Soooooooo… I haven’t recapped Top Chef: Masters all season long, and I don’t really know why. I mean, I love it. I really do. I think I needed a little break. But now that we’re in the final stretch, I feel the need to speak my mind on the matter. Besides, how could anyone keep quiet after an episode featuring Sesame Street AND Target?? It was just too good to be true.
Here’s where we’re at: this incredible cast has been whittled down to about seven people (too lazy to count). I’m happy with most of them, but there are some that just irritate me — specifically Dale and Mike. In the case of Dale, he has admittedly whipped up some delicious looking food. I have no doubt that he is definitely talented. I just hate his attitude. He is — what’s the word? Oh yes. An asshole. Not only does he have a sour perspective on seemingly everything, but he’s totally humorless. I suppose he does crack a smile here and there, but usually when he does, I find myself saying “Stop smiling, you ASSHOLE.” And of course when he’s being ridiculously over-serious, I then sneer, “Crack a smile for once.” I guess he really can’t win with me.
In the end, the guy is a jerk, and if I have to hear about his girlfriend from home one more time, I’m going to employ my secret kinetic powers to have Richard Blais dump a bucket of liquid nitrogen on Dale’s head.
The other mook I can’t stand is Mike Isabella, who spent his first season latching on to the coattails of the Voltaggio brothers. I’m sure Mike is a decent chef (although, everyone I know who’s been to his restaurant has only middling things to say), but once again, he’s back to his old tricks: this time trying to hang on to the considerably more talented Angelo. Too bad Angelo wasn’t as self-assured as the Voltaggios because he made the fatal flaw of trusting Mike’s instincts. Yes, upon tasting Angelo’s potato soup, Mikey suggested that it needed something more. In went salt, out went Angelo’s potential crown. His soup was deemed too salty, and he was sent packing, leaving poor Mikey alone with no one to help him in the kitchen.
The challenge, by the way, was a grueling one: chefs had three hours to raid Target for all the supplies for a food station. That meant all the groceries, tables, cooking utensils, hot plates, etc. had to come from Target. Oh, and they also had to serve 100 people at the end of those three hours. At 3 AM. No easy task.
Oddly enough, almost everyone opted to make a soup. Angelo’s and Carla’s landed them in the bottom while Dale found himself in the winner’s circle, emerging triumphant for the second time in the episode (he earlier won the Quickfire, which had Elmo, Cookie Monster, and, uh, another puppet judging cookies). Also excelling were Antonia (who’s been coming on strong lately) and Richard (who is always in another league, it seems). Tiffany, however, wound up in the bottom and seemed resigned to going home with a tearful valediction, but thanks to that dreaded potato soup, she got to stick around.
As we head into the final stretch, I gotta admit that I’m rooting for Richard. I didn’t love him the first time around (I found his faux-hawk to be utterly annoying — I must have gotten used to it), but now I’m down with his creativity. Also, I’m digging Antonia (I still want to try her controversial mussels) and of course Carla. Only a few episodes left…
Here’s a photocap. OH, and as usual, I must remind all the new readers that I adore Gail Simmons and think she’s amazing. The jokes about her are just an interpretation of what I pretend Padma thinks about her (I have to remind people of this every so often or else I get a bunch of bitchy comments from people who don’t get it). Also, I love Padma too. Creative license, people!
“I’d like to welcome my dear friend Elmo to the show.”
“I LOVE YOU.”
“And voila: I made an ice cube!”
“Hmmmm… I wonder what I can make today that Mike can screw up…”
Elmo: “So Richard, you’re really holding onto that faux-hawk, aren’t you?”
Cookie Monster: “So that guy Dale over there is a real asshole, huh?”
Elmo: “I fuckin’ hate him.'”
Padma: “You’ll have to excuse Cookie Monster for being so rude. He hasn’t eaten in a while, and he’s getting all ‘Gail-y,’ if you know what I mean. Bless her heart.”
“Dammit, why are only three registers open??”
“What to make… what to make… I know! I’ll just ride the coattails of someone else! Done.”
“Wait a second: we’re supposed to be cooking now? I thought this was a Design-Your-Dream-Romper-Room challenge!”
“Whatever. I’m just going to add some salt. It’s just how I do it. Like, no big deal. Pssshhh, I’m, like, so chill. Like, this salt wants to be as chill as me, but fuck that bullshit. And I curse too. Fuck yeah. I’m Dale. Oh, and I have a girlfriend at home. Did I mention her yet? Fuck that. See? I cursed again. It’s what chefs do. Pssshhh.”
Tom: “So you’re saying I can’t return my vacuum even though I have a receipt?”
“I don’t know, Tom. I don’t actually work here.”
“I forgot to validate my PAAAAARKING!!!!!!!”
Padma: “I’m just sorry my dear friend Gail Simmons couldn’t join us tonight. She just loves Target. Last December, we had to peel her off the floor of aisle six after she overdosed on marked-down Halloween candy.”
“Oh yes. When Gail sees the Target logo, it’s like a bull at a rodeo. Watch out!”
Bourdain: “I didn’t realize Gail ate all that crap.”
“Well, you know Gail: she’d eat a tire if you put it in a slow-cooker. I only wish I could be as open-minded as her. Bless her heart.”
What did you think about the show? How have you enjoyed the season so far? Who do you want to win?