Dec. 2, 2010 at 1:29 PM ET
Liane Bonin of HitFix.com writes: I don’t think it’s possible to be too excited about “Top Chef: All-Stars,” which promises to be a smorgasbord of fabulous food, long-simmering hostilities and chefs melting down faster than a block of Velveeta on microwave nachos. Like on any reality all-stars competition, the returning competitors know exactly what to expect (more or less) and who they’re up against (at least if they’ve been watching the show), so we get to skip over some of the more boring “getting to know you” episodes and cut right to the chase. Likewise, let’s get to it!
First up, we’re re-introduced to all the chefs with the occasional educational flashback, but let’s just sum up by saying everyone really, really wants to win and pretty much everyone seems to be exactly the same as they were in their individual seasons. I am curious to see if Spike really has grown and emerged from kitchen rat to a classy chef, but as long as he keeps wearing those little hats, I’ll always have my suspicions the kitchen rat isn’t far from the surface.
The early stand-outs are Richard and Angelo, though I do have a fondness for Carla, the super nice chef whose insecurity got her eliminated in her season. Plus, she occasionally calls out “hooty-hoo” for no apparent reason. How can you not root for an underdog like that?
On the flip side, Fabio and Mike always seemed to have more faith in their abilities than was completely deserved (although, egos aside, they always seemed like nice guys). Marcel, however, still seems like a twerp. But speaking of Fabio, I’m sorry his far more talented buddy Stefan didn’t make it back, but I guess he needs to keep an eye on Stefan’s at L.A. Farm (where he serves those dessert lollipops that got him eliminated on “TC,” so I’m guessing he’s not feeling much love for the judges anyway).
For the Quickfire Challenge, the chefs divide into teams according to season, then must create a dish inspired by the city where their season was hosted. Oh, and they have 25 minutes to cook, as it is a Quickfire, after all.