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Top Chef: All-Stars – Ep 9 – You Say Burger, I Say Booorger


Blais – Bananas with Amaraetto, Ras El Hanout, Chili Chocolate, Liquid Nitrogen – Padma gets her tongue stuck on the banana (must purge dirty thoughts) a la Flick on the flagpole. Blais thinks eating needs to be dangerous sometimes.

Tiffany – Apple, Ricotta Fritter with Hazelnut Chocolate – Blais thought it was pedestrian, I think it looks pretty amazing.

Angelo – Walnuts, Endive with Goat Cheese Fondue and Beet Juice Shooter Um, eww. Beet Juice? Dale wonders why fondue got so complicated.

Carla – Beef Tenderloin and Shrimp with Coconut Lime Curry Sauce – If only there wasn’t any coconut this would be really tempting to me.

Dale – Pho with Beef, Bread, Charred Ginger, Lime, Sriracha and Broth. – Blais’ mouth virtually explodes from the heat.

Mike – Spiced Lamb Kababos with Mint and Chili, Feta Cheese Fondue – Not sure how he got the feta to liquify properly, but he seems to have done so. Antonia didn’t care for it and thinks Mike needs lamb and Moroccan sauce on everything or he’s lost.

Antonia – Smoked Salmon on Toast, Fromage Blanc & Crème Fraiche Fondue – Good, but seems awkward to dip.

Fabio – Billini with Caviar, Crème Fraiche, Fromage Blanc and Bourdain Wine – See Antonia.

Bottom Three – Fabio, Tiffany and Mike. Dale gets called out for ranking Mike last, and goes into an embarrased giggle fit. Mike calls him an effing monkey. Alrighty then.

Top Three – Antonia, Dale and Angelo. Really, Angelo’s beet juice? Anyway, Dale’s delicious Vietnamese dish gets the win, and a trip to Napa Valley.

Elimination Challenge – The chefs go to 30 Rock – no, not 30 Rock – and make their way into Late Night with Jimmy Fallon’s studio. Clearly, this was not actually on a Fallon show, probably done pre-show, and I wonder if they brought in the other All-Stars to fake their way through it, or else the studio audience would know the Final Eight.

Anyway, two by two, the chefs take part in a Fallon game “Cellphone Shootout.” Dishes are scrolled rapidfire on a screen and they snap a photo on their phone. Whatever dish is on the phone (I would guess no doubles allowed, since no one had doubles) is the main ingredient for their challenge dish.

More on this section in the Quickfire Hits, but bottom line is they will make the dishes at Tom’s restaurant at a birthday celebration for Fallon.

Antonia – Beef Tongue – Beef Tongue, Pumpernickel Rye, Caramelized Onions and Dill Slaw. Antonia solved the problem of the short cook time for the tongue – which requires more time to do properly – thanks to Blais’ help in using a pressure cooker. It is a competition, so, risky move from Blais, but they were buddies from their season, so it makes some sense. Fallon liked it, and Gail thought it really tasted great. A.D. Miles the Head Writer thought she “licked” the challenge. (Slow clap).

Fabio – Hamburger and Fries, or Hamboooorger and Fries – Hamburger, Melted Cheddar Cheese Sauce and Fries – Fabio makes two fatal errors here. He chooses to make the patty like a meatball – with beef chuck, brisket, short ribs, etc. It is not beefy or juicy as a result, and Fallon thinks it tastes like meatloaf. Gail is disappointed by its dryness. Tom is not a fan, and especially dislikes the grainy cheese sauce. Hard to make fresh cheese sauce like that, the reason stadium cheese is so creamy is because there is hardly any real cheese in there. I think that’s the liquid used in some biological weapons banned by the Geneva Convention.

Blais – Ramen Noodles – Ramen Noodles with Seared Pork Belly, Duck Legs and Duck Egg No flavor packets here. Daddy Fallon liked it, especially the egg. Fallon was disappointed he didn’t get The Full Blais Effect ( I would totally see that movie!) – no lasers, no flamethrowers, nothing.

Tiffany – Chicken and Dumplings – Chicken, Dumplings with Poblano Chilies, Red Peppers, Cilantro and Lime – AD thinks it was really a tortilla soup in disguise. And he’s basically correct. Mrs. Fallon’s mom liked the lime. Show Announcer Steve Higgins starts to criticize it since he is a Man of Girth. Fallon wonders if that was the name of his first album.

Carla – Chicken Pot Pie – Chicken Pot Pie with Carrots, Celery, Pea Salt and Herbs The first of many homerun analogies from Fallon. A.D. loved it, Tom can’t even comment because “busy eating.” Fallon can’t stop eating it. If you didn’t know who won this challenge from Tom being unable to speak, then you haven never really watched this show.

Dale – Philly Cheesesteak – Cheesesteak on a Pretzel Roll, Hot Sauce, Onions and Cheddar Cheese Sauce – Dale went full Philadelphia with cheesesteak and soft pretzels, except he seems to have forgotten that pretzels are salted. Mommy Fallon liked the tender steak, but Fallon thought he was attacked by the Salt Monster.

Angelo – Pulled Pork – Pulled Pork with Coffee, Dill, Allspice and Chipotle Rub and Cole Slaw – Angelo admits that the combination of spices shouldn’t work. But it does. Tom raves about the sauce. Steve jokes about pulling his pork.

Mike – Sausage and Peppers – Sausage, Peppers, Onions, Garlic, Fennel and Paprika – Gail loved the thinly sliced sausage, Sister Fallon likes it better than mom’s, and Steve makes jokes about Mike’s sausage. That’s some fine comedy there.


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