Wednesday, February 23, 2011

“I love heads on shrimp cause I know I’m gonna be sucking that head.”

I don't know how I didn't know this before but LOOK! Fabio blobs!

“…in italy i never recall finding cilantro?? I got to be honest, i dont think that even goats eat colantro in italy…. we have pretty smart goats there, and they definitely wont touch cilantro with a fishing pool ??”

http://fabioviviani.com/blog/why-do-you-hate-cilantro/

But NO PHOTOS! Fabio, why?!
Fab, excuse me while I talk to Fab for a moment, please? Fabio, visually your website is whatevs. Honestly it looks like a placeholder site when you type in chewychompchomp.com. We need your words AND photos of you, okay? Did I mention I work in advertising? I have plenty of ideas on how to market you, so you to speak. You’re a brand now. A delicious, olive-skinned, pasta-making brand. And I’d like to market you. I’d like to market you all night long.

At the top of the hour, all the chef’s were shocked at Angelo being cut. Tiffany was “COMpleeetely SURprised” it wasn’t her. Punchy Dale was on a high having won the QuickFire and the Elimination Challenge. He “crushed an episode.” The way he crushed the skulls of homeless people in that alley in Danong the night his appetizers were lukewarm.

In the TC House, Antonia sits with Blais and Slimer who looks over Blais’ cooking journal and calls him very organized. Blais has already filled two journals with detailed pictures and plans in an effort to win. Meanwhile, Tiffany was eliminated “‘round this time last season” so she uses the “I look better, I perform better” theory and wears silver eye shadow. Yeah eye shadow really worked for me during finals week in college.

In the TC Kitchen. Padma, in a cream colored sleeveless blouse and matching sailor pants with gold buttons (eh), is with adorable Southern Cooking Queen, Paula Deen!
OMG it’s gonna be a sing off between her and Tiffany! Her eye shadow already matches the color of Paula’s hair!

The QuickFire Challenge-
Impress Paula using a deep fryer. “Yes!” (Paula was the only one who said this.)
Paula: “…if you can eat it, you can fry it.”
(No. Actually you can’t, Ms. Deen.)
Accordingly, Paula doesn’t want fried calamari sprinkled on top of a salad, come on! She has deep fried balls of butter, people!
Who lived in the resulting grease fire? I dunno but Paula’s swirly whipped cream mane of hair survived.
Time Starts Now!

Punchy goes for oysters wrapped in beef (I don’t think I would have eaten that back when I LIKED oysters and beef and fried things.) Antonia fries avocado and shrimp; Slimer makes a fried chicken oyster (the part of the chicken where the thigh meets the body) and says it’s unique. Then he admits he and Blais “spoke of a similar dish” and Blais had a picture of it in his book. Ummmmm!
Blais fries a ball of mayonnaise flavored with coffee and lime in nitrogen with a piece of deep fried bacon. So just a dollop of heart attack then?
Carla Cosby’s head spins with a three-stage breading process she waits too long to complete; Tiffany fries chicken wings and pickles (unless that chicken is wearing eye shadow I’m thinking it’s a lame duck dish.)
Time!
Antonia has…only prepared One Plate? Oh man these chefs are tired and overworked.
Presentation!
Paula is impressed by Blais’ dish and his hair. Tiffany pours her accent on extra thick and laughs too loud. Slimer slimes wide and introduces his fried chicken oysters served in an oyster shell with mustard gravy and oyster liquor.
Blais (To Camera, Right In The TC Kitchen As Slimer Presents): “That’s my dish.”
Wow.
Blais waits for Slimer to acknowledge him. After Paula and Pads exit, they share a look, Slimer smiles. To Camera Slimer says he’s seen the dish done before (in Blais’ cooking journal, mayhaps?) and if Blais thought of it he should have done it.
WOW! So you just admitted you stole the dish! Thief!

Paula’s Least favorites: Punchy Dale and Carla Cosby. Paula (to Cos): “Your hushpuppies were like spitballs.” Ow.
Her faves: hands down, Antonia but (her eyes well up cause she knows…) she didn’t follow the rules so it’s between Blais and Slimer. The winner?
Slimer. That MF.
PAUSE MOMENT! Carla Cosby hugs Antonia as a consolation prize (awwww) Antonia: “Don’t touch me.” (that ain’t right!)

The Elimination Challenge
In walks James Beard Award winner, restauranteur and former Democratic Presidential Nominee, John Edwards!
Waaaait a minute, that’s John Besh who looks kinda like John Edwards (who has been stricken from the history books Moses-style.) John said they must cook at a fundraiser he and Paula are holding that helps fishermen in New Orleans bring their businesses back to life. A life that has been threatened by the oil spill (translation: murdered.) The chefs are tasked with making Gulf Coast seafood for 300.
Whoa.
They need help. In walks Tre, Fabio (FABIO!), Marcel (if looks could kill…), Spike (baseball cap, Activate!), Angelo (exhausted) and White Tiff (back to White Tiff and Black Tiff for the rest of this blob, Pals!) Each chef carries a tray with seafood on it. Much like hoes on the block come with the clap, the chef comes with the seafood. No substitutions.
Slimer won the QuickFire, he picks first.
Does he select his buddy Angelo that he said he loved and would be friends with for the rest of his life?
Nope, he picks White Tiff who has brown shrimp. Slimer also picks who goes next- his “…buddy, Blais who was the inspiration for his dish.”
Really? You think that’s gonna do it as far as apologies go?
Blais says he can work with any protein he’s a chef, he’s more about the relationship. He guesses that Angelo can’t be in his right mind having just been eliminated and picks Fabio (snapper); Carla picks Tre (red grouper), Black Tiff picks white shrimp, oh and Marcel; Antonia takes Spike and “his crabs”, Dale takes Angelo (amberjack. A fish the size of Chicago.)

15 minute planning session-
Slimer learns White Tiff lived in New Orleans for two years and steals, oh I’m sorry, uses her idea to coat the shrimp in grits.
Angelo tells Dale he’s going to win and he’s “in” Blais’ head. (Spot on in not picking Angelo, Blais. He’s is up to his old manipulation tactics. And up to his eyeballs in used crack pipes! Look for ‘em on eBay!) Tre was tired (as usual) and NO help. He just sat there and lazily said he wasn’t familiar with every idea Carla had, including tomatoes and cucumbers with vinegar.
Tre: “I don’t know that.”
Carla Cosby wanted Tre because he’s from Texas and she thought he understood Southern food but apparently Tre grew up in the city and has no knowledge of anything.
Carla (to Black Tiffany as she points to Tre): “…you can have him.”
Marcel: “I think she’s gonna keep her white shrimp.”
Heeeey! The Hedgehog made a funny! They all laugh then Carla: (To Camera, big eyes over glasses) “Seriously, I mean, can we take your NAACP card?”
At this point I get a text from Colucci but I can’t answer it because I’m too busy looking for own NAACP card. Might have to go Mattapan tomorrow…

Shopping!
$200 & 30 minutes at Restaurant Depo where you can buy tartar sauce in a jar the size of a Buick! Fabio tells Blais he loves him and he reminds him of his ex-wife.
Hold up, Fab was married before his current wife?!
Fabio has no problem learning to love again?
Perhaps after some sort of tragedy?
Like his current wife expiring due to an accidental poisoning?
CUT TO- me with a glimmer of hope in my eye as I shop online for a vat of d-Con.

