Top Chef All-Stars: Jamie continues to skate

Last night “Top Chef All-Stars” resumed on Bravo, and there are 13 chefs left. They began as host Padma Lakshmi announced the Quick Fire Challenge, and told the chefs that they would be going up against a world class chef in a race of speed. That chef would create a dish quickly and they would each have to create their own dish in that amount of time. The chef? Head judge Tom Colicchio. This was must-see TV, because no one who watches the show has likely ever seen Tom cook before. And these all-star chef-testants were in awe of Tom, as was everyone watching. The dude created a fish dish in 8 minutes, 37 seconds that looked amazing, and I don’t even like fish.

So the least favorite dishes were Dale (pad thai gone wrong), Jamie (one single clam on a plate) and Angelo (made a raw dish when Tom specifically said not to). The top dishes were Mike Isabella (made a similar dish to Tom’s–black sea bass with capers and olives while Tom’s was with clams, tomato and zucchini); Marcel (made a similar dish but with Asian flavors like dashi broth); and Richard (grilled beef tenderloin and foie gras). The winner was Mike, and his prize was a new Toyota Prius as well as immunity! Wow.

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Top Chef Las Vegas….errr Napa Valley

Last night on Bravo’s “Top Chef: Las Vegas,” the scene shifted to the Napa Valley in California, and some of the cast had physically changed. That’s because there was a decided time lag between when the final four left Las Vegas to when they re-convened in Napa…we’re not sure how much time, but enough for host Padma Lakshmi to have her pregnant belly start showing. Also, Kevin’s hair was different (and there was less of it)and Jen looked like she had gotten some sleep. The brothers Voltaggio pretty much looked and acted exactly the same.

So Padma announced that for part one of the finale, there would be a quick fire challenge to start, and she introduced guest judge and Top Chef Master Michael Chiarello, a Napa Valley restauranteur himself. For the challenge, they would have to cook Padma and Michael a dish in 30 minutes using Napa grapes and whatever else was in a pantry on the Napa Valley train….and of course, they would all have to share the train’s kitchen. This was a high stakes challenge, too…the winner would win a third generation 2010 Toyota Prius. Wow, these sponsors are really ponying up!

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