My ridiculous attempt to live blog something that I won’t publish until it’s over… Iron Chef America. (Also, Sage may wake up at any time, which would hose this entire thing. Let’s see.)
10:01 — Come on, Alton. If people didn’t get the Dr. No reference at the beginning, they’re not going to get it after a few more hints.
10:03 — Ugh. Chef Zakarian. My least favorite. He’s just so smug.
10:04 — Pasta? Pasta? Why do they use secret ingredients that are so generic? Just once, I want to see: “Today’s secret ingredient is… TOASTER STRUDEL!” Good luck, champ.
10:05 — are they both talking about ravioli ice cream? Or ice cream ravioli? (Probably the latter.)
10:07 — the “altar” had loads of dried pasta… but the challenger just said they’d only see one dried pasta, because he was doing mostly fresh. I thought they had to use what was on the altar, but they could supplement it. Is that not true?
10:11 — I really want to know what those Post-It notes on Alton’s monitors are all about.
10:15 — If Kevin pronounced “Konban wa” the same way twice in a row, I’d be amazed.
10:16 — OK, two judges I don’t really care for, and one I like (Martin Yan). Once, I was at a giant food convention (posing as my friend Aaron), and suddenly a guy jumped out in front of me (not literally) and shoved a tray at me (literally), and said “Try thes checkan weeng — ess amehzeen!” I took it — the last one on the plate — and he disappeared. I took a bite. It was truly amazing. The best chicken wing I’ve ever had. And then I suddenly realized — it was Martin Yan. I was guerilla-fed by a celebrity chef. (Later I met Wendy the Snapple Lady and Paul Prudhomme. It was an odd day.)
10:19 — those tongs were like tweezers. Weird.
10:20 — OK, that eggplant-in-pasta technique was amazing. They used paper-thin slices of eggplant, grilled them for just a moment, and folded them into a pasta before putting it through the roller. That’s pretty ingenious.
10:27 — My biggest problem with this battle is that I don’t know enough names of pasta shapes nor pasta dishes to know what the heck they’re saying half the time.
10:28 — Did Alton just say there was a dish that was a mozzarella sheet stretched around shredded mozzarella mixed with cream? Because if so, why is this not on every menu on the planet?
10:29 — They just said Martin Yan has groupies. Maybe that’s why he was so anxious to finish serving me his chicken wing and then disappear.
10:30 — Zakarian just nearly took out Alex Guarnaschelli with a dodge-left-and-right-but-go-straight-ahead move that I haven’t seen since Joe Addai kept trying it last year. HEY-OHHHHH, GOT SOME FOOTBALL IN ON A SUNDAY! (I’m not all that interested in the Niners/Lions game tonight.)
10:33 — In case you couldn’t tell from how bad even the commercials are, “Restaurant Stakeout” is a total fake. The employees know they’re being taped and they’re coached how to act. I know a guy who was hired by producers to play the part of a bad waiter.
10:34 — “…and the sphinter factor goes to 8.5” is not a line I want to hear when I’m watching a food show. (And as I am typing this, Ann says almost the exact same thing.)
10:35 — And now Alton refers to the ice cream machine as “belching out” its contents. Is he trying to make all of this unappealing?
10:37 — Ravioli cooked as an uncut sheet of five “nodules” — bizarre and possibly brilliant?
10:38 — I’m now pretty sure that nobody is making ice cream ravioli. Zakarian’s side did make pasta-flavored ice cream. I’d rather have ice cream ravioli.
10:39 — Ann did a ravioli that involved chocolate once. Neither of us remember what it was stuffed with.
10:41 — Challenger goes first. First course: this is that mozzarella dish. It’s wrapped in spaghetti. They thought it needed acid. I’m willing to try it to find out.
10:42 — Second course: ravioli sheet. Everyone’s nuts about the way it looks. Third course: fusilli with octopus. “It’s supposed to be dry, gritty, and chewy.” …Yeah, sounds yummy.
10:43 — Eggplant pappardelle amatriciana. I understood one word of that. Martin Yan just referenced the Chinese people and how they eat for the fourth time in four dishes. I’m not upset that he wants to mention his area of expertise, but at some point he should maybe get outside his background and cheap jokes.
10:44 — Gnocchi. It looks really pretty on the plate. Martin didn’t mention China, and he didn’t make a lame joke! Must have been a good dish.
10:47 — Commercials. Sage is still asleep! Considering her sleep patterns the past couple weeks, I was not anticipating this.
10:49 — Zakarian’s turn. It just occurred to me that I have no idea if I’m spelling his name right. He just said he’s “not ashamed” to admit that one of his favorite salads is chicken Caesar salad, and the judge I really can’t stand referred to the style as “the epitome of American mediocrity.” THAT’S why I don’t like Zakarian OR that judge. Anyway, he basically did that as a pasta.
10:50 — Malloreddus and saffron margarita. I have no idea what malloreddus is. But I would definitely like to try a saffron margarita. However, Zakarian should NOT try to start with a joke. (“Your surprise is a car! …No, uh…”)
10:51 — Buckwheat ravioli. Martin Yan has really pulled back on the China schtick. I wonder if that’s personal, producers, or editors.
10:52 — Fusilli. I think the judges are started to get bored.
10:53 — The pasta-flavored ice cream. They definitely seem to like it. I would still have preferred a ravioli stuffed with ice cream, even if I have no idea how to cook pasta and get cold ice cream inside.
10:56 — waiting for the commercials to end so we can get the verdict. I think the challenger wins by 2.
10:57 — Ann thinks the challenger wins by 3.
10:59 — And the winner is: the challenger! …by… 3. Well, dang. Ann wins. Of course, to be fair, Ann actually understood most of the words they used, so my very close guess is a bigger accomplishment, right? …Right?
11:00 — Made it! Sage is still asleep! We both win!
11:35 — finally recovered the blog that wouldn’t post correctly. Let’s try this again.