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Top Chef: Chicago, Reunion – Dale Has Gorgeous Nipples


Oh yeah, Val totally felt burned by that move. Is Antonia the Fan Fave? Half the group thinks so, as does Padma.

Commercials – um… Spiderman Ball.

Tiffany asks what the Stew Room is. Andrew shouts out that it is the Fifth Level of Hell and the “dirtiest, nastiest bar ever, with people in it that you may not like.” Now, we have outtakes.

Andrew yawns. Erik thinks it is eight million degrees in there. Steph says they are on the edge of their seats as the judges mull things over. The judges? They are banging on the table. Rocco wants to be drunk and Tom notices that there is a mouse running around in the Top Chef Kitchen. Steph plays the zoo game and blurts out “hyena” for H. Antonia thinks there are many hookers by her zoo. Interesting zoo.

Spike is throwing something at the ceiling and Antonia is freaking out that he “not dare throw her up there.” I have no idea what it is, but it apparently has a gender. Frodo is wrapping himself in saran wrap. Safe sex to the extreme! He talks about being there for a while and downing a few dozen beers. He shouts during the wrapping that he is a “Glad Man.” Ryan and Richard put Frodo in a cooler of some sort and spin him around like a “David Copperfield” trick. Antonia says the judges take things seriously.

Um, maybe not so much. Bourdain talks about bringing them in to “smash some hopes and dreams,” specifically Dale’s. Gail is asleep on the table. Frodo plays his Aussie music and the judges are mesmerized by it.

Random Guy is amazed that Gail fell asleep. At the finale. She says she did her work and the process has several steps, including camera changes that take a long time. “Gotta use your time wisely and catch the Z’s when you can,” says Gail.

We now get a montage of the judges being critical. Not much new here. It ends with Tom saying that the gnocchi comment by Rocco was just mean. Ryan laments that they had to dig that one back up.

Who is the toughest judge? Spike thinks it is Bourdain because of his biting wit. He is a “culinary assassin” that makes you think, “Why am I cooking for a living?”

Random guy wants the contestants to ask the judges any questions. Lisa wants to know if her wedding cake was really that ugly. Tom says it was. Someone asks about Richard’s fish scales. Tom says that not everybody had the scales, but everyone had Zoi’s bad mushrooms. He will stand by all of his decisions. Zoi has come to terms with her ousting. Dale, not so much. Tom confirms on TV what he said on the blog about not agreeing with Dale’s elimination based on what he saw. He said that Lisa blew two dishes and Dale blew one. Dale says that if he makes a mistake and a dish fails, even in real life, it is on his head. He failed; it was bad and he should have gone home.

This leads to a montage of Lisa’s bad attitude. Nothing new here. She says that she gets dirty looks on the street and relays a story from a lesbian party that two women were looking her way and eventually asked if she was Top Chef Lisa. They were scared to say hi because she seemed like such a bitch. Lisa says it was good TV and hopes to get an Emmy. Some natural foods chef wants to know why she is so angry. She says she can take real life criticism well; she usually wants to know why. Fair point, actually.

About the Lisa vs. Andrew issue. Andrew says he wasn’t angry, he was disappointed because it was a desperation move that wasn’t necessary. He says that there was no reason for her to go there and she was making an ass of herself. She tells him live that she regretted it, especially since they bonded early due to being smokers.

This leads to the Andrew montage as Random Guy suggests that he was smoking more than tobacco. Andrew mentions that people have mentioned ADD to him, and he is surprised because he has not played Advanced Dungeons and Dragons in years! HA! Rest in peace, Gary Gygax!

Insane Andrew montage. He tumbles in the park. He makes a carrot into a nose. Oompa Loopma moments. Manuel talks about his weird tiger growl, which we hear. Frodo calls him a Manimal. I thought that was Simon MacCorkindale. Now Andrew is a little person carrying a knife. Ryan says that in his “wildest dreams, on the wildest drugs” he could not come up with Andrew’s stuff. Andrew sings that his “eyes are on fire, with the smell of onions.” That is the second track off the Top Chef album after “Stand By Your Dish.” He makes coffee jokes at Whole Foods. Lisa calls him the Road Runner. He dances in the Stew Room, Lisa wonders how he keeps his heart rate normal. We get the football helmet moment and a bit more as he tells Gail to eat with her hands. Oh yeah, he has a culinary boner.

Padma says it was always a pleasure dealing with him. Random Guy thinks he had a “special” relationship with Gail. She is wildly embarrassed. The t-shirt contest is revealed by Spike: it is the ‘Culinary Boner’ t-shirt, available now on Bravotv.com. We also get a shot of Spike’s belly. Thanks. Is Andrew the Fan Fave? He doesn’t care, he has an f’n shirt.

Commercials – Um… Silly Monster Bowling Set.

