Top Chef: All Stars

2006, TV Show

Top Chef Episode: "Second Helping"

Season 3, Episode 9
Episode Synopsis: The chefs must shuck, chop and whip in a culinary-based relay race. Chef Geoffrey Zakarian is the guest judge.
Original Air Date: Aug 22, 2007

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Season 3, Episode 9
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Aired: 8/22/2007
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"Second Helping" Season 3, Episode 9

Holy beef tenderloin, Batman! I usually like going in order when discussing an episode, and the past episodes this season really haven't had anything that shocking that would make me deviate from that norm. But this week was mighty different, wouldn't you say? I have to start off talking about the shocker: Tre is outta here. So many of you thought he was the favorite and even though I still think Dale's going to win, I can't say I would have totally disagreed with you in that assumption about Tre. But here it is with Dale, Howie, Brian and Sara all still in the competition while the talented Tre is packing his knives. The choice to send him packing wasn't wrong, either. Tre's been hit-or-miss this season, but when he's on, he's on. However, both Ted and guest judge Geoffrey Zakarian of Country, thought Tre's wild king salmon was one of the worst meals they'd ever had. Not just bad: the worst they'd ever had. We are still calling these people Top Chefs now, right? A crappy dish is one thing, but nothing should ever be so bad that people want to chuck it back at you. And on top of it, he chooses an apple-and-brioche bread pudding for the final course and he doesn't even really know how to make it. (By the way, if you are ever in the Pottstown, Pennsylvania, area just outside of Philadelphia and want a fabulous bread pudding, look up Angelina's Italian Kitchen. It's absolutely to die for. And I usually don't even like bread pudding!) Tre's exit is certainly shocking, but the fact that Restaurant April seemed to do worse than the first time around is bad in and of itself. The salmon was terrible, the lobster salad was too salty, the monkfish and beef tenderloin were no good, and the dish closed with the aforementioned crappy pudding. C.J. could have gone home - he seemed to take a backseat the whole time. Brian could have as well, because, well, he didn't seem to do anything at all. The new Quatre team really took last week's criticism to heart, even though Howie thought the bloggers' comments were bull. They were kicked hard and came back with some fire. Their dishes impressed the judges, and me. There have been a few dishes this season that I would have loved to try, but I think the mint gnocchi is the highest on my list so far. The only glaring flaw was that Dale was wearing a polo shirt and jeans. As long as they were clean, that wouldn't bother me; I care more about the food that's being placed in front of me than the person serving it. That said, I couldn't stand listening to Steven in Season 1 and I couldn't stand him as the sommelier for Quatre, either. Fine, explain the wine to me, pour it and get away. Let me drink what you put in front of me without having to hear endless chatter in my ear. Again, though, that comes from someone who doesn't drink wine. Maybe a wine connoisseur wants to know that info, but even then, there still must be a point where enough is enough. The look on Steven's face when Dale told him to tone it down was priceless. Between the competition, him and Madonna's brother - Christopher Ciccone - all in this one, we really did revisit a lot of things. Continuing the backwards movement this week, we end with the Quickfire. This was a neat little one, a little speed test to see how quickly the chefs could work. Sara was a monster with those onions, and those chickens must have been scared of Hung and just separated themselves. Of course, Casey stuck out like a sore thumb. What the heck was she doing with her onions? Even though I fear I'd cut my pinkie off and cry after like five seconds of touching an onion, I could probably dice them faster than she did. If that's the fastest she can move, how could she ever get anything done in her kitchen? She was meticulously cutting each slice, like the general population would. Sara, meanwhile, was cutting like a chef, blazing through each onion. Sara was impressive tonight, wasn't she? Between those onions and her taking charge in the restaurant war, she really stepped up her game. Good to see one of the ladies taking charge. I'm also extremely happy about this Quickfire because it didn't make me want to pig out. Last week forced me to go to Red Robin and get a burger. (I swear, it dragged me by the ear, threw me in a booth and forced an A1 peppercorn burger on me with two orders of bottomless steak fries. Really. Scout's honor.) So, those of you who thought Tre was the hand-down favorite to win: who now? Next week is the reunion show that aired before the first episode this season, so there will be no blog, which is good, because I'm on vacation, too. I'm so glad Bravo has access to my calendar. See you in two weeks, friends. Don't forget to check out our Online Video Guide for clips from Top Chef . show less
Holy beef tenderloin, Batman! I usually like going in order when discussing an episode, and the past episodes this season really haven't had anything that shocking that would make me deviate from that norm. But this week was mighty different, wouldn't you say? I have to start off talking about the shocker: Tre is outta here. So many of you thought he was the favorite and even though I still think Dale's going to win, I can't say I would have totally disagreed with you in that assumption about Tre. But here it is with Dale, Howie, Brian and Sara all still in the competition while the talented Tre is packing his knives. The choice to send him packing wasn't wrong, either. Tre's been hit-or-miss this season, but when he's on, he's on. However, both Ted and guest judge Geoffrey Zakarian of Country, thought Tre's wild king salmon was one of the worst meals they'd ever had. Not just bad: the worst they'd ever had. We are still calling these people Top Chefs now, right? A crappy dish is on... read more

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Other Links:
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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