'Top Chef All-Stars' Recap: Spitballs & Boogers

paula deen padma lakshmiIn last night's episode of Top Chef All-Stars, Food Network diva Paula Deen played a cartoon of herself, and contestant Mike Isabella proved he really is the most vile creature in the solar system and beyond. Oh, and one of the chefs favored to win this season was sent home in one of the more surprising moves of the season. But what else is new, right? Let's take a look at all that went down ...


When the chefs arrive for the Quickfire Challenge, who else did they find in the kitchen with Padma Lakshmi but a cackling Paula Deen with an over-the-top Southern accent. Here's Carla's exact reaction:

Paula Deen with her beautiful hair is right there.

Really, Carla? Beautiful hair? That is what you chose to highlight on this momentous occasion? Moving along ...

For the challenge, the chefs were tasked with impressing Paula with their skills using -- guess what? -- a deep fryer. Now, I know this is going to really shock you, but Paula told the chefs that once she fried butter. Utterly shocking and totally out of character for the Queen of Butter, right?

As Paula said: "If you can eat it, you can fry it. Let your imagination run wild." And for Richard that meant using liquid nitrogen -- of course it did -- to freeze balls of mayonnaise before frying. Does he know how to kiss up to Paula or what?

It's actually a nice moment: Paula was hilarious and charming as always, and the chefs seemed to be enjoying themselves (except for Carla, who made hush puppies that Paula said tasted like "spitballs"). Unfortunately, it's entirely ruined when Mike (allegedly) plagiarized a chicken oyster recipe from Richard's notebook and won the challenge and $5K. See? Totally vile.

And he can't even win graciously! When Richard acted pissed about the recipe robbery, Mike leered to the camera:

If you’re going to win, then win. If you are going to lose, then go in the corner ... Richard, it’s not your dish. It’s my dish, cuz I won the five Gs.

I was so annoyed I almost missed the announcement of the Elimination Challenge: The chefs had to cook Southern-style Gulf seafood for 300 attendees of a fundraising event for the Greater New Orleans Foundation, which gives money back to fishermen and fisherwomen and families whose businesses suffered after the oil spill. (Paula and Chef John Besh -- another judge -- are members of the foundation.)

Oh, and chefs who were already eliminated -- Tre, Angelo, Spike, Tiffani, Marcel, Fabio -- come back to help much to the current contestants' dismay.

The contest is fairly predictable and uneventful. Antonia, Richard, and Mike ended up in the top three -- Richard won for his red snapper and pulled pork combo. Carla, Tiffany, and Dale were in the bottom. And it was there in the Stew Room that we learn of yet another of Mike's most loathsome traits. When he sat down next to Antonia, she said:

Please. Don’t burp on me. Don't fart on me. Don't flick a booger on me.

I don't know about you, but that comment made me think that Mike had made a habit of doing disgusting things like this. Reason No. 804 to detest him.

I'm interrupted from my Mike hating with the announcement that Dale is being sent home for his raw potatoes and too spicy soup. Dale? My beloved Dale? I'm totally crushed.

But then I go back to my Mike abhorring. Seriously, I'm like a dog with a bone about this. Just make him stop already!

Do you hate Mike, too? Were you sad to see Dale go home?


Image via BravoTV

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