“Top Chef All-Stars” Recap (8.01): Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it

Welcome to Top Chef All-Stars: Sometimes They Come Back. Eighteen of the best also-ran cheftestants are in the Big Apple to redeem themselves and maybe take home the title and $200,000, the biggest purse in Top Chef history. Out bisexual chef Tiffani Faison is the first in the door and promptly tells the camera she plans to cook her nuts off. Out lesbian chef Jamie Lauren follows shortly after with tats blazing and proceeds to tell the camera that she is there to kick ass. So, be warned, the chefbians are all about doing major damage to privates parts this time around.

As all the returning cheftestants convene it’s like a high school reunion where only the student body presidents, star quarterbacks and class clowns were invited. I have to say, most of the ladies look great but some of the guys (cough, Fabio, cough, Mike, cough) have gotten a little paunchy. Someone who has never been paunchy, even last season when she was pregnant, is host Padma Lakshmi. Oh, Padma, you can tell me to do whatever you want with my knives.

The first Quickfire Challenge puts contestants from the same seasons together to cook against teams from the other seasons. Each team’s dish must represent their season’s host city. As they start working, everything that annoyed you about these people the first time around comes rushing back. Oh, yeah, Spike and his backwards hat is an asshat. Oh, yeah, Marcel and his Wolverine hair is a brat. Oh, yeah, Stephen and his overdressed ties is a snob.

So instead of wasting more time on those tools, how about we take a moment to fully appreciate the return of Chef Jamie Lauren. Team Rainbow, represent. God, just for the aesthetics alone I hope she sticks around until very, very late in the season. Ahem.

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