Old friends, bitter foes, and one seriously surly judge. Oh, Top Chef, we're so happy to have you back. But what about everyone else? Here's what people are saying about last night's premiere of Top Chef All-Stars:
"I don't think it's possible to be too excited about 'Top Chef: All-Stars,' which promises to be a smorgasbord of fabulous food, long-simmering hostilities and chefs melting down faster than a block of Velveeta on microwave nachos..."
Laine Bonin, HitFix
"The talent is tremendous, the food is delish (we can safely assume), and the guest judges are more spectacular than ever..."
Megan Masters, Today Show Blog
"ANTHONY BOURDAIN AS A FULL-TIME JUDGE. YES. YES. F--- YES."
Annie Barrett, Entertainment weekly
"If Fabio has a problem with Bourdain making smart-ass comments, he's got a major problem. Because that's all Bourdain does - it's his thing!"
"'Top Chef All-Stars' feels like a high school reunion turned upside down. Instead of the food being an incidental lubricant to the socializing that takes place when a bunch of old acquaintances get together, here the food is the centerpiece and the rest is incidentals..."
David Hinckley New York Daily News
"We remain on the fence about the show's conceit: It's either the best of 'Top Chef' and 'Top Chef Masters,' or the table scraps of both..."
John Horn, L.A. Times
"The thing that's most exciting to me is that even some of the weaker cheftestants have presumably spent the years since their season working and getting better, so it's really an even field..."
"If you have never watched Top Chef before, then this season is nothing special. You don't really know who these people are. But for devotees like me this is fan-freakin-tastic. We're already invested. Sides have already been chosen... I'd bet you a bag of Buitoni frozen pasta that Jen C., the Dales, Jaime Lauren, Fabio, and Tiffany D. all have fan clubs praying for their vindication..."
Jon Watson, Access Atlanta
"Welcome back, 'Top Chef.' Looks like you might've successfully improved your own dish, yeah? Redemption, indeed...."
Carol Blymire, Washington Post
"This really seems to be an irate group. I guess they're still steaming from getting the knife in their season..."
Swankie, TWoP Forums
"Yes! I literally pumped my fist in the air when Elia was told to pack her knives. I tried to look at everyone with fresh eyes, but she still came off as bad as she did before. Glad she's gone..."
Insert Word Here, TWoP Forums
"Too many egos and too many good chefs to pick favorites yet. I will say I'm not sad to see Elia go. I never liked her. There's a few that can go home as soon as possible (Marcel, Stephen, Jen immediately come to mind)..."
Chuckstar158, TWoP Forums
"Tre is still sexy, Marcel is still awesome, Tiffany is still bad-ass and Fabio still makes me smile..."
redundant1, TWoP Forums
"I am insanely excited about this season! It's like hanging out with old friends. Crazy old friends. With knives. And fire. Being criticized by Anthony Bourdain! Muah-ha-ha-haaaaaa :)..."
Lovecat, TWoP Forums
"This season is going to be great. I'm really sad to see Elia go as I was very happy to hear she was one of the contestants, I'm a huge fan..."
Giovanni Reveles, Bravotv.com
"So far I really like the all stars season. The first challenges were great, very witty. I was really hoping Stephen would go first (out of the 3) he is so arrogant and condescending towards other chefs who have done very well for themselves. Him and Marcel need to get over themselves already. Saying that, Great start and I'm looking forward to what's ahead :)..."