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October 9, 2015

Top Chef All Stars

'Top Chef: All-Stars': Who Finally Earned the Title of Top Chef? (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 31st 2011 1:43AM
'Top Chef All Stars' finaleThis season of 'Top Chef: All-Stars' (Wed., 10PM ET on Bravo) was all about second chances. In a tough competition, it came down to Richard Blais, who had to settle for runner-up in Season 4, and Mike Isabella, who came in seventh in Season 6.

So, while Isabella had already surpassed his earlier performance, Blais went into this finale facing the possibility of being a runner-up for the second straight time.

For this epic finale, several of the former contestants came back to help the finalists prepare their final dishes to excite and impress the judges. The show even flew out their families to watch the winner being crowned. But who would take home the prize?

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'Top Chef All Stars': One Bite Determines the Last Spot in Finale (VIDEO)

by Aimee Deeken, posted Mar 24th 2011 7:55AM
One Bite Determines 'Top Chef' FinaleThree chefs remained on 'Top Chef All Stars' (Wed., 10PM ET on BRAVO): Mike, Richard and Antonia. For the Elimination Challenge, each cooked a personal "last supper" dish for world-class chefs Wolfgang Puck, Masaharu Morimoto and Michelle Bernstein. Richard's strudel, goulash and spaetzle for Puck was the favorite, cementing his place in the finale.

But there was still one more challenge to determine who earned the other spot in the final next week. The cheftestants were granted 45 minutes back in the kitchen to make each of the judges one bite -- seven people, seven bites.

A single bite determining your future in the contest? Talk about pressure. In the end, Mike's steak tartare and lobster beat Antonia's spicy grouper.

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Marcel Vigneron on 'Marcel's Quantum Kitchen' and Being on the 'Top Chef' Finale

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 21st 2011 4:30PM
'Marcel's Quantum Kitchen'Marcel Vigneron is a busy guy these days. When I spoke to him last week, the controversial 'Top Chef' contestant was in the middle of his promotional push for his new Syfy series 'Marcel's Quantum Kitchen,' and he was in a limo from his New York hotel to another appearance. But even in his rush, he can appreciate some irony.

"It's kinda funny. I'm driving by two tanks of liquid nitrogen in the middle of midtown [Manhattan] right now," he interrupted one of his answers to tell me, "and they're actually billowing out smoke." The extraordinarily cold liquid is one of Vigneron's favorite cooking tools, as he specializes in a cuisine commonly known as molecular gastronomy, a method where chefs like Vigneron use science to transform foods into other forms. The goal is to give diners a unique sensory experience, where their taste buds belie what they're seeing with their eyes.

'Marcel's Quantum Kitchen', which premieres Tuesday at 10PM ET, shows Vigneron and his catering team creating customized menus for high-end parties, and all the challenges and conflicts that happen as the event draws closer.

Vigneron spoke to me about the show, who his influences have been, and why he can't handicap who's left on 'Top Chef All Stars.'

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'Top Chef All-Stars' Eliminated Chef: 'I Wasn't Going Out Without a Fight'

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 17th 2011 5:00PM
top_chef_all-stars_2011_logo_bravoThe competition couldn't have been any tighter on the final four episode of 'Top Chef All-Stars.' With just four chefs remaining, two men and two women, all the chefs were keenly aware of how the slightest misstep could cost them.

As previous 'Top Chef' participants, they were cognizant that while getting to the final four was a major achievement ... nobody wanted to get that far only to be sent home.

The chef who was sent packing had actually done quite well. It was hardly a major faux pas that did in the chef. In fact, it was a very basic slip up ... something that might have sunk any one of the other chefs just as easily.

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Struggling to Shell Conches Slows Down the Challenge on 'Top Chef All Stars' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 17th 2011 2:17AM
'Top Chef All Stars' - 'Island Fever'The remaining contestants of 'Top Chef All Stars' (Wed., 10PM ET on Bravo) faced an unexpected new challenge this week as they had to cook their dish on the beach using conches. A sea snail, the conch proved particularly difficult to shell and get to the meat inside.

