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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!

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  1. cant wait to see where this thread goes with all the Mike drama

    6 Replies
    1. re: mattstolz

      I think he's being a major doooosh.

      1. re: LindaWhit

        Mike clearly used up any and all available dooshness this episode.

        1. re: Withnail42

          I think he's got doooshness to spare, unfortunately.

              1. re: LindaWhit

                +1 on doooshness to spare. I couldn't STAND him the first time around, wanted to like him this time, even allowed my dislike to soften a bit and then he pulls this crap. Even Tiffany, Carla and Antonia, gossiping about it, were like, "Ooo, against Chef Law!"

        2. My fave line was when Carla said about tre - "we should take away his NAACP card". Hilarious.

          4 Replies
          1. re: AMFM

            I sort of liked her wistful waving "goodbye, redemption."

            1. re: AMFM

              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 ...

              1. re: ipsedixit

                Sorry about this, but we've removed a bunch of replies to this post, as they had drifted widely from the original topic, and were no longer focused, even tangentially, on food. General discussion of racism and offensive language is off-topic for Chowhound.

              2. re: AMFM

                Did you catch Marcel's response to Carla who jokingly asked Tiffany if she would trade sous chefs? He said, "She chose the white shrimp". That was my favorite comment!

              3. the funnier line would have been Tiffany choosing the white shrimp....and the seafood white shrimp.

                1. 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.

                  20 Replies
                  1. re: Withnail42

                    Agree re: Marcel's White Shrimp comment. That *was* pretty funny! And as I said to mattstoltz above - Mike's being a major doooosh. :-)

                    I *am* glad they gave more EC comment time to John Besh.

                    1. re: Withnail42

                      I'll reply more later, but I'll go to the mat for ol' Paula. I thought she acquited herself quite well.

                      1. re: karenfinan

                        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.

                        1. re: LindseyBrook

                          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.

                          1. re: karenfinan

                            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.

                            1. re: LindseyBrook

                              i may not like her recipes or her TV shtick, but i respect the hell out of Paula Deen for all she's accomplished both professionally and personally.

                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                I was sitting there thinking the whole time how good PD's recipe was for shrimp and grits- the one with the tasso. They really are the best I've ever had, and I've eaten them many places!

                                1. re: Clarkafella

                                  i'm always willing to check it out if recommended by a fellow Hound - assume you mean this one?

                                  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/pa...

                                  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.

                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                    That is the one- incredible! I'm sure that a "lightened" version would be good too! I'm on a diet right now- if you come up with something please share. My wife wouldn't let me get within 100 miles of the regular version...

                                    1. re: Clarkafella

                                      lightened recipes are my specialty ;) i'll have a look and post on the HC board

                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                        I have been making shrimp and grits for years. I think her recipe is very good. You could certainly use half and half, or even milk instead of heavy cream. Don't cut out the tasso, or you will not have an authentic dish.Mods feel free to kick this over to home cooking:-)

                                        1. re: karenfinan

                                          I get over to Louisiana about once a month, so always keep some tasso on hand!

                                          1. re: karenfinan

                                            i would never omit the tasso! i have no doubt that's what *makes* the recipe :) i was thinking about swapping out the heavy cream for low fat evaporated milk - i do it in all sorts of sweet and savory recipes and it works like a charm.

                                      2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                        I could really use some suggestions on how to lighten up some recipes!

                                        1. re: LindseyBrook

                                          Lindsey, start a new thread on the Home Cooking board about the particular recipes you'd like to tweak and i'll be happy to help you with them...as i'm sure will many other Hounds!

                              2. re: LindseyBrook

                                "I could bend you over my knee and whoop your cute little ass!" made me HOWL! I don't mind PD as much as others, I guess. I really admire how far she's come in her career!

                            2. re: Withnail42

                              "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.

                              1. 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.

                                1. re: Indy 67

                                  "Mike officially earned the delusional label. Going on about his dish and his skills. Yeah"

                                  I thought the exact same thing.
                                  People thought Marcel was delusional - but WHOA!

                              2. It's killing me, but once again, I am in a hotel with no Bravo channel. 3rd time in 6 weeks. So sad! Thanks, Linda, for the recap. At this point, I can't help myself!!!!!

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: jeanmarieok

                                  LOL! Glad I could help, jeanmarie! I *think* I've got all of the details! Just keep hitting refresh to get whatever new stuff I put in the main post. Almost done. :-)

                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                    Excellant recap. Thanks, Linda, I'll try to catch the rerun from home this weekend. I just said to someone this week, 'wow, Mike really matured a lot - he's hardly been a jerk at all!' Too soon!!!!!

                                    1. re: jeanmarieok

                                      Yup, you'll have to take that statement back, jeanmarie. Glad you enjoyed the recap!