Top Chef: All-Stars S01E11: Paula Deen Will Eat Your Face

First of all, let’s please take a second and thank Becca’s mom again for writing such a wonderful recap last week. Moms are the best! Even if she is not up for “the big prize” this season, she still wins as far as I am concerned. (Although, I do think that it is kind of weird that there was apparently some kind of comment thread at some point about my mom’s name? Which everyone already knew? Careful, guys! Did we learn nothing from the movie Pulse? What I’m saying is: do not murder me, computer ghosts! Or my family. Thx.) I’m not sad to have missed having to write about Sesame Street (?!) especially because I do not consider Elmo to be a real Muppet. He is second generation (read: worthless). But I would have had a few things of my own to say about the elimination of Angelo, namely to not let the spaceship door hit him on the way out (because he is an alien) and/or to make sure to lower his whole body into the pool of molten metal. Don’t leave any of your arms behind, replicant! Save the future! (Bleep bloop Angelo bloop.) ANYWAY: always move forward, you guys. We can’t live in the past. This week’s guest judge is Paula Deen, who has a serious case of Futurama face. How long has her head been floating in a jar? Forever? Look at those chompers!

EEK! For this week’s Quickfire Challenge, each of the contestants must plate a stick of butter, and the winner will be determined by how quickly Paula Deen can consume the whole stick of butter. Basically. Paula Deen is like “you guys know that southern food is very close to my heart.” Uh, yes, we do. Like, so close that you might need to get that looked at, because your heart might be clogged with it. Very close, indeed! Everyone cooks…stuff. It seems pretty loosey goosey. Blais gets very Blais about the whole thing. That guy!

Meanwhile, Antonia does not remember to make two plates of food? Send her home. I’m not joking. We are a million weeks into her SECOND season of this show, and she doesn’t remember to make two plates of food? Send her home. She does not deserve to be here. Paula does love her fried avocado and shrimp salad, but alas, she has been disqualified. (Send her home. No? Stale.) Paula Deen does NOT like Dale’s fried steak-wrapped oyster or Carla’s “spit ball” hush puppies. What she likes is Blais’s deep fried mayonnaise with something else that is fried served in a bowl of lard. And also Mike’s “chicken oyster,” which he very clearly stole from Blais. And which gets him the win. Now, this kind of thing has happened on previous seasons, lest we forget the GREAT PEA PUREE INCIDENT OF 2010. But I’m not sure that anyone has ever been quite as much of a piece of shit asshole about it as Mike Isabella.

Seriously, everything that comes out of his mouth is such weird, like, Dick Cheney garbage. It would be one thing for him to just lie and claim that he didn’t steal the dish when obviously he did. It would be another thing for him to admit that he stole the dish and just kind of tepidly apologize and move on. But it is a whole OTHER thing to do what he actually does, which is say things like “he might think that was his dish, but if it was his dish, he should have made it.” HUH? So you are basically saying that you stole the idea directly from him for sure, but it doesn’t count because you had the balls to make it? Right. He also says that it’s his dish because he made it first, which is a very Dane Cook way to think about things, and he also says “if you’re going to be a winner, then win.” Oh good GOD. I am so excited for when Mike Isabella’s stupid face is used to mop the floor.

Elimination Challenge: BP Oil Spill something. Some guy comes out and is like, “Oil Spill” and everyone is like “Oil Spill” and what I guess they mean is Marcel, because Marcel is back. So is Spike, and Angelo, and Tiffani, and some other losers. They are going to help the contestants? This is the kind of twist they often pull for the finals, but I guess we’re just going to do that now. Good. Get it out of the way. It is never even half as interesting as the producers think it is. I mean, the one way in which they kind of made it a “thing” is that the better the chef, the worse the protein, so you have to weigh how you’re going to make your choice, just like Sophie had to decide which child to send to the Nazi gas chamber. Exactly like that. (P.S. SPOILER ALERT: that book came out 100 years ago, and it’s great, so if it just got ruined it’s your fault.) Marcel, for example, has the white shrimp that everyone wants? Relax, everyone. We’ve all had shrimp before? I am clearly not a chef, because I don’t really get it. I would rather take Angelo and his Tim Burton’s Big Fish over Marcel and ANYTHING, any day of the week.

Shop shop shop. Cook cook cook. Is it just me, or is everyone RUNNING a lot FASTER these days?

The food is cooked and served in a big, white loft in the Puck Building. Hey, I was in that building one time! It’s probably a charity or something for the penguins. (There are penguins in the Gulf, right? The important thing is that when I watch Top Chef: All-Stars my attention is RIVETED.) All I know is that there are a ton of diners and they are all REALLY picky! Their criticisms are so intense! One dude is like, “Tiffany’s dish, that’s a classic dish, I want it to be my favorite, it’s not,” and another lady says, “I love Carla, but it wasn’t special.” Uh, you’re not special? You’re NOBODY! Everyone put some more free food in your mouths and then SHUT THOSE MOUTHS.

Judges Table: the top three are Blais (crispy Gulf snapper with pulled pork & citrus grits), Mike (grit-crusted Gulf shrimp, sour cream & chive potatoes with pork & lobster sauce), and Antonia (blue crab cake, corn, jalapeno & andouille relish with crab broth). Congratulations to everyone. I will say that this week all of the food sounds super good, even the losers’s food. Haha, losers! You stink! You suck at cooking, man! Anyway, Blais wins. IN YOUR FACE STUPID MIKE. If you’re going to win, just win, and if you’re going to lose, your name is Mike Isabella! Blais wins a trip to the Bahamas and he’s going to take his sous-chef, Fabio. Aww. I HOPE THEY GO SNORKELING TOGETHER. (?)

The losers: Carla (fired grouper with collard greens & chow-chow pico), Tiffany (honey glazed shrimp, grits with jalapeno & cheese, shellfish sauce), and Dale (amberjack stew with andouille sausage & potatoes, creole mustard crouton). Stupid losers. Except for Dale, who is the best. Uh oh. Wait. What? Really? Dale?

Oh well. I guess this just means Richard Blais wins this season, right? He better. If he loses at this point it is going to be like if John McCain won the 2008 election. Honestly, the producers should have figured out a way (it’s called editing and lying) to keep Angelo and Dale in the game, because although I want and expect Richard Blais to win no matter what, and have since the very beginning, I also just read The Hunger Games and I understand the importance of a good FIGHT TO THE DEATH. So.