$500 at Whole Foods!
Punchy Dale and Angelo sprint about the store- it’s a match made in heaven! Slimer and White Tiff crack open beers and drink as they shop (wth?) Carla sports a long vest perhaps made out of the net that caught the grouper she will prepare tomorrow.

At the TC condo, Blais and Slimer are seated next to each other but they don’t speak. Slimer (to Camera): “Blais has his head down it’s like whatever, whatever. Pisses me off, it’s like, come on, grow up already. If you’re gonna win be a f**king winner, if you’re gonna lose go in the corner!”
Yeah, that makes sense. Get mad at Blais for not talking to you because you Stole His Dish. That’s brilliant.
You know who you’re really mad at, Slimer, aside from Nabisco for making the Mallomars that line your bulbous gut and two of your three chins? Your Self.
You’re mad at yourself because you’re a gd THIEF, Dood!
And on national cable television! Annnnd you’re cocky about it!
(As Carla says sorry to Antonia for not plating two dishes during the QuickFire, Slimer says ‘Thanks for the 5 Gs, Antonia.” and laughs as Blais sits next to him!)
Moments later in a bedroom, Antonia speaks to Black Tiff and Carla and explains (girl’s sleepover style) that Blais had that exact dish in his book and when Slimer asked, he answered: “Oh, it’s my idea of doing chicken oyster on an oyster shell.”
WHOA- it’s even more blatant than I thought!!!
Carla Cos and Black Tiff are aghast.
Carla: “There is man law and there is chef law. You don’t take another man’s idea.”
That’s a line right out of Mr. Cosby’s mouth himself. Just before he sang a Ray Charles song and did a dance like he was constipated.

In the Kitchen – Marcel tells Black Tiff over and over and over to use the heads of the shrimp to flavor it. No one is listening, a**.
Finally Black Tiff says she’s more concerned about having enough food for 300 people. Punchy Dale says if anyone can slap Marcel down it’s 5’ 10” Black Tiff (she’s 5-10? Lordy.) But then Punchy is punchy about the kitchen being full and there not being enough burners. Um, were you hear at the beginning of the season, Punch, when there were even more chefs? Cause I don’t recall Pads saying- as an extra challenge, we’re removing some of the GE ovens and stovetops.

At the Puck Building -
They scramble for 30 minutes. Carla decides not to make cornbread a part of her dish and says redemption is slipping away. She waves to goodbye it. Then the diners show up. All of the diners in America. And Colicchio, Paula Deen, John Edwards Besh, and Pads in a long hunter green tank gown that has an inconsistent pattern of red “tears” that looks as if she’s bleeding out before our eyes. Or going to a Christmas pageant where she will bleed out next to a choir singing Edelweiss.

Slimer puts up his grit-crusted Gulf shrimp, sour cream & chive potatoes with pork & lobster sauce. John says it hit the nail on the head. Colicchio says the flavors are all there. Then Slimer steals all of their wallets.

The Judge’s loved Blais’ crispy gulf snapper with pulled pork and citrus grits (citrus grits sound goooood! They also sound a little bit like circus grits! OMG I’m gonna make grits with Cracker Jacks in them! Don’t bite that…until I put a plate in front of you, Har!) Former Top Chef Master contestants Jonathan Waxman, David Burke and Carmen Gonzalez liked the grits but didn’t know if it worked “there.” When do grits not work? I mean, honestly, grits are the effing bomb. Sheet it’s 1:23am, can I? No, no, I can’t make grits now. That’s ridiculous. Oooo, I can have chocolate sorbet and an olive oil torta though…

Punchy and Angelo decide to stop the line because they don’t have any food on the table. Punchy can’t seem to coordinate the process of sautéing the veggies and re-seasoning and thickening whatever brown stew he’s concocting. Angelo tells him it’s right there (like that dragon he’s always chasing.)
When the Judges arrive Punchy stammers and looks pale as he describes his amberjack stew with Andouille sausage and potatoes and a Creole mustard crouton. Here’s how the presentation ends:
Punchy: “…and some, um, onions…”
Pads: “Thank you, Dale.”
Punchy doesn’t think the potatoes are cooked all the way and they aren’t. Pads doesn’t like. Paula thinks the stew is okay but Colicchio is not impressed at all and John says once you eat the mustard crouton it’s just mustard. “It’s all over.”

In the middle of service, Black Tiff runs out of honey glaze. She tells Marcel how to make it but doesn’t have time to taste it.
Pardon?
Her honey glazed shrimp, grits with jalapeno & cheese and shellfish sauce looks good in the bowl. John liked the glaze but the shrimp is overcooked. Colicchio hates the glaze and says it’s all he can taste.

Carla Cos is all smlles and Hooty Hoos but her fried grouper with collard greens and chow-chow pico (I believe this is a relish with sausage) gets a weird look from Colicchio. Paula doesn’t like the collard greens (you Cannot serve the Southern Queen bad collards, ya’ll.) Colicchio says there’s too much hot sauce and the diners (oh no!) actually come back and tell Cos her dish is not their favorite.

Antonia’s blue crab cake, corn, jalapeno, and Andouille relish with crab broth looks adorable in a little bowl. It was a great dish and sauce. No complaints!

Six chefs left. That means three on top and three on the bottom. No hiding as Carla Cos says. She also says she could go home on a Southern cooking challenge. “Me too,” says Black Tiffany.
In the Stew Room, Pads’ dress bleeds for Antonia, Blais and Slimer. They have their favorite dishes!
(Another showdown between Slimer and Blais?!)
The one dish that set it all apart according to John Edwards Besh was…
Blais!
YAY! Good for you, you deserve it after the theft!
Blais wins a six-night trip to Barbados. He says he’s going to invite Fabio with his family- Awwww! Hey can we see that as a spin-off ep, Bravo, please? Hello? It might stop me from sending hateremails about never airing Fabio’s reality series.
Just sayin’.

As the bottom three go to be judged, we see a preview of what life would be like living with Slimer in the Stew Room. He sits next to Antonia. She asks if he’s going to burp. Or fart. Or flick a booger (not a boorger) on her. If he is, she will move. Without a word, Slimer burps. She shakes her head.

At Judge’s Table, Black Tiff, Carla Cosby and Punchy Dale take their places.
Turns out Black Tiff didn’t do the shrimp and Marcel overcooked it. John said that made it mealy and he knew “she didn’t cook them…” Black Tiff (cuts him off and states the truth): “It’s still my dish.” Good for you for taking responsibility. And not singing about it.
Then Paula (with her light, sweet accent): “I love heads on shrimp cause I know I’m gonna be sucking that head.” (No she didn’t. Okay, can someone please, please send me the other footage of the people in the room at this moment? There’s No Way Colicchio didn’t raise his eyebrows to the back of his head on that comment.) Paula says the sweetness of the dish threw her.
Punchy, again knowing how it works, is immediately apologetic. He says he knew the potatoes were raw. Colicchio says he should have held the line and had them wait. Punchy admits he was in the weeds (and also that Angelo was prolly smoking weed.) John Edwards Besh says you couldn’t taste the amberjack because of everything else that happened.
Carla admits she was under pressure and Colicchio says the mustard and hot sauce killed it. Paula says none of Carla’s dish made any sense to her. Cos teared up: “I get it.”

