Thursday, July 25, 2013

Hell's Kitchen, Season 11, Finale Recap

Season 11, Finale Recap

Ladies and gents, your Hell's Kitchen Season 11 winner, Ja'Nel!

I don't really want to type a whole lot or get into specifics.  While it's not a shocker at all that Ja'Nel won, Mary really did put forth a valiant effort.  No one took her seriously from the beginning, including myself and Chef Ramsay.  In fact she was the butt-end of numerous jokes on this site throughout the duration of the season.  But she really impressed me and managed her team and menu well.  Mary, if you ever read this - you did really good.

We also witnessed the first ever kitchen ejection in Hell's Kitchen history when Mary kicked Dan out for being a prick.  Man, what's the deal with that guy?

As for Ja'Nel, obviously a very talented person but her ego really bothers me and makes her really unappealing at times, such as when she refused to listen to her team during menu prepping.  Look, yeah, she won, but she's had this extremely cocky attitude all season long that's really rubbed me the wrong way.  It's not confidence or even over-confidence, it's just really annoying and I wonder if that'll affect her during her career.  I mean beef cheeks?  Really?

The second half of the finale reminded me of what Hell's Kitchen used to be.  It was fun, it was intense, it was well cut and a general pleasure to watch.  The first few episodes of this season were similar fun and I actually did have high hopes early on.  But then the To Be Continueds starting coming in all different directions and as the total number of competing chefs began to dwindle, the show's quality just tanked and tanked.  It's really too bad because this show is really a shell of its former self.  

But this finale I will say was entertaining and I'm glad I watched it.  Big congrats to Ja'Nel and Mary!  It's been an interesting season. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Really Big Pastrami Sandwich

Went to a new place in La Jolla last week for mom's birthday called the Nosh Delicatessen.  Now, my mom makes fun of me for being born in California as opposed to her native New York and naturally always hassles me for never having eaten at a real Jewish delicatessen before.  Yeah, I don't fully understand it either.  Anyway, Nosh opened up not too long ago and while it's not a real Jewish delicatessen (i.e. it's totally not kosher), it's still worthwhile to check out.

Naturally I had to get the pastrami on rye with mustard:

"I find pastrami to be among the most sensuous of the deli meats"

The thing is, though...this wasn't a home run sandwich.  It was good but it's almost like the meat was too lean and lacked a real kicking taste.  Obviously it looks beautiful and it's really filling but I'm not sure what was going on with the flavor, cause this is real pastrami here.  They do have lean pastrami on the menu so maybe something got mixed up?  I dunno.  

I would try it again.  Happy birthday, mother, and many, many, many more!  I love you!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Hell's Kitchen, Season 11, Episode 20 Recap

Season 11, Episode 20 Recap

Gordon enjoys sucking on a lemon between takes

So we're down to four, and what an annoying four it is.  I can't believe this but Jon is actually the least annoying person there, even though he's annoying simply because he lacks a fun personality.  Ja'Nel is a loud-mouthed mega bitch with a pretty face.  Mary is just dumb and Cyndi must have a Rolodex of cliche phrases that she uses over and over.  Seriously, I know Hell's Kitchen is scripted quite a bit so you'd think the writers would at least give her some better things to say. 

I haven't watched it yet but I'm gonna say the finals will be Jon vs. Ja'Nel. 

Mary, telling the truth: "It sucks that you voted me up but I understand why."

Cyndi, puzzling: "A puzzle?  Seriously?  The last time I did a puzzle was, uh, actually not too long ago."

Puzzle challenge: Okay, they'll complete the puzzle and then have to cook the dish.  Yeah, who didn't see that one coming?

Jon, going with the beef, man: "I'm going with beef filet, man.  I'm confident that's what it is." Holding you to that, pal. 

Mary, disadvantaged: Did you ever notice that whenever Mary says she has an advantage or that she should win the challenge she never does?  

Ja'Nel, here's to hoping: "I'm really confident and I'm hoping that I got it right."  Wow, really, Ja'Nel?  I thought you were hoping that you got it wrong.  Boy was I way off!

Mary, she's just now embarrassed?: "I'm humiliated.  At this stage of the game it's embarrassing!"  Yeah, never mind all the other royal screwups you have, mixing up venison with lamb is the one that sets you off. 

Mary, I hope it's not hers: "Ewww someone's thong underwear here in the corner!"

"I'm going to demonstrate how to give yourself an enema using these two fingers."

