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Top Chef All-Stars - Ep. #9 - 02/09/11 (Spoilers)

Hey everyone! It's Jimmy Fallon's birthday! Woo hoo! We get to watch him and his family celebrate! Oh wait - that was 3 months or more ago. Oh well. :-)

In the bar after last week's show, some of them give congrats to Antonia on her win. Dale knew his dish was NOT good and he could have gone home; Fabio and Antonia argue about her mussels and whether they were Italian or not. Mike was a jerk to Antonia, as usual.

They arrive at the TC kitchen, and see FONDUE pots! Richard says "When I think of fondue, I think of bell bottoms, fields, and .... I don't know - being naked?"

Padma says they are to create a unique fondue - and the cheftestants are their own judges - they'll taste everything and then judge each other by choosing a Favorite and Least Favorite. They *cannot* vote for themselves, and there's no immunity. The winner, however, will get a 3-day trip to Napa Valley.

Padma had said this isn't the bananas in chocolate type of fondue - but of course, Richard goes that way - but with a Richard Twist!

Dale does an Asian version - as he puts it, a "Pho-due". :-) His actually sounds very good!

For the tasting, Mike and Padma had a little funny - Padma was having difficulty eating Tiffany's Apple Fritters dipped in chocolate, and Mike said something along the lines of "you'll get dirty!" Padma laughs and said "I think I've done it." (Didn't she do a sexy burger commercial?)

Least Favorite - Fabio, Tiffany, and Mike. And Mike actually calls Dale an "effing monkey" for voting him into the bottom? Holy crap.

Favorites - Antonia, Dale and Angelo - Richard's bummed he didn't get in the top group. The winner is Dale!

Padma sends them off to Rockefeller Center, and they walk into Jimmy Fallon's show for ... CELL PHONE SHOOTOUT! They have to pull out their cell phones and take a picture of a lot of pictures that flash by on a screen when Jimmy says "shoot!". That is what they'll have to cook for his birthday dinner at Colicchio & Sons the next day.

Antonia - Beef Tongue (she went with a sandwich preparation)
Fabio - Burger (Booger!) and Fries
Carla - Chicken Pot Pie (LOVED her silly dance - she was thrilled to get what she wanted!)
Tiffany - Southwestern Chicken & Dumplings
Richard - Ramen Noodles
Dale - Philly Cheesesteak
Angelo - Pulled Pork
Mike - Sausage & Peppers

They are told that Jimmy Fallon doesn't like mayonnaise, eggplant, or mushrooms - AND that Jimmy's family will be there at the party as well. This will be interesting! The next day, they show up to cook at Colicchio & Sons. Richard helps Antonia with pressure cooking her beef tongue. Mike says he wouldn't have helped. Figures. Dale said watching Carla is like watching a chicken with it's head cut off- she's crazy all over the place!

Tom, Gail and Jimmy are the judges.

Fabio's burger gets meh reviews. Tom doesn't like the "cheese stuff" alongside the burger.

Antonia's Beef tongue gets rave reviews. Richard's Ramen is probably in the middle, as is maybe Tiffany's Chicken & Dumplings. Dale's Cheesesteaks seem like they're going to be great, but Fallon said the Salt Monster invaded - and Dale *underseasoned* his dish last week - rut roh!

But Carla - knocked it out of the park with her Chicken Pot Pie - Yay, Carla! Angelo's Pulled Pork seemed to be enjoyed a lot, and Mike's Sausage and Peppers was well received.

And at the end the cheftestants bring out a birthday cake for Jimmy Fallon, and he says the winner of the challenge will get a cooking segment on Late Night! Very cool! Oh, can you IMAGINE if Carla wins? LOL

The in-between had a funny story about Jimmy Fallon being asked by Food & Wine for a recipe from his mother - she gives him a cheesecake recipe, which F&W loves! They ask if she got it from a specific source, and when his mother looks it up.....she got it from Food & Wine. :-)

OK, we're back at Judges Table...Padma comes in to ask for Carla, Antonia and Antonio! Looks like they're in the top group! Angelo's flavors stunned Tom Colicchio, saying the flavors shouldn't work, but they did. Jimmy and Carla go into a whole spiel about a bottom crust - Jimmy said if there's no bottom crust, he's outta there! He also noted that he knew she had made the dish with LOVE! Carla's specialty. :-) They were all impressed with Antonia's beef tongue as well, and Angelo said they had come up with a beef tongue song the night before. Gail asks them to perform it, and OMG, the BEEF TONGUE SONG is hysterical!

