Thursday, March 17, 2011

Top Chef All Stars: Tiffany Derry Pack Her Knives & Goes While Mike Isabella Wins 3rd Elimination Challenge in a Row

The highlight for Top Chef's Episode 14: Island Fever, for Mike Isabella, in addition to winning his 3rd Elimination Challenge in a row, was walking onto a dock to find himself greeted by Padma in a bikini.

Padma in a bikini came after the Quickfire Challenge.

The guest judge this week was a Latin chef named Lorena Garcia, who apparently is about to host a new NBC show called America's Next Great Restaurant.

For the Quickfire the boys cooked against the girls. The two teams had one hour to make 100 plates with a perfectly consistent dish on each plate. With Padma and Lorena judging who did best.

Of course, the consistently insufferable Isabella was quite dismissive of the inferior simplistic dish the girls churned out, while his was pure daring with his handmade noodles.

But, Padma and Lorena gave the girls the win, which thoroughly annoyed Mike and Richard Blais.

Tiffany and Antonia shared  $5,000 for their win.

The next morning was when Padma greeted the four remaining chefs in a bikini. The four hopped aboard a boat to be floated to an island where they were to make a celebration dinner for the Nassau Yacht Club's 80th year in business.

The chefs were told the meal had to include the Bahama staple.


Arriving on the island the chefs found their supply of food to work with. But no conch. And then realized they were expected to go snorkeling for the conch.

As the chefs were gearing up for snorkeling, we cut to a Richard Blais confessional where he said something like, "I don't think anyone wants to see Isabella topless. I know I don't."

Then we cut to Isabella topless.

Blais was right. But I also would have included him among those I really did not want to see topless.

I was a little surprised that the conch were so easy to find. I suspect the seabed had been salted by Top Chef producers with an ample supply of the shellfish. Or are they really that prolific in such a populated area?

The cooking conditions were very primitive. Wood fires for heat, grills to cook on. No electricity, few tools. Lots of sand.

But, there were hammer-like pick tools to whack at the conch shells. That was unpleasant to watch. Why did they not notice Mike Isabella's sticking the conch in hot water to get the meat out method?

After much angst the three hours of cooking was over with the arrival of the Yacht Club's Commodore and his crew, plus Padma, Tom, Gail and Lorena.

The non-judges seemed to like everything. The judges found something wrong with all the chef's dishes.

With Tiffany having the biggest wrong with her chowder that had chilled to cold from its intended hot.

Mike won for his conch wrapped in a banana leaf, along with other stuff stuffed in that leaf. I thought for sure he was a goner due to having added butter to the mix, with Lorena saying she did not like how greasy the butter made the dish, and with Tom also making a fuss about the butter being all wrong.

But, for some reason, unfathomable to me, they gave the Insufferable Isabella the win, which of course will make him even more insufferable.

It will be sort of amusing if Isabella wins Top Chef All Stars. The backlash from viewers will be a fun spectacle to watch, if that happens.

No comments: