Thursday, December 30, 2010

"Hey dishes, I cut my finger, um, I know you need to get washed but..."

What up Poolers!
No, no new Top Chef All Stars ep last night.
Episode 100 airs next Wednesday (January 5th, 2011 !!) but I had a little incident occur and so I’d like to take a moment, if you don’t mind, to talk to one of the remaining know her, you hate her...Jamie.

What up, Biddy?
So, um two days ago I was washing dishes (I don’t know if you DO that or not) and I had a can of sake in the sink (Colucci, you’re familiar.)
Here it is, Funaguchi Kikusui.

I like these cans cause they come with a little plastic cover and you can rock them outside if you want and the sake itself is like a light white wine with depth. Supadelicious.
(You’re gonna love it, Daisy! $8 at your Brix or anywhere fine sake is sold.)
Anyhoo, I’m a recycler (you prolly don’t DO that either, do you Jamie?) and I already have a couple of these cans that I’m gonna put coins or pencils or chopsticks or opium in and I thought I could use another. So I went ahead and put the sponge in the can to wash it out and see this tiny little lip here on the inside of the can?

Yeah, the sponge slipped and my index finger went right on it as I was twisting the can.
I got a nasty a** cut.
It was quite bloody. But you know what I did?
No, no I didn’t call the medic. This is reality, ho.
I simply cursed the skies and applied pressure and water and hydrogen peroxide until I could put a Spongebob Squarepants Band Aid on it.
No stitches. No “Hey, dishes, I cut my finger, um, I know you need to get washed but I’ll be back as soon as I can, sorry.”
No canceling of my beauty parlor appointment. (I never, ever cancel a beauty parlor appointment.)
No not actually carrying things or not using my digit (one of the most important digits in the Finger Family!)
No, I went on with my day.
You see, Jamie, some people press on.
Some people get the job done.
In Carla’s words when she cut her finger: “Does it hurt, yes, am I gonna faint, no?”

Wednesday night.
My finger was still sore to the touch. Whatevs though, I do what I want!
Well, last night, two days after the initial slicing, I decided to go from a SpongeBob Squarepants to a Spiderman Band Aid and behold:

Still bleeding!
Still bleeding after Two Days!
Huh? Yes I live very close to the hospitals but- um, no, I didn’t duck down behind the table so no one could see me because my chickpeas weren’t soft enough…what? No, I didn’t call a medic, b*tch, really- stop it with that sh*t.
I applied pressure (the pressure you seem to have easily avoid during this cooking competition) and dressed it and went on with my evening of an awesome hummus sammy from Flour and vegan corn and lime cookies.
That's how it's done in the real real world.
Try it.

Oh, and Jamie? Just in case you couldn’t tell what I was doing with my other fingers...

Well, Poolers, until next week, I bid you a Happy, Healthy New Eleven!
Don't forget to hydrate!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

“Ask a chef to cook without a tools is like to ask a surgeon to do an open heart surgery with only his finger.”

I just came from seeing the Wu Tang Clan!
Or as Mama calls them: ““Who” Tang?!”

Now I know what you’re thinking, the Wu Tang Clan- which started as a family (and will always be, I mean, they sang along to that family bidness song by Gladys Knight and The Pips- sheet is real) a close knit amalgamation of several rappers. Who would actually show up to a rap show in Boston?
Well- these were exciting times because not only did Method Man show up (yah-basically a show in and of himself. Colucci will tell you that Method Man starred on Burn Notice. But, what IS Burn Notice?)
And Ghostface Killah (Pretty Tone!)
and Raekwon The Chef- (Who should be doing Top Chef promos just for the eff of it- Hello? Calling Raekwon’s Management Team- sure that would prolly be his Aunt Geraldine and Uncle Duplonicious but get on that would you?)
along with U-God and Inspectah Deck and Masta Killa and Cappadonna- and
– are you seated? The GZA was there too. The Genius!
Which I guess makes the young Asian chick with him The Idiot cause when I went up to him in the lobby of (appropriately) the W Hotel and thanked him for the music she just pointed at him with her mouth open like “Yeah, yeah.”
(I’m sensing this action was going to be repeated in their hotel room laters.)

Oh hey, meanwhile on Top Chef, it was tough cause last week was a double elimination so they all decided to “head to the bar.”
Say whuuut?
Introducing…a bar, everyone.
One that has a distressed brick wall in the back that almost makes it look like chefs are gonna do stand up.
One where potentially everyone knows their name because there’s no one else in the bar BUT them.
Casey said Nice Guy Dale was a huge support and she didn’t know how she would survive without him. Let’s see…have you been alive and independent since Before you moved into the Top Chef All Star house with Nice Guy Dale?
Oh you have? I think you’re alright, dude.

Meanwhile White Tiff, sporting a navy zip up jacket that said Boston in white baseball-ish letters that I’m not sure I want her wearing because I don’t know if I like her representing my city; said she had been in the bottom twice and she doesn’t think the judge’s got it right (oh sure) and can’t let it happen again.
Slimer said he was glad Punchy Dale won because it was someone besides Angelo and (to Camera) Angelo was probably his biggest competition. Aside from his now giant stomach preventing him from seeing what he is putting in the pan.

They entered the TC kitchen and Padma wearing a cream colored strapless dress with a tie in the front and black panel on the side (at some point during the Wu, I received a text from Daisy that said: ‘wtf is Padma wearing?’ but I don’t think it was this outfit—right, Dais?) along with Top Chef Master, Tony Mantauno who owns the only four star Italian restaurant in Chicago. The chefs were charged with making stuffing.
Oh no, not so simple, my friends. They had to make it with no utensils. No knives, no kitchen tools.
Jamie: (LAUGHING AND SMILING) “Reeeeallly?”
(This is why people hate you, Jamie. And by people I mean the poolers who didn’t pick you and most of the Eastern seaboard.)
Fabio: “…how I’m going to do this? I’m going to crush potato with my head?”
And why would you want to do this? Oh, the prize is immunity AND $20,000. Carla Cos: “Woo hoo!”
Time Starts Now!
All the chefs crashed into the fridge and Casey peeled off because it was too much ruckus (Bring the MFing Ruckus! Yeah! Wu rocked that song. Sorry.) Carla said “what is meant to be will be” and what was left was quinoa so she went that route.
Fabio: “Ask a chef to cook without a tools is like to ask a surgeon to do an open heart surgery with only his finger.”
Bravo, may I have a book of Fabio-isms please?
Fab grated Parmesan cheese on a rack that held pans. Blais used the lid of a jar to stir his food. Carla tried to chop an onion with a pot. Tre used liquid nitro to freeze his ingredients so he could smash them since they didn’t have the aid of blenders. (Someone tell me their hands are clean.)
Time’s Up, Utensils Down!
(But they didn’t use utensils.)

Carla Cos presented black quinoa stuffing undente because she knew it was undercooked. Chef Mantauno laughed as she offered him dental floss. Channeling Bill Cosby in LET’S DO IT AGAIN, Carla literally clasped her hands together and pursed her lips. Spike used lemongrass spears to plate his stuffing, Mantauno called that genius. Punchy Dale did a Spanish themed stuffing.
The worst? Carla Cos, of course. Chef Mantauno said if he poured milk over it it would have been a good cereal. Owch! White Tiff’s overly sweet fare (too sweet again?) and Casey’s stuffing that came off as an app. Casey laughed out loud (a la Jen. Watch it, Casey.)
The best? Tre’s southwest-inspired bread pudding and Marcel’s stuffing that was actually in the bird (he used a plastic wrap as a cone.)
The winner—Tre!
Tre: “OH MY GOD!”
He put his head in his hands and immediately hugged Chef Mantauno AND Padma!
It’s the Price Is Right! Come on down and hug everybody!
Now get back behind the cooking table and the eightball cause it’s the-

Elimination Challenge
The chefs were to cook at the home of the US Open. The players were on a strict diet of healthy, high-energy food. Padma brought out Top Chef labeled tennis cans (soon to be on the Bravo site, for suresies) and everyone picked a canister.

Team Orange- Fabio, Blais, Slimer, Punchy Dale, Marcel, Antonia and Carla Cos who said she was concerned about Fabio because he overthinks things.
Team Yellow- Black Tiff, White Tiff, Casey, Jamie, Angelo, Tre and Spike who said he had no allies on his team and was a little worried.
The teams had to serve their dishes head to head, whoever won earned their team a point. First one to four points wins the match. Players on the winning team were up for the win and whoever’s dish lost would be up for elimination. DAYUM.
Strategy ACTIVATE!

In the Top Chef House- Spike said they should put their weakest dish against the other Team’s best to waste their best. Angelo agreed this was a good strategy. Jamie was like whatevs because she wanted to avoid fighting- Hey Kids, I think you know what time it is.
List Of Things Jamie Doesn't 'Do' Or Know!™
-bridal showers
-canned goods
-open a restaurant
-clean sardines
-braise celery ("never before in life")
-make a sauce from ham
-complain (this is debatable)
-children (“ever”)

Carla wanted an ‘all over the world’ effect with their dishes, she also wanted to do a veggie African peanut stew. Punchy Dale was all, the US Open is upscale. No stew then? Guess not cause the next day at Whole Foods she was grabbing beans and broth. Carla is a runner, ya’ll. She (says) she knows what she’s doing and she believes in her dish, (SAY like Bill Cosby) haw haw!
Meanwhile Antonia admitted (to Camera and by default to her young daughter) that she never did sports in high school, she smoked a lot of pot and nothing else. Um, you understand you’ve been flagged for life now, right?
Fabio worked on…gnocchi. Again, Fab? I don’t know…
There was no paddle attachment in the mixer so he made the pasta with his hands. Jamie’s dried chickpeas didn’t look like they’d be ready in time. Then Angelo checked his mackerel- it was mucus-y!!! EW!
Angelo asked Tre if he could use some of his salmon.
Ah no.
Tre suggested he ask Black Tiff for some of her tuna and she obliged because she just wants the best chef to win. (By taking your ingredients?)
Colicchio entered and asked three members of Team Yellow their strategy. They all declined except Spike who (standing next to Angelo) revealed they were gonna put their weakest up against Team Orange’s strongest.

Carla Cos looked away from her dish for a moment and SLICE! She cut half her fingernail off!
Blood dripped like a leaky faucet! She said she could handle it even as the medics thought different.
Carla Cos: “Does it hurt, yes, am I gonna faint, no?”
Punchy and Antonia commended Carla (to Camera) cause I think we all know what Jamie DOES do- and that’s get stitches when she doesn’t need them.
Uh oh. Then Spike “butchered” his shrimp incorrectly? I’m not sure how. It looked like he was tasting everyone else’s dishes and went back to his own and…what? It just got soupy sales in the bowl or something? He tried to make another batch quickly “without love” as Slimer asked him what happened.
Time’s Up!

They wheeled their foods out on to the court, each team assembled at opposite sides so they couldn’t discern anything about each other’s dishes. Jamie said her chickpeas were still hard (even your chickpeas hate you.) Team Yellow had all tasted each other’s dishes. Everyone’s except Jamie’s.
Uh huh.
Spike said an uncooked dish is an incomplete dish and that’s the worst dish (to Camera) “which means, Jamie, you’re up to bat.” Or serve. Come on Spike, you’re on a tennis court.

Tennis fans entered and were set up at cabaret tables along the sides of the court. The Judges arrived- Padma wearing a light gray single-breasted suit jacket with round lapels, beige shorts and a navy tank top with one of the necklaces she’s tryna hawk. Hmmm, is the outfit Daisy was talking about? It’s sorta Women’s Wear Daily but the necklace and mile long legs sorta make up for it. But there’s no time to go back to the closet full of clothes getting divorced from Salman Rushdie bought Pads-
Send out your first player!

Fabio (Team Orange) was specifically asking to go first because he had the “best gnocch in town.” (Oh Fab, excuse me while I speak to Fabio for just a minute, Poolers. Fab, you’re so damn adorable. I love your confidence. Keep that up but enough with the gnocchi. Also, in the end it doesn’t matter because no one picked you so ultimately I’m going to have to ask you to lose so that I don’t have to mail everyone’s cheddar back but stop by my place for your consolation prize. And I do mean consolation...)

Meanwhile Team Yellow wanted to stick to strategy but they saw Fabio going up first and freaked. Suddenly Jamie: “We have to figure out who’s going!” Black Tiff said- Jamie. Jamie shook her doll head ‘No.’ She wanted more time for her chickpeas to cook.
“Team Yellow send up your first player!”
Casey (to Camera, sporting some awesome red lipstick) said she decided to go first. Spike had no clue what was going on. (to Camera) “What are you doing, Casey? Jamie has a weak dish.” Too late.

