Top Chef Season 5, Episode 9: It’s good to be the king, okay well not really

First off, let’s get the canoodling discussion out of the way.  Hosea and Leah were all like “oh you’re so cute” and “no you are cute” and all smooch smoochie cuddle cuddle and stuff.  And then they felt bad about it because they both have significant others, but nothing happened except cuddling and some kissing.  Ok, maybe Leah can use that excuse.  Assuming her beau is a guy, since they didn’t screw, she might survive this with her relationship intact.  But Hosea?  Dude you snuggled.  SNUGGLED.  The level of emotional intimacy that implies means that your girlfriend is going to stab you in the heart, like, a whole bunch of times.  You would have been in less trouble if you screwed her because then you could have played the whole “oh it didn’t mean anything it was just sex” thing.  But with cuddling involved, you get all the pain with only half of the pleasure.

…which leads us quite nicely to RESTAURANT WARS!!!

…just waiting for the people I lost with that analogy to catch up to us… ok.

See the problem with Restaurant Wars, is that one person is elevated to Head Chef status, and invariably is the one to get the axe if things go wrong.  I will go out on a limb here, and with the absence of evidence to the contrary (because I am too lazy to look it up) I will state that it has always been the Head Chef that has gone home.  So if you are going to throw a Quickfire, now is the time.

The issue is that in a real kitchen, the employees are working for the Head Chef and they work hard for him/her because if they don’t live up to his/her standards their ass is canned.  In the best restaurants, they are living up to that standard because they believe in that chef’s vision.  But in this case, you have four people who were equals a second ago, and then one of them makes a good soup and then they are in charge.  And if the team fails, they go home.  So they have half the power, all the blame.

The other problem with Restaurant Wars, is the maitre’d position.  Of all the stretches Top Chef makes when testing the contestant’s Chefability, none is so far afield as this one.  Being front of house is a completely different skill-set than being a chef, and I daresay one that you don’t have to have to be a chef.  Thomas Keller, from all accounts is fairly taciturn personally and would do horribly in the greeter role.  But somehow he survives with only his cooking skill and vision to aid him.  There really is no reason at all (beside it being funny television) to have one of the chefs fill this roll.  Might as well have one chef work as a waiter and one as a dishwasher while you’re at it.

That all being said, if you are on this show you have to know that.  You have to know that if you are the winner of the Quickfire, you are going home if anyone on your team messes up.  And this is where Radhika fell down.  I would think that you would want to be cooking in your own restaurant, but that’s just me.  But you need someone that can schmooze a little.  The other team wisely picked Fabio, who did fabulous.  On Radhika’s team there was a lot of “oh gee I don’t know, I don’t want to do it, do you want to do it?”  NO.  You man up and say “Sorry pretty boy, you are out front.  Now mousse up and put on some short-shorts!  I know you brought them!”

But she didn’t.  She said “oh I guess I’ll do it then” and did a crap job of it.  The food was about a tie, so it was her against Fabio and she lost.  Duh.  Her failure was not that she wasn’t a good maitre’d, it was that she didn’t take charge enough to make sure that she used her talent wisely.  Hell even veloci-cosby-raptor  would have been sending out positive vibes or some-such happy horsesh*t.

 

~Citizen Chef

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