Top Chef All-Stars: Night at the Museum

published Dec 9, 2010
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Last night’s episode of Top Chef All-Stars was all about cooking for kids. As you might expect, there was lots of sugar, dinosaur-inspired meals, a Jonas brother and even a couple of tantrums. Read on for our thoughts on the episode and a reveal of the winner and loser.

Midnight snack in the museum: For the Quickfire, the chefs had to whip up a midnight snack for 150 kids who were spending the night at the Museum of Natural History. Sugar seemed to be the prevailing theme, but Spike’s (admittedly odd-sounding) savory potato and carrot chips with marshmallow dip were picked as a finalist by guest judge/preteen heartthrob Joe Jonas, as were Tiffani F’s rice crispy treats with malted milk and graham crackers. The two snacks were served to a room of screaming kids at the museum and Tiffani’s came out on top. We admit to being mildly hopeful the kids would pick the carrot chips over crispy treats, but no such luck — sugar wins again!

T. Rex versus Brontosaurus: The chefs worked in two teams in the Elimination Challenge, which seemed to have a lot of catches. They were to make breakfast for the kids and their parents at in the morning, but the first catch: they had to spend the night in the museum with the kids. And also, they could only use the ingredients in the museum kitchen. Oh yeah, and each team could either use meat, eggs and dairy only (Team Tyrannosaurus) or only fruits and vegetables (Team Brontosauraus). Finally, they would be operating on just 45 minutes of sleep. As the Quickfire winner, Tiffani got to choose her team’s dinosaur and she quickly picked Tyrannosaurus, although she later admitted she thought T. Rex ate “everything” and was disappointed by her team’s limited ingredients.

“Just two stitches?”: Jamie sliced into her thumb while cutting a piece of pork belly and was told by the medic that she needs stitches. Instead of just duct-taping the wound and getting on with it, as many of the other contestants said they’ve done, she decided to leave, giving a half-hearted apology as she departed. As sympathetic as we are to kitchen injuries, there is something about her attitude this episode that seemed checked out, like she wasn’t giving it her all.

Battle of the big egos: As we’ve mentioned, we aren’t fans of either Marcel or Angelo, so it amused us to see the two of them tussling over the size of the plums in the banana parfait they made with Richard. Marcel wanted larger pieces of plum and seemed seriously annoyed when Angelo told Carla to start halving them. Nevertheless, their banana puree topped with fruit was both beautiful and tasty, and the three shared the week’s win.

“Welcome to Jen All-Stars”: Jen, usually a strong competitor, was in the bottom for her soggy pork belly topped with tasteless hard-cooked egg. Unable to believe it, she had a meltdown at Judge’s Table, rudely talking back and rolling her eyes like a fifteen-year-old called to the principal’s office. It was painful and only became more so after she was eliminated, walking out of the stew room with an indignant screech. “Second place is still losing,” she said a couple times last night. But sore losing is the worst of all.

What did you think of last night’s episode? Were you surprised by the judges’ decision?

(Image: Bravo)