Author Topic: Top Chef All-Stars  (Read 9764 times)

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Offline kiki

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Re: Top Chef All-Stars
« Reply #25 on: February 10, 2011, 12:03:26 PM »
I was surprised as well. Seems to me that a salty sandwich would be the deciding factor since it was inedible.  :duno:

I read Tom Collichio's blog as apskip suggested and he says that Dale's sandwich was not inedible, but the salt was becoming more intense after a few bites. He also says that Fabio lost because he didn't deliver a burger like the one they were all expecting, all beef and juicy.
It's obvious from his blog that Fabio lost also because he was not considered a good all- around chef.

But still I liked him and I wish he hadn't lost.
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Offline TexasLady

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Re: Top Chef All-Stars
« Reply #26 on: February 10, 2011, 12:41:02 PM »
I hold a grudge against Collichio since Stefan's TC days so I don't pay a lot of attention to his opinion.   :lol:  However, I should remember that the show is edited and we don't see or hear everything. They made such a big deal over the salt that it seemed like the sandwich could only be tasted and the third bite was one bite too many. I'll have to go read the blogs.  :tup:
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Offline ugot2bekidinmeny

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Re: Top Chef All-Stars
« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2011, 08:37:13 AM »
awww i creid when fabio left.. him and his "bourguar" were so darn cute to hear!

Seems like carla is  on a great streak! Along with antonio.

 From the editing  it seems that the guys  just are a step behind on whe at they do but still are able to stay out of the bottom  like Micke  angelo dave and blaze.

 I think it's a great season.
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Offline apskip

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Re: Top Chef All-Stars
« Reply #28 on: February 11, 2011, 09:24:22 AM »
I had some trouble with the above post, but I think it really means the following male chefs:

Mike
Angelo
Dale
Richard (Blais is his last name)

Offline ugot2bekidinmeny

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Re: Top Chef All-Stars
« Reply #29 on: February 11, 2011, 10:15:25 AM »
thank u apskip yes those are who i meant.
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Offline IloveJesus

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Re: Top Chef All-Stars
« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2011, 11:49:53 AM »
Blais has always been my favorite. I always enjoyed when came back to make an appearance as a guest judge or help out. He just has the coolest ideas. He seems a little sensitive but I think he is getting over that. I think the Colichio does over act a bit. The only judges that I really trust what they say are the guest judges. It seems like the other judges just mimic their reactions sometimes.

As for Fabio, I am glad he is gone. I don't think he is a very good chef. He has a great tv personality but that doesn't keep you on the show. The women seem much more dedicated and full of ideas right now. I would like Blais to win but I have a feeling that he will choke like he did when he originally aired. I don't think he is the best at cooking seafood in the group.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2011, 10:42:48 AM by IloveJesus »

Offline apskip

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Re: Top Chef All-Stars
« Reply #31 on: February 12, 2011, 10:26:17 PM »
It seems like a good time for my assessment of who will go how far in this competition. I think Mike Isabella has been living on borrowed time, so I expect him to be next out next at 7th place. Richard, Antonia, Angelo and Dale have been cooking really well, so they are my picks for the Final 4. So who does that leave?

I see Tiffany and Carla as leaving soon after Mike to finish #6 and #5. Neither is consistent enough to stay in despite the multiple wins that Carla has received.

I think it's Richard for the win, Angelo #2, Antonia #3 and Dale #4.

What do you think?

Offline kiki

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Re: Top Chef All-Stars
« Reply #32 on: February 13, 2011, 01:14:59 AM »
I agree with apskip that the next one to go is Mike or maybe Tifany, she has not been doing very well.
Richard and Angelo in the last episodes they have been mostly in the middle but I think they are the most likely winners (I'm not very objective since they are my favourites). Antonia is also doing well and she will go further.
The big questions for me is Carla and Dale. They have a lot of ups and down. They both have won some challenges but they are not consistent. Dale has been in the bottom for two consecutive episodes, a third might be fatal, especially if Mike presents a decent dish.
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Offline apskip

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Re: Top Chef All-Stars
« Reply #33 on: February 17, 2011, 08:58:16 AM »
TC8, ep. 9

