Top Chef
Top Chef Holiday Special

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It Came Upon A Sniff And Sneer

Okay, the timer counting down in such a threatening way to Top Chef Chicago is really not making me happy. I feel like it's telling me, "Don't close your eyes because we're coming to gitcha!"

In the kitchens, Tiffani barks, "Sandee, Josie, and Stephen -- I need your help!" She explains the situation to them while Tre just gets started. Mainly silently, completely without barking orders peremptorily. CJ tell us how Tiffani sounded, "She had some, like, crazy scream, 'mah, meh, yah, yah, yah!'" His impression is uncanny. Tre goes to grab a jug of cider, but Tiffani orders him away from it, informing him, "No, no, no -- that's mine! That's mine! That's mine! All of this is mine. Sorry." Does anyone remember that scene in The Rescuers when Madame Medusa is fighting with Mr. Snoops over the Devil's Eye and she's all, "It's miiiiiine, it's all miiiiiiine!"? That's Tiffani. Of course, not to be out-screeched or out-irritatinged, you can hear Betty screaming in the background about...something. She really doesn't need to be doing that since it's no longer her game, but I'm sure she's just making sure that this scene can also go on her "greatest hits." "See, Mr. Producer? That voice in the background? Yeah, that's me! Listen to my range, my projection!" Ugh. And I know exactly how she would look saying it -- all teeth and huge eyes and nodding head. Of course, the Evil Dr. Mathra is less convinced that Betty is a fame whore and more convinced that she has her own form of Intermittent Explosive Disorder.

As Tiffani demands to know what proteins Stephen has, Tre attempts to get Stephen to work for him. Sadly, Stephen has to admit, "I have to help Tiff." Yeah, that's because she barreled in there yelling about who had to help her. Man, the expression on Stephen's face when he grabs a bottle of wine and a platter of something -- his osso buco, I guess -- is priceless. He's just so resigned and annoyed to be back to helping Tiffani in a final. Tiffani tells us she grabbed Josie, Sandee, and Stephen because "they are the people that know and like me best." Really? Do Josie and Sandee know you at all? Also, since when does Stephen like Tiffani? Because judging by the expression I mentioned above, he's cursing the fact that Tre wasn't more bloodthirsty when they ran back into the kitchens.

Tre realizes that he absolutely has to do a dessert now, and nods at Betty's proffered white chocolate mascarpone and asks her to do a crumble. Tiffani announces that she doesn't want to use any ingredients she's already used. Then why did you hold onto the cider for dear life, Tiffani? Tiffani regales us with the tales of how her high-end "leftover sandwich" came to be. Something about crappy leftovers, but then she thought to use Stephen's braised veal and blah, blah, blah. Whatever, Colicchio loves her so there's no way she's not winning tonight. In fact, I'm convinced this was just all a big ploy so Colicchio could get a "do-over" for Tiffani and have her win.

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