“Top Chef All-Stars” Recap (8.03): Empire state of mind


At Má Pêche Angelo puts white chocolate with his fish, which sounds disgusting but I’m sure if delicious because, as much as I hate to admit it, Angelo never makes disgusting dishes. Chang is gracious to all the dishes saying there is “nothing I’d be embarrassed about.”

At Townhouse, Big Gay Dale asks Casey to taste all his components and she says he has “everything but the kitchen sink” and is “a little concerned for him.” He is making some sort of peanuts, popcorn, French toast and veal concoction that scares me a little. Jamie is going the opposite direction, making a simple soup with “smoke,” which bores me a little.

At wd~50, the chefs grapple with how to best emulate Dufresne’s unique style. Dale opts to not, but just go for his own style in homage to him. Tiffani meanwhile goes too crazy and over does it with the techniques. In a good example of kitchen irony, the two chefs most familiar with molecular gastronomy (Tiffani and Marcel) are deemed the least successful in executing it.

Back in the Stew Room, the chefs await their fate. Padma calls in Little Mad Dale, Angelo, Antonia and Tre, who had the best dishes out of each group. The winner will receive a six-night trip to New Zealand. The judges have lovely things to say about all their food, but I’m more curious about Angelo’s pants. I don’t care if they’re tight or not, I just wonder who cooks in white pants?

Dale is ultimately declared the winner after he smartly played to chef Dufresne’s “egg slut” tendencies.

Least favorites Stephen, Tiffani, Fabio and Big Gay Dale follow. Carla tells them to “fight hard, but not too hard – be nice.” Someone off camera says, “Don’t pull a Jen.” Sorry, Padma, I take back soundbite of the week. “Don’t pull a Jen” is now forever part of the Top Chef vernacular.

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