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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Top Chef All Stars Episode 9 Recap: Falling for Fallon

Top Chef's Richard Blaise makes his magic
Tonight’s episode of Top Chef All Stars (Falling for Fallon) definitely had its ups and downs. It made me laugh. It made me cry. It had all the ingredients for a really good romantic comedy. And now I present you with: The Top Chef All Stars Episode 9 Recap: Falling for Fallon

We start off with a round of cheers for Antonia Lafaso's win and Dale Talde drinks his sorrows away for making his worst dish yet. Fabio Viviani is butt hurt about how Antonia won an Italian food competition with a super simple “French” dish of steamed mussels and fennel. Not sure I can blame him – it didn’t make sense to me – but let it go already! Always good times at the bar...

The Quickfire Challenge:
The chefs need to make a unique fondue.  Fabio Viviani thinks that “you eat it out of a stick”. Really?  And here’s a fun twist: The chefs are judging each other’s dishes – and NOBODY gets immunity. Antonia thinks everyone will lie about their opinions of the dishes. Fabio says he’ll do fine without it anyway. Antonia continues to bitch about not winning money or prizes – at least she won an elimination round.  However, the Quickfire does have a prize: A 3-day trip to Napa Valley!! The chefs have 30 minutes to cook their dish.
-     Mike Isabella say’s fondue is a gay 1970’s thing and OBVIOUSLY he’s never been to one of those parties.
-     Antonia decides to make a smoked salmon fondue and gives herself a pat on the back for having such a unique idea.
-     Richard Blais whips out the nitrogen for his chocolate and banana fondue.
-     Tiffany Derry goes the dessert rout, and I agree! One can never go wrong with chocolate.
-     Fabio goes with a Swiss Alps theme.
-     Dale makes Pho-due.
-     With only 11 minutes left on the clock, the chefs are running around like chickens with their heads cut off.
-     Angelo Sosa deconstruct a beet and goat cheese salad with endive.
-     Mike Isabella goes with Lamb Kabobs.

And the Judging begins…
-     Richard calls his chocolate and banana fondue dangerous. Tiffany think’s Richard’s dish is a party.
-     Tiffany makes an apple fritter fondue. Richard calls Tiffany’s dish “pedestrian”. Mike uses it as an excuse to talk Dirty to Padma as she eats it. 
-     Angelo’s goat cheese fondue is finished off with a beet juice shot. Nobody seems ok with the concept.
-     Carla makes a coconut curry fondue.
-     Dale presents his Pho-due with beef and scalds Richard’s mouth.
-     Mike Isabella presents his spiced lamb kabobs with feta cheese fondue.
-     Antonia presents her fondue with crème fraiche and smoked salmon. Everyone seems to like it.
-     Fabio creates a Bellini and  caviar dish with crème fraiche fondue.

And so the voting goes…
-     Richard speaks, but all I hear is “blah blah blah… I’m better than everybody”…
-     The chefs are worried that the voting won’t be kept secret.
-     Dale wants to be like a “New York Times reviewer up in this bitch”
-     Fabio, Tiffany, Mike are on the bottom. Dale had Mike on the bottom; I wonder if they have any beef between them? Mike’s great come back is calling him a Monkey.
-     Antonia, Dale, Angelo are the top 3. Angelo is surprised – he thinks he could have done better. Richard thinks his craft is so amazing and unique that everyone is scared of him – which is why he didn’t make the top 3.
-     And the winner is: Dale. Congrats Daleo!

Top Chef's Fabio Viviani, Antonia, and Jimmy Fallon
The Elimination Challenge:
The chefs make a trip to Rockefeller Center and walk on to the set of “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”. Jimmy Fallon announces a game called Cell Phone Shootout and the Top Chefs are led onto the stage. Fallon tells the chefs that they must take pictures of food quickly flashing by on a screen using a cell phone. Whatever picture they get will be the dish they’ll need to cook for the elimination challenge. 
-     Fabio is soo excited to see Jimmy Fallon. Carla is blown away as well.
-     Antonia bitches more.
-     Antonia and Fabio go first. Antonia gets beef tongue and Fabio gets hamburger with French fries. He admits that he’s NEVER cooked a (“booger”) burger. Wow. Really??
-     Angelo gets pulled pork and Richard gets Ramen
-     Dale gets Philly cheese steak and Tiffany gets chicken and dumplings.
-     Mike Isabella gets sausage and peppers and Carla gets chicken pot pie and does a big ‘ol happy dance. Hootie Hoo!