Padma (who sat with Colicchio, Gail- wearing some sort of navy blue tent, and Chef Mauna Lai- remember that Ocean Spray juice?) introduced guest judge Taylor Dent, billed as a ‘professional tennis player’ READ: retired. He looked like a poor man’s Taylor Lautner.
Fab presented whole wheat gnocchi with egg white instead of the whole egg, pork loin ragout, caramelized fennel (I HEART CARAMELIZATION) & zucchini up against Casey’s grilled port tenderloin (brined) with farro (OMG can we caramelize farro??!! Just a thought), cherries, sugar snap peas and vinaigrette.
Casey’s dish was too heavy, Colicchio said he never had whole wheat gnocchi that had as much flavor as Fab’s. He, Padma and Taylor picked Fabio’s!
Fabio jumped the net and dropped to his knees, fists to the sky!
Casey stood with tears in her eyes. (I think we’ll see these tears a little later on the program as well.)

Team Orange chose Marcel to go second but Punchy Dale’s dumplings were dying and he needed to go. Marcel was bitter because he halfway plated.
Angelo on Team Yellow thought they had to forget about strategy and go for the win. White Tiff was picked to go next.
Punchy Dale’s edamame dumpling, spicy carrot froth and crispy soy nuts went up against White Tiff’s sashimi of black bass, avocado & ponzu (citrus sauce) vinaigrette.
Colicchio said this was the strongest round yet… Gail votes for White Tiff. Padma for Punchy. Colicchio and Poor Man’s Taylor go…with White Tiff!
15 ALL!
True to form Punchy Dale cursed as he walked away.

Next, Team Yellow put up Angelo, Team Orange put up Marcel.
Angelo’s smoked tuna, yuzu (an East Asian citrus fruit) gelée, red onion & capers that all fit on one spoon and looked like a lougie with dill went up against Marcel’s cauliflower couscous with pomegranate seeds, golden raisins & yellowfin tuna with a touch of cream and butter.
Taylor liked both, Colicchio said he had a hard time tasting the tuna because the cream got in the way so he went with Angelo. So did Gail and Chef Mauna Lai.
Team Yellow 30 – Team Orange 15!
Angelo leapt into Tre’s arms and they both fell to the court in celebration.
Marcel: “Angelo always plates on a spoon.”
Hello? That’s where he cooks his heron, Marcelsonic Hedgehog. Tie off a vein and get down!

Jamie was hoping (of course) that the judges wouldn’t even have to taste her dish because they would win before that. Team Orange picked Antonia to go next so Black Tiff volunteered. As she plated, Angelo wiped the dishes. White Tiff said Angelo had his hands in everyone’s plates. Dood!
Black Tiff’s spiced tuna with fennel, peppercorns, coriander seeds on top of a lentil salad went head to head with Stoner Antonia’s sea scallop on top of china doll lentils (que?) with Indian spices, mint, dandelion greens [PAUSE MOMENT! Someone spelled dandelion wrong!] cilantro & chives.
Chef Mauna Lai went with Black Tiff, Gail with Antonia, Taylor went with Antonia, Padma with Black Tiff…Colicchio picked…Antonia!
30 ALL!
Black Tiff and Antonia hugged and she leapt into Slimer’s arms (maybe some love is cooking here...)

Team Orange put up Blais and Team Yellow put up… pensive moment as Jamie stood away from the team tasting her stupid a** chickpeas again…Spike. But then Angelo and White Tiff got aggressive. Angelo asked White Tiff about putting a little gelée in Spike’s dish. He asked Spike. Spike didn’t say no, Angelo began to put yuzu gelée on Spike’s dishes. Spike said Angelo was a little bit like a used car salesman. He didn’t think you could trust him and he admitted (to Camera) that this was not the dish he conceptualized…
Spikes tomato tamarind soup with olive oil poached shrimp, pineapple, tomatoes & dill went up against Blais’ “thai-bouleh” which was a take on tabouli with barbecued lean lamb loin, herbs & yogurt.
Chef Mauna Lai said the shrimp was bland and the lamb was gamey but Blais’ was better. Colicchio loved the soup but hated the shrimp, he went with Blais. Blais won!
Spike was mad at himself but mostly Jamie who he said was no where to be found. Jamie was now crouching down to adjust the heating element on the pan of her chickpeas as if not seeing her would make you forget she had a dish at all. Criminal!

Team Orange – Carla Cos (gasp!) vs. Jamie’s undercooked peas or Tre?
They picked Tre. But Tre has immunity so if he loses the rest of them are more at risk. Carla plates and Slimer realized it would be him against Jamie, nervous he began to prepare. Angelo asked Tre if he could do anything and started sautéing his salmon. Someone remarked that the fish was a little burnt.

Carla presented her African groundnut soup with baked sweet potatoes, adzuki beans & peanuts (YUM!) and Tre introduced his Coho salmon on top of parsnip puree, olive oil sauce laced with citrus, tomatoes & olives.

Speaking of laced, on my walk home from the Wu I saw a giant tour bus and smelled something lovely.
Wu bus, yo.
I went to the door. It was open and the driver wasn’t there…all of a sudden Masta Killa comes around the corner with a bag from 7-11: “Anyone come out?”
Me (wearing a kitty cat hat): “Nope and the door was open but I didn’t go in…” He entered and left me on the sidewalk, slightly heartbroken that I didn’t get to Richard Blais with Meth. Man, I’m glad Mama’s not reading this, I’m such a groupie…

Oh yeah, back to the show- Taylor liked Tre’s salmon, Chef Mauna Lai said Carla’s soup was fantastic. Padma went with Carla. Tre dropped his head. Gail said the salmon was a little bit “over” and the soup was spicy but she loves spicy food and-
Game Set Match!
They all celebrated as Spike thought they should have stuck to his strategy. Black Tiff said Spike’s strategy idea was stupid (yeah but if they went that way…) Meanwhile, Jamie admitted she dodged a giant bullet and said it “just kind of happened that way.” Bullet makers everywhere began to create a bullet the exact size of her body.

In The Stew Room-
Slimer asked if Jamie was upset she didn’t get to cook. She said Yes and No, she was upset that she didn’t get to present her food.
God I can’t stand you.
Padma asked to see Fabio, Carla Cosby, Blais and Antonia.
They scored the winning points and one of them would be winning…a trip to Italy-Awesome surprise!
Carla Cos said she would love to go to Italy and “eat her way around.” No comment.
But Cos gets her wish!!! Carla Cos won!!!
She accepted with tears in her eyes. She said (to Camera) she wanted to go “Na na, na na na!” but she didn’t. Instead she entered the Stew Room and let out some sort of Iranian celebration yell
Then she sent in Casey, Black Tiff, Tre and Spike.
As they left to enter the Thunderdome:
Blais: “Jamie, you got a story going now…”
Jamie said she was trying not to be offended by his remarks and asked what he meant. Blais: “It’s an odd story…”
Jamie: “Because I haven’t cooked?”
Blais: “Yah.”

At Judge’s Table-
Spike talked about their strategy, they said Jamie’s was the worst and Colicchio said Jamie wasn’t there so the strategy backfired.
Spike then told the tale of White Tiff and Angelo adding to his dish. Tre shook his head. Padma asked if Angelo asked first. Spike admitted he did but it was hard to say No.
Gail didn’t care because the yuzu didn’t factor, the shrimp needed salt.
Colicciho asked Black Tiff if she thought Angelo was sabotaging dishes since, in Season 7, this was an issue. Black Tiff said she thought this at first but ultimately you cook your own food. She said she’d rather go off her own instincts but then she sort of smirked and rubbed her forehead like she was holding back. (Um for someone who doesn’t like strategy, that’s a strategy, hun.)
Gail dissed the rub on Black Tiff’s tuna and the fennel salad outright. Chef Mauna Lai said Tre’s salmon was overcooked and it was their least favorite dish. Tre was shocked. They said it was good that he had immunity.
They told Casey her dish was too heavy. She protested teary-eyed and Colicchio said she was beat by a better dish, plain and simple.

In The Stew Room-
Spike said there were too many hands in his dish and Black Tiff said at the end of the day you’re responsible. Spike closed his eyes and did a neck roll, resisting the urge to turn into Punchy Dale.

When the losers were reassembled Coliccho said when you deviate from the system is when you get into trouble. (Could he be speaking about Spike’s strategy?)
But the person who was asked to pack their knives and go? SPIKE!
Yeah- no one picked you, Dood. Awesome.
Spike said he got screwed. Jamie clapped as he left using her palms with her fingers splayed like a three year old at a bday party who stole half the gifts and farted on the ones she couldn’t.
Spike (to Camera): “Listen, Jamie, this is a competition and at some point you’re gonna have to compete.”
Or at least comb your hair.
Spike still thinks he’s the best of the best but his best needs to be packed back into that wheelie suitcase and dragged to Penn Station. Keep your hat on, Spike.

Next ep- the chef’s go head to head against Colicchio AND they have to…run a Chinese restaurant?! I can’t wait!!!
Until then, Happy Holidaze, Poolers! Enjoy yourself.
In the mashed up words of Wu: My Mama’s Favorite Holiday Ain’t Nuttin’ to Eff With!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

"Angelo, he wear his pants a little too, too tight for me..."

Before we set this off, some news!
Apparently Elia has been dissing Colicchio in the press! Yup!
What’s up with that?
What’s up with that!
Guess homegirl is looking to be a fragrance lady at Macy’s for the rest of her life…?

Oh and a correction! Jenna says:
The museum of science always has sleepovers on fourth of July
and a couple of other dates through the year and has been doing it for years.
I know because we are members. It's fun! Tell your Mama.
I’ll let Mama know.
Of course unless we bring her princess chair (her battleship-sized, leather La-Z-Boy) and her flat screen teevee and the potstickers she likes from Trader Joe’s; she’s prolly not gonna go. Sheet, I’m thinking of putting wheels on that La-Z-Boy just to get her out the gd house these days.

Speaking of getting out- honestly- I still can’t believe Jen is done. I have so many questions!
Why didn’t she blame Jamie?
Why wouldn’t she at least accept the possibility that her eggs were under seasoned?
What the hell did her father do to her?
I imagine holidays at The Carroll House. An eight-year old Jen cooking for her family and her father not approving and beating her in checkers after beating her.
White Tiff said Jen “went balls out” (again, this from a woman with actual testicles) and everyone continued to roll their eyes at Jamie needing two stitches.
Slimer said (to Camera) Jen was a better cook than Jamie. (I’m pretty sure Jen also had softer more manageable hair.)

The chefs entered the TC Kitchen to find Padma wearing the black leggings (still?) and some sort of jacket vest. I guess it’s in her contract to show her mysterious arm scar every ep?
Next to Padma, David Chang! Oh snap! If you played in the Pool™ or watched the show last year you’ll recall David was one of the judges in the Top Chef DC finale in Singapore. His empire includes the many Momofuku restaurants (which I still say to Mama because she thinks I’m swearing) and Ma Peche. Everyone was smiling and slightly intimidated with the exception of Jamie looked like she might need stitches again so she wouldn’t have to do any actual cooking. Wake up, Stitchy! It’s the-

Quickfire Challenge
They would be split into four teams of four. “You walked in here in a random order.” Padma said, indicating that they clearly had not walked into the kitchen in a random order. “That’s how we’re going to split these teams.”

Green Team: Angelo, Slimer, Black Tiff and Fabio: “Angelo, he wear his pants a little too, too tight for me but he’s a great chef.”
Oh Fab. Listen to you talking about pants as if there would be a need for them at my house. Freeballin’ Sundays were made for you and I, darling.
White Team: Punchy Dale, Carla Cos, White Tiff and Marcel.
Red Team: Antonia, Jamie (elbow on the table like ‘Are we still taping?’), Casey and Nice Guy Dale.
Blue Team: Tie Knot, Tre, Blais and Spike who said he was happy with his team and that Tie Knot could open a bottle of wine for them. (Sommelier Burn!)

They had to prep ingredients, mise en place style, and David Chang would make sure it was up to his standards. Casey was rattled, more on that later.
After approved prep, each team was responsible for making one dish using all the ingredients. BUT the first team finished with prep would hit a button starting a 15-minute clock leaving that much time for everyone else to be done cooking! Ouch. Angelo exhaled loudly like he was coming down off barbiturates.
Oh and…No Immunity, the winning team gets $20,000, that’s 5k each! Carla: “Woooooo!”

Time Starts Now!
They attacked garlic cloves, racks of lamb and artichokes.
Nice Guy Dale said Casey couldn’t live down the “haunting” Season 3 mise en place. Flashback of her dicing an onion the way my nephew cut a beet one Thanksgiving—like the knife had wings.
Apparently lamb was easier. Casey quickly broke it down.
Fabio was surprised to see Antonia peeling garlic cloves one by one when they had a box full. He smashed forty in between two chopping blocks and peeled them like whatevs.
CHECK! Angelo is done with garlic already. One down for Team Green!
Tie Knot also peeled the garlic one by one. Spike moved him aside. Meanwhile White Tiff was—is that a slicer? She’s slicing garlic? What the-? CHECK! Green Team, done with lamb. No one else is even close.
Jamie finished garlic. But just then Green Team completed their artichokes and hit the red button!
Fifteen minutes as the three other teams tried to complete prep. Casey said just because they finished first didn’t mean they would come up with the best dish. Smack talk!
David Chang called Spike out for having a big clove of garlic in his container. Denied! Spike re-chopped as Blue Team started cooking.
Red Team got the nod, they had ten minutes left to make a perfect dish and decided on lamb carpaccio since it’s raw.
Blais on Blue Team took the lead because there was “no time for democracy” (but then everyone loses, don’t they?)
With 8 minutes left, White Tiff and White Team also chose carpaccio.
Tre threw down plates. Angelo laid out cooked lamb. Spike wanted to crisp artichokes with- one minute left!
Surprisingly everyone was able to plate a dish –though I dunno if I’d want to eat it with all that mise en place flying around- who ordered the lamb with garlic skins and the back of a gold earring?

