Hey, folks, welcome back to another recap of the "slow food movement" of reality TV shows, Bravo's Top Chef. It's deliciously vibrant, diverse, and, most especially cool, local! Again, we're recapping last week's episode in hopes that y'all will check out the new episode tonight -- after all, if it gets decent ratings, it might get another season. Wouldn't it be swell to have a long-running series in our fair seven-by-seven?

This episode's theme was supposedly "Food on the Fly," but we prefer to think of it as a spotlight on Tiffani and Tiffani. Both of 'em. Sort of a Chef Jekyll/Chef Hyde kinda thing. See, after writing her off as something of a biatch last week, we find ourselves liking Tiffani again. But we are confused -- is she complicated and complex? Or unbalanced and two-faced? Let's review . . .

The quickfire/immunity challenge: cook something made almost wholly from ingredients in a Mission gas station's snack shop. Candice seems to think she's got it made; she takes road trips and is fairly familiar with such cuisine. Tiffani has a decent scheme -- bread pudding made out of Krispy Kreme donuts! Miguel sort of snakes her idea; she's rightfully a little pissed. Evidently, she'd shared that idea with him in another context before the challenge was issued. He plays sorta dumb and kinda gets away with it (at least with us). Tiffani remarks that she makes this for her boyfriend.

Er, uh, excuse me? Didn't Tiff tell us a few weeks back that she knew Chef Falkner of Citizen Cake because they were featured together in an article about gay folks in the kitchen? We put on our investigative reporter hat and sauntered over to the fiery redhead's profile on Bravo's Top Chef site, which leads with: "This bisexual Bostonian . . ."

Um, okay, one mystery solved. Back to the recap.

Back at the Top Chef kitchen, guest judge Jefferson Hill of local restaurant Rotunda (located at the top of Neiman-Marcus), is pretty much a total prick. Which we respect; why put on a pretty face for television? Deliciously, Stephen (BOOO!) cheats by using fresh herbs and Chef Hill still thinks his dish is crapola. Schadenfreunde!! The much-beleaguered Dave actually seems to get a passing grade for what we'd call a "post-hangover breakfast," which included a microwaved burrito. Cop out? Neither Tiff's nor Miguel's donut-bread-puddings are particularly impressive, but Mig's is far too sweet. Chef Hill is most impressed with Lee Anne's spiedini with Funyuns and salami. She wins another quickfire challenge! She's happy, but states she'd like to win one of the big challenges.

And this ep.'s "big challenge" is: preparing something that can be microwaved for the working mothers of the Junior League of Oakland. They prep the food the day before and reheat it right in front of the audience while giving a little talk.

Photo from Bravo's Website; poor photo manipulation by SFist Jer

Gotta watch that gamma radiation around foodstuff. Good thing this week was a microwave challenge!