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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Tiffani completely acknowledges being overwhelmed by Wylie’s kitchen. There’s so much unique equipment there that she was seduced by the chance to use it all, and as a result, she got away from her comfort zone of stripped down meals. Finally, Dale Levitski says he was trying to embrace the kitsch of Townhouse by including the peanuts and popcorn. Tom says that rather than go outlandish, the restaurant usually starts with something classic and then turns that notion on its head. He can’t figure out where the inspiration for Dale’s dish is coming from. Dale says that he drew his inspiration from one of his own past creations, a breakfast dish that uses popcorn. Tom says that seems to be precisely the problem – he made a breakfast dish with veal on it.

All four of the bottom chefs do seem to feel like they deserved to be there. Most of the dishes were unpleasant to eat. Everyone also seemed to overreach. It’s a tough decision, we think, because all of the mistakes were on the same level. It does feel like Fabio is the safest, because his mistake is the most understandable. Tiffani is similarly looking like she’s lucky this week, because she was trying something that was just not in her area of expertise. Dale, on the other hand, has no excuses and was cooking to his strengths, while Stephen needs blender lessons.


And the elimination is as we expect. Stephen’s is first announced, as his is really the foregone conclusion. He is eliminated for not just this dish, but also his continued struggles this season. The other chef sent home is Dale Levitski, who is embarrassed because this is actually the first time he has ever been eliminated from Top Chef. The first time around, he just was the runner-up. Both of them are at peace with what has happened, realizing that today just wasn’t their best day.

Next week promises a challenge at the US Open. Hopefully, there will be some sweet Roger Federer action. Jason Lee will return as your guide. We’re looking forward to seeing how the rest of the season plays out.

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