Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Top Chef All-Stars - Jen Goes Ballistic And Tom Takes It!

Top Chef All-Stars - Night at the museum

We dive right in with Dale (not MY Dale) saying how tough this whole Top Chef thing will be. Fabio says it was a wake-up call to be on the bottom last week.

They walk into the Top Chef kitchen and Spike immediately recognizes Joe Jonas standing next to Padma. Should he even know who Joe Jonas is? I can’t tell if that’s weird. AND Spike calls him “a rock star” and a “teenage heart throb”. Certainly the latter is true, but the former? Anyway…

Antonia is thrilled because her daughter is a Jonas Brothers fan. (My) Dale has NO idea who Joe Jonas is. He’s thinking he might be a pastry chef. If I didn’t love (my) Dale before, I love him now.

The Quickfire challenge is kind of inane. The Museum Of Natural History is having a sleepover (are they running out of Quickfire ideas?) and they each have to create a midnight snack for the kids. Joe Jonas gets to choose whose snack they serve.

Richard thinks this is difficult and spouts some inanity. ”Joe Jonas is…a pop icon, so he’s probably eating filet mignon cheese doodles.” Joe Jonas tell them he wants something original, but that the kids won’t have utensils or plates and the snack will be served in a brown paper bag.

THEN, Joe Jonas, jokester extraordinaire, tells them that they have 30 seconds to complete the challenge. KIDDING!!! Hardy-har-har. They really have 45 minutes and the winner will receive immunity and an advantage in the Elimination Challenge.

Dale says that kids are the pickiest eaters of all.

MY Dale is po’ing people off, because he’s taken all the sugar to his station.

We learn that Marcel’s mother took over all the food at his school to make nutritious meals. (???) How did she do that?

They’re all rushing around.

Richard says he was a “husky” kid and he used to “make” cereal with heavy cream. Maybe I don’t hate him after all.

Dale says, “Healthy food sucks, unhealthy tastes good.” He says the kids are going to be wired and he says he should lace his dish with Nyquil.

Before you call him out for being a jerk, he’s kind of right. Kids, in general, aren’t taken with what adults consider to be healthy food. And if you were in a competition and your entire future depended on making something that kids would definitely like, NOW is not the time to bring out the kale. (You know I’m right.)

Padma and Joe return. Antonia tells Joe her daughter would be very excited. Joe likes her muffin. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) Richard’s white bread with stuff on it sounds (and looks) gross. Joe says it's “wonderful”. I like Spike’s carrot and potato chips with a dipping sauce. Tre’s homemade cracker with jam and bacon sounds fabulous.

Casey makes…oh my gosh…a chocolate bacon lasagna. That does NOT sound good. Mike IS funny…he thinks that sounds “HORRIBLE. I just wanted to throw up when I heard that.” Jen looks appalled as well.

Dale makes some treats that have tons of sugar in them and that’s not even MY Dale.

Jamie makes cheddar biscuits with homemade applesauce to dip them into. I think that would make them soggy. Joe likes the applesauce. (Joe seems to be giving Jamie the eye. I’m not sure he realizes that she plays for the other team, except he DID say that he does watch Top Chef. )

Tiffany D’s dish is a rice pudding that was supposed to be served in easy-to-handle mounds, but it was too warm and kind of fell apart. Not good.

Padma says “very nice” to (my) Dale’s corn cake, which looks absolutely delightful.

Fabio is funny when he says that in Italy a midnight snack is some roasted “cheeken” and some pasta, but he makes a lovely concoction of apple slices coated with different chocolates and then dipped into kid-friendly marshmallows and other stuff. That sounds good. The kids probably won’t appreciate the candied ginger, though.

Tiffani F. (oh, she spells her name with an “I”) makes a rice crispy snowball, which actually looks right on the money.

Angelo is an annoyance. He says he’s made “Cheese crisps 2010, the new evolution.” What does that even mean? New Evolution sounds like one of those wholesome, whitebread singing groups wearing coordinated, jewel-toned, Andy Williams-type sweaters. (All you youngsters, look up who Andy Williams is.) Plus Angelo’s snack has Old Bay Seasoning, which I wouldn’t think kids would like.

Stephen makes a snickerdoodle sandwich, which doesn’t sound so bad, although Spike has a sneer on his face.

(BTW, is Joe the married one? Oh no, he’s the one dating Ashley Greene. I actually have no idea who she is, but I DO know that he doesn’t wear his purity ring anymore. Wait. Let me make sure…I’m going to look closer to see. Nope, no ring.)

Mike makes an Horchata (that’s impressive) and a chocolate coconut corn bar. He describes it as cookies and milk.

