Top Chef: All-Stars Recap
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
January 25, 2011
Jason Lee is back to work at Harvard Law School, leaving us to recap the rest of the season. That means the power rankings will be different from previous weeks since they reflect our opinions rather than Jason's. Keeping this in mind, here is where we stand:
1) Richard Blais
2) Dale Talde
3) Carla Hall
The fishing expedition could have gone better for Richard, who appeared quite concerned he was being eliminated last week. Overall, his All-Stars performance has been just as solid as we had hoped, although we would like to see a few more wins from him. Of course, that is difficult to do, what with Dale and Carla absolutely tearing up the competition. That duo has won three out of the last four challenges and four out of the last six. We had high hopes for Carla heading into the season, but Dale's performance has been the most impressive to date.
Angelo's recent efforts have been solid if we judge him simply for his dishes, but he's been troublesome in team competitions. Angelo is better as a lone wolf. Tiffany has been on the top for two consecutive challenges, steadying herself after a slow start. Tre has been up and down this season, but his last outing was strong. Mike has been all over the place this season and we have the hardest time gauging him of any remaining contestant. His skill is remarkable but his consistency is lacking. We prefer our chefs to be a known commodity rather than up and down with their dishes...and we are not just talking about this competition.
With Marcel, the issue is that if he were half as good as he thinks he is, he would have a chance. Instead, he's not even a quarter of the chef he deludes himself into believing is true. We hate him and want him gone. It's that simple. Antonia is like any great athlete stuck on a losing team. It seems like each challenge shows her working her ass off in a dedicated fashion while others screw up, causing her to take the fall with them. Tom stated she would have won last week if she had been on a winning team. The problem we have in evaluating her is that the team changes each week yet the one consistent element is that Antonia keeps losing. That's problematic even though we fervently believe that in terms of dishes delivered, she is in the top half of the competition thus far. And Fabio remains what he is, a very charming and competent chef who is competing slightly above his weight class with the expected results.
Tonight’s episode begins with Carla pointing out that 40% of the women were eliminated in the previous episode. The herd has officially thinned. Antonia takes this opportunity to remind us that in her season, she was quite the bad luck charm. Several players who were teamed with her were eliminated, earning her the nickname “the Black Hammer.” The same is holding true thus far this season, as Jen, Jamie and Tiffani all played on Antonia’s team the day of their elimination. Given that we know tonight is Restaurant Wars, it would probably be bad news to get stuck with Antonia.