The highly anticipated Top Chef Season 8 premiered December 1, 2010, not only is your favorite show back, but so are all your favorite chefs, well maybe not all of them. Top Chef all stars should prove to be a nerve wracking exciting season. Donning their black All Star Top Chef Coats fan favs and runner ups are pulling out the knives again.
All Star Introductions
Everyone arrived in NY, and unlike previous seasons everyone already has opinions of their competitors. Each chef is greeted with hugs and much love. Though there were some old rivalries already brewing. Marcel has managed to rub most of the chefs wrong before, but he seems to have matured since season 2. Antonia declared her love / hate relationship for Spike, saying she will beat him because of his Karma! I am happy to see some of my personal favorites returning including Casey, Carla, Jaime, and Fabio.
Top Chef Season 8 features eighteen Top Chef Veterans. I am not going to give full bios of each chef, because frankly that would take all season, but I will tell you who came from what season, and who is competing.
Top Chef Season 1 All Star Contestants
Tiffani Faison (Made it to the finale)
Stephen Asprinio (Wine expert)
Top Chef Season 2 All Star Contestants (I have to admit I really wish Sam was back)
Elia Aboumrad (Complete with hair)
Marcel Vigneron (Complete tool but hopefully matured)
Top Chef Season 3 All Star Contestants
Casey Thompson (Made it to the finale)
Dale Levitski (Made it to the finale)
Top Chef Season 4 All Star Contestants
Richard Blais (Made it to Finale)
Top Chef Season 5 All Star Contestants
Carla Hall (Hootie-Hoo)
Fabio Viviani (Italian Hottie! Doesn’t like Marcel)
Top Chef Season 6 All Star Contestants
Top Chef Season 7 All Star Contestants
Even cooler than the contestants is the return of Gail as a judge, and the addition of Anthony Bourdain, no one says culinary bad ass like Bourdain. Gail Simmons recently ended the first season of Top Chef Just Desserts, and Tony is known for his books, and Travel Channel show No Reservations. Bourdain will no doubt be a colorful addition to a wonderful panel of Top Chef Judges. Tom and Padma will also sit at judges table.
The First Top Chef Quick Fire
Padma looked stunning as always as she announced that they would be giving out $200,000 to the winner, the largest prize ever. Tom and Padma explain to the chefs that it is time to put the Season vs. Season smack talk to the test. The chefs have to work with their seasons contestants to create a dish to represent the city their Top Chef Season took place. WHEW! Everyone is extremely cut throat, Richard is busting out the liquid nitrogen. Angelo got bumped by Stephen and dropped the fish. Mike is complaining Marcel is acting like a spoiled 20 year old brat, but Mike is a Jersey boy too full of himself to realize what a bratty, opinionated ass he is. Season 4 showed up to play though and they pull ahead with the win, all of Season 4 is safe. The first winners of a Top Chef All Stars Season 8 quick fire are Richard Blais, Antonia Lofaso, Spike Mendelsohn and Dale Talde .
San Fransico Cioppino Gazpacho
They had two much raw garlic, and Stephen was rusty according to Tiffani Faison.
LA – Shrimp Tacos
Tom said the shrimp needed more seasoning and their apple wrap was too thin making it difficult to eat like a taco.
Miami Pork Tenderloin
Season 4 WINNER!!
Chicago Style Hot Dog
They made their own sausage in 25 minutes. Tom commented that it was Inventive! Nice work!
New York showcased the apple with a trio. Padma said it was interesting, and Carla commented interesting means the kiss of death!
Unfortunately, Casey from team three was right; since they all did their own dishes in the end they weren’t able to pull it all together into one cohesive dish. Jaime was the only one in the dish with her soup that made the grade.
Pasta cooked perfectly.
Too much salt.
All Stars Elimination Challenge!
The elimination challenge begins with platters being placed in front of the Chefs, when the veil is lifted the platters present the reason the chefs went home. Each platter contains the exact ingredients that ended the Chefs journey on their perspective season. Redemption is in the air, but the every Top Chef All Star fears being the first to pack their knives.
After three hours one day and two the next they presented their dishes to the judges and half of the other contestants. After, their food was served a TV turned on in the back and the chefs were able to see their food critiqued.
Elia was so upset by it that she couldn’t watch; on her dish they found a scale. Richard Blais impressed everyone, with his braised pork belly. I consider Richard one my top, I thought he was impressive on his season, and he is out to impress this time as well. Unfortunately, Richard went over time, continuing to plate after the buzzer had gone off.
Dale according to Anthony Bourdain, un-f*cked his dish, previously Dale was eliminated for his scallops with butterscotch and Tony had claimed it was the worst dish in Top Chef history. I was a little disappointed because Dale was one of my least favorite Top Chef contestants the first time around, perhaps like his dish though things will turn around. Bourdain hates Fabio’s dish, and said it looked like an inside out stomach.
When the tables turn, the chefs who served first now get to eat. This will be an uncomfortable meal though, as tensions are high due to the critique. Tony calls Spike the Craftiest Mother F*cker who’s been on the show, they are impressed by how he hid the taste of his frozen scallops. Casey according to Gail redeemed herself with her pork belly. Unfortunately, Jen didn’t make the duck rock, and Carla’s meat was missing something. These Top Chef veterans need to remember where they are and step up the completion, this is all stars!
Top Chef All Stars Judges Table
Called to the table were Spike, Richard, Angelo, and Jaime. Richard was dismissed immediately from judges table for going over the two hour limit. The winner of the first Elimination was Angelo and he won $10,000.
Elimination – A Top Chef Tastes Defeat
Fabio, Stephen, and Elia, were called in for the Elimination. The first of many that will be a challenge for the judges and contestants who are now friends.
Stephen originally went home for spending too much time in the front of the house fiddling with the wine during restaurant wars. He remained defensive of his dish.
Elia was brought in because of her fish, it was raw on Gail’s plate and a scale was found on another plate. Though at the end of it Elia said please don’t let it be me I have a lot more to do.
Fabio’s dish was considered over done. Yet Tom said the nuances just weren’t there. Fabio was offended by Judge Tony’s harsh words and told him, though I don’t think Tony was fazed in the slightest.
Elia was the first one to pack her knives and go. She says the first to go home was almost not worth coming at all. Embarrassed she packs her knives. I was sad to see her go, but undercooked fish just can’t make the cut.
Top Chef All Stars Season 8 Previews
In the previews for coming weeks, Fabio and Marcel are fighting; Mike and Marcel are fighting. Tom is cooking. Paula Dean, Muppets, and Jimmy Falon are making appearances. I think we are visiting the Smithsonian and possibly the Giants Stadium. If you didn’t tune in this week, you need to tune in next week. Top Chef All Stars Season 8 is a sinfully delicious battle royal!