The worst dishes, according to Joe Jonas – Tiffany’s - her rice pudding thingie was too messy - and Mike’s (really?). Joe didn’t feel that the chocolate was strong enough. Mike says he’s embarrassed.

Stephen’s was on the bottom too. Joe thought the stuff in the middle didn’t work well with the cookie base. Joe kind of sounds like he knows what he’s talking about.

His favorites – Spike’s and Tiffani’s and he can’t decide between the two, so Padma says they’re serving both to the kids at the museum and THEY will decide. The chefs are not big fans of that idea. Dale (not mine, but it could have been) says they’re called brats for a reason.

The two winners have to prepare their snacks for 150 kids and they get to choose teams to help them. It ends up that Tiffani’s team has all the gals, except Carla and the other Dale. (That) Dale is funny. He says his team is like the Spice Girls with a body guard and Spike’s team is “all the cool guys and their babysitter, Carla.”

Jamie is unhappy that she has to help someone else get immunity. It’s an uneven number, so Padma asks Fabio whose team he wants to be one, since he hasn’t been picked. He picks Spike’s team just to get him mad. Spike calls him Fabian.

My Dale and Angelo are amused by Jen barking orders. In other words, she’s treating this like a professional kitchen situation and they think that’s funny. My Dale isn’t happy about working on Spike’s dish and not making his own. It’s like, he says, asking him (Dale) to make dinner without allowing him to buy the groceries, or making chicken soup with chicken dung. Funny.

They arrive at the museum and admire all the dinosaur bones. The kids arrive and they run in and get their bags of snacks. Spike works the crowd and “campaigns”. The kids seem to like Tiffani’s snacks more. Jamie’s not into the whole thing and tells us that she has no interest in having children…ever. Joe and Padma walk in and the kids go wild(er). Joe has them vote for the Spike’s red team or Tiffani’s blue team. Tiffani wins by FAR and she wins immunity and an advantage in the next challenge.

Tom walks in as they’re leaving. NOONE is happy to see him. Angelo says, “Here the guillotine comes.” Remember “Sosa Consulting Group, President”?

By the way, this is all being reported to you by Sue Gordon (Food Network Musings Blogging Group, President; Lover Of Chocolate Group, President; Great Potato Salad Maker Group, President; Wearer Of Lime Green Sneakers Until They Can Be Worn No More Group, President. Sorry, that last one was a secret. Not A Good Secret Keeper Group, President.)

Tom’s first words? “Your Elimination Challenge starts now!” It’s after midnight! THIS is why Top Chef is so NOT JUST about the cooking. If you’re someone who actually needs sleep, you won’t do very well. It makes me think of the Outwit, Outplay Outlast motto, especially the Outlast part.

Almost no one is thrilled. They get to sleep on cots in the Hall of North American mammals. They have to make breakfast for the kids and their parents and service starts at 7:30am. Tiffani says, “This is crazy fun,” and that the other chefs should reserve their crankiness for their real lives.

Tom tells them they’ll be cooking with what’s in the museum’s kitchen and in two teams – one will follow a T. Rex’s diet and cook with eggs and meat and dairy only, the other will follow a brontosaurus diet and uses fruits, vegetables and grains. Tiffani picks the T. Rex menu.

We learn that Stephen would prefer to be in his downtown loft and that Tre likes to sleep naked. They try to decide on a menu without knowing what’s actually in the kitchen. Some of the guys go on a flashlight tour of the museum and miss out on their maybe 45 minutes of sleep. Fabio says they walk through animal “corpse” and skeletons and dinosaurs.

They get up at 3:44 am. Tre looks hot without a shirt. They run into the kitchen at 4 am. The fruit and vegetable team has lots of stuff to choose from. Tiffani says she made an assumption that the carnivore was an omnivore. Not.

Then Jamie cuts her hand BADLY. She needs stitches. Fabio says he BROKE his finger in his season and just splinted it up with a fork. This IS a little different.

Casey’s says T. Rexes eat Brontosauruses, so they should be good. She also says Jen’s pork belly tastes like wet bacon. We ARE seeing a lot of Jen. Could that be a sign of bad things to come?

Angelo asks Carla to slice Marcel’s plums in small pieces. She’s not happy.

Jamie comes back and says she got TWO stitches, which Tre and Dale (the other one) are not impressed by.

The folks arrive. Antonia says the kids are looking at their dishes like the chefs are crazy. Carla says the kids get it.

Here are all the dishes.

Katie Lee (no Joel anymore) is the guest judge. Isn’t it awkward when Padma says that Katie was the host of their first season? Ohhh, I want to see how Katie is with Padma and vice versa.

