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Top Chef Recap: All Stars Dinner

Top_chef_logo-mamapop Come on, Top Chef! Why do you mess with me so? I turned on my television last night ready and waiting to see Padma ordering room service. I saw the teaser last week. I knew what was coming.

But no, I was slapped down. Instead you gave me a reunion show. Well, sort of a reunion show, but less coherent. You called it the All Stars Dinner.

All stars dinner, you say? Where was Sam? Where was Spike? Where was Stephanie?


And why do you always invite Marcel?


I am so sick of this guy. And hasn't he had that same Wolverine haircut for like five years? Behold the similarity:


As Mike Isabella would say "Whatever, whatever".

The folks at Bravo recruited season 5 fan favorite Fabio Viviani to be our host, which makes perfect sense because... no, you are right it doesn't make sense at all. Sure, the ladies love him but you shouldn't have to subtitle your host. My theory is that when they invited chefs from seasons past they got two yesses from seasons 1 - 4 and then three yesses from season 5, then they did one-potato or something to determine who would host.

My mother said to pick the very best one and Stefan and Carla were not it.

Representing the very first season were the winner and runner up Harold and Tiffani, who is now apparently Tiffany.


Please tell me that I am not the only one who noticed that her name was spelled differently. I can't go on living if I am the only one who has reached this level of Top Chef dorkitude.

From season two we have winner and runner-up Ilan and Marcel.


Season three: Dale, Casey and Hung.


Wait, three from season three? While I appreciate the symmetry this completely blows my theory on how they decided on Fabio as the host. Crapola. Let's just pretend my theory is sound and Hung just showed up uninvited.

Season Four Runners Up: Richard and Lisa:


They were there representing that haircut. I'm sorry Stephanie, I couldn't find a picture of just the two of them.


What? Don't you look at me like that, Mattin. I couldn't find one. I like Stephanie. I've actually met her in real life. She is lovely.

Picture 8

Much better.

And as we previously discussed Carla and Stefan were there from season 5.

Picture 1

The problem is that after that it got boring. Everyone showed up one by one and briefly updated us on what they have been doing and met all of the other.

Marcel still talks like a douche. In the first four minutes of the show Marcel says the following things:

  • Honing my craft
  • BFF
  • refining my cuisine
  • reflect on all the drama that went on
  • I was a force to be reckoned with
  • we're culinary brothers of other mothers

Then five minutes after that he tells Fabio and Stefan that he can't discuss their season because he didn't watch it.

Even if that were true, it is terribly rude to say so.

Ugh. At least he didn't rap again.


I don't think I could have stomached that.

Here is something that could pass for interesting - it is revealed that Dale now lives with cast mate Sara Nguyen. They have some dogs.

Don't start with me. I told you this episode was boring.

The producers really tried. They tried to create drama between Casey and Carla - but it really wasn't there. They tried to make Marcel and Ilan enemies, but they are over it. They revisited the boxed cake from season one. They even tried to get the chefs riled up about unfair criticism in their seasons. Nobody seemed to really bite.

Of course they did bring up the incident when Marcel was assaulted, but instead of being funny it was just uncomfortable since it was obvious that Marcel was actually somewhat traumatized by the debacle.

And this is a little bit off topic, but is anyone else still upset that Sam never shaved his head?

There was some cooking. Each season had to draw a knife to determine what course they were to cook as a team (by season) but they barely addressed the food that was made. They cooked for themselves and there was no judging, just eating and chatting and eventually getting fairly drunk.

There was a really strange part near the end when Fabio stood up and said that this part was "out of camera", he didn't want to look like a dick and everyone could go home if they wanted. It wasn't clear but I am guessing that people said they weren't going to trash each other or that Bravo was going to edit them to look like assholes. Marcel said he wasn't going to talk about it anymore and Fabio told them to all say "no" the next time Bravo asked them to do something like this. But it was on camera. The filming never stopped.

And I'm guessing that this will be Fabio's last job like this.


In the end I think I would have preferred a rerun. Maybe one of the ones where they blindfold people and make them guess what they are tasting. Those are my favorite.

I should have just gone to bed with my son at 8:00. He was scared of E.T. (I don't know. He won't believe that E.T. is a nice alien) and he wanted me to lay down with him. Just think, I could have had three extra hours of sleep. But I guess then you wouldn't have that picture of Hugh Jackman looking crazy, so I guess it was worth it in the end.

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I agree. More Sam, less Marcel. Always.

I think he looks like a Monchichi. Remember those? But you're right, he really looks like he's rockin' a Wolverine Halloween costume.

Papa Bradstein

I was wondering why our DVR didn't record it last night. Turns out it has more brains than Bravo does.


I love the blind folded taste challenges. Why does it seem like they only do those on Hells Kitchen? They need more of them on Top Chef!

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah

Monchichis are awesome.

Princess Sparklepants

Sarah, I so started to watch this, yawned eleven times, and said, "The heck with this, Sarah will recap it anyway." So, thank you.

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah

I am here for you. :)

You didn't miss a thing.


I turned it off halfway through, when I realized they weren't doing a thing.

I swear they showed previews last week for the one with Padma. Jerks.


I was glad Fabio said that though. I liked Harold but would always get irritated with him when he'd start complaining about how ridiculous something was. It's not like he was held at gunpoint.


Marcel is a tool, undoubtedly, but it's pretty shitty that Bravo wants him to keep revisiting what was a traumatic experience.

"Hey, remember that time I almost got raped, but didn't? Yeah, that was HILARIOUS! What? I'm a dick because I don't want to talk about it? Good times."

This whole thing was such a snoozefest.


I have to disagree about it being a total snoozefest, although, I did indeed snooze through a bit of it. The best thing...the thing that made it worth my precious, sleep-deprived hour, was Richard Blais asking the five million questions in like a two-minute take. I laughed so loud I woke up my roommate.


I concur!
I just finished watching it and I wish I had that 44 minutes of my life back. What a waste of precious DVR space.
I did laugh at Fabio's "I don want to be the deeeek."
They are all total deeks.

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah

Two days later and I am still angry about the "culinary brothers of other mothers" quote.

I wonder how long he practiced saying that before filming this.

I bet he has a notebook full of catchphrases.


Turns out this episode seems even more horrible in my mind three days later.

When he said the "brothers from another mother" line I actually said "you're fired" aloud. I can't stand him. I also forgot Hung was there until you just mentioned it.



Check out 2:07 in the first preview video. Tiffani is indeed spelled Tiffani. http://www.alltopchef.com/2009/11/top-chef-reunion-dinner-special.html

Bravo has made spelling mistakes in their graphics before. The usually catch them before air-time though.

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah

I knew it!

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