Top Chef
Foo Fighters Thanksgiving

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Kim: B+ | Grade It Now!
The Fighters of Foo

The cheftestants travel to Rochester, New York (my hometown!) where they arrive at the building that I will always think of as the War Memorial, but is now called the Blue Cross Arena. Oh, the memories. I saw Huey Lewis and the News there, as well as the MTV Party to Go tour featuring Information Society, Tone Loc, and Milli Vanilli. The saddest part of that tale is that I had no idea Milli Vanilli was lip-synching. I was more disappointed that Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam didn't perform as advertised. Anyway, a roadie leads them into the arena, where the show is being put together. Fabio asks where the kitchen is, and the roadie leads them through a bunch of hallways and back outside, where they discover that their kitchen is outside; all the cooking needs to be done in microwaves and toaster ovens, with no refrigerators. They do have one burner per team. Alex reminds us that they need to cook a turkey, which is not an easy task in a toaster oven. The teams regroup, as they have fifteen minutes to plan their meal. Well, fifteen minutes to make changes now, but probably six hours on the drive up. Stefan promises to make two gravies, and Jamie points out that they only have one burner, kind of a key tool for gravy-makng. Stefan interviews that he's done catering for a long time and he knows how to adapt to weird cooking situations. Jamie keeps whining that they only have one burner; she has a point but she needs to be less grating about it.

Meanwhile, Jeff has really taken the lead on the other team, and he interviews that they know they are the underdogs in this competition. Alex interviews that Ariane will be cooking the turkey, and he's a little concerned about giving her the centerpiece of the meal, since she hasn't performed that well thus far. Ariane interviews that no one is acknowledging that she's done catering, so she knows how to deal with these types of situations. Well, maybe she needs to tell them that instead of just standing there and waiting for people to remember that about her. They discuss dessert, and come up with the idea of a s'more using bananas, since the Foos said that they like frozen chocolate-covered bananas. Since they don't have a freezer, Richard thinks, "Chocolate, banana -- I know! S'more!" That would not be my first thought, but then again, I'm not a top chef. I'm not even really a middle chef. I think I might qualify as a bottom chef. Is there something lower than that?

As the teams get ready to go shopping, Fabio interviews that if they can make a Thanksgiving meal under these conditions, anyone can do it. Yeah, except that everyone doesn't have the benefit of their culinary training and experience. So there's that. The teams arrive at Hegedorn's. I can't believe they went shopping in Rochester and didn't shop at Wegmans, which was founded there. That is a bunch of horseshit. I lived in Michigan for two years in my twenties and I am not even exaggerating when I say that part of the reason I wanted to move back to Upstate New York was Wegmans. It's the greatest grocery store of all time. I didn't realize it until I moved away and saw what passes for a grocery store in other parts of the country. I appreciate that the show is using a locally owned and operated store, and I understand that probably Wegmans refused to pay the product placement or whatever, but come on.

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