Top Chef

Top Chef Masters 3

After not sending any chefs packing last week, Top Chef All Stars returns tonight with an all new episode.

On the 13th episode this season titled “Fit for a King,” the chefs set sail for the Bahamas, and each participates in a culinary duel against the person who was crowned the winner during their first stint on the show. Later, they create meals for Bahamian royalty, but it’s a royal pain with limited cooking equipment.

And back to last week’s episode as show judge Gail Simmons revealed this week in her Entertainment Weekly blog that the show’s producers were not too happy with the judges decision to not eliminate anyone. Below is an excerpt –

“When we got to Judges’ Table, we realized there was no way to penalize any of them for what they had made. We, for the first time, were at a stalemate. We just couldn’t think of a legitimate reason to get rid of anyone. But I don’t want anyone to think that this is setting a precedent. This is not the point of the show. It took probably an hour of begging our producers to let us do it. They kept us there for a while, saying “Guys, deal with it. Make a decision.” Then finally, after a long time of hashing it out and none of us feeling comfortable, we decided to bring everyone to the finale. Rest assured, we will be eliminating every single person except one in the finale.”

The new episode airs on Bravo at 10/9c. A preview clip is below.

Meanwhile, Bravo announced this week that Top Chef Masters will return next month with a brand new format and 12 new award-winning chefs hungry to compete for the title of “Top Chef Master” and win $100,000 for their charity.

On the new season, the masters will no longer be judged on a scale, but in elimination style challenges similar to the format of the original Top Chef. In each episode, money will be at stake, with the winners of every quickfire challenge winning $5,000 and elimination challenges winning $10,000 for their designated charities.

As previously announced, celebrity chef Curtis Stone will serve as the newly appointed host of the series along with returning judge and culinary expert, James Oseland, and new series judge, the legendary food critic and author, Ruth Reichl. Season three of Top Chef Masters will premiere Wednesday, April 6 at 11 p.m. ET/PT and will move to its regular time period on April 13 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

A preview clip of tonight’s Top Chef episode is below –

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON TONIGHT’S NEW EPISODE PLUS ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT THE RETURN OF TOP CHEF MASTERS? DO YOU AGREE WITH THE JUDGE’S DECISION TO NOT ELIMINATE ANYONE LAST WEEK?

While this season of Top Chef All Stars had brought us some surprising eliminations (Fabio, Angelo anyone?), the elimination of Dale Talde however seemed to be the most surprising yet as he had performed solidly all season, and won a number of competitions.

In a new interview with TV Guide, the Season 4 alum talks the potato dish that got him eliminated, whether Angelo Sosa was really of help to him, his newer calmer self, plus his opinion on Chicken Oyster-gate.

Excerpts from Dale’s interview below –

Did you think you were getting cut after Judges’ Table?
Dale:
I wasn’t confident about my dish. When you don’t feel good about your dish, you feel like you have a chance to go home. … I should’ve asked the judges to wait [for service]. If I literally had five more minutes, [the potatoes] would’ve been cooked through.

So what happened? You put in a new batch of potatoes?
Dale:
I did. We were going to cook à la minute with them, and they came on us a little faster than we thought. I ended up kind of freaking out and serving. … I never thought [about not serving the potatoes]. It was part of the dish. And the croutons were just too mustard-y. Paula Deen is a mayonnaise girl. If you watch her show, she just puts mayonnaise on everything.

How much did Angelo help? It didn’t seem to be an advantage to get him since he was just eliminated and is coming off back-to-back seasons.
Dale:
He helped me a lot, but I mean, put yourself in his position. Fifty-two straight challenges for that guy. That’s crazy. Crazy! I mean, really, it’s masochistic. It’s like, why put yourself through that again? But he did. Sometimes you have no more gas in tank. … He did [try to talk me up]. He saw me with my head down and he was like, “Dude, you’ve got to get your head up. Keep your head up, man.” He’s a buddy of mine. He’s my merman. He’s helped here at [Buddakan]. He opened the restaurant.

