It hardly seems possible that we've reached that point of the Top Chef season where a reunion show is warranted, but we apparently have. Actually, we can probably expect a season three reunion later on, but to, I don't know, stretch out the season, we got a reunion show with the first few bootees from s3, a smattering of chefs from s1 and s2, the judges, and some guy to read the questions. Don't worry; to make up for this little casserole of leftovers, they're giving us a supersized episode next week.
There were plenty of inane questions, awkward segues, and montages, including one of Padma's Hotness. It seems that Padma wears revealing clothes on occasion, you see. I know, I was shocked, too. But in the middle of all of this, and completely separate from the blandest host in the land (for real, Andy Cohen makes Ryan Seacrest look edgy), there were some unforgettable moments.
- Learned quite a bit about Tom: in the first montage, we saw that he's dainty with cutlery and says "finger pointing" a lot. And doesn't that speak volumes about the difference between Top Chef and Project Runway, that Tom is all about "finger pointing" and Tim is all about "making it work" and "caucusing"? Anyway. Perhaps more than we needed to know about Tom, however, was that he's an inexplicable sex symbol and an "icon of the bear community" – that is, gay men who appreciate burly men. Tom showed his appreciation by immediately mentioning his wife.
- Mike did/does not have herpes. He just wanted to put that out there. Thanks, dude.
- Seems that on the night of the attempted headshaving in season two, the chefs did a parody of a Quickfire challenge and the judges' table. Elia, cast as Padma, nailed the role, perfectly skewering Padma's habit of stressing random syllables. Hilarious.
- Marcel was not there, and the excuse was that he was on a "fishing trip." Fishing? Marcel? …Fishing? I mean, it's so strange that it just might be true – which is not to say that it's not still code for "didn't really feel like hanging out with the people who nearly scalped me, thanks."
- And in the greatest moment of the evening, Tim Gunn asked, "Was Stephen from season one [ridiculously long pause]… real?" The answer, not that it really mattered, seemed to be yes.