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Top Chef All-Stars - Ep. #2 - 12/08/10 (Spoilers)

OK, from the previews, we know this is the season's "Cook For Kids" episode. And Joe Jonas, from the Jonas Brothers teen group, is a guest judge. Please, Bravo - don't show him and his brothers performing for the kids in the museum? PLEASE???? Oh, and guess what? Katie Lee Joel is back as a guest judge! Let's see if she's still wooden.

Right into the QuickFire: the cheftestants need to create a dish that will become the midnight snack for 150 kids staying overnight at New York's American Museum of Natural History. No utensils, no plates - the dish has to go into a brown paper bag. They have 45 minutes to create it. I'm thinking candy or cookies.

Dale Levitski grabbed a bunch of sugary snacks, mixed it all together, and said "Basically I'm making crack for kids." LOL! Mike Isabella is making chocolate polenta bars. Dale Talde bogarted ALL of the sugar, pissing off other chefs.

Tiffani Faison realized she was a complete asshat in her season in what she said about kids' palates...by now, she's learned - give the kids what they want! Antonia notes that Mike I. is sweating up a storm - something I read in TV Guide article from this week - there is no A/C or fans in the kitchen, as the sound is picked up by the microphones - THAT is why we always see them sweating so much!

OMG, Dale L.'s dish sounds SO good - like a "10 year old rave!" LOL

Joe Jonas' Worst dishes - Tiffany Derry, Mike Isabella, and Stephen.

Joe Jonas' Favorite dishes - Spike's and Tiffani's dishes. And he can't pick either, so Padma says "let the kids decide!" Not a happy Spike! And these cheftestants REALLY seem scared of kids - hey, they WERE kids once! LOL They'll both have to make their midnight snack, and they get "help" from their other cheftestants. INTERESTING split for the teams - all of the women (except Carla) and "their bodyguard", as Dale L. called himself, against all of the guys plus Carla. Funny. :-)

LOL! As they're beginning prep, Casey says "I'm very good with Rice Krispie hand jobs!" as she's mixing up Tiffani's chocolate Rice Krispies "whoopie pies". REALLY, Casey? LOL

I'm laughing at all of the comments by the chefs about the kids' eating their dishes...the kids are hopped up on lots of sugar, yowza! But as Casey said - they're not the chefs' kids! LOL So - sugar high, and then a teen heartthrob shows up? What does that mean? Ear-piercing SCREAMS!

And whoa - the Blue Team (Tiffani's team) DEFINITELY won the Quickfire based on the yays from the kids - yay for Tiffani! Chef Tom Colicchio shows up to discuss the Elimination Challenge - which starts NOW. The cheftestants are TIRED, and are not looking very happy. Rut-roh for them!

What's the EC? The cheftestants are joining the sleep-over at the Museum! No beer and bed for them - they have to create a breakfast for the kids, service at 7:30am. They can only cook with what they find what is in the Museum kitchen....one team gets Meats, Fish, Eggs and Dairy only (T-Rex) and the other team gets Vegetables, Fruit and Grains) (Brontosaurus). There is a winning and losing team, and one chef from the losing team will go home.

Tiffani takes the T-Rex theme, leaving Spike with Brontosaurus. They get cots in one of the exhibit halls on which to bed down. But some of the guys go on a flashlight tour of the museum...and then they're up at 3:45am to start prep and cooking...anyone who *did* sleep only got 45 minutes of sleep - ugh! Which would be better - staying up, or trying to catch a cat-nap? I'm thinking a short cat nap would be better.

They make a mad dash into the Museum kitchen - TONS of food (so they don't have to worry that their menu has to be drastically altered). But Team T-Rex is started to sweat, as they cannot bake (no flour), nor do they get herbs, spices, etc. (carnivores are *not* omnivores, at least for this challenge). Meanwhile Team Brontosaurus seems to be liking their dishes and the choices of food items they have.

And OUCH - Jaime sliced opened her thumb - seemingly very badly. Off to the hospital for stitches, so Team T-Rex is down a man. Hmmm...Jennifer's pork belly tastes like wet bacon, according to Casey? That doesn't sound good - but Jennifer said it tastes good. And cut to commercial...

