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Top Chef: Lessons in “Chef Law”

February 23, 2011 09:07 PM by Shayla Perry

Tonight, in an all new episode of Bravo’s Top Chef: All-Stars, the Food Network’s Paula Deen guest judges the Quickfire Challenge, y’all! Will the chefs be able to impress the Southern star with their “best dishes”? Plus, some very special guests are on hand for the competition, but which of the cheftestants will stoop to violating the first rule of “Chef Law”? Keep reading to find out!

This week on Top Chef: All-Stars, there are 6 chefs remaining in the competition, and with the surprising elimination of Angelo Sosa, everyone is hit with the reality that eventually they’ve all got to go–well, everybody except for one.

Padma Lakshmi, who’s joined by guest judge Paula Deen, informs the cheftestants that for the Quickfire Challenge, they’ll have 30 minutes to whip up some good ‘ole fashioned Southern cooking using a deep fryer. The winner of the challenge will receive $5,000.

Dale, way out of his element, but confident in his skills, is working with oysters wrapped in steak, while Antonia opts for fried avocado and shrimp.

Mike Isabella, taking a page from Richard Blais’ book– literally– makes chicken oysters.

Richard Blais, using his fave ingredient– liquid nitrogen– is frying up mayonnaise. Carla, feeling the pressure, is worried that her fish is lacking flavor.

Tiffany is going for more familiar fried foods– chicken wings and pickles.

When the chefs present their dishes to Paula Deen and Padma Lakshmi, Antonia realizes that she forgot to make a second plate (oops!), and Richard is fuming when he sees that Mike Isabella made one of his recipes (aww snap!).

After tasting all of the fried creations, Paula Deen tells Dale that his dish lacked flavor, and that Carla’s hush puppies were like “spit balls.”

Antonia’s dish is Paula’s favorite, but because she didn’t make a second plate, she isn’t able to win! Paula’s other favorites were Richard Blais and… Mike Isabella. The winner of the $5,000 is Mike, who says that he may have gotten the idea from a picture in Richard’s book, but it was his recipe (and his $5,000).

Richard obviously doesn’t agree, and accuses Mike of breaking the first rule of “Chef Law.”

For the Elimination Challenge, Padma Lakshmi introduces the James Beard Award winning chef, John Besh. The chefs will be preparing Gulf seafood “Southern style” for the 300 guests attending a fundraiser for John Besh’s foundation, which provides assistance to fishermen affected by the Gulf oil spill.

But because they’re cooking for so many people, a few guests are invited to help out…

Each of the eliminated chefs has a different Gulf seafood that must be prepared for the challenge. As winner of the Quickfire, Mike Isabella gets to choose his partner and seafood first. Wanting the shrimp, but not the chef that comes with it (Marcel), Mike chooses Tiffani.

Padma then tells Mike that he gets to choose who will pick next. Mike, selects Richard Blais, since it’s Richard that gave him the idea for his winning dish (well, not GAVE!).

Richard chooses to work with Fabio (no surprises there), and Carla selects Tre. Tiffany hesitantly picks the white shrimp– “Oh, and Marcel.” And Antonia picks “Spike and his crabs.” Last, but not least, Dale and Angelo are paired up.

The chefs then work together to come up with their dishes. Mike Isabella is thrilled when he finds out that Tiffani actually grew up in Louisiana, but Carla is ready to trade partners and revoke Tre’s “NAACP card” after Tre tells her that he grew up in the city, and has only made greens from a can.

After shopping, the chefs return home and Richard is visibly upset over Mike’s Quickfire win. Antonia, who’s still kicking herself for not making that second plate, tells Carla and Tiffany about Mike’s violation of Chef Law, and they too are shocked that Isabella would do such a thing.

With only 2 1/2 hours of prep time, the cheftestants storm the Top Chef kitchen and start cooking, but with all of the extra bodies, the kitchen is a little crowded.

Tiffany is getting annoyed with all of Marcel’s suggestions, but as Dale says, if anyone can put Marcel in his place, it’s her.

At the venue, the chefs have 30 minutes to set up before the service starts– and LOTS of work to do.

As the guests and judges begin to enter, Mike Isabella presents his encrusted shrimp, and it’s a crowd-pleaser.

Richard Blais is still plating when the judges get to his station, and they’re not too sure about his decision to add pulled pork to a seafood dish– until they taste it.

Tiffany runs out of sauce during the service, so she tells Marcel to make more. Tiffany serves the sauce before tasting it. Could she end up going home for a “rookie mistake”?

Carla’s greens aren’t impressive at all, and the judges aren’t keen on Tiffany’s shrimp either.

Dale’s dish is served with undercooked potatoes, but Antonia’s crab soup seems to be make up for her competitors’ poor dishes.

In the Stew Room, Carla and Tiffany wrestle with the fact that they could go home on a Southern food challenge as Padma calls for Antonia, Richard, and Mike Isabella.

The three chefs are told that their dishes were the favorites of the night. The chef with the winning dish, however, is Richard. His prize? A six night trip to Barbados and $5,000!

And for the hard part…

Carla, Tiffany, and Dale stand before the judges. Tiffany quickly lets the judges know that Marcel cooked the shrimp in the dish, but understands that she’s ultimately responsible. Carla is in tears when she’s told that her dish just didn’t make sense. But will she be sent home over Dale and his undercooked potatoes?

After their deliberation, the judges decide that tonight, Dale must pack his knives and leave the competition.

Tell us… What do you think of tonight’s Top Chef elimination? Did the judges send home the right chef?

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Photo credit: BRAVO

Topics: Bravo Reality TV Shows, Top Chef |

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