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Top Chef: All-Stars S01E02: Night At The Museum

I guess there’s no house this season? Or is there a house? They don’t show the house very much. I know this isn’t Top House, I’m just saying that this week’s episode opens with the chefs walking right into the kitchen. What, no b-roll shots of them brushing their teeth and tying their shoes and talking about how “real” it just got? Oh well. Anyway, as soon as they walk in, Spike sees guest judge Joe Jonas. Haha. Good call, Spike. Way to not only know that it is a Jonas brother but to be able to identify WHICH Jonas brother. “They’re rock stars,” Spike says. Easy, Spike. Meanwhile, Good Dale doesn’t know who the Jonas brothers are and says that he thought he was a pastry chef. Ha! Guys, Joe Jonas looks great! Very healthy. Is it weird to talk about a teenage boy’s health? Whatever, he looks healthy, what do you want me to say? I’m not going to say he looks sick because he doesn’t. His skin is perfect. ANYWAY. For the Quickfire Challenge, the chefs must prepare a midnight snack for 150 children who are going to be doing a sleepover at the Museum of Natural History. Fair enough, although I don’t understand why the children need to eat at midnight. THAT IS HOW GREMLINS ARE FORMED. How about the chefs prepare a 7:30 snack. Richard Blais points out that Joe Jonas is a pop icon (ICON?) and is used to eating filet mignon cheese doodles (??!?!?!) so the trick is to make food that appeals to children but isn’t too cheesy for a pop icon (ICON?!). To be fair, I wouldn’t give Joe Jonas’s palate that much credit. Although I do love to imagine him eating filet mignon cheese doodles ([email protected]#@&@) at every single meal.

COOK COOK COOK HERE WE GO COOK TIME!

Most people’s dishes seem to be fistfuls of sugar mixed in with gobs of chocolate and covered with candy. Yum? Good Dale takes the giant tub of sugar out of the pantry and keeps it by his workstation and doesn’t say shit to anyone and everyone is pissed. Yeah. Not that cool, Good Dale. You’re making it hard to call you Good Dale right now. (Incidentally, Bad Dale NEVER makes it hard to call him Bad Dale. I think it’s mostly to do with his sweat band and his face.) Mike Isabella talks about how shitty the paper bag lunches were that his mom made him when he was a kid. WHOA! Come ON, Mike Isabella!!!!! That woman gave birth to you and then continued to wake up early every morning to pack you a lunch so that you would NOT DIE and KNOW THAT YOU WERE LOVED and in return you go on national television and shit on them? The worst part is that the challenge ISN’T EVEN TO MAKE PAPER BAG LUNCHES. It’s to make a snack. “I know this is kind of off topic, but can I just fucking rip into my mom for awhile?” Yikes. Boo.

Also: BABY BLAIS!

Dale thinks he should have laced his corn cakes with Nyquil. I agree! He should also have laced his corn cakes with being something other than corn cakes because corn cakes?

The losing chefs are Tiffany, with her coconut rice pudding with grapefruit sauce, Mike, with his chocolate coconut corn bar & coconut horchata chaser, and Stephen, for snickerdoodles with white chocolate coconut ganache, apricot & mint. You sure you don’t want to just send Stephen home, Joe Jonas? It’s unusual for someone to be sent home from a Quickfire but if Joe Jonas was the one doing the sending, I’m sure they’d make an exception. You sure? You sure? You sure? Fine. GOOD LUCK, STEPHEN.

The winning chefs are Spike, for homemade potato & carrot chips with mascarpone & marshmallow dip, and Tiffani, with rice ricspy treat snowball with malted milk & graham crackers. But in order to determine the winner of this challenge, the chefs much prepare their snacks for the children themselves and let the children decide. Huh. Well, first of all, are you sure we need to go through with all of that? Because it is pretty clear between the two options which one the children will prefer and let’s just say that it’s not CARROTS AND POTATOES WITH MASCARPONE. The chefs split into two teams. Jamie thinks it sucks. I think Jamie sucks.

Cook cook cook. Spike loses right away. Come on. Carrot chips? Spike tries to impress the children by telling them that he made the chips himself. The kids are all like:

Spike! Everyone has had summer jobs, no one cares. But kids especially do not care. Although, it’s also kind of lame how Tiffani is just running around screaming “WHO LIKES CHOCOLATE DIPPED IN CHOCOLATE WITH CHOCOLATE ON TOP!” or whatever. Easy does it, Tiffani. No one likes you. The kids are just like:

Spike says that losing takes him back to his school days where he always got picked last for a team. Does it, Spike? Because what’s funny about that is that a few minutes ago YOU WERE THE ONE PICKING PEOPLE FOR A TEAM, and also, children voting on which snack they like best IS A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SCENARIO, much closer to AN ELECTION, SAY. “I like my metaphors like I like my hats: terrible and ill-suited.”

Everyone is exhausted and just wants to go to sleep but uh oh, there is Tom. Maybe he is just going to tell them to take the next few days off and rest. Right? Probably. “Oh no,” Angelo says, “here the guillotine comes.” Hahaha. Hahahhaha. Angelo’s command of the English great is and sense makes he all times. Tom explains that their Elimination Challenge starts right now. The chefs will also be spending the night in the museum and they will be preparing breakfast for the children and their parents in the morning. One team will be Team Tyrannosaurus Rex and cook with proteins and dairy, and the other team will be Team Brontosaurus and cook with vegetables and grain. Tiffani gets to choose, and she chooses Tyrannosaurus. Everyone on her team is extremely cocky about getting to use proteins and dairy while the other team only gets vegetables and grains. Something tells me they are right to be cocky and there are absolutely no surprises lying in wait.

