Welcome one and all, to another episode recap for top Chef: All Stars! Tonight’s episode starts with reactions to last weeks elimination of both Jamie and Season 1′s Tiffani. Most were not surprised to see Jamie go, and based on this last challenge felt that Tiffani leaving was warranted as well. So basically, no shocker.
For the Quickfire Challenge, the chefs were taken to the kitchen of Le Bernardin, where Justo Thomas displayed his amazing fish butchering skills. They were then told that they had 10 minutes to butcher and clean whole fish, two minutes more than Thomas took. After they were judged by Thomas and Anthony Bourdain, the top four which consisted of Dale T., Marcel, Mike and Richard, were then told they had 45 minutes to cook a dish with the leftovers. The winner of that got immunity….and the winner was dale t.! I had high hopes for my Wolverine Marcel, but alas. Woe is me!
Onto the Elimination Challenge and it was announced to be my personal favorite challenge of each season of Top Chef….Restaurant Wars!!!! Dale T. would lead one team, and got to choose the leader of the other. Citing the reason of not wanting to work with him, Dale then chose Marcel. They then picked their teams one by one; Marcel went first. In the end the teams were: Etch – Marcel, Antonia, Mike, Angelo and Tiffany D., Bodega – Dale T., Fabio, Blaise, Carla and Tre. Then they were told they had to create “Pop Up” restaurants, in the likes of Ludo Lefebvre….for one night only. Both teams had their challenges on this one; Dale T. went off on the servers, telling them at one point to get the (insert f bomb here) out of his way. Blaise succumbed at one point to his constant worrying about every single detail as well. Team Etch, well, as much as I love my Wolverine…he did not start this challenge off well. He seemed to be more of a dictator rather than a leader, and got the team in a vibe of scatterdom from the very start. At first, Tiffany D. seemed to be the best choice for front of the house too, however she didn’t pay much attention to the wait staff. She wasn’t directing them and encouraging them the way Fabio (a natural as Front of the House) was. When the judges arrived at Etch, she could be heard laughing loudly as she talked with diners, and a server ended up seating them.
It wasn’t really a shocker that Etch was deemed the losing restaurant, by the diners (a first in Top Chef, they chose, not the judges, as to the winner)….although I did have hope when they got called in first. I did find it a bit shocking how Angelo just shrunk back and was virtual wallpaper on this one. He stated at one point that he didn’t see the point in getting into an argument with Marcel, as Mike did, that they were there to support the head chef. I was waiting for him to stick up a bit during judges table, instead he stayed mostly mute. Not that I blame him, the others were doing a good job of eviscerating themselves. So basically the judges blasted them every which way, and then sent them back to tell a relieved Blaise that Bodega was the winning team.
In the end, Blaise was the overall winner and he pocketed a cool $10,000! And my Wolverine? For the first time in Top Chef history he was told by Padma to pack his knives and go. Shouldn’t shock anyone next week when the rest of the chefs express relief at his departure, he definitely loves to antagonize the others! So that’s it, off to mourn the loss of my rebellious Wolverine…who do I root for now? Suggestions? Tell us in our forums here !