Top Chef
Top Chef Holiday Special

Episode Report Card
Keckler: B- | Grade It Now!
It Came Upon A Sniff And Sneer
In the kitchen, we can see that while they forced a Christmas stocking on Jewish Stephen, at least they balanced it out with a menorah. Of course, all of this is taking place in September, so really it's the Honeyites who should be offended at being marginalized. Marcel is doing a weird squirming thing in his chair as he tells us that Top Chef is a surrogate family. Okay, given how abusive said family is, how sad is that if it's true? Maybe Project Runway needs to foster some of them. Marcel thinks they can all just get along. Next to arrive is Sandee, and she went so far as to put mittens on to continue with the whole "Let it faux! Let it faux! Let it faux!" charade. Tre saunters in and calmly greets everyone. He and Stephen introduce themselves. Okay, so in this scene, Stephen is carrying around a pool cue, which is fine. The man plays pool. I might mock it, but it's fine. However, he still has his damn suit jacket on. Like, if you've already unbent enough to yank the pool cue out of your ass in order to use it, might you not take off or even UNBUTTON your very tight suit coat? I just have images of seams ripping down the back and Tim Gunn walking in, tsking, "Stephen. This is not good. No. Not good." Tre really wants to win this. I really want Tre to win this. Or CJ. Or the two of them. They could open a restaurant together. Speaking of the one-ball wonder, CJ walks in sardonically calling, "Ho, ho, ho!" CJ, it's really rude to be calling Betty names when you haven't even met her yet. I love that CJ is wearing far less wintry attire than the rest of them. He's just got on a sweatshirt and a very loosely draped scarf. He's so over the charade. Betty, on the other hand, had to do it up with a hat, mittens, scarf, and theatrical "Oh, my god -- it's so cooold!" as she scampered up the walk. CJ, who was probably told by the producers to tell the cameras a bit about himself, says, "I'm from Top Chef 3 and I'm a Libra. My favorite color's blue, I like pizza with friends, I love the ocean." Heh. CJ has also started his own catering company called "Redwood Cuisine." Because he's as tall as one?

They all play pool until Betty, wearing a red spaghetti-strap tank top that she really shouldn't be, minces dramatically over to the Christmas stockings and starts handing them out. They're all Top Chef jokes and I have to say, I didn't necessarily get all of them. For one, I seem to be coming down with selective amnesia and for two, Top Chef proves yet again that they don't know anything about food. Cursing and laughing mightily, CJ yanks some broccoli out of his. Why? Because of the whole broccoli fiasco. Oh, but wait! That WASN'T broccoli, it was BROCCOLINI! Yes, they are from the same family and broccolini is a natural hybrid of Chinese kale and broccoli, but they are still two totally different vegetables. How do I know? Because I love one and hate the other. As CJ reads his card from Colicchio out loud, Tiffani pulls on an "I'm not your bitch, BITCH!" t-shirt. We get a flashback to Dave saying those immortal words to her, but I think she got the t-shirt because she tried to steal it, and the limelight, from Dave in that deliciously horrific reunion. Josie gets a bottle of Pepto-Bismol, because that's what the dessert that sent her home looked like. The thing is, though, Bravo screws up the flashback; and we don't even see the pink component of the acid-relieving dessert. Tre pulls out some hand-crunchers things. What the hell? They don't have anything to do with his cooking, do they? Also, they're so, like, the stuff of '80s bullies and corporate meatheads. I mean, Tre wasn't the most interesting cheftestant but the least they could've done is call out his bread pudding and given him a loaf. ["The only explanation I can think of is that he went home on a 'lack of leadership,' and those things are an executive toy. Still: weak sauce, TC. Literally." -- Sars] Sandee is given product-placed KC Masterpiece barbecue sauce, Marcel gets mousse -- sorry, sculpting foam -- and Stephen gets a cheesy Santa tie. It also looks like they all got the Nick Verreos-designed Top Chef aprons. I'm shocked Bravo didn't have their Top Chef knives ready for the Christmas shopping-product placement season.

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Top Chef




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