June 28, 2012 11:27 AM by Christine McDow
It was a stressful week in the MasterChef kitchen when teams were picked and Monti Carlo was placed in charge of expediting the food during a breakfast room service. After what looked like Monti’s teammate was trying to sabotage her and the team, a little help from Tali, and trash talk from Ryan, Monti Carlo and her team did NOT come out on top. However, Monti was not held to blame. Keep reading to hear about how it all played out from Monti herself in our exclusive blog.
I am awoken by loud knocking on my hotel room door. My first thoughts come exactly in this order:
1.“OH NO! It’s a fire.”
2.“I’m not going to make it. I have asthma.”
3.“I hope we don’t miss our plane to Hawaii.”
I open the door to find an incredibly awake and DEVASTATINGLY handsome Gordon Ramsay staring back at me. “Monti”, he asks, “Do you always sleep with your cook books?” It is only then that I realize I am still clutching my copy of Alice Water’s The Art of Simple Food and that my hair is probably standing every which way. I blush and say “Yes sir.” He eyes me for what feels like forever and then says “I want you downstairs in ten minutes.” He has that mischievous twinkle in his eye again and my heart immediately sinks.
We have spent the night in a hotel across the street from LAX. We all thought the producers had arranged this to ENSURE that we wouldn’t miss our plane to paradise! See, Gordon had teased the night before that we would cook outside of the MasterChef kitchen for the first time and then very dramatically said “ALOHA!” We were all beside ourselves with glee and I even bought flip flops for our mini vaca!
We are all downstairs in various shades of disarray but still grinning like idiots ‘til Gordon breaks THE BAD NEWS: Hawaii is a no go. We will be cooking breakfast at our hotel, the Radisson LA Airport Hotel. Gordon tells us it has one of the busiest breakfast rushes in the country. I grit my teeth. Sh*t just got real.
THE GOOD NEWS: Guess who isn’t picked last this round?!?! Yay! I’m stoked about being on Josh’s team. I really like him as a competitor. He’s laid back, a total charmer and is an INCREDIBLE cook. I know he will lead us to victory.
Josh picks me to expedite, a pivotal position for our team’s success. To ensure that everyone knows what is expected of them at all times, I put together a bulletin board of exact counts for all the entrees we will need for the breakfast rush, divided by quarter hour. Everyone agrees to look at the board and use these counts to create the entrees that they are responsible for. They will then hand me finished dishes, which I will garnish, wipe down and place on room service carts.
THE PLAN FALLS APART WITHIN TEN MINUTES. Everyone is ignoring the bulletin board. I am getting asked for instruction by five different people at the same time as I am trying to put together room orders. We shine with Anna and David’s Eggs Benedict and Frank’s Pancakes. Ryan’s Egg White Omelet is gorgeous as well. It is our All American Breakfast, where hotel guests can have their eggs Scrambled, Over Easy, Over Medium, Over Well or Sunny Side up that we are having issues.
No room order can go out incomplete. While the other dishes have been assigned to specific players, putting together the All American is more of a team effort between David, Frank and Josh. This is where the confusion begins. I am being handed plates with just potatoes or an egg on them, instead of finished entrees. The potatoes are over cooked and don’t have sufficient spice. The eggs are cold. The bacon scorched. For some reason Josh hasn’t grilled off any tomatoes, even though I gave him an exact count of how many slices we would need when we began prep. Unfortunately MOST of our room orders call for at least one All American and we are quickly falling behind.
The man that pulls me out of the weeds is…WAIT FOR IT…Tali! HOLY WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT IT BATMAN? I have to give Tali a nod here, because I would not have made it through that service without him. He is putting together the half-finished plates that we are being handed as I garnish and organize orders to send off.
The literal sh*t hits the fan when Joe walks in with a half-eaten entrée. There is hair on the plate. It is definitely my responsibility to make sure there isn’t hair on our plates. I am beyond embarrassed. I try not to get overwhelmed as Josh starts screaming about what entrees we still need. I shout back “LOOK AT THE FU**ING BOARD!” He runs behind my expediting table and grabs the 20 tickets I have just organized and shuffles them. “This is how you need to do it.”
