Team Top Chef's Senior Editor deems the Jimmy Fallon episode the happiest one yet!

Feb 8, 2011

Hello my little Roots. Can we all agree that this was perhaps the happiest episode of Top Chef ever? And it's pretty much all thanks to Jimmy Fallon and his merry band of gentlemen. I can't wait to talk about the Elimination Challenge, but first, there's Quickfire business at hand.

This Quickfire was a throwback to the '70s, where y'know people did drugs, had orgies, and ate fondue! Or, at least the latter. I actually really enjoy fondue. Fondue dishes can be found on a lot of menus, like the choocolate fondue at Dos Caminos, but fondue restaurants aren't quite that common. Perhaps like me, I wasn't quite sure what made all these dishes fondue, as I've only ever had cheese and chocolate types, but according to Wikipedia: "Since the 1950s, the name "fondue" has been generalized to a variety of other dishes where a food is dipped into a hot liquid, including chocolate fondue, where pieces of fruit are dipped into a melted chocolate mixture, and fondue bourguignonne, where pieces of meat are cooked in hot oil." The chefs, therefore, offered a wide array of options, which they all got to sample because they were the judges! What a twist! Dale won in the end with his take on pho, and everyone else basically made their conspiracy theories about why they didn't win. Oh well. Unlike the chefs, my main disappointment was that we didn't get to hear Padma say "Don't worry, girls, I've got the fondue!" all Phyllis Nefler-like. If you didn't get that Troop Beverly HIlls reference, you should probably Netflix it immediately.

Moving on to the happiest Elimination Challenge, like, ever. I will admit that when Jimmy took over the Late Night time slot, I had my doubts, but, wow, was I wrong. His show is a breath of fresh air -- he not only has the Roots as his houseband for God's sake, but he's amazIng with his guests because he actually knows what he's talking about in the pop culture world. Now, I found out we'd be taping this episode day of. Since the show is taped in 30 Rock, also home to the Bravo East Coast offices, employees were allowed to attend. I have no idea where I was that day, but I wasn't in the office. I'm never out of the office! Saying I was bummed would be an understatement. I've only been to one taping of Top Chef, and that was on my birthday a couple years ago. I was amped at the thought of going to another one, but, alas, it wasn't meant to be. I take solace in the fact that this was a great episode to watch from my couch, though, and that the audience wasn't served any food, so I didn't miss that much! (I'm so sadistic.) The chefs, stupified, all came out to see that they're on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon! Jimmy has them play Cell Phone Shootout to decide what dish they'll be preparing for the host's birthday lunch. They all choose from a list of very traditional, mostly American cuisine, and get cookin'. How funny was Carla when she chose chicken pot pie? She lost it! Over chicken pot pie! I'm sure I've lost it over even stupider things (like my new Verizon iPhone), so I really can't criticize her for that.