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Top Chef All-Stars - Ep. #4 - 12/22/10 (Spoilers)

Previews show someone *else* cutting themselves. Great. And Tom C. talking at JT re: Angelo potentially sabotaging his teammates - interesting! And Mike Isabella says his biggest competition is Angelo? Yeah, I think there are a few more in the competition that can take you, Mike I! LOL

So we're into the holidays with this episode - sort of. Of course, this was all filmed about 3 months ago, so they get to pretend it's the holidays! For the Quickfire, the cheftestants have to create a holiday stuffing dish....but without the benefits of ANY kitchen tools or knives. This ought to be interesting!

Tiffani F. says "Stuffing is regionally specific...it's house specific...it's MOTHER-specific!" And boy, how true that is! She says stuffing in her house belongs to her mother - she's not allowed into the kitchen, and when she comes back into the house - Jedi-effing stuffing has been made. Isn't that the way many dishes appear when Mom's making them? :-)

Guest Judge is Tony Mantuano, chef/owner of Spiaggia in Chicago, and also a TC Masters 2 contestant. Winner will get immunity and $20,000.

When Padma says go, everyone rushes like a madman into the storeroom to grab food items - except for Carla. Her zen-like entry and refusal to shove others aside leaves her with quinoa to use.

It's fun watching the cheftestants not be able to use their typical tools and knives - Fabio grates cheese for his polenta stuffing on a pot rack - ingenious! They use jar lids for spoons, celery to stir things in pots. Any port in a storm! LOL

Carla's slow entry into the storeroom leaving her with quinoa gives her not enough time to cook it - so she calls it Un-done-te quinoa, instead of al dente. She then asks Tony if he needs floss to get the undone quinoa out of his teeth. :-) She said she knew it wasn't a $20,000 dish - it wasn't even a 20 cent dish!

Bottom group - Carla, Tiffani, and Casey.

Top Group - Tre and Marcel...Tre's Southwestern dish looked REALLY good! And he's the winner! YAY!!!

Elimination Challenge is cooking at the U.S. Open. Healthy, high energy food. They choose tennis ball cans to choose teams - Team Orange or Team Yellow. Each team member cooks individually, but they work towards getting a point for their team. First team to 4 points wins. Someone from the losing team is going to be outta there!

The teams are trying to decide how dishes will be served - best dish up first to gain points? Or save them for the end?

Team Orange - Marcel, Dale, Antonia, Carla, Mike, Richard, and Fabio
Team Yellow - Tre, Tiffani, Angelo, Casey, Spike, Jamie and Tiffany

Chef Colicchio comes in to talk to them, but no one from Team Yellow is giving up their strategy, as members of Team Orange are hovering (Antonia!) and can listen in.

And YOWCH! Carla cuts half her nailbed off, and while the medics are saying go to the hospital, she won't go - Dale Talde said, like a professional, she bandaged it up and she stays to cook! Unlike Jamie...which was mentioned yet again. Good for Carla!

And they head onto the tennis court to serve - with still no idea whose dishes are going up against each other. The teams are divided to each side of the court, so they have no idea how the other chefs are doing. Professional tennis player, Taylor Dent, is the special guest.

First up - Casey vs. Fabio. While Casey's dish looked beautiful, Fabio wins the serve and gets the first point for Team Orange. And he goes bonkers - no surprise! LOL

Next, Marcel thought he was going, but Dale Talde needs to go because of his dish. Dale's up against Tiffani Faison. And Tiffani gets the point for Team Yellow. Score is 15-all. :-)

Yellow sends Angelo, and Orange sends Marcel. And Angelo wins over Marcel for Team Yellow. Marcel bitches that Angelo always plates on a spoon - "are you effing kidding me?" Come on, Marcel...grow UP, please? Stop being such a baby about losing!

Next is Antonia vs. Tiffany Derry. It goes down to Tom C's final decision, and Antonia gets a point for Team Orange - score is 30-all.

And now it's Spike vs. Richard Blais - Jamie's dish is STILL not cooked! Angelo added yuzu gelee to Spike's dish? Wow. Where does Angelo get off changing someone else's dish? And Richard's lamb wins - Team Orange is up 40-30.

Now it's Carla vs. Tre. Tre has immunity, so this could be it for Team Yellow if he loses. Angelo offers to help Tre, and while Tre would rather do it himself, he *is* a team player. So he asks Angelo to cook off the salmon...does he overbaste it? Please tell me Angelo didn't screw up Tre's dish? Gail Simmons said that Tre's salmon, while seasoned perfectly, was overdone. And Carla wins, meaning Team Orange WINS! I wonder if this is the "sabotage" that will be referred to.

So Jamie's "worst dish" *never* gets to go up - and she said in a confessional that "I think I got really lucky - my dish never had to go up, and since we won, I won't be going home!" Wow.

Dancing and cheering are done in the Stew Room while waiting for the judges; Marcel playing the bucket, Mike I. playing the spoons, and Casey, Tiffani, Tiffany and Antonia doing some interesting dancing and/or cheering - TOO funny!

Mike I. asks Jamie in the Stew Room if she was disappointed in not plating - she said yes and no. She was bummed she didn't get to present her dish. Unsaid was "but I'm glad I didn't, as we might have lost, so that's a good thing for me!"