7 chefs remain as this episode started with a Cookie Quickfire involving as Guest Judges Cookie Monster, Elmo and Telly from Sesame Street. The chefs made these cookies:

Angelo – chocolate chip Belgian hazelnut cookie w/ chocolate banana milkshake
Antonia – chocolate chip cookie w/ white chocolate chips, fresh caramel glaze, sprinkles
Carla – chocolate chunk chip cookie w/ cinnamon
Dale T. – pretzel potato chip shortbread cookie w/ salted caramel chocolate ganache
Mike I. – chocolate + dried cherry cookie w/ rose petal powdered sugar
Richard – ice cream cookie w/ chocolate chips, zucchini, mint (Note – Carla accused Richard of following in the footsteps of Marcel with his incessant use of liquid nitrogen)
Tiffany - shortbread cookie w/ lemon zest, thyme, rosemary, coconut milk

The losers’ group was Richard and Angelo. The winners’ group was Dale and Antonia. Dale won the prize of $5000 provided by Buitoni.

Elimination Challenge

The Target Elimination Challenge involved arriving at midnight to a huge Target store at an unidentified location that had fresh produce as well as kitchen equipment run on electricity that could be used to make a 3am meal for 100 Target employees and the judges (Anthony Bourdain, Ming Tsai, and Target home designer Thomas O’Brien joining tom and Padma). In checking Target fresh produce stores, I discovered that the 2 Brooklyn stores were not the ones used, although it could have been one of two in Queens or one of two in Brooklyn or in Jersey City or Long Island. The chefs had 3 hours to collect ingredients, find equipment and get cooking. Carla was worried about tablecloths and baloney like that instead of getting started cooking and you will see what impact that had. Most of the other chefs also featured soups and appreciated that optimal flavor development mandated maximum cooking time. Dale demonstrated creativity by using a clothes iron to finish the outside of his sandwiches. Mike was working with Angelo on gathering supplies and gave Angelo his assessment that his soup was too salty, but Angelo apparently did not have the time or the energy to fix it. Here are the dishes prepared:

Angelo – baked potato soup w/ bacon, sour cream, potato skins, cheddar cheese
Antonia – parmesan eggs on garlic crostini, almond, tomato/apple salad
Carla – curry apple soup w/ tomato ginger jam, cucumber/apple slaw
Dale T. – rib-eye grilled cheese sandwich w/ spicy tomato soup
Mike I. – spicy coconut soup w/ mushrooms, scallions, lime
Richard – pork tenderloin w/ green chilies, apple, pork rib, corn pancakes
Tiffany – jambalaya w/ chicken, sausage, shrimp, summer salad

There were a variety of comments made by the judges during the sampling of each dish:
Angelo – way too salty
Antonia – egg very tasty
Carla – it’s missing something; some believe it is protein (which Carla wanted but did not have the time to go find); insufficient flavor development
Dale – use of an iron innovative and paves the way for Dale to become an “Iron Chef”
Mike – spicy worked, good flavors
Richard – delicious
Tiffany – chicken is soggy; spices are off

Padma observed that there were several soups (4 of 7 by my count). The chefs and judges returned to Top Chef headquarters in Brooklyn by 620am for the start of Judges Table. The winners’ group was Dale, Richard and Antonia, two of them repeating similar outcomes from the Quickfire. Dale won $25,000, the largest prize ever for any Top Chef challenge.

The losers’ group was Angelo, Carla and Tiffany. Summary of comments about them was:

Angelo – too salty and scallions bad (Anthony); too rich (Padma)
Carla – flavor did not develop properly (Tom); lack of protein was a negative (Anthony, Ming)
Tiffany – too aggressive on seasoning, use of prepared spice mix a poor decision when natural spices were available (Anthony and Tom)

The final outcome could have eliminated any of these three. I think Angelo’s clearly not tasting his final product was viewed as an inexcusable rookie mistake and that overcame bad judgment by Carla and by Tiffany in their dishes. Also, Angelo was in the bottom of the Quickfire. His post-elimination remarks to the camera included the fact that he was tired and worn out from the competition. He did not say that working from midnight to 3am was a factor, but some chefs fared better than others in fighting fatigue.

