A Very Special Episode of Top Chef
A polka-dotted Padma explains what we're about to see: Harold, Tiffani, Dave, and Stephen from the first season are going up against the season twosies, Sam, Elia, Marcel, and Ilan. Food and cooking will be involved, and the winning team gets to donate $20,000 to a charity of their choice.
My joy at seeing Tiffani and Stephen and hoping they bring the bitch and the FISHHOOK tonight is truly a testament to how much the Season Two cheftestants irritate the skin off of me.
In case the name is at all misleading, Miami Beach is full of palm trees, bikinis, beaches, and Miami. A fairly conservatively dressed Padma -- seriously, a button-down shirt? Aw, Padmadala, you disappoint me! -- stands next to Colicchio, rubbing her hands with hungry glee as Season One walks in. Padma welcomes them and introduces herself and reintroduces Colicchio, who looks so happy to see the quartet, even his shiny head is creased with a smile. I want to see his feet. I want to see if he's wearing socks with his white espadrilles. After Padma nudges Harold to announce the big news about his restaurant, Perilla, opening, she explains why Lee Anne isn't there to whip Season Two's ass with the rest of her season. She's working behind the scenes on the show as the culinary producer. Lee Anne -- cutely do-ragged up and wearing overalls and a tank top -- walks out to say hi. Aw, hi Lee Anne! I really want them to put her in front of the camera this year. Just a few bits here and there, being a mentor, something. I love how official she looks with her bits of wires here and there and her causal clothes. I just love her. And on the opposite end of that emotional spectrum, let's meet Season Two! Again! Too soon!
As Season Two walks in, Colicchio singsongs, "Look at the new haircuts!" Seriously! Ilan sheared and mohawked himself, and Elia appears to have turned into her very own grandmother. Elia, your virginal white hair isn't going to make us think you've suddenly become a white hat. It just looks like you got a really bad scare. Oh, wait, maybe that's the result of seeing Ilan's hair. Marcel's hair, on the other hand, actually looks more toned down compared to his usual pompadour. There doesn't seem to be as much of it swirling, whirling, and dipping around. Colicchio asks Ilan what he's been up to since Hawaii. And then we get a close-up of Ilan's hair. Okay, now what is going on there? Is that -- that's not a fade is it? Do you think he did that himself? What's it supposed to be? At first I thought it might be a Native American fish, but now I'm not so sure. Maybe it's trying to tell us a story? Oh my god, it's totally hairoglyphics! Can you imagine the Rosetta Stone you'd need to read Ilan's head? It would be a pebble. In responding to Colicchio, Ilan says ambiguously, "I've gotten lots of offers. Things that are way too big, I think. My first restaurant needs to be tiny." To match your skill level. Now, hair aside, why is Ilan wearing JT Walsh's glasses? They look hideous. However, they do obscure a good deal of his face, so I guess I can support that. Well played, Ilan. Ilan tells us that since his win, he's just been going around getting lots of advice from other chefs about opening restaurants. How thrilling. Colicchio pointedly asks if Ilan has any regrets from the season. The camera moves with a DUN! to Marcel, as Ilan says he really doesn't.