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.
For the elimination challenge, the chefs had to do something extremely daunting–cook dim sum in Chinatown for the locals. Yikes. That maybe had to be the hardest challenge ever on the show. They were to do this as a team, with Mike as the leader since he won the quick fire. They each would be responsible for one dish, but could do more. And two of them had to work the front of house. Guest judge and Top Chef Master Susur Lee was on hand as well as Padma, Tom and Gail.
The challenge was a mess, as the chefs were bumping into each other and could not cook quickly enough. At one point Tom went back to the kitchen to hurry the chefs up, and people were walking out because they werent’ being served quickly enough. Still, some chefs stood out. The winners were Tiffany D (pork dumlings), Angelo (spring rolls), Dale (sticky rice bundles) and Fabio (ribs).
The worst dishes were by Casey (chicken feet…ewwwwwwww!!!), Antonia (she had a good shrimp toast but failed in collaborating with Jamie on the long beans), Jamie (long beans and also scallop dumplings that went awry), Carla (boring “summer” rolls), and Tre (gloppy orange dessert).
As the judges deliberated and we waited for Jamie to finally be announced as the one going home, Padma offered this little tidbit–she was impressed that Jamie attempted two dishes. It didn’t matter that her dumplings sucked and the green beans were horribly oily. So the one going home? Casey. She lost control by having Antonia do the chicken feet while she worked front of house and the feet were a disaster. Most customers just left them on the plate. Yikes. So yeah, you could easily make this argument, but please….how is Jamie still on this show? Casey and everyone on the firing line were also shocked. But, well, someone has to go home each week and there have been shocking eliminations before (Jen).
So now we’re down to the Final 12. Things are heating up, literally! See you next week.
P.S. This show rocks