Thursday, November 5, 2009

Reactions to the Top Chef All Stars Dinner Reunion Special

There was no new episode of Top Chef Las Vegas last night, but that's OK, since we did get a very special reunion episode, including some past season favorites (and not-so-favorites), including:

Season 1: Harold and Tiffani
Season 2: Marcel and Ilan
Season 3: Casey, Hung, and Dale
Season 4: Lisa and Richard Blais
Season 5: Carla and Stefan (and Fabio, who could not possibly be more adorable, as the host)

The chefs came together to hang out, go shopping, and cook a five course dinner that they then got to actually eat themselves without a judge in sight.

The show was all about rehashing - like a reality TV version of a Family Ties flashback episode - and from me, that is a major compliment. I loved the reminiscing and hearing what the cheftestants have to say about their behavior now. In summary: they've learned a lot and have grown up and they hate the knife block but love the people.

Some highlights:
  • Fauxhawks: so totally two years ago. Though heavy product is apparently still cool.
  • Lisa gets stopped on the street regularly and told that she's awesome.
  • Blais is still crazy competitive.
  • Stefan=Lesbian Opportuniwhore (credit: Tiffani).
  • Dale lives with Sarah from his season.
  • Chefs like box cakes as much as I do.
  • They also like to drink. A lot. Especially in the stew room, which Blais described as, "like college." I think I want to go there. If Bravo offered up one night in the stew room to a viewer, I might actually enter one of their little contests.
  • Marcel, despite his protestations, is still pretty whiny.
  • That said, he and Ilan cooked a salt-encrusted Thai snapper that looked amazing.
My favorite part of the episode, though, was Fabio's smackdown. Towards the end, at the dinner table, all the chefs were whining about having to revisit their seasons and talk about old drama. As he so elegantly reminded them, they were all free to turn down Bravo's offer to appear on the show. But now that they were there, they were going to talk.

Can't wait to see him on his own show. I love you, Fabio!

What did you think? Who's looking good? Who's not? Who did you miss? Who could you have lived with out? Any big surprises in the flashbacks? Please leave a comment with your thoughts...


Tina said...

I thought the special was mind-numbingly boring. I wish they'd used this opportunity to stage some kind of All-Star Challenge instead of simply trying to push people's button for the purposes of "drama."

Anonymous said...

I agree, the special was so boring that I turned it off with 15 minutes left to go. I might have tried to suffer through until the end if my favorite chefs (Stephanie, Dave Martin, LeeAnn) were there.

Deirdre said...

I really really liked it. I love to hear what old TC favorites are up to and I feel that they all got a good amount of screen time.
Personally, I wish it would have been longer. I DO wonder where some of the others "finalists" (I get that that was the them) like Dave, Sam, Stephanie were....
But, maybe they realized that 1 hour (with commericials) is just not enough time to cram everything in.
Thought Fabio did an awesome job and liked that he called people on their BS of how it was such a "drudgery" to bring up past tv drama....

Deirdre said...

I agree with some other posters (this site and others) that I would LOVE to see a season/best of contest of past Top Cheftestants ala Top chef Masters....they could definitely stretch out an entire off/summer season with it--good stuff!

Kit Pollard said...

Deirdre, from what I've read around the internet, it sounds like you and I are in the minority!

I agree with all of you, though. An AllStars competition would be great to watch. Though maybe not easy to recruit, given everybody's reaction to the knife block. It might be Blais vs. Blais. He's the only one who seems that excited about the competition.

Cliff O'Neill said...

Well, I found it entertaining. But I couldn't bring myself to recap it, since it amounted to "this person is like this" and "this person is MORE like this." And I can't make hay out of that.

That said, I did like it.

But Marcel is a bigger schmuck than I had thought he was back then. And that's saying something.

Plus, there's this whole ethic of "it should be about the food" which I sense from (let's say the majority of) the cheftestants who have been on the show.

Yea for them for that. But it's NOT why I watch. Yes, the food's grand. But I can't taste it and I CERTAINLY can't cook it. It's the personal drama around the food that keeps me watching. And if these people don't get that they're on a reality show, they really shouldn't have signed on.

That's one reason I wouldn't go on one myself, since I know I'd have to deal with that stuff and I wouldn't want to.