The winner is Carla! YAY!!!!!! This is her THIRD win! And she gets a 6 night trip to Tokyo, and $5000 for airfare! Wow. I would fully expect to see her and Jimmy Fallon do the Carla Dance on his show when she appears. :-)

Tiffany, Fabio and Dale are in the bottom group. WHOA. Is this the end of Dale with the Salt Monster?

Tiffany's Chicken & Dumplings didn't have the doughy dumpling Jimmy was looking for, as well as masking the flavors with the Southwestern flavors she put into it and being a soup with flat noodles. Fabio's burger was more like meatloaf, and Tom brought up the cheese sauce again. "Salt lick on top of salt lick" was Gail's comment about Dale's Philly Cheesesteak.

The judges go through their thoughts on all dishes - I can't figure out who it's going to be, but it *seems* to be leaning towards Dale. Are the Elves faking us out, and it's going to be Fabio with his curdled cheese sauce and meatloaf burger?

OK, we're back. Serious judges, serious cheftestants. Tom goes through his brief overview of how they did....and it's Fabio who's gone! Awwwww...I'll miss his silly comments. He says to the camera "Jimmy, I'll go on your show and cook you a Booger and you'll fall on your knees and BEG my forgiveness!"

And when he's packing his knives, he gives a pep talk to anyone coming into this country to just go for it - "You are the only shadow standing in your sunshine."

And NEXT week seems to be the Sesame Street challenge that we've always been wondering about!

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  1. I think Blais needs to open a fondue place and use that as a tag line.

    Lots of Blais puffery. Is he going home?

    26 Replies
    1. re: debbiel

      NO! debbie, bite your tongue - Richard cannot go home!

      1. re: LindaWhit

        Every once in a while, I love it when I'm wrong. I got a bit panicked while they were eating Dale's salt monster. I didn't realize how much I had come to like and root for him. Phew. Actually thought it was going to be Tiffany, and certainly wanted it to be her out of the three.

        1. re: debbiel

          I thought Dale wasn't going home since at least the first couple of bites were good before the salt monster invaded.

        2. re: LindaWhit

          I really like Richard, but enough with the damned liquid nitrogen, and the false bravado, it will be his end on this season.

            1. re: ChinoWayne

              Yes, is it just me or has Blais been extra pompous and patronizing this season?

                1. re: Pylon

                  :) noooo, i saw some postings below that see it my way. :)

                2. re: eviemichael

                  Definitely not just you. Blais was incredibly pompous last night, and has been pretty unlikeable all season. Though him helping Antonia was his saving grace.

                  1. re: JasmineG

                    And he *was* cute with Fabio while shopping after the fishing trip. ;-)

                      1. re: JasmineG

                        I haven't found him totally unpleasant this season, but he has had moments of pure arrogance. During the quickfire, he basically said he's too good to get any support from his fellow competitors, which I've always found irritating from contestants.

                        1. re: piccola

                          I heard him say that he thought the competitors were intimidated and probably wouldn't vote for him, not that he personally thought he was all that. To me, that's a symptom of Richard's over-thinking and second-guessing, more than of his arrogance.

                          1. re: momjamin

                            Yeah, I don't think he's arrogant, but I do think he's tried for bravado and failed this season. He thinks to much. If he'd just do what he does best and not worry about the final outcome so much, I think he'd be on top.

                      2. re: eviemichael

                        I'm not liking him as much this season...

                        1. re: ChefJune

                          me neither. i love dale. and carla. and antonia is growing on me.

                          1. re: AMFM

                            I didn't like Dale at all in his season, but I'm really enjoying him this time.

                            1. re: JasmineG

                              Yeah. And Dale knows how to roll like a gangsta'.

                              1. re: JasmineG

                                Agreed. I couldn't even fathom why they brought Dale back for AS. I thought he was an arrogant, arrogant irritant. This season, I think he's an absolute teddy bear.

                                OTH, I thought Richard was a teddy bear his season. This season, he's really wearing on my nerves.

