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Top Chef: All-Stars Recap

Night at the Museum

By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower

December 14, 2010

This is actually a nicer look than she gave the judges.

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The alarm goes off at 3:45 a.m. and everyone feels a hate crime coming on. We think the chefs are braced for anything except losing a good night of sleep. Several of them need a number of hours to recuperate their energy. They’re not wrong, either. Do you want to be using sharp objects on no hours of sleep? Or cooking with heat? If you hit a couple of extra hours on the microwave, the place goes boom.

When the various chefs arrive at the kitchen, team T-Rex learns an important lesson about listening carefully to Tom’s wording. They had assumed a much deeper selection of ingredients would be available to them. Instead, they discover that they don’t get herbs, or acid, or flour. Also, for Jen & Jamie, they had planned to use sausage with a scotched egg, but there no is no sausage available.

Meanwhile, everyone over at Team Brontosaurus seems bright and happy. They’re not necessarily making “breakfast” food, but they are being inventive and making stuff that would fit right into a brunch menu. Team T-Rex wonders who wants to eat that sort of food at 7:30 in the morning, however.

Oh, hey, remember what we said earlier about using sharp objects when you’ve had little sleep? Jamie chops off her thumb…er, well…she slightly cuts her thumb. Slightly. She’s freaked out, and we learn later that this is because she’s never had an injury serious enough to require stitches before. When the medic informs her that she should go have it examined, she immediately does so. This puts the screws to Jen, who is now doing the work of two people on a dish that already had to be modified. Thank God Jen is a rock star.




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Dale Levitski summarizes the Jamie situation by saying, “Okay good luck. We love you. Go away.” No fewer than five of her teammates express disgust over her decision to leave, though. Not a joke, five. Everyone else is of the opinion that she just suck it up and play through the injury. Fabio makes the best point when he reminds us that he broke a finger during his competition, yet refused medical attention until the challenge was over. Jamie does have a reputation of being an amazing team player, so it’s particularly shocking that she’d take off and leave Jen hanging.

As for Jen, she’s so far in the weeds, she tells people she can’t tell them anything about her dish until she finishes conceptualizing it. To her credit, she refuses to throw Jamie under the bus at any point during the episode. This Elimination is now effectively nine on seven, with the seven having the more challenging menu options.

Over on Team Brontosaurus, Marcel is pissed because Angelo has decided that their plum tomatoes should be cut smaller. “You don’t mess with somebody’s mise-en-place,” Marcel says. He may just be acting like his normal, pissy self, but he also might be pretty perceptive about who Angelo is. Angelo certainly doesn’t worry about being underhanded in ways that will eliminate other people. Either way, we think if they get into a murder-suicide pact, it’s a net win for society.


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