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.
Am I the only person who is offended by Mike using gay in the pejorative while referring to fondue? Thanks for knowing your audience Bravo!
SINCE THE AUDIENCE IS UNABLE TO TASTE THE DISH, YOU NEED TO HAVE THE ELEMENT OF SOMEONE ENTERTAINING AND HANDSOME. BRING BACK FABIO !
Most gracious Exit EVER, Fabio! Bravo to you. Your attitude is inspiring. I will miss you and think Tiffany should have gotten the boot since her dish was COMPLETELY off base. -Fan of all seasons
I love Antonia. She is funny and she seems to make great food at least the judges often think so. I thought she was treated terribly with her win last week. What sore losers, especially Fabio. Fabio is entertaining but he always has an excuse. I think Dale is not nearly as angry as he was on his first season. Actually I have found some of his interview comments to be quite funny (Antonia with the Kool Aid; Fabio with the white truffles...funny stuff). I have been sad to see lots of chefs go (Dale L, Tre) but that is the nature of the game. I love Carla and Antonia and would be happy to see one of them win. As for beef tongue, we ate it when I was a kid and honestly, I never thought about what it was. I think I was an adult when I realized it was an actual tongue. I have never eaten it since.
Hi there, I was so excited and surprised to see my taco used as a prop on Top Chef/Jimmy Fallon last night! I would love to have more of my art on your show so please let me know if you need any more plush sculptures. I am really excited to have Top Chef on my resume!! :-) thanks so much, ~Molly McIntosh -Oh Boy Cat Toy
It was a good episode, and I was sad to see Fabio go.... At the same time I was pretty worked up by Mike's anti-gay slur ("i've never been to a gay fondue party") and his offensive comment calling Dale a "monkey. What is that? Mike needs to formally apologize for his behavior, it's unacceptable.
If Antonia had called me I could have told her to pressure cook the beef tongue. Mom taught me to use the pressure cooker when I was a wee pup in high school (1960s). Where ever I was in the world, I’d call Mom and have her ‘walk me through’ cooking tongue. I like eating it hot but Mom liked it cold on sandwiches the next day. As caregiver for Mom (age 81) these past 6 years, we enjoyed beef tongue many times before she could no longer taste it (no fun according to her if there’s no taste). She passed away on Jan 27, 2011 and watching beef tongue cooked on Top Chef for Jimmy Fallon was a wonderful tribute to Mom’s culinary favorites. Jimmy, thanks for loving beef tongue and my memories of Mom’s expertise in cooking seemingly wierd foods but normal to us who grew up on beef tongue, heart, and turkey necks.
Everyone may love meatloaf but not when they're expecting a juicy burger and fries.
I wasn't all that upset about him leaving after seeing the way he treated Antonia after her win last week.
I'm not upset at all that Fabio was sent packing his knives. From his 1st performance of this season, I'm surprised he lasted as long as he did. It probably was more for his charm than his cooking chops. He simply wasn't very adaptable to the various challenges. Each new show had him saying, "that's not my thing!" Well, now he can go home and cook things HIS way... Ciao!
Great post, even though its subject matter is painful. *sniff* But can I just tell you how giddy it makes me that you referenced Troop Beverly Hills??? One of my all-time favorites! And in that spirit, we wish Fabio farewell, but not before we sing Kumbaya. "Kumbaya, my Lord. Kumbaya...".
Top Chef All Stars is hands down the best Top Chef season that Bravo has had! I love it! & Fabio is so awesome. His personality is so welcoming and he's just a big breath of fresh air. I was sad to see him go, but I do think that since he doesn't really cook much out of his comfort zone (or so it seems from a viewers standpoint) that he would have gone home sometime soon.
But anyway, ciao Fabio. You really will be missed while I'm watching the show!
Right on - sooo distressed Fabio was sent home! The thought "the producers must be mad to let such a charming contestant leave now" crossed my mind. Thought it was Tiffany's time, but really can't fault judges - love them all, and they actually taste the food. Luckily, Carla's still about for levity. Here's hoping Fabio will be back as assist. chef in the finals. Jen too, as I can't believe she went home so early.
Has never cooked a burger? Come on how can anyone claim to be a chef and never cooked a burger? Also, regardless of whether he has or not - anyone worthy of the name of COOK knows you have to worry about be sure the meat is at least moist - so a dry burger is inexcusable!
For the Top Chef web people - asking people to judge dishes based purely on looks? What is that about?
You're so right! Since when is a mediocre burger worse than an uneatable sandwich?! Poor Fabio was cheated and as a result, so were Top Chef fans. I'd rather watch gracious and gallant Fabio cook mediocre meals than sit through snarky, foul-mouthed Dale repeatedly overcompensate for a judge's remark on a previous dish.
Sad to see Fabio go as well, but I gotta defend Dale a bit as he seemed to be more like "The chef formerly known as Angry". His restraint at not punching Marcel earlier in the season really surprised me, with the amount of in your face crap being thrown at him. The only other contestant who I thought showed more maturation between their first appearances and All Stars was Tiffani from season 1 who seemed so calm and mellowed out this time around. It's been an absolutely solid season with most of them clearly having a sense of perspective and enjoying themselves so much this time around.
I read all the blogs and I can't wait to read Tom's this week. Yes, Fabio was my favorite so of course I am pissed off but the judges are so inconsistent. In a previous episode they sent the chef home whose dish was "inedible" so why wasn't Dale's and his oversalted sandwhich sent home? Even if Fabio's meatball burger was dry it was not called inedbile. In fact one of Jimmy's guests said it was a great burger after taking the first bit. This was Dale's second week in a row being at the bottom and he made a Cooking 101 mistake. UNACCEPTABLE!
Going off what was said, it seems to me that despite how the salt and seasoning of Dale's dish was off, the food still tasted good - and that is what they always judge on. In the other instances, I think, the seasoning was so horrific it became inedible.
And I suppose Fabio's dish was least tasty, so he went home.
Carla's won 3 trips, Dale's won a trip. Other people have won cash. Maybe I missed something but I don't remember Antonia win anything for her mussels? Seems a little unfair.
Having watched Top Chef since Season 1, I know that we as viewers constantly see chefs being eliminated due to seasoning-related errors. I was so saddened to see this lack of consistency in judging. Salt and seasoning is a basic for home cooks and chefs alike. I don't care how many pho fondues Angry Dale can make if he can't judge the amount of salt on a roll. Fabio's talented and hilarious which I will take over angry and overly salted any day.