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“Life After Top Chef” Recap, Episode Six: The Week in Quotes
Restaurant openings, salted oysters, and a couple of late deliveries.
If you learn one new word on episode six of LATC, it should be this one: millwork. Spike and the fam drop that bit of restaurant-opening jargon approximately 700 times during this landmark hour of reality television, which centers—in part—on the opening of Good Stuff Eatery’s second location in Crystal City.
We also watch a mock service at the Spence—Richard Blais pacing to and fro, steam issuing from his adorable leprechaun ears as his line cooks bumble about applying salt to oysters and assembling salads so lifeless he can barely contain his sobs. Meanwhile in LA, Fabio contemplates “strangulating” one of his staffers, and Jen shows up to flirt with Jacopo and do some day drinking. It’s all about high-stress circumstances this week, so borrow an opiate from the nearest Bravo producer and let’s get to it.
“Wherever you hear a lot of roosters crowing, dawn never comes.”
Spike and his partner Brad head to the about-to-open Crystal City Good Stuff only to discover that the delivery truck has dropped off but a small fraction of the wood needed for the restaurant. And uh-oh, everybody: Here comes Mrs. Mendelsohn—her barely contained fury blazing as brightly as her crimson hair—spewing venom about the lumber provider. He is apparently a Dutch lawyer with many PhDs, but advanced degrees notwithstanding, the timber tradesman is not all he is cracked up to be.
It all leads to the matriarch’s millwork meltdown, but fear not, oh ye eight people reading this right now, for if one thing that can cool the flames of Mama M.’s raw-material-related ire, it’s box seats at a Caps game. There, she has the chance to watch proudly as her celebrity chef son and her husband wave to the masses while riding an ice-resurfacing apparatus about the rink. An thus is order restored in Mendelsohn land.
“I just want to strangulate Jonathan for bringing the food late.”
On the West Coast, another late delivery—and one that nearly drives Fabio to manslaughter. For once in his heavily tweeted life, Fabio has delegated a task to someone other than himself or his imaginary best friend, Jacopo. In a watershed move, he is allowing his employee Jonathan to prep food, rent a U-haul, and ferry everything to the site of a charity event for breast cancer that Fabio is catering along with Jen Carroll—enlisted in the cause since, you know, she has breasts. Also maybe because she’s on this show? Nah, probably just because she has breasts.
While Fabio slinks off to the salon for some “me time,” Jen preps her food alongside Jonathan. Suddenly Jacopo appears to ply her with five or six cocktails and about 54 kisses. Later, Fabio “returns” and he and Jen head over to a nightmarish property called the Witch’s House to meet Jonathan and start prepping the food. But, you guys: Jonathan’s not there. And later: Jonathan’s still not there. And even later still: No Jonathan!
So now the stakes are super high. I mean, sure, at no point does it look like the guests are going to get there before Jonathan, and it’s not like he’s MIA—Fabio is on the horn with him pretty much the whole time he’s sitting in traffic. But the thing is, it is very, very important that we all freak out anyway, because otherwise maybe we’ll realize that NOTHING ACTUALLY HAPPENS ON THIS SHOW.
Elsewhere, Fabio schools a friend in the art of wooing women via risotto, but the less written about that scene, the better. (Except—I can’t resist saying—one effective way to court a lady in the kitchen is to not have a large aquarium full of green bong water on the counter.)
“The chef part of me is crying right now”
Any chef of repute would be nervous two days before the opening of his highly anticipated restaurant. This being Richard Blais, however, the level of tension in the kitchen at the Spence is so high that it’s nearly impossible to watch without hyperventilating. Richard dresses down one line cook for salting an oyster, which, yes, is dumb—but you can hardly blame the lady given the nuclear stress rays beaming from her boss’s beady baby blues. We’re not quite sure how Blais makes it through the Spence’s mock service without a cardiac event transpiring, but he does—visiting guests in the dining room with an energy as upbeat and relaxed as that black smoke cloud from Lost. Next, LATC’s producers manage to snap out of their boredom-induced fugue states long enough to ask the Spence’s guests what they thought of the food, and—guess what—they totally love it. They’re as happy as a bunch of (unsalted) clams! Food’s great! Restaurant’s awesome! Cheers all around! All of Blais’s doomsday moaning is, as usual, for naught.
“What’s your favorite thing in the kitchen?” “Men.”
Kind of wondering if Jen and “Jacopo” got it on while she was in Los Angeles.