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Top Chef All Stars Airs Dec 1st

TC all stars has been confirmed and will be revealed in the reunion episode tonight...


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  1. And the All Stars are:

    TC1 - Stephen Asprinio and Tiffani Faison
    TC2 - Elia Aboumrad and Marcel Vigneron
    TC3 - Dale Levitski, Casey Thompson, and Tre Wilcox (yay for Tre!)
    TC4 - Richard Blais, Dale Talde, Antonia Lofaso, and Spike Mendelsohn
    TC5 - Fabio Viviani, Carla Hall, and Jamie Lauren
    TC6 - Jennifer Carroll and Mike Isabella
    TC7 - Angelo Sosa and Tiffany Derry

    There's going to be some drama, for sure.

    10 Replies
    1. re: LindaWhit

      This is one helluva line-up. This makes for an interesting twist, considering we've seen them all in action already. Except for a few, I like them all. So glad to see Tre and Richard have another chance, and I absolutely adore Fabio.

      Bring on the drama!

      1. re: LindaWhit

        There are some I'd have liked to have seen. Brian V, Kevin, Stephan, but all in all: Great lineup. First three out should be Elia, Spike, and Jamie. Or maybe Stephen if he hasn't cooked much recently.

        I guess the Kevin Sbraga sighting I read about in spoiler articles was a red herring.

        1. re: Fukui San

          Would love to have had Brian Voltaggio and Kevin Gillespie in it as well. But they're probably pretty darn busy with their respective restaurants.

          Re: Kevin Sbraga - wonder if he was brought in to WF in NYC specifically to throw off EaterNY etc. Or maybe he's a guest later on in the All Stars series? I'm leaning towards the former possibility.

          1. re: LindaWhit

            Right. You need to take a lot of time out of your "day job" to be on Top Chef, so people whose restaurants are successful and who don't need more publicity (especially ones who competed recently and are still fresh in people's minds) aren't going to be inclined to participate.

            1. re: LindaWhit

              Kevin Gillespie posted a response on Facebook to the many people who were disappointed he wasn't going to be on All Stars. (I'm paraphrasing, but not by much) He was approached to appear & they tried to convince him that this was a second opportunity to win but he knew he didn't need another opportunity, to feel like a winner, especially with all the support he has recieved from fans.
              If they did an all star fan favorite, he would be mine!

              1. re: jcattles

                He is also leading a european food tour.

                1. re: jcattles

                  Makes sense. The only way I see him back on TC is maybe in 5 or 10 years he will be on TCM or a guest judge. I'd look forward to the day.

                  1. re: jcattles

                    It totally makes sense - he didn't need to be on there for All-Stars. Perhaps some of the others don't *need* to be either. But I think it's pretty obvious that some are doing it for the re-exposure.

                2. re: Fukui San

                  I know there was also a picture of Hung as well.. It was towards the end of filming maybe the winners were the sous chefs again..

                3. re: LindaWhit

                  Oooh. I am really excited for this. I can't wait to see more of Carla, Blais, both Dale's, Tre (vengeance!) and Tiffany. Hard to pick favorites, but Tre, Blais, Marcel and Jen should all be near the top I think.

                4. Before the announcement, I was wondering if they were going to weight the show with an equal number of contestants from each season, or kind of front-load it with a lot of chefs from the last 2-3 years (with the idea that those are contestants newer / more viewers would be familiar with.)

                  I have to say, I was impressed with the selection. It should be a very fun season to watch.

                  1. Looking at that lineup, I couldn't choose a favorite (at least until they start showing episodes) but there are 3 on that list that I don't think are particularly likeable: Stephen, Marcel and Mike with Spike maybe being not quite so annoying.

                    I think it would be interesting to see a list of former contestants that were asked to come back but turned the offer down.

                    1. so, so, so happy Tre is getting another shot :)

                      not so happy we have to watch Stephen, Marcel, Spike, Casey & Mike Isabella again.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        Ditto on the Tre - even was discussed on the Reunion show last night about how Tre was one that the judges expected to move further in the competition in his season than he did.

                        It will be interesting to see how they've matured. Or not. :-)

                        Right now, based on past history, my faves are Jennifer, Tre, and Richard. And for the comedy faves, I'm leaning towards Fabio, Carla and Mike I. :-)

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          <so, so, so happy Tre is getting another shot :)

                          not so happy we have to watch Stephen, Marcel, Spike, Casey & Mike Isabella again.>

                          my sentiments, exactly!

