Top Chef All-Stars: Season Preview
By Kim Hollis, David Mumpower and Jason Lee
December 1, 2010
Yes, yes, this season boasted the famed, mohawked Richard Blais, but was there anyone else that season really gave Stephanie a run for her money? Antonia makes great home-y food and Spike has been making great burgers in DC since Top Chef, but it’s hard to imagine either of them making a run for the Season 8 title. Dale is similar to Tre in that he was an early pick to make the final and got tripped up in Restaurant Wars, but one wonders whether or not he can stick around ‘til the final this time around. Right or wrong, my gut says that Dale outlasts both of his fellow Season 4 chefs.
Carla might have won the whole thing had it not been for Casey’s interference. It was a surprise when Jamie was eliminated prior to the finale, but she couldn’t beat Jeff in the cook-off for the final spot. Fabio cooked a great roast chicken, but I have a hard time remembering another episode when he outright dominated. I don’t see the Season 8 Top Chef winner coming out of Season 5.
Here, I agree with David and Kim. This season (Robin aside) had the greatest concentration of talent in the history of the show - Michael Voltaggio, Brian Voltaggio, Kevin Gillespie...jeebus. Following the finale, all three judges agreed that Jen Carroll was the best female chef to date on the show. I predict that she goes all the way to the finale and challenges for the title. During the season, though, Mike Isabella. only won one Quickfire Challenge. Thus, while I think Season 6 was the most formidable season, I only see one of the returning chefs making a splash.
Oh, Season 7. I actually believe that some good cooking went on during your season, but it’s an easy fact to overlook given the show’s overwhelming focus on the personality conflicts and the fact that it followed the spectacularly-talented cast of Season 6. It’s like the little brother who went to UCLA when the older brother went to Stanford. It’s like, UCLA is a great school, but... All joking aside, Tiffany and Angelo are both extremely talented. The question is whether they’ll be burned out after having just finished Season 7. Also, have they had a chance to really let the lessons learned from Season 7 sink in before starting up a new series of Quickfires and Elimination Challenges? I predict one of them makes the finale, but I’m not ready to say who.
Overall Seasons of Top Chef in terms of Strength (not just in terms of the cheftestants on Top Chef All Stars)
- Season 6
- Season 4
- Season 1
- Season 7
- Season 3
- Season 2
- Season 5