December 22, 2010 09:30 PM by Shayla Perry
This week in an all new episode of Top Chef: All-Stars on Bravo, the remaining cheftestants are challenged to prepare a holiday stuffing without using any utensils, and cater an event for the U.S. Open. Who went home? Keep reading for all the details!
After last week’s double elimination, the chefs are all a little out of sorts, realizing that anyone of them can go at any time.
For the Quickfire Challenge, the chefs are asked to create a holiday stuffing, but the twist–they can’t use any utensils!
The cheftestants get creative and find themselves using celery stalks and jar lids to stir and plate their dishes, and when time is up, they each present their stuffing to Padma Lakshmi and guest judge Tony Montuano.
The winner of the Quickfire Challenge (and $20,000) is Tre, who made a Southwestern stuffing with bacon, cheddar, and green peppers.
Padma Lakshmi then let’s the chefs know that for the Elimination Challenge, they’ll be cooking for the launch party of the U.S. Open. The chefs pick tennis balls to divide themselves into two teams: Orange and Yellow.
Padma then explains that each member of the team will have to create a dish and each team will put their dishes up head to head, with the winner of the head to head match-up winning points for their team.
The teams try to put together a strategy for how they’re going to decide which dish should go in what order, and the next day, they head to the kitchen to start cooking.
Tom Colicchio comes into the kitchen to check out everyone’s progress. He tries to ask Jaime and Tiffani what their team’s strategy is, but the ladies aren’t giving up any secrets.
When Tom asks Spike and Angelo, who are also on Jaime and Tiffani’s team, they reveal that they assume that the Orange team will be putting their best dish out first, so they plan to purposely put out a weak one, making the competitor’s best dish pretty much obsolete, and giving their remaining dishes a fighting chance.
Carla looks up from chopping for one second to look up to Antonia and ends up cutting off part of her finger. She’s advised to go to the hospital, but she decides that since there’s nothing to stitch, since she literally cut it off, she’s staying.
Of course you know what comes next–enter many comments about how Jaime could have stayed when she cut her finger during the second challenge.
With only a couple of minutes to go, Spike thinks he overcooked his shrimp and in the last few seconds makes some changes to the seasonings.
On the courts, the teams rush to start setting up their dishes and deciding on how their strategy.
Confident in his gnocchi, Fabio, on the Orange team, asks to go first, so Team Yellow decides that Jaime, whose chickpeas aren’t yet ready, should go against Fabio. Jaime refuses, so Casey volunteers to go in her place.
With Fabio’s gnocchi vs. Casey’s fish, the judges award Fabio the point.
Originally, the Orange team chose Marcel to go next, but with Dale’s dumplings on the verge of being overcooked, they send him instead, which upsets Marcel, who had already plated his dish.
The Yellow team chooses Tiffani and her sea bass to go next, and she wins vs. Dale’s dumplings.
With the score at 15-15, the teams put Angelo’s smoked tuna up against Marcel’s cauliflower couscous and tuna, and Angelo wins a point for the Yellow team.
Next, in Orange vs. Yellow, it’s Antonia vs. Tiffany, and though it’s close, Antonia gets the point.
Richard from the Orange team is going against Spike for Yellow, but at the last minute, Angelo and Tiffani start to worry about the competition, and Angelo proceeds to add things to Spike’s dish!
Now it’s Richard’s lamb vs. Spike’s souped up shrimp, and Richard wins another point for the Orange team, which upsets Spike even more, since Jaime still hasn’t gone before the judges.
With the score 40-30, it’s Carla (minus part of her finger) for the Orange team vs. Tre for the Yellow team, who has Immunity.
Again, Angelo steps in an starts working on Tre’s salmon for him, and when they face the judges, Carla’s soup wins their vote, meaning a victory for the Orange team.
Not happy is Tre, who was told his fish was overcooked.
After the challenge, Padma Lakshmi calls in Carla, Fabio, Antonia, and Richard, and lets them know that they not only had the four best dishes, but that the chef with the winning dish would win a trip to Italy!
When asked about their strategy, Richard revealed that the Orange team’s strategy was that they didn’t have a strategy.
The winning dish for the challenge? Carla’s African soup, which no one on her team wanted her to make to begin with.
Next, the four chefs who lost their points in the challenge are called in to Judges’ Table, and Richard asks Jaime about her “story”–the fact that she’s hardly cooked anything this season. Jaime has no answer…
When asked about their team strategy, Spike explains to the judges that they intended to put the worst dish first, but everything was ruined when Jaime’s peas weren’t ready.
Spike lets the judges know that Angelo was adding things to his dish, but they feel that there were far more problems going on than Spike realized.
The judges ask Tiffany about her thoughts on Angelo’s intentions, and she admits that she had her doubts at first, but that everyone’s dish is their own responsibility.
Casey defends her dish with Jen Carroll-like agitation, but after a little back and forth, Tom Colicchio lets her know that she was just beat out by a better dish.
The judges agree that Tre’s Immunity definitely helped him because his dish was the worst, and don’t like that Spike didn’t stand up to Angelo and tell him not to add to his dish, but in the end, it was Spike who was asked to pack his knives and leave the competition.
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Photo credit: BRAVO