Monday, August 31, 2009

Amuse-Biatch and the Exuberantly Accusatory Quiescently Frozen Treat

We hailed, and we waited, and waited, and waited, and when the paleta vendor finally arrived, he claimed that the only paleta de leche left was this one.

“A likely story,” we harrumphed.

So, possums, what say ye? One of those little literary coincidences that flesh is heir to? Knowing accusation? Joyous exhortation in anticipation of National Coming Out Day? Or future personal motto? Possums, you decide.

Amuse-Biatch Heterosexual Monday: Padma Lakshmi Contemplates the Spillage of Golden Seed

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Not a Damned Thing About Eve

Eve, Eve, little Miss Eve….

Oh, whom are we kidding, possums? Even channeling Miss Bette Davis, we just don’t have it in us to be cruel about the fact that Eve Aronoff was pykagged. Not even the thought of her grating accent and her klutziness can rouse us to cruelty; it would be like kicking a cat. That must mean we have some shred of conscience, empathy, humanity left, doesn’t it? Doesn’t it?

Bottom line: she had no business being on Top Chef. Her true place is back in dear Ann Arbor, or as a minor character in a Woody Allen film, one of the funny ones. That Eve should be sent home on a “Battle of the Sexes” episode where the women lose is just a touch too right.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Eve Aronoff Just as Much of a Klutz as Her Voice and First-Episode Performance Would Suggest

From an interview with The Detroit News:

I understand you were on crutches for the first part of the filming. What happened?
It was a little hectic, I had broken my foot the day before so I was in a boot, and then my father had to go into the hospital. Then I cut my finger packing my knives, and I missed my flight because the airline didn't have my reservation.

Were you nervous about being on the show?
I'm really a free spirit, so I didn't have a problem adapting. The show is created to simulate reality, but there were times it was hard to be in the moment.

Amuse-Biatch Heterosexual Monday: Padma Lakshmi Shows Us the Jewels of Denial

À la Recherche du Lundi Hétéro Perdu: Proustian Padma Lakshmi Tries to Turn La Puente, California, Into Combray by Way of Dazed and Confused

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Amuse-Biatch Exclusive: Ron Duprat Had Earlier Career in Television; Do You Care? Of Course You Do

In Fond Memory of Richard Sweeney: “Don’t forget to suck the head; it’s where the best part is”

Amuse-Biatch Photoessay: Bravo Editors and the Art of the Reaction Shot

Amuse-Biatch Gallery of Bad Jews

Lest you think, possums, that this is a reference to Inglourious Basterds, we hasten to add that this is taken from Robin Leventhal’s statement, “Well, I’m a bad Jew, and pork would be my vice.” Bad Jews are, of course, our favorites. (In our youth, we had a Jewish boyfriend—uh, same-sex boyfriend, as Ash Fulk would put it—whose preferred Saturday morning breakfast item was a little sliced turkey with a lot of bacon on a bagel. Eating it in bed (1) on the Sabbath (2) with a Catholic (3) of the same sex made it a treyf trifecta plus two, but we digress.)

Speaking of which, didn’t you love it when, after Robin’s pronouncement, those sly Bravo editors cut to the chercest of the Chosen, the Lioness of the tribe of Judah, Ms. Gail Simmons herself? Gail, fresh from bathing in Michael Chiarello’s mushroom polenta on Top Chef Masters, tossed her head ever so slightly and laughed her “Song of Solomon”-inspiring, Wong Kar Wai-esque version of Anita Ekberg’s Trevi-fountained laughter in La Dolce Vita…uh, excuse us, possums, while we remind ourselves that we are gay.

So, without further ado, here are the shocking pictures of Eli Kirshtein promoting bacon and handling shrimp.

Amuse-Biatch Armchair Psychology: A Further Excavation of the Possible Roots of Mike Isabella’s Misogyny

And the evidence just keeps adding up, possums. In the above video interview with Bella, he recounts his origin story:

“I grew up as a young kid in an Italian family, and, uh, my grandma was cooking, and, you know, when you grow up in a really Italian family, what you see is all the women cooking and stuff like that, but I always loved being in the kitchen.”

Ach so! Let’s play Dr. Melfi for a second, shall we? So, as a result of his New Jersey Italian background, he views cooking as an exclusively feminine domain, but one in which he loved to immerse himself, thus setting up the conflict and anxiety around the issue of his masculinity, the castration anxiety arising from the warm and womb-like kitchen itself. Indeed, he was complicit, for as he details, he used to help prepare the “gravy,” or red tomato sauce. And what could be more symbolic of castration and emasculation, in these culinary terms, than the crushing of those round, testicular tomatoes to make a sauce that will be poured over those phallic spaghetti, which go from being hard and long to being broken for immersion in the pot, from which they emerge soft and floppy?

