On this week’s episode of Kitchen Confidential, we open with the employees of Nolita gleefully celebrating a dish of Jack Bourdain’s (Bradley Cooper) which has landed a coveted spot in the pages of Food and Wine Magazine. The only problem? It’s not Jack’s sesame-crusted yellowfin tuna with morels and beluga caviar recipe. It’s Teddy’s (John Cho). In what proves not to be Teddy and Jack’s first rodeo, Nolita’s Fish Master Flex becomes deeply offended that his head chef took credit for his dish, and Jack mishandles his bruised ego, only making the situation worse. So Teddy quits for what is, according to Seth (Nicholas Brendon) and Steven (Owain Yeoman), the seventeenth time.
According to past experience, Teddy quits after a hissy fit, goes home, and drinks it off with his BFF, a John Dory, then returns by late afternoon as if nothing happened. So, just like real life!
But before Teddy can return to Nolita, Jack has replaced him with the Shrimp King of the Upper West Side, a painfully earnest Jim-alike name Chet. Sure, he says “ex-squeeze me” a lot, but he boosts Jack’s ego in an obnoxiously reverent manner, so he gets to stay. When Teddy finds out, he gets himself hired at another restaurant named Jazzfish in retaliation. Are they looking for sexy oyster shuckers, by any chance? It takes less than a day for Teddy to cook his way into a threesome with two sexy waitresses at the new joint.
Back at Nolita, the boys on the line (still no Becky) try to bully Chet out of the kitchen, but he keeps a smile on his face throughout the torture, which includes getting stabbed with a roasting fork, and being slipped some fun-looking hallucinogens via one of Seth’s profiteroles, resulting in an unsavory defiling of a shrimp salad. Meanwhile, Jack realizes he can’t replicate Teddy’s tuna dish by his lonesome, but everyone in the dining room wants the magazine fish! DISASTER. The only solution? For Jack and Steven to straight-up kidnap Teddy from Jazzfish and drag him back to Nolita against his will. Frankly, the amount of non-consensual lawbreaking that happens in this fictional culinary underbelly-based-on-the-real-world-according-to-Anthony Bourdain is mind-blowing. Oh, but, don’t get us wrong. We totally buy it.
Hilarious, now-celebrity cameos in this episode include a subplot involving Iqbal Theba, better known to Glee fans of today as McKinley High’s Indian-American Principal Figgins. In this pre-Glee episode of Kitchen Confidential, he plays the parking attendant of the lot next door to Nolita, who trades Steven joyrides in sexy cars (which he uses to impress girls on dates) for sneaked servings of Teddy’s famous yellowfin tuna dish. However, once Jack takes over making them (badly), Theba’s character cuts Steven off from the fancy cars. Luckily, Tanya (Jamie King) is on hand to pose as a high school reporter who manages to distract him long enough for Steven to jack a Ferrari with which to reclaim Teddy. Phew!
Check out the full episode, in all its chef primadonna glory, below.
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