White Team: Punchy Dale, Carla Cos, White Tiff and Marcel made lamb carpaccio, artichoke chips and salad & garlic oil.
Blue Team: Tie Knot, Tre, Blais and Spike presented a crispy lamb chop (hmm, was that intentional or did someone leave it in the pan to long?) with artichoke three ways with fish sauce, garlic and lime juice. It looked painterly.
Red Team: Antonia, Jamie, Casey and Nice Guy Dale -lamb carpaccio (CARPACCIO BATTLE!) with capers, garlic, reggiano and salad with artichoke. “Raw?” David Chang asked.
Green Team: Angelo, Slimer, Black Tiff and Fabio –lamb with garlic, tandoori spiced yogurt, slivers of artichoke and dill salad.
Hmmm… two cooked and two raw. Who wins?
David Chang’s least faves: Red Team.
Nice Guy Dale made a face like ‘Excuse me?’ Chang said the cheese and parsley overwhelmed everything.
The other least fave? Green Team! David Chang said the thyme and dill blew out the yogurt. Angelo dropped his head.
Chang said the White Team’s dish looked straightforward but was complex and Blue Team’s crispy lamb chop was bold in flavor- but the winner was
Fist pumps all around for 5k, yo!
But there was little time to celebrate…

Elimination Challenge
The chefs would get to dine at New York’s finest restaurants (nice) and, the next day, had to prepare a dish that chef would be proud to put on their menu. (Oh. Well it’s better than going to those restaurants to eat and THEN learning they were going to do that, right?)
Each team selected knives…
Green Team pulled Ma Peche – David Chang’s French Vietnamese style food. Angelo was pumped, Fabio looked nervous.
Red Team – Townhouse, David Burke’s modern American fare. Blue Team – Marea, coastal Italian from Chef Michael White.
Team White - wd 50 The Little Dutch Boy, Wiley Dufrense, is back! Marcel was, of course, psyched to work with the molecular gastronomist who had also committed to a similarly odd choice of hairstyle.

They would go to the restaurants as a team but work as individuals. Their competition- their teammates. Ai-yi!
Casey was nervous because she thought Nice Guy Dale had the best chance to win with his style being similar to David Burke.
Then they learned: it’s a DOUBLE ELIMINATION.
Whose underwear is still clean?!
Oh, I guess everyone’s cause they put on street clothes. Most of the chefs looked a little bit like they were going to clean the kitchen they just demolished with the exception of nicely bloused Black Tiff, Carla Cos, Casey, Nice Guy Dale in a sweater and, of course, Tie Knot who looked as if he was auditioning for the stage version of Inherit The Wind.

At Green Team’s table (Ma Peche), Angelo began to talk about every single dish as if he made it. Slimer said the dish was so good he was surprised Angelo hadn’t thought of it before. Everyone laughed but Black Tiff was completely annoyed with Angelo for talking too much. You know what? Black Tiff has been sorta surly, quiet and tired. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say she’s prego. Side bets welcomed.

At Marea, Blue Team thought they had the best restaurant. Tie Knot tired to get Tre to each sea urchin. Apparently Tie Knot ate at Marea quite often. He began to drone as if he was on top of a doubledecker bus in New York pointing out sights.

Team White at wd 50 were greeted by the Little Dutch Boy himself. Awww, looks like he’s gonna keep that hair style for a while, there’s a giant cul de sac brewing up there.
Carla knew her food was different but thought this was an opportunity to marry classic with modern. They ate a scrambled egg block and Punchy Dale made a decision to go with eggs right then.

At Townhouse, Team Red Team drank cocktails served in stem-less martini glasses that sat in an open glass with water that looked like a little fish bowl. OH that’s probably because there’s actually a live goldfish in the little bowl.
Hmm…cute but you know, there’s something slightly mean about that. What a shitty life for those helpless mollys. Why not just turn Townhouse into FratHouse? Collegians can drink the cocktail and swallow the goldfish?
Meanwhile Casey and Antonia were really concerned. How were they gonna cook for this guy?
Then dishes right out of the Christmas dinner scene from the Grinch showed up: A rack of lamb with roasted octopus!
Nice Guy Dale enjoyed the sense of whimsy and said he embraced that in his food.
Then: Angry Lobster appeared. The crustacean had been crisply cooked and cut (in the shell) sort of standing on the plate. If they really wanted to show that it was angry they shoulda put a little ‘Down with BP’ sign in its claw.

That night at the TC House (that I almost thought was another restaurant with Tie Knot was walking around talking to the seated chefs as if checking on their entrees) Tie Knot felt great. Well of course you do. You eat at -what is it called? Tyler Perry’s Madea restaurant all the time.
You’re a popular guy. Then everyone left the table and Tie Knot sat there alone.

The next day, each team cooked in the kitchens of the restaurants where they ate. Tie Knot: “Do we have a cork screw?”
Spike: “Doing wine already?” Ha! Jokes.
Slimer thought Angelo was the guy to beat. Nice Guy Dale decided to make popcorn butter. Pardon me? Antonia wanted to turn peas and carrots into a Two Star dish. Carla Cos put goggles on top of her already wacky glasses to man the nitrogen at wd 50. Blais said Tie Knot was sweating already.

But who’s getting out of that cab? (No driver?)
It’s Padma in a stunning peach colored, one shouldered, above the knee, gathered collared number, kapow!
Colicchio wore a suit and tie and HEY Bourdain is back! Looking like the fifth guy from RESERVOIR DOGS. Kate Krader (KK) Restaurant Editor of Food & Wine Magazine tagged along to try to raise magazine subscribers and of course, Michael White, the chef and owner of Tyler Perry’s Madea- OH Marea, sorry…

Tre presented a lively plate of grilled swordfish with braised artichoke, mushroom panna cotta & basil oil. Spike prepared seared branzino (European sea bass) with caponata & spicy proscuitto vinaigrette. Blais did a crudo of Spanish mackerel in the form of a squid with braised veal shank and fennel mostarda (an Italian candied fruit condiment.) I have to say the design on Blais’ plate was a bit distracting but I guess that’s how Chef White rolls. Tie Knot had coho salmon, black mission figs, broccoli rapini and fennel pollen served in a giant bowl that looked like the inside of a clam shell.

Spike didn’t do himself any favors using the words caponata but the fish was good. Blais’ fish was flavor forward. Tre’s dish was on the money. Bourdain said Tie Knot’s dish tasted like a head shop. And then he smoked it.

On the way to Ma Peche, Bourdain said he wouldn’t want to be thrown in any of the kitchens they were going to. Meanwhile Fabio: “This is double elimination- you guys don’t want me here, I get it.”
Fab! Stop taking things so personally! You’re thinking negative. You’re on top! (Yes, take that any way you’d like…)
Fabio prepared roasted lamb, hoisin plum BBQ sauce, corn tomato salad, lemongrass and homemade chevre ricotta. Black Tiff made a crudo of summer flounder, pickled radish & peach purée (that Slimer thought should have taken all of 8 minutes.)
He presented a warm sockeye salmon, eggplant, marinated tomatoes & pickled peach. Angelo made turmeric marinated fish, dill, cilantro, salmon roe, chorizo & white chocolate (because addicts often dip their stolen fish sticks in a Hershey bar just before they pray for heron.)

KK from Food & Wine Mag thought the flavor of Angelo’s dish was exciting. David Chang said it was innovative (it looked like it pained him to admit this.) Slimer’s dish was flavorful, almost all of the components were from the dinner they had the other night. Hmm…Fabio combined a lot of ingredients David Chang wouldn’t have put together and everyone thought it was heavy.
Black Tiff’s dish was ‘missing one thing to take it over the top.’

At Townhouse, Casey said Nice Guy Dale had asked him to taste everything he put on his plate but she was worried because he had too much. Dale presented roasted veal loin, peanuts, popcorn, French toast, corn & thyme caramel.
What kinda circus acid trip is this?
Antonia made two purées, one pea and one carrot with seared scallop, mint oil and pickled carrot on top. The whole thing looked like a delicious edible bullseye!
Casey gave them a piece of halibut seared and cut to look like a scallop with tapioca ‘caviar’ & ginger-carrot emulsion! Jamie did a smoked tomato & bacon soup with heirloom tomato salad and charred onion vinaigrette.
Did you pick it up at Dean & DeLuca, smirk face?

Bourdain and Chef Burke thought Jamie’s dish could have been better and had more wow. It didn’t even look like they ate the whole thing. Padma thought Nice Guy Dale had a sweet dish with veal, period. Chef Burke said it was too sweet. Everyone liked Casey’s dish and thought it was clever. They also liked Antonia’s and Chef Burke said it could go on his menu.

At wd 50, White Tiff thought she shouldn’t have frozen her melons. Well…I think that goes without saying…Marcel said White Tiff was showcasing technique just to showcase it and not thinking of the diner.
Punchy presented his version of breakfast: a sunny side up egg dumpling, braised pork belly, milk style ramen with bacon, beef and pork. It really looked like a sunny side up egg and side of bacon. Supasmart! White Tiff- three different heirloom melons vacuumed packed “hit with a little bit of nitrogen and broken” (this is a selling point?) with powdered ham and taleggio (cheese.) It looked like a rocky road ice cream with shards of Fruit Stripe gum exploded on the plate. Carla Cos gave her version of shrimp & grits with okra chips. Marcel- Vadouvan (an Indian style spice blend from France) lamb, tzatziki, pickled red onion & anti flatbread.

White Tiff’s dish was too much, no surprise there. Bourdain thought Punchy’s dish was great and Colicchio said the broth actually tasted like breakfast, yum! KK thought, given her background, Carla’s dish was a great way to go. The Little Dutch Boy thought and Colicchio thought Marcel’s dish was tame and needed some salt.

Stew Room
Tie Knot smiled and poured wine for people. Carla Cos: “you should have seen me using the circulator, ya’ll!”
Thanks for making an effort, Cos!
Padma asked to see Punchy Dale, Tre, Antonia and Angelo. They had…the favorite dishes!
Then Padma told them the winner gets a six-night trip in New Zealand!
KK said Angelo’s dish was exciting and I realized that she has a lisp. The winner was the chef who did a marvelous job and represented the kitchen they were cooking in and…
that was…
Punchy Dale!
I think this was the first time I’ve ever seen him smile without punctuating it with a one two punch.

The judges’ asked to see: Tie Knot, White Tiff, Fabio and Nice Guy Dale. As they walked out, Punchy Dale told them to stand up and fight hard. Carla Cos said not too hard, be nice.
Antonia: “Don’t pull a Jen.”

At Judge’s Table-
Padma reminded them that two chefs would be going home.
Fabio admitted Asian Vietnamese French was not his “expertise area.” Bourdain, perhaps remembering he and Fabio’s last row, gently said a painter, when he loses his way, tends to over paint. Colicchio said his dish was dry and even though Fabio didn’t see a lot of sauces in David Chang’s dish, he should have had more moisture.
Tie Knot was feeling a lot of emotions. He considered himself an expert in Italian food and wine. Fabio looked at Tie Knot and then the judges. Tie Knot said he put too many things in the dish (he knows reality TV, be contrite, it might save you) but then he said his dish could have won. Bourdain said he got an overwhelming sense of sandalwood from his dish. Yuck.
White Tiff admitted she was seduced by all the stuff in the Little Dutch Boy’s kitchen. Nice Guy Dale said Townhouse was like food with jazz hands. The judge’s seemed to like this description. He wanted to infuse humor and kitsch. Colicchio didn’t know the inspiration for Dale’s peanut and popcorn car wreck. He said it came from a breakfast dish of his own that he did. But no one wants a breakfast with veal. (Or popcorn or peanuts.)

In the end, Colicchio consulted the burn catalog. He told Tie Knot he might have great knowledge of Italian food, well Colicchio he has great knowledge of Led Zeppelin, it doesn’t make him Jimmy Page. (Nice!) If Nice Guy Dale’s starting off point was the circus they ended up with caramel popcorn and not much of a surprise. (Eh, okay.) White Tiff gave them a poor facsimile of a Little Dutch Boy dish. (That’s not that burny.) Fabio’s food was heavy handed, lots of combinations with nothing hitting the mark. (No burn there at all, Dood. Strong start but really you fizzled the eff out.)
Tie Knot and Nice Guy Dale were eliminated!
Nice Guy Dale?! Really?

