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News Wed Oct 03 2007

The Top Chef Live Blog: Go Dale!

8:55 pm - I still hate Padma. I don't know why Salman Rushdie married her and I wish she could move her forehead. Sometimes she makes me long for Katie Lee Joel. Yikes.

8:58pm - Eric Ripert is so hot as to not really be comprehensible. That was schoolgirly, yes. And I've seen Part 1 of the Finale several times and he still makes me fan my face.

8:59pm - I am really hungry so order a cheeseless Chicago's pizza with broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes. That and the Amy's Apple Pop-Tart knockoff I had should tide me over. I'm also sipping a 2004 Everett Ridge Syrah from the Dry Creek Valley. Yum.

9:00 pm - Ooh, ooh! Here it is.

9:02pm - Shut up about the elevation, Casey.

9:04pm - Dale remarks that "We don't see this kind of shit in Chicago" with regard to the view. Indeed no. Although he is still rocking that faux hawk and who's seen that lately?

9:05pm - 35 min to plan the meal of your life? Man. It takes me a full month to plan Thanksgiving dinner. Hung's meal progession ends with duck? Casey and Dale are both kicking it off with foie. Flerg.

9:08pm - Is it me or does Rocco DiSpirito look like Liev Schreiber? He's Hung's sous. Casey gets Michelle Bernstein from Azul and Dale gets Todd English, who today announced a line of airline meals for Delta.

9:16pm - Rocco looks high on pot. He's confused by Hung's tamarind-fish sauce-duck whirlwind.

9:17pm - Dale is fawning over Todd and his many, many restaurants. Todd is a total trooper but is holding his tongue.

9:17pm - Casey is all kerfluffle. Someone give her a half a Valium.

9:18pm - Rocco just slammed Tony Bourdain. Someone is going to wake up hog-tied in a Tijuana bordello with no passport. Have fun, Rocco.

9:19pm - Todd English is nervous for Dale. Oh, Todd, keep him on keel. We heart him. And Dale is enjoying thinking of Todd as his "kitchen bitch."

9:22pm - Oooh, they're setting Casey up as the one to watch. Michelle thinks she's the tops. Todd is tall! I still hate Padma. Where is this finale being taped in Chicago?

9:25pm - Casey said "dogg." Ugh.

9:27pm - I will overlook her "dogg" because her hair is so pretty. She's a prettier Jennifer Aniston. Dale's dinner sounds great. The beets, the corn, the bacon. To die for.

9:28pm - Interested in Casey's pork belly. Still not convinced it's going to work. Hung's seafood-heavy two courses seem weird for Aspen. And I think the duck is really too heavy after two seafood courses, even after two fatty seafood courses. Thoughts?

9:29pm - BOOYAH! Fourth course, suckaz! Who will get whom?

9:31pm - My pizza is here! I cannot eat because Hung and Sara just decided to make a chocolate-rasbperry cake. After duck and fatty fish x2? Paging bulemia. Casey and Howie are making some beef thing with "dipping shit." Dale and C.J. are doing a scallop and purslane dish. I heart purslane because it's a bitter, nasty backyard weed that can taste really good. It will go well with the scallop.

9:33pm - While the poo hits the fan in the kitchen, I cram a piece of broccoli-laden pizza in my maw. Oh, commercial, thank God. I can chew now.

9:39pm - Eh, Casey's food looks very meat-and-potatoes, even though it's sous vide and foie. Dale's looks very pretty.

9:42pm - Second course. Hung and his campfire stoves is flashes of Marcel and his molecular gastronomy. Aww, he even has a foam. Dale's purslane and scallop jazz looks amazing and goes over really well -- universally. They fawn! Hung's dish "brings Hung flavor" according to Gayle. Ew. Casey's gets panned.

9:45pm - Third course! Hung's sous vide duck with mushrooms. Dale's lobster, corn, shroom and gnocchi. Casey's pork belly and pea shoots. Casey's seems sort of springy and Hung's seems very fall. They love Hung's duck. At least Todd does. Rocco tried to take credit for Hung's success. Yawn. NOBODY LOVES DALE'S GNOCCHI! "Terrible!" says Tom in disgust. They also hate Casey's entire dish.

9:28pm - Hung's cake looks out of place next to Dale's lamb and Casey's sirloin. I wonder if he'll get knocked for his. Oh, no. Tom just said he's excited about it. All judges like both Dale's and Casey's dishes, but they claim it's Casey's best dish. Rocco says Hung's cake is good. Tom does not! And he asks the crew if it "blows them away." Even pothead Rocco says it does not blow him away.

9:54pm - The panel seems to hate the two finalists a lot less than they did Ilan and Marcel from last year. No paprika in sight. Dale and Casey are so geniune. Hung is a chameleon!

9:55pm - Dale admits that his foie first needed a toast point or two hundred. He gives credit where credit is due on the purslane and scallop dish. He goes pale when they tell him dish three blows. Tom tells him to keep the round four duck dish for the rest of his life.

9:57pm - Casey, again with the altitude? "There were no leeks," she whines. Tom's all "Biatch, there were leeks." Not really, but I'm reading between the lines. They did not care for dish one. Dish two, Casey blames Howie on the caviar. Dish three, pork belly. Tom gets her to admit she didn't taste the pork belly before she served it.

