Back to Top Chef: I haven't watched it since my Paisano Fabio got kicked off and I'm not really in the loop. So Carla is gone, Marcel is gone, Jamie my little love is gone, and who else is worth mentioning? This season it is pretty boring in my eyes, not because I'm not on, because most of it looks so calculated and preorganized and made up. And Sesame Street, really? What's next week? Hannah Montana or Justin Bieber? Maybe the Mickey Mouse Club on Masters? BRAVO you want some challenges? Hire me, I'll make them up for you.
Our favorite food truck chef is back! Owner of 3-Sum Eats and past Top Chef competitor Ryan Scott is here to share his thoughts on last night's Bahamas episode of Top Chef All-Stars. Take it away Chef Scott!
Hey guys, you know, I must say, it does feel somewhat surreal watching friends of yours on a show that you were once on. That surreal feeling deepens especially considering these are close friends — people I have cooked with and have nothing but the utmost respect for. For instance, last weekend I was out in Charleston, SC, doing a cooking competition with Carla Hall and then three days later she's on the TV staring back at me as I kick back on the couch with my girlfriend. These are some of my favorite people in the world here, and some serious chefs too.
It can get straight up emotional to watch. There's a whole lot more than just a cooking competition on the line right now — there's integrity, reputation, jobs, families, mortgages. Not to get all sappy on you here folks, but a lot can be won or lost on this show. I don't know y'all (just picked up the y'all in South Carolina, thinkin' about bring it back to the Bay Area) sorry that I'm not as funny right now as I have been in the past, but this stuff is real.
There's no one who could provide a more entertaining perspective on the all-star season of Top Chef than a former contestant. That's why we've asked Top Chef New York contender (and All-Star!) Fabio Viviani to watch the show and share his thoughts. Fabio, take it away!
Let me start by saying that it's a pleasure to share this fun recap with YumSugar, you guys are been very kind to me and not only I like your site very much but I also love you to pieces!
As soon as the episode start I already witness something that pissed me off: Richard telling everybody how much the departure of Dale Talde make him sad is the only departure that make him very sad! Richie, WTF? I thought we had something. I thought that since I dropped Stefan now you were my lover, and instead of telling everyone how much you miss me all I hear is that you will only miss Dale? Fine, Professor. Forget about that I was your real love on the show, forget that we were roommate for almost five weeks while Dale was sleeping with "Angela" and "The Black Italian" Tre . . . forget about the fact that I made you win Restaurant War . . . forget about the fact that I carried you throughout the Italian challenge . . . forget about the fact that I got kicked off cause someone that knows how to make great Boo-Ger didn't helped too much, forget about that I was the one that prepped the food for you and sent you to the Barbados, let's forget all this, go with Dale and be happy with him. BTW, he has a girlfriend. Hope you like to share.
To find out what he thought of the episode's outcome, keep reading.
With only five competitors left on Top Chef All-Stars, it's only natural that Bravo get the public excited for what's to come next with the franchise: Top Chef Masters season three! This time Kelly Choi is out and she's been replaced by the hunky Australian chef Curtis Stone. Also gone from the judge's table? James Rayner and Gael Greene. They've been replaced by former Gourmet editor in chief Ruth Reichl; James Oseland is the only remaining judge from the previous two seasons. Although the cast of participants lacks some big names, I'm excited simply for the new lineup on the critics' panel. Here you'll learn which chefs will participate and find out a little more about them.
Photo courtesy of Bravo
Last night's Top Chef All-Stars took things down South, and the butter and the drama were a-flying! The queen of butter herself, Paula Deen, guest judged and presented the cheftestants with the quickfire challenge: deep fry something, y'all! And Paula being Paula, she meant business: "I've deep fried mac and cheese, lasagna, chunks of butter," she told them. "No calamari sprinkled on top of a salad!"
Some of the chefs totally got the concept of Southern cooking, and some clearly didn't (how many times did Dale tell us he cooks Chinese food, not Southern?). Antonia made me nervous with her decision to do a fried shrimp salad (didn't you listen to Paula, Antonia?), but the end result was a decidedly un-salad-like combination of crispy fried shrimp and deep-fried avocado. Unfortunately, she totally spaced and only plated one dish, which prompted my favorite line of the night from Paula: "I could come over there, put you over my knee, and whip your cute little ass!"
Meanwhile, Mike and Richard were working on some chef drama of their own. Mike's fun and creative idea to fry up chicken oysters and serve them in oyster shells was apparently "inspired" by an idea in Richard's notebook. Richard was peeved, Mike was unapologetic, and it only got worse when Mike won the quickfire challenge for his dish! The house was totally abuzz with Mike's disregard for chef law, and Mike reacted by playing the jerk card for the rest of the episode.
More about this episode and the elimination challenge after the break!
What is more popular than cookies and Cookie Monster? Well, my niece will argue it is Elmo — and we got both last night on Top Chef All-Stars for none other than a COOKIE Challenge.
Dale is so ready to dis on Mike Isabella for being a chubby. Yo Dale, I love ya, but you too have been eating some dozen or so cookies by the looks of you!
OK cute challenge: too cute.
I don't know about you, but I definitely tuned in to Bravo's 9 By Design, which featured the design and family life of Robert and Cortney Novogratz and their seven children. The drama, design projects, and funny kid interactions seemed like a winning combination. However, the family's launching a new show on a new network. Can you guess what network will host the new Novogratz show?
According to the release, the designers will "take on residential design projects — customizing eclectic finds, turning trash to treasure, and mixing colors and textures in innovative ways" on the show. And, the seven Novogratz children — Wolfgang (Wolfie), 13, Tallulah and Bellamy, 12, Breaker, 9, Five and Holleder (Holly), 5, and Major, 2 — will also make an appearance.
Three-day trip to Napa? Really? That's something new. Fondue. I make fondue in my restaurants sometimes. Dale funny guy, PHOONDUE, love it, he has gone from child to grown up. Ohhh pobresito: Angelo making things that are too complicated (that's something new). Blais, I know you hitting on my man, but great idea, I like it. I will put that on my menu next week. Goat cheese, barf hate it, can't stand goat cheese. Carla screwed up, it's very funky looking. Antonia is ratting on Mike Isabella. It is down to the wire. They all look tired and over it.
Richard Blais's banana and Nutella snack at the house looks like one of the most appetizing pairings on the show so far. If only he smeared it on a rice cake and topped it with Lay's potato chips.
Wow! A competition at Le Bernardin presents quite the challenge. I had an opportunity to stage there and let me tell you, that kitchen is no joke. The wall in the corner of Le Bernardin became my best friend I was so nervous just being in the presence of that kitchen staff. Watching Gusto rapidly separate the fish is a work of art. He's a total rock star and I want him in my kitchen. Well wishful thinking at the least.