Top Chef All-Stars: here we go

Okay, now in a finale that seems to be lasting a month, because it is lasting a month, we are finally down to the final two chef-testants who will battle it out for the title of Top Chef next week. But first host Padma Lakshmi started out with celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck for the quickfire challenge, which would be to do a choice of a past quickfire challenge. However, the chefs would be assigned these by a competing chef. Yikes. Mike chose first and had Antonia do the “only canned food” challenge; Antonia gave richard the hot dog challenge, which wasn’t a huge stretch; and Richard gave Mike the one-pot-only challenge. Then Padma entered the kitchen halfway through, and added one more twist–they would have to use a crutch from a previous quickfire–Richard assigned Mike the “no utensils” challenge; Antonia gave Richard the one-hand-only challenge; and Antonia had the one remaining, which was to finish the task while having recently-eliminated Carla tied to her.

Antonia made a curry soup; Richard made hot dog and homemade roti bread with a ketchup sauce; and Mike made pork and beans with pork shoulder cooked in a pressure cooker.

Then, for the elimination challenge, the chefs had to make the “last supper” request of a specific celebrity chef–Puck, Michelle Bernstein, or Masaharu Morimoto. Yikes. Mike won the quick fire so he had the choice of who to cook for, and also who to assign his competitors to–he chose Michelle, and gave Antonia Morimoto and gave Richard Puck. So Puck’s last supper was goulash with spaetzele and apple strudel; Michelle’s was fried chicken; and Morimoto’s was a benton box of fish and sticky rice.

Each of them did nicely, but each had faults as well. Now, Padma had told them to be warned of an envelope that contained another twist. And that this was the judges’s table, which included her, Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, and the three celebs they were cooking for. Well, the first thing they did was to tell Richard he was in the finale. Whew. Thankfully they gave the guy a break this time and didn’t make him sweat any more. But then here came the twist. Padma opened the envelope and said that Mike and Antonia had to cook again–45 minutes to create one bite for the marbles of getting to the finale and face Richard. Yikes.

So Antonia made a coconut curry and Mike made a surf and turf with lobster and beef tartare. And the judges loved and disliked things about both of the bites. This was gonna be a tough decision. Mrs. Mike thought Mike was going home and I had hoped he was right, because he’s become super-cocky. But it was Antonia, who fell just short again.

So the finale next week for all the marbles will be Richard vs. Mike. I’ve been touting Richard all along but I’m quite surprised Mike made it this far. But he really is blowing these people away with his dishes.

So there you have it…..who do you like? And see you all next week for the grand finale of Top Chef All Stars!

  

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