Offline ugot2bekidinmeny

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Re: Top Chef All-Stars
« Reply #34 on: February 17, 2011, 12:58:42 PM »
Looks like Dale is picking up momentum!

Tiffany is barely getting by

Carla flew by the seat of her pants with  that last challenge

Middle of the pack are Mike and Richard

Top Antonia and Dale

 I thought it was cute that they had the Sesame Street puppets but who actually were the real tasters?  and was that a fair comp?  At this stage of the game i hope they all  get a fair taste-review for thier dishes. puppets ust dont seem fair. :lol3:
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Offline Dånooky

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Re: Top Chef All-Stars
« Reply #35 on: February 18, 2011, 04:26:32 PM »
Probably off Topic, but I recently saw an ad for a new show on SyFy called "Marcel's Quantum Kitchen" featuring our eponymous Top Chef.

EDIT: nvm, I already saw the other topic
The story so far:
In the beginning the Universe was created.
This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move

Offline apskip

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Re: Top Chef All-Stars
« Reply #36 on: February 19, 2011, 09:49:48 AM »

 I thought it was cute that they had the Sesame Street puppets but who actually were the real tasters?  and was that a fair comp?  At this stage of the game i hope they all  get a fair taste-review for thier dishes. puppets ust dont seem fair. :lol3:

The Muppets are operated by Muppeteers. These humans were the ones eating and rating the cookies. I cannot find anything on Telly, but Elmo is handled by KEVIN CLASH and COOKIE MONSTER by MARTY ROBINSON.

Offline ugot2bekidinmeny

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Re: Top Chef All-Stars
« Reply #37 on: February 19, 2011, 10:51:47 AM »
I was being sarcastic.. I know the puppets are operated by humans.  Just thought it was odd setup for taste testing.
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Offline KitKat

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Re: Top Chef All-Stars
« Reply #38 on: February 19, 2011, 06:50:05 PM »
I was being sarcastic.. I know the puppets are operated by humans.  Just thought it was odd setup for taste testing.


Ugot, I know you actually did think the muppets were tasting the food  :lol3:
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Offline ugot2bekidinmeny

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Re: Top Chef All-Stars
« Reply #39 on: February 21, 2011, 01:07:22 PM »
troublemaker! :lol3:


I was being sarcastic.. I know the puppets are operated by humans.  Just thought it was odd setup for taste testing.


Ugot, I know you actually did think the muppets were tasting the food  :lol3:
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Offline apskip

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Re: Top Chef All-Stars
« Reply #40 on: February 24, 2011, 06:51:33 PM »
TC8, ep. 10

This episode began with Paula Deen, proponent of Southern cooking with lots of frying, arrived as Guest Judge. She presented a Quickfire with $5000 prize to create thee best fried dish in 30 minutes. Frying is uncommon in haute cuisine, so these chefs were not typically not familiar with it, but they created with gusto. the dishes presented to Paula and Padma were these:
 
Antonia - fried avocado, shrimp + jalapeno, grilled corn, tomato, fried herbs
Carla- catfish w/ dijon mustard, hushpuppies, cole slaw w/ mayo, hot sauce, mint
Dale- fried steak wrapped egg yolk omelet w/ parsley tips, chives
Mike- fried chicken oysters w/ mustard gravy, oyster liquor
Richard- fried bacon w/ fried bacon, tomato, cucumber  
Tiffany- fried chiken wings and pickles, honey mustard sauce w/ cilantro + cumin salad
 
The losers group was Dale and Carla. Dale's flavors were way off. Carla's hushpuppies were "like spitballs." The winners' group was Richard and Mike with Antonia the winner if she had not been disqualified for failing to do a second plate for Padma. There was great controversy between Richard and Mike, as Mike had plagiarized Richard's recipe from having scanned his recipe book that morning. Antonia summarized that chefs do not steal other chefs' recipes or concepts even if what they were doing is "legal." Mike was legal but unethical. None of this might have mattered except that Mike won the $5,000 from Buitoni.
 
