Thursday, January 20, 2011

Top Chef All Stars Ep. 7 - "Fish Heads Fish Heads Eat Them Up Yum"

Last time on Top Chef All Stars, all the lesbians were asked to leave and Carla hootie-hoo’d her way to a win.

On this week’s episode, the Cheftestants meet at Le Bernardin instead of in the Top Chef kitchen. They are greeted by a haggard-looking Padma – who appears as if she spent the last 20 years drinking and smoking too much in Third World countries while getting very little sleep. Oh. Wait. Never mind – that’s Anthony Bourdain, not Padma.

Chef Bourdain tells the chefs about Justo Thomas, the head-biatch-in-charge of cutting up fish at Le Bernardin, America’s best seafood restaurant. Justo prepares between 700 and 1000 pounds of fish per day, and when he goes on vacation it takes like 958 people to do his job. I hope they pay him more than the guy who hacks up fish at the restaurant I work at.

Bourdain introduces Chef Justo and … HELLOPAPI!! Wow, Justo is a cutie! I wouldn’t mind 'handling his Atlantic salmon', if you smell what I’m stepping in. Justo proceeds to cut up a bunch of fish, which impresses the hell out of the Cheftestants. But I barely notice because I can't stop looking at Justo’s silky-smooth shaved head and listening to his sexy accent.

Anywhore, the Quickfire this week will be for the chefs to filet one cod and one fluke (no Atlantic salmon – damn!) in 10 minutes. Ready, set, FILET!

During the fish flurry, Marcel remarks that the first time he filleted a fish his hands got all red and splotchy – but eventually he got used to it. This is the exact same reaction Marcel’s unfortunate girlfriends have when they handle his (miniature) Atlantic salmon for the first (and usually last) time.

Justo (OMG did I mention how cute he is??) and haggard Padma Anthony Bourdain judge the results. The top four are Blais, Dale, Marcel and Bighead Mike. Bourdain tells the top four that they will have an additional 45 minutes to cook the leftover fish guts and make something edible. The winner will receive immunity for the Elimination Challenge.

Immediately, Dale “I Was Raised a Poor Black Filipino Child” Talde is all like …

Richard Blais, who was raised on the mean streets of Long Island, talks about his first job - at McDonald’s. With tongue-in-cheek, he tells us the story of him being in the “prestigious” position of Fish Cook at the Golden Arches. At least I hope he was being sarcastic, because that's a big pack of LIES. I worked for McDonald’s for 7 years (throughout high school and college) and we always put the newest, stupidest, most brain-dead people on the Filet-O-Fish station because it was the easiest. One squirt of tartar sauce, a half slice of cheese and you were good to go. But apparently Blais couldn’t handle it – sending up a batch of “open-faced” Filet-O-Fish on his first day at McDonalds. Justo Thomas he is NOT.

Justo (Oh DADDY!) and Merle Haggard Anthony Bourdain taste the results, and Dale “Nose to Tail” Talde wins immunity.

The Cheftestants head back to the Top Chef kitchen, where they are greeted by the real Padma and that crazy French chef Ludo Lefebvre. They announce this week’s elimination challenge …

Yes, everyone’s favorite – Restaurant Wars. Two teams will each create they own “pop-up” outdoor restaurant. And for the first time ever, the DINERS will decide upon the winning team.

Since Dale won the Quickfire, he gets to be a Team Captain and pick the other Team Captain. He picks Marcel, of course, because Dale doesn’t want to risk getting all red and splotchy if he accidentally rubs up against Marcel in the kitchen. Dale and Marcel pick teams, playground style:

Team Obvious Winner Dale:

Team Obvious Loser Marcel:
Bighead Mike

The teams meet to discuss concepts and dish ideas. Team Dale immediately rallies behind Blais’ idea of “Bodega” – creating dishes that are a play on the items you would purchase in a typical New York City corner store.

Team OhMyGodWhatAPackOfLosers sits around and bickers while Marcel tries to get them to a “stay focused”. And by “stay focused”, he means “Yo, listen only to me because I’m all gangsta and shizz”. Needless to say, they treat him like his red and splotchy former girlfriends and pretty much ignore his scrawny ass.

The next day they all arrive at the event space and begin setting up. Chef Tom comes to visit, but crackheadish and jumpy Marcel tells Tom to keep steppin’ because he's too busy bustin’ caps in his teammates’ asses, Yo.

Then, after visiting Team Obvious Winners, Chef Tom announces that only one person will win – and that person will receive $10,000. Dale, Blais, Tre, Fabio and Carla are thrilled at the news, because everyone knows one of them will be $10,000 richer by the end of this episode.

Fabio starts setting up the dining room/front-of-house. Tiffany, who is the FOH person for the eventual losing team, spends her time fighting with Marcel about how to boil eggs. Seriously. Then, ignoring one of the unwritten Top Chef rules, Tiffany gives her dish to ANGELO (of all people) to execute.

Let’s review, shall we?

First rule of Top Chef: “Thees eesa Top Chef, notta Top Escallop”

Second rule of Top Chef: Do not handle Marcel’s teeny, tiny sardine salmon. You WILL get red and splotchy.

Third rule of Top Chef: Do not sleep in Antonia’s room. Ever. Not even a nap.

Final rule of Top Chef: Do not let Angelo anywhere near your dish.

Anywhore, everyone is either cooking (Team Bodega) or fighting (Team Wretch Etch) as the guests begin to arrive. The Cheftestants quickly learn that one of the diners is Dana Cowin, Food and Wine Editor-In-Chief.

