Our cheftestants were rudely awakened at the crack of dawn by a lively Padma. “Time to get up,” she crowed, “and do our aerobic exercises.”
Our yawning band of cheftestants stumbled into the living room to find the place turned into an impromptu kitchen.
“She for real?” Casey asked.
“Don’t talk to me, bitch,” Hung snapped. “You’ve stolen my thunder. I shoulda won that appetizer elimination challenge.”
The sound of Padma’s stomach growling halted this pleasant interchange. “Make me breakfast,” she said.
Sara M. created her own version of toad in the hole. Casey yawned and accidentally added ½ of a container of milk to two eggs.
As for the men, all but Hung were still moonstruck over being awakened from a sound slumber by a beautiful woman. ‘Gotta tame my woodie,’ thought C.J., ‘it’s getting more attention than my remaining nut.’
Hung went to town, making steak and eggs, and added half a bottle of Grand Marnier to Padma’s smoothy. “That should impress her.” He looked straight at the camera and said, “I hear she‘s a lush.”
Padma took a long, long, long sip of the smoothy. “Normally I don’t like steak and eggs, Hung, but that smoothy made me forget all about my unsullied, cholesterol free arteries. I declare you the winner.”
Hung started to giggle like a school girl as he fondled the cookbook Padma gave him.
“That reminds me, Hung. Since you won, you’ve gotta distribute these tickets. Now that you’ve stunk up the livingroom with your cooking and messed the floor up with oil, you folks are getting a one-way ticket outta here.”
The cheftestants jumped up and down for joy when they learned they were headed for Manhattan, especially C.J. “I’ve never been to New York. Before I die I want to step foot in Manhattan.”
As C.J. talked about NYC, the viewers could hear a choir of angels singing in the background, portending that he would soon be the next cheftestant to go.
Our merry gang hurriedly packed and were next seen shooting a commercial for Continental airlines. But instead of landing in New York, they disembarked in Newark. The background choir of angels begin to sing louder as the camera paned over C.J.’s face. His expression, as he viewed the airport said it all: “Uh, oh, something tells me I might not make it to Manhattan, Auntie Em.”
“Welcome to Newark,” said Padma, giving the cheftestants a mischievous smile.
“Aren’t Tom, Ted, or Gail working for Bravo any more?” thought Brian peevishly, missing his wife.
“You’ve just eaten a Continental snack,” Padma said breezily. “After taking your maalox, and after your stomach settles, your next challenge will be to create a better meal than the peanut butter on crackers, pretzels, and apple snack you just consumed.”
“Piece of cake,” thought Hung, Brian, Dale, Sara, Casey, and C.J. simultaneously.
As the cheftestants began to create their “Pieces des Continental Cuisine Resistances” in Continental's humongous kitchen, the diners gathered in a parked Continental plane. They were then forced to sit and wait in their tiny business class seats as if the plane were grounded on the tarmac due to bad weather. The Continental airflight attendants were peeved that they hadn’t been sent to Disney World as promised. Padma, still feeling the effects of Hung’s smoothy, decided to take a nap. Anthony Bourdain's legs began to cramp up. Tom, feeling that his choice of headgear might have been a mistake, began to chafe at the bit.
After what seemed like hours, the meals from the cheftestants began to arrive.
Bourdain, feeling peeved about being summoned to save a lagging show, tasted Brian’s hash and made a face. “That’s terrible. And your lobster is rubbery. Can’t you make anything other than seafood?”
“Spam,” said Brian, who was beginning to dislike Bourdain as much as this food challenge.
After Dale served his dishes, Tom and Anthony sent him away for math lessons. “The guy can’t count,” said Tom. “Yeah, but at least his dish was edible,” retorted Bourdain.
On tasting Sara’s salmon, Bourdain sniffed, “Nobody's home here.” Tom agreed, saying, “That couscous was scary.” Although one Continental flight attendant ventured to say, “It taste’s better than anything we would have gotten at Disney World,” before she was shushed.
Hung’s sea bass was declared to be a nice take on a classic; and Casey’s bland looking dish surprised them in a pleasant way. “Sophisticated,” said Bourdain. “Creative,” said Tom. “Daring,” agreed Padma. "Huh?" said the viewers.
Finally C.J. served his dish. “What’s this green rot gut?” asked Bourdain.
“Broccolini,” answered C.J.
“Looks like month old seaweed,” said Tom.
“Uh, oh for real,” said C.J. as he reentered the galley. “Now I know I’m gonna go home.” The choir of angels in the background crescendoed, singing a song of farewell.
Casey, busy trying on the mantle of first female cheftestant winner, didn’t hear him. Hung, eyeing Casey, said to no one in general, “I should win this contest hands down. My sea bass was perfect.”
“Yeah, but you’re a man,” said Casey complacently. “Bravo needs a female winner to maintain credibility with the viewers.”
“And you think you’re IT?” Hung said, incredulous.
“Who they gonna choose? You in drag? Sara?”
And sure enough, the judges chose Casey's dish. She won another fantastic prize – two Continental airline tickets to anywhere. Hung schooled his expression. “I gotta pretend I’m ok with this,” he thought. “I gotta bide my time until these lovestruck judges recognize my greatness.”
And as we could all guess, C.J. got sent home. The judges declared that he'd made the worst dish in the three seasons of Top Chef. Worst? Really? Broccolini is only a side dish. Was the rest of C.J.'s dish awful too?