"You could really kind of hear this orchestra of conch-shell shucking that was going on," Richard said of the sound ringing across the beach as the four finalists worked feverishly to figure out how to get their conches open the most efficiently.

Mike figured out a way by thinking outside the shell, so to speak. He started dropping them in boiling water. "The hot water is going to kill it like it would kill a lobster," he explained. "It'll loosen them up in the shell and I can pull them out a little bit easier."

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Challenge Interrupted as a Deep Fryer Catches Fire on 'Top Chef All Star' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 10th 2011 2:00AM
'Top Chef All Stars'The remaining chefs of 'Top Chef All Stars' (Wed., 10PM ET on Bravo) learned that sometimes you have to try and create magic out of adverse situations. Of course, the adverse situation they dealt with was more than an under-equipped kitchen.

As they started working with the deep fryers, one of them started smoking suspiciously. The girls tried to manage the increasingly smoky fryer, but ultimately it erupted into flames. At this point, they were midway through the meals they were making. What to do?

"Everyone was more concerned about their food than their own personal safety."

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A Surprise Ending at the Elimination of 'Top Chef All Stars' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 3rd 2011 1:45AM
'Top Chef All Stars'With only five chefs left in the competition, this week it was about which four would get the opportunity to move on to the next round of 'Top Chef All Stars' (Wed., 10PM ET on Bravo). There was more at stake than just continuing in the competition as well. Next week, they're off to the Bahamas.


It came down to Tiffany Derry and Carla Hall, but the judges had a surprise up their sleeves. One they didn't want to reveal just yet, because there's nothing like tension to spice up a reality show.

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'Top Chef All Stars': Mike Violates 'Chef Law' by Making a Dish Inspired by Another Chef's Idea (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Feb 24th 2011 5:22AM
'Top Chef All Stars' - 'For the Gulf'Since we're not chefs, we had no idea that they lived under a different set of laws than we do. But, according to the contestants on 'Top Chef All Stars' (Wed., 10PM ET on Bravo), "There is man law and there is chef law."

Unfortunately, only "man law" appears to matter on the show, as Mike not only got away with violating "chef law," he even won a $5,000 challenge for his efforts.

Antonia made a tactical error in the challenge, failing to plate enough dishes, which helped Mike secure the win.

"Mikey needs to give the money to me," she said. "It's like he wins by default and then wins with a dish that was inspired by another chef."

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'Top Chef' Eliminated Chef: 'All-Stars Broke Me in an Amazing Way'

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 18th 2011 3:30PM
top_chef_bravo_logoAs the competition progresses and the stakes rise, the tension mounts for the contestants on 'Top Chef All Stars.' Last night's episode was a nail-biter, with just seven cheftestants vying for the final two spots in the championship.

Like the earlier museum challenge this season, the lion's share of the episode this week was about endurance and focus. The chefs were asked to stay up all night in an empty Target department store, where they had to create a cooking station, set up a catered presentation and prepare a dish for 100 employees to be served at 3AM when they arrived for work. It was a daunting task, and fatigue played a big part in the outcome.

Ironically, the chef who stumbled and was sent packing was an early choice to go all the way. For more about how this cook's heavy hand with the salt lead to a bittersweet exit, read on.

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'Top Chef All Stars' Season 8, Episode 10 Recap

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 17th 2011 2:15AM
top_chef_all_stars_2011_padma_lakshmi_elmo_bravo['Top Chef All Stars' - 'Lock Down']

Where has the time -- and the chefs -- all gone? 'Top Chef All Stars' is down to just seven all-star chefs. Three women, four men ... who made the cut after tonight's show? Read on.

For starters, the Quick Fire Challenge was kids' stuff. Literally. The chefs discovered that they were working for 'Sesame Street.'

The judges would be the Muppets -- Telly, Elmo and Cookie Monster. No surprise, therefore, that the challenge was to make a great cookie in just 45 minutes. The winner would get $5,000.