We're back, and they head outside to set up their stations. Marcel and Angelo have a bit of a tiff re: the size of cut plums for one of their dishes. And Jaime comes back, and it's revealed she only got two stitches. Dale L. and Tre are both "really? Just two stitches?"

The kids come up, and start getting their food...and who shows up but Katie Lee Joel as a guest judge. Marcel's Banana Parfait seems to get rave reviews, as does Tiffani's Steak and Eggs. But it's noticed that the Meat line is much longer - people are going for the more filling foods - the kids weren't going for the veggies.

Judges Table preview shows Jennifer mouthing off - yeah, probably NOT a good thing if you're in the Bottom Team? LOL

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And we HAVE a candidate for the next Top Chef tee-shirt! In a quick spot between commercials, they're talking about Fabio's schmoozing and kissing everyone, and Blais says "Fabio's like the Mayor! Vote for Fabio!" LOL
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Just thought I'd highlight that. :-)

Padma wants to see Team Brontosaurus FIRST! And yes, they're the winning team! Wow. Fabio's gnocchi are praised, as were the gorditas. And Angelo, Marcel and Richard's Banana Parfait wins overall! Oh keerist, Marcel - REALLY? You should have won because you had more components on the plate? :::::SMACK!:::::

Team T-Rex goes in for their beatdown. Tiffany's and Antonia's frittatas were inconsistent, Casey's salmon and Tre's reduced sauce was too salty. PLEASE don't send Tre home because of the salty sauce! Jaime also gets called out for not even being there, and her teammates even say it made no difference that she wasn't there. That could be bad for her.

Wow. Jennifer is being REALLY nasty - both in what she's saying AND in her Lisa Fernandes'-type stance with arms crossed! She says her dish was perfectly seasoned, and Tom C. says they'll have to agree to disagree. Tom said that he doesn't *mind* the chefs talking back to the judges, but that was harsh! And when she was asked "were you like that in your season?" she says "ABSOLUTELY NOT! Welcome to the Jennifer All-Stars?" I'm not sure I like this "new and improved" Jennifer. She's more like Tiffani was in TC1 - very abrasive. As I said - like Lisa Fernandes.

Jen's dish doesn't get good discussion amongst the judges - soft, on soft, and more soft on top of that. But they *do* end about Jaime. Hmmm...

And we're back. Tiffani and Dale L.'s dish were the favorites, so they get to go back to the Stew Room. OMG, please, it CANNOT be Tre! WHOA!!!! It's Jennifer who's gone! Well, Tom C. said there were plenty of surprises in this season, and THIS one is the biggest one I think that could have happened!

Holy Crap. Even ALL of the other cheftestants are stunned. And she lets loose when she leaves the Stew Room, with a lot of bleeps. "The judges got it wrong" is what she says. This will be an interesting blog by Tom Colicchio, I'm sure.

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  1. Jamie just grates and grates on me ...she is such a beating. I know that all that is based an personality but I have eaten her food and trust me it does not justifiey her attitude.

    1. These kids are going to need a dumptruck full of Ritalin. I could tell that Tiffani matured, her confession about being an ass was nice to hear. I hope she wins, she was my pick from the getgo. For some reason I want an older season chef to win.

      17 Replies
      1. re: jackbauer

        Agree, it's interesting to see the ones that came out with a chip on thier shoulder and the ones that became more humble.

        1. re: chris2269

          Good Point!

          So far it seems to me that Marcel seems to have matured a bit, as does Tiffani and Spike, yet Jamie, Jen, and Fabio seem to have become way more arrogant!

          1. re: NellyNel

            I'm not so sure about Marcel maturing. There he goes again saying how Angelo may be trying to sabotage him and how he's going to keep an eye on him. They were on the same freakin' team making the same dish! Marcel is still as neurotic as ever.

            1. re: Miss Needle

              I tend to agree with Miss Needle -- but we're only two weeks in, we may yet get plenty of Marcel screen time. I do agree Tiffani has matured. I think she'd even learned plenty between her regular season and the finale, having seen herself on the show, but she'd already forfeited good will with her sous chefs. Every other time we've seen her -- specials or now -- she's been much more approachable.

              1. re: Miss Needle

                He is agreeably quirky and annoying..
                Arrogant as well, but all of them pretty much are..

                But he does seem a bit more mature to me...
                He definitely praised both Elia and Tre as chef's in the first 2 episodes - which I respect, and he seemed kind of sweet when he was talking about the museum.