                              2. re: AMFM

                                Antonia is growing on me too.

                            2. re: eviemichael

                              his false bravado ( as another poster stated) is wearing thin on me as well. in his season, he seemed humble, likable and talented. this season he seems high on himself, slightly angry and robotic, especially his dishes. he said something to the extent during the QF interviews that he has skills that no other chefs have and therefore is intimidating. well, the thing is that his "techniques" like using liquid nitrogen can be learned by any chef on the show if they took the time out to learn it. i don't think it's really anything to brag about, or is it? what's probably more intimidating is a discernible palette and creativity. i think some chefs rely on liquid nitro or foam pretend to be more creative than they really are.

                              1. re: trolley

                                That's a good way to put it. He comes off as thinking, especially in this episode, that doing HIS special techniques makes the cooking better. Sometimes it's making the basic stuff well w/out the fancy cover-ups that makes the food better.

                                OTOH, Fallon said he was disappointed that Blais went old fashioned on him and didn't pull out all the fancy stuff. Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. His eggs looked REALLY good.

                                1. re: trolley

                                  I've always thought he was traumatized and humiliated by his crash and burn in his final due to choking. He said something about it last night that confirmed my feeling about it, can't remember the exact words. I think he's just puffing himself up and setting himself up for another humiliation because these are all great chefs (except maybe Mike) and he can still lose.

                                2. re: eviemichael

                                  I completely agree!!

                                  In fact, while I was watching it, I was thinking "I need to mention this on the CH board!!"

                              2. re: LindaWhit

                                You mean bite Antonia's tongue! Har har!

                              3. re: debbiel

                                I thought the same thing - it seemed like he was getting the PYKAG edit

                              4. Linda - we're in the middle of moving and our TIVO remote is missing, so thank goodness for you and your wonderful postings! You're a godsend! Now if you can only just tell me what happened during the SuperBowl and Glee...
                                :-)

                                15 Replies
                                1. re: Claudette

                                  The Packers won. Oh yeah. Christina Aguilera butchered our national anthem.

                                  And Sue Sylvester wasn't on Glee last night, as the kids sang various love songs - although I suppose she could have sung a song to herself, since she loves herself a lot. :-) (I did see that she "joins" Glee Club next week! LOL And yes, I'm a bonafide Gleek. :::vbg:::)

                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                    You are hysterical. We need to get together.

                                    I could not wait for your morning spoiling.

                                    1. re: C. Hamster

                                      If we live in the same area, let's figure it out!

                                      And you're not watching the show until tomorrow, but you read this all tonight? Those of you that do that crack me up. Please don't tell me you read the end of murder mysteries, too? ;-)

                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                        I mite of.

                                        I am unexpectedly home tonight.

                                        Watching it the second time now!

                                        1. re: C. Hamster

                                          Enjoy. This was an episode I *enjoyed* watching, although I seemed to write a LOT more notes this time - didn't want to forget any of the details for gaffk! ;-)

                                          So I hope those that were upset to hear that Jimmy Fallon was going to be on the show weren't as disappointed as they thought they might be. I actually *love* it when a super-fan of the show is on as a judge (although I still wish Joe Jonas hadn't been on for a QF challenge earlier on).

                                          Yeah, the food wasn't haute cuisine, but it still looked pretty damn good!

                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                            Personally, I thought the entire EC was great and great TV. Better than many other epis.

                                            I will totally miss Fabio, though. You knew he wasn't gonna win... But you aren't prepared for his departure.

                                            BOOGER!! Bwah!

                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                As one who reads this before I even watch the episode, I'm flattered by your thoughtfulness :)

                                                Can't wait to see the booger with cheese stuff.

                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                    THERE'S the written pronunciation - thanks roxlet!

                                                    I first heard "Booger" but later heard Fabio slightly change it to "bouurger" but couldn't figure out how to spell it. :-)

                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                      Yes, I had to think about it for a while. A booger, as we all know, is something quite different :-)

                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                        Yes, and a burger made of those would must certainly *not* pass muster. :-)

                                        2. re: Claudette

                                          Ditto! I'm in Mexico and there is no Bravo even on the satellite or you can be sure i'd have been there. Got to see the SuperBowl - but broadcast from Canada and with none of the American ads. Thank you Linda for saving me.