ELIMINATION CHALLENGE
Paula was joined by John Besh, winner of a James Beard Foundation Southeast award, who was replacing Anthony Bourdain. This challenge was to cook small plates of one Gulf Coast seafood dish for 300 people for the Greater New Orleans Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund benefit. Sous chef help was provided as 6 previously eliminated chefs were offered along with a specific protein:
 
Mike picked shrimp and Tiffani
Richard picked Fabio and the protein snapper came along with him
Tiffany picked white shrimp and Marcel (the chef nobody incluing her wanted) came with it
Carla picked Tre and grouper
Antonia picked crabs and got Spike
Dale picked amberjack and got Angelo
 
They had 15 minutes to plan, $200 and 30 minutes to buy at Restaurant Depot, 45 minutes and $500 to buy at Whole Foods, 2.5 hours to prep in thr top chef kitchen and 30 minutes to setup at the site. The dishes created were:
 
Antonia- blue crabcake, corn, jalapeno + andouille relish w/ crab broth
Carla-fried grouper w/ ham hock collard greens, chow-chow pico
Dale- blckened amberjack stew w/ andouille sausage + potatoes, ham, bell peppers, onions, Creole mustard crouton
Mike- grit-crusted Gulf shrimp , sour cream and chive potatoes, w/ pork + lobster sauce
Richard- crispy Gulf snapper w/ pulled pork, citrus grits
Tiffany- honey glazed shrimp, grits w/ jalapeno + cheese,shellfish sauce
 
Eminent guests also eating the dishes were Jonathon Waxman (Top Chef Masters 1 and 2), Carmen Gonzalez (TCM2) and David Burke (TCM2).
 
The comments by the judges while sampling were:
Mike- "nail on the head", wonderful, great flavors
Richard- it works, light great spices
Carla - too much hot sauce, too salty, "I didn't care for it"
Tiffany- Paula like heads on for sucking; "you don't taste the shrimp" due to the glaze, not a fan of honey glaze, overcooked
Dale-undecooked potato, mustard flavor overwhelming
Antonia - very delicate, great sauce, really like it
 
Those comments made it obvious that the winners' group would be Antonia, Richard and Mike and the losers' group would be Dale, Carla and Tiffany. My guess was that Carla's time was up. At Judges' Table John admired Antonia's use of a small amount of andouille sausage and Paula termed Mike's coating the shrimp with grits as "genius" and loved the potatoes too. So did he win twice? No, as the editors keep trying to have the judges comments in balance so the outcome is unpredictable. Richard was selected as the winner and he got a 6 night trip to Barbados with $5000 of airfare incuded. he sated that he would invite Fabio to join his family on that trip.
 
The losers' group was as I expected. Here were the judges' comments:
Carla- beautiful fish doused in hot sauce and mustard, "none of the others made sense together",
Dale- did not get the potatoes right in that batch, mustard on crouton part of major flavor competition but amberjack flavor was lost in the shuffle
Tiffany- did not cook shrimp, which were overcooked and mealy, way too sweet due to too much glaze; off the record, Marcel failed to cut the glaze
 
Dale was the chef eliminated. H and Carla both were in the bottom group for the Quickfire and the Elimination Challenge.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2011, 01:14:40 PM by apskip »

Offline kiki

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Re: Top Chef All-Stars
« Reply #41 on: February 25, 2011, 03:05:24 AM »
I can't believe that Mike is still in the game. He should have been eliminated a long time ago. In this episode he gave me a really bad impression, first by using Richard's idea in the quickfire and then relying on Tiffani in the elimination challenge (at least that's what I thought).

On another note, do you think the producers have decided that another woman has to win Top Chef?
We are down to top five and there are 3 women and 2 men and from those Mike & Tiffany should have been eliminated long ago and Carla is anything but consistent. So in my opinion the two contenters seem to be Antonia and Richard (strangely enough both fron season 4). 
« Last Edit: February 26, 2011, 12:28:18 PM by kikisak »
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Offline apskip

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Re: Top Chef All-Stars
« Reply #42 on: February 26, 2011, 12:17:24 PM »
I agree wholeheatedly with Kikisak on Richard and Antonia finishing 1/2 or 2/1 becuase they are thee best and most consistent chefs. Carla was very lucky to survive the last two episodes and Kikisak is right about Mike Isabella. He does not belong in the Final 5. Neither does Tiffany.

