Top Chef: All Stars

2006, TV Show

Top Chef Episode: "Restaurant Wars"

Season 3, Episode 8
Episode Synopsis: There will likely be big beefs when the chefs are challenged to cook up bold burgers. Then, the gang must create a restaurant concept, complete with menu and meals. Chef Daniel Boulud is the guest judge.
Original Air Date: Aug 15, 2007

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Season 3, Episode 8
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Length: 44:03
Aired: 8/15/2007
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"Restaurant Wars" Season 3, Episode 8

This was the week that the chefs look forward to the most. This was the chance to basically open up your own restaurant for a day and do everything from scratch. A freeform menu with no restrictions; a blank canvas for a dining area that they can decorate any way they choose; and the chance to really show what the end result of winning this competition could be. And boy, did these eight screw it up. We start with the Quickfire, which no longer results in immunity but instead will result in a favorable start in the elimination challenge for the winner. In this case, the winner got to choose his own team for restaurant wars. Top Chef brings in Daniel Boluud, whom the chefs consider one of the top 10 chefs in the country, if not the world. One of the things he is famous for is a burger that costs $120! Lord. That better be the best thing I have ever and will ever eat in my life. It better be 40 pounds and 9 feet wide. Anyway, the challenge is to create a unique burger, sort of like the famous ones at Red Robin restaurants. Honestly, sometimes I don't get some of these chefs. I like to think I'm an average guy. So I'm speaking for the average person here by saying that I'm not really going for healthy when I go out for a burger. I want juicy, tender, mouthwatering meat with something flavorful on or in it. I don't want to have it come without a role or looking like a sandwich - just give me a burger. Why was it necessary for Sara to come up with some healthy crab burger on a bed of lettuce? Or Tre doing a surf-and-turf patty that definitely looked like a normal old sandwich? Howie made a burger. Although Dale used tuna, he made something that resembled a burger. But it was C.J. with a scallop mousse and shrimp burger that won it. Sounded gross to me, but who am I to judge? C.J. gets the immediate advantage of getting to choose the team he works with. So he takes Casey, Brian and Tre. On paper it seemed good to avoid the egos of Howie and of Hung in particular, but C.J. chose a team that had no front-of-the-house experience, which hurt them in the end. You'd think the other team of Dale, Hung, Howie and Sara would murder each other, but they work pretty well together for a change. People like Hung and Howie always talk about not worrying about making friends and how sometimes you have to be an idiot, but here's where being nice to people pays off. C.J. picks his team right away based on who he likes the most, and he leaves the cranky people to work together. And here, my friends, is where it all starts going downhill. First of all, Restaurant April is a stupid name. I mean, I'm not saying C.J.'s sister is stupid, but just say out loud, "Let's go to Restaurant April, Grandma Zelda," and see how awkward that sounds. Grandma Zelda would be confused. Grandma Zelda is also 98 so that confusion might always be there, but my point is: Be a little more creative than that, please. In this restaurant the judges get dusty plates and no silverware and Brian gets so flustered that Casey had to bring out a dish. And of course, that dish had Tre's oversmoked potatoes. Seems the only thing they did correctly was dessert. Well, at least they also didn't use scented candles like The Garage. The secret blogger trying the food disliked the black table cloths and said they were "very Billy Idol and I don't want to eat off of Billy Idol." Personally, I thought the look went great for a garage but then again, who am I to judge? I mean, I'm a blogger too and no one texted me about being a secret critic. Hmpf. Dale likes his own design, saying that " Queer Eye's got nothing on my a--." But apparently Ted and his buddies do, since they collectively think it's bad. I think once they get the first whiff of the vanilla candles, though, everything goes south. At least with The Garage, the judges like both Hung's amuse-bouche and Dale's tableside presentation. But the risotto is very late to come out and the whole menu is too heavy for their tastes. The comments from the patrons are interesting. I can't believe that one writes that Brian needed some Right Guard. (Smelling good goes great with Bombay Sapphire Mango.) Other than the undercover blogger, does anyone know how they choose the people to be "extras" for contests like this? I can just picture Zeke, the 17-year-old intern on the streets of Miami having this conversation: Zeke: Can I stop you for moment? You two look like the perfect couple to get a free meal on Bravo. It will be cooked by eight top chefs. Well, actually it will be cooked by eight people trying to be top chefs, one of which will probably sweat in your food. Now, you are going to get nice little bites of each thing and you must eat all of it. Couple: What if we don't like it? Zeke: Force it down anyway. And really, you're probably going to want to hit McDonalds after you leave, so the bad flavors will be gone soon enough, just in case some silly guy decides to make cauliflower ice cream. Couple: This doesn't sound good. Zeke: You'll get to meet Ted Allen. Couple: Now why didn't you say that from the start? I'm in! Anyway, the only person of the eight the judges don't say anything bad about (or anything that doesn't make the cut) is Casey. So I am ready to assume she's won and that Howie is going home. But then, the twist happens. No one goes home and they get to do it again the next night. A giant friggin' do-over. The last time I had a do-over, I was playing kickball with a bunch of 14-year-olds. So what a joke. A great episode but a disappointing ending. They all stink. I know the judges want to see the chefs do better, but suck it up and eliminate one of them. All I know is that next week every one of them better bring it full-on or we could have multiple people going home. Until next week, friends. Have you sampled our Online Video Guide yet? You can watch some great Top Chef clips there. Give it a shot! show less
This was the week that the chefs look forward to the most. This was the chance to basically open up your own restaurant for a day and do everything from scratch. A freeform menu with no restrictions; a blank canvas for a dining area that they can decorate any way they choose; and the chance to really show what the end result of winning this competition could be. And boy, did these eight screw it up.We start with the Quickfire, which no longer results in immunity but instead will result in a favorable start in the elimination challenge for the winner. In this case, the winner got to choose his own team for restaurant wars. Top Chef brings in Daniel Boluud, whom the chefs consider one of the top 10 chefs in the country, if not the world. One of the things he is famous for is a burger that costs $120! Lord. That better be the best thing I have ever and will ever eat in my life. It better be 40 pounds and 9 feet wide. Anyway, the challenge is to create a unique burger, sort of like the ... read more

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Ted Allen, Tom Colicchio, Top Chef, Padma Lakshmi

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Premiered: March 08, 2006, on Bravo
Rating: TV-14
User Rating: (309 ratings)
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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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