It’s time for another season of Top Chef! Wait. No, not yet. First, we have some unresolved bs to hash out. How in the hell did a wack hack like Ilan WIN this thing last year? My blood is still boiling. And what ever happened to Tiffani from Season 1? Did she recover from her loss and get her freckly, bitchy butt back on the horse and try again? This show has produced some of the most immature apes I’ve ever come across, and I want…no I NEED to know what happened to them.
Call Domino’s, cuddle up with a bottle (or 3) of the finest (2 buck Chuck) vino, and binge like Nicole Richie without double doses of Trim Spa and massive amounts of coke. What? It’s my free day! Welcome home! It’s time for Top Chef: Miami! The first thing that pops out in this episode is “HOLY MOTHER OF SCAR TISSUE, PADMA!” You’ve felt pain. We GET IT. Now give the camera the side of you that doesn’t make my face scrunch up. You’re like a girl I knew in Jr. High that had one wooden leg and came to class wearing mini-skirts. Seriously? Get some pants. I’m trying to concentrate.
What she said was a blur, but I think it went something like this: “Last year, a monkey went home with his tail between his legs, a Mexican chick saved her head and lost to a white boy cooking Spanish food (I know they’re not the same, but ouch), and a hot guy taught us that not only little girls wear comb headbands.” Gotta disagree with you there, Padma.
Before we get on with Season Three, we get to roll around in Season 1 & 2′s mud. Harold, Tiffani, Stephen and Dave are in the house, and I’m praying they’re ready to smack Sam, Elia, Marcel and Ilan DOWN. It’s a cook off! Grrrrrrll. It’s no coincidence that this show is coming on right before gay pride weekend. PARTAY!
Padma greets Season 1 first. Tiffani smiles big and says it’s just like old times. Yeah, I still wanna punch you in the face. Dave looks at her like he’s thinking the same thing. Harold has great news! He’s opening his restaurant in the Spring! Wow, that was quick. If Harold got pregnant, it would take him 10 years to pop that brat out. He’s going the “Seasonal American” route. I’m glad he used his time to come up with something inventive. He smiles all good-natured like and I have to admit, even though I just spent a whole paragraph ragging on him, I would marry this man. Nice, boring guys are hot, and they usually have jobs.
Padma sits them down on the edge of the bed and explains to them what happened to Katie Lee Joel. Dave tries not to cry as he listens to the story about the Mercedes, the fat drunk husband and the tree. Aw. Feelings. To bring everyone’s spirits up, she tells them that Lee Anne, who finished fourth their season, is too successful and fabulous to compete. Ouch. To make it worse, her replacement is Stephen, the sniveling, whining wine snob who finished fifth. The camera cuts to him looking pissed off that this Padma bitch called him out as a temp right in front of the entire office. Katie Lee would have NEVER.
Lee Anne was hired by Top Chef!! YAAAAAYYYYYY!!!! She’s the culinary producer of the show now, which I can only guess means she’ll be creating the hellish challenges for this year’s grunts. Sweet! Glad someone got a decent job out of this show.
The Season 2 Chefs enter the kitchen and Tiffani looks like she’s about to cut one of them. Ilan tells the cameras that since the show ended, he’s gone from being a conceited, backstabbing nutsack to a full fledged, ballz out villain. Ugh. I hate hating him because I know that’s what he wants. People don’t shave shapes on their scalps or get faux hawks because they want people to like them. Ilan did both. Two wrongs make a WRONG, Ilan. He licks his lips and shiftily boasts to a (slimmed down, worked out, fine hunk of burning love) Daddy Tom that he’s had tons and tons of lucrative offers, but they’ve all been “too big”. MmHmm.
He wants his first restaurant to be tiny. Good thinkin’. I can totally picture him with a tiny restaurant.
Daddy Tom says there’s been a lot of “talk on the blogs” that Season 1 was better than Season 2. Do they agree? Stephen chimes in “I do!” That’s gotta smart, coming from the first contestant to ever brag that “cooking isn’t my thing.” He says the Chefs from 2 talked a good game, but when it came to competing, they didn’t know what they were doing. Shut it, temp. The monkey looks at him like he can’t believe he found someone more immature than himself.