So of course having this Seveech woman in the kitchen, going head to head with him, brought back these issues. (It might be beneath us to point out the too-perfect-for-words symbolism of the fact that they were competing in shucking, um, clams. You couldn’t write this stuff. Also, we wonder if he has any women working in his kitchen; if anyone knows, do drop us a line. Oh yeah, does he have a girlfriend? This, too, would be fascinating to know.)

It’s all there, possums—his association of cooking with femininity and castration, his memory of having a bar of soap stuffed in his mouth, his view of older women as castrating harpies or Venus flytraps, his attempts to butch up the kitchen, his penchant for those Ed Hardy shirts sported by Jon Gosselin (the poster boy for the castrated male trying to reassert his masculinity in hateful ways).

Makes sense to us. Bella, please get help.

Amuse-Biatch Photoessay: We Thought It Was the Other Gyllenhaal Sibling Who Was Supposedly Gay

Friday, August 21, 2009

Top Chef Shocker: Padma Lakshmi Will Pose Nude at the Drop of a Hat, But Draws the Line at Wearing a Showgirl Costume

Mike Isabella: Eve Aronoff Is “This Nice Little Woman, Coming from Michigan, or Something Like That…Whuh? Is There Food in Michigan?”

Amuse-Biatch Pages Dr. Freud to Treat Mike Isabella's Fear of Vagina Dentata

Possums, we had earlier theorized that a hate-fuck involving Bella and Seveech was possible. But watching this video, it looks like they might well soon make out in a Camaro parked off the Leah and Hosea Memorial Lovers’ Lane somewhere in Northern New Jersey.

But we were unprepared (and yet boundlessly delighted) to have our cheap Freudian theories further reinforced, as it were, out of the horse-ass’s mouth.

Seveech says that Robin “One Less Old Lady” Leventhal is in the hot tub in the boys’ room, and Bella jumps in, complete with hand gestures, to say that the “old lady” is lying in wait for the boys, “She’s gonna eat ‘em up, like a Venus flytrap.”


Wow, just wow. Who needs a DSM-IV when they make it so easy for you? Seriously, possums. You ask for vagina dentata, you get Venus flytrap. Oy, Sigmund, what are we to do?

We need health care reform, if only so that this jackass can get help.

Top Chef “Yes, We Have No Bananas” Shocker: Lesbian Falls into Semiotic Trap!

Who, you? Yes, you.

It’s no use looking shocked and sheepish. You’ve been found out. How, Preeti, possum, how do you fall into these semiotic traps?

First came the encounter with the Sorting Hat at the start of the Quickfire Challenge, in which you showed the world just how lucky and satisfied your girlfriend—pardon us, your “lady”—must be.

Even your fellow member of this season’s Team Rainbow, who ought to know a thing or two about AshFulk-ing, looks impressed with your technique, the just-so curve of the hand.

Then came the Quickfire Challenge itself, during which you repeatedly admitted that you’d never opened a clam before, which prompted us to yell at the television, “Go on, pull the other one. It’s got bells on it.”

But it wasn’t until we reviewed the premiere episode carefully that we noticed how you’d slipped on a metaphorical banana peel and fallen into the biggest lesbian semiotic trap of all.

Oh, possum, how could you? Didn’t you know that there are cameras everywhere, and that those horrible, basement-dwelling bloggers, who suffer from dirty minds and compulsive screencapping, would be ever at the ready? On the other hand, it was your first day on the show, indeed your first hour, so we’ll cut you a little slack.

Top Chef Shocker: Hootie Wears a Padded Bra!

Amuse-Biatch Possum-Responsive Photoessay: There's Gold in Them Thar Yukon Hills

Well, possums, you told us of the resemblance, and we have to say, when you're right, you're right. It also must be said, possums, that when we see Kevin Gillespie onscreen we are also tempted to intone, “What’s in your wallet?” At the rate he's going, and in light of previous statistics (thanks, Bryan Voltaggio!), there could be $125,000 in his wallet when this is all said and done. (Apropos of which, ain't it nice that the big prize has gone up 25K? And oy, what about that 100K in products from Macy's? It's like the biggest wedding gift registry in history. Think of all the toasters and Vera Wang lace-pattern vegetable serving platters!)

Top Chef Armchair Psychology Shocker: Misogynist Named After a Woman!

Well, possums, could this have anything to do with it? It makes us want to call him Bella or Liz, instead of the Asshole of New Jersey.

And then, of course, in what caused much Austrian goatee stroking and cigar smoking in the television room at Withering Depths, he mentioned that the fish (hmmmm, interesting, revealing choice, nicht wahr?) on his dish was supposed to resemble the bar of soap (a nice touch) that his mother (natürlich) would stick in his mouth (ach so!) as a kid.

