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So, after all the not-so-pleasantries, the chefs get down to work in their Quickfire Challenge, where they work in teams based on their season, making foods inspired by where their season was filmed. There were only two dishes that gave me pause: 1. Richard's mustard ice cream could've gone either way. While I obviously have all the faith in the world in Mr. Blais, Tom likes simple food, and he could've thought there was no added value in the molecular gastronomy. Luckily for Richard, Tom liked it enough to not only give his team the win, but to call out Richard's component for praise. The New York team didn't fare so well. Their dish sounded sketchy from the start in that the challenge was a team challenge, and the chefs didn't work together at all. I love Jamie, but i was a little disappointed to hear how down she was on her fellow chefs. Oh well -- I guess that's how you win shows! And considering Tom called her element of their dish out specifically as the best part, I guess her instincts are good. I wonder, though, if they had all worked togheter, how much better their overall dish would have been.
Onto the Elimination, which i'm going to assume was difficult for most of the chefs -- literally staring their failures in the face and remaking the dish that sent them home. For some of them, the dish that literally cost them the title of "Top Chef." The twist? The chefs didn't know but they'd be cooking for each other. AND the chefs would be able to hear the other chefs' comments. Yikes! While most of the chefs took it in stride, Fabio and Elia seemed to have particular trouble with the critiques. Elia couldn't even watch it. Apparently Elia knew something we didn't, because her dish was not received well, and she was the first of the chefs to go home. Although she felt embarrassed going home first, I would say to her that it's probably better to be on the bottom of the very best, if that makes any sense. It didn't? Oh well. Fabio landed on the bottom with Elia with a dish Anthony Bourdain found particularly offensive.
I would like to take this moment to talk about Anthony Bourdain for one second. When it was mentioned on an early conference call about the new season that Bourdain might be joining, I nearly had a coronary. The man could probably just go by one name, "Bourdain" -- he's that awesome. Men love him. Women love him. I'm sure most of the animal kingdom loves him too. As a young and naive editor at Bravotv.com it was my privilege to receive his blogs each week for posting. Unless I'm re-writing history I think his blog may have been my idea. I figured, hey, I'm a fan and I want to hear more from him, I bet others do too. I am so excited that he's back blogging for the site! Say what you will about his food, which I've unfortunately never had the pleasure of eating, but the man can write. So, welcome, Anthony -- or, as everyone else calls him, "Tony"!
Great blog! I'm so glad Top Chef is back. Last season was such a disappointment, I'm glad TC returned to its roots. The only drama I like seeing on TC is in the kitchen and not the petty, made up fights just to get airtime. I am wondering how the contestants were chosen? Wish some of my favorites like Sam Talbot, Brian Voltaggio and Kevin (season 6) were on it. I'm Rooting for Jen Carroll to go all the way since Season 6 is by far the best season, with the strongest competitors in my opinion. Cant wait for next week!
I'll help you out. I took notes. This was good stuff.
Stephen introduces himself as a "hospitality entrepreneur." This sounds like a title a hooker might use on her income tax form.
Tiffany F: "I'm gonna cook my nuts off." She does realize she doesn't actually have nuts, right? Maybe she could cook her eggs out instead. I like that one. There's no reason nuts are better than eggs.
Richard Blais - "I think most people remember my season for me losing my season." Well, maybe, but do you have to be so blunt about it?
Antonia doesn't want Spike in her bathtub. Smart girl.
Elia is going to bring "a much more mature level" to the competition, because at the time she encouraged Cliff to hold down Marcel to shave his head and laughed and cheered while it was going on, she was only 23 and now it's four years later. She also hopes Marcel has matured. I too hope he has matured to the point where if someone wakes him from his sleep and gets him in a full nelson then throws him onto the floor and pins him down, he will file charges, no matter how the producers sweet-talk him.
Jamie – TC elevated her career, people came from all over the world to meet her. I'd like to see proof of that.
Jen - Richard has his eye on her. Her pedigree, silly.
Padma says, "The kitchen is outfitted with the latest GE monogramed equipment." Yes, she did, I heard the "d", I heard it three times. I think she meant GE Monogram equipment. Because one is equipment monogrammed with the letters GE, and one is equipment in the Monogram line as made by GE. I'm becoming a pain in the ass. All that proofreading.
Fabio interviews that Richard's mustard ice cream is stupid (Because, of course, anything that isn't pasta is stupid to him).
Las Vegas - MikeI, Jen - an Italian mobster casino owner spread. Wow, does that sound obnoxious, millions of perfectly nice law-abiding Italians are groaning right now.
TiffanyD - she's wearing some weird tshirt with a sequined sweetheart neckline. What the hell is that?
Tre thinks Stephen came in from the Macys Day Parade instead of off the line. And he's right. This makes me sad. Because I think Stephen could've rocked if he'd bothered to do any cooking in the past 4 years.
TiffanyF is surprised Jen made technical errors. I think that was a dig. Tiffany's really good at innocent-sounding digs she doesn't have to take responsibility for.
It's really a different situation than with a regular season, because there really isn't any cannon fodder. Well, I think Elia, Spike, and Mike I are cannon fodder, and Stephen probably is too, but that's besides the point.
All the blogs are good, but sometimes it´s extra nice to hear from a true fan´s point of view. Enjoyed the blog very much.
Anyone know if Richter,Gillespie or B Voltaggio were asked to join? Elaborate the info if you got it....
Loving ALL STARS!!! I was so excited for the season to begin and the cherry on top is Mr. Bourdain himself. Thank you!!