The Season 2 Chefs keep their mouths shut, which makes me kinda like them. If they can keep it up for an hour, I’m sending them Shoebox Greetings with candy hearts inside. Team Captains will be determined with a Quickfire Callenge! Elia doesn’t look to happy about this. You can practically see her wondering if she should do her Chocolate Kiss AGAIN. I feel for the girl. She’s come back with a make under. What did you do to piss off that hairdresser? He may have told you he was giving you Storm cut, but he switched it out with the Shit Storm instead and charged you two hundred smacks. Hairdressers are not nice people.
Speaking of irrational gays, David is mortified that he has to do a Quickfire Challenge. On Top Chef. “Can’t we just get over this?” That’s what I thought when they announced you were coming back. He promises not to cry, and I promise to try and make him.
They lift the kloshes in front of them (or as we call them in Texas, LIDS) and under them are two eggs. Stephen says that the true Chef test is whether or not you how to make eggs. I am gonna be sure to relay that to the girl who microwaves my egg sandwich at the coffee shop every morning. She’ll be so flattered.
Padma tells the Chefs that cooking eggs is so simple, they should be able to do it with one hand tied behind their back. And that’s how they’re gonna do it! HAHAH PADMA’S PUNNY! She’s also smiling so tight she can barely talk. Since when are you a coke head? Mary Jane is a gateway drug! The Chefs’ll have ten minutes and they’ll have to keep one hand in an oven mitt and behind their backs. Anyone who uses that hand is disqualified. Stephen smirks at the camera. He’s confident that he’s the best one handed beater in the room, and I’ll bet he’s right. I can smell the lotion on his palms from here. Cut to Ilan yelling “It’s hard!”
Thanks. I never will be again. Dave is making “Firey Eggs” and promises they’re really good for a hangover. Too bad Padma’s not judging this one. Elia has decided on pan fried eggs with tarragon and paprika. She says this like making eggs in a frying pan is the most brilliant, devious plan ever hatched. Oh, Shit Storm. You’re a STAHHHH! Sam is going to go out on a limb and make a breakfast item. Good call, dude. He describes his idea as salty, sweet, and savory. I’m no Chef Boyardee, but that sounds like a lot of adjectives for a couple eggs.
Stephen sees no need to get so fancy (he’s reached the fancy threshold). He’s gonna keep it simple and make an omelette. Ilan’s doing an omelette too, but his is all whites with a sauce made from the yolks. It looks like a slimy, outcast clam got voted Prom Queen and the popular girls dumped buckets of Thousand Island all over her.
Tiffani is making a parmesan cream poached egg, and I have to say it’s the first thing that’s sounded good. She may be a bitch ass, but she can sure title a dish. Harold is doing shirred sunny side up eggs baked in circular molds, and he says it’s gonna be great after everything coagulates. Mmmm, coagulation. Marcel goes straight for Ilan’s jugular. He’ll be doing an “Ode to a Spanish Breakfast” with a glass of fresh squeezed sour grapes. He asks “What better way to approach a smack down than with a saffron foam?” Well, to start, you could make something that didn’t look like a chick miscarriage.
Dave overcooked his eggs, and Tiffani undercooked hers. Daddy Tom calls it egg soup and laughs. She doesn’t. Stephen has titled his dish “The Perfect Omelette”. Oy. He assures us that he’s been “executing this sort of excellence for years now.” Ah, yes. True. We’ve seen him execute excellence many many times.
Poor Harold. His dish looks like double Lasik gone horribly, sadistically wrong.
Daddy Tom is in a very good mood today, and he compliments the Chefs as much as he can. Dave’s dish was an explosion of flavor, but his eggs were over cooked. Stephen took the assignment too literally by making a plain ole omelette, but Tom was impressed he did it with one hand. Ouch. He loved Harold’s dish even though he lost a yoke. And Stephen wins the Challenge for Team 1. ?!?!?!?!!??!!??? I can’t help but think he won for the drama. This little bitch bossing around Tiff and Dave? Mmmmmm. I’m tempted to fast forward to the part where Tiffany beats him with a pan and Dave goes on a “I’m not your bitch, bitch!” rampage, but I hold myself back. Baby steps.
