Foodie Joe Jonas hangs with Padma Lakshmi on Top Chef All-Stars.Joe Jonas, pastry chef? That's what Top Chef All-Stars contestant Dale Talde thought when the teen heartthrob showed up this week to judge the chefs on their kid-friendly midnight snacks, which they prepped for a challenge that provided treats for a Night at the Museum party at the Museum of Natural History.
They had 45 minutes to make their kid-friendly treats.
So what's the line-up? Food porn alert!
First off, Dale T. pisses everyone off by taking the whole big, huge TUB of sugar to his station, and since it's mostly about sweet treats, everyone needs the sugar. Then there's a lot of chaotic running around as they try to pull it all together at break-neck speed.
Richard offers up a microwaved bread pudding with spiced apples, honey, and chocolate. Eh. Antonia, who's got a Joe Jonas-loving daughter, serves up a white chocolate and cherry muffin, which might be a bit sophisticated for the 7-year-old palate. So, too, might Tre's cracker with a tomato, basil, and bacon jam. Jamie offers a similar take with cheddar biscuits and apple sauce. Fabio plays it safe with chocolate-coated apple slices, and Angelo makes what amounts to doughnuts.
Casey's chocolate-bacon lasagna just sounds disgusting. Dale T. grosses us out by mixing chocolate and corn, which also makes an appearance in Mike's chocolate polenta bars. Yuck. And Dale L. goes way over the top with sweet tart nuggets and caveman boulders so he could get the kids "as jacked up on sugar as possible."
But according to Joe Jonas, the losers here are Tiffany D.'s coconut rice pudding (which sounds good in theory, but is pretty much a goopy mess), Stephen's sophisticated but not-quite-sweet snickerdoodles, and Mike's choco-corn bars. Again, yuck.
Joe's favorites from this go-round? Spike's potato and carrot chips with a mascarpone and marshmallow dip, and Tiffani F.'s "threesome" between a snowball and a rice crispy treat and a moon pie. Yum. And it's a tie -- so they're all headed to the museum, to let the kids decide.
Once they get there, Spike and Tiffani have to pick teams to mass produce their snacks for 150 hungry kids. It's almost girls versus boys, except Tre and Dale T. end up with Tiff, and Carla ends up on the boys' team.
There's a lot liquid nitrogen happening at Tiffani's station while the boys get down and dirty stripping carrots. Dale T. complains as usual that he's "trying to make chicken soup with chicken s***."
Fabio, meanwhile, is still smarting off over being picked last, noting he's underestimated but likes to be "under the radar." At least that's what I think he meant. Then he compares the kids to cows and Tasmanian devils. Spike calls them "culinary junior monsters." Tiffani's chocolate moon pies are clearly more appealing than Spike's carrot chips -- which apparently also have plenty of unappealing raisins. Kids don't like raisins, it seems.
Jamie decides, seeing the chaos, that she "has no interest in having children. Ever." Nice.
Then Joe Jonas shows up, and the sugared-up kids simply erupt with giddiness. The blue team, Tiffani's moon pies, take the prize -- immunity and an advantage in the next challenge.
Then Tom Colicchio shows up and kicks off the elimination challenge. The chefs are all exhausted, but now they're on duty to create a breakfast for the kids and their parents -- with service starting at 7 a.m.
It's a dinosaur-based challenge: one team does T-Rex, meat and meat byproducts only, while the other does the Brontosaurus diet, all veggie. But they do get to rest in these campy little cots -- and have a bit of a strategy session -- for a bit beforehand. But some of the chefs decide to go on a flashlight tour of the museum instead. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity, after all.
At 4 a.m., they hit the kitchen running -- literally. The meat team gets no flour, no herbs, nada. And the veggie team doesn't even get eggs.
They get busy. And slicing bacon, Jamie slices open her thumb. She needs stitches. She's out. Fabio points out that on his original season, he broke his finger. He stuck it out.
In the end, the pairs serve up a tasty breakfast. Food porn alert number two!
On Team Brontosaurus, Carla and Spike do a gazpacho, while Fabio and Stephen do a mushroom and leek gnocchi. Dale T. and Mike -- sticking to their corn obsession -- do grits with stewed sweet peppers. I don't know, these seem like odd choices for breakfast, no? The only thing the team makes that seems remotely breakfasty is Marcel, Richard, and Angelo's simple banana parfait. And with schmoozy Fabio hand-selling the gnocchi, how can they lose?
Overall, the judges like the grits and gnocchi, but not so much on the gazpacho, which gets tepid reviews. Judge Gail Simmons calls the parfait "beautiful ... like a painting."
They definitely went more breakfasty on Team T-Rex, where Antonia and Tiffany D. did three different cheese frittatas, basics like bacon and cheddar, ham, and cheese. Then there was Tre and Casey's wild coho salmon with a shrimp sauce, and Jen and Jamie's whole-roasted bacon and eggs. And finally, there's Tiffani F. and Dale L.'s steak and eggs with a rich hollandaise.
The big losers here are the too-chewy bacon and soggy eggs, prepped by Jen and Jamie, although the salmon gets decent reviews even though the sauce is salty. The frittatas are undercooked, but the steak and eggs get raves.
Chef Katie Lee joins the judges to make the final assessment, and Team Brontosaurus takes it. Fabio and Stephen's gnocchi earns praise, but Angelo, Marcel, and Richard's parfait takes the prize.
Jen was sent packing.So Team T-Rex has to put someone on the chopping block.
Tiffany D. and Antonia get flack for their runny frittatas. Tre admits he knew that his shrimp sauce was too salty. But Jen's standing up for her team. She says she doesn't think that they deserve to be here. And she's starting to give the judges major attitude. She says her eggs were seasoned perfectly, the bacon was perfect. "I will fight to the death on this," she announces. "Welcome to Jen all-stars."
But Tom says if someone's going home, it's for their dish, not for their attitude. Still, in the end, Jen is sent packing. Katie Lee says the texture was so off, Tom says it was unbelievably bland. Naturally, Jen flips. "Like my dad has always said, second place is still losing," she says. "So I wonder what he's going to say about second-to-last. I feel like I was robbed."
Do you feel like Jen was robbed? Or did she deserve to get sent packing?
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