Top Chef 3: CJ with the broccolini in the airplane

Oh come now. CJ’s broccolini.

So it was overcooked.

Could it really have been THAT BAD?

“Worst dish we’ve had in three years of this show!” said Chef Tom.

But it’s broccolini. Did he deep-fry it in oyster sauce and vinegar? Did he marinate it in bonnyclabber and pair it with dura? Did Andrew Zimmern run screaming from the set? Did someone expire after eating it?

My wife insightfully notes that Colicchio is meaner when Anthony Bourdain is present, egging him on with comments about “dog food”, like a middle school machismo contest.

Postscript, from Colicchio’s blog

I’m actually baffled as to how CJ achieved this with such innocuous ingredients. My wife was mystified at my reaction: ‘So he overcooked it,’ she kept saying, ‘Big deal.’ My only answer is that it had to be experienced to be understood; The oven’s dry heat somehow turned the blanched broccolini into musty, desiccated swamp vegetables punctuated by a bracing, medicinal slap of warm mint.

Okay, that does sound nasty.

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4 thoughts on “Top Chef 3: CJ with the broccolini in the airplane

  1. Bourdain is such a wannabe. Seriously, don’t even get me started on that guy. And I think they were just chomping at the bit to find something really bad from CJ….he’s such a douche, but he doesn’t have the “reputation” of Hung (also a douche) he had to go. I’ll say it again–this is the first season where I’ve seen some of the challenges and thought “I really could beat all of them on this one.” Maybe it’s the challenges, because I KNOW I’m not a Top Chef. Anyway, I’m all for Team Dale.

  2. That’s funny – I enjoy Bourdain, probably because I don’t take him seriously when he reaches for his most bombastic/scathing/scatalogical insults. Plus his directness creates at the least the impression that you’re getting the inside scoop. (See for example his comments on Personal Chefs in his current bravotv.com blog post.)

    Nevertheless, I can fully understand NOT liking him.

    CJ on the other hand, can’t say I connect with your distaste for him. Seemed understated and funny and pleasant to me.

    Dale’s a contender, but I think Hung may be more talented (but also more likely to shoot himself in the foot).

  3. i thought cj was a contender, i knew howie wasn’t gonna make it, but i though cj had a chance, it was a bit of a surprise to me. imagine getting booted for overcooked broccolini? i like hung but i’m not sure he is gonna go all the way. the girl (not the caribbean one) is pretty consistent, perhaps she will be it?

  4. Casey, Hung, Dale, those seem like the likely winners but I have no idea who will emerge.

    I actually was intended to post an ode to the Underestimated Cheesemaker (after her deft kitchen management in the second Restaurant War, plus her who-knew rapidfire onion deconstruction) but then she went and laid an egg on the plane. Regardless I think given normal kitchen circumstances she’s much better than most of us initially gave her credit for.

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