As for Team 2, Tom loved the monkey’s miscarriage, and both Sam and Elia got high marks too. Daddy would have chosen Ilan if his dish wasn’t way salty and he hadn’t shown up with that hair. Marcel wins, and he’s a slice of humble pie about it. He rolls his jaw around and says he just took down the biggest competitor with his own BS. “Wasn’t that, like, the biggest smack down of all time?” Nope. The one where you were held down and almost shaved like a mangy stray was bigger, but I can’t wait to watch you lead. The Team win goes to the Season 1 Chefs, which gives Stephen yet another chance to brag about being the best. Chef. Ever. Invented.
For the Elimination Challenge, each team will have to make a four course meal for 20 people using the same proteins. First course: scallops, second course: lobster, third course: duck, and fourth course: Kobe beef. Sounds simple enough, so why is Dave already twitching like someone just put a quarter into him?
Season 1′s team will have $300, and since Season 2 lost, they only get $200. Aww. They only have ten minutes to plan, thirty to shop, and two hours the next day to cook. Marcel wants everyone on his team to pick whichever protein they feel most comfortable with, but somehow Ilan gets stuck with duck. Since he only knows how to make Spanish food and the Spanish people generally don’t use duck, he’s screwed. Marcel relays this to the cameras with a smile on his face, still not realizing that he might need a good duck dish to win with his TEAM. Dumbass. Ilan whines about not having enough time (or talent or skill or taste) to pull off duck, but no one cares. Karma’s a c word, ain’t it?
Stephen wants his team to focus on Mediterranean, and Dave has multiple face spasms. “Why can’t we do something fun?” Because you wouldn’t go into seizures, which would take away everyone else’s fun. Shut up and cook, Mary. Ilan is visibly scared, and he walks aimlessly around the pantry, picking up a pepper grinder to make sure it works. Then he wanders into Team 1′s side and starts blindly rummaging through the fridge while they discuss their menu like Anne Heche taking refuge from aliens in a neighbor’s house. Team 1 silently watches Ilan and waits for him to leave, but he never does. Instead, he starts opening jars and digging in them with his bare, nasty ass hands. Stephen says Ilan is the perfect example of the unprofessionalism on display in Season 2, and I hate not being able to argue with him. Finally, Team 2 goes outside. Ilan acts like he never even noticed them. Bizarre.
At the grocery store, he still hasn’t come up with a plan, so Sam suggests wrapping some asparagus with the duck. Yeah, but what should he use for his acid? Jesus, man. You need to know how to make fire, too? He tells us that he’s going out of his Spanish comfort zone and preparing something as broad as possible. That’s one way to say you have no clue what you’re gonna do. Stephen’s plan is crystal clear, though. He’s gonna use his team’s extra money for wine. Man, people really never ever change. To prove it, Marcel trash talks the other teams to the cameras and crackers out all over us. Some things words just can’t describe. NOW. BACK FOR AN ENCORE!! M.C. MONKEY SHINES!!!!
Don’t even try to tell me Blake Wiggy from American Idol didn’t rip the monkey off.
Later that night, both teams throw a few glasses of champers back together at their hotel and get nasty. No, no one has sex (thank God), they just act like five year olds. It starts with Marcel joking that he has no chemicals that have been tested on animals on his prep list. Dave chimes in that if you can cook, you can cook, and shouldn’t need special emulsions or magic brews. Um, didn’t you like just burn eggs? “If the bitch can cook, let him cook!” Marcel gets that teary eyed look of fear that precedes any fight he’s in. It’s like he still just can’t understand why no one likes him. “You’re calling me a bitch now?” Everyone tells him to shut up and looks at him disapprovingly. He nanny boo boos and sticks his tongue out while Ilan cusses him out and tells him to be professional. Tiffani smiles a little even though she is acting mortified. Finally, there’s someone to take the spotlight off the memories of her shitty personality.
The next morning, the Chefs have two hours to cook before service. Stephen is confident in going “hair to hair” with Marcel. That’s actually a brilliant way to put it, Stephen. You might want to start…you know. Cooking. Ilan and Harold are also going head to head with the duck course, and Harold says he has a lot of people back home watching and “just can’t go down to this guy.” LOL, Harold. Please don’t.
