Top Chef All Stars Recap
By Jason Lee
December 23, 2010
It’s Tiffany with a spiced tuna with fennel peppercorns versus Antonia with a diver sea scallop and lentils. Tony Montuano likes Tiffany, Gail like Antonia, Taylor likes Antonia and Padma likes Tiffany. The deciding vote is Tom’s and because of her full, all-around flavor, he goes with Antonia. The score is tied 30-30.
Spike from Team Drama butts heads with Richard from Team Orange. Spike is worried because he knows that Richard is a damn good chef. So is Angelo. Consequently, Angelo adds some of his yuzu gelee at the bottom of Spike’s dish to “bring out the flavors.” Ughh, I hate Angelo. So does Spike. He calls him a “car salesman” and states that “you can’t trust him.” I wish he’d made that realization before letting Angelo stick his grubby paws into his soup.
Anyhow, Spike presents a tamarind soup against Richard’s thai bouleh with herbs and yogurt. Tom says that both proteins suck, but says that Spike’s shrimp is worse than Richard’s lamb. Padma sides with Richard as well. Tony likes Spike’s soup, but can’t get over the shrimp. Richard wins. Match point: Team Orange.
There are only two chefs left on Team Drama that can go: Jamie and Tre. Knowing that they need a win to stay in the game, Team Drama puts Tre up against Carla. Tre is a little flustered, and allows Angelo to cook his fish, which is promptly burned.
Carla serves an African groundnut soup with based sweet beans, while Tre as a coconut (burned) salmon with parsnip puree. Taylor loves the (burned) salmon and picks Tre. Padma, Gail and Tom loves Carla. She wins and so does her team.
Jamie, who didn’t have to put up a dish, breathes a sigh of relief.
Back in the Stew Room, Spike is pissed off that Jamie (with clearly the worst dish) didn’t stick to the strategy and go first. Padma interrupts the discussion to call up Fabio, Carla, Richard and Antonia - the four chefs that won points for Team Orange.
Richard proudly proclaims that his team’s strategy was to have no strategy (hey, it worked for certain Presidential candidates). Tony compliments Carla’s soup as “very homey, but elevated…a real surprise.” Gail loved the layers of flavors in Antonia’s dish, Tom loved the idea of Richard’s dish, and Tony calls Fabio’s whole-wheat gnocchi “a miracle.”
My guess is that Fabio wins this challenge; after all, he took what should have been the least-healthy dish (gnocchi) and turned it into a real winner. But in a big surprise, Carla’s soup is named the winner. Good for her. I’m happy to see her on top again.
Meanwhile, the four chefs on Team Drama that lost their points are called out: Casey, Tre, Tiffany and Spike. Back in the Stew Room, Richard makes a snide comment about Jamie having “a story to tell” - a clear reference to the fact that she didn’t serve a dish. Jamie rightly says, “I take offense at that comment; you mean cause I didn’t cook?” to which, Richard responds “yeah.”