Top Chef, Season Five Episode 2: Canned Ostrich Crab Egg Recipes for your Holiday Table

Citizen Chef:  Ok, are we ready to start watching the next episode?

Miss Macchiato:  Yes, but first let me tell everyone out there that you are an AMAZING cook and an AMAZING writer and are so funny and smart and good lord you are a hottie!!

CC:  Uhm, thanks MM that’s very nice-

MM:  I mean how you don’t have your own cooking show being so talented is beyond me.   You should have a whole CHANNEL devoted to your cooking philsophies and opinions!!

CC:  Well I don’t think that’s-

MM:  Have you ever thought about hosting the Oscars?  You would do a much better job than Jon Stewart.  They should GIVE you an Oscar.  AND let you host it!

CC:  So would now be a good time to let everyone know that I watched the show before you did so you are making me post this by myself and I am just putting words in your mouth?

MM:  Shouldn’t I be the one saying that?

CC:  You are the one saying that.

MM:  I are?  I mean we is?  We doth?  Err wut?

CC:  Oh let’s just start with the rambling already.

MM:  I couldn’t have said it better mys-

CC:  No!  I am not going to let you use that hack joke.

MM:  You mean you are not going to let us-

CC:  And no more grammar humor either.  Just get on with it already.



A good hot dog is a joy forever.  And I have to say I am warming up to Fabio, or maybe just getting over his name.  Now see if MM were here, she would post a really cool pic of the Top Chef Fabio with the real Fabio’s hair on him or something like that.  So let’s just “theater of the mind” that now, shall we?  ….. oh man that is funny!  Yeah I can’t do shit like that.  I can barely post pics.  So I realize I am setting myself up for failure when I do this:  I appreciate the fact that Fabio took what was good about the plain old hot dog and made it better, without resorting to stupid chef tricks like “reinventing” it into a hot dog spring roll.  I mean who would be dumb enough to do that?


In a very nice twist, the New York chefs that didn’t make it will be the customers for this challenge.  So not only are they chefs, from New York, who didn’t get on the show, they are chefs from New York who didn’t get on the show who probably realize that the harsher they are about the dishes the more face time they will get on camera.  That my friends, is what we call hi-larity.  It was suprising to note, then, that there were some positive comments.  So snark didn’t totally rule the day.

Anyway, on to what I bring to this little endevor, which is pontification!  First let’s demystify the “OMG we are cooking at CRAFT!!!!”  While it would be nice to work with Tom, it’s not like you are serving the regular lunch crowd, and the restaurant will fail if you don’t live up to Craft’s standards.  The diners were brought in.  It could have been at the high school gymnasium for all that mattered.  What was shocking to me was that two chefs, one of which I thought was going to do well, made the rookie mistake of not paying attention to their ingredients. 

I’ve done it plenty of times.  You find that awesome recipe for grilled lobster tail with asparagus coulis, and then you realize that it’s November and you are in Wisconsin so there will be no grilling, and no asparagus, coulised or otherwise.  To quote from Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook:

“You may have thought you wanted to make strawberry tart when you headed out to the market, your head filled with visions of the brightly colored fraises des bois set on a picnic table in France you saw in a magazine or cookbook.  But this is not France- and chances are, strawberries aren’t in season, and the Californian or Mexican ones, sitting in neat rows at the supermarket, are woody, watery, flavorless, and unripe.  Time for a change of plans.”

The two sinners in question are Hosea and Jill.  Jill had never really impressed, and her choice of ostrich eggs for a quiche was just daffy.  There are plenty of recipes that would take advantage of the ostrich egg, like uhm something that calls for a metrick f*ckton of egg yolk.  But if you are going to just blend it all together, what the hell is the point??  Ok, I think the Bourdain has worn off so I can probably get through the rest of the post without cursing.  And then there is Hosea, with an almost classic case of blinder-itis.  He went to the market and had already decided on a cold crab salad, before finding out if they had any, you know, crab.  There are plenty of uses for canned crab, but a cold presentation isn’t one of them.  Go to the store, see what’s good, THEN decide what you are making for dinner.  N00bs


~Citizen Chef

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