Top Chef

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Stupid Displeasures

Continuing the theme of "simple pleasures" and, most likely, lots of beer, the Elimination challenge will see each cheftestant preparing a dish to be served at a pre-game tailgate party for fans of the Chicago Bears who, in case you are a total non-sports person like myself, play football. Dale's psyched, as a Chicago native (albeit one who doesn't seem to be sought out for local commentary) and die-hard sports nut, thinks he's got the skills to win, while Mark's only slightly nervous that he's "never played American football," which is okay since he's here to cook. In a slight twist on the norm, the fans will choose the top and bottom three dishes, which the judges will have the final say over who wins and who loses. Even though she's got immunity, Jen wants to win it -- yes, for Zoi -- since "the fact that Spike is still here and she's not is just total bullshit." I agree that Spike sucks, but Zoi totally deserved to go.

Spike, first at the Whole Foods door (where they have $350 and 30 minutes to spend), makes a beeline for predictability in the form of chicken wings, immediately snapping up as many as he possibly can and ensuring that no one else will be able to "wing" it. Thwarted in the wing department, Dale goes for ribs, while Richard, who feels tailgating is "not reflective of my cooking style," goes for 25 pounds of pork from which he will make, recalling a dish from his restaurant which seems no longer to exist (as far as my halfhearted web searching could tell), what he calls "a paté melt." It's "just a little bit more of being a wiseass," quips Richard ("wiseass" is actually related to the word I'd use, which would axe "wise" and add "hole"), as he has to explain that he's punning on the traditional patty melt. JUST IN CASE WE DIDN'T GET IT.

Nikki, pulling a bad Anna Wintour by wearing her aviator shades in the store (long night?), loves comfort food and immediately thinks "sausage and pepper hero" when she thinks football. She also buys shrimp "in case someone doesn't eat sausage," like maybe Jen or Koren. Mark notices that a few people are homing in on the shrimp, which cramps his "throw a shrimp on the Barbie" roots, so he's going for chicken skewers and chowder. Ryan, a self-proclaimed "metrosexual," doesn't like sports and spends his "money on good clothes, I like to go out and dance." Sometimes, when Ryan starts talking, I want to like him for a second, and then he keeps talking, and I just can't. He's going to do it his way -- "California tailgating" -- and knocks fists with the butcher in a way that signifies douchebag the world over, before joking to the clerk that she can put all of his food on Mark's bill. God, it's hard to type when I'm laughing so hard.

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Top Chef

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