Tie Knot entered the Stew Room and said it was a pleasure.
No reaction at all
Nice Guy Dale echoed his sentiment and everyone gasped and stood up to hug him. Because Tie Knot has a lot of ties but not many friends.
As they showed both of them packing their equipment, Tie Knot admitted he was cooking more in the past (ummm, so what were you doing on this show now? You’re not even cooking that much and you accepted? You’re that arrogant? Guess so.)

Nice Guy Dale said he would learn from this and maybe come back for Top Chef 16, Seniors. Awww, what a nice guy! Sigh. Not a good cook though. So, sadly Janina, I must ask you to pack your knives and go.

It looks like we're at the US Open in the next ep. Ooooo and Angelo is, cheating?!
Uh oh...until next time, Poolers…


COLUCCI Blais and Carla Cosby

LB Casey and Antonia

KAT Black Tiff and Carla Cosby

STRIPES Blais and Antonia

Q Black Tiff and Angelo

COLANTO Blais and Angelo

LUCY Blais

BROWNIE Michael and Angelo

HOLLY F. Blais and Angelo

KRISTEN K. Blais and Casey


ELLIE Angelo

GBAG Casey and Carla Cosby

NIKKI M. Angelo

DAISY Angelo

CC Blais and Marcel

MARTHA P. Angelo

JET Blais and Angelo


DOWD Blais and White Tiff

LOGUE Blais and White Tiff

RUBY Tre and Black Tiff

ME Tre and White Tiff

Thursday, December 9, 2010

"Do you wanna win or do you wanna make the 150 people happy that you're never gonna see again?"

The 2nd episode (and now, it’s official, biggest Reality Pool Pot To Date!) began as an Editor’s dream-- 
Editor: “Hey, instead of a recap right off the bat how about we start at the Judge’s Table with-“
Producer: “Coliccho and Gail arguing?!”
Editor: “No, no one’s there. It’s empty. Then we fade down and we show the reverse of that shot with-“
Producer: “Elia crying?! Do we have a shot of that? We can create that by taking her head and putting it on-”
Editor: “No, no, in that shot there’s no one there.”
Producer: “Oh. Okay...I guess I’m with you.”
Editor: “Then we fade down and up again and we’re at the Top Chef All Star Townhouse with-“
Producer: “No one there?”
Editor: “Yes!”
Producer: “No. This is not PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3. Also, you’re fired.”
Editor: “I’m your cousin.”

In the Producer’s version, we CUT TO the Stew Room just after Elia has left where Nice Guy Dale says getting the first one under your belt is good but it’s not going to be an easy season.
Marcel: “Elia is amazing chef, for her to go home? Anyone can go.” Blais was still shocked that he was disqualified for plating over the time limit and didn’t win.
(Can someone explain the concept of a TIMER to this skinny guy? I mean, really. The timer went off. You plated AFTER it. You can’t cash a check if the bank is closed.)
Fabio: “Bourdain is a great chef but next time- talk about my food? Be nice.”
Ummm, that is not how this show, reality TV, the real world (reality, not the MTV show) or any restaurant from a Michelin starred one to Mickey Dee’s works, Fabio. Stop it. You’re making yourself less attractive. This displeases me.

The chefs entered the TC Kitchen to find Padma wearing a brown leather vest and detailed gray jersey tank top with black leggings and some sort of low-heeled boot…? Ohhh, it’s cause she standing next to a Jonas Brother. Don’t wanna look too old next to him.
Joe Jonas from The Jonas Brothers, everyone!
(Hear that sound? It’s records breaking everywhere. Not ‘records sold’ records, actual vinyl being smashed over real musicians’ knees.)
Joe Jonas said he was a big fan of the show and Antonia mentioned her daughter was a huge fan of his and would be unbelievably excited she was in the same vicinity. Punchy Dale thought Joe Jonas was a pastry chef.
I am not making that up.

The Quickfire Challenge!
The American Museum of Natural History in New York is having a sleepover.
Pardon me?
Oh, it’s real. I looked it up, it’s for 7-13 year olds, and costs $99-129 per kid person (depending on membership.) 150 kids would be staying over, Joe was a surprise. The chefs had to create an original snack and Joe would decide which one would be served at midnight. He told the chefs they would not have utensils or plates so they had to brown bag it and they had… thirty seconds.
Everyone was shocked.
Joe Jonas: “I’m just kidding.”
Ha ha! You wanna die in this kitchen, JJ?
Padma told the chefs the winner would get immunity and an advantage in the Elimination Challenge.

45 Minutes To Cook starts now!
Dale took the whole container of sugar to his station. (To camera) he said he had no idea what Joe Jonas eats. Nice Guy Dale said he could make better dog biscuits than kid food. Apparently Dale has never tasted a Zwieback cracker. Having been a babysitter and a curious kid, I’ve eaten Zweibacks and Milkbones, they don’t taste that different.
Nice Guy Dale said kids are the pickiest eaters out there and they will cry in your face if they don’t get what they want. Then he combined pretzels, chocolate and cinnamon. He said he was making crack for small children.

In the pantry, Fabio yelled for the sugar. Everyone repeated his question.
Anybody take the sugar already?
Who has the sugar out?
Punchy Dale didn’t answer. Someone noticed and said the sugar was on Dale’s station.
Casey (to Camera): “If you are gonna take the sugar out of the pantry, take it and put it back.”
Marcel grumbled to Black Tiff: “You take the whole f*cking container? That’s f*cking somebody’s game plan up.”
Black Tiff agreed (to Camera) “Don’t do that again, Dale.”
Yeah, get mad, Black Tiff! I’d put all my money on her in a fight against Punchy Dale. And pretty much anyone else.

Slimer said growing up his mother brown bagged it for him but he didn’t remember because it probably wasn’t very good.
Marcel said his mother took over the food program at his elementary school and they showed cute photos of a young Marcel giving no indication he would turn into the douche he is today.
Carla Cosby did a sort of stretched-leg walk/run (Carla is super tall all of a sudd- oh it’s her hair, with that headband she looks like a black celery stalk.)
Meanwhile Spike made potato chips just as he did as a kid in his father’s restaurant when DSS didn’t come round asking why the hell a six year old was running the slicer.

White Tiff didn’t know how to use the nitrogen tank and asked Blais who obliged. She recalled cooking for the Boys and Girls’ Club in the first season- Flashback: She told the Judges “…the palette of a ten year old is not a sophisticated tool by any stretch of the imagination.”
Colicchio: “It’s a good thing you have immunity because your attitude is lousy.”
Oucher! (Also, that’s all she gets called? ‘Lousy,’ man those were easy days back then.)
White Tiff admitted she was a complete as*hole (that’s why I picked her, she has something to prove) and she wanted to give the kids what they wanted: the baby that results when a Snowball and a Moon pie and a Rice Krispies treat have a threesome.
Sooo, which one is the man in that equation?

Blais admitted he was a husky kid that used to eat cereal with heavy cream (that’s on some ol’ British ish!) because no one monitored him and heavy cream was delicious. Hey, I used to eat mayonnaise sandwiches growing up. Not cause I really wanted to but they were just as good and deadly.

Punchy Dale said healthy food sucks and unhealthy food tastes good and the kids were gonna be wired and he should have laced his corncakes with Nyquil so the kids would pass out. Okay,
first off, you’re making corncakes? You made them as a joke in the first ep. You’re making them again?
Second, why do you look constipated all the time? This Dood is So Mad!

5 Minutes Left!
Antonia offered to help Slimer who was “doing a lot of sweating and probably lost 15 pounds making his cookies.” She likes him. (Maybe she wants him to sweat on her…)
Hands up, utensils down!

Antonia made a white chocolate & cherry muffin with cinnamon & allspice. JJ: “I like it.”
Blais made white bread baked in the microwave, spiced apples with whipped honey & crunchy chocolate (white bread in the meekrowave? That’s UK style for reals!) JJ: “Wonderful.”
Spike presented homemade potato and carrot chips with mascarpone & marshmallow dip, yogurt and lime zest. JJ: “I’ve never had marshmallow and potato chips before.” (Yes you have JJ, you’re like 12.)
Tre mumbled his presentation of a simple cracker with homemade cranberry and cherry jam and apple smoked bacon with basil. Hey, Tre?
Um, I picked you. Why don’t you have any energy? You don’t have to tickle balls but you look defeated already! (Ugh, I should went with The Two Tiffs.)
Casey –chocolate bacon lasagna with apple juice and candy, “just to be thoughtful.” Umm, are they going to reveal the Diabetes Foundation is sponsoring this sleepover? I think they should just to prove a point.
Nice Guy Dale said this was a special night so they should get jacked up on sugar. He presented sweet tart nuggets and caveman boulders with chocolate sauce. “It’ll be like a ten year old rave.” JJ liked that.
Jamie –mini-cheddar biscuits with homemade cinnamon applesauce for dipping. Yawn.
Black Tiff –coconut rice pudding that, admittedly, was a little warm. JJ: “It’s falling apart here.” Black Tiff: Yeeeah.”
Punchy Dale –corncake with dried cherries, vanilla and whipped maple topping.
Fabio: “So I got some apple.” (So cute!) - apple slices dipped in white chocolate, caramel & blueberry and then another round in dark chocolate, marshmallow and dried ginger. Fab (with a low voice): “You know in Italy a midnight snack is roasted chicken and some pasta.” Padma laughed out loud. Fab looked at her like she was the chicken he was gonna roast.
And Fabio is back, YAY!
White Tiff -rice krispy treats with snowballs and malted milk and graham crackers.
Angelo (aka Dusty): “What I made is Cheese Crisps 2010, The New Evolution.” That sounds like a Bond film no one wants to see -fried dough, white pepper, Old Bay spice (you used that last week, Dust) and spiced cheddar crumbs.
Tie Knot -snicker doodle sandwich with white chocolate coconut Grenache, apricot and mint.
Jen Carroll –bacon ginger taffy and honey grilled peaches. “And if the kid’s don’t like it they can whip it at each other.”
Slimer –“We got two things for you today…” What’s with the ‘we’? Blais did that too –chocolate coconut corn bar (polenta) and coconut horchata (a traditional Mexican drink made of rice, almonds, cinnamon and sugar.)
Hey, they didn’t show Carla’s snack!!! WTH?! It’s already an hour and fifteen minute long ep they coulda put her in!

JJ’s least faves- Black Tiff (!) who raised her eyebrows like ‘Excuse me?!’ JJ looked apologetic and said her snack was messy –he thought the kids would have a hard time keeping it together and made a little sorry face; Slimer’s chocolate wasn’t strong enough (?); and Tie Knot didn’t use enough…mint? (Really, JJ these are kind of lame reasons. Kids don’t even know what the hell mint is.)

JJ had two favorites: Spike and White Tiff. He said it was a tie.
Something smells fishy.
Then Padma said they were going to the Museum to let the children decide.
Yup. That’s fish!
Spike was mad, Nice Guy Dale said he was trying to avoid kids, “they’re called brats for a reason.”
Pads told them they were gonna need help making 150 snacks. Uh Oh. Team time.
Jamie admitted it sucks because they had to help someone else win the Quickfire, “I don’t care.” We know, b*tch, we know.

Spike (arms crossed and black baseball cap backwards and to the side) and White Tiff each picked chefs.
Team Spike: Blais, Punchy Dale, Marcel, Tie Knot, Angelo, Slimer, Carla Cosby
Team White Tiff: Jen, Antonia, Nice Guy Dale, Casey Jamie, Black Tiff, Tre
Fabio was left standing! Oh Fabio!
Padma asked which team he wanted to help out.
Fab: “He was trying to get rid of me but I’ll go with Spike.”
Spike laughed. Fabio said people underestimate his skills and “I choose to be with Spike team because I want to pissed off Spike.” Spike’s just mad cause baseball cap or not, you’ll always be hotter, Fab.

2 Hours To Cook!
Nice Guy Dale likened his team to The Spice Girls and a bodyguard versus all the cool guys and “their babysitter Carla.”
Spike said White Tiff was a drill sergeant and could be abrasive and he has a lot more fun, then he called Spike ‘Fabian.’ Twice.
(If you ask me that’s more of a dis than Bourdain talking about Fabio’s food being on paper but Fabio didn’t say a word.)
As everyone ran around, Blais wished he was on White Tiff’s team to help out with the liquid nitrogen action.
Punchy Dale said working on Spike’s dish was like asking him to make dinner without buying the groceries, “it’s like trying to make chicken soup with chicken sh*t. It ain’t gonna work.”
(Remind me never to eat at Punchy Dale’s restaurant.)
Dusty asked Punchy what flavor profiles Spike was going for. Punchy: “Not a clue.”
Fabio said he thinks White Tiff chose him “lasted” because she doesn’t respect him but he likes to be “under the rudder.”
I’d like you under my rudder…Meow. (Huh? No, My Mama’s not in the Pool this time so I can be as dirty as I want! Oh, Mama says Hi. She also says “Boston ain’t got sh*t” because you can’t spend the night in our Museums. Like Mama would want to do that.)