When they were called back, Colicchio says they were supposed to honor the fish and didn’t. (That’s what she said.)
And so…
Dale was asked to pack his knives and go!
YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!
(My voice is gone. Seriously. Oh and now my neighbor is up. Fine, I don’t like that kid anyway.)

To Camera, Punchy Dale takes off his glasses, sighs and wipes away tears.
Awww, now I feel bad.
Punchy hugs everyone, smiles and thanks everyone.
He says (To Camera) the first time he was on Top Chef he didn’t like himself very much so he didn’t like other people. But he knew now that he was leaving a better person and a better chef.
Listen, Punchy is a great Chef. I really do think so. And if someone had picked him I’d be more upset about him going. But Punchy leaving means one of you wins. Even though you may recall, last week, Tiger Dad said he wasn’t one of those parents who says: ‘we’re all winners. Eff that…who the eff said losing is okay?’
We do, Punch.
You’ll be just fine.
Unless you decide to go overseas and have that controversial quadruple arm grafting surgery that will allow you to punch more people more rapidly than ever!

Next Week-Pads is in the house! LITrally. And we get to see the chef’s family. I’m imagining Black Tiff and her Mom will do some sort of duet.
Seacrest Out!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

“Me just kindof throw stuff in bowl and mix and hope for best.”

What’s good, Poolers! Let’s begin with some insight from Logue, shall we?
“I think that Blais and Carla will be eliminated soon. Both of them are featured in my Food & Wine that just arrived. Carla says that if someone were to play her in a movie, it would be Tracee Ellis Ross, the daughter of Diana Ross. She also swears by Pantene products and a good vent brush. F&W seems to be turning into People with recipes.”
I met Karen though Q (Q!) and advise all of you to friend her on FB because her observations are astutely hilarious. Also she makes a mean Jacques Pepin Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce, hollllah!

At the top of the ep, Blais wishes Fabio had consulted with him about his boorger (I like your spelling better, Colanto) because he runs a burger restaurant. If he had, he would “probably still be here.”
I caught the end of last week’s episode and I hated having to watch Fabio leave all over again.
Let me ask you this- How can the Sonic Hedgehog (Marcel) get a show on SyFy (did I really just spell it that way?) and Fabio not have any show anywhere?!
How does Russell Simmons’ Ex, Kimora Lee Simmons still have a show? In fact her show is called Life In The Fab Lane! Fab should sue her!!! (It worked for Spike Lee and Spike TV!) Sheet, just cause Kimora bedded with Djimon Hounsou and had an adorable baby boy she gets an extra season?
We all know Djimon is Not doing Calvin Klein underwear ads anymore- he is Not going to have the money to support her disposable diamond studded toothpick habits!
And the name of her clothing company is Baby Phat. I don’t understand how this is still relevant! Can we at least get Michelle Obama to promote an initiative to change this? Fabio would never bestow such dated doo doos on us, Never!
Thank you for letting me vent.

At the “bar” (hey, the motorbike is still outsi-aww, that’s the same shot from last week!) the ‘magnificent seven’ –Punchy Dale with a drink drink (again) toasts each other. He says he wants the championship belt and he isn’t like the new school parents who say ‘we’re all winners. Eff that…who the eff said losing is okay? Like, in what country is that cool?!”
Um, in this country Dickmobile, where you friggin lose graciously, learn something and then come back with your own TV series and a lawsuit against Kimora Lee Simmons! Excuse me while I weep for this Tiger Dad-to-be’s non-punchy newborn.

In the TC All Star Kitchen, Padma, in a ponytail and bright floral print tank dress gathered on the side says they’re on their way. Everything is A-OK.
Punchy looks irritated.
Pads: “Can you tell me how to get to—“
SESAME STREET!
Tully (the purple-ish monster who should feel lucky to be included cause, honestly, as far as Muppets go he’s the Alan Alda of them) and Cookie Monster and Elmo pop up from behind a counter!
Yay!
Carla is thrilled because she is a human Muppet descended from Big Bird and Bill Cosby.

Blais: “Elmo is like Elvis…”
Yes, you’re correct, Sir. And you know what? There should be an Elmis Muppet. A slightly older Fonzie version of Elmo for tweens. Come on, you know tweens rule the world. Tweens and Beiber fans. (btw, Congrats Esperanza Spalding! You beat out Beiber to get the Best New Artist Grammy! Those tweens might be mad at you but there are a bunch of older folk who appreciate great music and lyrics and own bars that will buy you drinks for the rest of your life as soon as you turn 21!)

The QuickFire Challenge
The chef’s had to make-
Cookie Monster: “Cooooooooooookie!”
Elmo: “Calm down, Cookie.”
Cookie Monster continued to interrupt adorably until Pads tells them to make the best version of a cookie they can. She says the winner will take home $5,000!
Elmo asks for a cookie with zucchini and carrots to provide the vegetable counter-part to Cookie’s fructose injected ramblings.

45 Minutes Starts Now!
Tully yells: “…ruuuuun, run and make cookies now!”
Poor Tully. It’s all he can hope for since he’s on screen with Cookie Monster. See, Elmo is already playing the quiet/high voice type; Cookie has the lower/louder register;Tully doesn’t know where he fits in so ultimately he has to yell. You will not gain fans this way, Tull.
Cookie Monster: “She’s weighing the butter? Me just kindof throw stuff in bowl and mix and hope for best.”
YAY! Cookie is our verbal Fabio substitute!
Not as sexy but I did mention I kind of fall for the angry types…

Antonia goes for a chocolate cookie; Tiffany, shortbread; Blais uses liquid nitro and makes an ice cream cookie with zucchini.
Slimer is nervous. Punchy Dale thinks it’s funny that someone who eats so many cookies is having trouble making one. Then Punchy puts potato chips in a food processor.
Tully: “Dale! No potato chips in the cookies!”
Punchy says he’s been heckled by a lot of people but never anyone from Sesame Street and wonders what the correct response is. Dale: “…you can’t really curse at them.”
Sure you can, Punchy. You can curse and then punch them.
Do it.
Sure you’d be punching a fist so the chances of you getting punched back are pretty high, but I would LOVE to see the kind of press you’d get as someone who punched out a Muppet.
Career over.
Do it.
Then pack your angry suitcases and get the eff outta my Pool!

2 minutes 57 seconds!
Cookie Monster begins to eat the tablecloth! Antonia’s cookies look like cow patties! PAUSE MOMENT! Elmo looks as if he is hitting on Pads, proving that even though his voice is high, he is, in fact, a boy puppet with a puppet penis.
TIME!
Cookie no like Blais and Angelo’s cookies.
Faves: Punchy Dale and Antonia!
The winner after the Muppet huddle?
Punchy Dale.
Come…on! At least Dale doesn’t get immunity…

The Elimination Challenge
At midnight they get three hours to raid Target and create a dish for 100 employees. The winner gets $25,000!
Pads does a commercial on the spot and explains that Target has an expanded store so they’d find all the fresh produce they’d need. (I question the use of that word, fresh.)
She tells them to leave their knives…whoa, the way they package that sh*t these days these chefs are gonna spend some precious time opening boxes and plastic packs. I bought a knife for My Mama from Bed, Bath and Beyond and I Needed a knife to open it!

