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.”

“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.”
Bourdain: “Really?”
“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?

26 replies on “TOP CHEF PHOTOCAP: Sesame Street & Target — What Could Be Better?”

  1. It’s Telly! You don’t remember Telly from your days of watching Sesame Street? Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street?

  2. oh man, did you see it last week when padma referred to gail as luscious? ZING! cannot stand mike; haven’t seen last night’s so I should have thought better than to have read this enjoyable post that revealed the demise of angelo. but mike. oh mike. with his low rent mediterranean food…and i really like italian and greek food! but his looks terrible and one note and uninspired. antonia pointed it out last week when she said if he doesn’t have a lamb in front him, he just doesn’t know what to do. i wish he and his oversized chin would just leave already. i want to punch it.

  3. Team Carla.
    Dale was putrid in his season and he continues to “represent” this go round. And he is (as Antonia pointed out) a Cookie Cheater.


  4. I was SO sad when Tre got sent home. Tre is my absolute favorite and I’ve watched every season. His food always looks good, he is nice to everyone and he is really funny. I was just so sad to see my choice go.

    Also you should photocap last weeks just to bring up Fabio’s “ham-booger.”

  5. I’m so glad you’re covering this! I think this is the best season yet. I’m pulling for Rixhard and Antonia. I think Antonia’s dish was ballsy, but I’m surprised that Richard didn’t win this challenge. Oh, and I love how Jimmy Fallon was such a huge Richard fan. He totally geeked out when he met him. It was cute.

  6. Nothing funnier than Elmo dropping an f-bomb! Could not agree more about Mike — ugh! I really thought Richard should have won this challenge and am completely pulling for either him or Carla to win. As much as I love Carla, she was completely stressing me out with the whole table-scape obsession — start cooking, woman!!!

  7. i am loving the guys, cannot stand carla or tiffany. Antonia or Richard for the win! I can hardly stand to watch anymore………it was obvious last nite that tiff should have went home, bad consistency AND seasoning…Angelo just had saltiness, not bad seasoning And texture. they got rid of him because they wanted to keep a mix of males vs females. Richard will
    win this.

  8. In Mike’s defense, the restaurant he worked is not his own (it’s a Jose Andres place) so the food wasn’t really his. He’s opening his own place soon in DC.

    Please do photo caps for the rest of the season!

  9. Loving Carla and Richard. Dale annoys me even though Bouirdain likes to point out his tendency to make “stoner” food, and I do like Bourdain. I used to make grilled sandwiches with an iron when I was in college. Very flat but very tasty!

  10. I am love Carla and would be so happy to see her win, but I do think Richard was robbed of the win in his original season, so if he won I would be okay with that as well. I’m glad that Angelo finally got a taste of his own medicine. He used to “help” other chefs during his season and they would get kicked to the curb, he should have known better than to ask anyone (especially Mike) for advice. Karma is a biotch!

  11. Thank you so much for doing a recap! Not only are the Gail jokes always funny, but I don’t have Bravo so I finally know what’s going on. I agree with you. From what I have seen, I’m hoping that Richard or Carla takes it. Can’t wait until I can watch the rest of this season 🙂

  12. If Richard doesn’t win, that would be ridiculous. Everyone comes to him for advice, I think even the contestants recognize that he’s the best chef there. I like Tiffany, but c’mon, she should def. have gone home by now. Seriously, who doesn’t get the Gail jokes?

  13. Richard just seems talented. I hope he wins. I was hoping it was gonna be him or Angelo.

    Although I don’t think she’s gonna win, Carla just seems so fun to hang out with.

    I totally hate Dale and Mike as well. Dale has the BIGGEST chip on his shoulder. It’s funny cuz he does seem to make decent food. He doesn’t need to be so arrogant like he’s compensating.

    And Mike is so self-delusional. He always criticizes other people while he has toiled in mediocrity in his original season and this season as well.

  14. I loved loved loved this episode. When I saw The Muppets, I started squealing like a three year old. I don’t remember Telly, though. Maybe he was after my time… I was disappointed Kermit wasn’t there instead of him (Kermit’s my favorite).
    I, too, am a Carla Fan. But I would be happy to see Antonio or Richard win as well. Carla is killing it though… I think she deserves the win.

    1. Telly was actually pre-Elmo. If I remember correctly, Elmo was introduced as Telly’s nephew and, at first, only showed up occasionally.

      Wow, I’m showing my age.

      1. And I only know Elmo from my nieces and nephews… Neither Elmo or Telly were around when I was a kid. I was watching Sesame Street when Bob , Maria, and Mr. Hooper were on. And by disclosing this, I have definitely just aged myself 🙂

  15. No mention of Angelo’s socks? I like all the chefs, even smarmy smug Daleface. Even Mike. I really hope it’s btw Antonia, Blaise and Carla! Oh and Bourdain must have referred to food as ‘stoner food’ like 420 times by now….just sayin

  16. what…

    Are so many people actually rooting for RICHARD TO WIN THIS?

    *nearly faints*

    The man can’t cook anything without a gallon of nitrogen and has an attitude worse than Dale’s. And why should he have won his season? Stephanie had plenty of wins to validate her skills as a chef.

  17. I’m just now seeing this and I literally have tears rolling down my face. Picture 1 made me giggle, 2 made me snort, 4 started the water works, and 5 put me over the edge. Well done!

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