After the commercial break, Stephen has finally returned to Octavia Lounge and starts to unload his loot. He complains to us, "When I arrived back from the restaurant supply house, I had to put the whole entire dining room together, unpack everything I had bought, write a whole entire menu -- it was going to be a crunch." Miguel comments to us that Stephen was gone a long-ass time and that he thinks too much about little details. The Katie Leebot arrives to bring the teams into the dining room to meet the guest judge. Whatever, it's Jeffrey "I'm a Convicted Felon" Chodorow, also know as Jeffrey "Failed Rocco DiSpirito Venture" Chodorow and Jeffrey "A Shave and a Shower Might Not Go Amiss" Chodorow. The cheftestants drool over him. I get violently ill. Stephen says, "Jeffrey's known for, you know, restaurant concepts and turning them into money-making machines." Tell that to Rocco's. The Katie Leebot goes over what will go down with the restaurant patrons and the winner, loser, etc. Jeffrey Chodorow tells the cheftestants that the winner will accompany him and a team of chefs from his newest ventures to the Cannes Film Festival. Will you fly Braniff airlines? The movie shit aside, the Cannes Film Festival is a major event for chefs as well. Only the best chefs get selected to go and cook for all the parties and events. The Katie Leebot makes an unfunny, "So the winning chef will get to go to Cannes, and somebody else will be getting canned." Oh, like you, Katie Lee Joel?
The cheftestants cook and cook. Lee Anne gets pissed when she realizes the expensive snapper isn't even scaled! It's all Miguel's fault, but he says, "I don't think it had nothing to do with me getting the fish." Right, the unscaled fish had nothing to do with you getting that unscaled fish. Fine. Lee Anne dons gloves and scales. Stephen admits that he's "in the weeds" and way behind schedule. Maybe it would speed things up if he took that mammoth wine bottle out of his ass. Colicchio comes in and laughs at how screwed Stephen is. I'm sorry, Stephen annoys me but Colicchio is such a dick. Tim Gunn would never, NEVER laugh at how behind anyone is. Even with Vincent, who he HATED, he never laughed at him (well, except in his podcasts), he was just always "concerned" about time. You know, put Jacques Pepin in the Tim Gunn role here and you'd see a different story. The problem is, too many restaurant chefs are these alpha males or females who have such huge egos that they can't be impartial. They are always critics. And they almost always sneer. Bobby Flay? No way. Tyler Florence? Nope. Even my beloved Mario Batali couldn't do this. Who could be the Tim Gunn of this show? Jacques Pepin has the gentleness and, in his role as a dean at the French Culinary Institute, he sort of has that academic parallel to Tim Gunn and Parsons. He's also been on television before. Basically, Pepin is not just a restaurant chef and he's not just a food critic. For instance, Jeffrey Steingarten could not fit the Tim Gunn role in this show because he's really just a critic. And he's also a total bitch without being nice about it. Tim can be bitchy, but he does it in a gentle, witty, caring way. Alton Brown is a pseudo-academic and could potentially fill the role. Tops on my list, though, would have been Julia Child. She had no professional restaurant experience, sure, but she was obviously still top of the game, and no one could argue that she doesn't have heart and sympathy. Sadly, all of these people are Big Names and Tim Gunn wasn't a Big Name before the show. Maybe that's why he's so good at his role. He didn't have the ego or starpower to trip him up before the first season aired.