We’re on episode 3 of the first ever TOP CHEF ALL STARS (minus Kevin Gillespie) season and it is a blood bath out there. This week: no immunity, double elimination, egos chopped left right and center and more.
Before I kick off I’d like to say that, for the first time ever, I watched this thing called “Watch What Happens Live” where they discuss Top Chef, hosted by that Andy Cohen character who is kinda cross eyed and kind of annoying and kind of EVERYWHERE and that both Tom Collichio AND Amy Sedaris were guests and while I don’t know how this is when Amy Sedaris is NOT THERE, it was pretty amazing when she was: she made a candle salad out of pineapple and bananas and mayo, she force fed Tom bad mac’n'cheese and in general made me wish they had her over as a judge all the time, AND THEN THEY PLAYED THIS VIDEO which is in no way Top Chef related but which I would appreciate if we’d all discuss in the comments (thanks!)
Hopefully everyone’s still breathing AND not wearing their shirts now so we can proceed with the recap.
The quickfire, guest judged by David Chang (which was preceded by an extensive reliving of Jen’s elimination meltdown last week) was a mis-en-place relay race with the teams being determined by the order the chefs walked into the kitchen.
So, we had:
- Fabio, Mike Isabella, Angelo and Tiffany (who has been awfully quiet) in the “3 ego maniacs and a quiet girl” corner
- Antonia, (gay) Dale, Jamie and Casey -in the “together 4ever” in a team corner
- Spike, Tre, Steven and Richard Blaise -in the “hide your wives and your wine bottles and your liquid nitrogen tanks” corner
- and Tiffani, Marcel, (Asian) Dale and Carla – in the “wild card” corner
Angelo’s team was the fastest but in the end the “wild card” “hide your wives and your wine bottles and your liquid nitrogen tanks”quartet won 5k each and no immunity.
I am not going to waste too much time on the quickfire because the elimination challenge was a beaut:
IN THE TEAMS you’re in, go to one of the 4 most buzzed-about NYC restaurants right now (which will be randomly selected for you) and create a dish that could belong on said restaurants menu. The people in your group are the people you’re competing against and the best dishes from each team will be up for a win, and the worst ones will be up for a double elimination. The pressure is ON. The restaurants (and the Chefs who will be judging them) were as goes:
- Fabio, Mike Isabella, Angelo and Tiffany – got David Chang’s “MA PECHE” (French-Vietnamese)
- Antonia, (gay) Dale, Jamie and Casey -went to David Burke’s “TOWNHOUSE” (Classic American with a spectacular, almost exhibitionist twist)
- Spike, Tre, Steven and Richard Blaise – ended up at Michael White’s “MAREA” (modern Italian)
- and Tiffani, Marcel, (Asian) Dale and Carla – got Wiley Dufresne’s “WD-50″ (mollecular and eggy)
The genius of this challenge was that while some people were PUMPED to be where they were (Angelo and Marcel to a point of annoyance even) you knew most of them had to really step out of their comfort zones, and you could read on their faces that they would so much rather be somewhere else. Poor Carla, with her classical training, poking around an egg square at WD-50, Richard Blaise desperately wanting to be at WD-50 instead of an italian joint, almost as badly as Fabio wanting to be at Marea.
Obviously they had their work cut out for them and it was, as Antonia said “all about adaptability”.
It was pretty easy to see where things would end up with the following showing distinct signs of struggle:
- Tiffani was over-processing everything in sight over at the WD-50 kitchen
- gay Dale was sort of insecure, desperately asking everyone to taste his sauce
- Fabio announced that he felt like a Vietnamese grandma being asked to make fresh pasta
- and Steven was caught on camera using a blender in a way which implied he never used a blender before in his life.
and these four powering through formidably:
- Asian Dale putting out this perfect sunny side up dumpling which looked like a winner on-sight (God, I love yolk)
- Angelo basically orgasming all over MA PECHE with white chocolate reductions and whatnot
- Antonia very confidently working her basic vegetables into a rainbow of flavors on a plate
- and Tre ignoring everyone around him to produce the perfect swordfish dish
IN THE END ASIAN DALE WON (I KNEW IT! THAT DUMPLING WAS JUST SO GODDAMN BEAUTIFUL) and gay Dale and gay (but in denial) Steven were sent home packing (no one “Pulled a Jen” and freaked out, which was nice and classy).
It all made sense, and I have no complaints (aside from the fact they had this sort of un-fun, squished faced lady standing in for Gail-BRING BACK GAIL!).
Next week-US Open challenge, Jamie slacks again (maybe even goes home???), Spike gets mad and more.
HOW WAS IT FOR YOU?????