Random Guy tells us that no one fights like a chef. I would still take a boxer for my money. We see the Top Chef fight montage. First, Dale vs. Spike with the “little bitch” comment. Second, the Lisa vs. Dale fight about the rice pudding. Then Lisa vs. Andrew about following the rules. And lastly, the classic Spike vs. Antonia and Jen about the Zoi elimination coupled with the Lisa vs. Dale battle that spilled from it.

After the clips, Antonia says that the battle royale was hilarious and funnier than Ryan’s food explanations. Jen says that she was just upset about Zoi and is ashamed to have done a strange baboon clapping motion. Spike says he was sh*tting his pants and that point because it was so funny. Jen adds that all of sudden Dale goes off from nowhere and she thought, “Hey, this is MY fight, you guys WON! Step off.” Dale admits to being bitter about losing the Italian trip to Lisa. Antonia clarifies that Ming actually started it by validating Spike’s desire to make soup. Lisa amusingly says that the bottom team came back, then it was “quiet, quiet, quiet, then BOOM, they were yelling at each other.”

Random Guy reads a couple of letters saying that the chefs have a bunch of toilet mouths they would not want touching their food. I say, let’s hope their mouths have a) not touched the toilet and b) are not actually touching the food! Another calls the women “drunken sailors on leave,” which shocks Antonia and Lisa.

Now the cursing montage. Dale THs that he has a mouth like a sailor and has been working on it. Not well, apparently. Steph says she curses when she’s nervous and thinks she got it from her mom. Hi, Steph’s mom! Many f-bombs that are uneventful, except for Andrew’s comment in a mocking voice about wanting to make “f’n butterscotch waterfalls out of unicorns.” What? Lastly, cheers, bitches!

Steph confirms that her mom swears and thinks that she herself doesn’t have a good enough vocabulary. Ted wants to know whose mothers’ called them about the potty mouth. Dale’s mom and all of her church friends watched and rooted for him and gave out flyers. His mom refuses to believe that was him, and that TV made him say that. He is sticking with that story. Padma reiterates that they are all well behaved in front of her, but she was shocked during the episodes. I would be on my best behavior around her too, so that is not too much of a standard to live by.

Jen makes a bad analogy about athletes cursing in the heat of battle. Tom calls her on it and says that they did it in the interviews as well. Jen must admit that is true. Dale says it was like talking to a therapist. Nikki doesn’t think that makes them less professional. Tom gives a bit of a lecture about it. Then the after school special ends and a lesson is learned by everyone.

Now the Richard montage. Erik thinks he has “crazy juices.” Antonia is curious on what he would want with a toxic eucalyptus plant. Koalas everywhere take offense and start a letter-writing campaign. We get the bad Seinfeld impression and “perplexed.” The peaches and tea glaze, the banana scallops, etc. Richard thinks his food is like a motorcycle jump; you make it to the other side or you crash and burn. We appropriately end on his “making babies” comment. Good job, editors.

Richard is on via satellite awaiting his child’s arrival and he has serious bags under his eyes. Dude is tired. He is glad they let him partake this way. He has opened a new restaurant called Home Restaurant. I’d love to go there. He is amazed that he said that Dale had gorgeous nipples on TV. He confirms their gorgeousness.

He again says that he over thought the finale. Tom admits that it was his competition to lose. Richard says it was not his best meal and it was obvious. Yada, yada, read last week’s recap.

Bravo has a gift for Mr. Blais. Andrew hopes it is not a Culinary Boner t-shirt, but Richard seriously wants one, a baby-sized one. That’s a bit weird. He instead gets a onesie with the Top Chef logo, but with a silver spoon rather than a knife. Richard wants one in his size.

Commercials – ok, talking Elmo keychain.

The Fan Favorite is revealed. Spike thinks it will be either Steph or Andrew. Richard thinks Andrew or Frodo. Padma thinks Antonia. Nimma thinks it is her. Hey, Nimma is there! Tom says Andrew is quirky and Steph is like the girl next door. He is certain it won’t be Lisa.

The ten grand prize goes to Steph, who will be buying dinner and drinks tonight. This leads to the Steph montage. Dale and Spike love her. She says she has great technique. Richard says she is the biggest competition and has a very different style. She is pleased to have won the first and last two challenges. It looks like they have a chalkboard in the Stew Room with the score. She is asked if she can doubt herself anymore. Well, no.

Any advice for Season 5 chefs? Spike says to run the other way. Could I have been totally wrong about him? I think he may have been one of the biggest editing victims in recent memory. Him and Dale. Lisa says you must deal with stress. Erik says to practice your plating. No kidding, Erik. Antonia says to pay attention to the rules. Steph says not to let the drama get to you. Dale says to have a vision, Val says to have fun, and Rich says to be yourself. I would add to not read the blogs, since we can be pretty harsh. Tom calls them the most talented ever. He will say the same thing next season.

That’s it, happy cooking! I know I learned a lot this season as the friendly neighborhood recapper. Here’s waiting until next season!


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