Top Chef All Stars: Two Episodes In (SPOILERS!!)

After two fascinating episodes of the high stakes, returning contestant version of Top Chef, what have we learned?

  1. After the culinary psychiatric ward that was the Top Chef: Just Desserts monstrosity, it seems clear that Bravo is teetering towards drama again.  There seems to be a particular emphasis on cattiness – especially in the confessionals of folks like Jamie from the Really Untalented Season (hello, Season 5).
  2. Anthony Bourdain is of course an inspired pick as a regular guest judge (though he was not there this week while Gail Simmons’ fake eyelashes were).  The first episode jousting between poor Fabio and Tony was just about perfect.  Who wants to hire Tony without getting his eviscerations of awful dishes?  He was downright docile a season ago, even if his referring to Eric Ripert as “my pal The Ripper” might have been the single funniest line in the show’s history.
  3. As always the first few episodes are notable for the truly undeserving chefs to disappear.  It sure seemed that way in Week 1 when the eliminated did not bother TASTING HER FOOD.  However Week 2 …
  4. … featured Jennifer Carroll going home!  This was particularly shocking as she was representing the Vegas season, hands down the best cast in the entire show.  Sheepishly, I admit she was my pick to win this whole thing.  Given her snappiness with the judges, she was picking herself too.  However, (at least as far as the editing indicates) she had some very serious lapses in taste and palate.  Although the judges were subjected to a salt lick in the previous dish maybe.  Considering how brilliant she was in the Vegas season before fading away to 4th, I did not see this coming at all.  However, she started getting agitated down the stretch in that season – so maybe I should have noticed.
  5. Luckiest people were Tiffany from the DC season and her cooking compadre (forget the name).  How do you screw up frittatas?  The lapse there for such an easy dish is hard to forgive.  But alas they survive.
  6. Richard Blais, Mike Isabella (however detestable) Angelo Sosa might be the favorites now to me (even if Angelo is a grade-A nutcase).  Tiffany from DC is still the dark horse – but she hasn’t proven my faith to be well placed yet.




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