Back of the House

Hung Earns Platt’s Reluctant Respect on ‘Top Chef’

Hung keeps his eyes on the prize.
Hung keeps his eyes on the prize.

The final cut prior to the Top Chef finale was made last night, as the contestants came to New York to cook before the most august figures the show could muster. First, Hung won a Quickfire Challenge by executing Daniel Boulud’s old potato-wrapped sea bass for Le Cirque’s Sirio Maccioni; he then did likewise on a sous-vide chicken dish in the Elimination Challenge before the combined deans of the French Culinary Institute, including the legendary Andre Soltner. But somebody had to take the fall, and it was Sara, with her undercooked chicken. Feeling that her ejection was long overdue, we sat down to our weekly exchange with Adam Platt, ready to exult, but he had other things on his mind.

Hung keeps his eyes on the prize.

Platt:: Andre Soltner?!?! That was like seeing Ben Franklin make an appearance on some particularly insipid broadcast of Hollywood Squares. I liked it when he referred to the evil Hung as ‘Haaang’ though.

Ozersky: Hung was so proud of himself with his manic knife skills. BFD! He should just work at Benihana and be done with it.

Platt: I’m not a big fan of Haaang. but I have to disagree. This week he really put the hammer down.

Ozersky: You know what I’m fed to the teeth with, Platty?

Platt:: What’s that, Cutty?

Ozersky: The by now automatic speech about how food is all about love, and a chef should pour his heart into his chicken and blah blah blah. Just give me an emotionless automaton who knows how to immerse things in hot oil. You know?

Platt: You make a good point, my furry-backed friend!! So you think Haaang’s victory is inevitable?

Ozersky: No, I think his defeat is inevitable. There’ll be some meaningless chatter from Tom about how it lacks love.
Platt: They’ll sacrifice Haaaan to the TV gods in the end. He’s too much of a little prig. Cuddly Casey’s the winner.

Ozersky: Of course, she could drop the ball, as Sara did with her raw fish, or Dale with his forgotten sauce. Plus, they’ll have the Ripper judging them, which is bound to be unnerving.

Platt: Eric Ripert? I caught that glimpse of him on some godforsaken river bank in the teaser for next week. I can see the lunatic scenario now. They’ll be field stripping trout in Aspen during a driving rainstorm, then making sashimi out of it, then feeding it to wandering hikers. We’re going to be treated to all sorts of miserable product placements. Fancy wines we’ll never buy, newfangled potato peelers we’ll never use, grizzly lodges we wouldn’t be caught dead in. I can’t wait!

Ozersky: Are you saying that sarcastically? I would have assumed that a month ago, but now I can never be sure since you’ve turned into such a Top Chef groupie.

Platt: The staunchest souls can get sucked into this dreck. Even Mssr. Soltner had a tear in his eye when Sara was dispatched to failed chef land.

Ozersky: You’re a fine one to talk about failed chef-land, Platty! You’re the travel agent for the place.

Platt:: That was a cruel slap, Cutty! I’m going to bed.

Earlier: Pain, Empathy, and Ennui Over Last Night’s ‘Top Chef’

Manhattan Project