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 meat team’s Casey decides that she has no need of tasting her partner Tre’s sauce. Dipping your spoon into something and tasting it is a two second process. She tries to convince us that she just didn’t have enough time, but we know that what it really comes down to is she just doesn’t want culpability. If she can say, “I tasted it in the kitchen and it was fine. I have no idea what happened after that,” Casey can totally toss Tre under the wheels of a Greyhound to suit her needs.

The kids arrive, and are disappointed by Antonia and Tiffany’s mini-frittatas, but the line for meat is still very long. Even so, they’re clearly enjoying the food provided by Team Veg.

All of a sudden, we have a Katie Lee sighting! For those of you who didn’t watch the first season, she was the original Padma. Then, Bravo recognized what was readily apparent to the rest of us – she has no personality. Even though she’s mainly famous for being married to Billy Joel (although they’ve been separated for a year or more), she’s an accomplished food critic and a fine choice for a guest judge, as well as a nice call back to the origins of the show. We’d also like it a lot better if she were the host of Top Chef: Masters, as opposed to Kelly Choi, who has even less personality – and far fewer credentials.

Let’s be honest. Bravo needs to steal Anthony Bourdain away from The Travel Channel.


The judges pick up their food from Team Veg first, and divide into groups of two, presumably to keep Katie from killing Padma and taking over her position. Tom sits with Katie, while Padma sits with Gail, and they all are able to hear the comments of the kids and museum workers at their tables. There are strong compliments for Fabio and Stephen’s gnocchi, and although some of the kids find Dale and Mike’s polenta to be spicy, the judges approve of this dish as well. Carla and Spike’s gazpacho leaves a spicy aftertaste, but the judges don’t have much issue with it. The banana parfait from Richard, Angelo and Marcel is easily the most well-received dish of the day so far. Gail notes that it looks like a painting, and there is much ooh-ing and ah-ing.

We move over to Team Meat, and the judges and kids start off with Jen and Jamie’s egg and bacon dish, which has chewy bacon and flavorless eggs. It’s as poorly received as we had feared it would be, given all the strife in creating the dish. Tre and Casey’s fish has some bone, which isn’t catastrophic, but the fact that the sauce is way too salty, and Tre admits he was having some trouble with the reduction of it. Like Jen and Jamie, Tre is in some trouble. Tiffany and Antonia’s frittatas are not consistently cooked. In fact, the only dish that receives any compliments at all for T-Rex is Dale and Tiffani’s, which has good flavors and definitely seems breakfast-y. It looks disgusting, though. Everyone seems to be a candidate for elimination, with the exception of Tiffani and Dale Levitski.

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