Tiff, unable to let go, tries another parmesan cream for her kobe beef dish. This time it will be in polenta. Kobe and grits? Mmmmmm. You win!
Daddy Tom comes around to check on progress at the half-way point. Ilan is going to take the breast out of his duck, remove the skin, coat the breast with almond crust, then recover it with the skin and deep fry it. Daddy Tom agrees that it’s a strong statement against clogged pores, but will he finish in an hour? Ilan shifts his eyes and licks his lips with a table of raw birds in front of him and says “yup!” Good luck with that. Marcel refuses to let Tom get to him. He just smiles and keeps on working, not even looking at Tom once. Way to not let him psych you out, Monkey Shines!
Tom has much better luck with freaking out Stephen. With a huge smile on his face, he says “So, you’re going head to head, huh?” Yup. Tom is silent, which makes Stephen blush deep red and stammer. “And…?” Tom asks him if he chose wine. Of course! Everything’s paired! Well, since the competing dishes are going to be served at the same time, how does he know he didn’t make pairing choices that would make the other team look better? Crickets.
Daddy Tom leaves them to get er done, and woops! Ilan accidentally went into the fridge and knocked Marcel’s diced mangos all over the floor. He says “sorry, I’ll wash them off.” Wow, that’s nasty. Even for the future owner of a roach coach. Marcel keeps working instead of punching him in the face, but I am sure there is some serious beat poetry being written in his head right now.
Time to plate, and all the Chefs are dipping their fingers in their sauces to taste. GROSS. The worst offender, shockingly, is Dave. He wipes sweat off his head and puts his fingers in his tapenade and then sweats some more. I need to go on a diet, and this show knows it. Tiff tastes his sweaty tapenade and suggests he uses a tomato to take away some density. She’s obviously trying to help him this time, but he flashes back to his finale of incompetence and vents to the cameras. He really doesn’t appreciate that everyone is telling him what to do AGAIN. How is he always in this situation? Montage of Dave running around asking everyone what to do and sweating profusely. Dear editors of Top Chef. I love you. Call me. Mean it.
Plating time and Dave is in full queen flurry mode as he barks at the confused, lifeless server drones. “Where did they get these servers?” Probably from the new Bravo reality show Top Waiter. Come on, you know it’s coming. When he gets out to greet the Judges and guests with Elia, he asks her “When do we get to be the guests?” When you stop putting your grubby fingers in everything and acting like a slob. Wipe your face.
Gail’s back this year and she’s smiling. Obviously no one told her about Dave’s “BURNT. CHARRED. EGGS!!!!” Tom and Padma, of course, are there, and good news! Bravo has married Ted Allen from Queer Eye, and he’s feeling like being rebellious. Why else would a gay man on a show about teaching straight men to dress wear this shirt?
The mystery guests will be the contestants from Season 3! Dave is immediately on the defensive, saying it’s real easy to Judge from the outside looking in. “Talk to me in four weeks and I’ll tell you what I think of your food.” Hold on Dave, no one’s trashed your dish. Yet.
Since we have a whole season to dish about the new contestants, I will not rag on them too harshly today. I’ll just say that they have an Asian guy named Hung, a douche in an I HEART MOMS t-shirt, and big slab of a girl with a shaved head that looks like she could kick both Josie and Tiffani’s asses at the same time. YAYYYYYY!!!
First up are Elia and Dave’s scallop dishes.
They both look lovely, and no one makes an “ew. That shit’s nasty” face. Good start! It’s awesome to listen to the Season 3 newbies talk like they’re pros being interviewed by Larry King. As we’ve learned from every reality show out there, the people who talk the biggest are usually the biggest a holes. Enter these two:
Dave scurries back to the kitchen and gives his piers the dish. “Ted Allen’s back, and it’s Season 3. So be ready to deal with that.” LOL. Marcel doesn’t care. He just wants to finish. Ilan is no use. There’s no time for him to re chop the mango he accidentally (sabotaged) dropped on the floor, because “he’s trying to figure out a dish he doesn’t know how to cook.” LOL. Man, the monkey is really on my good side today, and I don’t know why. He and Stephen are up next with their Lobster dishes, and Marcel has a friend on Season 3! The Asian guy named Hung. Why does that not surprise me? They googoo eye each other and then the monkey goes into his spiel. He may not have used any chemicals, but he did hock up a nice Lobster Spit Foam.
