Top Chef
Snacks On A Plane

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Keckler: B- | Grade It Now!
YOU GRADE IT
Chopping Broccolini

"Get some rest," Padma repeats, and then does the oddest thing -- she puts her hand to her mouth and singsongs, "You'll need it!" I can just imagine the conversation with the cameramen:

Padma: "No, wait, I'm gonna do, like, one of -- what're they called -- Mad Libs?"
Cameraman: "Ad libs?"
Padma: "Yes! Ad libs! But mine will be seven-minute ads, because I'm so toned like the model person I am. Wait, here I go --"

Hence, the sing-songy weird thing.

The cheftestants are all bummed at being so close to New York, yet so far away, Continental Airlines gets tons of much-needed product placement, and the next morning, the cheftestants arrive at a hangar. Wearing hair -- well, they're not quite nets, they're more like motel shower caps made out of tissue paper -- the cheftestants show up at a large, very large, extremely large kitchen. Those "keep your arms in or risk grievous elbow injury" carts are everywhere, and Padma has artfully arranged her hair bag to allow for some jet-black locks to escape and attractively frame her face. And in keeping with this week's theme, Padma is wearing the top half of Amelia Earhart's flight suit as a jacket. It's all buckles and straps and weathered canvas. Padma reminds the cheftestants how much airline food sucks, but nodding to the guy next to her, adds, "THESE guys have been working on their product with their very own congress of chefs to give it a very serious upgrade." First of all, these sorts of "upgrades" only apply to the fat cats who get to sit in first class, which is enough of an upgrade with the bigger seats, the better bathroom, and the Champagne, so they don't really need the food. Second of all, "congress" of chefs, Padma? Who gave you word-a-day toilet paper? Because if it's the same person who gave it to Tom "Top Side" Colicchio last week, I'm going to suspect a vocab-spiracy. For the Elimination Challenge, the cheftestants have to devise a "delicious restaurant-quality hot entrée," for Continental's "business-first service." They have two hours to cook, after which they have to pack up their food in those funny-bone-assassinating carts, and then serve their slop to the judges and "a group of travel experts."

The Brians -- confusingly dressed as Frank Buck from Bring 'Em Back Alive with that large khaki shirt -- tell us that they've never had the opportunity to have a good meal on a plane because they've never sat "in front," and so have had to subsist on peanuts, pretzels, and stale bread. Wait, he gets stale bread, too? I think I need to change airlines. Actually, for a few years now I carry my own food on, and lentil salad is one of my staples.

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