You’ve been open about taking anger-management classes after Season 4. How important was it for you to come back and show everyone you’ve changed?
Dale:
I came back to compete! [Laughs] One, I love to cook, and two, I love competition. I’m one of those failed athletes by genetics. I’m not an athlete because I’m 5-foot-5 and I’m flat-footed and my ankles are terrible. If I could’ve been an athlete, I would’ve tried to, but I love to compete. A lot of it was trying to show people I’m a lot more mature this time around. I didn’t like who I was. I didn’t like seeing myself like that. You really see yourself in a different light when you’re put in front of millions of people. Some people dig it and some are like, “You’re kind of a jerk.” When your mom is embarrassed of your behavior, it says something. I don’t ever want to put my parents in a position where they’re embarrassed to see me. … The [fan reaction] has been unbelievable. [The show] really showed me in a great light and I appreciate that.

What’s your take on Chicken Oyster-gate?
Dale:
You can’t patent food, but you also can’t straight-up tell people that you ripped this dude’s dish off and you won $5,000 and shove it in his face. That sucks. Mike should’ve told [Richard], “You gave me some inspiration.” To be honest, we all [get inspired]. That’s why we go out to eat. That’s our job. I have to. My owner says, “Dale, you have to eat out twice a week and tell me where you’re eating, and it has to be food that’s relevant to New York City.” I have to take inspiration from that.

Dale also adds that he is currently looking for investors regarding two of his concepts — a Thai/seafood restaurant and a Bodega. As of the moment, he just took a position with a company with Stephen Starr, the culinary director of Buddakan.

Moving on to tonight’s all new episode, the five remaining chefs will create food fare on the open water. Later, they will take a journey to Ellis Island to whip up dishes based on their family tree. The new super-sized episode airs on Bravo at 10/9c. A preview clip is below –

TELL – THOUGHTS ON DALE’S INTERVIEW & TONIGHT’S EPISODE OF TOP CHEF?

Ai ya ya! Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi is proving you can be sexy at any age!

The 40-year-old mother of one, who gave birth to daughter Krishna just one year ago, showed off her amazing bikini body as she took a dip in the ocean on Sunday in Nassau in the Bahamas.

As for how she snapped back so quickly after giving birth, Padma credits water. “I drink a ton of water,” she told UsWeekly last December. “Water really flushes everything out.”

Padma is currently in the middle on a nasty custody battle with her daughter’s father Adam Dell, brother to billionaire Michael Dell of Dell Inc. Adam filed a suit for full custody on Jan. 25, with his lawyer, Bill Zabel, stating Adam is upset with the amount of time Padma allows him to have with his daughter.

Sources reveal Adam is also upset with the name Padma chose for his daughter and is unhappy he is not even listed on her birth certificate. According to the filing, he’s asking for his name to be officially listed as the father and for Krishna to take his last name along with Padma’s.

Moving on to tonight’s episode of Top Chef’s All Stars. On the all new episode titled ‘For The Gulf,’ the remaining meal mavens employ a deep fryer in an attempt to please culinary star Paula Deen’s precise palate. Later, the chefs serve up seafood at an event that benefits fishermen of the Gulf region. Paula and chef John Besh are guest judges.

Thoughts On The Season – I finally caught all the episodes of this season thanks to Monday’s marathon and whoa! I have been missing out. What a great season with the all stars! I was a bit disappointed to see the hotness Angelo go home on the last episode as I honestly thought Tiffany should have been the one to go. My favorites are Carla, Antonia, and Dale. I think Carla and Dale are both neck in neck to win it all. It’s been a while since I’ve watched Top Chef but I’m definitely hooked on this season. Plus I had missed Padma’s extreme enthusiasm for her job. With that said, can’t wait to watch tonight! I plan to start writing more about it.

More bikini photos of Padma below!

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON TONIGHT’S EPISODE OF TOP CHEF ALL STARS PLUS THIS SEASON SO FAR? WHO SHOULD WIN IT ALL?

michael-voltaggio-top-chef

Michael Voltaggio has been crowned the new winner of Top Chef’s Season 6.

Michael beat out the other 2 finalists, his brother Bryan Voltaggio, and Kevin Gillespie, a chef from Atlanta. Michael was named the Top Chef champ after serving the judges an impressive four-course menu in California wine country that showed his creativity and technical talent.

Kevin was the first sent home out of the final 3, leaving the two brothers to battle it out for the win. At the end of the day, the judges felt Michael was the stronger of the two.

Michael wins $225,000 in cash and merchandise, a spread in Food & Wine magazine and a showcase at the annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colorado. “I wish both of us could win,” Michael said of his brother, breaking into tears when their mother walked out.

TELL US – WERE YOU HAPPY WITH THE RESULTS? WHO WERE YOU ROOTING FOR?