Top Chef All-Stars: cooking for Cookie Monster

Last night was a really interesting episode of “Top Chef All-Stars,” as the judges for the quick fire would be……Cookie Monster, Elmo and Telly from “Sesame Street.” How awesome and cool and what must have been really weird for the chef-testants. Richard pointed out that he has a 2 year old girl and in his house Elmo is like Elvis. The challenge? What else…to make cookies from scratch in 45 minutes. The winner would take home $5K. The least favorites were Richard (who made ice cream balls that weren’t really cookies) and Angelo, who made chocolate hazelnut cookies with a banana chocolate milkshake. The favorites were Dale (no bake potato chip/pretzel cookies) and Antonia (chocolate cookies) and the overall winner was Dale. Elmo joked that while Antonia’s cookies were delicious, they looked like “cow chips”….classic!

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Top Chef All-Stars: halfway home

After a week hiatus, “Top Chef All-Stars” returned last night and got from nine chef-testants down to eight, which means we’re past halfway. They began with 17 chefs a little over two months ago. So last night’s episode began with host Padma Lakshmi introducing “Ultimate Collection” host and noted fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi. Isaac would judge the quick fire challenge, which was to create food that was fashion-conscious–i.e. not something that would be eaten, but that was made simply to look good. That’s difficult! You can surely be a great chef but not be able to make something look visually appealing all the time.

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Top Chef All-Stars: restaurant wars return

Last night was the part of the “Top Chef” season that everyone looks forward to–contestants, judges and viewers. But it was especially cool for “Top Chef All-Stars,” and the show began last night with Antonia mentioning how she seems to be bad luck to fellow teammates, who kept getting eliminated around her. Anthony Bourdain hosted the quick fire challenge at Eric Ripert’s Le Bernardin restaurant, and this dude, Justo Thomas, was butchering fish like a madman. This guy is amazing…he can cut perfect portions of fish while leaving a carcass and skin, and do it in like 8 minutes. The challenge was to do this in 10 minutes, butchering portions of cod and fluke. The top four would compete for immunity by making a dish or dishes using all parts of the discarded fish–head, bones, skin, etc. (BLECH!!!!!) in the elimination challenge. In the bottom were Fabio, Tiffany, Carla and Antonia, and the best were Dale, Richard, Mike and Marcel. Dale won with his Fluke backfin sashimi with fluke liver sauce, and he had immunity for the main challenge.

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Top Chef All-Stars: finally

If you follow “Top Chef All-Stars” on Bravo carefully, you know that Jamie has been skating for weeks. Whether it was a finger cut that required stitches, hiding when her dish should have been presented to judges, or playing it safe as others were eliminated for taking bigger risks, she just clearly didn’t belong here. With that, here is our recap of last night’s episode….

The show began with Jamie feeling quite lucky and being surprised that she was not eliminated last week, and rather that Casey was sent packing after the chicken feet debacle. Then they showed Marcel acting like a total douchebag toward Dale because Dale did not follow the challenge rules properly, yet won.

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Top Chef All-Stars–two more go home

The episode of Top Chef All-Stars began this week with shock that Jen was sent home last week. Really, it’s going to be a shocking elimination every week with this cast of heavyweights, isn’t it? But many of them felt Jamie deserved to go home since she got hurt and went to the hospital, thus skating by last week. Then the quick fire was announced with host Padma Lakshmi and chef David Chang. They would break into four random teams, based on how they were standing at the moment. They would each have the same ingredients to work with–to prep and create a meal as quickly as possible using lamb, garlic and artichokes.

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