The chefs arrived at the Museum. Punchy Dale asked if anyone knew any tricks to help sell their snack. Too late, 300 kids ran in looking crazed! They grabbed bags, screamed and ate.
Spike tried to campaign for his chips and dip. Jen tried to pump up Tiff’s team. Jamie walked around in a daze without speaking to anyone: “I don’t campaign to them.”
Without blinking Jamie said (To Camera) she’s actually not interested in having children. Ever.
Hey! You know what time it is!
List Of Things Jamie Doesn't 'Do' Or Know!™
-bridal showers
-canned goods
-open a restaurant
-clean sardines
-braise celery ("never before in life")
-make a sauce from ham
-complain (this is debatable)
-children (“ever”)

Black Tiff said the kids were going ballistic because they had so much sugar. CUT TO one boy screaming and shaking uncontrollably at the Camera. He stops then screams again.
Black Tiff: “Yeah, we did that.”

Padma and Joe Jonas walked in and the kids went even more NUTS (even the boys.) As they flipped out Oprah-Audience Style, JJ asked who liked the chips and dip: tiny smattering of applause.
Spike: “Ohhh nooo.”
White Tiff’s snack was deemed the best.
She received immunity and an advantage. The kids clapped for JJ and ran off in a glucose frenzy, leaving bags and bits of chips and chocolate in their wake. The chefs sighed. It was 1:30AM.
Then Colicchio walked in…

The Elimination Challenge
Colicchio told them they were joining the sleepover. (So much for the beer and bed that Slimer wanted.)
They had to create a breakfast for the kids and their parents at 7:30AM! They were to use what they found in the museum kitchen and that’s it. (A security guard’s pb&j sammy?)
In the spirit of the diets of the T-Rex and the Brontosaurus skeleton they were standing near, one team would cook with meat and meat by products only, one team would be cooking with fruits, vegetables and grains. White Tiff picked meat and dairy. Black Tiff said she thought this was a good idea.
Colicchio said there would be a winning team and a losing team. One chef from the losing team was going home.
Jen (clapping): “I love breakfast!”

The exhausted Chefs get to the Hall of Mammals: decked out with cots, flashlights and Top Chef pajamas that I’m sure are already for sale on Tie Knot looked like he was going to have a panic attack. “I’m not used to this. I live in a loft. Downtown Manhattan. Very comfortable. And this is creating a sense of…uncomfortability if you will.”
Honestly, this is a guy who never wants to get his hands dirty. I can’t see him doing much of anything aside from working the gift-wrap tables at Saks.
Tre said he likes to sleep neekid so this wasn’t working out so good. (I’m sure your balls will survive a night under wraps, T.)
The teams talked strategy.
Spike’s Team split into groups- Fabio &Tie Knot, Slimer & Punchy, Carla & Spike, Blais, Marcel & Angelo. Meanwhile on White Tiff’s Team, Jen (pointing): “I’m against you, you’re against me. Like we’re all against each other so we need to figure out what we’re each doing because our *sses are on the line no matter what.”
Black Tiff (To Camera): “I’m like, Jen, take a chill pill. I think that it will be great.”
They decided to break into teams of two: Nice Guy Dale & White Tiff, Black Tiff & Antonia, Casey & Tre and Jen & Jamie.
Casey said they didn’t have any idea how many meats or eggs they would have. There was no way of knowing what they would find in the morning…
Lights Out.
All kids were asleep, Tre had his shirt off and a towel over his eyes. But some Chefs decided to go on a flashlight tour.

Marcel, Fabio, Spike, Nice Guy Dale, Angelo, Blais, Slimer and Tie Knot tooled about. (Antonia thought that since they only have 45 minutes to sleep, that was insane.)
Fabio: “We walk around animal corpse and skeleton and dino-sore.”
Spike said the other team was gonna lose because they were gonna have ‘sleepy brain,’ a brain that doesn’t like to have fun. Yeah, okay.
Nice Guy Dale said the Neanderthal looked like Fabio. (Fab wasn’t around but again, that’s meaner than what Bourdain said about Fab’s food.)

3:44AM ALARM! (not the museum alarm. Oh and I’m not making any NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM jokes cause I didn’t see that ish.)
Tre hoped everything they needed was in the kitchen. They sprinted into the kitchen 4AM to find the shelves tagged with Team Brontosaurus (Spike’s peeps) and Team T-Rex (White Tiff’s peeps.)
Everyone was psyched with the amount and variety of food until Team T-Rex realizes they don’t have any flour, acid or herbs.
Uh oh.
White Tiff: “I think I made the assumption that a carnivore is an omnivore.”
Yeah you did.
Black Tiff: “We don’t have any herbs!?”
Nice Guy Dale said they couldn’t even bake anything. “And then you look at Team Brontosaurus and it’s like sunshine, puppies and rainbows over there. I want to punch them.”
Hey, now BOTH Dales are punchy!

Jen and Jamie decide to do a version of bacon and eggs. Jen: “My Dad always said second place is still losing. So I came to win this thing.”
(Oh that makes me sad.)
Fabio & Tie Knot decide on fresh gnocchi in 2 hours! Carla Cosby is concerned. Tie Knot says his Pisan and he decided on gnocchi and Fab is doing that but he has to do everything else, the sauce, the herbs, and the veggies. Then Jamie cuts pork and her knife slips and she cuts through her thumb!
Jamie: “The medic tells me I need stitches so I’m going to get stitches.” She apologizes over and over again to her team. Someone said: “Good luck, we love you, go away.”
She apologizes again and says she’s gonna be back as soon as possible but then chick is strooooooolling out of the kitchen. Um, break into a run, b*tch!
Casey: “What the hell? Really?”
Fabio: “In my season I broke my finger. I suck it up. Tight it up on a fork and move on. In professional kitchen, you gotta be a team player. Whatever it takes.”
Well I think we all know Jamie is not a team player.

1.5 hours to set up!
Jen said she had no issues with Jamie, she had to take care of her finger. She braised the pork belly and decided to do a little bit of hard-boiled egg on top. Keeping it simple and clean.
Tre: “T-Rex’s selection ain’t so the best anymore.” He asked Casey if she had any ideas, she said ‘No’ as she pulled bones from salmon. Tre took charge and he did the sauce.
Casey said she and Tre got along very well.
Black Tiff and Antonia worked on three different types of frittatas but they were having problems with the oven cooking evenly. Antonia was worried if it was going to work! Jen slipped on the wet floor and threw down paper towels! Punchy Dale began to scrape polenta off a large tin saying “this cake’s not gonna happen, we should serve this as polenta, straight up polenta!”

Fabio said you have to be delicate when you cook gnocchi and Spike was “turning it like a little tsunami.” He wanted to blanche 10 gnocchi at a time but Spike wasn’t listening. Antonia said the other team was all over the place. Spike was making gazpacho. Antonia: “Who wants to eat gazpacho and gnocchi at 7:30 in the morning?”
Casey said Jen’s pork belly tasted like wet bacon. Jen: “I think it’s good.”

7AM !!!
The Chefs had an hour to set up breakfast outside.
Dusty thought that the plums in the dish he, Marcel and Blais came with were two big and secretly asked Carla Cosby to cut them into smaller pieces. (Why you gotta ask the Black Lady, yo? Wth is wrong with your needle-pricked arms?)
Marcel (To Camera): “I’m like, really dude? You don’t eff with someone else’s mise en place.”
He said ever since that moment he had his eye on Angelo because he didn’t know his intentions.

Then Jamie showed up. She had two Stitches.
Nice Guy Dale said he chopped off a big chunk of his thumb before, taped it with duct tape and kept going. Two stitches really felt like a cop out. “If you’re a real chef that shouldn’t be an issue.” I concur!
Jamie complained that at this point she was Jen’s Sous Chef, just helping her out: “That’s not my dish.”
Yeah cause you smoked weed with an ambulance driver for two stitches. I mean, honestly, couldn’t the Medic have given her those stitches? My God. I remember this one time, at Knife Camp? I cut the very tip of my finger so bad I thought I was gonna need stitches but I squeezed and held it so long the friggin thing fused back together and didn’t bleed anymore. Yah. See what I’m saying?

But there’s no time to discuss wounds cause here come the Judges!
Padma wore a strapless white and black top with a navy band-leader-ish jacket over it. Gail wore…clothes. Then Colicchio introduced Katie Lee! EW! And Hey, no Bourdain?!
Katie Lee was the host of the first season of Top Chef and Billy Joel’s wife at the time. (Thus, how she got the job.)
Tie Knot said there was a lot of history. Why? Because you named a dish an orgasm once and as she ate it she said it lives up to its name? Did you also see VALENTINE’S DAY and think you were married to Jennifer Gardiner when you left the theater?
What I recall about Katie is her lack of food knowledge and mostly, her annoying monotone/stilted voice. Apparently so did Billy Joel cause they’re not married anymore.

Spike’s Team (Brontosaurus): Punchy Dale & Slimer presented their fresh corn grits, stewed peppers and salsa verde (yum!)
Marcel, Blais & Dusty –banana parfait with fruit & tandoori maple (which looked beautiful)
Carla Cosby & Spike –“V9” their take on gazpacho with fruits and vegetables
Fabio & Tie Knot –potato gnocchi with leeks, spinach & mushrooms
The Judges joined the kids as they ate. Gail thought the polenta was creative. One of the Museum workers didn’t like the textures. Katie liked Fabio’s gnocchi. One of the kids didn’t like the gazpacho because it was spicy and they don’t like tomatoes. I bet they don’t like museums either. Gail remarked at how lovely the parfait looked.

White Tiff’s Team (T-Rex): Black Tiff & Antonia –bacon & cheddar, ham & cheese and chèvre mini-frittatas
Tre & Casey – salmon with shrimp & apple smoked bacon sauce
Jen & Jamie –braised bacon & hard boiled eggs (which looked a bit like chopped eggs on pink raft in a dirty water)
Nice Guy Dale & White Tiff –steak & eggs with smoked paprika crème fresh hollandaise (which looked like a car wreck, Nice Guy admitted they only had 40 seconds to plate it in the end and were bumping into each other as they did. He said, accurately, that it was a mess.)

The kids and the judges didn’t really dig Jen & Jamie’s dish. Gail said it wasn’t cooked the way she wanted it to be. Padma asked about Tre’s sauce on the salmon: too salty. Tre knew the sauce was continuing to reduce on the burner but he’d rather have salty food than bland food. Oh boy.

During the Bump, everyone remarked how Fabio was the man as he sold his gnocchi. Going down the line putting it on everyone’s plate. Saying it was his grandmother’s recipe. Giving out kisses and hugs. (That’s my kinda chef, yo.)

Stew Room!
White Tiff: “The advantage to me is not a blind decision. I assumed, T-Rex eats everything, Brontosaurus only eats veg. My assumption was that we’d have access to everything and you guys would only have veg.”
Marcel said the advantage was that she got to choose.
Fabio broke it up completely: “You guys, I made gnocchi with no egg and no butter.”
White Tiff: “It’s water under the bridge, sort of…”
What? White Tiff shut up!

Padma walked in and asked to see Team Brontosaurus. After they left Jen sighed big. Nice Guy Dale said he thought their dishes were off and bizarre for kids and their parents.
Jen: “…I don’t cook for the people anymore” She said she cooks for the judges. Nice Guy: “I think that’s selfish.”
Jen: “Do you want to win or do you wanna make the 150 people happy that you’re never gonna see again?”
Dayum, Jen! (She’s kinda right though…)

At Judge’s Table, Padma congratulated Team Brontosaurus! They all clapped.
Colicchio said everything was really good. He asked who took the lead and Marcel said they all threw out ideas and it happened organically. Fabio said he wanted to do gnocchi, Colicchio asked if they all came out okay: “Not all of them because Spike was doing them.” They laughed.
Katie loved the parfait and said it was clear they worked together as a team, Marcel chuckled. The winning dish was… the banana parfait -
Dusty: “When I’m on a streak I think it’s really hard to beat me to be honest.” How about with a shoe, Dusty? I think that could be easy.
Marcel: “If there was only one person who won the challenge it probably would have gone to me because I had more components on the plate than anybody else. (hand on chin) But I don’t know, it could just be me.”

White Tiff looked sober as Marcel told them the Judge’s wanted to see Team T-Rex.
Here we go- Black Tiff, Antonia, White Tiff, Nice Guy Dale, Jamie, Jen, Casey and Tre lined up.
White Tiff started off by saying her advantage wasn’t really an advantage (the old battle axe is back, ya’ll!) She said the choice of one or the other wasn’t an advantage at all because it wasn’t explained.
Gail said the challenge was about adaptability. Coliccho said he thought he was pretty clear, he said meat and meat by-products only.
White Tiff: “In all fairness we got in the kitchen and we were like Uh uh oh. But I thought we did really well for what we had.”
White Tiff, stop.
Katie told Black Tiff and Antonia her frittata was raw in the center. They admitted they had problems with the oven.
Gail said White Tiff and Dale’s steak and eggs were beautiful but if you can’t cook eggs none of you should be there.
(Guess Gail was looking for more complexity. Not in her wardrobe though which is why I didn’t mention it earlier.)
Casey looked teary as Padma told her the salmon was salty. She said Tre made the sauce. He said it may have over-reduced his shrimp sauce a bit and it got a little salty. Colicchio was mad that Tre knew he had salty sauce. Tre answered by shrugging his shoulders and poking his lips out a bit.
(Come on, Tre! WTH?)
Suddenly Jen, hands in her back pockets, began to drop her head and shift her weight like she was about to fight.
Padma: “Jen, you seem really pissed off.
Jen: “Yeah, I am. I don’t feel like I deserve to be here. Or that we as a team deserve to be here.”
Gail asked if she tasted the other team’s food.
Jen said she tasted every single one of their dishes, of course she did.
Gail: “And you didn’t like it?”

