IM'ing Top Chef Masters

By: Kate Nerenberg, Alejandro Salinas

Last night, the second installment of Top Chef Masters pitted four more celebrity chefs against each other: Wiley Dufresne, the mutton-chopped molecular gastronomer behind New York's WD-50; Elizabeth Falkner, the Susan Powter-haired owner of San Francisco's Citizen Cake; Graham Elliott Bowles, a tattooed Chicago chef that calls his cooking style "punk rock"; and Suzanne Tracht, a Los Angeles chef who looks like she's spent some time in Lindsay Lohan's tanning bed. In other words, plenty of fodder for our IM conversation during the show. 

Alejandro: Ready for round two?
Kate: Ready!
Alejandro: Episode two better bring it.
Alejandro: Kelly Choi, I am ready for you.
Kate: Kelly Choi, I’m ready for you to show me why you’re hosting this show.
Alejandro: And why you make speaking look so hard. It’s like enunciating alone takes too much out of her.
Alejandro: Oh, look, I actually recognize someone this time—it’s Wylie!
Alejandro: He better do some molecular voodoo.
Kate: Punk rock for Graham Elliott Bowles. I like it.
Alejandro: Love his emo glasses.
Alejandro: Suzanne Tracht’s restaurant is called Jar? LAME.
Kate: Whoa fake tanning.
Kate: And she sounds like a robot.
Alejandro: Suzanne, honey, say it with me: skin cancer.
Kate: Has she ever heard of emotion?
Alejandro: Speaking of emotion: I am swooning over Wylie.
Kate: You dig the hair? Or the chops?
Alejandro: They’re no Hubert locks, let’s put it that way—but as long as he delivers.
Alejandro: Eek. Scary-lady alert for Elizabeth.
Kate: Edible Schoolyard—that’s a cop out.
Alejandro: Look at Suzanne—she’s already asleep.
Kate: Oh hello, useless Kelly. A roll of quarters? 
Alejandro: She’s as thin as the roll.
Alejandro: Vending machine challenge? Ugh.
Kate: Better than Girl Scouts.
Alejandro: Someone better pick Cheez-its. I love Cheez-its.
Kate: Oh man. I. Love. Cheez. Its.
Alejandro: AGHH! Scary blonde lady with blonde tips again. Careful or she WILL hit you.
Alejandro: Why are people being nice to each other?! It’s a competition. BE MEAN!
Kate: That’s the problem with the whole charity aspect of this.
Kate: I think Graham’s going to give Wylie a run for his money.
Alejandro: Yeah, I’m team Wylie, but he’s panicking.
Kate: Oh no. Your man choked.
Alejandro: Elizabeth’s name is too long to type. I’m gonna start calling her Liz.
Alejandro: It’s better than scary blond lady, right?
Kate: If I had to make something out of the vending machine, it’d include Cheetos, a Take Five bar, and those disgusting/amazing peanut-butter cracker things.
Alejandro: I was just about to ask.
Alejandro: I’d use Cheez-its, Pepsi, Skittles, and Sour Skittles—because one kind of Skittles is never enough.
Alejandro: Speaking of vending machines—what’s with the shameless Dr. Pepper plugs?
Kate: They plugged it on the last Top Chef, too.
Alejandro: This is worse than the plugs on 30 Rock or even One Tree Hill.
Kate: I really think Suzanne’s dish tastes bad just based on the fact that she’s not excited.
Alejandro: Could be the Botox’s fault. You never know.
Kate: Beef jerky and ice cream?
Alejandro: Uh-oh for Liz.
Kate: Damn, look at Graham.
Alejandro: He should win by virtue of not using Dr. Pepper.
Kate: WAIT, IS KELLY EATING!??!!
Alejandro: We should start playing what from now on will be dubbed the Kelly Eating Game. It’s like The OC drinking game’s rule about Marissa.
Alejandro:  Every time we see Kelly actually eat, we have to chug a beverage.
Kate: Haha OK.
Kate: My money’s on Graham.
Alejandro: Wylie’s a sore loser.
Alejandro: What! Boring tan face won?
Kate: That’s crap.
Alejandro: Boring winner, boring show.
Kate: I think Wylie just said he wants to take you to a tiki bar.
Alejandro: Come again?
Kate: Ew, Kelly even tries to have Padma’s mannerisms.
Alejandro: Look! Suzanne emoted!
Kate: Haha. Elimination Challenge time.
Kate: Oh Wylie, I’ve never seen Lost either.
Alejandro: Lost supper?
Kate: “The Lost Supper”?
Alejandro: How....clever.
Alejandro: I love me some Lost, but this is a weak challenge. Worse than those Project Runway contestants making clothes “inspired” by cars.
Kate: Yeah, I don’t even get this challenge.
