmahk, jah. He's a chocolatier in Connecticut, but is also a trained chef. He instructs us that though he is a chocolatier, he's also a serious culinary competitor.
So the show has 4 contestants, and 3 rounds of cooking. The loser of each round is eliminated, with one winner left standing.
Round 1: So the competition begins and makes for underwhelming television. Captain Denmark tells us that he really needs to be creative and set himself apart from the rest (of these bland, boring Americans). The preferred vehicle for that creativity, to Fritz, was to make a bloody mary out of tomato juice, tequila, ginger ale and super salty sea beans.
Herp Sore mama dropped her tongs on the floor then picked them and kept using them, to the disgust of the judges.
After the judging of the first round- the creatively stupid Dane was voted off because his cocktail was unpalletable.
Round Two: Oh sweet Jewish Jesus. Herp mama had another sanitary infraction- this time with herp sore implications. She tasted her creation with a spoon (sticking into her herpmouth, obviously) and then proceeded to use the same spoon to cook with. Few things truly disgust me, and that did. And you damn well the judges can't say, "like I'm tasting mokfish with a herp garnish".
Rocky Queensboa made a dish that was sloppy and poorly presented. Thank god I was sitting down to witness that shocker. Rocky made like 11 more references to himself being the scrappy underdog, gritty, fighter, grinder, etc. It'd save me a lot more time if he just said, "I'm insecure and for good reason. My coping method of choice? NY-style Machismo."
the verdict: That cold sore was a Herp-binger of bad things to come. Hi-ooooo. Senority Simplex B got chopped. Sad because I was prepared to make a few more Herp lokes. Oh well.
This sets up a showdown betwixt the culinary Rocky and Ivan Drago. I just hope while preparing for the finals, Queensie Balboa doesn't train on the beach with Iron Chef Herp and share an awkward embrace in the ocean.
I've been sorta unfair to that guy, actually. He seems like a good guy who is trying his best. Makes for good television and you can tell that he cares.
Round 3: It's underway and I'm nervous! Well, not about the outcome, but that I won't have another reason to make a herpes joke. *fingers crossed*
Rocky is high-strung and lacks the patience to figure out how to use the kitchen machines/gadgets. Despite bragging about his NYC residency, he seems to be short-tempered. Huh.
It seems like the producers led us to believe that Rocky took the safer way out, but it should be good, whereas contestant #1 went higher-risk, higher-reward. Rocky also alleged that contestant #1 cut one of the key ingredients in pieces that were too large to taste good. Anything is possible. Well, except for me not mentioning herpes again. Herpes.
The Tasting: Contestant #1's dish was tasted first. Not a homerun, but seemed to taste good, even if all of the pieces didn't blend harmoniously.
Rocky's was pretty decent apparently, but a bit uninspiring in presentation. The judges deliberation seemed to like Rocky's better- but the winner is based on all three dishes.
In the green-room while the contestants waited for the outcome, Rocky said yet again that he was "from the school of hard knocks" unlike his wussy opponent. I was as surprised as anyone.
The Verdict: Rocky won, oh wow. Good for him. I just REALLY want to hear, "Adrian!!!!!!!!"
He was gracious in his victory and he referred to his win as his "diploma". Can't hate the guy. Especially since he was kind enough to fit into a stereotype I have of New Yorkers.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
By: T.R. Slyder, TRSlyder@yahoo.com