Kikisak, I recommend that you change the spelling of your first reference to "relying on Tiffani". It was /season 1 chef Tiffani Faison that I am certain you mean, not season 7's Tiffany, who has no reason to help Mike.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2011, 01:16:26 PM by apskip »

Offline kiki

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Re: Top Chef All-Stars
« Reply #43 on: February 26, 2011, 12:29:55 PM »
Thank you for the observation apskip. Ofcourse I meant Tiffani from season 1, I just hadn't noticed the slight variation in the spelling of the name.
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Offline apskip

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Re: Top Chef All-Stars
« Reply #44 on: March 05, 2011, 01:12:31 PM »
TC8, ep. 11
 
The 5 remaining chefs were asked to board the Miss Freedom ferry for an off-hours trip to Ellis Island, bringing their knives and minor equipment with them. They found a message indicarting that they were to take anything from the Miss Freedom snackbar as soon as a whistle sounded and "cook" until they arrived at Ellis Island and a second whistle sounded.  The only heating equipment was a small microwave oven. Their creations were:
 
Richard - hot dog and beef jerky sandwich w/ jalapeno, pork rinds, lettuce, apple
Tiffany - nachos w/ cheese, lettuce, tomato, banana pepper, sour cream; popcorn w/ candied mangos + pineapples
Mike - bread soup w/ cheddar cheese, sour cream, green chili, pork rinds
Carla - orange + papaya salad w/ carrot and rosemary juice
Antonia- grilled cheese w/ apples, raisin bread
 
The Guest Judge waiting on Ellis Island was Dan Barber, a proponent of using farm-fresh ingredients, quite a difference from what was happening in this Quickfire. He said that Tiffany's dish was "a throwaway" and Mike's could have "sunk a ship". He had better grades for Richard (tasty and creative), Antonia (smart grilling technique) and Carla (refreshing and innovative). Carla was the winner.
 
Padma then announced that the final Elimination Challenge in New York City was about to start. The chefs were greeted by close relatives, each of whom had a special book on their family history created by a genealogist from Ellis Island. Those relatives were:
Antonia - her mother
Carla - her husband (whom met through Match.com)
Mike - his mother (and the culinary heritage of his grandmother)
Richard - his wife (who he said was an athlete and is highly competitve)
Tiffany - her mother
 
I was ironic that Antonia, who had no respect whatever for Mike, discovered that they both have Antonacci ancestors way back, making them nth degree cousins. The challenge was to create food that reflects their ancestry. Their basic choices of types of food style were:
 
Antonia - Italian, risotto
Carla - Southern (originally as slaves), chowder
Mike - Italian, gnocchi
Richard - Irish/English, meat and potatoes
Tiffany - Southern, using okra (risky as Tom is known to hate it)
 
The winner would get a Toyota Highlander Hybrid SUV plus a guaranteed spot in the final 4. The chefs shopped for 30 minutes. They had 3 hours to cook. The meal was served to their relatives plus Gail, Tom, Padma and Dan. Where is Anthony Bourdain when you need him? The meals created the next day were:
 
Antonia - risotto w/ braised veal, rapini leaf (broccoli rabe to the layperson) + fava beans
Carla- braised pork shoulder, grits, corn in a broth, cheddar cheese biscuits
Mike- potato gnocchi w/ braised pork shank ragout, burratta cheese
Richard- short ribs, potatoes, fried bone marrow, corn puree and pickled glassworts (sea beans)
Tiffany- braised short ribs w/ mustard greens, stewed okra, oxtail marmalade
 
Comments while eating were:
about Mike - we've had a lot of problems with gnocchi on Top Chef, but this is great
about Antonia - packed with flavor
about Tiffany - Tom liked okra for first time, Padma called it "a crunchy nugget"
about Richard - "ALL right"
about Carla - shoulder of pork a great choice, passing the biscuits very family style
 
Carla's husband asked if there was ever a Top Chef season when nobody was eliminated at this stage, allowing 5 chefs to move on to the semifinals. The answer was no, but the mood was that every chef had done an exceptional job and that no elimination as the right thing to do. I predicted at this point that that was exactly what would happen. After all, Top Chef does not like to embarrass chefs around their loved ones.
 
