Friday, August 01, 2008

Spoiler Alert? Tom Colicchio Goes on “Today Show” as Part of Season 5 Challenge

Well, possums, when you go on national television--and alongside Kathie Lee Gifford, no less--it can hardly be called a spoiler, but if you’re of the sort who wants to remain unsullied, read no further (though, really, if you were the sort who wanted to remain pure and unsullied in the first place, you probably wouldn’t be reading a blog called Amuse-Biatch, would you?).

So, as you must know by now, Season 5 is being filmed en ce moment in New York City and its environs. (We had heard rumors about New Orleans being the chosen site, and had winced in anticipation of Quickfire Challenges such as “Cook Breakfast in a FEMA Trailer!” Or perhaps we’re too cynical; given what happened with Chicago, perhaps they would never have left the French Quarter during the filming. At any rate, we’re relieved it’s the Big Apple rather than the Big Easy this time around.)

And the Ursus Major himself, Mr. Tom “Padre Padrone” Colicchio, went this morning charmingly to disport himself with what passes for the salon des précieuses these days—Meredith Vieira, Natalie Morales, Hoda Kotb, and Kathie Lee Gifford. The video is here, but because those lovely folks at MSN won’t allow us to embed the video, we’ve resorted to screencaps and a little transcription. Bear in mind, though, we’re not court reporters, so we may have missed a word here or there.

The segment begins and Meredith Vieira announces, “This morning we put 13 chefs to the test of making a meal for us. We’re going to taste some of them and pick our favorite.” [Hint, Meredith: Go for the fat ones first; they taste better.]

So assuming the season began with 15 or 16 cheftestants, this tells us that two or three have already been eliminated. Meredith then brings on His Royal Bearness.

Pardon us for a moment while we let him bashfully beam.

So, Tom says, “We’re shooting in New York, so New York’s a great background. The chefs are all seasoned pros, and so far the competition’s pretty stiff.”

In other words, the usual shtick, except that, surprisingly, no talk this time of how this season’s contestants are the strongest yet, etc., etc. Hmmmm. God, this always feels like Kremlinology.

Tom again: “Their assignment was to prepare and demonstrate a dish that they would make if they were on the Today Show. And we have 13 chefs; they all did a two-and-a-half minute demonstration, and we are pretty much deadlocked. So we narrowed it down to three. You’re going to make the decision.”

Why, it’s like that new Kevin Costner movie about voting, except that maybe the Today Show women are like the Electoral College, or maybe the Supremes (in both senses of the word). And by the way, don’t that sound aaawf’lly like Next Food Network Star? We sense a gradual convergence.

Tom yet again: “Whoever wins the challenge, on December when this episode airs, will come on and make their dish on the Today Show.”

What did we tell you? Perhaps Top Chef will decamp for Food Network much as Project Runway went to Lifetime. Also, this lets us know that Season 5, now officially called Top Chef: New York, will begin airing in November, or perhaps early December.

So, on to the dishes.

Tom: “This is a tomato, watermelon, feta cheese salad…with basil oil and balsamic vinegar.”

We learn Meredith Vieira does not eat watermelon because it makes her sick.

Tom: “The next one is a sautéed shrimp cabbage roll, and it’s also made with roasted peppers and walnuts. There’s a spice in there, which is sumac.”

Kathie Lee Gifford, after putting a roll in her mouth: “I can’t stand that. Can I do something with this? I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry for the person who made this.” She goes to the sink, spits it out in a paper towel and throws it away.


Tom: “The next one is seared tuna with asparagus, and roasted carrots and a little balsamic glaze.”

Natalie Morales can’t eat it because she’s pregnant.

“We all have our issues, don’t we?” asks a seemingly un-self-aware Kathie Lee Gifford (yes, it’s redundant, we know).

“Not Hoda, though,” Kathie Lee adds, “she’ll eat anything.”

Hoda shows admirable restraint in not knifing her right then and there.

The, er, ladies then confer, and render their verdict:


Buzz Kill said...

Damn you Charlus, I watched the video and now my head hurts listening to those four yentas talk over each other. Tom was so confused by them that when he said they narrowed it down to the top 3 dishes, he held up 2 fingers. I would totally understand if he put a gun in his mouth after that.

queerassuffolk said...

Oh my GAWD. His irritation and wearied patience is palpable. This is so not his scene. You could almost see the thought bubble "unrefined bitch" when kathy lee spit up her cabbage roll.

Why is Tom doing this? Isn't this the sort of shit Rocco D'Spirito was born for?

Anonymous said...

they certainly are les precieuses ridicules. -- marcel

Anonymous said...

I saw on the Foo Fighter's fan site where Dave Grohl announced that the Foo Fighters would be on the Thanksgiving Top Chef show. Also several people at the Rochester show saw the contestants at the concert. I think Dave also mentioned something about toaster ovens backstage. Sounds like fun, and it suggests the season will start late October early November.

hughman said...

um, haven't we seen watermelon and feta cheese before? is this Project Rerun all over again??

Anonymous said...

I think Sam used watermelon and bleu cheese, no??

Anonymous said...

"Stiff competition"?

Watermelon, feta, basil oil and balsamic vinegar is stiff competition?

Oh man, this does not portend well.

See, buzz kill, I didn't watch the video. I know these women. Last thing I right now is a headache.

steve said...

Well before you guys comment about how boring this change's food was, you should try and understand what the Challenge was really about. The Chefs had to cook a meal in 2 minutes and present itas if they were presenting it on the Today Show. Im assuming these were the top three chef's that performed the best 2 minute spot. This challenge was more about their presentation, rather then the dish. None of the dishes were that unique. So I would suggest that before you bash things, maybe you should first understand the challenge.

Anonymous said...

Well gee "Steve", if you weren't such a homer for the show you'd understand that it's our god given right to criticize what we like and don't like. Bashing is our bread and butter. So is spelling, punctuation and grammar. You might try looking up those words before you embarrass yourself again.

Anonymous said...

I've ahd this dish and it rocks. Yes it may look simple, however the combinationof flavors is wonderful. The challenge was to prepare something they could present on the Today Show, so it has to be short and sweet, clear and concise for the audience and look and taste good. Well I am sure it hit it's mark.

Anonymous said...

Sam used Gorgonzola with Watermelon

steve said...

well "Anonymous" from 2 posts ago... its "steve" from the post before... you are absolutely right that you have the right to bitch, just like its my "god given right" to make everyone aware on this site that your complaint had no basis... you were complaining about something that you didn't consider the entire situation. People should be aware of your selfishness. And again, its "my god given right" to point that out.