Top Chef: All-Stars Recap
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
December 19, 2010
The teams are as follows:
Fabio, Tiffany Derry, Mike and Angelo
Spike, Stephen, Richard Blais, Tre
Tiffani Faison, Carla, Dale Talde, Marcel
Antonia, Dale Levitski, Casey, Jamie
Fabio’s team gets off to a quick start and never looks back because he has a technique that allows him to peel 40 garlic bulbs at once, while Antonia is peeling them one by one. They hit the button before any team has finished more than one-third of their components. The expectation is that they will be the only team that can cook their lamb rather than having to serve it raw.
Second to finish is Richard Blais’s team, and they have 12 minutes and 12 seconds to cook their meal. They’re almost three minutes behind, but to their credit, they’re still able to cook their dish. None of the remaining teams can, though.
Antonia and Co. are next, with 10:40 to go, with Tiffani Faison and Friends finally getting started at 8:50 on the clock. The latter two teams both choose lamb carpaccio because they don’t have time to cook a dish. You’d think that the time separation would allow the two faster teams to finish on top, with the other two on the bottom, but that’s not the case. One from the each of the divisions finishes on either side. Tiffani Faison’s team, which finished last with prep work, is on top with their dish, but the first place team from Angelo and the rest is a choice for the bottom. The flavors of the thyme and the dill blew out the yogurt, says Momofuku, and Angelo takes this as a personal affront. It’s the first bad dish Angelo has presented this season.
Also at the bottom was the Antonia group, which pretty much seems correct based on their positions in the power rankings. It’s great to be on a team With Richard Blais, though. His decision to make three variations on the same concept is particularly impressive when factoring in a 12-minute time limit. For their efforts, Richard Blais, Spike, Stephen and Tre each receive $5,000. Richard is happy to get the money, but he’s also especially pleased to have gained the trust of his three teammates.
Each of the four teams from the Quickfire draws knives for the Elimination Challenge. These knives each bear the name of a high-class restaurant, where they will all go to dine together. Once they have eaten, they will be expected to create a dish that is worthy of being included on the menu of that restaurant.
Angelo’s team gets Ma Peche (Momofuku’s restaurant), which features eclectic Asian and French food. Fabio complains that this is a tough draw for him, and we think Tiffany Derry may struggle with it, too. Angelo, of course, will find this food to be right in his wheelhouse.
The Antonia group gets David Burke’s Townhouse, a restaurant whose style of cooking Casey says is almost exactly like Dale’s. We think any of them could go home.
Marea is the restaurant for Richard Blais’s team, and Tre expresses a bit of discomfort with the Italian cuisine they offer. We think Stephen and Tre should be the two who are most likely to suffer from this team.