The Judges Table discussion was very positive. HIghlights were:
Carla - broth and cheddar biscuits exceptional; Tom found the corn a little tough
Richard - Dan cited the power of roasted potatoes, tom said the flavors worked together
Antonia - Padma said risotto is tricky but this was excellent; Tom said that her self-confidence was self-evident
Tiffany - had converted Tom to liking excellently prepared okra  
Mike - gnocchi great, flavors rich, great balance
 
So, who won? It was Antonia that would drive away in the Highlander and secure the first place in the Bahamas. Next, Mike was given the Bahamas trip. Then Richard was given his pass. This left Tiffany and Carla, who had recently been at the bottom of elimination challenges. But Padma had good and appropriate news: both were also going to the Bahamas. It was a deserved feel-good ending to one of the great meals in the history of Top Chef.  
« Last Edit: March 11, 2011, 02:59:40 PM by apskip »

Offline apskip

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Re: Top Chef All-Stars
« Reply #45 on: March 11, 2011, 02:58:51 PM »
TC8, EP. 12

The 5 remaining chefs arrived in Nassau, the Bahamas for some new challenges. This episode was scheduled for 4 months after the prior one, so the chefs were effectively restarting their competition. The Quickfire was unique in that there were 5 competitions for $10,000 each. The chefs arrived to see the winners of their Top Chef season waiting for them and no doubt assumed they were there to serve as their sous chefs. However, in a twist the competition was TC8 chef against their season winner in each contest:
 
Antonia vs. Season 4 Stephanie
Carla vs. Season 5 Hosea
Mike Isabella vs. Season 6 Mike Voltaggio
Richard vs. Season 4 Stephanie (same dish as against Antonia)
Tiffany vs. Season 7 Kevin
 
The Quickfire Judges were Eric Ripert, Tom Colicchio and Padma Lakshmi. This was outdoors and the only kitchen equipment available was fryers and flat-tops. The dishes based on ingredients that were specifcally selected for each pairing were:
 
Antonia - roasted veal, leeks, almond puree w/ sauteed mushrooms, raisins
Stephanie - veal scallopini w/ tapenade, poached egg
 
Carla - jollof rice, harissa lamb w/ peppers, onions, lime
Hosea - braised lamb in red chili broth w/ olives, mint, goat cheese + rosemary polenta
 
Mike I. - cashew dusted spiced duck breast w/ duck legs + mushroom jus
Mike V. - duck breast w/ duck leg in bacon vinaigrette, burnt leek and coffee pesto
 
Richard - seared veal loin + braised veal cap w/ raisins, carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, mushrooms
Stephanie - see above
 
Tiffany - pork stew w/ potatoes, peppers, citrus, allspice
Kevin - barbecued pork w/ cilantro, celery, shaved onions, citrus salad
 
Comments during tasting and the result of each pairing were:
Antonia vs. Stephanie -   $10K to Stephanie
Carla vs. Hosea -       $10K to Hosea
Mike I. vs. Mike V. - $10K to Mike I.
Richard vs. Stephanie - $10K to Richard
Tiffany vs. Kevin - $10k to Tiffany
 
I found the wins by Mike I. and Tiffany unexpected. The food put up by Hosea, both Mikes, Richard, Tiffany and Kevin was really good. The food by Carla had undercooked rice and by Antonia was medioce at best.
 