                        2. I hope Jen takes home the win. Looking forward to watching Isabella for the laughs. His commentary is hilarious.

                          1. This lineup looks like it will be a LOT more interesting than this past season of TC

                            1. What's the problem with Casey?

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: John E.

                                Probably the Carla and sous vide incident.

                                1. re: SDGourmand

                                  Didn't they clear the air at a previous episode where they had all the former finalists? But still, I can't imagine that Casey is going to get much love in that kitchen, even if the air has been theoretically cleared. It wasn't so much the sous vide incident itself but the way she behaved afterwards that showed her to be totally without class. I'd call her a bitch, but my dog would be insulted.

                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                    I thought Carla and Casey said there was no problem between them at the reunion dinner that Fabio hosted. I didn't read the blogs about what Casey said or didn't say back then. It sounds like she got a little too defensive. I watched the finale again not too long ago and I would fault Carla for listening to her more so than Casey giving the advice, but I guess the dislike of Casey isn't about that but about her reaction to it online.

                                    1. re: John E.


                                      And then there's this "explanation" from Casey in which she goes from complaining that Carla threw her under the bus to complaining that the blogger threw her under the bus: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5995...

                                      The whole discussion: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5995...

                                  2. re: SDGourmand

                                    "Probably the Carla and sous vide incident."
                                    not technically about the incident itself, but about how Casey responded to the fallout.

                                2. My 3 favorites to win it all are Blais, Tre and Jen.

                                  1. I just saw the list. I think I started watching Top Chef at the end of Season 2. I was kinda hoping the African American male from that season and Sam (was that his name)? Would be in their as well. I know nothing about the first season. Can't remember some of these people. I knew Fabio HAD to be in there. Out of all the TC contestants I think I've liked him the most just for what he says.. rather he was the most entertaining to me. I liked Jamie, but I hope she doesn't make it Top Scallop again. I was hoping that they would have added Kenny to the TC7 mix.. I know a lot of people on here don't like him, but it would have been interesting to have that competition with Angelo going again. I'm glad Lisa Fernandez is not in this group.. despite coming in the top of TC 3.. I couldn't stand her. I think Tre W. got eliminated in REstaurant wars as well.. either for a crappy bread pudding or for being the leader in his group.. I do remember Elia as she shaved her head during TC2 as well. It will be interesting to see what goes down.

                                    17 Replies
                                    1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                      Cliff in season 2 really had no chance to be asked back after he wrestled Marcel to the floor and got disqualified because of it. They always called this an attempt to shave his head. I wouldn't describe it that way because they had ample opportunity to shave Marcel's head when Cliff was holding him down and yet no attempt was made.

                                      1. re: John E.

                                        But Cliff was DQ'd from the competition ONLY because he was physically aggressive with Marcel - that was against the rules. The reason was only that - never the head shaving. That would have been secondary to the actual holding him on the floor.


                                        Tom actually wanted Ilan, Elia, and Sam also gone, giving Marcel the win. But this was the only time he was overruled by the producers, as Elia, Sam and Ilan hadn't physically touched Marcel in the wrestling to the floor.

                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                          I thought I did say that he wrestled Marcel to the floor and held him down but no attempt was made to actually shave his head.

                                          We don't know for sure if that was the only time Tom was overruled by the producers.

                                          1. re: John E.

                                            I was responding to your statement "They always called this an attempt to shave his head."

                                        2. re: John E.

                                          I don't remember it too well, but I didn't think he was overly brutal with him. I can't recall I just knew that Marcel definitely didn't like it. I wonder who Marcel is going to piss off this time. He can cook, but he is too flamboyant. He and Angelo would make a good headstrong competition. I'm surprised Sam wasn't back but that may be due to his schedule or something as from what I understood he was a pretty strong contender. I just hope that Jennifer doesn't get all pouty and depressed again.. In any case, did I miss them stating where this would take place? I would love to see them return to Tim Love's place as that is a good challenge and I always like the taste tests and relay challenges.

                                          1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                            This season takes place in NYC... Marcel is an excellent chef.. He worked with Robuchon when his season aired. Was also the sous chef of the Bazaar when Mike Voltaggio's was exec chef there.. He will definitely make it to the top 4.. My early predictions are Marcel, Jenn, Angelo, Blais with Jenn hopefully taking home the win..

                                            1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                              They are recording season 8 in New York City.

                                              I think the only three that for sure won't take any crap from Marcel are Dale Talde, Tre and Jen. Marcel is insecure and he lashes out as a defense mechanism. He can cook, but it will be interesting to see if he still foams everything. On the reunion dinner show last year he didn't appear to have matured at all.