Pete Campbell--- are you kidding me????? Marcel---Are you kidding me????? Other than that---- great show--great concept--- and yes--- Some of these chefs seem to think their talent is bigger than it is. (Fabio anyone?)
Also, Richard is offensive with his " I should have won". No, dude, you should have lost because Stephanie's food was better. What a dic...
Loved the first episode! Very emotional to see Elia go, but it seems like she almost lackadaisical with her lack-of-fear attitude. Sorry to see her go, but someone had to go home.
Unfortunate to see Richard Blais not win due to going over with time, but yeah, it seems fair. Too bad he didn't have a peer helping him like how Tiffany helped Stephen.
I smiled like an idiot for the first ten minutes of this episode. I felt like I was reuniting with some old friends. Sorry, but I don't get your attraction to Marcel... My faves are Carla, Antonia, Dale L., Tre , Tiffani (season 7) and Richard.
I love TC. It is my favorite show and I have watched every episode. I enjoy surfing the website and reading the blogs for more in depth reviews of each episode. What I miss, is LeAnne's producer blog. I loved the 'behind the scenes' of the challenges, how things were set up, why specific things were chosen, etc. Do you think you could get us some inside scoop and integrate it into your blog? That would be the icing on the cake.
Always enjoy Anthony B. and Eric R. They are consummate judges. Much better than Toby. In their own ways, they are both gentleman. Glad to see Elia go. Richard IS very annoying with his "holier than thou" attitude. Stephanie beat him during his season fair and square. As I recall she won or was in the top often during the season- she didn't just win the finale. Richard was childish about being disqualified. He broke the rules and knew he broke the rules. Suck it up. As a viewer, I was so glad that TC enforced the rules!
I Love Top Chef in all its forms but now Top Chef All-Stars is my favorite!! I like so many of the Chefs its going to be a great season! I always thought season 3, 4, and 6 were the best but now I'm going to have to say season 8 is going to be the best. I was wondering however how cheftestants were chosen? A few of my favorites are missing....Sam season 2, Brian season 3, and Brian Voltaggio season 6? I am so glad Anthony Bourdain is on the show and I love his blog and enjoy all the blogs. Looking forward to a great season!!
Hi! If you are responsible for the Bourdain blogs on this website, then I loooooooooooooooooooooooooove you :) :) Bourdain is the best! And this season is going to be amazing. Thank you for what you do!
LOVE this season. I think Angelo winning the first Elimination is not the same as other seasons (usually go on to win it). He and Tiffany just came off the latest season and are the closest to still knowing what it is like to be in Top Chef mode, vs. Tiffany F, Stephan, Marcel, etc from season 1.
I am pulling so much for Carla, Tre, Fabio, Jennifer and Antonia... they seem to be the coolest about being a Chef and Top Chef. Not pulling for Richard, TiffanyF or Angelo - they seem to believe they are the best among the best. Granted Chef's have to be confident but not condesending. Those three in editing seem to have the least respect for their fellow chef-testants, or maybe have the most to prove (to themselves)... don't know.
And hope we don't find out who narc'd on Richard and running out of time. Not sure we need to know. Whoever did though, hope they at least keep an eye on pea puree if someone happens to make it!
Good blog. It's going to be a interesting season. A Top Chef Allstars is finally here. I can think of some strong cheftestants that should be here Brian, Stefan, and Sam come to mind. I also believe some of this years allstars should not be here: Stephen, Spike, and Elia to pick a few. I also think each season should be represented by an equal number of cheftestants. It's unfair the some season have two cheftestants, some three, and season 4 has four. Why? Glad that whinny imature Elia got the boot in week. Stephen is not far behind. He is outclassed. Why was he picked. The best decision was having Anthony Bourdain as a judge. His wit, and harsh sarcasim will add to the show, already evident in his battle with Fabio. Looking foward to an intense competitive season.
I feel the same way. I love this show. I can't wait for it to come on every Wednesday night.I also love all of the reruns. I have seen them all over and over. I think this is going to be the best season yet! Where can I find all of the seasons on video. I bought a couple at target, but some are not available.
I'm not a fan of Marcel, personally, but I agree with you that he is oft misunderstood. Marcel is not a conniving chef as you see from some chefs across the TC series. He's cocky, sure, but at least he is honorable in that sense. Let his food speak for himself and don't antagonize him so much because he will bite back.
They were but were unable to participate as they were busy with other projects. Gillespie even said he'd like to be on TV again.
Sloopie, you're my hero.
I was surprised some of the chefs didn't do their signature thing. Marcel didn't make any foams. No ceviche from Jen. Tiffany F. didn't turn off anyone's oven. Hmmm...maybe they've evolved.
Season 2 was the first Top Chef season I got invested in, and it was all in due part to the dynamic between two awesome characters, Marcel and Ilan. So definitely excited to see Marcel back .
I have been a TC Fan from the very first season. The Allstar Season was a genius idea. There are some favorites missing, but the overall assembly of chefs was good. I would have liked to see Kellie Liken, Sam Talbot, and Kevin Gillespie, however their careers have exploded. From the first episode, I've been hooked. There is immense talent in this group of chefs. Richard and Fabio seem somewhat changed, and not for the better. I love Carla. Her humor proves that cooking should be fun. She continues to surprise me. Tiffany (D) is a focused and honest chef. My hat goes off to her. Angelo has the goods, but I don't really like him. Mike Isabella is another dark horse and he is so funny. Marcel has not changed a bit. He needs a diaper change, and his nose wiped. Spike once described Anthony Bourdain as a "culinary assasin". I concur. Restaurant Wars will be a turning point. From there a leader will emerge. I hope that Tre can survive this one. My top three are Richard, Dale and Tre (sorry ladies).