“Life After Top Chef” Recap, Episode Two: The Week in Quotes

Fabio eats a burger, Spike rides a scooter, Richard is still stressed out, and Jen has a secret.

By: Jessica Voelker

This week on Life After Top Chef, Fabio feuds with a church lady. Photograph courtesy of NBC Universal.

One week, and we’re already over Fabio. In our recap last Thursday, we thought we could watch him do just about anything. Then we got to episode two—in which we’re forced to watch him eat a hamburger in his car in a parking lot—and realized that’s not even close to true.

“Women can get very emotional.”

The big drama of this episode revolves around a cooking demo that Fabio does for his Los Angeles church. During a phone conversation, the woman organizing the event takes issue with our hero after he suggests she not “freak out,” and then—well, actually there is no “and then.” The demo goes fine—all the women minus the freak-out lady have a great time leering at Fabz, and the freak-out lady rolls her eyes. That’s literally all that happens. Yet somehow, the unpleasant knowledge that there is a lady out there who is impervious to his Italian Stallion stylings drives Fabio to distraction and leads him to a sad, solo hamburger binge in a parking lot and, later, a visit from his “life coach,” who cracks his back and stuff. And man, is it boring.

“We think we’re super cool; people probably think we’re super douchey.”

Meanwhile here in Washington, Mike Isabella shows up at Chez Spike riding a purple scooter. Along with Spike’s partner, the men scoot out for some food, where we get an up-close-and personal look at Mike and Spike’s friendship. Their dynamic is actually pretty cute—the sort of ball-busting-but-sweet pal-dom on which road-trip films are based. They talk about plans for Kapnos and Bearnaise, Spike makes a fat joke at Isabella’s expense, and that’s that.

“I hate to bring the Top Chef analogy into it, but you go home for that.”

In a stunning turn of events: Blais is stressed. This week, the stress revolves around some bad food he eats at one of the locations of Flip, his Atlanta burger joint. Meanwhile, his gorgeous wife, Jazmin, is stuck at home with their two small kids and man, she is not impressed with Richie’s tendency toward workaholism. “I’m not going to hold my breath,” she tells him when he says he’ll do better. Great, Jazmin. Just what this guy needs—more stress.

“Right now I can handle this on my own.”

Jen Carroll spends the episode in two places: at the Charleston Wine + Food Festival, where she hangs out with Travis Croxton from Rappahannock Oysters, Hugh Acheson, and other familiar food people. There are shots involved, but the camera doesn’t hang out for the sloppy scenes we assume followed. Which was disappointing, to say the least. But then Carroll heads back to Pennsylvania and hangs out with her wisecracking parents—whom we immediately love as much as we do Jen herself. Mom suffered a stroke and is struggling to regain mobility. In the interview segment interspersed with the scene, we learn Jen has not told her parents financing fell through on her restaurant because she doesn’t want to worry them. This is both touching and alarming. Finally, in the last scene of the episode, we get our first hint of some story going on. Hope to see more of that next week.