                                              1. re: John E.

                                                I'm not sure that Angelo is going to do well here. Marcel, Dale, Tre and Jen are much stronger and well rounded than Angelo.

                                                1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                  I think the reason they are doing an all-star season is because they know they'll get big ratings. The ratings for the just completed season were a big fall-off from previous seasons. Was this the first time TC was shown in the summer? The timing combined with the overall boring nature of the contestants made this a season to forget. With an all star cast that people are already familiar with should make each episode more like the latter episodes in a regular TC season. The early episodes aren't that crucial because the dead wood is being cleaned out. (I'm really glad the contestant John from Michigan was eliminated first this season. If I had to look at his hair for several episodes I may have just skipped it altogether).

                                          2. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                            Cliff from season 2 will never be on any Top Chef show again since he was sent home for threatening another contestant.

                                            This is clearly Top Chef also ran (there are no winners included). Here's hoping Marcel goes in the first round. And that Tre wins it all.

                                            1. re: 512window

                                              Right. It would make a mockery of the punishment (not to mention it would be a legal liability) to bring someone back who was disqualified for assaulting another contestant. The "no hostile physical contact" rule is one of the most strict and pervasive in "reality" TV. It's a huge legal liability to force people to live and compete in close quarters unless you make it clear that there are no exceptions to immediate disqualification in cases of physical violence.

                                              1. re: 512window

                                                "This is clearly Top Chef also ran (there are no winners included)."
                                                that's the point, which was mentioned at the reunion when they made the announcement. Tom said that any of these "all-stars" had the potential to win their respective seasons, so they're bringing them back for another shot. (though i do have to disagree with the notion that some of them could have won.)

                                                and here's a loud second on your hopes for both Tre and Marcel!

                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                  Thanks. I didn't actually get to watch the reunion show. It sounded from some of the comments upstream that people thought that Kenny from this past season or Hung were likely participants on All Stars.

                                                  I actually think it's a great idea to do it like this.

                                                  1. re: 512window

                                                    i would have liked to see Kenny on All-Stars. IMHO, at the very least he deserves to be there over Spike.

                                                    1. re: 512window

                                                      Hung won season 2 so he apparently doesn't qualify for the all-star TC.

                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                        It was season 3, but otherwise you're right -- winners were apparently not eligible.

                                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                          Yeah, I knew that. On the reunion show last night Kevin named all the past winners so they all got to take home the Quickfire wine. I would guess that just about everyone posting here could get most of them correct if they think harder about it than I apparently did.

                                              2. i just hope they use NYC more. last time, other than the very 1st challenge, it could have taken place anywhere

                                                1. I find myself a party of one who is actually for Marcel. I'd like to see him get far.
                                                  The guy is terribly arrogant, but it takes guts to stand alone and know that everyone can't stand you -and not let it phase you. He does what he thinks is right and to hell w/ the world. I admire that. And the hair.
                                                  The kid has balls.

                                                  My other favorite, Stefan, is missing from the lineup, so I hope Carla wins it. Hootie hoo!

                                                  7 Replies
                                                  1. re: weewah

                                                    I disagree with you about Marcel. I think he's a jerk that offends people on purpose. That's not the same as doing what you think is right, in fact I believe it's the opposite of that. There are a lot of good cooks in that lineup that are civil to their fellow contestants, in fact most of them are with the exception of Marcel.

                                                    1. re: weewah

                                                      you're not alone! I'd like to see Marcel go far too. I find him much more interesting than Tiffany and Carla and the like myself...

                                                      1. re: skoolpsyk

                                                        Yeah, I wouldn't mind seeing Marcel do well as long as hes not too much of a putz.

                                                      2. re: weewah

                                                        I'll root for Marcel.

                                                        I can only imagin his coming in all enthusiastic and running into a brick wall of self-proclaimed superiority named Illian who was the lead Bad Boy. After all, why would chefs want to sit down and talk about their favorite knives.
                                                        And then there was the sous vide chicken that Gail had a cow over until Tom explained to her that it was sous vide....and what sous vide was (things Marcel knew and used.)

                                                        1. re: shallots

                                                          I agree that Ilan went overboard with his hatred of Marcel, but when someone apparently as even keeled as Sam from season 2 goes after Marcel, I truly believe Marcel brings on the criticism from the way he treats others. At the reunion special last year he even went after Fabio for no apparent reason.

