Around the World in 80 Plates: Barcelona

80 plates relocates to Barcelona, Spain this week and all I could think is that it’s a good thing Sai is gone. She would have been so disappointed that they were not yet en route to Asia and she would have had a serious meltdown–like every other week. I think she got confused and thought she signed up for “Around the continent of Asia in 80 plates.” But Sai is gone and we are left with plenty of other cheftestants Cheven for our entertainment.

I am still quite confused as to what role Cat Cora and Curtis Stone have in the context of this show. Like, they’re supposed to be our world traveling Padma and Tom but they don’t judge the food themselves and don’t have any power to send anyone home. Bravo could have used Mary Kate Olsen and Kobe Bryant and nothing would be different. The format would be the same but an Olsen twin and Kobe Bryant would be wayyyyy more fun to watch.

ANYWAY. The chefs, Curtis and Cat are now in Spain and the teams are again changed which is becoming really confusing. It’s all of the girls and Nookie versus the boys: Cheven, Chaz, Gary freakin’ Walker (I love this guy’s name and I like to say it with added gusto) and everyone else whose names I can’t remember.

The Nookie team is stronger by far even though they lose this challenge to the red team. Nookie once lived in Barcelona and can cut up a fish like no one’s business and he could have single handily won “The Course” challenge for his team…if the rest of his team did better, that is. The course wasn’t that entertaining to watch. They cut up some fish, they all got inked from the ink squid, Nookie got pissed and the black team won the exceptional ingredient: gama roja. Oooooooh, red prawns. Why doesn’t this same that exceptional to me?

Jenna is crazy fluent in Spanish and able to ask for samples of every ingredient at the market with no problem. Oh, and she got some the items the team needed to build the menu. (It’s OK, Jenna. I like samples, too.)

The black team really has their shit together unlike the red team which is just an epic disaster. Cheven is trying to visualize the menu at the market which apparently he shouldn’t be doing yet according to his other teammates. Chaz is wearing the lowest V-neck shirt I have EVER seen on a man and standing around with his hands on his hips pissed off at dear old Cheven. We will call it the “Chaz stance” moving forward.

This week for “The Takeover,” both teams are cooking out of the same restaurant which also happens to have an open kitchen to the dining room so the Spanish diners can enjoy some entertainment in watching the chefs all fight and cry and ruin flan while they eat. That’s the kind of dinner service I would like to have.

The black team is insane. Cheven is supposed to be front of the house but he apparently has some phobia of leaving the kitchen. Everyone hates him for it and everyone tells the camera that they are plotting to send him home.

The red team is cooking away while Jenna runs around with a notebook and pen trying to write the menu. Everyone hates Jenna. But they should LOVE her. Say what you want about her but she is a front-of-the-house queen and her team should be bowing down before her for schmoozing the Spaniards. You know, the people who ultimately hold the team’s fate in their hands. C’mon guys!

Then everyone hates Liz because she starts crying over her flan that she can’t brûlée. They instead brûlée figs to serve with the flan but it doesn’t match what’s on Jenna’s beloved menu she created. Cue Jenna blowing a fuse in her brain. She’s pisssseddddd.

Chef extraordinaire José Andrés joins Cat, Curtis and the restaurant owners to discuss the food, which of course has no bearings on who will actually win or lose. They are smitten with the black team’s tapas but hate Chaz’s fish. They also are liking Liz’s flan, so she can stop crying now.

The black team wins and Nookie is the MVP. Duh.

The red team makes the BIGGEST MISTAKE OF THEIR LIVES and sends home the best thing about this show, Cheven! Ok, that’s slightly dramatic but I will miss his sideburns, his anger, and his comments like “It’s like a fish holocaust over there. I take that very personally considering I’m Jewish.”

I will try to recap again next week. Hopefully someone else will step up to the plate and show at least an eighth of the personality Keven “Cheven” Lee had. We’ll miss you Chevs!

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