top_chef_logo_lgIt was a pop-up restaurant showdown in NYC on the latest installment of Top Chef All-Stars!

The episode began with a fillet-o-fish-off at Eric Ripert’s Le Bernardin restaurant with, surprise — Anthony Bourdain! Yes, kids, he’s still here. After hacking away at the fish, the four chefs who did the best — Jersey Mike, Angry Dale, Marcel and Richard — then had to take the nasty parts of the fish (i.e.: the collar, head, liver, innards, etc.) and create a Le Bernardin-worthy dish. Dale won with his bacon dashi with salt roasted cod collar. He made a silk purse out of a sow’s ear with that dish.

With the Quickfire win came immunity for Dale, and he also got to choose the team leader for the opposing restaurant for Restaurant Wars. Being the strategist that he is, he chose Marcel, saying it was so he wouldn’t have to work with him, but we all know what his ulterior motives were (though not having to work with Marcel is a pretty sweet deal in itself).

Dale, Blais, Fabio, Tre and Carla teamed up to form Bodega, and created a fun, playful menu of “stoner food” (to quote Bourdain). Etch (as in “wretch”) was comprised of Angelo, Tiffany, Antonia (“The Black Hammer”), Mike Isabella and captained by Wolf Boy himself, and had a menu of “elevated,” “Medi”-inspired food — that didn’t look Mediterranean at all. Fabio, of course, took the role as charming maître d’ who wooed all of the ladies, and the same role was forced upon Tiffany who did a disappearing act most of the time — even when the judges came to be seated!

The cool twist in this Restaurant Wars episode was that the diners were able to try both restaurants and vote to decide the winning team. The ultimate winner and person chopped would then be decided by the judges. Finally! A challenge where they can actually cook for the guests! Of course, if you want to give your guests undercooked food and cat spit (a.k.a.: foam) for two courses, that’s your prerogative.

To make a long story short, Etch bickered and struggled through service, while Bodega sailed along smoothly and wowed the judges’ picky palates. I’ll let you guess which team took the win. And, as per usual, it’s either the front-of-house person or team captain who usually goes home (part of Dale’s strategy, see?).

Want to know what happened? Then listen to the podcast to find out!

top_chef_300Whether you watch the show or not, our review of it is top notch snark and an all-around good time. Listen to us (attempt to) recap this episode and the hilarity that ensues.

Move over, Bed Intruder song! Here’s Marcel’s auto-tuned rap video.

Tune in to Bravo every Wednesday at 10 pm EST/9 pm C, check out our own live Tweets during the show (Jeff: @JeffHouck, Katie: @culinarypirate), and listen to our podcast here every week! (You can even download us on iTunes!)

Check out our fellow Top Chef fanatics’ blogs: All Top Chef gives us their uninhibited reactions and Please Pack Your Knives and Go is just plain hilarious. And check out TalkingTV’s rules for the Top Chef drinking game here.

Listen to the podcast here.