                                          1. re: chicgail

                                            Can't you watch the full episodes on the Bravo website? I do that if I miss it on the TV.

                                          1. :( noooooo fabiooooooo!!!!

                                            really wish that woulda been mike or antonia

                                            21 Replies
                                            1. re: mattstolz

                                              I would have loved it if it had been Mike, especially with his dissing of Antonia at the beginning. Antonia got way too many compliments on her dish - didn't think she'd be out of there. Kind of figured Dale would be there, as well as probably Fabio. Wasn't sure who the third would be.

                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                Mike seems extraordinarily threatened by Antonia.

                                                1. re: C. Hamster

                                                  I was hoping to see Mike go too. So sorry it was Fabio instead!

                                                  1. re: C. Hamster

                                                    Really? Mike reminds me of the guy in 5th grade that glued girls' hair together in art class. He's just a clown, and I just honestly think that he thinks that Antonia coasts. (I'm not a fan...she reminds me of whiny Leah).

                                                    1. re: larkinaitana

                                                      I love the image of Mike gluing someone's hair together. But, I don't get Antonia as whiny Leah. When has Antonia been whiny?

                                                      1. re: larkinaitana

                                                        i could see him gluing girls hair, but because he was threatened by their art being better than his.

                                                        1. re: larkinaitana

                                                          I couldn't stand Leah for that and other reasons, but Antonia is not the least bit whiny, just really standing her ground this year. I like her a lot more than before. Mike is lovable jerk, to me.

                                                    2. re: mattstolz

                                                      Antonia? Noooooooo! She's fine by me. But also Noooooooooooo! to Fabio leaving. Mike, well, that would have been fine. I dislike myself a little when I find myself disappointed that they like someone's dish, but that's where I was when they were eating Mike's sausage.

                                                      1. re: mattstolz

                                                        I would have preferred Mike. Fabio is so funny, and keeps a sense of humor about everything going on around him. Mike's just a self important asshole.

                                                        I'm happy for Carla. Six days in Tokyo should be fun, although a kind of short vacation. Too bad she won't get a chance to go out more into the country or head down to Kyoto or Nara.

                                                        Carla's little happy dance was hilarious! And she didn't gloat or be overly enthusiastic when she went back to announce her win and send the others out. Good!

                                                        1. re: KailuaGirl

                                                          She was something in last night's episode, wasn't she? She reminds me of an Egyptian princess, so regal and refined....but her excitement last night turned her into a character that reminded me of a character Gilda Radner used to do: Judy Miller, the little excited girl who's busy having her own show in her own head, jumping on the bed and chanting, "it's......the Judy........Mil............er........SHOW! Loved seeing her so caught up!

                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                            Thanks for the memories! I'd forgotten all about Judy Miller - shame on me!

                                                            1. re: mamachef

                                                              I love that excitement about her as well. Some might call it lack of control. Whatev...it reminds me of myself. It was interesting to learn she is considered "older" than many others. She is almost as old as me! We do what we WANT!

                                                                1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                  Yep, as the years pass, what others think of me matters less and less. I loved Carla in her season and am not disappointed with her this season (although a few more hootie-hoos would be nice ;)

                                                                2. re: mamachef

                                                                  Carla is such a wonderful free spirit. I enjoy so many of the chefs, but she's the one I would really love to meet.

                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                    She reminds me of a muppet but I think she is great. I'm rooting for her to win

                                                                    1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                      sure its not a sesame street character? cuz if so maybe she'll get to meet them next week

                                                                      1. re: mattstolz

                                                                        Previous comparisons of Carla have been to "Red" on Fraggle Rock. :-)

                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/595445

                                                                         
                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                          OMG, it's as if she posed for it's creation!

                                                                  2. Fabio went out with class. will miss him the rest of this season.

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: edible complex

                                                                        Fabio has been tweeting messages to all the judges and to some of the other contestants--it's really cute!

                                                                        1. re: Nettie

                                                                          OH! Thanks for the reminder that I can follow Fabio on twitter again! I was following him, but we often watch the show later on DVR, and after a couple of outcomes were accidentally spoiled for me, I had to unfollow him, Carla, Jamie and Richard for the duration, to be safe.

                                                                          I'd rather he were still on the show, though. DARN it!! I love Fabio.