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The Sesame Street Monsters Show Up to Judge a Cookie Competition on 'Top Chef All Stars' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Feb 17th 2011 1:56AM
Sesame Street Muppets, 'Top Chef All Stars'Things took a turn for the silly on 'Top Chef All Stars' (Wed., 10PM ET on Bravo) when several of the 'Sesame Street' monsters stopped by to judge a cookie competition. Of course, that meant Cookie Monster would be there, and he was joined by both Elmo and Telly.

Telly seemed to take the competition pretty seriously, while Elmo used the opportunity to crack jokes. When one of the contestants mentioned using thyme in her recipe, Elmo asked, "How much time?"

"45 minutes," Cookie Monster replied seriously.

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'Top Chef' Eliminated Chef: 'This Is Not Top Passion or Top Heart'

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 11th 2011 12:45PM
top_chef_all_stars_logo_bravoFondue pots and Fallon: That was the menu for Wednesday night's episode of 'Top Chef All Stars.'

Jimmy Fallon, host of the eponymous NBC late-night show, was the guest judge for the night, and the chefs were given the challenge of preparing Jimmy's favorite dishes -- in their own unique ways -- for the star's birthday lunch.

It was a deceptively simple task, and ironically, it was perhaps the easiest dish of all that tripped up a chef who had been one of the best of the bunch ... till now.

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'Top Chef All Stars' Season 8, Episode 9 Recap

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 10th 2011 5:15AM
top_chef_all_stars_2011_bravo['Top Chef All Stars' - 'Feeding Fallon']

Eight may be enough, but not for 'Top Chef All Stars.' At the end of this episode the elite group was pared down to seven. Looking at the remaining chefs, this is a tough bunch of cooks ... there's really nobody that doesn't have the chops to be there.

To kick off the show, 'Top Chef' pulled out a retro Quickfire Challenge. The chefs had to reinvent fondue. This was a tough one because fondue is retro for a reason.

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Jimmy Fallon and Higgins Eat and Crack Jokes on 'Top Chef All Stars' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Feb 10th 2011 1:32AM
Jimmy Fallon, 'Top Chef All Stars'It was an extra helping of laughs all around when 'Late Night' host Jimmy Fallon and his announcer, Higgins, were guest judges on 'Top Chef All Stars' (Wed., 10PM ET on Bravo) this week. The contestants presented them with meals involving pulled pork and sausage, and that was all they needed.

After critiquing the meal, Fallon turned to Higgins. "You pull your own pork, right?" he asked his sidekick.

"I pull my own pork a lot. But if Angelo's going to pull it for me ... " he said referring to the contestant who's meal they'd just sampled. He left the thought unfinished, but we think you can piece it together.

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Nigel Lythgoe Announces 'CMT's Next Superstar,' 'Top Chef' Heads to the Bahamas and More

by Jean Bentley, posted Feb 9th 2011 4:00PM
Nigel LythgoeNigel Lythgoe is apparently not content to dominate the televised singing competition space with 'American Idol' and the televised dancing competition space with 'So You Think You Can Dance.'

Since the man seemingly won't sleep until he controls every successful TV talent show out there, he's launching a new country music comeptition series on CMT.

'CMT's Next Superstar' will debut its 10-episode first season in April, Entertainment Weekly reports.

"This isn't just a singing competition. The contestants will also be judged on their songwriting, radio interviews and music videos," Lythgoe said in a statement. "We're looking for more than just a singer. We want the complete creative, talented package -- performer, personality and writer. We want the next country superstar."

In other TV news ...

The CW picked up another pilot, based on 'Vampire Diaries' author L.J. Smith's 'Secret Circle' series. That's not the only TVD connection; co-creator Kevin Williamson just joined the project as an executive producer. No vampires in this one, though. Just witches. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Kerry Washington has booked the lead role in 'Grey's Anatomy' creator Shonda Rhimes' new pilot. Washington will play Olivia Price, a high-powered crisis-management consultant in 'In Crisis.' [Deadline]

The 'Top Chef All Stars' finale will take place in the noted culinary capital of ... the Bahamas? Maybe the crew just wanted to get out of the snowy disaster that has been New York City for the past few months. The four-part finale will begin airing next month. "The setting gets the contestants excited because it takes them out of their element and gives them great ingredients," judge Gail Simmons said. [TV Guide]

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