The Elimination Challenge started in a designated Top Chef - Bahamas kitchen, probably in their hotel, the Atlantis. They were to cook for Bahamas royalty. Anyone who knows much about the Bahamas, a member of the Commonwealth of Nations (formerly British Commonwealth), knows it is independent but ruled by a Governor-General, who would not be royalty. Its only ties to royalty would be weak ones to Queen Elizabeth II. I doubted that she would be participating in a Top Chef episode, so I expected it would be for the holder of an honorary royal title. The producers apparently thought that the King of Junkanoo was a hereditary title, but they founnd otherwise when meeting him. Chefs prepped for 2.5 hours a menu developed with available ingredients. The prepped items were then taken to the Twin Brothers Seafood and Steakhouse where a Mardi Gras type celebration with about 45 people was in progress outside. The chefs were introduced to the King of Junkanoo, Percy Francis. They then had 1 hour to cook for him, the celebrators and the judges..
 
On entering the kitchen both Tiffany and Antonia attempted to get the fryer up to temperature. The fryer oil immediately started smoking and one bin caught fire. The chefs were evacuated without their food, the fire department was called and their chemical sprays promptly ruined all the food. I ask you if you think that Top Chef producers and Tom Colicchio were in cahoots to pose another deliberate obstacle. I  think it's possible, but nobody who knows would ever admit it. The chefs had to return to prep again, with a major delay. That caused Antonia to rethink her dish totally and Richard quite a bit. Chefs were exhausted and that undoubtedly led to atypical mistakes. The final dishes were:
 
Antonia - crispy shrimp + grits w/ cilantro, pickled vegetables
Carla - fried pork medallions w/ sweet potato puree, apple sauce, apple chip
Mike I. - sous vide chicken, mushrooms, yams, lobster sauce, lobster hash
Richard - roasted lamb loin + malted braised leg wrapped in turnip canneloni w/ pickled turnip, mustard
Tiffany - roasted spiced pork tenderloin, dirty rice, curried slaw, tomato jam
 
Comments on the dishes included:
 
Antonia - shrimp overcooked, meat had no flavor
Carla - apple chips too sweet, meat raw
Mike I. - lobster nicely cooked, chicken meat dry, Gail disliked sauce, Eric said "it came together"
Richard - lamb, mustard , turnip simple but it worked; Eric said delicate but not pungent
Tiffany - wanted to see something more sophisticated; grape tomato jam excellent
 
Carla discovered toward the end of cooking time that her pork was undercooked. She tried hard to fix it, but her plates for the judges were variable.The Judges' Table comments while sampling each meal included:
 
about Antonia - meat in the grits was a huge mistake; no sauce for her cannelloni; shrimp overcooked
about Carla - Gail's pork was raw; Tom's was undercooked; Eric's was perfect; this variability was unacceptable
about Mike I. - sauce was the star; chicken breast meat dry 
about Richard - lambs nicely cooked; turnip too soft
about Tiffany - not exciting, middle of the road
"The King" finished his meal and commentary with "it's better in the Bahamas," a deserved product placement.


The judges were generally underwhelmed and disappointed by the food. They could make no allowances for the cicumstances, as the progress of TC8 required elimiinating somone. The better dishes were by the men. Mike was judged the winner and Richard was pronounced safe. The 3 women were the Losers' Group. Comments specifically directed to them were:
Carla - pork was undercooked or raw
Antonia - see above; serious technical mistake       
Tiffany - nicely seasoned but wrong sauce

Carla was judged to have made the most serious mistakes and was eliminated.


Offline apskip

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Re: Top Chef All-Stars
« Reply #46 on: March 12, 2011, 06:28:06 AM »
Some may wonder why Richard and Mike I. seem to be winning everything after an early season run by Antonia. There is a good reason. During a 4 month break in filming (September to January), Blais was working on a file of all the recipes he knew and Isabella was working hard to perfect his culinary skills. They simply want to win $200,000 more than the remaining women do.

I am going to predict that Tiffany is next out, that Richard finishes #1, Mike I. #2 and Antonia a distant #3. We will know on the April 6 finale, before Top Chef Masters 3 debuts late that evening.