I FREAK OUT. Everyone knows you don’t touch the expeditor’s tickets. “What the f**k are you doing?” I yell, snatching the tickets back from him. Gordon steps in and shouts louder than the both of us, “Josh you can’t expedite. You have to stay behind the line. You’re cheating!”
I’m furious and now have twenty plates in front of me that make no sense at all. With Tali’s help I start groupings again. I’m ready to send a huge FOUR plate order out (which gives us 4 possible votes) when Josh steps behind the line again and puts his hand on the pancake plate. He picks them up and throws them in the trash as he yells, “These are cold!” I grab them out of the trash. They are still hot. “These are hot!” I scream up at him. We go back and forth and finally Josh walks away. Joe and Graham pick up the pancakes and look at me. “These are hot.” Joe says. Graham shakes his head as Joe approaches me. “Why do you think Josh threw out perfectly good pancakes, Monti? Do you think he’s trying to sabotage your team?” I look at him like he’s crazy. “No!” I say and walk back to my expediting table. I want to pull my hair out. All I can think is, “I’m supposed to be in mother f##in HAWAII right now!!”
Graham walks over to me and whispers in my ear, “You’re doing great. Rally! You can do this. Don’t get overwhelmed.” Graham Elliot is like the MasterChef Whisperer. It doesn’t matter how out of your mind you feel; he can calm you with just a look. I take a deep breath and hug him. He looks surprised and I wonder how much protocol I have just broken.
Christine’s Red Team wins the challenge and I’m shocked. We definitely got more plates out than they did. The vote was 60 40, so it all came down to flavor. I know it was our lackluster All Americans that did us in. I feel horrible. We will face a pressure test. It will be my first.
The worst part of watching this episode is seeing Tali scheme with Ryan about how to get me kicked out of the MasterChef kitchen. I thought Tali and I had bonded in the Radisson kitchen, and that we had worked well together. Ryan continues with his mindless hateful drivel. “Monti is to blame for losing the challenge.” AS IF! I worked my butt off in that kitchen, while Ryan got called out for JUST STANDING THERE by Graham, Gordon AND Josh. Ryan continues with the trash talking. “Most girls have one screw loose. Monti has like 30. Ding dong the witch is dead with a capital B.”
Oh I see. ALL WOMEN are crazy but I’m just 30 times crazier than most. And now I’m a BITCH? Why Ryan? Because I stood my ground and refused to let you continually ask me to show off my cleavage and have a “nipple slip” in front of 201 marines because you wanted votes? I know you’re reading this you ego maniac, and I have to tell you about THE HIGHLIGHT of this episode for me.
While you were busy spewing hate, the judges were deciding who they will save from the pressure test. Guess who wasn’t on the list?
Joe picks David, Graham picks Frank and the big dog Gordon Ramsay picks ME. And I quote: “This person never stopped. Not just across the 90 minutes of prep but across the 90 minutes of service. Right to the very last dish.” BOOM. Here’s the lesson in case you missed it Ryan: HEART beats HATE every day of the week.
If I’m keeping it 100% real, as we watch Josh, Anna and Tali cook for their lives from the safety of the balcony I feel guilty. They all worked their butts off, especially Josh. While we had our blow outs, I still think he was a good leader. Ryan is really the only person that deserves to be down there. We hear him as he snidely tells Graham that I got all the counts wrong and that it’s my fault we lost. Frank (who is one of the nicest, most level headed persons I have ever met) puts his hand on mine and says “Don’t worry about it.” He continues in a stage whisper that he knows Ryan will hear, “That kid needs to be slapped around.” David and I nod in agreement.
Time is almost up. Anna and Josh deliver picture perfect Lava Cakes, and we all know they are safe. Tali’s cake is a touch under done but it isn’t awful. When Ryan’s cakes collapse with just seconds left to go, it’s hard for David, Frank and I not to laugh. It is a total Karmic bitch slap and it is awesome to witness. Slapped around indeed! And by ultra-humble chocolate chips, sugar, eggs and flour.
As Ryan walks out of the kitchen, I whisper to Frank, “Maybe he should have shown them his nipples.”