Jen smiled fast, tilted her head to the side and stopped smiling.

Um, can I speak seriously here? I think Jen didn’t know they were going from the Quickfire to the Museum into the Elimination Challenge to Judging and wasn’t able to take her meds. I mean, she’s combative and kinda scary right now.

Gail asked what Jen didn’t like. Jen said she thought they were better, “that’s all I’m gonna say” Colicchio smiled a little.
White Tiff said she tasted their dishes but it wasn’t breakfast.
Jen: “Gnocchi for breakfast?” She rolled her eyes.
Katie said they took it as an inventive approach and that’s where their team lacked. Jen dropped her head to the side.
Coliccho asked why they didn’t choose to plate the dishes individually. Why they just piled everything on one plate.
Jen: “You guys are smart enough, you’re the judges, why can’t you say, ‘Hey can I get a different plate for this?’

Tre’s eyebrows went up. White Tiff: “Oh wow.”
Jen titled her head back and stared at the judges.
Holy Crap. For real, Jen needs her Xanax or Paxil or whatever it is that makes her able to deal because I’ve never seen her like this and ALSO if she just shuts the eff up they can get to the fact that Jamie left and didn’t cook anything because she needed TWO STITCHES! Colicchio: “Yeah, I’m smart enough to know that but maybe someone on your team should be smart enough to know that.”
In your face. Sorta.
Colicchio asked if Jamie helped out with the pork dish.
Jamie said they conceptualized it and then she cut herself and had to get stitches.
Colicchio asked if that was a factor. Jen said not at all and that each and every single person helped out with her dish.
UGH- Doooood, at least say it would have been helpful to have Jamie there!
Antonia: “Jamie made the decision to leave.”
YEAH Antonia!
Antonia: “Would I have just duct taped my finger and continued working? Yes. Did everyone else on the team pretty much say the same thing? Yes.”
Jamie looked pissed but Gail was still on the Jen Carroll express train to cracktown…
Gail said it was about proportioning, the egg got lost. Jen disagreed. Colicchio said the pork was seasoned well but the egg whites and yolk on top were really bland…
Jen: “No- no way. It wasn’t bland, the egg was seasoned perfectly. The bacon was very strong in flavor.”
PAUSE MOMENT- 1:06 in when Casey is looking down scratching her upper lip like Huh? And Tre is looking down with his hand on his mouth like Oh man, chick is gone.
Meanwhile, Jen continued: “It was smoky, it was spicy, it was everything I wanted it to be. I will fight to the death on this. Zero doubt in my mind it was under-seasoned.”
Colicchio: “We’re gonna have to agree to disagree on that one.”
Jen: “We will.”

Padma actually looked nervous when she said they had a decision to make and dismissed them. Nervous for herself and for everyone else in the Stew Room.
When the other chefs asked what they said Jen replied she yelled at the judges more than they yelled at them.
Jamie: “Yeah, it was pretty good.”
(Sure, talk now, Stitches.)
Nice Guy Dale asked if Jen was like that in her season at judges table and she said absolutely not.
Jen: “Welcome to Jen All Stars.”

Gail said she had rarely seen any of them get so angry. Colicchio said he didn’t mind- if someone was gonna go home it was for giving them a bad dish, not for talking back.
Okay, nice to hear. Just have someone else start your car for a couple of weeks.
Padma said it was safe to say that White Tiff (with immunity) and Nice Guy Dale weren’t going home because their steak and eggs was their favorite dish. Katie said they could have found Black Tiff and Antonia’s frittatas on a hotel buffet or on a cruise ship. Casey cooked the salmon nicely but the sauce was too aggressive. Colicchio said to just sit there and say he knew it was salty?

Stew Room- Tre sat with Casey and Nice Guy Dale and remarked: “This one over here (Jen) just put herself out there, it’s like she just jumped in front of the bus, calling the judges stupid?” Casey: “They don’t care. It’s not about them.”

Judge’s Table- Katie said the textures of Jen’s dish were just soft on soft on soft.
And she should know, she was 22 when she started sleeping with a 2,000 year old Billy Joel.
Colicchio said he didn’t care what Jen said, the eggs on top were bland.
And then what about Jamie? Gail: “Where to put her?” Padma: “…to hear your teammate say No, it made no difference that she was here...”

Stew Room-
Jamie: “It feels like I let you guys down and that sucks.”
Jen made a sort of sucking noise.

They were all called back-
Colicchio said they knew it was a difficult challenge and if anyone expected an easy ride they were kidding themselves.
He dismissed White Tiff & Nice Guy Dale. White Tiff said good luck to everyone.
He told Black Tiff & Antonia their dish was inconsistent and they were better chefs than what they put out.
Jamie & Jen- the texture was off and the garnish was under-seasoned. He admired that Jen was vigorously defending the dish but it wasn’t going to make the dish better.
Casey & Tre- the salmon was fine the sauce ruined the dish.
And Then…
Padma: “Jen, please pack your knives and go.”
Jen smiled and laughed.
Antonia said what I said out loud: “Holy sh*t”
Colicchio didn’t even look up.
Jen said she was shocked and her bacon and eggs were a great dish. She thought maybe she was too strong for them at Judges Table. Maybe she was too vocal. She didn’t know why she was going home.
She shook every judges hand.
She entered the Stew Room and saluted. “Adios.” Then she did a sort of one knee curtsey. (See, Homegirl is looped for reals.)

Jen: “Like my Dad has always said, second place is still losing. So I wonder what he’s going to say about second to last.”
Oh Man. I’m having a flashback of watching of Martha Stewart’s life story on The Biography Channel. Lordy. She had a perfectionist, withholding dickmobile Dad too.
Poor Jen.
Jen: “I expected to make it into the finale, I feel like I was robbed and don’t think it’s right.”
She hugged people, kissed and hugged Slimer the longest.
Marcel held the door open for her as she left.
And then- after being totally composed, once she was off camera in a hysterical voice you could hear her yell: “This is effing bullshit! I’m not even supposed to be effing close to the bottom, not even effing close!”
Everyone kept their heads down.

Casey said she fought but it just didn’t work out. They’re not playing. Spike: “That’s for real.”
As Jen packed up she said her style of cooking wasn’t going to change. She is who she is and she’s a great chef and a great person. The judges got it wrong.
Or maybe your psychologist did.

Next ep- two chefs are going home. For now we’re all still in the running…
The Line Up!!

COLUCCI Blais and Carla Cosby

LB Casey and Antonia

KAT Black Tiff and Carla Cosby

STRIPES Blais and Antonia

Q Black Tiff and Angelo

COLANTO Blais and Angelo

LUCY Blais and Jen

BROWNIE Michael and Angelo

HOLLY F. Blais and Angelo

KRISTEN K. Blais and Casey

JENNA Tre and Jen

ELLIE Jen and Angelo

GBAG Casey and Carla Cosby

NIKKI M. Nice Guy Dale and Angelo

DAISY Jen and Angelo

CC Blais and Marcel

MARTHA P. Jen and Angelo

JET Blais and Angelo

KEMP He says it's in the mail. If it's not here tomorrow...

DOWD Blais and White Tiff

LOGUE Blais and White Tiff

RUBY Tre and Black Tiff

JANINA Nice Guy Dale and Jen

ME Tre and White Tiff

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The paper is "in case you want to roll it up and smoke it."

This is the kick off, Poolers!
So much has led up to this point. The primping, the preening, the decisions! I was gonna go with a hot toddie but then Daisy and I were texting and she was having beer and I remembered my L Store run and settled in with a Brooklyn Brewery Dark Chocolate Stout, a few squares of organic dark chocolate with almonds and a side of raw walnuts. Whew. That was tough.

Hey, you know what’s nice? (Besides the jimmy leg inducing chocolate on chocolate action (which Daisy agrees I will need for a night of blobbing))? All day today Bravo re-ran the Top Chef Finales that featured the All Stars! Nice job Bravo Producers.
And I get to see Anthony Bourdain AND Fabio (thank you, Laura Zalanick, for bringing my bfs back) on a weekly. Don’t even tell me you’re throwing Michael Voltaggio in there. Panties IGNITE!

As the show began- hey the opening credits are new, cool- and they showed the 18 chefs from previous seasons- I wondered why it took Bravo so long to make this happen and who the hell I was going to pick. This is gonna be tough!

Red-headed Tiffani from Season 1 was the first to arrive at the TC townhouse in NYC. Tiffani was known as a super competitive “snake” and is currently Executive Chef at Rocca in the South End now. She quickly announced she’s “gonna cook her nuts off” confirming what we all always thought. She has a penis.

Stephen (aka Tie Knot) said his restaurant was named one of the Top Ten Best New Restaurants (according to his Nana.) He wasn’t nervous because he’s “never nervous.” He also has never had anyone tell him that only NFL players have tie knots that large and those aren’t complimented but no one tells Them different because they’re NFL players! They’ll crush you in an elevator unintentionally with their butt cheeks (that would be me and Bill Brooks’ butt at BU. Go Terriers!)

Elia sported lipstick and a short striped mini-skirt. Her hair had obviously grown back since the infamous head-shaving incident in her season (more on that later)…Marcel, however, had the same hair and the same attitude; Elia said she hoped he had matured but the first thing out of his mouth?
“I was a threat.”
Cue the clips of people cussing him out.
Marcel, with his Heat Miser-ish Hair: “I was young, talented, capable and creative and I intimidated a lot of the other contestants.”
No, honey, you were arrogant, annoying, whiny and vagina-ish and other contestants wondered if they could secretly elbow you in the throat without getting kicked off the show.

Tre (whom many thought was sent home too early in his season) walked in and Marcel said he was a Beast.
Uh oh.
Last season’s contestant Kenny Gilbert aka Kenny Q Sign aka ‘The Beast In The Kitchen’ just threw the braised T-Rex thigh he was gnawing on at his flat screen.
Marcel thinks Tre is his biggest competition. Tre said he wasn’t playing in this MF.

Nice Guy Dale Levitsky had more pounds and less hair follicles. Casey, who also lost to Hung in their season, and he hugged. Richard Blais (also from their season) was thinner and still regretted what he told the judges AT Judges Table IN THE FINALE: that he choked.
Yeah, seriously.
He said that before judging.
Lemme tell you something, you might not believe in The Secret but there’s something to be said for NOT announcing that you choked in front of judges that are about to judge you.
Come on, Son.

Spike- wait, a baseball cap? Where’s the straw hat? That was your signature kid, it was crappy but the baseball cap is crappier. Stick with the original motifs.
Spike hoofed it up the sidewalk wearing a stretched out t-shirt and jeans dragging a wheelie suitcase like a homeless guy selling single cigarettes on 14th Street.
He said he was a little kitchen rat (ew, gross) who now has a career (and a burger spot in DC that the Obamas frequent.)
Antonio hugged Spike but revealed (to Camera) that they had a love hate relationship. Cue the clips of him yelling at her in the Stew Room. She said she was gonna beat him because it was karma. Good luck harping on that.

Dale Talde hates losing. In the past Dale yelled a lot in the Stew Room, had a row with Chef Michael Chiarello on Top Chef Masters (Chia was being a Massengil douche) and punched some lockers. Let’s call this Dale Punchy Dale cause there are two Dales and this one is bound to punch something or someone soon, deal?

Jamie with the doll hair (thankfully someone invested in conditioner this go round) “didn’t do/know” a lot of stuff in Season Five.
And this chick calls herself a chef? Hey kids, let’s review the: List Of Things Jamie Doesn't 'Do' Or Know!™
-bridal showers
-canned goods
-opening a restaurant
-cleaning sardines
-braised celery ("never before in life")
-making a sauce from ham
That last point is debatable.
Jamie said since being on Top Chef, people came from all over the world to meet her…?
Were you at the airport, Jamie? I think those people were walking by you on their way elsewheres.

Then Fabio- Fabio! Yay!
Fabio said he was an underdog.
An Italian underdog.
A good one.
(No comment. Okay, does a growl count as a comment?)
He remarked that even though the elevator he was in went up, it felt like he was going to hell. Ha ha ha! Oh Fabio!
Dark, cynical, still mad about not winning his season or that Stefan (remember Team Euro?) didn’t win.
Dashing, pasta-making, hot-blooded Fabio.
If you’ll excuse me I need to talk to Fabio for a minute:
Ciao, Fabio. Ciao. So nice to see you and your hear your accent again. How is your restaurant doing? Did your finger heal properly from when you cut it in your season? Are you and Stefan still hanging out? You know you shouldn’t be with him, he’s nothing but trouble. Let’s talk after you unpack, okay?

