Top Chef All Stars Recap

By David Mumpower

February 10, 2011

Good night, sweet prince.

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Power Rankings:

1) Richard Blais – Has acquitted himself well despite the fact that all of the judges know who he is and expect more from him than the others
2) Dale Talde – Had his worst performance of the season when he delivered bland food, but he is still one of the three remaining chefs with three combined Quickfire/immunity challenge victories.
3) Carla Hall – Carla is on fire right now, winning two out of the last five elimination challenges and finishing in the top group in two more.
4) Fabio Viviani – We think Fabio is the worst remaining chef in terms of culinary talent, but we have moved him up to the middle of the pack due to his being in the top group in four out of the previous five challenges. Fabio is exceeding our expectations by a goodly amount.
5) Antonia Lofaso – Now that she isn’t stuck in team challenges, Antonia’s individual achievements this season are more readily apparent. She’s had a great All Stars run; it’s just gotten lost in all of the losses.
6) Angelo Sosa – After winning the first two elimination challenges, Angelo was in the top group three out of the next four times. The past two episodes, he’s been toward the bottom. He needs to avoid the same slump he had at the end of last season.
7) Tiffany Derry – Has finished in the top group three out of the last four Elimination Challenges. We have been frustrated by Tiffany’s consistency this season, but she may be peaking at the right moment. She still hasn’t won anything this season, though.
8) Mike Isabella – An Italian chef who fails at the Italian restaurant meal is in trouble.

Tonight’s episode begins at roughly the same point where the last one ended. Antonia is still being taunted by Fabio and Mike. The two Italian men are bitter that the Italian challenge was won by a French dish. Given the way that Antonia has suffered this season through no fault of her own, I am actively aggravated that people continue to spoil her moment. She had to wait eight episodes to win ANYTHING. Let her enjoy it, jerks.




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Antonia does offer a clever rejoinder when she asks Mikey how it felt for an Italian to finish on the bottom of an Italian meal challenge. He counters with a query about she felt about winning with a French dish, which is funnier than anything he’s ever said before. Even so, she calls him a sore loser and he readily admits this is the case. This is the third flare-up between the two chefs in recent weeks. I figure they’re about two more arguments away from kissing the night away together. It’s starting to remind me of that movie, No Reservations…but more entertaining than that dreck.

Today’s Quickfire challenge takes a page from Food Network’s Next Iron Chef competition. The contestants are told to take a look around and they’ll see the celebrity judge for this week. After an agonizing amount of time that doesn’t speak well of any of their IQ scores, the chefs deduce that they will be judging one another’s dishes. While Kim and I have never been huge fans of Next Iron Chef, we love that evaluation process and look forward to its inclusion here. The challenge itself is a Fondue test wherein the All Stars are required to use unique ingredients to create a delicious Fondue. This is supposed to hearken back to the 1970s, as the cast seems to consider Fondue parties synonymous with Swinger parties, which is something I’d never heard before. I’m never going to look at a chocolate fountain the same way again.


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