The thing is, as much as I make fun of Cyndi for being an annoying female version of Captain Obvious, I think she'd actually do well in an executive chef position.  Mary I don't see it, Ja'Nel I think would annoy her staff, but Jon and Cyndi I think would do very well.  Jon is a shoo-in, but I'm not sure Cyndi has what it takes to overthrow Ja'Nel.  Definitely an underdog.  And I guess I'd rather listen to her cliches than Ja'Nel's loudass voice.

Cyndi, doesn't got this: "I got this, I got this shit alot!" as she's about to serve crab risotto instead of lobster.  Jeez, and I was just pulling for you, Cyndi. 

Cyndi, really funny troll: "Jon, you know we can't special order a no pork in the wellington. They're already pre-rolled!  You want us to, what, break one open and take out the prosciutto?  You serious?"  On the other hand, what kind of schmuck goes into a fine dining restaurant and asks for a pork wellington without the pork?  THAT'S JUST DOUGH THEN YOU STUPID IDIOT!!!  Fire that customer. 

So when it comes to running the brigade, Cyndi struck out with the quality control, Ja'Nel did pretty good, Jon struck out with quality control, and I'd rather shove raw scallops in my ear than listen to Mary scream like a beheaded orc during the battle of Helms Deep. 

Gordon, total liar: "Never before in the history of Hell's Kitchen have I had such a difficult time deciding who are the final two."  Yeah, my ass, Gordon.  It'll be Jon and Ja'Nel and you know it.

MARY IS IN THE FINALS??? WTFFFFFFFF?!?! She's so excited and she just can't hide it.  She can't believe she'd be in the finals AND NEITHER CAN I.

Her scream caused the lens to break right after this

And a TBC.  Blow me, Gordon.  But I will say that with a season of disappointments and poor quality, seeing an underdog like Mary in the finals is a bit refreshing.  I've been bashing her the whole season but hey, I like this.  Yeah, she does some odd things and is kinda creepy at times but she's worked hard.  And she seems like a nice girl at least.

So...there goes my prediction.  Jon or Ja'Nel?  Maybe both, who knows?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Hell's Kitchen, Season 11, Episode 19 Recap

Season 11, Episode 19 Recap

The Ramsay stalks his next television show to rip down in the ratings

Apparently there was a Hell's Kitchen episode last week.  Susan went home.  I didn't watch it nor do I have any interest in watching it.  As you can see, I've completely lost interest.  Expecting another TBC tomorrow.

What a shame this show has become. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

3 Ghost Pepper Challenge

Wanted to share a little challenge that I found absolutely hysterical.  Here my good friend Angelo Mike attempts to down three ghost peppers, which some sources online tell me are the hottest peppers in the world.  Hilarity ensues:

What's so funny is he's so happy in the beginning and thinks this is gonna be awesome and then by the end he's a complete mess, spit and drool everywhere, can't form words.  Just totally awesome.  And what makes Angelo such a badass is that he didn't just down three ghost peppers but actually downed a fourth ALONG with the sauce. 

This has actually inspired me a bit.  I mean, I complain on this blog a lot, I know that.  But one thing I don't feel I do enough of anymore is to really give major props where major props are deserved to people who do badass things.  So Angelo, it is my honor to induct you into the brand new GREG'S GOURMET HALL OF BADASSES.  Congratulations man!!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

4th of July All American Dessert

As has become a tradition since the Clinton Administration, July 4th was met with the dessert of all desserts, a cyclone of sugary sweetness, the ALL AMERICAN DESSERT!

The dessert of true patriots

If you've followed this blog long enough then you already know the deal; we've got layers of cherry and berry blue Jello stacked between pound cake, whipped cream, and mixed in with strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and Maraschino cherries.  On a hot summer day it's the perfect refreshment following a massive dinner.  

In other news, Joey Chestnut won his 7th straight Hot Dog Eating Competition, setting a new record by downing a 69 dogs.  As Joey put it, 69 is a lucky number.  The next closest competitor was about 20 dogs behind.  I dunno, man.  Other than those 3-4 years that Chestnut and Kobayashi went at it, the contest has really just been a bunch of landslides the last 15 years.  I remember when Chestnut first came to relevance and challenged Kobayashi; it looked like he was about to puke in the last two minutes.  Now he's an unstoppable machine.  I also think it's messed up that Kobayashi isn't allowed to compete anymore because Major League Eating (yes, that is a real league) wanted him to a sign an exclusive contract which would prevent him from entering competitions outside of their League.  Things got so nasty that his likeness is removed from the, I don't know what you wanna call it, the Nathan's Hall of Fame board thingie they've got there at Coney Island.  

In honor of Joey's 7th straight win I tried to down as many hot dogs as possible.  

I got to 5 and had to stop.