Katie does seem to be sticking rather close to Tom. The judges sit with kids. They all like Fabio’s and Stephen’s gnocchi. Padma is sitting right next to Gail. Katie is on the end next to Tom. Every shot is either Gail and Padma or Tom and Katie. Tiffani and Stephen from Season One remember Katie.

Uh-oh, they don’t like Jen’s bacon and eggs and Tre’s sauce for the fish is too bland. Clearly the meat team is going to lose.

Oh, the judges had split up and were actually sitting at different tables. Gail says their kids liked meat and didn’t like vegetables. Tom says his and Katie’s kids liked the vegetables.

Okay, unfortunately, I really think Jen is going home. Earlier, she told us her father said something about coming in second is still losing. Plus we see a preview of Jen screaming at the judges. Oy!

There’s a bit with Fabio, who Richard describes as the mayor. He greets and talks to everyone while plying them with his gnocchi.

Back in the stew room Padma calls in Team Brontosaurus. They are the winners.

And they show Jen AGAIN. She says she only cooks for the judges now and not for the 150 people. Dale says that’s selfish, which I don’t get. If the judges don’t like your food, it doesn’t matter how much the stupid people they bring in for each episode like it.

At judges' table, they say they liked everything from Team Brontosaurus.

Oh look! Katie is sitting next to Padma. And she gets to announce the winning dish. And it’s the banana parfait from Angelo, Marcel and Richard. Marcel says (to us) that if it had gone to one person it should have been him, because he made the most components on the plate.

Team T. Rex comes in and Padma says one of them will be going home. Jen is kind of making faces as Tom is talking. Tre says he knew the sauce was salty because it over-reduced. Tom is amazed by that. Why didn’t Tre thin it out with water or stock? He really should have thought of that. Maybe that will be enough to send him home and not someone I like.

Then Padma says to Jen that she (Jen) looks really pissed off.

THIS IS NOT GOOD and she is SO going home. She is NOT playing smart now.

Jen says she doesn’t think she or her team deserves to be here. Oh gosh, it gets worse.

Gail asks if she tasted the other team’s food. She says OF COURSE I DID and gives a huge smile, kind of mocking Gail’s smile.

Gail asks her what she didn’t like. Jen says I thought we were better. And then Jen says, “Gnocchi for breakfast?” And rolls her eyes.


Tom asks why they plated everything on one plate. Jen says YOU’RE THE JUDGES and smart enough to take different plates if you want.

Tiffani grimaces. Jen is making it soooo easy to send her home. Gosh!

Tom says he IS smart enough to know that and that maybe somebody on their team should have been smart enough to know that too! Jen is going down the river. Fast.

Then Antonia rats Jamie out for leaving and says all the other chefs on the team would have duct taped their fingers up and gone on with the cooking.

Gail says there a problem with the proportion of the eggs in Jen’s dish. Jen says, “I disagree with you.” Tom says her pork was seasoned well, but the eggs were bland. Jen says, “NO WAY! It wasn’t bland. The egg was seasoned perfectly. The bacon was very strongly flavored. It was smoky, it was spicy, it was everything I wanted it to be.”

Noone can believe this exchange.

She continues, “I will fight to the death on this. Zero doubt in my mind it was under seasoned.”

Tom says were going to have to agree to disagree on that one. We will, says Jen.


In the stew room, Jen says she yelled at the judges more than they yelled at her.

At Judges’ table, Gail says she’s never seen anyone so angry. I LOVE TOM. He says if someone’s going home it’s over a bad dish, not because they talked back to him, which he doesn’t mind at all. I love him. He is sooooooo strong and stalwart, SO maybe it WILL be Jamie, because they really couldn’t judge her anything.

The chefs go back in. They liked Tiffani’s and Dale’s dish. They get excused. Tom goes down the line saying how crappy various things were. Tom even says he admires how vigorously Jen defended her dish, but that doesn’t make the dish better.

And it’s Jen whose going home. She laughs and doesn’t move.

Jen says she’s shocked and that maybe she was too vocal. Ya think?!! She says she doesn’t know why she’s going home and that second place is still losing and she wonders what her father will say about second to LAST. “I feel like I was robbed and I don’t think it’s right.”

As she leaves the stew room, the chefs (and we) hear this, “It’s bull bleep…..it’s not even bleeping close to being even bleep on the bleep bottom, not even bleep close. The judges got it wrong.”

I’m not sure why, if she had that attitude, she even came back and I’m sure she feels that way NOW. This episode WAS slightly disturbing with talented Jen showing more anger and cussing more than even (my) Dale.

BUT, at the end of the day (and I hope Jen tells her father this) this disappointing appearance means nothing about her ability as a chef. It just shows that Jen doesn't kiss up to the judges on reality shows all that well, which isn’t really a characteristic that chefs need, is it?