                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                            My perception is also that Marcel is very good at bringing on the criticism. It wasn't just Ilan from S2 -- everyone from Betty to Frank to Sam had something to say. In an S1 vs S2 (IIRC) special, he had even Harold (IIRC) telling him to chill out, when they'd barely met. Ditto in every other special where he's returned (like w/Fabio as you mentioned)... You can feel bad for him as a "victim" of "mob mentality", and I would never suggest victims in general "deserve" bad treatment, but it sure seems that there's something about the boy that gets under people's skin.

                                                            1. re: momjamin

                                                              It will be interesting to see what happens in December. As I've posted before, I believe Marcel does what he does as some sort of defense mechanism. I can only imagine what is going on with his interactions with the other chefs in the footage that is not part of the final episodes. There must be so much more of his antics that we do not see. What I find a little annoying is when he says something to the effect that they don't like him because they feel threatened by his talents as a chef.

                                                      3. I'll be rooting hard for Richard Blais. Admitting he choked in the final made him seem even more down-to-earth and likable. Plus the man can cook a little bit, too.

                                                        1. So I'm wondering who will come in to derail the finalists... aka who will be the sous chefs for the finalist or will they change up the format a bit..

                                                          1. WIll be interesting to see this....everyone knows what to expect having been former cheftestants. I'm wondering why they have so many contestants from Season 4? I was hoping to see Brian V or Kevin Gillespie but I figure they are way too busy running their restaurants and probably said no. I'm not surprised by some of the choices, ie Mike Isabella or Dale Talde or Spike Medelsohn. I figure they needed some people who will generate drama these people have the personalities to provide it. Having said that, why Jamie Lauren and not Stefan from TC 5??? I can't recall a single thing about her from TC5 except for the fact that she was on TC5 and I even forgot that until I saw the line up! I can remember stuff about all the other folks, such as Elia shaving her head or Casey and her inability to chop onions etc but Jamie? Drawing a blank.. that's how much of a non-impression she made on me the first time. Did they pick her because she's been guest blogging for them?

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: SeoulQueen

                                                              You're probably correct, they likely asked Jamie because she has been blogging for them and also likely because she made herself available. I think the selection might have been dependant on who agreed to do it first. By the way, Jamie is the lesbian that Stefan lusted after. She was also the source of Fabio's observation that the show is called 'Top Chef, it's not Top Scallop".

                                                              If you look at the list closely, it sort of looks like a bell curve. There are 2 contestants from each of the first two and last two seasons, 3 contestants from the third and fifth seasons and the most, 4 contestants from the fourth season. From this observation, it might appear that I was a math or science major in college, but that is not the case.

                                                              1. re: SeoulQueen

                                                                Stefan likely declined for the same reason you attributed to Kevin & Brian V - he's busy running his restaurant here in L.A. in fact, he and the restaurant even had a cameo on Entourage this season...he's clearly doing just fine without another stint on TC ;)

                                                              2. It will be interesting to see if those that have been off the show for a while have taken steps to improve themselves, or if they just come back basically the same people with the same personalities and skill sets...

                                                                1. BLACK WIDOW IS BACK!!!! BUAHAHAA

                                                                  1. !ALERT!

                                                                    Has anyone noticed yet that Anthony Bourdain is signed on as a regular judge?

                                                                    I'm sortof embarrassed to be as happy about this as I am.

                                                                    The premier date is listed as December 1.

                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                    1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                      awesome. i think this is happy news for quite a few of us :) thanks for the heads-up!

                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                        Well that should keep all their egos in check!

                                                                      2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                        I didn't reply to this post as I thought it had been said earlier about AB - but perhaps not in this thread but in another. I'm THRILLED he's going to be there!

                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                          yes I had posted it in the TC needs a new host thread.. hard to keep up with all of these TC threads floating around..

                                                                          1. re: SDGourmand

                                                                            OK, so I'm not going crazy, SDGourmand. At least not yet. ;-)

                                                                      3. My first-draft lineup for Top Chef: Last Comic Standing

                                                                        TC1 - Dave Martin and Miguel Morales
                                                                        TC2 - Mike Midgley
                                                                        TC3 - Dale Levitski and CJ Jacobsen
                                                                        TC3 bonus bromance - Joey Paulino and Howie Kleinberg
                                                                        TC4 - Spike Mendelsohn and Richard Blais (for the dry dry humor)
                                                                        TC5 - Fabio Viviani, Carla Hall, Stefan Richter
                                                                        TC6 - Ash Fulk and Mike Isabella
                                                                        TC7 - Tiffany Derry (for her big laugh)