Top Chef: All Stars

2006, TV Show

Top Chef Episode: "Thanksgiving"

Season 2, Episode 6
Episode Synopsis: The contestants cook up Thanksgiving dinner and are challenged to prepare cuisine using only canned goods. Anthony Bourdain serves as guest judge.
Original Air Date: Nov 22, 2006

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Season 2, Episode 6
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Aired: 11/22/2006
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November 22, 2006: Give Thanks for Chocolate Meltdowns & Delusional Beliefs Season 2, Episode 6

In honor of Thanksgiving, I'm going to give thanks to this latest crop of Top Chef hopefuls for being so freakin' dysfunctional. Thank you for Marcel's arrogance (seems to be the word of the day with a few of these chefs); Betty's temper; Carlos' mantra that middle is good; Tom Colicchio's sheer frustration with this bunch; Elia's chocolate meltdown after losing the Quickfire challenge; Anthony Bourdain's colorful critcism; and, well, thank you Mike, for just being Mike. Quickfire challenge: Make a tasty dish using canned goods Winner: Sam, Cliff, Ilan, Frank & Mia Guest Judge: Tom Colicchio Loved Tom judging this challenge - I'm a big proponent of using Tom as much as possible. It was clear that those who chose to make some sort of salad with the canned food ingredients were going to have the most success. After all, they only had 15 minutes to complete this task. The show mixed things up by granting five of the chefs immunity: Sam, Cliff, Ilan, Frank and Mia. Last week, I wrote that she needed a good showing. And in the midst of telling us how she and her mom were once homeless, Mia stepped up to the plate with her 15-minute salad, earning her immunity and a day off. I guess I get where Elia was sort of coming from; Tom admitted he liked both her fruit salad and the beef hash - he just didn't think those two should have been served together. This odd pairing landed her on the loser's list and it sent her on a whine-filled journey that we were forced to endure. Elimination Challenge: Make Thanksgiving Dinner - but give it an innvoative twist Winner: Elia Guest Judge: Anthony Bourdain The task for the Bottom 5 was to cook Thanksgiving dinner for Tom, Gail, guest judge Anthony Bourdain and the Top 5 in four hours. The dishes had to be cutting edge, less traditional and more avant-garde. Unfortunately, most of the chefs forgot about that part of the competition. Marcel: With his turkey roulade and cranberry gelée, he was the one chef who at least tried to adhere to the rules of the challenge. All the judges recognized this, they just didn't completely like the execution. Michael: He seemed to go for broke in the most non-innovative way ever, creating turkey and egg toast canape, 2 different potatoes, a corn and a cheese plate. How classic was it when Bourdain praised his twice-baked potato despite it's "absolute Flinstonian execution?" He even seemed astounded at Mike's delusional belief in himself; and couldn't help admiring him for that. I loved all of his comments regarding Mike - they were hilarious. Betty: She's disappointed two weeks in a row. This time she let loose with her creme brulee and when confronted with the fact that her dessert was neither creme brulee nor was it particularly innovative, she actually said that that's not her thing - comfort food was her thing. I know she probably just couldn't come up with a valid defense for her creation, but come on. This is Top Chef, not Comfort Food Chef; being well-rounded is the name of the game. Plus, she laid blame for her dessert on the fact that she elicited the help of two other people and that she should have done it all herself. What? Betty's quickly gone from a contender to someone that's barely holding on in two short weeks. She's also letting her temper get to her and - I can't believe I'm saying this - she's overreacting when it comes to Marcel. Sure, he's an annoying presence on the show, but he's starting to win some of their arguments and it's not making her look good. It also doesn't help that the judges asked her for her thoughts on who should go home and she didn't name names until everyone else had named names. Saying it with such "convction" after the fact doesn't mean she went out on a limb, it made her look kind of sad. Elia: She pretty much whined the entire hour. The whole chocolate facial and the licking of the whisk was more weird than comic relief. Plus, she acted so arrogant that she actually questioned Tom's preference for Cliff's Quickfire dish. That's unacceptable in my book. Sure, she won this elimination challenge for her mushroom soup. But it seemed like a hollow victory; it seemed like the judges had to award it to someone, so they gave it to her because it tasted good; not because it was cutting edge. Carlos: Somehow got stuck with the salad course. He pretty much took four hours to put together what Anthony labeled "pedestrian." He channeled his Episode 1 behavior (read: arrogance) and at one point blurted out: "Be Nice!" I understand he needed to defend his dish and his use of time, but the attitude was not cool and so I agree with the judges: he had to go home. Topics to discuss: - Betty vs. Marcel: who do you think won the latest battle? - Has Betty peaked? - Why does Mike keeping getting saved from elimination? - What did you think about Sam sort of instigating a confrontation between Frank and Marcel over the toiletries on the floor? Did Frank overreact? Was Marcel in the wrong? - The contenders: Cliff, Sam & Ilan - Fading fast: Betty - Needs a win: Marcel For those of you not up to speed on all things Top Chef, Bravo's showing a Season 2 marathon Thanksgiving day. show less
In honor of Thanksgiving, I'm going to give thanks to this latest crop of Top Chef hopefuls for being so freakin' dysfunctional. Thank you for Marcel's arrogance (seems to be the word of the day with a few of these chefs); Betty's temper; Carlos' mantra that middle is good; Tom Colicchio's sheer frustration with this bunch; Elia's chocolate meltdown after losing the Quickfire challenge; Anthony Bourdain's colorful critcism; and, well, thank you Mike, for just being Mike.Quickfire challenge: Make a tasty dish using canned goodsWinner: Sam, Cliff, Ilan, Frank & MiaGuest Judge: Tom ColicchioLoved Tom judging this challenge — I'm a big proponent of using Tom as much as possible. It was clear that those who chose to make some sort of salad with the canned food ingredients were going to have the most success. After all, they only had 15 minutes to complete this task. The show mixed things up by granting five of the chefs immunity: Sam, Cliff, Ilan, Frank and Mia. Last week, I wro... 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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