TOP CHEF RECAP: We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Elimination Of Jamie


This week’s nautical-themed episode of Top Chef All-Stars is titled “We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat”. Guest Judge? This Guy:

Some suggestions for future episodes based on topical movie quotes:

- Are You Cookin’ To Me?

- Show Me The Foody!

- I Know It Was You, Colicchio, You Broke My Beef Heart

- Life Is Like A Box Of Chocolates, Also Scallops

- It Doesn’t Take Much To See That The Problems Of Three Little People Don’t Amount To A Hill Of Delicious Beans In This Crazy World

- I am Spartacus!

Seriously, though, who still titles things after Jaws quotes? Oh right, this post. Fine. But I have a great explanation for that – I’m a generally useless person.

Enough critical film analysis, it’s time to CAP some RE:

Jamie continues to remain on the show, even though she’s only made one dish this season and it was a Ho-Ho out of the Natural History Museum vending machine. Marcel, understandably, is pissed…at Dale? Whoa, what’d he do?

Marcel pounds liquor out of the bottle and rips on Dale with some 8 Mile freestyle bustin':

Marcel blames Dale for not making enough plates during last week’s Dim Sum failure, and the two of them (and Tre - ?) swear a whole lot. Are Marcel and Dale perhaps consciously playing up the rivalry to keep themselves on the show longer? They’re both good enough to deserve to stay on, but the answer to this is still doy.

This week, we only have one Quickfire…THERE ARE NO QUICKFIRES!!!

The chefs are woken up at like 4 am three days ago for a mysterious purpose, and they are grouchy and not happy about it. Until they find out they’ll be fishing in BEAUTIFUL MONTAUK POINT (repeat x 10), then they’re instantly ecstatic and not tired — did anyone catch the shot of Montauk presenting that giant novelty check to Tom? I think it went by in one frame, like that d*ck in Little Mermaid. Padma calls Montauk “The most popular fishing spot in New York.” More popular than West 47th Street??? I find that hard to believe.

For the Elimination Challenge, the chefs will have to catch as many fish as they can and prepare those fish for a beach party. It’s also a New York Cheesecakin’ Double Elimination Week, meaning that someone will go home in addition to Jamie. Hop on board the Sea Wife IV and let’s get started!

Personally, I think Sea Wife went way downhill after II, but I’m just not a big Brett Ratner fan.

Also, there’s a giant fake shark on the dock and it scares Angelo, because it’s not prepared Asianly enough:

Angelo mentions that because of Jaws, he doesn’t even go into pools anymore. Particularly pools with huge great white sharks in them. This dude’s seriously gonna be in the finale? Better hope the final challenge isn’t “Do the best dive into this pool of your life.”

The next 75 hours consist of the chefs taking turns whimsically fishing — the ladies have instant success, while Richard is struggling to hit the fish with his liquid nitrogen cannon. The fishing sequence also gives the guys ample opportunity to pretend to jerk each other off:

Pretty much everyone ends up catching a fish — come to Montauk! — especially Dale, whose dad was an angler so he’s really out to make him proud (and also my wife has cancer keep me on the show plz thks!)

By the way, nice fish-catchin’ face, poindexter!

Dale’s comical super-struggle shuts everyone up, though, when it results in the biggest catch of the day, making his father proud:

A lot of the episode is just people fishing, a thing that’s kind of boring to actually do, let alone watch. What do you think of the episode so far, Tudors Promo?

The chefs congregate at Water Taxi Beach in Queens (go there, it’s nice) for an upscale ‘fish fry’, and we’re presented with several instant Top Chef red flags:

1) Marcel, Richard, and Fabio are only making one dish. Seriously, guys – do you not already hear your inner-Colicchios ripping on you for copping out? Fabio explains that even if they lose, it’ll be tougher to pick one out to eliminate – “Iz sykalojucal warffklneglgr!”

Fabio — who’s actually been cooking well the last few weeks — also spends the episode completely tagging along with Richard, keeping in the nautical theme by playing the little protected leftover-eating fish to Richard’s sea turtle. Fabio explains, “There is no rock star without the backstage people, and that’s what I’m doing today.” Yeah, but if you’re a roadie, you’re not gonna win Top Rock Star. Though you might win Top Tight Motorhead T-Shirt.

2) Marcel and Richard add a foam to their dish. You might as well have just used the foam to spell out the phrase “I don’t know why the foam needed to be there”.

3) Jamie’s team is doing terribly. Usually a red flag.

