Top Chef: All Stars

2006, TV Show

Top Chef Episode: "Snacks on a Plane"

Season 3, Episode 11
Episode Synopsis: It's attitudes and altitudes when the chefs take off for a challenge on a plane. Culinary personality Jimmy Canora is the guest judge.
Original Air Date: Sep 12, 2007

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Season 3, Episode 11
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Aired: 9/12/2007
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"Snacks on a Plane" Season 3, Episode 11

Turn the frowns upside down, friends! This week's episode was loads of fun compared to the stinker last week. There were just a ton of funny moments, some food that actually might have been good, and fan favorite Anthony Bourdain! That's just a big old bucket 'o goodness there. I really enjoyed this quickfire challenge. I'm a breakfast man myself. If I could eat eggs and bacon for every meal, I would. Then I'd probably own a pig farm and some chickens too, seeing as I might want those things handy if I got hungry. But then I probably wouldn't have a pig farm and work at TV Guide so I wouldn't get to do this blog and that would be bad. Then again, I'd be eating bacon right now. Hmmm I really might have to give this some thought. So anyway, a breakfast challenge is right up my alley. And what better way to start your day than have Padma walk through your door! Well OK, I'm sure my wife wouldn't want Padma just walking in our home and Dale would have rather had Ted Allen in that house, but C.J. and Brian were certainly happy about being awoken by her. The funniest part about the whole thing really, was that the chefs looked wider awake than Padma. Yeah, it's 6 am for everyone, but Padma actually knew she had to get up and be on camera by that time. Some of the most interesting things were said and done during this challenge. Dale is apparently known for his breakfast, but only ones that take four hours to prep. Hung doesn't eat breakfast because he's in a hurry (who knew?), and Padma is apparently Drunky McDrunkdrunk. Hung put alcohol in his drink "for Padma" and Sara also said "we know Padma likes alcohol." Maybe I don't know my Padma Lakshmi backstories very well, but since she doesn't appear on the same sites that post Britney Spears' crotch shots, I don't really do much research on her. However, I can close my eyes and picture her saying, "Bring on the drinks" while holding a martini over her head. But the best moment was from C.J. who made crepes simply because females like them. After seeing how much Padma enjoyed them, he said, "If there were another Spice Girl, there would be Crepe Spice." Brilliant. To me, Dale's ham, apple and onion frittata sounded fabulous, while Hung's winning steak and eggs sounded like, well generic steak and eggs. Padma liked it, though, and she apparently doesn't like steak and eggs at all. I think the Grand Marnier was talking there. After this is all over, the chefs are told they are leaving Miami and taking a trip to New York, but they aren't told they are making a pit stop in "dirty Jersey." At the Newark airport they're told they are to create a business-class meal for frequent flyers, who turn out to be flight attendants. The chef with the worst dish won't be moving on to New York. The results were a little mixed, but certainly better than last week, where it didn't look like any of them even belonged on the show. Casey did some veal medallions and cauliflower that turned out excellent, Hung took sea bass and cooked it well, and Dale made one of my favorites, peppercorn steak. I'm a little bothered by including Dale in the top three, though. He didn't have enough of the steak to serve all the passengers. That's a huge mistake! I'm telling you, if I pay hundreds of dollars for that nice comfy seat in the front and you serve me some cold, fake bologna sandwich instead of my steak, somebody's boss is getting an earful of venom and bologna breath when that plane lands. Also, in one of the few contradictions of the night, Anthony says on the plane that he enjoyed the steak but he thinks the majority of regular passengers would be overwhelmed by the peppercorn, yet tells Dale his dish was a "crowd-pleaser." Dale certainly didn't deserve to go home based on this, but singing his praises might have been too much. On the back end was Sara who cooked some salmon well and some well beyond edible, Brian whose hash was hideous, and C.J. who served something I never knew existed - broccolini - and apparently turned it into the worst dish in the history of the competition. I think the funniest line of the entire season came when Anthony was describing Brian's lobster and said it "had the texture of doll head." You could even hear the cameramen laughing at that one. You knew it was going to be C.J. or Brian going home here and Brian bothered me the most because he seemed to just take this all as some sort of joke. He's laughing and saying how he's staying away from fried foods and lobster now since he keeps messing them up. So there's at least two things a supposed "top chef" doesn't cook well. So next week when he butchers a steak, will he quit that, too? And then next week it's something else and then something else until he reaches the point where he puts on a banana costume for every challenge and announces that it's peanut-butter-jelly time. But, we've been asking for consistency and we got it with C.J. being ousted. A few weeks ago Tre made the worst dish of the competition and got booted and this week C.J. took the same medicine. I'm not going to argue with the logic, but I hate seeing him go. The comic relief is now gone. Who's going to talk about having one ball or come up with things like when he said in his exit interview that he would "love to sit down and have a beer with Anthony Bourdain and talk s--t about my broccolini"? I guess Dale has to work on his stand-up now. And poor C.J., who had never been to New York and just wanted a slice of pizza. Instead he gets to drown his sorrows in the pork roll capital of the world. (Seriously folks. If you have no idea what pork roll is and you're ever in the PA/NJ/NY area you must have some.) Oh, and just so you know - in the time it took me to finish this, I've decided to not start raising pigs. But, I will be starting my own broccolini stand by next summer, so if you care to make a donation to Steed's Teeny Weeny Broccolini Hut, please send checks and money orders to David Steed c/o TV Guide. Finally, I'm very disappointed in the title of this episode, "Snacks on a Plane." These were not snacks, they were meals. All week long I've been thinking about scenarios where I could work in Samuel L. Jackson references and say something like "the judges must have been thinking, 'I'm tired of these MF'in snacks on this MF'in plane," and those didn't fit anywhere. But I put too much thought into it to not type something out. So there. Until next week, friends. Join me over in our Online Video Guide, where I'll be watching clips from Top Chef. show less
Turn the frowns upside down, friends! This week's episode was loads of fun compared to the stinker last week. There were just a ton of funny moments, some food that actually might have been good, and fan favorite Anthony Bourdain! That’s just a big old bucket 'o goodness there. I really enjoyed this quickfire challenge. I'm a breakfast man myself. If I could eat eggs and bacon for every meal, I would. Then I'd probably own a pig farm and some chickens too, seeing as I might want those things handy if I got hungry. But then I probably wouldn't have a pig farm and work at TV Guide so I wouldn't get to do this blog and that would be bad. Then again, I'd be eating bacon right now. Hmmm… I really might have to give this some thought. So anyway, a breakfast challenge is right up my alley. And what better way to start your day than have Padma walk through your door! Well OK, I'm sure my wife wouldn't want Padma just walking in our home and Dale would have rather had Ted Allen in ... read more

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Premiered: March 08, 2006, on Bravo
Rating: TV-14
User Rating: (309 ratings)
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Premise: A reality competition in which aspiring chefs compete for culinary stardom. Each episode features two challenges---a short test of basic cooking skills and an elimination challenge, in which one failing contestant is sent packing.

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