More than a billion Chinese people eat Chinese food everyday. But when a bunch of American chefs try to cook Chinese food for Chinese people we get a hole in our hearts that goes all the way to China.
But before we get to the Showdown at the Dim Sum Corral, there was a whole different showdown happening in the Top Chef kitchen. Padma showed up and said, "Ugh, you jerks have to cook against a master chef. I'm supposed to make it a surprise, but it's Tom. God, come out here Tom. The suspense is killing me."
Cocookio comes out and tells the chef that speed is important and that they all need to get some speed. Not how they usually get their speed—from some shady character named Flynn in Washington Square Park—but regular kitchen speed. So, he's going to cook a dish and however long it takes him to cook it, that's how long they'll have to prepare a dish. Ready, set, go! Tom starts cooking, running around the kitchen, and looks remarkably like Speedy Gonzalez forgot his sombrero that day. While he's making his Black Bass with Clams and tomatoes, he throws the bass into a bin and it comes crashing down at Padma's feet.
"Stop the clock!" she yells, and everyone freezes, diverting their eyes to her. Tom pauses, his knife in midair, not sure whether to set it down. "Did you just throw a fish at me? Did you just throw a fish at me? Oh, that's not a rhetorical question, Tom."
"I...uh...yeah, I...uh...guess I did, Padma. But it was a mistake. I'm sorry."
"You're what? You're sorry? You fucking better be sorry. They squeezed my milk-filled titties into this striped top with these gigantic princess sleeves that make my head look like it's being crushed by a vice made out of pillows, and then they make me stand here doing nothing next to you while you cook. Oh, everyone look at how good Tom can cook. Look at how skilled he is. Look at how fast Tom can cook! What can Padma do? Nothing! She can just stand there, winning the show an Emmy while Tom upstages her. Yeah, that's my fucking idea of fun, Tom. And then you go and throw a fucking fish at me? That shit is not cool. And if I do not see a new pair of shoes to replace the ones you just covered in your nasty fish scales delivered to my house tomorrow with a handwritten apology note, then I am going to take the rest of that fish, I'm going to show up at your fucking house, and I am going to throw it right back at you. Do you hear me?!"
Everyone stood silent for a minute, not quite sure of what just happened. Then Padma said, "OK, restart the clock." And Tom hustled and hustled some more, and he finished his dish in eight minutes and 37 seconds. Yay Tom.
Now it's the chef's turn—cook, cook, cook; boring, boring, boring, and before you know it the eight minutes is up. Straight Dale barely finished his nasty noodles, Lazy Lesbian Jamie only made one clam (oh, the jokes one could make about that!), and Angelo made something raw after Tom told him not too. Stupid Angelo, he never listens.
But there are some good contenders: Marcel stole the unfinished fish right out from under Tom's nose and made a good dish, Richard Blais did something unnatural to foie gras, and Mike Isabella said, "Eh! Oh!" like a guido stereotype and out popped a wonderful fish dish. And Mike I is the winner, not only of immunity, but of a new Toyota Prius too.
Oh god, now Mike is rambling on about how he won a car and it's the proudest moment of your life. We're sure it is, Mike, because, as Liza Minnelli taught us, everybody loves a winner, that's why nobody loved you. That's why you couldn't get a date to your senior prom and you stood out in front of the high school gym in your powder blue tuxedo with your head held low and a useless corsage still in it's shiny plastic clam shell. That's why your first wife put on her fringey denim jacket and ran out of your two-family home in Bayonne and hopped on the back of some other dude's Harley and never came back. That's why the women who you order off the internet sometimes don't even show up at your house to earn their $300. No one loves you Mike, cause you're not a winner. But now you have a car. Congrats. You're a winner! Everything is going to change.
The challenge Mike has immunity for is that all the chefs have to cook as a team and serve a bunch of Chinese people at a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown. They all have to work together making and serving the food. That's sort of like someone being both your daughter and your sister, but with a side of soy sauce. Everyone gets together and talks about what dishes they're going to make and how some people need to make more than one dish. Lazy Lesbian Jamie surprisingly volunteers to make two dishes, and neither of them are a soup! However, one is a scallop. Cue the highlight reel of Jamie making scallops for every challenge in season five. Cue Fabio saying, "This is Top Chef, not Top Scallop." Siiiiiigghhhhh. Good times.
While everyone is playing around and wiping each other's bras in their faces (I really can't even talk about this, because...well, I just can't), Dale is talking about how important it is for him to win and he's putting pictures of his girlfriend in his knife box. The appearance of family members either in pictures or on the phone in a competitive reality show means either the person is going to lose or the person is going to win. Since Straight Dale is also Asian Dale in a Chinese food cooking challenge and he says he works in a dim sum restaurant, then he is our winner (spoiler alert).
