Top Chef All-Stars - Ep. #11 - 02/23/11 (Spoilers)
Well, it's here. The Paula Deen episode. Will we survive? Hopefully we will! LOL
After the last Judges Table, they show the remaining cheftestants in the Stew Room. Tiffany says that she was sure it was her, not Angelo going home.
Next morning at the house, Mike and Richard are discussing his 2 notebooks filled with recipes, ideas, and LOTS of details. Mike is seen reading through one of the books before Richard takes it.
They're off to the TC kitchen, where Paula Deen is there to greet them with Padma. Antonia says she knows it'll be a "fry me something, roll it in butter, and dip it in mayo" challenge. Yup - they're deep frying for the Quickfire - Paula Deen says "if you can eat it, you can fry it!" The winner of the QF will get $5,000.
Dale says Deen's style is night and day away from his...but...he's a greedy American and he wants that $5K! Mike is making chicken oysters, Richard is using MG to make some fried mayo, Carla is doing a catfish fry (and doesn't seem to be doing it well!), Tiffany goes with fried chicken wings and fried pickles, and Antonia makes fried avocado and shrimp. BUT!.......Antonia realizes she only has plated one dish, when she was supposed to plate one each for Paula and Padma. Rut-roh.
When Paula and Padma get to Mike's dish, Richard claims what Mike made was in one of his notebooks, while in a camera confessional, Mike claims he's seen it before.
Low Group - Dale and Carla
High Group - Richard, Mike, and Antonia - Paula Deen says Antonia absolutely had the BEST dish, but because of a technicality (plating only one dish) she cannot win. Damn! The winner is Mike! Richard's NOT happy!
Mike said he'll give Richard a Big Thank You for seeing a picture in his notebook and using it as an inspiration, but he says it was HIS dish. Gah.
Padma says John Besh will join Paula Deen at Judges Table, as the cheftestants will be cooking Gulf seafood for 300 attendees for a charity event for the Greater New Orleans Foundation. AND John Besh says they'll have helpers - in walks Tre, Fabio, Spike, Marcel, Tiffani, and Angelo.
Mike chooses first - Brown Shrimp / Tiffani Faison
Richard - Snapper / Fabio
Carla - Tre / Grouper
Tiffany - White Shrimp / Marcel
Antonia - Crab / Spike
Dale - Amberjack / Angelo
In the discussion before shopping, Carla finds out that Tre doesn't do Southern-style cooking - she jokingly says to Tiffany "you can have him!" and Marcel responds "No, she's going to keep the White Shrimp." Does he really mean himself? LOL Well played, Marcel. Nice bit of self-deprecation.
Back at the house after shopping, Mike is bitching in the confessional that Richard's being a baby and says "if you're going to win, be a winner!" Of course, *he* only won because Antonia didn't plate two dishes, AND he essentially took the recipe from Richard's notebook! Antonia tells Carla and Tiffany about Mike seeing the entire recipe in Richard's book - they're all shocked at his lack of Chef Etiquette.
So - there's a LOT of focus on Mike - is he going home after EC? Hmmmm....
We're back in the kitchen, and Mike seems to be heckling everyone else in the kitchen, especially Richard.
Richard points out how the teams are getting along.....or not. Such as Tiffany and Marcel. Marcel repeats 5 times about using the shrimp heads for flavor - Tiffany finally tells Marcel she's more worried about making sure there are enough dishes for 300 diners - and Marcel finally shuts up. Dale says "if anyone's going to put Marcel in his place, it's Tiffany. A 5'10" Southern black woman with some serious psshhhtt....." LOL
They're at the venue, and they have a VERY short period of time to finish pulling together their dishes. Dale and Richard are concerned with getting their stuff plated.
The diners arrive; lots of other chefs there - I saw Michelle Bernstein, Jonathan Waxman, Carmen Gonzalez.
Mike - Grit-Crusted Shrimp - they seem to like it a lot.
Richard - Citrus Polenta, Crispy Snapper and Pulled Pork - they almost weren't ready when the judges walked up. The judges liked it!
Dale - Amberjack Stew with Andouille Sausage - he's having a tough time getting everything done. When the judges came up, Tom noticed Dale wasn't well prepared. Padma said she had several pieces of undercooked potato, but Paula seemed to like the stew.
Tiffany - Honey-Glazed Shrimp - she needs to have Marcel make additional honey glaze, but she didn't get to taste it. Doesn't get much of a rave from anyone. Some liked the glaze, but most didn't really feel they tasted the shrimp.
Carla - Collard Greens and Grouper - Paula Deen didn't like the greens. Carla gives a Hootey-Hoo to several diners, but she also knows she needs to have someone else be worse than her so she doesn't go home.
Antonia - Crab Cake with Blue Crab Sauce - and the judges REALLY liked it. Could she win this one?
