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Top Chef: All-Stars Recap

Night at the Museum

By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower

December 14, 2010

This is actually a nicer look than she gave the judges.

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The Quickfire Challenge has the chefs create snacks for 150 kids who will be attending a sleepover at the Natural Museum of History. Since Ben Stiller was presumable unavailable, Joe Jonas will be the special guest of the evening. Whatever snack they make must be able to go in a brown paper bag, and they’ll have no utensils to eat it. Winner gets immunity plus an advantage for the next Elimination Challenge.

Joe Jonas says, “And, uh, you have 30 seconds.” The ad-lib catches everyone, including Padma, off guard. You’ve won this round, Joe Jonas, but we’re sure there’s a younger, hunkier, shorter boy band coming just around the corner.

Dale Talde commits his second faux pas of the evening (the first being the fact that he doesn’t know who Joe Jonas is…just like us) when he leaves the sugar sitting at his station. Not having received culinary training, we hadn’t realized this was such a no-no. At least three all-stars indicate that they are pissed about it.

Tiffani Faison takes this opportunity to remind us of her Season 1 fiasco – the one where she lost, she didn’t care that she lost, and Tom Colicchio didn’t appreciate her lousy attitude. We know from various appearances on other challenges that Tiffani and Tom have discussed this many times. She’s singing a different tune today, though, embracing the challenge and thinking about things that a child would find delicious.




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Last season had a similar challenge in an elementary school, but the focus was singularly on healthful food. There are no such restrictions this time, and it also doesn’t seem that anyone is liquoring up the kids…oh, wait. There’s Dale Talde talking about Nyquil-infused corncakes.

When it comes time for judging, Joe Jonas’s least favorites are Tiffany Derry (it was falling apart), Mike Isabella’s (the chocolate wasn’t strong enough), and Stephen’s snickerdoodle sandwiches, as the mint in the middle just wasn’t quite right. Stephen continues to be in over his head, while Mike Isabella talks about how embarrassed he is. This is the first time he’s ever been at the bottom in a Quickfire, and it is certainly a lapse for him. Last week his dish was one of the favorites.

Joe Jonas has two favorites – Tiffani Faison’s malted chocolate snowball and Spike’s potato and carrot chips with a marshmallow dip. The small musician reveals that he’s not going to choose a winner, though. Instead, the two finalists will choose teams and will cook a big bunch of snacks, and will then give it to the kids to decide.

The teams are as follows:

Spike: Richard Blais, Dale Talde, Angelo, Marcel, Carla, Fabio, Stephen, Mike Isabella

Tiffani: Dale Leviski, Jamie, Jen, Tre, Antonia, Casey, Tiffany Derry

Amusingly, the splitting of the teams means that Fabio is odd man out and he gets to choose his own team. He says he’s not bothered by being last kid chosen and goes with Spike, because he thinks he’ll rankle the potential Quickfire winner by doing so.


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