Fabio said he wasn’t anxious to see Marcel. They had “issue” at the Top Chef Reunion Dinner. To be honest Fab did set it off by asking about the Page Six reported ‘girl throws a glass in Marcel’s face at a party’ incident. Of course Marcel became defensive (when is he not?) Maybe Fabio didn’t think the cameras were running? (But let’s be honest, the cameras are Always running. This is Reality TV.)
Fabio said he wasn’t taking a bunk bed ever again because he “quash his balls on season 5 and that not gonna happen.”
Oh Fab, I’m so glad you’re here.

Hooty-Hooo! Carla Cosby in the House (You see, Rudy…)
Carla said she was all about harmony and peace (still on that tract, Buddha Bless her hearty heart!) and she was not going to be intimidated by someone else’s food (or eyewear.)

Ball buster Jen Carroll was one of my picks in Season 6. She works at Eric Rippert’s restaurant and folded against the Voltaggio brothers. Blais said Jen was his strongest competitor. Then Mike Isabella aka Slimer started talking. He’s opening some restaurant in DC but honestly I can barely look at that cocky c*ck without thinking about GHOSTBUSTERS (both the movie and the cartoon which I loved except I never loved Slimer and that’s what his mouth reminds me of. The End.)

Last Season’s fave Angelo Sosa aka Dusthead aka Dusty is here to make it right and cook his heart out! So is Tiffany who should have a Crest toothpaste contract by now! No, not Tiffani. Tiffany. Okay, let’s just make this easier: Black Tiff. As we all know, Black Tiff won tons of cash last season including a trip to Paris and the fan favorite! Her Dimples are magic! Fall on in!

After hugging everyone suited up and Nice Guy Dale wondered what he got himself into. (Me too, this chocolate has me bouncing off the walls!)
In the TC Kitchen, Padma (no longer Padma avec Monticules, her baby is on solid food now, yo) wore jeans and a pretty beige/peach-colored blouse that paled in comparison to what she announced:
The grand prize this season is $200,000!
Marcel said he never won anything, he just came in second in his season (um, there were no 2nds and 3rds, just 2 runner ups, Heat Miser.) Carla Cosby’s eyes popped at that much cheddar (she does this a lot everyone, get your dry eye meds out!)
Colicchio said every time he sees any of the chefs (when is this now?) each one says their season is the best and now was the time to prove it.

Quickfire Challenge!
The chefs from each season have to work as one team to make one dish to represent the city where their season took place. (Love it!)
Spike in his baseball cap: “That’s what I’m talking about!”
We’re really going with cap all season, Spike?
But there’s no time to discuss how I think hats and caps (especially tight ones) are a threat to male hairlines around the globe cause there’s—
25 Minutes To Cook!

Season 4 (Chicago) -Spike, Richard Blais (Blais), Antonia & Punchy Dale decided to make a fresh hot dog. Well the boys decided. Blais said he was making mustard ice cream (cool!) Antonia wanted to sauté something as a condiment, Punchy Dale said that doesn’t usually go on a hot dog. He also said to make fresh sausage in 25 minutes was tough, but they had to take a risk.

Season 7 (DC) -Dusty & Black Tiff. Dusty wanted to go with crab cakes with old bay spice. Black Tiff began to work and so did he, moving in close to “discuss” seasonings. Close talking creep.

Season 5 (NYC) -Fabio, Carla Cosby & Jamie. Jamie said she was thinking of a trio of apples so they could each do something individually. Huh? Also: Yawn.
Carla Cosby asked if Jamie was going to do applesauce garnish and Jamie said she might not. What’s with the secrecy? She also decided right away that she was stronger than the others, which is why she wanted to do three separate dishes. The arrogance! Why are Fabio and Carla Cosby falling for this? Casey noticed and said it was a big risk if the flavors didn’t go together.

Tre said mangoes, avocadoes and pork was Miami all day long. Having just come from Miami I can tell you he’s correct except I’m talking about a different kind of pork.
He, Dale & Casey got to work.

Season 2 (LA) -Marcel & Elia made fish tacos because Marcel thought that was totally achievable in 25 minutes. Then he looked around in wonderment: “it’s a whole new ballgame, the kitchen is ridiculous.”
Does this kid know they’re supposed to be cooking? Elia was cool as a cuke as she cut waaaay too many avocadoes for two tasting plates and everyone else, according to her, ran around “screaming.” Maybe that’s because they were making things more complicated than tacos.

Meanwhile Season 1 (San Francisco) -Tie Knot & White Tiff, worked on fish stew. Tie Knot was stumped and not very responsive. White Tiff said he was rusty but they were the Original Gangsters. “Season One, bitches.” (I could remove that comma.)

Season 6 –Jen & Slimer: “Vegas doesn’t have a lot of culture so we decided to go with an old school Italian mobster scene, that was when they were controlling the casinos with all the Italian food…?”
So you’re making pasta and then someone’s gonna get beat to death with a shovel in a corn field?

7.5 Minutes Left!
Dramz: Blais broke out the liquid nitrogen to make the ice cream; someone bumped into Dusty and knocked his fish to the floor; Tre’s tenderloin wouldn’t cook!
Hands up, utensils down!

White Tiff & Tie Knot made a Coppino (Italian style fish stew) Gazpacho with Sourdough. Tie Knot talked about the bread being made with garlic and olive oil like it was a deviled Faberge Egg or some ish. It’s bread, Honey, now sommelier me something from the Russian River Valley. When Padma and Colicchio walked away, they looked like they just found out they had shingles.

Marcel presented he & Elia’s shrimp tacos with guacamole in an apple wrapper. Colicchio asked why they used apple. Marcel said it was light and fresh and asked if they liked it.
Really? There’s no asking, kid.
Colicchio said they’d have to wait to find out.
Slimer wisely replied (to Camera) that Marcel was a brat as Marcel leaned his head to the side so it could touch Elia’s head for some weird kind of… ‘head pound.’ This is NOT how you give a pound in the hood.

Nice Guy Dale presented he, Tre & Casey’s Miami-styled pork tenderloin, avocado lime purée and tostones in a habanero sauce. Mmmm. Padma and Colicchio did their usual unimpressed walk off. Tre made a ‘Huh’ face.

Punchy Dale presented he, Spike, Blais & Antonia’s deconstructed Chicago-style hot dog (pork and black pepper sausage) with mustard ice cream. It looked like a car crash with bodies falling out the windows a la that vidjoe they made you watch when you were a Senior in HS to try to get you not to drink and drive at Prom. Fabio gave the hot dog the gas face.

Carla Cosby presented Season 5’s (NYC) apple showcase with curried ginger apple soup (Jamie), pasta with caramelized apple (Fabio) and rib eye with apple walnut and blue cheese slaw (Carla Cos.) Padma: “Interesting flavors.”
Carla Cosby popped her eyes out over her glasses (to Camera): “Interesting. That’s the kiss of death.”

Slimer & Jen from Season 6 (Vegas) presented their bucatini (thick pasta with a hole in the middle) and bacon lobster carbonara. Slimer told the judges he made the pasta.

Black Tiff from Season 7 (DC) & Angelo showed off their crab cake essence with rockfish, lemongrass, jalapeno and old bay seasoning. Angelo leaned on Tiff’s shoulder- does he not get that she’s married and this behavior will gain him nothing?

Colicchio gave them the bad news first-
Marcel & Elia: the apple was too thin so they couldn’t eat it like a taco and the shrimp was under seasoned; White Tiff & Tie Knot- way too much raw garlic; Carla Cos, Jamie & Fabio- three different dishes not tied together and only one was good- Jamie’s: “I know my soup was damn good. My dish was better than the two of theirs” (Please don’t encourage her his early on.)
Black Tiff & Dusty: too much salt. Both of them poked their lips out.

Faves? Tre, Casey & Dale had great flavors; Chicago was really inventive; Jen & Slimer- pasta made perfectly and great flavors (someone’s running out of descriptive words.)
But the Winner that clearly represented their city and had a lot of flavor?
Punchy Dale, Blais, Spike & Antonia!
Slimer cursed a blue streak as the four chefs were given immunity.
Punchy Dale: “I’m back, Son. This is how we do it.”
(Yes. This is how you punch people without punching them.)

Then waiters walked in with covered trays. One was put in front of each chef.
Padma: “You all know what it’s like to hear me say ‘pack your knives and go’ and I’m sure none of you want to hear it this season. Go ahead, lift them up.”
Everyone lifted the covers and looked dour.
Slimer: “Wow, are we really gonna do this?”
The Cameras didn’t reveal anything.
Padma: “In front of you are the ingredients that sent you home. The Elimination Challenge!
“Make the dish that sent you packing but make it great.”
Colicchio: “You can improve upon it, but you can’t stray too far from the original dish.” They were told this was their opportunity to redeem themselves and prove they are All Star Chefs. Colicchio looked super smarmy.
3 hours to prep and 2 hours at the Russian Tea Room. Oh, then Pad told them Anthony Bourdain was going to be a judge.
Pack those knives right into their hearts, baby.
Btw, Time Starts Now!

Spike had frozen scallops. In his downfall he called out one of the judges, the guy whose restaurant just happened to have those frozen scallops in his walk in, for having them. Ouch!
Punchy Dale put on a black headband as he tried to redeem the miso butterscotch scallops he made that Bourdain said looked like a melted candy bar.
Fabio had to do crawfish and lobster stew. He didn’t think there was “nothing wrong with that dish” in the first place. (Adorable.)
Tie Knot was eliminated for focusing on the wine service during restaurant wars (cut to clip of him drinking wine while his teammates worked) so he had to make THREE dishes. Later Tie Knot!
Tre: “Stephen is a great front of the house guy and a great dresser,” (that’s very generous Tre) “but I don’t think he came out the trenches, I think he just came out of Macy’s Day Parade or something.”
Oh snap, Tre! I dunno about your dish but you just redeemed your great dresser comment!
Antonia walked around like she was looking for Cheetos to watch Oprah. Immunity does that I guess.
Elia had to recreate red snapper steamed in a leaf. She thought she did a great job the first time and decided to modify the ingredients as little as possible with the exception of adding cured bacon.
Jamie went home for making Eric Rippert’s dish from his restaurant: black bass with celery. If you recall- and you will cause there’s a clip, she told Rippert that wasn’t her favorite dish from lunch.
Their free lunch.
At a Michelin starred restaurant.
Made by someone you should learn from not backtalk like you’re Clint Eastwood and he’s Spike Lee.
Jamie decided to make a celery hash, which sounds kinda awful, and hey, I’m vegan! I eat celery in my sleep!
Angelo made noodles while Punchy Dale used the Nitrogen tank, sort of playing around since he hadn’t used one before. Black Tiff said he was doing crazy stuff because he had immunity. Then Punchy Dale made cornbread muffins. They weren’t even for his dish! He just randomly busted out cornbread for peeps!
Man this season is a hoot!
Antonia asked for some of Slimer’s leeks. He said yes and that he had the toughest challenge because he went home for braised leeks. “When you have carrots, potatoes and leeks there’s only so much you can do.”
Hauling out excuses early?

26:08 left!
Carla Cosby relived her downfall, The Sous-Vide Suggestion she took when she was in the Finale and Casey was her Sous Chef. She didn’t blame Casey. She said this time she was going to cook “her food.”
Let’s see where love gets her this time.
Meanwhile Spike soaked his frozen scallops in lime vinaigrette (as one who is trying to disguise frozen scallops would do, I guess) and Antonia called him sneaky and devious for it.
Um, Ant- you have immunity because of that deviant.

During the bump: Carla Cos told Elia she looked good with a shaved head. Then they showed the controversial clip of Elan (that season’s winner) and Cliff being drunk, shaving their heads, challenging Elia to shave hers (she did) and then Cliff waking Marcel up and forcefully wrestling him to the floor so he could shave his head. Cliff, that was borderline assault. (Cliff went home for it.) Elia said she was 23 then (wow!) and in the past four years she had come into her own and wanted to bring a level of maturity to the competition.
Just bring your food, Elia.

In the kitchen of the Russian Tea Room (Hey, I ate there once. The borscht was divine, the waiter was cute and it was a client lunch so the meal was free, whee!) Colicchio entered and split the chefs into groups of two since the kitchen was small.
Then he told them they’d be judging each other’s food (ick, I hate that) but the winner receives 10k. Nice incentive!

2 Hours To Cook!
Tie Knot was already in the weeds. Blais said he was going to be plating all the way to the end of the challenge and Fabio smiled as he cooked as one would suspect he smiles when he does a lot of activities…

At the table, Padma introduced the chefs (who had their little dress outfits on) to Anthony Bourdain (yum yummy) oh and Gail, right, I forgot you were there! Gail Simmons of Food and Wine Magazine, ya’ll. Everyone was silent except for Marcel who was seated next to Padma (some PA is getting fired for that) and announced: “This is the first time I’ve actually had the opportunity to dine with you guys…pretty nice.”