And when the chef helpers leave, everyone's laughing over Fabio stroking Richard's face and Tiffani Faison laughs about their bromance.
In the "in-between", Antonia says she sent Spike out into the dining area for him to be a mole and find out what the judges are saying. All he ends up doing is knocking over a woman's wine "and probably getting a few telephone numbers. Spike's a really good sous chef; but he's a really bad spy." LOL
OK, we're back in the Stew Room. Both Carla and Tiffany realize they could go home on a Southern Food challenge.
Antonia, Richard and Mike are called into JT by Padma. They're definitely the Top Group! John Besh and Paula Deen give the win to Richard! Yay!!!! He gets a 6-night trip to Hilton-Barbados! NICE! And he's going to invite Fabio to go to Barbados with him and his family - how sweet!
All three - Dale, Tiffany, and Carla are in the bottom. Dale said "All of us?" He's not happy.
Padma finds out that Marcel cooked ALL of Tiffany's shrimp - she didn't cook any of it. The honey glaze threw Paula - she liked the head-on shrimp; didn't like the sweetness.
Dale's overly mustardy crouton on his soup overpowered everything else except the andouille - Besh said you couldn't even taste the main ingredient of amberjack.
Carla's grouper was doused in hot sauce, the collards didn't complement anything else, per Paula.
Not sure which way this is going to go - it really could be any one of them! But I'm thinking it's either Tiffany or Carla. :-(
OK, we're back at JT - Tom briefly goes over each bottom dish, and then looks to Padma...and WHOA! It's DALE! No WAY!
Oh, I'm SO sorry to see him go! I was truly hoping he'd be in the finale! And he's really upset in the confessional - he also said he knows he's a better person now. He didn't like himself the first time around, and he hopes that viewers have seen he's grown up. We DID see it Dale, we DID!
And previews for next week's episode? Looks like Padma goes to the cheftestants' house; Liberty Island is going to be visited, and they cook on the (Circle Line?) boat on the way over to the Statue of Liberty. Interesting!
My fave line was when Carla said about tre - "we should take away his NAACP card". Hilarious.
Why isn't there more outrage over this line about Tre?
It's totally un-PC, and bordering on racist.
It's sort of like if someone was shocked that Tre didn't like watermelon and fried chicken.
What if it was Angelo (i.e, a non-African American person) stereotyping every African-American person as a card-carrying member of the NAACP? Clarence Thomas would be offended, I'd imagine.
Just playing that annoying advocate of the Devil ...
the funnier line would have been Tiffany choosing the white shrimp....and the seafood white shrimp.
Credit to Marcel for some good self deprecating humor referring to himself as Tiffany's 'white shrimp'.
Second best line (so far) Richard reminding Fabio of his ex-wife.
Mike a serious d**k in this episode.
Foreboding with Dale.
Still less than happy that Paula Deen is in this episode. Forgot she was on TV almost went off when she came on screen.
I loved it when she told Antonia, "I could bend you over my knee and whoop your cute little ass!" Antonia was on the top in this episode... Maybe it's because I'm from the south or because Paula reminds me of my mother when she's in a good mood, but I'll go to the mat for her too.
I too am from the south, and I feel like she is a relative, as well. She was related to my next door neighbor, who was an honorary part of my family- so in away, Paula and I are related! ( I don't know her at all) I really admire her as she did not have an easy life and worked VERY hard to get where she is now. She's nobody's fool in my opinion.
I am glad to have found a fellow Paula fan! It takes a very gutsy woman to take nothing but her family recipes and traditions and become successful by popularizing or characterizing them even. I wish I had thought of that! Her recipes have saved my ass on many family occasions. They're easy to execute and everyone always likes them.
i'm always willing to check it out if recommended by a fellow Hound - assume you mean this one?
definitely still a bit too typical "Paula" for me with all that heavy cream, but i could definitely tweak it and i'm sure a lightened version would be terrific.
"Credit to Marcel for some good self deprecating humor referring to himself as Tiffany's 'white shrimp"
As if we need any proof that each one of us sees this show from a different point of view. My take on that clever comment was that Tiffany was so eager to use the white shrimp that she was willing to endure Marcel's presence. Whichever intrepretation matches Marcel's, if he had shown any of that wit and self-deprecation, this group wouldn't have had dozens -- of not hundreds -- of posts containing the vitriol we hurled his way.
He's been a contender for a while, but with last night's episode Mike officially earned the delusional label. Going on about his dish and his skills. Yeah. Right.
re: Indy 67
I don't think that anyone was disagreeing with you there -- I think it was clear that Tiffany wanted to use the shrimp (and didn't want to use the other stuff left) and so took Marcel with it. But it was funny when Carla wanted to give her Trey and Marcel referred to himself as the "white shrimp" though.