Two Guys, a Girl and a TV Set

Three college friends out in the world, filling the void with television…and loving it.

Unpack your Knives: Top Chef-All Stars (S8: E1)

Posted by CJ Cregg on December 1, 2010

Fabio reunites with his archnemesis

Lot of egos are packing into one Top Chef house for the first-ever Top Chef-All Stars competition.  18 non-winners are back in the kitchen seeking redemption.  See who’s back for more here.

Interesting twist for the quickfire.  The cheftestants have to work with other all star chefs from their season to make a dish inspired by the city their season was located in.  This is effectively an epic battle for bragging rights as to which season was the best.  Jen is the only one representing the Vegas season, so she’s on her own.  Angelo’s fish falls on the floor with 2 minutes left.  Oops.

Season four wins the quickfire, and all of them are granted immunity.  This Chicago team made a deconstructed hot dog that looked awesome.

For the elimination challenge, each chef has the ingredients that sent them home the first time.  They have to make the dish that sent them packing into a winner and not a flop.  This really is redemption.  (Holy schnikes, Bravo.  This is intense.  To be eliminated twice for the SAME DISH???  Quit your job.)  Spike has to use frozen scallops again!  This is also insane because some of these chefs insist that their dishes were good and they shouldn’t have been sent home!

When not serving, the chefs get to taste each other’s food while dining with the judges.  Gail Simmons and Anthony Bourdain join Padma for the judging.  Bravo seems to be worried that there won’t be enough drama this season, so they let the serving cooks watch, via big screen TV, the other chefs talk trash about their dishes with the judges.

Padma and Anthony Bourdain deliberate

Padma and Anthony Bourdain deliberate

The big controversy is that Richard continued plating after his time ran out.

Spike, Jamie, Richard, and Angelo are called to Judges’ Table first.  They have the top dishes.  Tom acknowledges Richard’s great dish, but says he can’t win because he went over time.  He seems surprised by this revelation.  The winner is Angelo.  Once again, he starts off strong.  He also wins $10k.

Fabio, Steven, and Elia land in the bottom.  Steven had a special challenge because he was sent home during a challenge when he was working front of the house, so didn’t know much about the dish.  Elia’s fish was practically raw.  Fabio gets up in arms, accusing Bourdain of making fun of him instead of offering constructive criticism.  I’d forgotten about his aggressive tendencies.  Elia makes one last plea to not be eliminated.

Elia’s plea didn’t work, as she is sent packing her knives.  She’s very sad.  I don’t really care, as she was from one of the first seasons which I didn’t watch.  I’m glad Fabio eked it out.

My reaction to Top Chef-All Stars?








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