                He never came across as a conniving kind of guy to me, just an annoying kind of guy.....An insecure guy who has been picked on allot, and puts on the arrogant act as a front

                1. re: NellyNel

                  If Marcel has been picked on a lot, I believe it's mostly his own doing. Marcel said if they could only select one winner it would have to be him because he had the most components...what, Marcel did you clean the most berries and peel the most bananas?

                  1. re: John E.

                    oh broher!
                    All the chefs say arrogant things!
                    As someone pointed out somewhere on this threrad - he was most likely prompted to say that..
                    What about Jamie, last week?
                    "I feel I am a better chef than my team-mates so I wanted to focus on MY dish"

                    Now that's arrogance!

                2. re: Miss Needle

                  Or maybe Marcel just watched Angelo's season of TC. Whether Angelo was sabotaging people under the guise of helping them was constantly being brought up during his season.

                  1. re: Chimayo Joe

                    That logic doesn't work because Angelo and Marcel (and Richard) were worrying on the same dish. When Angelo supposedly 'sabotaged' other's dishes in TC 7 they weren't dishes for which he was also responsible.

                    1. re: John E.

                      Also, I believe All Stars was filmed before TC7 aired, so Marcel wouldn't know anything about how Angelo interacted with the other chefs in that competition.

                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                        Actually, I believe TC All Stars was in filming when TC7's last few episodes were airing. Someone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, which is very likely.

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          The first eater.com report was on Sept 1 saying about TC:AS that "...it's shooting right now (the American Museum of Natural History was a rumored recent location)". http://eater.com/archives/2010/09/01/...

                          Oh, BTW it is also known that Angelo was asked to participate, as a last minute addition to the originally-cast 17-member group, just days after the finale of TC7 was completed and that TC8 (TC:AS) started filming just 1-1/2 weeks later: http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidetheb...

                        2. re: Ruth Lafler

                          Somebody saw them doing TC 8 in NYC on September 02 and posted this: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7316...

                          The finale was shown on 09-15-10.

                        3. re: John E.

                          Maybe Marcel took it as an attempt to undermine his confidence rather than an attempt to ruin the dish.

                          FWIW, I don't believe Angelo is out to sabotage anyone this season or that he was out to do that in Season 7 to anyone. I think it's just Angelo being Angelo and wanting things the way he wants them and not being shy about pushing in that direction.

                3. re: jackbauer

                  I think Tiffani matured a lot in Season 1's finale, but nobody gave her the chance because people were so upset with her behavior during the season. She's also on my list of people to root for.

                  1. re: Miss Needle

                    She's on my list to root for, too, Miss Needle.

                4. Casey's comment about the virgin ritz cracker hand job made my pork loin sizzle.

                  5 Replies
                    1. re: jackbauer

                      Ha! I actually thought it was Dale who said that. Great line, either way!

                      1. re: debbiel

                        I think dale said it first and then Casey was riffing off it.

                        1. re: pollymerase

                          That just might be it Polly. Of course, we'll need to verify this for the t-shirts. :)

                          1. re: pollymerase

                            It was hard to hear because they were both sort of mumbling under their breath, but Dale said.

                            "...like a Ritz cracker hand-job"
                            <<cut to some thing else>>
                            >>cut back to Casey & Dale>>
                            "I'm a Ritz cracker hand-job virgin"

                      2. boy the elves sure are making it look like Jen is going home, hope it isn't true!!

                        20 Replies
                          1. re: karenfinan

                            oh, dang, it was her...a great chef who didn't do well in the contest format?

                            1. re: karenfinan

                              But you can't say that - she did great in her OWN season. Just not this time. I'm really wondering if how strong she was in speaking to Tom C. affected her chances.

                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                Jen was one of my faves, for sure...just trying to figure out what went wrong. I was really sorry to see her go. thanks for the great updates, by the way :-)

                                1. re: karenfinan

                                  She was one of my Top 3 or 4. But I *knew* that there were some major upsets, based on what I had read in various interviews with Tom C., so when I saw what path the Elves were leading us down early in the previews/show, I thought it might be her.

                                  And I still can't get into the Bravo site - it FINALLY came up with "Service Unavailable."

                                  Service Unavailable - Zero size object
                                  The server is temporarily unable to service your request. Please try again later.

