Top Chef: All-Stars Recap

By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower

December 19, 2010

Stephen, maybe you should consider cooking some before your next appearance.

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Previously on Top Chef, we said at the end of our season premiere recap that we were rooting for a series of culinary clashes between the best two chefs this season, Richard Blais and Jen Carroll. In episode two, Jen Carroll was eliminated. It's been a week, yet we are still just as flabbergasted by this turn of events. This would be like The Godfather Part II winning a Razzie. Color us disappointed. In fact, Jason Lee, who will start recapping the show again next week after his Law School finals are done, sent me an angry email that all but threatened Bravo TV coup d'état. His heart was broken that much by the elimination of his favorite contestant in the show's history. As Tom Colicchio pointed out in his recent blog entry, the judges are braced for that sort of reaction all season long due to the built in fan-bases of the various contestants. Still, this felt like a Major League Baseball All-Star competition that eliminated Albert Pujols after one at bat. We're going to be bitter about this turn of events for a while to come. Jen is someone we -wanted- to see in the finals, yet she barely got her luggage unpacked before getting sent back home. Brutal.

Our power rankings this week reflect the cataclysmic shift caused by the absence of Jen. We’ve also put Jamie at the bottom for being a little wuss about having owies. Also, no one is going to be willing to work with her now.

1. Richard Blais
2. Angelo Sosa
3. Mike Isabella
4. Tiffani Faison
5. Marcel Vigneron
6. Dale Talde
7. Spike Mendelsohn
8. Carla Hall
9. Dale Levitski
10. Tiffany Derry
11. Antonia Lofaso
12. Tre Wilcox
13. Casey Thompson
14. Fabio Viviani
15. Stephen Asprinio
16. Jamie Lauren

Thus far, Angelo has had an exemplary start. Mike Isabella is left carrying the torch for the Las Vegas cast. Tiffani Faison won last week’s Quickfire and had the best dish amongst the losers. Marcel participated in last week’s best Elimination dish, and has avoided some of the struggles that have bothered some of the other competitors.


The bottom of the list hasn’t been shaken up that much, but we do want to make some notations. Antonia, Tiffany Derry, Tre and Casey barely avoided elimination, and Casey gets docked further for not being a team player after tasting Jen’s dish, disliking it, and not saying anything. She then proceeded to do the same thing with Tre’s sauce. We question Casey’s ethics.

The show jumps right into the Quickfire Challenge, where the guest judge David Chang is introduced. He’s the chef and co-owner of Momofuku Group and Ma Peche. Note that “Momofuku” is not pronounced the way that you think, and probably doesn’t translate to what you think it does, either. On a similar note, if loving Kosuke Fukudome is wrong, we don’t want to be right.

All of the chefs are broken into teams of four, and will be required to do prep work for an amazing dish, and once they have completed the prep work, they’ll hit a red button. After that point, they’ll have 15 minutes to create their meal. The second, third and fourth teams to finish the mise en place preparation will have less time, as it goes by the first place team’s finish. There will be no immunity, but each member of the winning Quickfire team will receive $5,000.

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