Tre, who’s been in the bottom for two straight weeks, hops on the sympathy train in a touching moment where he calls his wife “also my best friend” and says he wants to get back to her soon. Awww – if this were an action movie, he’d be so shot this week.

The guest judge for FishFest 2KElevfish is South Gate’s Kerry Heffernan. Sorry, Rick Moonen!

The judges really enjoy the food this week, especially Dale’s fish tacos, even though Tom is skeptical because Dale didn’t make his own tortillas. Seriously? They have like nine minutes to cook a full dinner on a beach, and you’re unhappy the tortillas aren’t homemade? You do know that a group of five elderly large-upper-bodied women in Central America roll the entire world’s tortilla supply, right?

The judges also enjoy Angelo’s “Beautiful bass, with a beautiful dressing, in a beautiful bowl for beautiful judges for a beautiful show on a beautiful network sponsored by beautiful Swanson.” Michael Isabella later laughs at Angelo for wanting to talk to some girl, because she’s not a secret mysterious Russian bride. Kerry Heffernan also loves Carla’s porgy, even though it’s “not a noble fish”. Nice to see that divine right remains alive and well within the seafood cheffing community.

The diners also really enjoy the food, especially Beach Dick Tracy:

Results coming up, but first, DVR Buster! Dale thinks if Angelo was a fish, he’d be a mermaid, the “siren of the sea.” You can just say he’s gay, Dale. It’s Bravo. None of us are judging.

THE WINNERS: Dale, Carla, Tre / Angelo, Mike, Tiffany D

Dale gets high praise for his fish taco, which Kerry calls “a perfect dish for this beach,” then says that the winner of the competition is the one that’s a perfect dish for this beach, Carla’s Smoked Blue Fish with Lettuce Wrap, Pickled Watermelon Rind, Shallots Radish, and Bagel Croutons. Nice twist there, Bravo, having Kerry say the exact phrase he used to compliment Dale’s dish before announcing the winner then having it not be Dale’s dish.

Either way, Carla seemed to deserve it and she’s needed a good week for a while, and Dale’s been on a mini roll. Angelo’s been strong all season, but Tre, Tiffany D, and Mike seem to be coasting by and will likely all be on the chopping block (food!) in the next few weeks.

Congrats, Carla! Do the Goin’ to Amsterdam Dance!

THE LOSERS: Jamie, Tiffani F, Antonia / Marcel, Richard, Fabio

Well, we know Jamie’s gone, cause she cooked her one and a halfthest dish of the season and it was bad. The judges cruelly inform Antonia that if her teammates hadn’t sucked, she’d probably be going to Amsterdam (Jamie is still ruining sh*t from beyond the grave), so she’s obviously safe, plus Richard is the season favorite, Marcel is doing well and is too controversial to eliminate, and Fabio is Fabio and won’t be let go until his food kills a producer.

Antonia starts crying again, because she lost a trip to Amsterdam because Jamie is retarded doesn’t want her teammates to go!

Padma agrees, “We don’t want to send anyone home either. Wait, no, then we’d just all be like hanging out and doing real specific food challenges, that’d be weird. Never mind, we really do want to eliminate people.”

So, it really looks like it’s gonna be Jamie and Tiffani leaving. Padma declares “Tiffani, pack your knives and go.” That killed the suspense, cause the other one’s got to be Jamie, right? “Oh yeah, Jamie, you’re also gone. Did I not say that yet? Sorry, thought I did. Yeah, you superlost. Knives, go, bye.”

Jamie leaves the show with one final failure, saying “I think [Richard’s team] doing only one dish is a cop-out.” You know what’s even more of a cop-out, Jamie? Cooking ZERO dishes. It’s more of a cop-out by a factor of precisely one dish. Which, divided by zero, is undefined times more of a cop-out. You suck undefined times more than those guys.

Updated Finale Prediction:

1) Richard
2) Angelo
3) Dale
4) Marcel
5) Carla

Next To Go: Tre, Michael, Tiffany D, Antonia, Fabio

Overall, decent episode this week — even though the fishing went forever, it was still at least different, and certainly a step up from some of the really forced D.C. challenges. The Tom-cooking Quickfire and the Dim Sum failures last week were super watchable too, and now with Jamie gone, it’s really a pretty strong, pretty wide-open field. Bravo also seems to really be listening to viewers’ grievances this year — no shopping montages, less time spent on pointless house interactions, less super-arbitrary challenges, and higher-stakes individual weeks. Overall, it’s been a really solid season. I owe you $5, Top Chef.

Plus as long as the show keeps churning out top-notch foreshadowing screenshots like this one, I’m on board:

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