In the kitchen, White Tiff was concerned for Tie Knot who didn’t realize his dish had to be in the window before time ran out.
Tie Knot: “Oh I have to be in the window?”
White Tiff helped her Season 1 brother out.
Blais was still finishing his dishes as the timer went off.
Tre (to Camera): “Time’s up, dude.”
All of a sudden a flat screen TV appeared in the kitchen!
Focus Group Time!
Unbeknownst to their competitors, the first group of chefs watched and heard everything!
Elia refused to watch. She went around the corner and sat on a cooler.

Blais’ pork belly with break and butter radishes, mirin and cheddar went over well. Casey thought the crunch was a nice touch and Jen said none of the other dishes came close to it.
Angelo’s homemade ramen with sweet glazed pork belly & watermelon (man that sounds good) was praised by Slimer, Jen AND Bourdain: “Damn good.”
Punchy Dale’s butterscotch miso scallops with crispy long beans and spicy eggplant were, according to Colicchio, “nicely cooked.” Bourdain: “There’s a great expression in the Marine Corp- ‘get yourself unf*cked,’ he unf*cked this dish.” Everyone laughed as if they didn’t have to cook next. Punchy Dale chuckled.

Padma asked Carla Cos what she thought about Black Tiff’s pan-seared Halibut, coconut curry, steamed rice balls and pea tendrils (which are delicious if you ever see them at a farmer’s market or Asian grocery store. My Asian Twin hipped me to them! Put those muthas in a pan with garlic and a little olive oil, delish!) Carla Cos said the fish was a little overcooked. Antonia liked the sauce but it needed sugar. Black Tiff was stoic.
Tre’s cured wild king salmon, grapefruit gelee and salted macadamia cookie wasn’t a favorite of Jen’s. Tre looked sad.
White Tiff’s crispy branzino (Mediterranean sea bass), black olive, pappardelle (broad fettuccine) and spicy fennel worked for Spike but Slimer didn’t like the kim chee marinade.
Tie Knot’s three dishes: lobster harumaki, hibiscus ponzu (citrus based sauce) & coriander were called ‘swampy and muddled’ by Nice Guy Dale. Bourdain said there are people in the kitchen and at this table that could have solved the problem and Tie Knot could not. Knot (to Camera) “it hurts a little bit.”
Antonia said she didn’t get Fabio’s handmade caserecci (pasta), crawfish and crab stew with fried basil served on top of…parchment. “I don’t get the paper.” Slimer looked surprised.
Colicchio: “…that’s in case you want to roll it up and smoke it.”
Dirty Stoner Chef!
Bourdain said he hated the whole dish, he kept tasting it and poking it to make sure it tasted the way that it did. “I really, really, really hated it. It looks like some sort of inside out animal.” Dayum!
Fabio said he was going to make sure he let Bourdain know what he was really thinking about him.
NO FABIO, NO! Bourdain will kill you and roast you. I bet you taste delicious but No!
Fabio went to Elia and asked if she was alright (you know what that means, Fabio? That means, You’re not alright.)
Elia: “Yeah, what’s going on?”
Fab: “Bourdain said he never had such a bad plate of pasta.”
Elia: “Stop it. And me? My dish?”
Fab: “They’re doing it right now, come watch it.”
Elia said she couldn’t deal with it.
Nice Guy Dale said Elia’s dish felt like a dish that someone gave up on, to have something so watered down with no personality was disconcerting as a Chef. Not so nice, Nice Guy!
Antonia said that was harsh. White Tiff said this made her sweat cause Elia was a friend of hers. (You know what, White Tiff actually seems to have a heart this season. I think it grew three sizes that day.)

Pause Moment! 51 minutes in, Colicchio looks like he’s over it. Internal Monologue: “Is this what I thought I would be doing with my cooking career? I mean the notoriety is nice and the paycheck from Coca-Cola commercial was decent but I can’t stand any of these people. I miss my girlfriend. And my wife.”
That’s the: this is my last season look, ya’ll.

Padma sent the chefs back into the kitchen. On the way out Jen oddly rubbed Padma’s back (perhaps not realizing she was wearing a form fitting backless number.) Antonia said she was ready to cook, the “Rocky music” was playing in her head. Casey was nervous after tasting everyone’s food. Jamie “still hated” her dish.

At the table, Gail: “What did you think about hearing all the feedback…?”
Fabio pointed to Bourdain immediately.
“You hate it, you said it 11 times.”
Bourdain smiled slightly, shook his head and closed his eyes once but didn’t say a word. White Tiff said this was the beginning of the most uncomfortable Thanksgiving dinner ever. (She should have been at my Aunt’s house when I made the toilet overflow.)

Padma initiated a toast, they cut to the kitchen and the chef’s stopped congratulating themselves on finishing their service long enough for them to realize there was a flat screen TV back there and it was NOT one of Oprah’s Favorite Things.
At the table, Antonia’s sausage with cilantro, pigeon pea purée and roasted cherry blossoms was called fresh and tasty by Blais. Tre said he could have eaten the whole thing by himself. Antonia teared up. But then, Black Tiff: “I’m wondering did I have the same dish…”
Ooooo, kinda catty Tiffany!
“..for me it was a little incomplete…it wasn’t one of my favorites.” Antonia looked around like Oh.
Spike’s pickled mushrooms, scallops lime dressing with hearts of palm salad was a good tasting dish according to Bourdain but he could have lived without the scallops. Then he recalled it was the “famous frozen scallop dish.” White Tiff said it was smart. Bourdain: “Correct me if I’m wrong, is this the craftiest MF ever to be on this show?”
They laughed in the kitchen.
I laughed on my sofa. (I’m on to a hot toddie now.)
Jamie’s pan-seared black bass, celery, green peppercorn sauce and herb salad was successful by Colicchio and Blais.
Slimer’s melted leeks, carrot purée and salt crusted potatoes was called a good revamp (isn’t that what you’d call a repaired porch?) by Tre. He said the colors were nice. Black Tiff said it melted in her mouth and Blais said it showed a lot of finesse and elegance. Slimer smiled wide.

Nice Guy Dale’s curry poached lobster dumplings, chanterelle, corn and bacon had pasty dumplings according to Punchy Dale. He couldn’t get them out of his head. Tie Knot didn’t like them at all. Nice Guy Dale looked at Casey as if this could not be true.
Carla’s grilled strip steak, smashed potatoes, tarragon butter and red win sauce was liked by White Tiff but Angelo said his first bite was nerve endings so that was an unpleasant experience. (And Dusty would know, he chewed on hobo nerve endings just to survive that time he went on a bender and got lost in Cabrini-Green.)
Gail said she hoped Casey was breathing a little easier after tasting her molasses glazed pork belly, pickled peaches, whipped crème fraiche. She redeemed herself.
Marcel’s uni & caviar, Meyer lemon gelée, fennel cream & kalamata olive dust looked like, and I’m not exaggerating, a bowl of eyeballs and raw clams with a line of ants trekking across the lip of it. Friggin Yuck.
Tre said the dish threw him because it had a strong vanilla bean flavor. Fabio said it took balls to put something like that out. (I think there may have actually been balls in the bowl.)
Bourdain said the only thing wrong with Jen’s duck dish was the duck. It wasn’t there. White Tiff said there were technical errors she was surprised by. Overall though, the second group was kinder than the first.

In the Stew Room, Casey said she hated judging them and it was very uncomfortable. Casey there is no Miss Congeniality sash given here. Fabio said he served his pasta on paper because in the oven the oil heats up and splatters on to the plate and it looks dirty. Huh?
As they discussed how Richard plated over the time limit, Padma- oh now you can see the whole dress, it makes her boobs look like black ice cream scoops, dope- asked to see Spike, Jamie, Blais and Dusty.

At Judge’s Table Colicchio told Blais they brought him out to acknowledge he made a great dish but he went out of his allotted cook time.
Blais: “I’m not aware of that.”
Colicchio said he looked at the tape and Blais was clearly plating past the 2 hour mark and was ineligible.
Blais went back to the Stew Room. He said he was pissed. Um, you forgot the rules! Dood! Have you not been watching the show you were on?

At Judge’s Table, Gail praised Jamie’s fish and said the celery was great. Colicchio asked if she would serve that dish now since she made it successfully. She said absolutely not. They both laughed like they were Pals and Jamie isn’t a pain in the budoobie.
Dusty was lauded for bringing a taste of Singapore- watermelon tea, into his dish.
Bourdain told Spike his main ingredient was basically crap and it was a smart way to deal with a seemingly insurmountable problem.
But the dish that was close enough to the original but also new and exciting was- Angelo’s!
He put his hand to his chest, “Me?”
He won 10k! He went to the Stew Room half smiling: “Yeah I won this one.” Punchy Dale said (to Camera) he was pissed because Blais had the best dish and shoulda won. Uh oh, he just might punch something…!
The judge’s asked to see Fabio (No!), Tie Knot and Elia.

At Judge’s Table: Tie Knot said the first time his dish was done he wasn’t around that much and was with the management team at the front of the house. Oh no, giant tie knot…really, that’s your excuse?
Bourdain remarked that the colors were monochromatic.
Tie Knot said that was “in his mind, fine.”
Bourdain: “And texturally?”
Tie Knot said it was what it was supposed to be. (Tie Knot, Tie Knot, you’re hanging yourself with your tie.)
Bourdain asked if he ever had a good soup dumpling.
Tie Knot said the food had a good balance. Colicchio told him his portions were off. Knot nodded and finally shut the eff up.

Gail told Elia her snapper was raw in the center. Colicchio asked if she thought the fish was raw. She said she was pushing for medium. Colicchio asked if she thought the fish was cooked. Elia said she didn’t put her knife in all of them. Colicchio said it was raw On Top. Elia said some crap about the size of the fish and the steamer.
Gail & Colicchio (same time): “You didn’t have to steam it!”
Bourdain said she was her own worst enemy.

Fabio said he was happy with the outcome of his dish. Bourdain asked what he was thinking with the presentation. “It was brown, it was wet, it was horrifying looking.” (Sounds like one of Tyra’s early weaves.)
Fabio: “Sir, I’m telling you something, I agree to be criticized in a constructive way. I don’t like to be made fun of and that’s what you did through the meal. Some comment about my food if you weren’t in this situation we would have a different problem.”
Bourdain: “If this was in a humble, chipped, china bowl I would have been a lot happier than the paper...”
Fabio cut him off and said that wouldn’t make any sense. It’s a peasant food, it was not meant to be fine dining, it was meant to be with the paper.
Fabio, darling. Can we talk for a moment? Excuse me everyone. Um, Fab, You’re not making sense. If the dish can be served on a piece of paper (which is kind of odd unless the paper is edible or it’s a taco) why can’t it be served in a chipped bowl? And why do you look all stiff like you’re gonna throw an oven? You’ve been on TV many times before. You know how the reality TV game works. Surely you’re familiar with Chef Bourdain who is not gonna back down and will probably bring you to Argentina for wines and cooked cow entrails but not if you don’t stop talking. You said your piece. You defended yourself. Now you’re on to nonsense. And unless that nonsense has something to do with you leaving your wife and making me vegan raviolis and fresh olive tapenade while naked, I don’t want to hear it.

Colicchio said when you make a dish a like that you should be able to pick out the nuances in it and he couldn’t with his dish.
Finally Fabio shut up.

Padma told them they had a decision to mak-
Elia: “Don’t eliminate me, I have a lot more to do.”
Tie Knot and Fabio both froze and looked at her. She stared at the judges.
Elia: “I mean it.”

In the Stew Room, Fabio said he may be the worst chef there but he wouldn’t let anyone make fun of him because it’s a “serious matter.”
Fabio! Let Marcel be the idiot!

At Judge’s Table they said Elia didn’t even try, Fabio could have made a decision as to whether or not it was a gumbo and given the dish more nuance and Tie’s Knot’s dish reminded Bourdain (fondly) of his last colonoscopy. Pokey!
In the end Padma asked…
Elia to pack her knives and go!
She stood there totally stunned as if they would change their minds and then: Okay.
“This is a huge slap in the face. The first to go home, it’s almost not worth that you came.”
You blew it, baby. Pay extra to get your plane ticket extended, have some drinks and bang some East Village boys to forget.
Everyone gave her a group hug.
I guess in the end some effort is better than none cause if-
WHOA lookit these clips from the upcoming season:
The U.S. Open! The Museum of Natural History! A Jonas Brother! Jimmy Fallon! Elmo and Cookie Monster???!!!!
Holy Crap!
I’m in if you are. And as long as you get me your cheddar and 2 picks before 10pm next Wednesday, you’re in!
Yah Dood!
Until then- do your research and enjoy this link- (man even Bravo’s web initiatives are on point! They should amend it so you can throw the dish that sent people home at them though…)

See you next week!
Seacrest Out!