The Toby Young Insult Tracker – Week 5


That’s the Toby that we know and love tolerate until Gail’s return.

Yep, the opinionated Briton was a bit more vocal this week, which made for some fun repartee around the judges’ table during the tasting and provided me with some fodder for an actual column this week.  Mr. Young, you have my thanks.

But before we get on to the insult tallies, I want to take a minute to discuss the top prize this week.

I’m convinced that Stefan took home the best weekly prize…definitely the best of the season and likely the best in the entire run of Top Chef.

It’s hard to overstate the esteem in which Eric Ripert is held within the culinary community.  The chance to follow him around and learn from him in his kitchen would be like an aspiring rocker in the ’60s getting to sit in Abbey Road Studio for a week or so.

I’m sure all of the chef’testants have their eyes on the big prize, but getting into the Ripper’s good graces could end up being worth more in the long run than capturing the top spot for the season.

Anyway, let’s get down to business.

Insult #1:
“Here it just tastes like the dull fish I remember eating whenever I’ve gone to the Caribbean.”

TVFF – 4
  Have you ever hear someone says something that you think might be racist, but then you’re not sure because, hey, are Hungarians even supposed to be notorious liars?  I must say that I have absolutely no idea what he’s talking about here.  Is that actually a thing?  Are all Caribbean fish dull?  I’m just confused.

Insult #2:
“Clearly something has gone very wrong…I think Tom’s being too kind.  It’s not merely unremarkable, it’s remarkably poor…Jamie saw you performing a high wire act. You made it look easy.  She got up on the wire and then *svvvfff*.  Fell flat on her face — no safety net.”

TVFF – 8
  Apparently, Toby decided to make up for last week’s lack of comments in one thirty-second spree of criticism.  And he manages to come through with flying colors.  Hyperbole.  Simplicity.  Allusions to a violent death.  This is classic Toby Young.  If you watch the clip itself, you’ll see that he actually manages to put down Jamie while also kissing up to Eric Ripert.  Everyone has their lips on Ripert’s ass.  That man is a FOOD GOD!

Insult #3:
“I liked it.  I thought it was rich and powerful.  It had a certain swagger to it.  If I had to come up with a name for the dish, I think I’d call it ‘Pablo Escolar.'”

TVFF – 9
  Another nice one.  He undoubtedly though of this whilst (that’s the pretentious, English way of saying “while”) ruminating on the words that kinda rhyme with “escolar,” a process which should take you no more than 20 seconds.  Then it was just a short journey from “escolar” to “escobar” to “Pablo Escobar,” and he’s cheerfully and approvingly comparing a dish to a mass murderer and drug kingpin.  Awesome!  This reference would have been even better if it came after we watched Medellín, starring Vinnie Chase.

While this insult is great for the reason mentioned above, the real reason I enjoy it is that Toby pronounces “Pablo” the way John Lennon does in “Being for the Benefit of Mister Kite.”  Paablo.  I love that.

Two Beatles reference in one column.  A new personal record!

Insult #4:
“I just had this — kind of — lump of rather — kind of — dull fish in the middle of my plate and it’s actually still stuck in my teeth.  And I wish it wasn’t.”

TVFF – 4
  C’mon, Bravo!  I know this is basic cable, but can’t you get them a toothbrush?  Or at least some floss?  Gross.  I’m also suppressing the urge to make a “British people have bad teeth joke.”  Because that would be racist, right?

TVFF – 6.25  
A new high score for Toby, slightly edging out his Week 2 total.  And, if you look at the numbers, you’ll see that his overall score was held down quite a bit by the two missteps.  If he could learn to trim the fat and go with the true winners, he’d be doing even better.  Focus, Toby…focus.

(Photo: Bravo)

You may also like


  • Maids February 9, 2009  

    On the part of the Caribbean fish I’m really insulted. Dull Caribbean fish! You’re from ENGLAND mother-effer! The land of the bland (except for Indian curries. The brits know their curries)

  • BS February 9, 2009  

    I’m also wondering what he means by that — it must be based on some stereotype I’m unaware of — always assumed Caribbean fish were tasty – untrue?

  • Oxen Cox February 9, 2009  

    I didn’t think he was that great this past episode. Snooze. I’ve seen shoes sassier then him. He seemed to be trying to hard, as usual.

  • Carla February 9, 2009  

    Stephan did win a great prize… but something tells me he’ll be the one to totally blow it and wind up with photos of he and Ripert in some cooking tabloid going at each others throats. Did you see the Quick Fire???

Leave a comment