Offline kiki

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Re: Top Chef All-Stars
« Reply #47 on: March 12, 2011, 07:44:22 AM »
apskip I agree with your prediction. The final battle will be between Richard and Mike, unless of course Richard chokes up like the last time.
This last episode  I thought it was really bad, almost boring, maybe because the fire ruined its flow.
Let's hope that the next one will be better, but it is almost as if the previous episode with the chefs going back to their routes was the culmination of the season.
Joab's TARA- Kiki & Co-racer. Hitting the BlackJack tables in Macau

Offline apskip

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Re: Top Chef All-Stars
« Reply #48 on: March 19, 2011, 10:12:05 AM »
TC8, Ep. 13

This episode began at the Atlantis Hotel where the chefs were asked to pair up and provide a consistent plating of 100 identical dishes for lunch at the Bahamian Club. Mike chose Richard, which left Antonia with Tiffany. The Guest Judge was Lorena Garcia of the new NBC series "America's Next Best Restaurant' (blatant product placement since NBC owns BRAVO). There were 100 numbered plates for each team and Padma picked two from one chef pairing and Lorena two frm the other. The winning team would get a $5000 prize from ?latta Wines.
 
Antonia and Tiffany made beef tenderloin salad with cilantro, mint basil, and a chimichurri (Yum!) sauce . Tififfany had to begin plating amost immediately, as it was composed of 4 separate components that had to be assembled on each plate. Mike and Richard made fresh pasta, difficult to do in the one hour allotted, pork Bolognese with fresh macaroni and pecorino cheese. The women chose a simpler task and they were judged to have more consistent results. If the criterion were taste or originality, then the result may have been different. Mike and Richard were both quite upset by their loss of momentum.
 
The Elimination Challenge was to cook a dinner including conch on a remote island for celebration of the Nassau Yacht Club 80th annivsersary, for all Bahamian guests except for Tom, Padma, Gail and Lorena as Judges. The chefs had 3.5 hours to create the meal, cooked on wood-burning stoves. Once they arrived on the island they found beatiful fresh grouper, other seafood and spiny lobster as well as a variety of fresh produce. However, in the crate marked "conch" there was only snorkels. Each chef had to dive down to 8 to 10 feet to collect conch shells. Once onshore the hard work of extracting the conch meat began. Small hammers were provided, as that is what the local fisherman use. It was mentioned that Antonia had caught 10 conch to get the meat for what looked like about 15 plates. A staff of waiters arrived on the island and it was interesting that they alternated their shirts off-camera from black to white.
 
The dishes created by the chefs were:
 
Antonia - seared red snapper with conch tartare and lobster broth
Mike - banana-wrapped steamed grouper w/ braised pineapple and warm conch vinaigrette, vegetables on top
Richard - sweet potato linguine with conch and spiny lobster
Tiffany - cold conch ceviche over warm (but limited by serving delay) conch + coconut chowder, w/ sweet potatoes 
 
Thr judges stated that all chefs did a good job, but who did best and worst?Tom found Antonia's fih overcooked; Padm found the dish too conventional. Lorena said Richard's lobster was undercooked. Gail was blown away by Mike's savory pineapple flavors; Tom liked the smokiness of the banana leaf. Gail commented on the unevenness of Tiffany's hot and cold components' temperature; Tom found it too sweet and felt the flavors didn't come together. Best turned out to be Mike, whose savory pinneapple was pronounced by Gail to be spectacular and whose flavors came together in a very positive way. Richard and Antonia had good dishes that kept them in the competition. The choice of cold over warm by Tiffany was criticized by the judges.
 
In the final analysis, Tiffany was the one to go home. That left Mike, Richard and Antonia to compete for the title and money.

Offline kiki

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Re: Top Chef All-Stars
« Reply #49 on: March 19, 2011, 12:17:05 PM »
It's obvious from the last episodes that Mike is on fire, he won the last 3 elimination challenges. Also he arrived in Bahamas very well prepared, he obviously practiced a lot in the meantime.
I was surprised to hear that neither Antonia nor Tiffany had ever cooked a conch, unlike Mike and Richard who had tried it.
They knew they were going to the Bahamas so why didn't try to learn anything about conch that is very common there? And that was their downfall at the end.
Joab's TARA- Kiki & Co-racer. Hitting the BlackJack tables in Macau


 

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