Midnight - 3 Hours Until Service!
They run through the aisles of the empty store grabbing everything- small appliances, grill pans, pots, cutting boards, baskets- baskets? There are no open flames so hot plates ahoy!
Tiffany and Punchy Dale are in the canned goods aisle at the same time. As they both grab tomatoes, Tiffany: (sing-songy) “You making PaaaaSTaaa?”
Punchy doesn’t even look at her.
Punchy Dale (to Camera): “Tiffany made it this far without a single win. And she’s a little goofy. And a little loud. (imitating her) ‘I’m from Beaumont! I’m from Beaumont!’ She’s starting to get on my nerves.”
Hey, what’s that you have in your hand if you clench it, Dale?
Oh snap, it’s a FIST- Punch Her! Eliminate yourself!

Antonia grabs a toaster oven, a blender and a waffle iron, yet she still doesn’t know what she’s cooking. Angelo and Slimer help each other shop. They’ve decided to get each other to the finals. (When did this happen?) Slimer says they’ll be friends for the rest of their lives and also mentions he’s out of shape as he sweats and does a sort of light jog while everyone else sprints about the aisles. Angelo, sporting white shoes, black knee socks and shorts, scurries like Rikki Tikki Tavi.
http://www.spike.com/video/rikki-tikki-tavi/2804454
If Slimer spends more time with Angelo in the future, I predict he’ll be slimmer in no time. That’s what heron does to you…

2 Hours Left!
Carla Cosby shops for linens and utensils to dress her table, essentially wearing her caterers hat -most likely made of straw with a whole in the top so her hair can poke out, instead of her chef’s hat.
Blais is the first to start cooking his corn pancake and seared pork tenderloin on the tables set up in the aisles. Slimer asks Angelo if he has salt and a peeler for him. Dood. Angelo throws it on his table. This marriage is going sour.
Tiffany is able to pick out a cap for herself and wears it as she uses Creole spice mix from the shelf to make her spin off of jambalaya. Carla Cos finally gets to the food aisle to shop- WTH?!

An hour and a half left!
Punchy Dale channels his college days and makes a grilled cheese using an iron to press it and tomato soup. Sounds like a losing dish to me. Also, if you used spray starch on that iron and then you made sammys with it? Well, I think I may know why you’re punchy, you’re fulla chemicals Dood! He notes that the girls all have centerpieces and flowers on their tables. Soooo Dale has no decoration and he’s ironing a grill cheese like an inmate. GA-HETTO.
Exhausted, Carla Cos arrives at her station and sets up her table. (This is why I can’t shop at stores as big as Target without a list.) Blais is concerned she won’t be able to develop flavors in her soup in that time.
Angelo lets Slimer taste his potato soup. Slimer thinks it’s missing something so Angelo adds salt and bacon.
Hmmm…it appears everyone is making…soup. Antonia does not think soup will win any of them $25,000.

Nine Minutes Left!
Thomas O’Brien, the lead designer at Target, dresses a long table for the Judge’s. Angelo is worried about the saltiness of his soup. Slimer runs to get a ladle- TIME!

3am - 100 hungry Target employees in red shirts march down the aisles and the Judge’s arrive. Bourdain (who mentions he’s going straight from Judges’ Table to a parent-teacher’s conference. Now THERE’S a reality show I wanna see!) Colicchio and Pads (in a black tank and gray jeans), designer Thomas O’Brien and Guest Judge Ming Tsai, smarmy Chef/Owner of Blue Ginger in Wellesley (and last season’s Next Iron Chef Losah!!)

Blais’ pork tenderloin with green chilies, apples, braised pork ribs and corn pancakes is well seasoned. Bourdain says it was butt ugly but delicious and compares the look of the sauce to “parrot shit.” Dayum.
Colicchio gives a hairy eyeball to Punchy’s “simple version” of spiced tomato soup with a rib eye grilled cheese sandwich floating in it. Ming thinks it’s brilliant using an iron and says maybe Dale is trying to become…an Iron Chef. Bourdain make a thank-God-you-didn’t-win-you’re-never-gonna-get-your-own-show-with-quips-like-whew-my-place-in-culinary-history-is-totally-secure face.

Carla Cos’ curry apple soup with tomato ginger jam and cucumber slaw was screaming for protein.
Antonia’s Parmesan eggs on garlic crostini with almond, tomato and apple salad was called a “ballsy offering.”

In the Quickfire, Pads observed that Tiffany served coconut milk with her cookies and told the Muppets it was great for your skin. I agree wholeheartedly, Pads!. (I think I’ve made it known that my goal is to smell like coconut. I love coconut oil, coconut water and coconut milk for hydration, hair and skin.) Apparently Pads takes this as seriously as I do, for when Slimer presents spicy “fresh” coconut soup with mushrooms, scallions and lime…
Pads: “You found fresh coconuts here?”
Slimer: “No, I found coconut milk.”
Pads: (not blinking) “Then it’s Not Fresh Coconut Milk.”
Slimer: “You’re right.”
COCONUT MILK IN A CAN SLAM!
Pads had one taste and it was enough.

Tiffany, who is now making me think I should have nicknamed her Sing Songy, presents her jambalaya with chicken, sausage, shrimp and a summer salad.
Bourdain finds the chicken rubbery and soggy. The designer says there was something ‘not special’ about it. Yet his shirt and square glasses are? You’re a designer- kill the rock-a-billy look and try to make a different statement. Evolve.
Angelo’s basked potato soup with bacon, sour cream, potato skins, scallions and cheddar cheese garnished with broccoli and scallions was too heavy and too salty. Another one taste wonder.

Now, here’s my question- do you cut someone for making a not so great dish that had a protein and keep Dale who basically made a grilled cheese with steak and tomato soup? Or do you cut Carla for just having a soup that was good but needed a protein…?
The possibilities abound!

In the Stew Room Pads asks to see Dale, Antonia and Richard.
They had…
the top dishes. Oh maaaaaan…
Blais is the only one who cooked a protein two ways. Antonia is told her egg was an audacious move. Colicchio really enjoyed Dale’s soup (come on! That’s a function of everyone else crapping the bed and The Producer’s feeling like they needed to have three people!)

And the winner is…
Dale???!!!!
He wins $25,000 making a grilled cheese with an iron!?!
Foul dude.
Foul.
30k in one ep? You know this is going right to his punchy a** head.

Then they ask to see Carla Cos, Tiffany and Angelo…
Oh boy…
Carla’s soup was one-dimensional and needed a protein. Angelo’s soup was too salty and also very rich. Bourdain says the prepared dried spice mix (Creole seasoning that Tiffany practically did a commercial for- smiling as she sold it) should Not have been used.
Pads says one of them is going home and asks if anyone has any final words before they make their decision.
Angelo shakes his head, No. Carla Cos grins and bears it.
Then-
Suddenly, Tiffany (cries and sings at the same time): “WeeeEEELL, I just have a few words to say.”
Pause. Colicchio has a little smirk.
“I’m from Beaumont, Texas a rEEEEL small citay. Annnnnnnd, there’s a lot of times you can’t dreeeeeam big enough...”
Pads shakes her head ‘yes’ subtly, Colicchio smirks more.
“…you know…like it’s…”
She uses her hands to illustrate distance.
“…everything’s sooooo far away annnnd I’m just really happy so whatever decision you make,”
She wipes her face full of tears and turns away.
“I’m not doing this today…”
(Um, methinks you are.) She turns back to the Table
“…whatever decision you make it has been an ONor to work with allll of you guys I PROMise.”
Tiffany does not get the Chef Academy Award for this performance.
Pads dismissed them.

