D Magazine‘s Administrative Coordinator, Loren Means, is nutso about Top Chef. I asked her to give us her take on episode 2 of Top Chef All-Stars.
As a lover of all things food and wine, I have been watching Top Chef since the beginning. I was especially excited for Tre and Casey’s season because I’d dined at both of their restaurants many times. I still have dreams about Tre’s Duck Three Ways when he was cooking at Abacus.
All of the faces in the All- Star cast are familiar. While I am thrilled to see some, I wish others would have stayed in the past. Obviously, I am thrilled to see our Dallas crew as well as a few other characters. Fabio makes me smile. He won’t win but I hope he hangs around for a while. I’m really interested to see what Angelo pulls out. He always impressed me during his season. Jamie, though she won’t be winning any congeniality contests, is also a great chef and I’m excited to see what she brings this round. Marcel is the worst. Not the worst chef, but the worst nonetheless. I would be pleased to see Marcel and Stephen pack their knives and leave in the near future. Fingers crossed. On to last night’s show.
Jump with her.
There was plenty of Dallas area talent on the show. Besides Ft. Worth Chef Casey (Brownstone’s) Thompson and Loft 610’s Tre Wilcox, and former Go Fish Chef Tiffany Derry, the cheftestants had to please the palate of sometime area resident Joe Jonas and a bunch of kids in a museum. Huh?
The talented “All-Stars” as were forced to totally dumb it down for kids. I’m not interested in watching chefs make Snickerdoodles. I want to be wowed and impressed.
For the Quickfire challenge, the contestants were instructed to create a snack that children would love as well as Quickfire host, Joe Jonas. Wait. What? Joe Jonas? Does the target audience of this show give a damn about the Jonas Bros? I don’t. I barely know who they are or why they are famous exactly. Musicians of sorts? (Dale T. thought maybe he was a pastry chef.) The snacks prepared by the chefs were just as irrelevant as Joe. Dale L. created a snack consisting of pretzels, graham crackers, whoppers, and marshmallow mix. Is this even food?
Spike, with his potato chips and marshmallow dip, and Tiffany, with her (kinky) candy “threesome baby,” as she described it, tied for the win. I’m sure these creations are not on their top five list of culinary accomplishments. As team leaders, they were able to choose their teammates, middle school PE style. Tre, one of my personal favs, was chosen second to last. Grrr. But anyhow, after an evening at the museum with 150 screaming kids, Tiffany’s team came out with the win. The screeching kids were awful. It made Dale T’s idea of corn cakes “laced with Nyquil” seem like a brilliant concept. Something I may consider if I ever have children.
After a forced slumber party at the museum, the real challenge was to make breakfast for the little devils and their parents. The twist, Team T. Rex is limited to just meat and eggs while Team Brontosaurus can only utilize fruits, veggies, and grains. Tiffany, as the Quickfire winner, chose T. Rex. She chose poorly. T. Rex found their options to be very limited while Brontosaurus had a bounty of ingredients to choose from. Team Brontosaurus was ultimately victorious but there was no glory in the win for them or the audience. The judge’s decision for best dish of the morning …was a parfait. My dog could make a great parfait.
T. Rex is brought to judge’s panel as the losing team. As their carnivorous dishes were evaluated, some took the criticism well, others (Jen), went a different direction. Was she on something? She seemed sort of spastic the whole show and what about the attitude she copped with the judges? Was she sent home for bad bacon and eggs or bad attitude? Or was it because her teammate, Jamie, ditched out for two stitches worth of lost thumb? We may never know. But I do know she definitely wasn’t the weakest chef in that room. I was sad to see her go while some of the other, less talented, chefs continue to fly under the radar.
This episode was a snooze and definitely disappointing. I’m hoping next week’s episode with all of our local talent is better than a “Ritz Cracker hand job.”