Top Chef's Tiffany peruses the produce
The chefs have 2 hours to shop and are warned that Jimmy hates mushrooms, mayonnaise and eggplant. Jimmy Fallon cringes just at hearing the words. Carla thinks Jimmy will love her chicken pot pie. Antonia announces that she has the biggest crush on him. Dale thinks that soft pretzels will go with his Philly cheese steak. Fabio is going to make his "boogar" like a meatball. Hmm…

Butoni apparently bought in-show ad space because we’re forced to watch 3 minutes of footage of the chefs cooking their dinner and having to choose from 100 varieties of Butoni pasta and then discuss it. HAS IS COME DOWN TO THIS?? Commercials aren’t enough so now they have to turn our TV shows into commercials?? I may have to stop watching television all together... But not tonight.

Dale raves about Angelo’s “Pretty Man” fashion and 5 o’clock shaddow.

Antonia takes lessons from Richard on how to pressure-cook beef tongue. She declares her love freely for him. Dale still seems lost making a cheese steak. Tiffany thinks she’s a good mess. She’s making “Southwestern” chicken and dumplings. Carla is not so convinced she can make her dream dish of chicken pot pie in 2 hours.  Fabio is mixing a cheese sauce for his “Booger”. Dale compares Carla to a chicken with its head cut off and doesn’t think she’ll make it.

Top Chef's Fabio & Antonia are up first
The judges, Jimmy Fallon, and his family are seated at the dining table.

-     Antonia and Fabio are up first. 2 people like Fabio’s burger, but the judges are not thrilled. It wasn’t juicy, it tasted like meatloaf and they found the cheese sauce off-putting. Everyone thought Antonia’s beef tongue “licked” the challenge.
-     Tiffany and Richard are up next. Richard makes Ramen with a soft-boiled duck egg.  Tiffany presents her “Not My Mom’s” chicken and dumplings. They like Richard’s dish, but Jimmy was expecting more. Tiffany’s dumplings don’t get much love. A.D. Miles describes her dish as more of a tortilla soup. 
-     And next up is Carla and Dale. Fallon felt like he had been attacked by the Salt Monster after biting into Dale’s cheese steak. Everyone did a happy dance over Carla’s pot pie.
-     Angelo and Mike go next. There is MUCH love for Angelo’s pulled pork sandwich. Steve Higgins would gladly have Angelo pull his pork any day. Mike Isabella’s sausage and peppers are a huge hit as well. Go Mikey!
-     The chefs bring out an ice cream cake for Jimmy Fallon. Jimmy loves his ice cream cake and tells chefs that the winner will get their own cooking segment on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Carla, Angelo and Antonia have the top three dishes. Angelo’s quirky rub was a hit. Everyone raves about the crust at the bottom of Carla’s chicken pot pie – she and Fallon bond over it. Everyone gives Antonia props for her beef tongue and she conveniently doesn’t mention that Richard old her how to prepare it. Shady girl. Carla, Angelo and Antonia sing their beef tongue song.

And the winner is: Carla!! She’ll wins the cooking segment on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon AND a 6-night trip to Tokyo, along with $5000 for airfare. That’s the third trip she’s won!

Fabio, we'll miss you!
And the bottom three are: Tiffany, Fabio and Dale. Tiffany’s dumplings were too thin. Fabio’s burger was too dry. Dale’s dish was too salty. And Padma says:

“Fabio, please pack your knives and go.”

Fabio is going home?? What?? I’m heartbroken. He was so fun and charming. Tiffany is crushed. Fabio promises Jimmy Fallon a “booger” that will make him regret this decision. Everyone is a little heartbroken to see Fabio go. Richard looks as if he’s about to cry.

Next week: Sesame Street comes to Top Chef! Elmo and Cookie Monster make guest appearances. We see the chefs shopping at Target? There is a clip of Anthony Bourdain that shows he’s convinced that the chefs toked up before cooking their dishes.


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1 comment:

  1. I was really nervous Blais was going to be in the bottom this week. He's definitely one of the most talented chefs left, but I'm worried that he hasn't really had a "wow" moment in a while!

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