In the Stew Room, as soon as they enter and before anyone can ask, Carla Cosby gestures back to Tiffany and says: “Beaumont cried again.”
HA HAAAAAAAA! CLASSIC!
Dood! I’d like to die!
That has to be the hands down funniest line ever!
Then Tiffany cries as she tells them what they said. Angelo is sure he’s going home. Slimer is not.

When they’re called back, everyone looks teary. Pads asks…Angelo?!
Really???!!!!
Tiffany (looks away): “Oh my gosh…”
He thanks them all and shakes their hands and (To Camera) admits he’s mentally fried. Pads looks teary.
When they get back to the Stew Room Slimer is flabbergasted.
Slimer: “What?! You?!”
Choked up, Angelo tells the chefs they pushed his limits and made him define himself as an individual. They all hug and he says he misses his son (yeah, right, I think this is the second time you mentioned him?) and that he never gives up and walks out of our lives.
Wow.
And so, I must ask Ellie, Nikki M., Daisy and Martha P. to pack their knives and go.
Holy Crap.
I gotta say, I don’t get it.
Tiffany’s sing songy speech worked?
Last ep, Punchy Dale made a steak and cheese on a salty pretzel bun with salty hot sauce and a side of salt and he got to stay but this ep Angelo does the same thing and gets sent home?!
Man, I gotta give it to Angelo, for all the trash I talked about this Dood, I really do think he can cook.
And I really did think he was going to go all the way…
to the corner for some crills! Get that rock, Crackilo!

Next week- OMG Jesus Lives! FABIO’S BACK!!!!

And in three weeks- Guest Blobber COLUCCI! Your month has just been made, yo.


TOP CHEF ALL STARS

COLUCCI Blais and Carla Cosby

LB Antonia

KAT Black Tiff and Carla Cosby

STRIPES Blais and Antonia

Q Black Tiff

COLANTO Blais

LUCY Blais

BROWNIE Michael

HOLLY F. Blais

KRISTEN K. Blais

GBAG Carla Cosby

CC Blais

JET Blais

DOWD Blais

LOGUE Blais

RUBY Black Tiff

Thursday, February 10, 2011

“Mortadella for the booger, baby”

Hi Doods!
I’m super excited about this ep cause I know you’ve all been thinking about Punchy Dale going home so someone can get paid, yo! Tonight, it shall occur!
At the top of the ep, we’re back in the bar. Hey look, there’s a motorbike outside. Now you know that sheet is staged, that bike isn’t chained to anything! This is not Japan where you borrow someone’s bike and leave a note and return it the next day. This is NYC where you go back and your bike is missing along with the sign it was chained too AND the fire hydrant (this comes from someone who has a fifteen pound metal ‘Do Not Dump- Drains to Boston Harbor’ grate by her front door.)

At the bar everyone drinks- wait- tea and coffee? Everyone except Slimer and Punchy Dale who is still shamed by his weak performance. Flashback! At Judge’s Table, one of Lorraine Bracco’s faces tells Punchy Dale his dish was bland. Perhaps Punchy will drink so much he’ll be Punchy Punch Drunk, blow up at Padma, dive for her chestal region and be sent home! Yay!
Meanwhile, Fabio to Antonia: “Can you walk me through your mussel?”
[YOUR TURN! Fill in my reply to Fabio! Write it below or on my FB page, operators are standing by!]
Seriously, Fabio wants Antonia to explain how her dish of mussels with fennel was Italian since “you don’t serve fennel with mussels in Italy.” Slimer joins in on the criticism. Antonia remarks he’s the only one who didn’t say Congratulations. Um, it’s a competition, honey, you’re lucky someone hasn’t stabbed you in the back by giving you sugar instead of salt or worse, LITrally stabbed you in the back! Everyone has their own knives!

In the TC All Star kitchen the next morn, the chefs find Padma in a lovely black silk ruffled v-neck blouse, black pants and heels (classy broad) and rows of fondue pots.
Fabio: “Fundue is a pot of boiling something. You cook it in. Or you just flavor with it. And you eat it out of a stick." (No comment.)
Pads tells them this isn't the seventies (though you can tell Slimer is envisioning her with afro puffs) and doesn’t want bananas dipped in chocolate and to look around for the Guest Judge.
Carla Cosby and Antonia’s heads swivel- Surprise, it’s the other chefs! They can’t vote for themselves and there’s no immunity but the winner gets a three-day trip to Napa Valley!
When I was little, I thought this was joke about the back of your head where the naps were.

30 Minutes start NOW!
Punchy Dale draws flavors and punches from Southeast Asia, Fabio makes bilini with caviar, Tiffany doesn’t recall there being fondue down south. I’m pretty sure to this day anyone who says the word ‘fondue’ in a state lower than West Virginia is skewered and thrown in boiling liquid, ironically, like fondue.

11 minutes 15 seconds!
Slimer finishes a feta and sliced lamb kabob; Angelo sweats like a crack whore -he wants to show the chefs he is “someone of diversity” so makes an endive salad you dip in cheese and follow with a pickled beet juice shooter. Pardon?
Time!
Pads pours everyone a glass of white wine, they toast and stick each other’s forks into their pots.
Also they eat each other’s fondue, Ba Dump Bump!
(That’s a rim shot.)
After everyone rates a high and low dish, Fabio, Tiffany and Slimer have the least faves. Top Three: Antonia, Dale and Angelo. Blais chews a hole through his own cheek and says they wouldn’t pick his chocolate and banana fondue (the exact dish Pads told them not to make) because stylistically everyone is scared of him. Or maybe they just think if they eat too much of his food they'll end up rocking the same crooked mouth.
According to votes the winner is- Punchy Dale!
Punchy Dale?
Sheeeeet! Listen, it's not that I don't think Punchy is talented, I just think he's Punchy so of course I didn't pick him. No one did! But I guess I better start buying stamps to return your cheddar now…

The Elimination Challenge
They jump into their product placement autos and arrive at 30 Rock. They walk the halls, getting close to a door that says…Dr. Oz! Yes! Bring Dale there! Have Dr. Oz intervene about his desire to punch! Rattle him so that he flips out and hits- oh, that’s right, they’re going to the Jimmy Fallon show.

I’d put an exclamation point at he end of that sentence but I’m not into Fallon that much. I mean, The Roots are dope. And ‘Slow Jam The News’ is pretty funny, especially when Brian Williams joins in; but I find Fallon a better actor with material written for him than a host. Perhaps this is why he’s here, to change our minds? Yawn.

Turns out the chefs are going to play ‘Cellphone Shootout.’ They have to use their cell phone cameras to snap a photo of images that go by on a big screen very fast. Whatever they have a photo of they have to cook for Jimmy’s birthday lunch. Oh and as the images are flashing by Jimmy yells ‘Shoot!’
Lame Village.
Antonia gets beef tongue, Fabio, hamburger & fries. Fabio: “I never done a booger. Booger. Burger. I can’t even pronounce that.” (Can I smile any harder at this man? My lip is cracking.)
Angelo – pulled pork, Blais- ramen, Punchy Dale- Philly cheese steak, Tiffany – chicken and dumplings, Carla Cos- chicken potpie. Carla dances and jumps up and down like she won the fridge on the Price Is Right (no, a titty did not pop out.) She’s thrilled because just the other night she was telling Antonia and Tiffany about making chicken potpie. I used to love potpies growing up. We could never afford the ones with the crust on the bottom though...

