We’re back. With the All-Stars and their egos.
The Quickfire found the teams pairing up by season to create a dish that best represented their season’s host city. Richard, Antonia, Dale T and Spike went all Chicago, with homemade sausage dogs and, thanks to Richard, Mustard Gelato. And they won the quickfire, which gave all of them immunity in the first elimination challenge, which was a doozy.
For Elimination, the chef’s had to remake the dish that got them sent home. Yes, the worst thing they made had to be redone, with tweaks, but still the same dish. I was scared because some of them made crap before getting knifed.
First, however, let’s meet the cheftestants and hear what they think of themselves:
Jennifer Carroll: Season Six, Final Four:
She tells us that she’s a “strong, competent, aggressive woman,” which, translated, means, bitch…but in a good way. I think. I do know she was quite the task master in the kitchen during her season: “I’d rather talk about the food.”
She ain’t playing.
The dish that sent her packing during her season was duck, and, well, tough as she is, the judges and the other chefs felt she fell short.
Jennifer, who thinks she’s the greatest, is middle of the pack. But there’s attitude there, and Richard thinks she’s good, so, maybe we’ll watch her.
Tiffany Derry: Season Seven, Top Five:
She says she is “happy to be among the chosen.”
And I’m happy she’s among the chosen.
I love me some Tiffany. i love the fact that she’s the nice one; even when she sat with the judges and ate some of the other chef’s food, and criticized it, you could tell she wasn’t trying to be mean. She’s just nice.
But does nice get further than Top Five? I somehow doubt it.
So, I think she oughta stay nice, but get tough.
Her do-over dish was halibut and, well, it was overcooked. And over salted.
Overdone, and not nice.
Tiffani Faison: Season One, Finalist:
She is “known for being incredibly competent” although her former competitors called her a snake and a bitch.
In fact, one of my favorite lines from all Top Chef’s was the one directed at her: I’m not your bitch, bitch.
And one of my other favorite things from her season was when she used another chef’s dessert recipe in the finale and took credit for it when the judges said they loved it. They even called her on it, and she talked her way out of it.
Snake. Bitch. Or at least she plays one on TV.
She redid something called a Branzino and it was deemed ‘different’ by the diners, which really isn’t a good sign.
Carla Hall: Season Five, Finalist: “Hootie Hoo!”
I am so Team Carla. J’adore her.I just hope she doesn’t get bullied into doing something she doesn’t want to do, because that’s what happened last time. Carla needs to be Carla and she can just hootie hoo past everyone else.
See, for the finale of her season, Casey was brought back to help Carla, and she suggested Carla suve some beef. Well, that seemed to have cost Carla the win. This time, she’s cooking her food, her way. Tiffani found it interesting, which Carla took as the kiss of death, while Angelo got a nerve ending and was horrified.
Mike Isabella: Season Six, Top Seven:
“I came back to cook, show you what i got, it’s show time, ready to rock’n’roll.” Well, now if this was Top Cliche, I’d say we have a winner, but Mike is still a dick, and an ass, and, I’ll say it, he got fat.
Mike braised leeks again, because his losing dish was all-vegetarian, which as we know is what he cooks best and most and….yeah. His retry was called a good revamp.
Mike thinks that means he’ll win.
I think it means he needs to eat more vegetables because he got fat.
I don’t like Mike. Still.
Jamie Lauren: Season Five, Top Seven:
“I’m here to kick ass.” And even with her new, soft sexy hair and new soft sexy hair color, I think she could kick ass.
Literally. I’ma scurred’a her.
The dish that got her Knifed was the time she has to match a dish created by Anthony Bourdain: Black Bass with Braised Celery.
The first time out it was awful, salty horrors, but this time out she met with success. Even Bourdain liked it, and we know he doesn’t mince words.
Garlic he’ll mince, words, not so much.
Dale Levitski: Season Three, Finalist:
“I don’t wanna make any mistakes.” Dale’s bulked up a bit since last we saw him.
Dale’s representing the LGBT community this season on Top Chef, though some others I suspect of trending homosexual, or maybe I’m just dreaming that they trend like that.
His second chance dish was a curry pouched lobster, which everyone agreed was good, but he served it alongside a pasty dumpling, and, No, by pasty dumpling I don’t mean Mike Isabella.
Mike Isabella got fat.
Antonia Lofaso: Season Four, Final Four:
“I’m gonna beat Spike only because it’s his karma.”
Nice, Antonia, but what about the other sixteen chefs? You can’t go after Spike and ignore the rest.
Antonia better shift her focus because I like her. She’s no Carla but she’s good, and she’s fair…which, come to think of it, don’t make for good reality television.
Come on, Antonia, strap on some bitchitude. Hang out with Jennifer and Tiffani and see how that works for you.
She remade a sausage dish with cilantro, which was called fresh and tasty by the other chefs and the judges, but we all know fresh and tasty doesn’t get you the cash.
It gets you a job at Red Lobster.
Dale Talde: Season Four, Top Six:
“That’s bull sh*t….f*ck!”
Some things never change! Dale never met a four-letter word he didn’t like, or a locker he didn’t want to punch. I’m sort of hoping for a Cage Match between Dale and Jamie; that’d be fun.
Oh Dale, of the Butterscotch and Miso Scallops which Anthony Bourdain called something like a candy bar, and not in a good way. How does one remake Butterscotch scallops to taste good? Less butterscotch apparently. And it worked, because Bourdain said, upon being force fed the dish out of fear, that Dale succeeded; that he “unf*cked” the dish.