Everyone goes to a Chinese market and they have no idea what they're buying. Casey gets Chicken feet, which is a bad idea. There is a Chinese saying that goes, "Bu pa tien, bu pa xia, geng pa bia ren shou zheng gua hua," which translated means, "There is nothing to fear on heaven and earth but a white person speaking Chinese." The same thing goes for making chicken feet. White people should not be making chicken feet. That's like Africans trying to make poutin or Scandanavians trying to make pad thai or Asians trying to make anything with cloud berries. It is just not a good idea.
Shop, shop, shop; cook, cook, cook; boring, boring, boring. The funny thing is that everyone is talking to this weird ghost. They call her Antonia, but we can't really see her. It's like they're talking to a curtain that is blowing in the wind from an open window. First nothing was there, then this linen flutter is talking about making shrimp toast, and Jamie (the world's laziest lesbian) is asking her to help it cook Chinese long beans, and then Casey is asking for it to cook her chicken feet. The flutter just says, "A message from the other side says that white people should not be making chicken feet. Oooohhhooooohhhhh."
Padma, Tom and Gail arrive with guest judge Susur Lee, the heir to the Sara Lee pastry making fortune. There are a ton of hungry Chinese people and they are all making that face that only Chinese people can make. It's like they're all waiting for the same train in a hot, steamy station and the train is like 72 days late. But they're still waiting. Just sitting there waiting for that train to show up.
And that is what the service is like, it is like waiting for a train that is 72 days late, because no one can get their food up to the diners. The chefs are just standing around waiting for something to happen while Black Tiffani is yelling at everyone to cook faster and there is this insane flutter whipping about the kitchen, back and forth, back and forth, giving everyone chills as it just steps over their graves. It calls itself Antonia, and it is one angry spirit.
Well, you know Padma is no Chinese person, and she won't wait for a train if it is 72 seconds late and she's like, "Jesus, Tom, go down there and tell those assholes to cook me some fucking food already." And Tom does, because one always listens to Padma. Here is what happens.
Yes, just as Princess Carla, heir to the Owl Throne of Yosemite, says, it's like your father showing up at your slumber party to yell at you all for making too much noise during a pillow fight. It's scary and it's sad, and everyone is a little bit embarrassed, including your father. Finally everyone gets fed, but most of the food was downright nasty. That is something for judges table.
The bottoms go up first and we have Casey, Antonia the not so friendly ghost, Laz-Lez Jamie, Princess Carla, heir to the Owl Throne of Yosemite, and Tre facing the juges. Tre says that his "orange desert" didn't hold up because it was too hot in the kitchen and it didn't gel. Oh, Tre, honey, it had nothing to do with the kitchen. It was too hot because it was next to you! You already turn our knees to Jell-O, please don't try to make a gelatinous desert again in the future. Princess C says she focused too much on making her summer rolls look good. Jamie just folder her arms and was like, "Yeah, I made two shitty dishes. Just send me home." Casey said she wanted to make chicken feet because she wanted to try something different. Susur Lee said, "You are white." Antonia said, "Oooooohhhooooooohhhhhh."
OK, tops turn. They call Black Tiffani, Angelo who may or may not be Asian but he sure does cook a lot of Asian food but doesn't look Asian so I don't know, Dale who is the winner, and Fabio. Fabio says, "I made-a the ribs, but I wanted to make gnocchi, but then I thought it wasn't Chinese. Then I thought, "No. Key up the pork! But I have never made it before because there is no pasta. I had no key on how to do it." Congrats, Fabio. You made something different. And the winner is...yeah, we already know.
Who's the loser? Well, everyone is all saying their goodbyes to Jamie in the stew room and they go in for that final line up, and Padma is like, "Get the fuck out, Casey." Jamie gives her beast "What?!" face and hugs her and then everyone in the stew room is like, "Really? It's not Jamie?" And Casey, being the pretty, chipper girl that she is does what all pretty, chipper girls do. She says, "No, really guys. It's fine. I'm going to miss you. Have so much fuuuuunnnnn! See you in yearbook club!" and then she floats off on a cotton candy cloud. Then she goes home and cries and makes a burn book about that Lazy Lesbian Jamie and calls her all sorts of horrible names that rhyme with Bundt and says, "Oh, I'll get you one day, Jamie, oh I'll get you good."
And finally, somewhere in Shenzhen, a train pulls up to the station 72 days late and a room full of Chinese people get on board and take their seats, but their faces don't change. They are still the same waiting for a train faces as the look out on the platform and see it littered with a bunch of uncooked chicken feet made by a white person. And that is what finally cracks them. That is what makes them frown.