Real quick, here's a breakdown of last night's Top Chef All Stars so I can get to the point (the real point): There was no Quickfire. The chefs woke up at the ass-crack and drove to Montauk for a four-hour fishing trip. They were split into four teams of three and the goal was to catch as many fish as they could, return to the beach and cook their haul for a party of 200 people.
Team Fabio/Blais/Marcel caught no fish for the first two hours but then Marcel started reeling them in. Their reeling technique was, well, intimate (watch the repeats if you can). They chose to cook a single dish and landed in the bottom. Fabio did all the prep, and, for the record, did not want to hang his hat on one dish. I'm also confident Fabio still loves his turtle.
Team Tiffany Derry/Mike Isabella/Angelo also had no luck for two hours, but they landed in the top after working out two dishes including a pickled bluefish and a striking striped bass with corn puree.
Team Dale/Carla/Tre were the first to catch. They each prepared a dish with Carla earning the challenge win and a six-night stay in Amsterdam for her smoked bluefish lettuce wrap with pumpernickel croutons. She's charging toward the top, that one.
And Team Antonia/Jamie/Tiffani put out three dishes, as well. Antonia's was the judges' favorite -- an open faced porgie po boy with Old Bay mayo -- but because Tiffani's and Jamie's sucked so incredibly hard, they landed in the bottom...and in prime position for the episode's double elimination...
Dale on Angelo: In talking heads, the chefs said what type of fish they -- or their competitors -- would be. Dale said Angelo would be a mermaid. And he is so right. So, so right.
Tre on Jamie's complaining in the kitchen: "It's kinda like having a little baby in the background."
Tom's surprising attitude: I wasn't there, of course, but based on edits and footage, Tom was in the worst mood ever during last night's episode. He cut people off, he made faces when he ordered food/cocktails, he worked an "Oh, really, because that sounds stupid" expression during chef check-ins. Maybe he had a migraine from getting up so early for Montauk. Maybe Gail said something about his shirt. Maybe he just wished I had been there. It's so hard to tell.
Oh, and this: JAMIE WAS ELIMINATED! So was Tiffani, but that's way less interesting to me. Even more interesting is Eric Ripert's video offer for Jamie to come train with him at Le
Bernandin Bernardin...you know, since she had so much trouble making fish and bland sauce. Wow. But...ouch. Wouch, if you will.
Next week: Restaurant wars! Anthony Bourdain!
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And with that...