Alejandro: Like Lost!
Kate: Come again?
Alejandro: No one gets that show either.
Alejandro: Epiphany number two! Maybe that’s what they’re going for with the episode?
Kate: Excitement?!
Alejandro: Utter confusion.
Alejandro: Again with the helping each other. It really needs to stop.
Kate: They’re feeding each other!
Kate: I’d love to see a cat fight between Lizard and Tan Lady.
Alejandro: Sous-vide-ing something is always a risky move. Liz should know better.
Alejandro: Just ask Carla. :(
Kate: I feel like if there’s one thing I’ve learned from watching these shows: If they say “I saw so-and-so running around,” it’s a bad sign. And Wylie’s training for a marathon or something.
Alejandro: Yeah. he looks, well, lost.
Alejandro: Thank you, I’ll be here all night.
Kate: WHOA floral Kelly.
Alejandro: Jeez, that flower is bigger than Kelly’s head.
Kate: Wylie’s running...again.
Alejandro: Wylie, get it together! The servers are dressed as Dharma Initiative people. That’s cute.
Kate: Weird.
Alejandro: Or weird, if you’re not familiar with the show, I suppose. Here come the Lost writers.
Alejandro: No, Damon Lindelof, the real challenge is for you to tell me if Juliet will live again.
Kate: That papaya pudding didn’t look too appealing.
Alejandro: That Asian woman was bitchy. Loves it. She should take over Kelly’s job.
Alejandro: Graham is good. He’s won me over.
Kate: Graham is so the winner.
Kate: Even his glasses are better than Wylie’s.
Alejandro: Oh crap. I can’t believe Wylie did such a poor job plating.
Alejandro: It was bad. Season-two-of-Lost bad.
Kate: Wylie, that joke’s not gonna get you out of the fire.
Alejandro: Again with the Lost writers. You don’t understand the dish, says you? I don’t understand your show!
Kate: Wow, that’s a lot on a plate: uni, boar, oyster, beer.
Alejandro: Look at Graham being so humble.
Alejandro: He pounded them.
Kate: Put your money down now: Who’s gonna win? I want Graham, but I think Tan Lady has it.
Alejandro: Graham deserves to win, but Crazy Tan Lady might take it.
Alejandro:  Why can’t Top Chef be a bit more like Real Housewives of NJ? I mean, I’m not saying we should have the Top Chef masters asking each other about their buh-bbies and turning over tables, but some drama would be nice.
Alejandro: So we agree Graham should take it, but not ruling out Suzanne?
Kate: No, Suzie Q may very well take it.
Alejandro: If she takes it, I think we should see her victory as an omen of things to come.
Kate:  Only the most tan will win?
Alejandro:  That or the most boring will claim victory.
Kate: Oh Lizzy, no one’s laughing with you.
Alejandro: Told ya. Sous vide is the quickest way to lose.
Kate: Tan Lady’s a judge favorite. It’s between her and Graham.
Alejandro: Did he just call Wylie’s food sci-fi food?
Alejandro: It’s molecular gastronomy, not time-traveling.
Kate: OK, why don’t they just tell Tan Lady she won?
Alejandro: You know what this episode is missing?
Kate: Fun?
Alejandro: Tom Colicchio.
Kate: Kelly has made me appreciate Padma so much more.
Alejandro: People think looking pretty is easy, but no one does vacant eyes like Padma.
Kate: OK, this is ridiculous. They can’t be such good friends—it’s too feel-good.
Alejandro: Look, they’re eating cookies together. Why don’t they paint each other’s toenails while they’re at it?
Alejandro: I don’t think this show will be back after this season.
Alejandro: Nice equals death on reality TV. Unless you’re that loud scary dude helping build new homes for people.
Alejandro: We need an asshole Top Chef master.
Kate: I just want this to be over. This show is not worth my lost sleep.
Kate: Tan Lady’s got it in the bag, anyway.
Kate: Bye-bye, Wylie.
Alejandro: One down.
Kate: Oh Liz, go eat your cookies.
Alejandro: Back to the kitchen, and hopefully the hair salon.
Kate: Did they just call Tan Lady seductive?
Alejandro: She just won.
Kate: And didn’t even smile!
Alejandro: If I were stranded on an island with a working television I would not want this show playin’ on it.
Kate: God, no. I’d throw the TV out.

Last Week's Top Chef Masters IM Conversation

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