Was denkt ihr, possums? This couldn’t possibly have anything to do with why Bella says things like “One less old lady to deal with” and generally talks shit about women with his “foul mouth,” could it?

Nah, we didn’t think so either. He's just as asshole, pure and simple

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Confidential to Ash Fulk

Jesus Christ and Liza with a Z Almighty, what the hell kind of a gay are you? Just what sort of bowtie-wearing homosexual is unable to pronounce the word “palazzo”? We wuz mortified on your behalf. Shame on you, “pal.” No seersucker palazzo pants for you. And don’t try to claim that as some kind of bear you wouldn’t wear them anyway. Bears do not wear bowties. You wear a bowtie. Therefore you are not a bear. The syllogayism should suffice.

The Love That Dared to Speak Its Nickname

We love this sexist, ageist, retrograde, epically unattractive sewer of arrogance poached, halibut-like, in insecurity and resting on a bed of braised self-loathing, whom we have dubbed, if only temporarily, the Asshole of New Jersey. Why? Because he provides the powerful opiate of immediate, visceral, justified hatred (which we sorely needed after the kind of Wednesday we had, and we suspect we aren’t alone in that). In so doing, possums, he performs a valuable service for society. In a more metaphorical sphere, he would one day die for our television sins.

Life's Ceviche and Then You Blog

Oh the thrill, possums, the thrill.

Jennifer Carroll worked at Le Bernardin for five years, and now heads another Eric Ripert restaurant, and she can’t pronounce ceviche?!? Oh the vapors, possums, the deliciousness of it all.

It made us think of that speech Anthony Hopkins recites in The Silence of the Lambs, about Jody Foster’s character wearing cheap shoes and being a well-scrubbed, hustling rube with a little taste. We know nothing about the background of Jennifer Carroll—who, to our delight, described herself as “a freakin’ bitch in the kitchen” who’s “made enough boys cry”—but something about her gives off a whiff of the trailer park. Is it the accent, her admission that she drinks too much and does stupid things as a result? Is it the way she looks perennially unkempt, or drunk, or angry, or on the verge of tears? Whatever it is, we love this hot mess, and the woman can cook. Had this been last season, we would have pegged her as the one most likely to engage in drunken hate-sex with the Asshole of New Jersey, except that this isn’t the season of Leah and Hosea, and the Asshole of New Jersey doesn’t deserve so much as a hate ass-whoopin’, much less a hate fuck.

Make no mistake about it. She may be unfamiliar with a comb, but she can handle a spatula like a dream, and will make for entertaining television. And best of all, she might just take the whole thing.

Amuse-Biatch Photoessay: Suet Pudding with a Reddish Merkin or a Younger Gimli the Dwarf King?

Amuse-Biatch Photoessay: I Kissed a Girl and I Didn't Like It

Amuse-Biatch Photoessay: Where the Bois Are

Unpacking the Story of a Much-Needed Lobe-otomy

Well, possums, it was quite a night for Mexican food in the world of Top Chef.

On the plus side, un gringo bien chingón, Rick Bayless, won Top Chef Masters with his rendition of the Oaxacan black mole. (We’ll savor the victory for a few days before ungratefully discussing just how patronizing the franchise’s attitude to Mexican food seems to be.)

But before that, we had to suffer through an Allison Anders film, or perhaps the sequel to Quinceañera, in which tattooed chola Jennifer Zavala trotted out the cheapest and oldest of stereotypes—ay Dios mío, in the name of Lupe Vélez, I am such a Mexican spitfire—and further debased it by attempting to illustrate it with, of all things, a chile relleno.

Yes, mija, because when one thinks of spicy and fiery, it is of chiles rellenos that one thinks. As if.

Of course, she was doomed from the beginning. From the moment we saw her obscenely distended earlobes and the chest and neck tattoos (is she really “scarred” or just “scared” and saddled with a tattoo artist who can’t spell?), we had a squirming, exasperated, bourgeois reaction. This is the best representative of Mexican food the producers could find?

Matters weren’t helped by her prescient refusal to unpack her suitcase: “I’m not unpacking anything. I’m, like, very superstitious. I feel like it’s bad luck.”

Oh, how conveniently stereotypical, possum, but that’s not superstition; that’s low self-esteem. And look what happened—you got kicked off anyway, even though you didn’t unpack. So there you go; you can let go of that “superstition” now. Unless you did unpack. Well, didja?

As an extra narrative kick, we got the photo and story of her blue-eyed, güero kid whom she had intended for Harvard or Yale, which made her turn on Top Chef “not so much an opportunity; it’s more of a have-to.”

Well, Bravo, we hope you feel great for having kicked her off. Now, thanks to you, that kid is not going to Yale. And all we got was Stand and Deliver Bad Chiles Rellenos.