Top Chef: All Stars

2006, TV Show

Top Chef Episode: "Into the Fire"

Season 2, Episode 1
Episode Synopsis: Fifteen diverse cooks take to the kitchen to vie for culinary honors. In the first challenge, they must create a flambé dish. Then, they must whip up original cuisine using five designated ingredients found in a mystery box.
Original Air Date: Oct 18, 2006

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Season 2, Episode 1
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Aired: 10/18/2006
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October 18, 2006: The Liver Was Like, "Hello, I'm a Liver." Season 2, Episode 1

I was kind of depressed after finding out who won Project Runway, so right about now I really wish I had some of Mia's Southern fried comfort food to keep me company. Aside from that, it's such a good thing that Top Chef is back for Season 2. A new host, new parameters for our man Tom Callichio and Season 1 winner Harold all made for a good episode. Not quite sure if I'm going to dig these finalists as much as I enjoyed last season's dysfunctional group, but I'm willing to reserve judgment and make that call at a later date. Topics of discussion: -Is Marcel the new Stephen? -What do you think of Padma? Right off the bat, it seems like Marcel has that arrogant, cocky thing going for him. He doesn't have that upturned nose and "does something smell" expression on his face that was just so Stephen, but he's already seeing himself as the resident threat. Give him a little time and he'll be lecturing everyone on the benefits of being a sommelier and the origins of the turnip. By the way, during Season 1, I wasn't a big fan of Stephen's, but I grew to love him. I think it was because of that reunion episode! As for Padma: I say, Mrs. Joel who? Sorry, I just really thought Padma brought some life to the festivities, not to mention the fact that she's drop-dead gorgeous. Tom's ditched the mentor duties, I think. I say "I think" because even though he's now strictly the head judge, he still seems like he's trying to do a little mentoring. Bringing back Harold as guest judge was very cool. He looked a little bit nervous, but he contributed to the conversation and the critiques. Let's talk about the contestants. Apparently, there's no one in the Midwest suitable enough to compete for the title of Top Chef. Everyone worked in New York, California or Las Vegas, with only Carlos branching out and doing his chef thing in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. What's up with that? So far, Mia, Betty, Frank, Ilan and Emily (along with that constant sour look on her face) are impressing me. However, I'm sure my assessment will change every week. We got our first drunken finalist (Michael); our first crash and burn (Suyai); and that Marisa girl. It's Episode 1 and already she's yakking about how she will use her sexuality to her advantage. Boo. Save that for The Bachelor or Hell's Kitchen. We don't need that on Top Chef; you just need to be able to cook. We also get the first declaration of not being here to make friends, but being here for the food (Marcel). I'm sure we'll get the "I'm not here to make friends, I'm here to win" variation next week. Quickfire challenge (winner gets immunity): Create a flambé dishWinner: Sam. Marcel's banana and avocado concoction intrigued me and it was unfortunate that Suyai didn't know how to flambé. Lesson of the day: It's difficult to flambé using red wine. Sucks to be Elia. Elimination challenge: Use mysterious box ingredients and make some mealsWinner: Ilan Did you guys think that the orange team had it out for Marcel? I think he deserved it just a little bit, but probably not enough to land him in the bottom four. Poor Suyai. Just like Tom said, she didn't seem ready to be in this competition. In the quickfire challenge, she didn't know how to flambé, and then she exhibited some confidence issues that crushed her chances to move ahead. She was the logical one to go, but I have to admit that I liked her and really wanted to see her back for one more week. I was actually pulling for Carlos to go home, on the other hand. He was all about his four-star this and that; I can't believe he whipped up some sort of potato pancake covered in Velveeta (that's what it looked like). He's lucky that Suyai ruined her chances by admitting to defeat when Tom came around to assess everyone during the challenge. Some other thoughts: - I have a feeling that every other word out of drunk Mike's mouth is going to be "killer." For some reason, he reminds me of Larry Joe Campbell from ABC's According to Jim. - You think they'll bring Tiffani back at all? - I loved Elia going off on the American cheese. - Loved the Season 2 preview. Again, don't know if I'm going to like this cast as much as last season's. I mean, I don't think we're going to get anyone to give us something like emotional Dave did. How classic was it when he uttered: "I'm not your bitch, bitch." That was one of my all-time favorite lines. But, it looks like things are going to get interesting with the new cast, so I'm looking forward to the coming weeks. Hope you are, too. show less
I was kind of depressed after finding out who won Project Runway, so right about now I really wish I had some of Mia's Southern fried comfort food to keep me company. Aside from that, it's such a good thing that Top Chef is back for Season 2. A new host, new parameters for our man Tom Callichio and Season 1 winner Harold all made for a good episode. Not quite sure if I'm going to dig these finalists as much as I enjoyed last season's dysfunctional group, but I'm willing to reserve judgment and make that call at a later date. Topics of discussion:-Is Marcel the new Stephen?-What do you think of Padma?Right off the bat, it seems like Marcel has that arrogant, cocky thing going for him. He doesn't have that upturned nose and "does something smell" expression on his face that was just so Stephen, but he's already seeing himself as the resident threat. Give him a little time and he'll be lecturing everyone on the benefits of being a sommelier and the origins of the turnip. By the way, du... read more

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Premiered: March 08, 2006, on Bravo
Rating: TV-14
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Premise: A reality competition in which aspiring chefs compete for culinary stardom. Each episode features two challenges---a short test of basic cooking skills and an elimination challenge, in which one failing contestant is sent packing.

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