Top Chef
Season 2 Finale, Part I

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The Poke's On You

Piles of interesting looking food are arranged on platters and in dark coconut wood bowls. Everyone tucks in. As would befit a traditional Hawaiian feast, there are no knives and forks, and everyone uses their hands. I've always loved eating with my hands -- it seems so languorous and decadent. However, I hope the cheftestants got a chance to wash up first. I mean think about it: hair product stink (you know they're all using it), plane stink, and helicopter stink ain't going to make that poi any tastier. Alan Wong explains poi to the cheftestants: "Poi, made from the taro in Old Hawaii, was considered very sacred. The poi is the end result of mixing something like the taro, or the breadfruit, or the sweet potato into a paste." Now, when we were in Hawaii in September, we were all about eating the local food -- particularly the fish, vegetables, and goat cheese -- but we never had the occasion to try poi. They didn't even have poi on the menu at Side Street Café where all the chefs of Oahu go to hang out and eat home-style Hawaiian comfort food after hours. Frankly, I've never even really been interested in the stuff, but I can guarantee you, if it was made by Alan Wong, I'd eat it happily. In his 1866 Letters from Hawaii, Mark Twain described poi as a "villainous mixture... almost tasteless before it ferments and too sour for a luxury afterward. But nothing in the world is more nutritious."

As all the cheftestants and Padmadala expertly scoop up and twirl the poi onto their first two fingers -- I really hope they all have their own portion and aren't dipping into a communal bowl -- Alan Wong goes on to say that there are many ways to make poi, but if you don't cook it correctly, it will make your throat itch. Can I just ask what the HELL is wrong with Bravo? The idiotic lunkheads are showing us a shot of LOTUS ROOT and calling it TARO! This is a FOOD show! Why can't they get the FOOD right?! I just... I really don't... I mean, I can't... idiots, idiots. They are IDIOTS! Lordy, lordy, LORDY -- I am not even a professional chef AND I KNOW THE DIFFERENCE! It's like showing a purse on Project Runway and calling it a belt. Basically, this just proves EVEN MORE that Bravo doesn't give a shit about the food and only cares about the drama. Yet all this time, Bravo has been all, "Oh, we are good reality television. We don't manipulate things like other reality shows. We have integrity. We are so moral and intellectual and pure and --" SMACK!

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Top Chef

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