Wow - All Stars has brought tons of recappers out of the woodwork. If you know of others, please drop us a line at email@example.com and let us know so we can include them next time!
Cliffieland explains the premise of season 8: "We're in our eighth season and that can only mean one thing: It's time to forget about casting new talent when there are a bunch known quantities with their own fan base who can pump life into any aging reality competition series."
MinxEats on this season's contestants: "Tiffani "Dave Ain't Her Bitch, Bitch" Faison and Stephen "Top Sommelier" Asprinio from season 1; Elia "Bald is Beautiful" Aboumrad and Marcel "Wolverine" Vigneron from season 2; Tre "Shoulda Won" Wilcox, Dale "Briefly Dated PR's Jack Mackenroth" Levitski, and Casey "Carla Screwed Herself" Thompson from season 3; Dale "Crotch Grabber" Talde, Richard "Fauxhawk" Blais, Spike "Asshat" Mendelsohn, and Antonia "Poo Talker" Lofaso from season 4; Fabio "Eets Not Top Escallop!" Viviani, Carla "Casey Screwed Me, But You Won't Hear Me Blame Her" Hall, and Jamie "No, Stefan, No!" Lauren from season 5; Jennifer "The Fish Whisperer" Carroll and Michael "Douchebag" Isabella from season 6; and Tiffany "I'm Getting Married" Derry and Angelo "Inigo Montoya" Sosa from season 7."
David Dust on why he loves Dale Talde: "I love Dale because he’s a smack talking shorty who called out Chef Michael Chiarello on his douchery during Top Chef Masters."
Max the Girl on the season 2 re-cheftestants: "...I don’t know from Tiffani, who seems like someone not to be trifled with. As for the fussy, stuffy, dandyish Stephen, he seems like some sort of fake villain in a madcap farce (as played by French Stewart). Is this guy for real?"
Box Office Prophets on Marcel: "Marcel then shows up and talks about how great he is. If self-delusion were an art form, Marcel would be Picasso, The Beatles and Shakespeare all rolled into one. To our amusement, Tre shows up next and Marcel immediately tries to foster a relationship with him by using all of the dialogue that he learned from listening to that one Kanye West CD to relate to Tre on his terms. Friendly to a point of fault, Tre resists the temptation to pull a Cliff Crooks and shave off the entirety of Marcel’s body hair. We commend him for his discretion."
EW.com is excited about the judges this season: "ANTHONY BOURDAIN AS A FULL-TIME JUDGE. YES. YES. F--- YES."
MamaPop on the winning Quickfire dish: "Imma gonna have to take the judges’ word on the Chicago offering being delicious, because this photo looks exactly like something my dog left behind after getting into a combination of the trash and a box of crayons."
My Monkey Could Do That on the Elimination judging: "At the Russian Tea Room, everyone has 2 hours to prep. Tom comes in and tells them they’re going to serve in two groups. One group will cook while one will eat. Nice. Tom says they can comment or not, as if they’ll refrain from commenting. Winner of this challenge gets $10,000."
Eater on the dining situation: "Oh cool, lubricated by wine and television cameras, my competition is going to offer up self-serving criticism of something I've created. Neat this seems great let me listen!"
Jordan Baker on Spike's reinvention over the infamous "Scallopgate" dish: "Bourdain says he could’ve 'lived without the scallops' in Spike’s Pickled Mushrooms, Scallops, Lime Dressing with Hearts of Palm Salad because the flavor of them is so completely disguised, and thinks he’s 'the craftiest mothefucker who’s ever been on this show.'"
After Ellen on Fabio's issues with Bourdain: "Revenge is a dish best served while sitting next to Tony Bourdain. Well, unless you are Fabio, who seems to want to get into an alpha male pissing contest with him instead. Bad idea, Fabio, bad idea. I have watched that man eat decade-old Twinkie juice from a corroded pipe. He has no fear and will happily eat your heart for breakfast."
Culture Mob on common sense: "Gail and Tom harangue Elia into admitting that she didn’t test any of her dishes out before she sent them to the table...you get the impression that this is something that a neanderthal would have had the sense to do."
Buddy TV on the judges' final decisions: "They're not happy that Elia didn't "improve" on the dish. Fabio's dish was confusing and had no "nuance." Stephen's dish is compared to a colonoscopy."
Best Week Ever is makin' predictions: "One episode down, 700 left to go, and already we’re shaping up for a Richard / Angelo showdown, as both clearly could’ve won their respective seasons to begin with and are already re-proving themselves. I expect Tiffany, Jamie, Tre, Marcel, and Jennifer to stick around for a while — like Tiffani, I was 'waiting to be completely blown by Jen' — but if I’m a bettin’ man, I’m gelling my money up into Richard’s faux."
Procrastiblog offers some stray thoughts, including: "The rules of the Elimination challenge were somewhat unclear. Elia seemed to fall into the trap of sticking closely to her original preparation, whereas other contestants reproduced little more than the key ingredients. For example, Angelo jettisoned one of the key components of his original dish. And didn’t Tre get to rework the least problematic of his multiple losing dishes?"
YumSugar's guest poster, former cheftestant Ryan Scott on the winner: "Kudos to the dude that won. What's his name? Gosh, I only turned it off five minutes ago and I can't remember. Crap, neither can my girlfriend. Blame it on Fabio's pasta I just rolled up and smoked per Colicchio's suggestion."
The Washington Post offers a Top Chef All-Stars Vlog (warning - video plays automatically when site opens.
...not really a recap, but season 7 cheftestant Ed Cotton chats through the episode on Opentable.com.