Top Chef: All Stars

2006, TV Show

Top Chef Episode: "The Raw and the Cooked"

Season 2, Episode 7
Episode Synopsis: The chefs are challenged to whip up cuisine without the benefit of modern-day technology. Rafael Lunetta serves as guest judge.
Original Air Date: Dec 6, 2006

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Season 2, Episode 7
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Aired: 12/6/2006
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December 6, 2006: The Most Challenging Challenge Season 2, Episode 7

Was it Opposite Day on Top Chef or what? Sam, Cliff and Frank ending up in the Bottom 3? What gives? I did enjoy seeing the women in the Top 3, even though Elia continues to bug; but she's turning into quite the contender. Mia, Betty and Frank ended up in both the Bottom and the Top 3 during the episode. Luckily for Betty and Mia, their success happened in the elimination challenge. However, in my opinion, Frank was toast the minute he said that he was "on a roll," and I believe he uttered those words a minute into the show. It's like when Carlos said that he was A-OK with being in the middle, the middle was safe. I'm sorry, but when you're in the Bottom 3 with Cliff and Sam, just call it a day. There was no way those two were going home. At least one or both of those guys has a good chance of being in the finals. I had no problem with Frank going; I can't believe he's gone before Michael, but I had no problem with him getting eliminated. I also enjoyed that in the middle of these high-pressure challenges, we got a serious dose of the laid-back beach vibe. The chefs cooked for surfers; the guest judge was a chef and a surfer (he was so nice and didn't have anything really horrible to say); Padma, Michael and Marcel had their best Spicoli voices going on at various points during the elimination challenge; and Tom Colicchio on the beach in those shades, need I say more? Mike was hilarious when he was talking about Marcel mackin' on the 14-year-olds. I've gotta admit that Marcel trying to talk the same language as the surfers smacked of the unpopular kid trying to fit in with the cool kids, and it just wasn't working. The Quickfire: Create a mouth-watering entree in 30 minutes, without cooking any of it. Winner: Marcel Guest Judge: Raphael Lunetta Ilan had a problem with Marcel's watermelon steak - I kind of did, too. I thought it was innovative and the presentation was great, but didn't think that it would go over as well as some of the other dishes. Obviously, I didn't get to taste any of the dishes, but I really thought Elia's ahi tuna concoction looked right up my alley. I have to say, though, I liked anyone who didn't try creating a salad for this challenge. That seemed too easy to me - so sorry, Mia. I did dig the confessional insults between Mike and Frank: Mike said he hoped Frank would go home, and Frank felt Mike was a hack. Looks like Mike had the last laugh. And Marcel needed this win, but did he have to do the elimination dance? The Elimination: Cook a breakfast for some mystery athletes. The Catch: They find out what kitchen equipment is available only when they get to their destination. Winner: Elia Well, I had really hoped that Mia the barbecueologist would have pulled out the win here, especially since her Mama Mia's crab cakes benedict in a mango cream sauce was the surfers' favorite dish. I thought that would have counted for something. Elia's dish looked awesome, too, so I can see why she won. I was just hoping that the judges would recognize Mia's dish. This challenge started, and you literally saw that the women had everything under control. Meanwhile, the men were a bit flustered, even the usually unflustered Sam and Cliff. Mike forgot his eggs but was able rely on the kindness of his competitors, starting with Betty. He's one lucky dude - he would have been gone had he not gotten eggs from them. Gail was on the warpath about rubbery, brown or burnt charred eggs, wasn't she? I mean, I totally agree with her, but she wouldn't give that up. And I loved Tom's explanation for why Sam, Cliff and Frank were in the bottom 3: They couldn't recover with style. Again, it was clear from almost the beginning that Frank was the one that was going to go. The judges said Sam's flavors were there, but the execution, not so much. They all said that Cliff's dish was good, just sloppy in presentation. Why would Frank choose to make a quiche when the Quickfire was all about cooking with limitations, e.g., sans heat? I don't get it. Sometimes you have to stop being all pretentious about your dishes and recognize the art of simplicity. Topics to Discuss: - Marcel's elimination dance: Cute or cocky? - Were you shocked by who was in the Bottom 3? - Does Elia have what it takes to win the entire thing? - Gaining Strength: Elia - Mixed Results: Betty - Did what he had to do: Marcel - Needs to get his act together: Michael - No need to worry just yet: Cliff and Sam show less
Was it Opposite Day on Top Chef or what? Sam, Cliff and Frank ending up in the Bottom 3? What gives? I did enjoy seeing the women in the Top 3, even though Elia continues to bug; but she's turning into quite the contender. Mia, Betty and Frank ended up in both the Bottom and the Top 3 during the episode. Luckily for Betty and Mia, their success happened in the elimination challenge. However, in my opinion, Frank was toast the minute he said that he was "on a roll," and I believe he uttered those words a minute into the show. It's like when Carlos said that he was A-OK with being in the middle, the middle was safe. I'm sorry, but when you're in the Bottom 3 with Cliff and Sam, just call it a day. There was no way those two were going home. At least one or both of those guys has a good chance of being in the finals. I had no problem with Frank going; I can't believe he's gone before Michael, but I had no problem with him getting eliminated.I also enjoyed that in the middle of these hi... 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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