Tag Archives: Anthony Bourdain

Top Chef: All-Stars, Week 10: Ironing Chef

17 Feb

Cookie Monster: "C" is for "kooky."

Last night’s Top Chef: All-Stars began with Dale mouthing off. “I’m not like these new-school parents who are like ‘we’re all winners’ ― f@ck that. That’s bullshit, man! Who ever said losing is okay? In what country is that cool?”

In the Quickfire, the culprits of that mentality ― the Sesame Street gang ― emerged. Their mantra: Everything is A-okay. Richard, who has an alliance with Dale, is obviously one of those parents. In his house, he said, Elmo is like Elvis.

As Padma explained the challenge, Cookie Monster couldn’t stop blurting out his favorite word. That’s right ― the cheftestants had to create a cookie for him, Elmo, and Telly in 45 minutes. Health-conscious Elmo requested cookies with zucchini, but Cookie Monster, a traditionalist, wanted chocolate “chippies.”

In an ironic outcome, Dale was actually the winner of this childish challenge for his pretzel and potato-chip shortbread with salted caramel chocolate ganache. The authority, Cookie Monster, loved the sweet and salty mix. When it comes to Dale, we can’t seem to get beyond salty.

Padma sweetened things up by announcing that the winner of the Elimination Challenge would receive $25,000. All the cheftestants would have to do is raid a Target in the middle of the night and make a dish for 100 employees. A Greatland Target, mind you, so there was produce and lots of food, but they’d also have to grab appliances, utensils, and tables.

Dale was straight-up ironing grilled cheeses, while Carla was only interested in her table display. Guest judge Ming Tsai said that perhaps Dale was trying to be an Iron Chef? But Bourdain called it stoner food and started asking for a urine test. The strangest thing about the challenge was how many soups emerged.

Sorry for focusing on Dale, but he was, once again, the winner, taking home 25 grand for a grilled cheese, tomato soup, and an iron.

All the soup people were at the bottom, where they joined Tiffany‘s jambalaya. In the end, Angelo went home for a too-salty baked potato soup. Angelo had gone from the finale of last season’s Top Chef straight to All-Stars ― the exhaustion finally got to him. We were sad to see him go, but not as sad his biggest fan, Mike. Total mancrush.

Next episode we’ll have Paula Deen and cheftestants of eliminations past. We’ll be watching to see if anyone gets hit with a ham.

Original published on sfweekly.com – Original Post

Top Chef: All-Stars, Week 7: Foam? Really?

20 Jan

Smoked: Marcel.

​They started last night’s very exciting “Restaurant Wars” episode by stating that there were only three female cheftestants left. Then they brought out the hot boys. For the Quickfire we had Bourdain at Le Bernardin introducing the Top Chefhopefuls to Justo Thomas, the seafood master, who fillets 700-1,000 pounds of seafood a night. Justo is a god with a knife and a fish, and for the challenge the contestants had to fillet and portion a cod and a fluke in 10 minutes. No biggie, Justo can do it in just 8 minutes.

The girls were on the bottom with Fabio and Angelo, and the top four guys (Richard, Marcel, Tre, and Dale) had the challenge continue when they had to make a dish with the leftover fish carcasses. During the challenge continuation, Richard told the most awesome story about working at McDonald’s and making the Filet-O-Fish avant-garde by leaving off the top bun.

Dale took the challenge and immunity with his impressive two dishes: fluke back-fin sashimi with cucumber and fluke liver sauce, and then a bacon dashi with salt-roasted cod collar.

The parade of hotties continued with guest judge Ludo. (Full disclosure: I am one of Ludo’s Bitches.) In case you didn’t know, Ludo is the king of pop-ups (no, I’m not talking about my girl boner for him), so it was only fitting that he was there for the infamous “Restaurant Wars.”

Since Dale was the winner of the last challenge he was team captain and got to pick the opposing team’s leader. Applying good logic, he chose the person who he had the hardest time working with, Marcel. Oh man, our hearts ached for Marcel’s teammates who had to explain that if only one person (Marcel) liked one idea and the other four teammates liked another idea, then majority should win. Marcel criticized how Tiffany made her six-minute egg and added foam to his dish even though he promised his teammates that he wouldn’t. The judges couldn’t knock him for his foam overuse because the diners were the ones picking the winner of this war.
Bodega: The quiet team headed by Dale. Inventive menu that had potato chips, tuna in a can, two desserts, and Fabio with his accent working the front of the house.

Etch: Marcel’s team, which no one wanted to be on. The concept was Mediterranean influences: frisée salad, mushy monkfish, lamb, octopus, and pork belly. Tiffany worked front of the house with a nervous laugh while the kitchen yelled.

Best line of the night came from Antonia: “Marcel was like, ‘Guys, we did such a great job’, but I’m like, ‘You … are …. on drugs.’”

Bodega won by a landslide ― only 17 out of 76 diners preferred Etch. Bourdain was calm and cool when he asked Marcel, “Why foam? Why now?” at the judges’ table. After that, Marcel threw everyone under the bus. Then they hit reverse and gave it right back to him.

Richard was the winner who conceived of the potato chips, tuna in a can, and gave himself the title of technical adviser. His teammates all said that he elevated each one of their dishes; we call that throwing someone on top of the bus so they can surf the waves.

Last week we hoped for a shark week on Marcel’s ass and we got it. Even while packing his knives he was as big of an ass as ever. According to Marcel, he didn’t make any mistakes per se, except for picking the wrong team. With a chuckle and some dumb line about being misunderstood, he was out. Good riddance!

Original published on sfweekly.com – Original Post

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