Fabio, the Italian King of Schmooze, is loving life. He was MADE for the Front-of-House. Give him some hair gel and a pair of snug trousers and he could sell heroin to Nuns. Fabio is also effectively guiding the service staff, and even calms Dale down when Dale starts freaking out. Y’all, Fabio has GOT THIS.

Tiffany, on the other hand, seems to think “Front-of-House” means making fake small talk with the diners and laughing WAY too loudly and forcefully at their bad jokes. Where is the hair gel? Where is the adorable accent? WHERE ARE THE SNUG TROUSERS?? Amateur.

The judges arrive at Team Bodega and have a fabulous time. They seem to love everything – and are very impressed. Naturally, they have the exact opposite reaction to Team Wretch’s effort at Mediterranean cuisine.

Meanwhile, the action back in Team Wretch’s kitchen is as bad as the food they’re sending out. Basically, Marcel is acting like Marcel (a douchebag crackhead) and everyone else is not-so-secretly plotting to sear his face on the grill. All the while Tiffany’s fake cackle can be heard from the dining room.

The diners eat and grade and service ends. The Cheftestants gather in the not-so-Glad storage room, when Padma enters and asks to see Team Wretch. This freaks out Richard “I Couldn’t Cut It At McDonald’s” Blais – because he thinks his team has lost.

Unsurprisingly (except to Blais), Team Wretch is the losing team – with only 17 of 76 delusional diners choosing them over Team Bodega. After some back-and-forth with the judges, everyone pretty much starts yelling at Marcel because Marcel is a huge pimple on the butt of humanity with the personality of the fish guts he cooked earlier in the episode.

They head back to the Stew Room and Team Bodega finds out they were the winners. Fabio tells Blais he can stop worrying now – and, in fact, Blais ends up being the winner of the challenge and $10,000 richer. Fabio gives him a big “I tolda you so, Richie!”. Basically, the judges loves everything about Team Bodega’s effort – and since this was Blais’ concept, he wins.

The judges deliberate about the losing team and try to decide which member of Team Wretch should go home. It seems to boil down to Tiffany for her lackadaisical Front-of-House effort and Marcel for being a unlikeable jackwagon.

Well, that’s really no contest – now is it? Marcel and his fake gangsta ass and bad attitude is sent home. Of course, Marcel is unrepentant, saying he “didn’t make any mistakes” and that he is “misunderstood” and ‘really a nice guy”. Yeah right.

Nice guys don’t have to tell others they are nice. And nice guys CERTAINLY don’t make everyone they come in contact with all red and splotchy.

Next week: Dr. Jennifer Melfi guest-judges an Italian challenge!!

What did YOU think of last night's show? Did it leave you red and splotchy? Please let us know in the comments section.



Wonder Man said...

Tiffany was cracking me up and was happy that Dale got some recognition

theminx said...

Ha! Your maligning of Marcel's salmon had me chuckling. I hope you're happy that you've probably made hundreds, if not thousands, of readers contemplate his private parts. :(


ps, don't forget to read my recap!

froggy said...

omg! Look what you did to Dale!! Being a married woman I would never, NEVER contemplate Marcel's salmon. Actually even if I was single and he was the last man on Earth!

I loved the Fish Guts Quickfire - very creative and interesting. Dale was brilliant picking Marcel as captain. His evil plan came to fruition and we are Marcel free for the rest of the season. And we still have Tre and Fabio. Life is good.

Mark, née Fuzz said...

Never mind the salmon. I wanna know about Angelo's cannoli.

Sean said...

They called this restaurant wars but it was in name only and was just another team challenge. Team edge shot themselves, they allowed their hate for Marcelo to ruin any chance they may have had.

And what a bunch of fakes they all are, hugging Marcello as he leaves instead of saying good riddance.

It nice to have your full recaps again. Thanks.

Kailyn said...

When Dale picked Marcel as the other captain, I smiled and said, "We will finally be rid of Marcel." And Fabio? So impressive front of house. Future cheftestants should study him. The minute Dana Corwin proclaimed Bodega to be whimsical, it was a sealed deal.

Tivo Mom said...

Loved the recap. Smiled all the way through (or maybe just happy that Marcel is gone). I read his comments today and he, of course, is saying that Bravo edited him to look like an ass and he makes for good TV. He apparently will never do anything on Top Chef again. Well I am devastated....

Joy said...

Thank goodness Marcel is gone! At last! Loved how Dale chose him for the other captain. Fabio is fabulous and handled everything so well! Love him!

Love your recap even more! xoxoxoxxo

Maria said...

All I could think of was the movie Mean Girls...Stop trying to make "Etch" happen!

Miss Ginger Grant said...

I, too, think Dale will go down in history as the most strategic Top Chef playa EVAH! That was a brazziliant move!! I still love Tiffany and was nervous for her there for a while, but justice prevailed.

I love how Bordain declared his own restaurant the best in the world, and everyone just agreed- uncontested!

Dan said...

OMG! I love you and these recaps! I was waiting for Mikey to knife Marcel!

stephcollins said...

Enjoyed your recap; first time I saw your blog. Just want to point out that the bodega concept was Dale's idea, not Blais's. Loved your comments about being the fish cook at McDonalds.

stephcollins said...

Enjoyed your review of the episode; first time that I've seen your blog. I just have to say that the bodega idea was Dale's, not Blais's. Blais himself told this to the team when they first got together. Loved your comments about the fish cooks at McDonald's. Even though Blais might have been tongue in cheek in his recounting, I imagine he might have been fired for leaving off the top bun and not credited with being an inspired and imaginative cook. The only thing my father ate at McDonald's was the fish sandwich and I know he would have asked, politely, where the other half of the bun was.

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