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?
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!
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!’
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:
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.
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 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!)