Consistency counts for something.
Stephen describes his dish as “simple and sexy”, and he couldn’t have sounded more overwrought and unsexy. Hung wasn’t vibing with the flavor combinations and hopes that the Prosecco will help. He tastes it and shakes his head “no”. Snap, Hung. I can’t wait to see this guy cry later this year.
Ilan’s dish didn’t quite come together, or as he put it, his “skin wasn’t rendering.” Which means, “HUH?” He switched from deep frying to pan roasting, which will probably turn out better anyway, even though I hate to say it. Oh wait, he’s decided to put an egg yolk on top of his charred rice to “sauce it up”. I take it back. Stephen tries to get Harold to say he’s got Ilan beat, but as usual, Harold wastes no time on petty bullshit. Booooo! Ilan does though. He tells the camera he can’t wait for Season 1 to feel his wrath! I’m sure they’re quakin’. Or they will be after they swallow a sliver of your raw ass duck. Duck is generally served on the rare-ish side, but damn. That thing looks like it’s about to get up and run away.
When they greet the guests, Ted Allen blurts out “What’s with Ilan’s hair?” LOL. Well, when there’s a Queer Eye For the Queer Guy, you can take a stab at it. Until then, please tell your shirt to quiet down.
Ilan’s dish bombs hard. Ted moves it around on the plate trying to find an appetizing presentation, but never does. The Season 3 douche from San Diego says “This team hates each other. They’re not going with each other at all!” Then he laughs like he just discovered something he didn’t watch all thirteen hours of last year. Ass. Harold, of course, killed.
Back in the kitchen, Tiff tells us that she hasn’t seen what Sam is doing but she knows he’s great. Still, she’s gonna win. I hope so, even though I blushed typing that. Sam never really has anything to say, and it’s hilarious how the editors cut together snippets of him blathering on about nothing to make it sound like a full cohesive sentence. This one is about pride and being in the kitchen and….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Take off your shirt.
Ted and the girls drool over Sam. You totally have a chance, Ted. Work it! If that falls through I know someone who knows someone who knows Clooney. Give me a call.
Tiff and Sam’s Kobe beef dishes both look beautiful. Tiffani looks like she put more effort into originality and presentation, but Sam had fried onions, so my money’s on him cuz I’d order it at Chili’s. Tiff presents with a large glass of wine like she doesn’t care about winning, but I will never forget when she lost to Harold. She boo hooed and vomited bile all over the cameras. PLEASE LOSE. I’m bored.
A homely Season 3 girl named Micah tastes Sam’s dish and snaps “It’s nice.” Padma questions her tone and she just repeats “It’s nice.” Man, homely girls hate hot guys. Come on, Micah. What was his name? The guy from Cedar Hill, TX says he isn’t sure about Tiffani’s use of raw beef with cooked beef, like it’s never been done before and he didn’t get it. Way to represent TX, you ignoramus. Go Longhorns! Joey, the Mikey of the new season, says that Season 3′s gonna be better than either of the hacks from the first two years combined. Let’s hope so.
The Chefs give advice to the newbies. Ilan says they shouldn’t be too full of themselves yet. If they become more of a useless, hacky asshole with each episode, they’ll have a better shot at keeping our attention. Hey, whatever works.
Time for the Judge’s Table. Dave and Elia are up first, and they look like one big peroxide accident.
Since Dave is twitching and sweating already, Padma starts by asking him how his day went. He said he did what he had to do under the circumstances. He didn’t want to make his dish too Dave (because after all, who wants to eat a flamy bear?) but he tried to make his mark on it even though he was forced by Stephen to go Mediterranean. Breathe, dude. It’s ok. Gail said that she loved the smokey flavor of his scallop, but she didn’t love the tapenade. Hmmm. Could it have maybe used a TOMATO to help with the DENSITY? Daddy Tom said his scallops and Dave blurts out “Flavors!” Umkay. Tom repeats “flavors” and then Dave throws up his hands and says “Ok, fine. Flavors.” What the hell just happened?