                                  How much you wanna bet their server crashed? LOL

                                  1. re: karenfinan

                                    I think it was her attitude -is what went wrong!
                                    She was adamant that her dish was good, yet every critique we saw was negative!
                                    Including Casey who said it tasted like wet bacon!!
                                    Yuck
                                    It didnt even LOOK good.

                                    1. re: karenfinan

                                      Sorry to see her go. I would be very surprised if we can't take Tom C at his word that he doesn't mind if the chefs are agressive at JT. I think Jen fell to the under cooked pork belly. It has happened to a lot of good chefs. If I remeber correctly Blais fell to it in his season and I think Kevin may have also, though his might not have been pork belly. They just don't have enough time to do a long braise.

                                      jb

                                      1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                        I would probably think that Jen overcooked it as it was being described as being mushy. Undercooking pork belly will just make it tough.

                                        1. re: Miss Needle

                                          That could be, what I remeber hearing was wet and chewy. I'll have to watch it again.

                                          Side note on watching. Do you all know that the episodes are available on Hulu the day after it airs? I'm sure this isn't a revelation, but for any that don't, it is and you can watch on your computer or on your television if you have an HDMI cable (is that too techy? :o) )

                                          jb

                                          1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                            Yeah, that's too techy for my brain. : )

                                            Oh, I DVR it (and make sure it's set so that it doesn't get deleted if my DVR fills up). Though last week, it didn't DVR for some reason. Luckily I caught it and DVRd one of the zillions of repeats that evening.

                                            1. re: Miss Needle

                                              FYI, the HDMI is one of those heavy duty cables like the one that connects your DVR or a DVD player to your TV. if you have a DVD player connected, just disconnect that cable from the back of the DVD player and plug it into your computer...you should now be able to watch the downloads on your TV screen.

                                              or just tell DH to figure it out for you ;)

                                              but they rerun the episodes so frequently that it probably wouldn't ever be necessary unless you absolutely HAD to get your "fix" at a specific moment when a repeat wasn't airing.

                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                I never get to catch the first showing, airs after my bed time. It's really nice to be able to watch when it's convenient for me.

                                                jb

                                              2. re: Miss Needle

                                                i tivo it but it didn't record this week either. the data was apparently wrong so it didn't think it was a new episode...

                                                1. re: trolley

                                                  Mine didn't record, either, and I think it's because the listing was "Top Chef" instead of the original "Top Chef Masters" entry on the TiVo directory, so season pass manager didn't pick it up, but did once I made the change.

                                              3. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                My bad. I think you're correct as Jen says in this interview that she would have cooked the bacon more if she could do it over.

                                                http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.co...

                                        2. re: LindaWhit

                                          I don't think it made any difference and Tom said as much. It sure looked like it was Jen or Tre. Her dish just sounded not so good. It did, however, make for "good TV" for the elves.

                                          Let's see what he says about it on his blog.

                                        3. re: karenfinan

                                          In her season she always seemed to be struggling even though she did well - there were so many comments about her talent but she made a lot of mistakes and kept beating up on herself. Given where she works, I've gotta assume TC is just really not her format. I kept wondering tonight if she knew how bad the dish was and just refused to look weak? That rant modevwas really weird.

                                          1. re: Siun

                                            I thought she was very drunk. We knew before she could party and drink and curse like a pirate. That didn't bother me so much... though it does make a good PSA against over drinking.

                                            I was baffled why she thought her conception was any good at all. It didn't look or sound good. Why didn't she pick seafood as protein? S6 she did seem to weakest at EC challenges where she had to think on her feet and be creative in overcoming adversity. She is technical master, and very quick and confident, but her creativity has always been a question. This time she wasn't able to sidestep her lack of creativity

                                            1. re: dach

                                              I also couldn't help but wonder how drunk and exhausted she was. However, it did sound like the judges found it fairly obvious which dish was the weakest, so perhaps the judging wasn't as long as some of the marathon sessions.

                                              1. re: pollymerase

                                                Ironically, the wikihow.com entry that shows up on my iGoogle this morning is "How to Control Your Temper While Sleep Deprived."

                                      2. woah at jen goin off at the judges!

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: mattstolz

                                          Glad our Chi guy Dale L is looking safe - and showing his wit ...