The chefs are told they must shop that day and cook at Colicchio & Son’s restaurant the next afternoon. Also that Jimmy hates mushrooms, mayonnaise and eggplant, and his whole family will be in attendance. (Maybe they’ll be funnier.)

At Whole Foods Carla thinks if she wins she’ll be known as a force to be reckoned with. Fab has never made a burger and is going a meatball-ish route. He grabs cheese: “Mortadella for the booger, baby.”
(Excuse me while I speak to Fabio for a moment, please) Fab, my love, you’ve never made a burger? Really? You’re a chef! Are you kidding me?! I was making boogers, excuse me, burgers when I was eight! Man, I would scold the eff outta you but you’re so goddamn cute it would end up like that Warner Brother’s cartoon where the dog wags his finger at the little kitten that he loves and the kitten bats its little paws at the finger and the dog hugs it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pccO1RBJZL8
(3:28 in)
Except in this case I would hug you and pork you. And I’m not talking about meat.

In Colicchio’s kitchen (that reads: Est. 2010- that’s Top Chef money, yo!), Antonia cuts the tip off the beef tongue. Now, excuse me if I’ve told you this story before but just before I hit my teens, I LOVED beef tongue (also, as I’m sure I’ve made it known: knockwurst, liverwurst and liver and onions.)
Well one day My Mama says, get the beef tongue out the fridge so I can cook it. I did and as I reach in and turn this thing around I realize I’m actually holding a cow’s tongue. I had never seen it in its original state before. But even prior, I just never put it together. When face to face with an actual seven-pound tongue that still has hairs and bumps on its pink surface, well, it was a wrap. I handed her that tongue and never ate another bite.

Antonia asks and Blais suggests she use a pressure cooker on the tongue because it usually takes 4-5 hours to cook. Slimer doesn’t like that Blais helps everyone out. He says they go to him and then they end up in the winner’s circle. But then Slimer asks Angelo what he thinks of his sauce! C’mon son!

One hour 16 minutes!
Tiffany does a southwestern chicken and dumpling but the broth looks like, a broth; Fabio is not sure about his “booger” and Carla Cos has never made a potpie in two hours. Punchy Dale doesn’t think she’ll make it.
The Judge’s (no Bourdain?! Dayum!) join Jimmy Fallon and his parents, wife, sister, one of the head writers from the show, the announcer and Jimmy’s in-laws. Pads wears a lovely short floral dress, Gail Simmons is back and in need of a v-neck top, and Colicchio’s jazz patch has doubled in devil-triangle size.

Time!
Antonia’s beef tongue on pumpernickel rye with caramelized onions and dill slaw was a hit. The head writer said she “licked the challenge” See what I mean? If this is a commercial for Fallon’s show it’s already failed.
Fabio’s chuck, brisket and short rib meat booger with homemade pickle, cucumber and cheeses on the side (so you can add it if you want because "I don't know, it's a booger") was liked by a few but some thought it was too much like meat loaf and Colicchio didn’t like the cheese sauce.

Blais (to Camera) wonders if his dish is Blais’ enough- (ugh, don’t turn into LeBron talking about LeBron, dood) and presents his ramen noodles with seared pork belly duck legs and duck egg. Fallon says he expected lasers and smoke from Blais. He wanted a home run and this is a bunt. Ouch.
Tiffany’s chicken and dumplings with poblano chilies, roasted red peppers and cilantro and lime is a little too spicy and underwhelming.

Carla Cos got applause (that rhymed) for her chicken potpie just by saying she made it. It has carrots celery, pea salt (pea salt?) and herbs. Colicchio is too busy eating Carla’s potpie to comment on it. Carla says (to Camera) it’s the bomb-diggety. Meanwhile the members of the R&B group Blackstreet who sang the song “No Diggity” roll over in their gravely worn mattresses before slogging to their day jobs at IHOP and wondering what happened to all their royalties.
Punchy Dale’s Philly cheese steak on a pretzel roll (anything on a pretzel roll, btw, is good. You can have awful sex and end it with a pretzel roll and be satisfied) with hot sauce, onions and cheddar cheese sauce had too much salt. Punch Out!
Angelo asks the waiters to be gentle with his pulled pork sammy made with a coffee, allspice and chipotle rub (yummm!) with ketchup, vinegar brown sugar and slaw (my God, I just drooled all over my craptop) is a homerun.
Slimer calls his sausage & shaved peppers onions garlic fennel and paprika “Fenway style” (hey, don’t try to use my ballpark and btw Fallon is NOT from Boston, he just made a movie pretending to be a Boston fan. Besides, we know your slimy a** loves the Mets.) Slimer's food looks like vomit in a black baking dish but Fallon’s announcer “loves Mike’s sausage.”
Yep, all the jokes at the table were like that: corny and prolly funnier delivered by a two year old with a doo doo diaper, which is why I haven’t repeated any of them here.

At the end of the meal, the chefs bring out an ice cream cake with candles. Fallon is a little too excited. They didn’t make the ice cream cake, honey.
Fallon thanks them for everything and explains the winner will get a cooking segment on his show- UGH now I HAVE to watch your crappy program?

In the Stew Room, Pads asks to see Carla, Angelo and Antonia. Punchy has the jimmy leg and Blais runs his hands through his already standing hair.
At Judge’s Table Pads says the chefs have the best dishes!
Everyone sighs with relief.
Colicchio says coffee, dill and cilantro shouldn’t make sense but... Gail throws in that it was savory and came together well. Carla Cos says she put some of the crust on the bottom because… (and everyone agreed immediately) …it was their favorite thing ever. (See what I'msayin'?) Antonia admits she’s never cooked or eaten beef tongue before and then Antonia says they made up a beef tongue song and all three of them sing it. It's cute. They clap and Gail says it’s a Top Chef first guaranteeing that her comment is left in the final cut of the show (kinda tired of that phrase, TC Producers.)
But the winner is--- Carla Cosby!
She jumps up and down and thanks all the judges AND she gets a six-night trip to the Hilton Tokyo along with $5,000 for airfare HEY wait a minute, if it costs $7,298 she has to pay the difference?
Carla has just won her third challenge and her third trip AND she gets to be on Fallon's show! Get Theo to put potato chips on your cheese pizza Carla Cosby, you've earned it!

Then Judge’s ask to see Tiffany, Fabio and Punchy Dale.
YEAH PUNCHY! Go Home!
At Judge’s Table- Tiffany says she rolled her dumplings too thin and they should have been bigger. Fallon says he wanted dough and gravy.
From Fabio they wanted juicy (who doesn’t) and it was like meat loaf. Fabio: “Just beefa, I’m afraid it would have been dried out.” Colicchio says the worst was the cheddar cheese sauce because it turned grainy. Ew. That’s really bad.
Punchy Dale says he was spooked from last challenge and added too much salt. The combo of that and the salty hot sauce and the salty bread made Jimmy have to drink a keg of beer. (Yet still he was not funny?)
Fallon says he is a fan of all of them and he felt awful and was going to have to have a ton of drinks afterwards. And still not be funny.

When they were called back
Fabio NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
No.
Fabio was asked to pack his knives and go.

