“Top Chef All-Stars” Recap (8.02): When dinosaurs attack


The kids and chefs arrive, along with guest judge Katie Lee. Those who remember back to the first season will recognize her as “The Woman Padma Lakshmi Replaced Because, Seriously, Would You Rather Look at Katie or Padma. Seriously.” Indeed, seeing her again reminds me why she thankfully only hosted one season.

The judges seem happy with their fruit and veggies. But when it’s time for meat they get blocked colons. Antonia and Tiffany’s frittatas aren’t cooked consistently. Casey and Tre’s salmon has a salty sauce. Jen and Jamie’s pork belly and eggs was weird and bland. But at least they like Dale and Tiffani’s steak and eggs.

In the Stew Room, Team T-Rex can’t let go of their non-omnivore ingredients. Tiffani feels like her advantage wasn’t an advantage. Which is true, but I checked the tapes and Tom did say “only meat and meat byproducts.” Listening skills are essential to not shooting yourself in the foot, that and leaving the safety on.

Team Bronto gets called in first, which sends ripples of discontent through Team T-Rex. Big Gay Dale thinks their dish choices were off for kids and their parents. But Jen tells him that she never cooks for he crowd, only the judges. Big Gay Dale says that’s selfish, but Jen says “Do you want to win or do you want to make the 150 people happy that you’re never going to see again.” To follow in Stephen’s word-mangling suit, that girl there has her some serious “strategery.”

The judges declare Team Bronto the winner and pick Blais, Marcel and Angelo’s banana parfait as the winning dish. But, really, three people to make banana parfait?

Team T-Rex comes in next, steaming. Tiffani tells them she thought their “advantage” was crap. And then the judges notice that Jen seems really pissed. She says she doesn’t think they deserve to be there and their food was better. Tom asks them why they didn’t plate things on individual dishes and Jen fires back, “You guys are smart enough, you’re the judges. Why didn’t you say, ‘Hey, can I get a different plate for this?’” Tiffani’s “Wow” face pretty much says all you need to know about that.

Then they get into Jamie and her sliced thumb. Tom asks what happened, Jamie explains. Jen says her absence didn’t impact their dish at all and everyone helped out. Antonia pipes up to say the rest of the team thought it was uncool that she left. Jamie might need some more stitches after getting run over with that bus.

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