David Dust on the QF host: "On this week’s episode, the Cheftestants meet at Le Bernardin instead of in the Top Chef kitchen. They are greeted by a haggard-looking Padma – who appears as if she spent the last 20 years drinking and smoking too much in Third World countries while getting very little sleep. Oh. Wait. Never mind – that’s Anthony Bourdain, not Padma."
My Monkey Could Do That on Marcel's maybe-allergy: "Marcel, apparently, used to be allergic to fish, but because he’s so damn awesome he just ignored the pain and now he’s not allergic to them anymore. That’s too bad. It would have been interesting to see him try to butcher the fish with swollen hands."
Jordan Baker on Super-Size Me: "There’s a chinois issue between Marcel and Mike – Mike asks Marcel where they are and Marcel says 'back there' and won’t be any more specific and won’t share the one he’s already brought out once Mike can’t find them. . .it’s really immature and tiresome. They could've cut this and saved a chunk of the 15 minutes they tacked onto the episode."
Monkeys As Critics on clueless: "Things start out exactly how one might expect. Dale’s team comes together instantly, picking a fun concept (Bodega) and running with it. Meanwhile, Marcel is shocked, absolutely shocked, when his team completely ignores him. Really, Marcel? Is he completely unaware of how much his teammates seem to dislike him?"
Serious Eats on Fabioisms: "What would an episode of Top Chef All Stars be without a memorable cooking metaphor from Fabio? 'Dale picked a good team that can run a marathon,' he said. 'But Marcel picked a team of sprinters. Cooking is a marathon. Marcel, you are going DOWN.' More importantly, Fabio's neck completely disappeared as he was talking. That's how you know he REALLY means business."
Speakeasy on restaurant themes: "Right away, Dale proposes a bodega theme, people agree and the team starts tossing out ideas. Meanwhile, Marcel can’t get past the concept thing before he’s throwing his weight around, cycling between condescension and passive aggression ('Focus!' 'How many times do I have to tell you…' 'No one is listening to me!')."
Cliffieland on restaurant names: "Meanwhile, Marcel's team is a general mess, with Biz Marcel wanting to call the place Medi (as in, "the food will make you want to run to the medicine cabinet"). The rest of the team ignores him. He does not take this well and starts a diss war which will rival the Tupac/Biggie throwdowns of yore."
Max the Girl on Blais' early career: "Yup, Professor Blais, gastrobiologist to the stars, was once the fish fry guy for McDonald’s. One can only hope that the fast food chain is constructing an advertising campaign around him as we speak. “McDonald’s: Where sophisticated palates are born.” He can be their Jared."
Grub Street on flashbacks: "Ludo Lefebvre stood waiting for the chefs back in their own kitchen, where Padma explained that Lefebvre had just finished a pop-up restaurant. Obviously none of the chefs could tell this was a very blatant clue that this week's challenge was Restaurant Wars. However, once she announced it, Fabio exploded with glee (let us all remember the line, "We could serve monkey ass and empty clam shells and still win") and we were treated to some flashbacks that mostly served to remind us just how much nicer the picture is in HD."
Buddy TV on Tom's visit: "They will be cooking at The Foundry, with 5 hours to prep. It's a pretty cool outdoor cooking. Of course, Tom has to come bug them in the middle. Marcel blows him off, not without justification. Tom wonders about whether non-bodega food fits in the bodega theme. Tom also announces the little news that only one person will win, and the prize is $10,000. No pressure there."
Fabio Viviani (yes, that Fabio Viviani) on losing one's cool in the kitchen: "Dale gets all pissy and trash talk to my server: MISTAKE. No one talk shit when I’m around, we smile, be nice and move on, a pissed off server cause the Chef is a dick will only hurt the customer overall experience, so Dale please shut the hell up and give me those freaking eggs !! Next time you act like a Nazi when I’m around in the kitchen i will take you with me to Lake Michigan and use you as a water board…. clear ?? Love you Brother !!"
Minxeats on the results: "Team Loser is brought out for another browbeating. Bourdain tells them that prison breaks are organized with more efficiency and teamwork than Etch. Eventually the Black Hammer comes down on Marcel, whom we knew was the loser of this episode from pretty much the first ten minutes."