Top Chef: We Salute You, Fallen Soldier

Last night’s Top Chef was the restaurant wars episode, which is the most ridiculous episode. It’s such a preposterous challenge. You have six hours to plan a menu and get a degree in interior design? With a budget of 35 dollars at Pier 1 Imports to create a fine dining experience? No. Nope. Although at least no scented candles this year. But I just don’t understand what restaurant wars is supposed to reveal about someone’s talents as a chef. That they can be easily overwhelmed by a false simulacrum of something that doesn’t actually exist?

The chefs split into two teams: Richard, Stephanie and Antonia on one team, Spike, Dale, and Lisa on another. Oh, and Tom Collichio was played by the part of Anthony Bourdain for some reason. Because this was such a big challenge, each team got to pick one additional assistant from four of the previous competitors, Mark, Andrew, Nikki, and Jennifer. Neither Mark nor Andrew were chosen, which of all the humiliations of being on a reality show, I think being called back post-elimination to appear for thirty seconds of a later episode and get eliminated again has to be one of the very worst.

It never looked good for Spike, Dale, and Lisa, with their pan-Asian themed “restaurant,” and it wasn’t good according to the judges. Because Spike, who refuses to die, got dressed up in his Sunday suit and pranced around the dining room like a rubber-wristed Mr. Thang, but couldn’t bomb any of the dishes in the kitchen and didn’t fart in anyone’s laksa out front, he was safe. So it was down to the hard-working, no nonsense Dale, and the sourest-faced sourpuss of Sourland Lisa.

The truth is that while I have been a staunch regional captain of Team Dale, I think he deserved to be eliminated. It was his idea to do Asian food, he was executive chef, and they failed the challenge. Done and done. I wish he could have gone to the end so that we could have seen whether Richard’s lesbian haircut or Dale’s green sweatband would win the day, but fair is fair. People have been eliminated for far less (kill me for that sentence.)

His heartfelt goodbye was a painful reminder that Lisa and Spike need to go fuck each other to death.

Good night, sweet Dale. Tonight, when I grab my balls and yell at someone in a broom closet, it will be in memory of you.