9:59pm - Hung does this rap about having a vision. Augh. Gayle is so beautiful. Did she lose weight? Was she pregnant last season? Hung gets spazzy about his second course, the duck. They love it. The dessert course? Gayle, with her smoky silver eyes, scoffs.

10:00pm - Padma wants "to think." Gayle gives the first course to Hung. The second course, they hate on Casey's dish again. They award second course to Dale, the scallop. Well, Dale is not a scallop, but you get it. Third course=Hung's duck. Fourth course is Dale's lamb. "Wow factor," says "Queer Eye" Ted.

10:03pm - I think Casey's out at this point. The judges seem to be torn. Surprise, it's TV. I'm going to vote for Dale, because of the purslane. When's that ever on a menu?

10:04pm - Comcast sucks. It's been flinty all night. But it kicks back in in time for the judgment. WHO IS TOP CHEF?????????

10:05pm - COMMERCIAL! I vote Dale. Thoughts? Thoughts?

10:11pm - Comcast/Bravo comes back from commercial late, cutting off Gayle. At this point, they've all seen the first part of the finale and the rest of the seaon, but still don't know who won! Dale gets teary. Casey talks about what makes a Top Chef, and that's to make "every dish precisely and beautifully."

10:13pm - Tom pretty much dismisses Casey, but still compliments her. It's all Hung and Dale.

10:14pm - "THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE TOP CHEF!"

10:15pm - Padma names ... WTF???? ... HUNG? I'm over this show entirely. Seriously. That chocolate-rasp cake? What home cook couldn't make that? Not necessarily plate it like a pro, but make it? Come on. Dale's lobster thing might have not been awesome, but it was balls-out. And we Chi-town eaters? We say bring it on, Dale. Open up a joint here. Put a few kickin' vegan things on the menu and I'm there every week.

10:16pm - AUGH AUGH AUGH AUGH AUGH AUGH AUGH. "It was the curry," says our fearless ed-in-chief Andrew Huff. "Curry this," I say. They should have gone Dale.

mutantmachine / October 3, 2007 9:39 PM

Where have you had purslane? Never heard of it. Does Padma look like she could be on little house on the prairie if she had a bonnet on?

Smack / October 3, 2007 9:40 PM

I had the best pizza for lunch today - Caribbean Jerk Chicken with Mango Habanero & pineapple...yummy...Go Casey!

Smack / October 3, 2007 9:45 PM

Does it annoy you how they eat with their forks upside down? They always do that...

Shylo / October 3, 2007 9:53 PM

You can buy (or could buy) purslane at any area farmer's market. Or get it in your yard. Never in a Chicago restaurant. And I JUST HATE PADMA. No costume required. Anybody remember the sad look on the quick-fire winner's face when he won a signed copy of her book? Biggest "WHATEVER" ever.

Eamon / October 3, 2007 10:11 PM

DALE! DALE! DALE!

Also, the votes are in: Casey at 58%. I weep for this country.

Eamon / October 3, 2007 10:15 PM

LOBSTER BEATS CAKE, YOU MORONS!!~!

Andrew / October 3, 2007 10:18 PM

Well it was obviously down to Hung and Dale at the end. I think it came down to Dale's bad curry lobster.

Oh well -- at least we know there are two dishes that will be on the menu of whatever restaurant he ends up opening.

Shylo / October 4, 2007 9:14 AM

"Lobster beats cake!" is my new catch phrase. Thanks, Eamon!

Naz / October 4, 2007 11:18 AM

Awesome live blog Shylo!

I totally missed the part where Rocco dissed Bourdain -- what did he say?

Though I love that Bourdain has been dissing on the more "commercial" aspects of the show on his blog ON Bravo.

Overall -- if Casey could have pulled it together tonight, she would have won, no question. But she couldn't, surprisingly perhaps. Though he onion chopping skills were shocking.

If Dale had been more consistent and pulled off what he has in the last few episodes I think he might have won.

Overall, Hung was obviously talented from the get go, and he pulled out the stops just enough to get him to home base.

Personally, I would have loved to have seen Tre swapped out for Brian as number 4 in the pre-finale. Brian got by so far without cooking.

C'est la vie.

Taylor / October 4, 2007 11:39 AM

I think it was weak how Tom completely shafted Dale by badgering everyone about the lobster dish. Weak sauce.

Also, how the hell can you like Gayle? She's the most annoying judge on the show. Ugh.

Shylo / October 4, 2007 10:24 PM

Oh, Gayle is not nearly annoying as Padma, who isn't really a judge, yeah. But I think Gilbert Gottfried would look suave next to the Botoxed, nasal, weirdly scarred Padma. And Gayle looks like she eats. I like Gayle ... a lot.

daisy / October 5, 2007 11:28 AM

gayle is so beautiful?!? gag. she is hideous. dale was awesome, hometown boy, but that gnocci looked like baby poo and blew it. hung, while a total dick, kept it together.

Sarah / October 27, 2007 3:20 AM

I just downloaded the whole season 3 and as I haven't had a tv for awhile it has been a long time since I've watched the show. It seems like it has the "Real World" syndrome of starting out awesome and then disintegrating into schlock. Now there is Padma who has to hate on what everyone else likes or like what everyone else hates. I just wish it was more honest. And what is with those "high class" boob job idiots wearing medals that have now been told by national television that they have superb taste?

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