Fabio: “I love Jimmy Fallon. But the fact that he came on my show and sent me home that’s no good, Jimmy.”
Like a gentleman, a hot, olive-skinned, adorable accented gentleman, he shook everyone’s hand and told Jimmy not to cry because he was laughing. Then he said he (to Camera) was going to cook a “booger for Jimmy” and Jimmy “would go on his knee and beg for forgiveness because he sent him home.”
Man I know that ultimately you have to leave because no one picked you but Fabio…no!
Who will provide all the wonderful lines that I title these posts with? Who will make me want to learn Italian? Who will make my panties explode simply by saying: “…if I made it in this country in the way that I’m trying to do it, the road is there guys, I mean you should just go for it, I mean you really are the only shadow standing in your sunshine.”
Awww man I’m getting a little teary now. I love you, Fabio…you can walk through my mussel anytime...sigh.

Next week, Bourdain is back and Elmo and Cookie Monster are in the kitchen (Muppet distraction, YAY!)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

“I’m a chef, I don’t care about a fashion designer’s opinion. That means nothing to me.”

What up, yo! Before we get started, Jet made a fantastic observation:

"you know- all season during top chef: dc i kept wondering who pilly amanda reminded me of (http://rocknrollghost.com/2010/08/29/top-chef-exit-interview-with-amanda-baumgarten- she doesn't actually sound as much of a asshat in the interview, but she puts it back on once she passes on the cordon bleu question). anywho, as i watch the top chef: ny marathon today it hits me- LEAH! leah, was definitely a better chef than pills. but she still has that same "i can play a coquette but i cannot cook a croquette. why? because i don't know what that is....*bats eyelashes* won't you tell lil ol moi?". barf. leah farted around all season trying to get on hosea's junk (http://www.eonline.com/uberblog/marc_malkin/b99705_top_chefs_leah_what_really_happened.html). they're dead ringers for each other too. ugh."

I told Jet I accepted them as being one person. One whorey, annoying person.

Now, new ep, more snow. This is the third storm in one week here. One Week!
At this point if someone says there’s no such thing as Global Warming I’m going to push them into a snow bank. By the time they try to get up there’ll be a fifth storm and they’ll be smothered to death. I won’t even go to jail for that!
“The Snowstorm Defense.”
Hmmm, I just may turn into The Snowstorm Killer. If several of the kids who bullied me when I lived in Roxbury suddenly go missing…it’s a coincidence. A happy, vengeful coincidence…

Now on with the show! At the “bar” that’s lit like a WalMart, the remaining chefs drink and reminisce about Marcel.
Flashback to Colicchio saying Marcel made one of the worst desserts he’s ever eaten and Marcel calling out Slimer. As Slimer slimes about it, Antonia says she wants him gone. (But remember, Poolers, we need Dale or Fabio (sigh) to go home. Let’s all concentrate on that, okay?
And melting all the snow!
And on Tom Hardy being in my bed- ready, GO!

In the kitchen, Pads is in a tight bright pumpkin colored satin sleeveless number with (that’s odd) darts on the abdomen area, and sports one of her stand out necklaces that looks black beaded and tribal. Next to her is Issac Mizrahi psyched to be on a show with a woman who doesn’t require subtitles (Iman- I love you but I don’t know what you’re saying.) Mizrahi (which is fun to both say and spell) continues to prove that men need only pop their jacket collar to make whatever they’re wearing look three times better.
Angelo: “One of my biggest passions after food is fashion.” Really? Cause I’ve seen you wear nothing more than v-necks and thin thrift sweaters, with the exception of the t-shirts you wore in the finals last year. Those were dope. Also, stolen.

QuickFire Challenge
This one is all about inspiration. It’s Fashion Week in NYC, Issac is premiering his collection (I’d give his clothes a shot sight unseen over Michael Kors’ dowdy sheet. Plus I’m still ripped at that Vaseline lips for crowning Gretchen Project Runway winner!)
For this QF, Pads and Isaac would NOT taste dishes, they would judge on aesthetics only. AWESOME! The prize, immunity!

30 minutes!
Carla says she did runway in Paris and that led her to cooking. Hm, I didn’t realize they loved Bill Cosby that much in France. Blais made black ice cream (dope!) Antonia didn’t actually cook anything. She made a little tree out of a root vegetable and a landscape on a plate inspired by The Giving Tree. Trust me, it sounds better than it looks.
Fabio uses a marker to write something on his plate (sadly not his phone number) and put some fish down that he said was about a woman walking in the rain trying to dodge the drops. Okay.
Punchy Dale did a graffiti-inspired plate that Issac didn’t like at all. Dale: “I’m a chef, I don’t care about a fashion designer’s opinion. That means nothing to me.”
Punch him! Punch the waves out of Isaac’s hair so you can go home, Dale!
Angelo wrote the word crocodile (spelled wrong, btw) on his table and vacuum-sealed a bag of what Fabio called “vomit” on top of an upside down plate. Yeah. Then he told Isaac one of his favorite designers was Roberto Cavalli.
Isaac: “Allllright…”
Isaac called the writing on the table Charles Manson-ish.
Love him!
(Isaac, not Manson. I used to go for the angry types but I draw the line at murderers that carve swastikas into their foreheads.)
Least Faves: Dale, Tre and Angelo.
Faves: Fabio, Carla and Blais.
The winner that looked the ”most beautiful” and made Isaac want to grab a spoon was- Blais’! I gotta say, black ice cream is pretty dope. (It’s also the name of Natalie Portman’s next movie.)

Elimination Challenge
The chefs had to cook in a NYC restaurant that took no reservations. Tables are owned and passed down from generation to generation. Sooooo we gathered here for you to read my Nana’s will and tell me I get a seat at a restaurant? Is the food free?

In walks the two co-owners and the executive chef of Rao’s: Frankie Pellegrino, Frankie Junior and Dino The Chef.
Godfather references abound! Angelo is stumped but Fabio smiles and knows them immediately and he “love it.”
Rao’s is a 10 table Italian restaurant that’s 114 years old (whoa!) owned by Frankie No, a handsome, well-spoken man who charges them with cooking an Italian feast for him and his family.
Slimer, who is Italian, looks to the heavens. If he loses this, he’s garlic toast!
The chefs must use Frankie’s family history as inspiration for their dishes.
PAUSE MOMENT!
17 minutes in, the hair at Antonia’s temples is sticking straight out. I mean HORIZONTALLY On both sides!
Too much gel and not enough brushing? Or maybe that’s what happens when she gets excited? I bet the night she met her baby daddy her temple hair stood out four inches.

Each chef had to make one dish in a course and would be judged individually. The courses? Antipasto (app), primo (pasta), secondo (meat.) (I left my wallet in secondo once. I gotta get it.) The chefs pulled knives earlier which meant-
Antonia, Carla Cos & Tiffany would be making antipasto and chatting with Dino The Chef, who looks scary and scared simultaneously; Blais, Angelo & Fabio, primo with Frankie N; and Tre, Slimer, Punchy Dale & pasta with Junior a proud balding man who told them they use dry pasta for some dishes at Rao's.
They plan with the famiglia for 30 (Italian chefs, Fabio, Slimer and Antonia monopolizing the convo.)
Tre (to Camera): "People call me Black Italian."
You know what, Tre, I’m all set with you. You’ve been leaning on tables in the kitchen during Padma’s talks and you just look sleepy all the time. Why didn’t I go with the two Dales?!

2 Hours To Prep-
Slimer is going with fresh rigatoni “for the first time on Top Chef,” Antonia doesn’t want to disappoint her 100% Sicilian father and Tiffany says “I got this” because she worked in an Italian restaurant for five years. (Yeah but you work in a seafood restaurant now and you blew the fish prep QuickFire at Le Bernandin.)