Bourdain and Dale share a love for the profane; as do I.
Casey Thompson: Season Three, Finalist:
Casey didn’t really get an opening line, though it was made quite clear that all the guys, the gay and the straight, want to share a room with her. And I get it.
Casey did, seemingly, get the glamour treatment before her Top Chef All Stars photo shoot, and they decided to go Farrah on her hair. Not a good look Casey.
You’re the Jen Aniston girl, and, yes, you still have that Jen Aniston thing going on, even though Jen Aniston doesn’t have it any more. She’s the girl next door, who can cook better than most of the guys who are too busy thinking about Casey under the sheets rights now.
Big mistake. Huge.
Casey’s overcooked pork belly was given a second chance, and this time she proved successful. Not enough for the winner’s circle, but enough to stay…bunked with the guys.
Marcel Vigneron: Season Two, Finalist:
He believes he’s “seen as a threat” though most people agree that he’s still a little prick.
It’s been eight years or so since we’ve seen Marcel, and his hair hasn’t changed and his ego hasn’t changed. Once a prick…..yada yada yada.
Marcel might be a good chef, but I think he’s too busy trying to be Marcel The Reality Star to actually prove it.
He got a do-over on Uni and Caviar, and was called out for too much vanilla by Tre–sidenote: Vanilla? No.–but Bourdain said Marcel had balls, which I’m thinking that he’ll serve up sometime during the season, with a foam of some sort.
Tre Wilcox:; Season Three, Top Eight:
“I ain’t playin’ around this mother f*cker!” And he doesn’t look like he will, either.
First off, he’s a hunk. With those dimples and that smile. I’m kinda hoping he’ll bunk with Dale, you know, for a little bromance thing. I mean, I can dream, can’t I?
Other than that, I don’t remember much about Tre from his season, and his season was Miami and I lived in Miami and he had those dimples and…..I just forgot him.
Tre cured a salmon the night he went home, but I think he cured it of tasting good, so he had to try it again.
It was good. Not great.
I think Dale should comfort him. Let me close my eyes and think on that…….
Richard Blais: Season Four, Finalist:
“I feel like I choked” in the finals, and he’s back for redemption.
Blais had dropped some weight, and even with the faux hawk, he’s looking cute. I know he’s married with children, but he has a HGN–Hot Gay Nerd–thing going on.
And, in addition, he’s the one to beat, I think. He should have won in his season but he just blew it there at the end, so I’m hoping he goes all the way….until Hootie Hoo’s him away.
His retread of pork belly won him high praise indeed, and he might well have won–even though he had Quickfire immunity–except they caught him on film still plating when time ran out, so he was disqualified from the win.
The judges ain’t playin’, y’all.
Spike Mendelsohn: Season Four, Top Five:
“I was a little kitchen rat before the show” and now he’s a big kitchen rat.
Spike is the attitude, good or bad, and he isn’t above game-playing to win this thing. He can be annoying, but annoying makes for good TV; take note, Antonia.
Spike used frozen scallops in his last episode, and was frozen out of the win. But this time he opted to mask all taste of the frozen food–which Antonia thought was sneaky, or unfair, or cheating, or something….she doesn’t like Spike.
But Bourdain called Spike a “crafty motherf*cker.”
Bourdain will be beeped all season long.
Angelo Sosa: Season Seven, Finalist:
He’s “back for redemption” with a suitcase full of Advil, so he won’t get “sick” again.
Ramen. Really? He was sent home for Ramen? I mean, don’t you just peel back the lid, pour in hot water, let rest for five minutes and eat it? How hard it that?
I’ve done that.
And it obviously wasn’t that hard at all because Angelo’s ramen won top prize this week.
And, was it just me, or does Angelo seem more humble this time around? I mean, and I’m just throwing this out there, perhaps his mail-order bride knocked the ego outta him.
Stephen Asprinio: Season One, Top Five:
He says he’s a “hospitality entrepreneur” but I think he should be a chef; I don’t hold out much hope for Stephen.
Poor Stephen. He isn’t a chef; he doesn’t even call himself a chef, so why is he here?
But he is, and he is charged with remaking three appetizers that he didn’t even make in the episode where he got Knifed. See, he didn’t make them, because instead of cooking on the cooking competition show, he was out explaining wine service to the staff.
And this time around his food, made this time by his own hand, sucked.
I so wanted him and his ties and pressed pants and attitude to get the Knife….literally.
Fabio Viviani: Season Five, Final Four:
“I’m like the underdog….Italian dog…..good one.”
He gave a second chance to a crawfish stew, but for some reason he served it on paper with fried basil, so it was confusing. Eat the basil? Write a letter on the paper? Everyone seemed to hate it, but Bourdain went off on it, and Fabio wasn’t having it. He called Bourdain out on it at the table, and then again at Judges Table.
Criticize his food, but don’t make fun of it.
At least that’s what I think he said in that dreamy accent of his. I would like to him to read some gay romance novels while Tre and Dale bunk together.
Are you listening Bravo? That’s a show!
Elia Aboumrad: Season Two, Final Four:
“I will win.”
And hopefully not lose her hair this time. Or her head. or her talent. Or her shot at the win.
She was trying again with red snapper steamed in tea leaves, but she opted not to change it up at all, and just serve it like she served it the night she was eliminated. Well, she changed one thing, she served the fish raw….not just medium, but raw.
And she was Knifed for it.
Which made me sad because I liked Elia and I wanted Stephen gone.
Still, this season looks hot, and cold, and foamed, and suve’d and all that stuff. What did you think?