Some of the chefs “decide” to go on a “flashlight tour” of the museum? Right. Snore. Also: lies. Nice try, TV producers. Spike learns how his brain works? Go to bed, Spike. The part that I do like is when Stephen sees all the cots lined up in the hallway and explains that he lives in a big loft in downtown New York and is not sleeping in a museum. Hahahahhahahaha. Uh, Stephen, you know that NO ONE SLEEPS IN THE HALLWAY OF A MUSEUM, right? Like, HAVING A LOFT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. It is outside of EVERY SINGLE PERSON’S COMFORT ZONE INSOFAR AS IT IS NOT A THING THAT EXISTS. Stephen, you guys. Chop his head off.

I’m sure there are also some funny jokes to make about Ben Stiller’s hit franchise, Night at the Museum, but I haven’t seen any of those movies because of the whole being an adult thing, so oh well.

The next morning, the chefs get to the pantry and DING DONG, team Tyrannosaurus Rex gets to use meat and dairy, yes, but they get to use ONLY meat and dairy. Well, that’s not so much a surprise twist as it is exactly what Tom told them was going to happen? Everyone on Team Tyrannosaurus is getting really pissed because they all assumed they’d get to use protein and dairy as well as any herbs and vegetables that they want. Huh? Why did you all think that? There was literally no reason for you all to think that. Tiffani interviews that being an omnivore, she assumed Team Tyrannosaurus would get to use everything. Hahaha. Oh lord, really? Busting out some SERIOUS DINOSAUR SCIENCE HERE? Bad Dale says that Team Brontosaurus is dancing around like everything is puppies and roses. You guys are having some serious sour grapes for the team that got to choose in the first place and was being real cunts the night before. Night at the Cuntseum is what you guys were. Choke on it.

Cook cook cook. Breakfast breakfast breakfast.

Everyone sets up outside in the courtyard of the museum. FUN FACT: I went to a wedding once where the reception was at the museum and the cocktail hour was held in that very same courtyard. COOL FACT! You guys probably can’t even believe this story is true. “No way.” — you guys. Believe it. Richard Blais was probably standing right where I was probably standing whenever this episode was filmed. Holy cow so amazing. Speaking of amazing, Katie Lee (formerly Katie Lee Joel) is the guest judge.

YOWZA. I have a feeling that I could not be in the same room with Katie Lee for more than five minutes without wanting to barf my brains out, but perhaps right before I die from having no more brains (you need brains to live!) me and Katie Lee could get MARRIEEEEEEEEEEEED. Katie Lee, please call me. Don’t say anything, you’re a little insufferable, but let’s get on iPhone Facetime and just STARE AT EACH OTHER. Also, did you guys remember that Katie Lee hosted the first season? I did NOT remember that. I blame these guys:

Team Brontosaurus eats Team Tyrannosaurus for breakfast. Get it? They just crush them. In particular, Marcel, Richard, and Angelo crush them with their banana parfait with seasonal fruit & tandoori maple. Although it is also worth pointing out how mad Team Tyrannosaurus gets about Fabio (with help from Stephen and Spike) making potato gnocchi with leeks, spinach & mushrooms. “Who wants gnocchi for breakfast,” they keep saying. It’s almost a fair point, because I am not sure who wants gnocchi for breakfast, but you guys should really stop crying about it, because if your breakfast lost to gnocchi breakfast then that makes you look even worse. Be cooler.

Team Tyrannosaurus faces the judges table and again everyone starts explaining how the only reason they picked Tyrannosaurus Rex is because they assumed they would get to use everything, not JUST protein and dairy. Huh. Katie Lee explains that part of the challenge is being able to adapt to the circumstances they are presented, and Tom explains that he had explicitly told them the night before what they would have to cook with, but for some reason no one says “WHY THE FUCK DID YOU THINK THIS WAS SERIOUSLY ABOUT THE DIETS OF EXTINCT DINOSAURS AND ALSO WHY ARE YOU ALL ACTING LIKE BRISTLY PALEONTOLOGISTS NOW YOU STUPIDS?” No one says that. Meanwhile, Jen goes crazy?

Yikes. Jen. Sow down. Jen. Shh. Jen. Careful Jen. Jen, you’re wound up. Jen, easy does it. Yikes Jen. Jen! JEN! Tom says that ultimately people are going to be judged on their food, not on whether they talk back to the judges. OK! But what about when their food sucks AND they talk back to the judges?

OH ALSO: about this whole Jamie cutting herself and leaving the competition for the evening to get three stitches and everyone being made that she did not put duct tape on her hand and shut up already: you guys need to chill. I’ve heard about this before, and it seems like there is some kind of badge of honor that chefs wear when it comes to working through illness and injury. Why? What do you think this is, the Battle of Normandy? Give me a break. HOW DARE HER! It’s fine. She took care of herself. Why don’t you all just take care of yourselves? Trust me: no one is going to starve to death because Jamie got three stitches. It is weird how serious you guys are about getting blood and germs into food!

But ultimately Jen goes home. In part it is for the braised bacon and hard boiled eggs that she made, but in large part I think it’s just because they’d clearly run out of Brain Medication on the Top Chef set and they wanted to make sure to get her somewhere (home) where there was plenty of Brain Medication. Bye Jen! Get well soon!