There was a whole lot of shadiness going on in last night’s episode Top Chef All-Stars. Apparently, Jersey Mike is even more devious than we’d expected and will stop at nothing to claw his way to the top. Needless to say, I was not amused with his recipe-stealing antics last night. Instead of “Jersey Mike”, we should start calling him “Judas Mike”.
Paula Deen started out this episode preaching about the joys of deep-frying and challenging the chefs to create their own deep-fried masterpieces. Again, we saw Blais using liquid nitro. Not a “gimmick” you say, Blais? C’mon, we know you’ve got so many more tricks up your sleeve you could be using instead!
Anyway, Judas took the win with Blais’ his fried chicken oysters in oyster gravy dish. Antonia’s fried avocado and shrimp “salad” would have won, but she had a brain fart and forgot to plate up two portions. I was just surprised that no one did anything with copious amounts of butter.
Enter John Besh with the Elimination Challenge: Catering Southern-style seafood for the Greater New Orleans Foundation’s charity dinner to benefit Gulf fisherman. The twist: Using the past six chef’testants who’d been chopped as sous chefs who all came with different types of fish and seafood. Blais was smart and went for a good sidekick over an easy-to-prepare protein. Tiffany, on the other hand, really wanted those white shrimp…but was stuck with the little while shrimp that came with them (Marcel). Carla picked Tre because she thought, due to his ethnicity and heritage, would “understand Southern food.” When realizing he knew nothing about chow-chow and collard greens, commented that “they should take his NAACP card.” Classy, Carla.
Top marks went to Blais for his snapper and pulled pork dish, Antonia for her killer crab cakes, and to Mikes Mike’s grits-crusted shrimp. The less-than-stellar dishes were Dale’s Amberjack stew with undercooked potatoes and overpowering mustard crouton, Tiffany’s overcooked and overly sweet honey and hot sauce glazed shrimp, and Carla’s disjointed (as in, “didn’t go well together) grouper, collard greens and chow chow pico dish. Blais ended up winning the challenge (and rightly so), winning a trip to Barbados and vowing to take his new best buddy, Fabio, along for the fun.
It was yet another week where I was disappointed with the judges’ decision on who should go home but, alas, I can see where they were coming from. If you have a beautiful, fresh piece of seafood, there’s no reason to mask its natural flavor in a dish with a ton of other elements. And again we’ve learned: NO ONE IS SAFE!
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