Top Chef All Stars – Seven Up

Two weeks left us with two of the best challenges of the year.  Some notes:

  • Mike Isabella – the DC entrant – is a douchebag.  His comments about Antonia, who managed to win the Italian challenge were obviously sexist – although there was some false bravado in there.  Seeing his squirm in the elimination was legitimately great television.  His take that being eye-talian that he was a perceived favorite was sensible – but then does that mean he would have been challenged by The Situation?
  • By the way, how horrible was it to see chefs of this caliber completely bollocks a PASTA COURSE.  All three chefs made bad pasta/rice.  Yeah fresh pasta is tougher than dry – wah wah wah.  But this was appalling.
  • On the other hand – the antipasti courses were awesome.  All the dishes showed simplicity.
  • Usually, I want to hurt Jimmy Fallon – but to their credit, the show did not ham it up too badly.  The challenge really was interesting.  Carla’s hysterical performance from start to finish was loveable.  Her third win of the season – she still needs to be comfortable to succeed, but when she is – look out.
  • Big bounceback for Angelo – he is still my #2 favorite, but he is so high maintenance that he needs some momentum.  One gets the sense Richard, by contrast, is just breezing along.
  • The elimination for Jimmy Fallon’s event was interesting – a classic case of service people forgetting their jobs – a mistake consultants, engineers, artisans make so frequently.  The chefs (Tiffany and Fabio in particular) were so intent on creating a culinary wet dream that they forgot to actually deliver the product.  You can take liberties with hamburgers and chicken n dumplings – but the dishes have personalities that can’t be toyed with too much.  I’ll miss Fabio – but at the same time he probably got as far as he really was meant to .  He is a restauranteur more than a chef’s chef – but nothing wrong with that.

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