Fabio, Richard, Antonia, and Carla are all called in to Judges Table - they all scored points, and they are the top...the winner out of the 4 of them will win a trip to Italy! The winning dish goes to Carla! Hootey-WHO!!!! WTG, girl!

The Yellow Team chefs who lost points are sent in - Casey, Tiffany Derry, Spike and Tre are in the Bottom 4. We know Tre can't go home, so it's among the other three.

Back in the Stew Room, Richard tells Jamie "you have a story going on now" and Jamie says she's trying NOT to be offended by what he said..."What exactly is my story?" Yeah, you've got a story - you've twice avoided cooking anything to be judged, and yet you remain, Jamie!

In front of the Judges, Spike pretty much says that Jamie's dish was the worst, and should have gone up. Yet Tom Colicchio said "if she had the worst dish, she should be here, and yet she's not!"

INTERESTING! Tony Mantuano said that Tre's fish was overcooked AND oily - would that have come from overbasting by Angelo? It sounds like they might have sent him home if he didn't have immunity! And Spike's dish with the added yuzu (an Angelo "touch") was not well received. That's TWO dishes that Angelo could have effed up?

OK, we're back to Judges Table with the bottom group. Not sure who based on what Tom C. said is going - Tiffany with her bland fish?

Oh wow - it's Spike who's leaving. I was kind of hoping he'd stay - he's been much better this season than he was on his season. But as Casey said in the Stew Room, you have to be responsible for your own dish. (Ironic, since she was instrumental in screwing up Carla's dish in that season! LOL)

So I guess where we saw Tom C. saying something about sabotage was a throw-away line - it didn't make it into the final cut! I hate when the Elves do that.

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  1. LOL I love any edit that makes Jamie look like the mediocre cook she is. whaaaaa i cut my finger. Whaa I don't wat to work on a single dish with my team mates.

    1. Jamie says I hope I will not have to Plate? Really really go home please...

      3 Replies
      1. re: chris2269

        Even worse, she DIDN'T have to plate because her frickin' chickpeas weren't cooked, and they never sent her up! But because everyone else did well, she still "wins!" Spike was right - her dish *should* have gone up first and just taken the loss of that point!

        1. re: LindaWhit

          And didn't we see her hiding when they were deciding who was goin up next? Looks like both Jamie and Angelo have strategies - of sorts.

        2. re: chris2269

          Wow I wish I could participate in a competition and not participate. Maybe I can run a marathon and not run it

        3. Jamie is way too lucky in this competition. 1st she leaves and now she doesnt even put up a dish.
          http://teenchefteddy.blogspot.com/

          2 Replies
          1. re: tldmatrix

            Just goes to show that TC is really less about culinary acumen and more about how to game the system.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              Not more, but susceptible to gamesmanship.

              jb

          2. They should have had the most gifted tennis player of all time, and 4 time US Open champ John McEnroe be a judge. "Undercooked quinoa? You cannot be serious!"

            10 Replies
            1. re: jackbauer

              LOL McEnroe would have been awsome...probably would have smashed something.

              1. re: chris2269

                Jamie didn't make up the rules to the challenge. If they wanted her to go first she would have gone fist.
                Spike deserved to go, he blamed everyone but himself, the whole thing was orchestrated by him.

                1. re: tofuburrito

                  "They" (her team) wanted her to go first, but she said no, the chickpeas weren't done. Everyone else should have said she needed to go up and take one for the team! She essentially had a way longer time to cook her dish, and yet she still didn't present anything to the judges.

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    I had the TV on mute for about 30 seconds for a phone call so I may have missed her refusal. It still makes sense to me that she would want to wait until the end if her food needed more time to cook and the only one I heard say that she had the weakest dish was Spike. I'm sure she didn't think she had the weakest dish.
                    They should have just finished off the challenge because not only was Jamie not eligible for elimination, Mike didn't get a chance at the trip to Italy.

                    1. re: tofuburrito

                      Oh, I think she was literally hiding, ducking down at one point. She knew her dish was "worst" because it wasn't cooked.

                      ~TDQ

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        I think the "hiding" was probably a bit of editing fun from the magic elves. Played out nicely, tho.

                        1. re: Pylon

                          I believe someone remarked that Jamie was no where to be found more than once during the selection process. If I'm remembering correctly, then Jamie's hiding was precisely what the Elves' editing suggest it is -- not reaching for an ingredient that the Elves use in such a way to suggest purposeful hiding.

                          1. re: Indy 67

                            I don't know. I mean, it's not like she left the arena, right? How hard could it have been to find her if she was really "hiding"?

                            1. re: Indy 67

                              When Spike was walking back to the team after his loss there was a 'voice over' (his voice) saying he was pissed etc and that he was especially upset because Jamie was nowhere to be found. The next frame we see is of Jamie crouching behind a table with just the top of her head visible.

                2. re: jackbauer

                  If McEnroe was one of the judges, then they would've needed Jen to still be around.

                  That way, Mac could've gotten a taste of his own medicine ...

                3. i really didnt like the way the rules were set up on this elimination challenge. obviously if you think your dish isnt even good enough to serve, then you think your dish is the worst on the team. by saying in essence, "i cant serve it yet or i will for sure lose" that should automatically be putting you at the bottom of the team!!