Padma asks Elia why she chose to use citrus with her scallops, and she says that she was originally gonna do seared, but Marcel said she should do carpaccio and seared. Oh, Shit Storm. Still blaming the monkey. Gross. Tom says she should have ignored Marcel and gone with one dish, but he liked them both separately.
Stephen and Marcel’s lobster dishes are next on the chopping block. Padma calls Marcel on having both a foam and a gelee on the same dish on a hot day after what he went through in Hawaii, but she also says his lobster spit foam was one of his best. Tom says his knife work was shady, and Marcel concurs and says he had to cut it last second. Ilan, in a surprising act of honesty, takes blame and admits to “accidentally” knocking over the mango. Tom asks “Really? You did?” He is as shocked as we are, and he doesn’t seem to believe it was an accident. The Judges have nothing to say to Stephen, which better not mean he won, cuz I’ll lose it.
PADMA!!! JESUS! Are you wearing body scar glitter now? That thing is bigger and shinier than ever!
Ilan and Harold are up, and Tom said that even though Harold’s meatballs tasted ok, the dish felt incomplete. Harold looks so surprised at this that he gets a second chin.
What about you, Ilan? Are you proud of yourself? He smiles big and does the five year old voice. He didn’t get to do what he wanted, which was…make something that was good? Gail says his duck was overcooked but his fat was undercooked. Overcooked? Serve her a kicking quacking duck next time. Ted’s table was the only one that liked it. I guess his table decided that after they moved it around their plates and said it looked disgusting. Harold crosses his arms. “Are we done here?” LOL, Harold! You win again!
Tiffani and Sam’s Kobe is next, and as a show of good sportsmanship, Sam has loaned her a pair of his shorts to wear to the Judge’s Table.
Ted asks Tiffani for the recipe and Tom says it’s good to see her food again. Sam went for “rustic”, which as we’ve learned means throw it on a grill and micro some veggies, and the Judges weren’t biting. Tom asks them if they took a look at where their dishes stood in comparison to the others, but the only two who seemed to pay attention to the big picture were the team captains, Stephen and Marcel. Stephen thinks Season 1 was better and the monkey disagrees. Ted said “You should disagree!” Cryptic.
Padma asks if any of them came away from their respective seasons learning anything. Marcel lists a slew of things, but Daddy Tom cuts the crap. People hate you, did you act nicer? Nope. Good to see ya! Tiff gets in on the whole being the villain thing, but she was way less of a c word this time, and she’s also learned to moisturize.
In alone time, the Judges repeat their same criticisms but add that Stephens dish was “brilliant”. Ouch! I just poked myself in the eye! DAMN YOU, JUDGES! Thank God it’s commercial time. I need to breathe.
Bravo shows a super extended ad for Season 3 and it features Padma dancing around with knives. Get it? She’s dangerous! She has a SCAAARRRRRRR!!!!
Back to the Judges Table. We got to spend a lot of time on rehashing old drama tonight, so there’s not a whole lot of hand wringing from Daddy Tom. Shit Storm beat Dave (booo!), Stephen wins over Monkey Shines (Tom also adds that the dish was his personal favorite. I guard my eye and boooo!), Harold’s mediocrity beat Ilan’s terriblocity, and finally, drumroll….Tiffani beat Sam! I am excited for her cuz she didn’t act like an asshole even once, and it sealed a win for Season 1. And as an added bonus, Sam looks like he’s about to boo hoo all over himself. YAY!!!!
Ronnie Karam has been with TVgasm since 2006 , which has given him the opportunity to make fun of hundreds of TV's most loved and hated reality whores. His plan in life was to be Julia Roberts but that plan was stolen by, well, Julia Roberts. He'll get you one day, JULIA ROBERTS!! When not making himself giggle for the gasm, Ronnie performs improv and sketch comedy at IO West in Hollywood a couple of times weekly while using the lovely California days to audition for commercial roles such as "ADORABLE MEXICAN UNCLE". Seriously. He would like to thank Jesus, Buddha and Xenu for the blessings they've bestowed. The writers here are the best around, and he's honored to be associated with them. Find video archives at CankleTV.com, or follow on Twitter @flipit