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.
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.
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!™
-opening a restaurant
-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.
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?
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.”
WHUT THE EFF FAB?!
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???!!!!
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!
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!