Emily said...

Jen went off her rocker in the end of show. I couldn't believe it. I think my mouth was actually hanging open.

That was a quite a shocker that she got kicked off. Her bacon and eggs looked/sounded gross to me.

Can't wait for tonight!

Kitty said...

Wow. I really think Jen was showing her true self which she managed to hide during her season. She comes off as being the biggest (rhymes with bitch). And doesn't she work for that cute French guy, the fish man? I'll bet he's embarrassed. I like colorful contestants (like your Dale), but Jen's constant snide remarks, rudeness, and eye-rolling really made me hate her. Sorry Jen, we are no longer BFFS. I'll no longer accept your calls or texts.

You mentioned Joe was giving Jamie the eye. Stefan also had a crush on her. She thought it was funny and wondered if the word lesbian meant nothing to him.

But I digress. So far, the two losers had managed to make it pretty far during their seasons and the rest of the ones who made it far aren't doing so well either.

This is a real nail biter. I can't even guess who's going to win. And yes I have a life. Why there's Project Runway, Iman's fashion show, not to mention Chopped and the Worst Cooks in America and all those other cooking competitions.

You seem to be the president of so many things, and I don't like to brag (yes I do) but I am the president of the "I Can't Make Meatloaf the Same Way Twice." I'm rather proud of that, even though more meatloaf ends up in the garbage than in my big mouth.

Sorry to ramble. It must be the DEA frowned upon prescription meds I'm taking.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I watched this epi and wasn't all that taken with it. I went to bed before the judging even started (and that was with a 10-minute nodoff in the middle- I told you I can't stay up this late). I wasn't into it and I thought I'd just read a good recap to find out who won.

Now I wish I had watched. That meltdown sounded like fun.

Sue said...

I know exactly what you mean. AND it kept getting worse and worse.

I wasn't surprised they deep-sixed Jen, because it seemed like they were trying to prepare us for it the whole episode, but it was shocking that she acted that way.

Hey Kitty (kitty),
Yes, Jen is Eric Ripert's mentee. Hopefully his English isn't good enough to understand half of what went on. But I still say all that nonsense means nothing about her skill set and if she called or texted to invite me to dinner, I would go.

Good point about Jamie's allure to the opposite sex.

Let's not talk about having a life (outside of reality tv).

And Kitty, the whole point is that you're NOT the President of "I Can't Make Meatloaf the Same Way Twice." You're the President of the "I Can't Make Meatloaf the Same Way Twice" GROUP. Puleez get it straight. That's sounds MUCH more important.

At least you have drugs to explain away YOUR rants...

Sue said...

Say it isn't true! It was a really good one. But since they repeat these 300 times, if you have some time (to waste), you could see it again.

One of my favorite parts was when Tom walks in (after midnight). I groaned right along with them.

Plus I'm so happy I don't have to waste my brain power (such as it is) learning about a whole group of new chefs. They could keep recycling forever the ones that have been on and I'd be quite happy.

Anonymous said...

I didn't understand why Mike I. thought Casey's bacon chocolate lasagna sounded gross, when HE initially was going to make chocolate polenta, which sounds equally gross.

I read on Tom's blog that Jamie had never had stitches before, so when the doctor said "you need stitches" she freaked, and had no idea it was only two. Which kind of makes sense, if a doctor tells you "do this!" you do it.

I wondered why Tre did not put stock in his sauce either to make it less salty. Over salty to me is worse than under salty. At least with under salty you can hit it with the salt shaker.

Jen is insane. At first when she was yelling, I thought maybe that she was just exhausted. Then, when she kept yelling, I thought maybe she was exhausted AND somewhat drunk (they always show them drinking in the stew room). THEN, when she swore on the way out, I thought that maybe she is on some type of medication but is no longer using it. My husband said she just looked off both episodes. I don't really get though why you'd think chopped up hard boiled eggs would be something awesome to serve. It's hard boiled eggs.

And Ashley Greene is in the Twilight movies. And I think Joe Jonas is the one who used to date Taylor Swift, and he dumped her in a text or on the phone to then date Miley Cyrus. She sang about him in her SNL monologue. And Taylor Swift used to date Taylor Lautner, who is also in Twilight. So good thing Taylor and Taylor are already broken up, otherwise there could have been tension on set - "Your boyfriend dumped by girlfriend on the phone, what a douche!"

Cynthia said...

I really wish we got Bravo in Barbados. Until then, I have to "watch" through you. Which I am happy to do :)

Tracy said...

I'm loving this season. The Dales were both awesome in this episode. I loved what "your" Dale said about Joe Jonas and I lived what the other Dale said about kids. The Jen thing was pretty crazy -- her dish didn't sound good at all.