In Rao’s Kitchen-
Carla Cos enjoys making the first course with Antonia and Tiffany because they “work so clean,” which makes me think the boy chefs put their fingers in their ears, noses and butts in between stirring and frying.
Then Tiffany’s polenta catches fire! Well, the paper underneath it did. Why is there paper underneath something going into an oven? Anyone? Chef Bueller?

In the dining room, the Judges arrive and include: a bartender, another co-owner and a manager of Rao’s (gangsta, LITrally), Anthony Bourdain (YAY!), Pads, Colicchio and Lorraine Bracco and her new face.
If I might talk to the Lady Poolers for a moment- I know most of you. I’ve seen most of you. As you get older I would still like to recognize you on the street. Please don’t do whatever Bracco’s manager/agent/bf/secret hater gf co-signed here that makes her eyes look like slits. Good gracious, you’re beautiful, Ladies. This type of activity will not preserve it.

Antipasti!
Carla intros minestrone soup with basil oll, tomatoes & homemade focaccia. Bourdain really likes it. The co-owner said she made a great soup but it was the kind you could find in Wisconsin. Ouch! Will some Bill Cosby look-alike be grasping her chef jacket in the heart area at Judges’ Table?
They love Tiffany’s warm polenta terrine with Italian sausage, roasted peppers & kale with tomato mozzarella salad polenta but, Colicchio: “only a non-Italian would call it Italian sausage.” The bartender: “bless Tiffany’s hands.” (He looks like he wants to bless something else, quiet as it’s kept.)
Bourdain says Antonia’s mussels and white wine with fennel, fresh garlic and parsley dish is confident and flavorful. Lorraine rubs her plate with bread and sticks it into the mouth of her mask.

Primo!
Punchy Dale’s fresh pasta, pancetta, Brussels sprouts, chanterelle mushrooms and pecorino romano would not get Punchy Dale laid if he was Lorraine’s bf. He cooked everything separately so there was no sauce! Zero. (Yes, Go Home!)
Tre’s grilled vegetable risotto, marinated tomatoes & fresh basil was not about the rice and it should have been. It looked gloppy on the plate. Bourdain said it was killed with garnish.
Slimer’s fresh pasta wasn’t cooked when he drained it! He was hoping it would cook in the sauce!
It did not. Thus his spicy calamari, rigatoni and tomato? Disaster.
Junior reminds the table he told his group of chefs they could use dried pasta. Bourdain cusses as he asks how three culinary professionals could eff up pasta: “This looks like something you’d find in a steam table at your worst enemies wedding.”
(Why would I go to my worst enemies’ wedding though? I mean, I wouldn’t think I’d be invited if we were enemies. And then I’d prolly be like- yeah, my enemy deserves this uncooked pasta. Then I’d steal a bottle of Merlot and make out with the guy who worked the coat check.)

In the Rao’s kitchen-
Angelo asks Fabio to taste his dish (to Camera) “I really want to honor the flavors and-“ Hey! Angelo is wearing that one nice t-shirt from the finals! Homeboy couldn’t find time to shop after last season? Prolly too busy getting those meth levels back up.

Blais calls Fab a magician for cooking his chicken in a pressure cooker in the last half hour. (I’m interested in watching Everything Fab does under pressure. Also, under me.)

Secondo!
Angelo’s sautéed pork chop, cherry peppers, green olives, tomatoes and pancetta should be simpler. The ingredients weren’t the star of the show.
Blais’ fresh pancetta cutlet (genius!) with panko bread crumbs served with broccolini, pickled cherry tomatoes is a favorite.
Fabio’s chicken cacciatora with red onion, oregano and capers and polenta with pecorino has the table 'ooing' and 'aahing.' Bourdain: “Fabio’s polenta wiped away the stain of the previous course. I feel better about the world now.“ Frankie No thanks everyone for coming and one of Lorraine’s faces.

Then…Pads asks to see Antonia, Carla, Fabio and Tiffany. Immediately Slimer says he can’t see he, Blais, Punchy and Angelo being in the bottom. (He also kept talking about how his rigatoni was al dente and he hoped they got that—it was Not Cooked, Slime, AND earlier he told Tiffany her dish wasn’t a traditional antipasti. Dood!)

Fabio, Tiffany, Antonia and Carla look nervous but-
They had the top dishes!
Tears stream down Tiffany’s face. Pads asks why and she says it was a rough one after last week. “It’s been a little up and down (sing songy voice in full effect) “but I’m here so that’s good.”
Lorraine’s face delivers the good news, the winner is Antonia!
Fabio is disappointed. “Antonia beat me with a bowl of steam mussel and fennel. It’s a French dish. So there something wrong with this picture.”
Oh honey. Bring your chicken here.

When Antonia walks into the Stew Room and tells the four guys she won, Slimer’s face falls.
Tre shakes his head.
No one says a word.
Zero.
Then, finally, Slimer claps (his mouth still open) and the others join in.
As Tre, Punchy and Slimer go in to find out their fate, Blais congratulates Antonia and she thanks him like ‘Yeah, right, someone should be congratulating me.’

At the Table- Slimer does the right thing and says his pasta was undercooked. Bourdain tells him if he used pasta out of the box he would not be standing there. Colicchio says the pasta was too yellow, with so much egg it may have never cooked.
Punchy Dale takes a page from Slimer’s book and is apologetic and says he rushed it. Lorraine says his dish was really bland. Punchy drops his head, eyes wet.
Tre starts by saying his risotto was cooked properly.
Oh boy, Tre.
Colicchio tells him when you spoon risotto on the plate it’s supposed to spread. Tre says he wasn’t taught that way.
Colicchio: “It’s not a risotto."
Tre did some smiling and tossing back of the head like ‘aww man.’ He did not take a page from anyone’s book and apologize. In fact he ripped up the page and put it in his risotto.
As they wait for Pads to deliver the news, Slimer closes his eyes. And then…
Tre gets the axe.
See what happens when you’re not contrite on reality teevee?

Tre makes a stern, glassy-eyed face and as he shakes Pads’ hand. Pads: “I’m sorry, Tre.” She looks teary.
WOW!
I don’t think I’ve ever heard Padma say sorry to someone. Maybe she woulda slept down if Tre wasn’t married?
Tre says it’s all good. Slimer hugs him: “Sorry brother.”
Tre says he thinks he kept his composure and he won a lot of knowledge and a lot of new friends. Tre, you’re stiff like your risotto. Once you learn how to relax and spread it’s a whole new ball game.

And so, Kemp, Jenna and I must pack our knives and go. Sigh.
Punchy is learning how to work the panel? Fabio in the top? I need one of you to win! We can’t let Punchy be rewarded for his punching! Now everyone please concentrate on him going home.
And Tom Hardy in my bed.
And Fabio too.
As Bourdain cooks for all of us.
Shirtless.
In 80 degree weather.
Whew, I’m gonna melt the snow my damn self after all that!
Next week- Jimmy Fallon. Jimmy Fallon? Is someone down in the ratings?

TOP CHEF ALL STARS

COLUCCI Blais and Carla Cosby

LB 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

ELLIE Angelo

GBAG Carla Cosby

NIKKI M. Angelo

DAISY Angelo

CC Blais

MARTHA P. Angelo

JET Blais and Angelo

DOWD Blais

LOGUE Blais

RUBY Black Tiff