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Twenty 49
LSU Fan
Shreveport
Member since Jun 2014
12896 posts

Top Chef: All-Stars L.A. (starts 3/19)
Top Chef: All-Stars L.A. will feature chefs who didn't quite win in past seasons taking another chance at the title. Maybe it should be called "Almost Stars".

Padma, Tom, and Gail are the main judges. Also look for Ruth Reichl, Marcus Samuelsson, Ali Wong, and Danny Trejo.

The competing chefs are:

Eric Adjepong (Season 16: Kentucky)
Karen Akunowicz (Season 13: California)
Jennifer Carroll (Season 6: Las Vegas, Season 8: All Stars, and Last Chance Kitchen Season 7)
Stephanie Cmar (Season 11: New Orleans)
Lisa Fernandes (Season 4: Chicago)
Kevin Gillespie (Season 6: Las Vegas)
Gregory Gourdet (Season 12: Boston)
Melissa King (Season 12: Boston)
Jamie Lynch (Season 14: Charleston)
Brian Malarkey (Season 3: Miami)
Nini Nguyen (Season 16: Kentucky)
Joe Sasto (Season 15: Colorado)
Angelo Sosa (Season 7: Washington D.C., and Season 8: All Stars)
Bryan Voltaggio (Season 6: Las Vegas)
Lee Anne Wong (Season 1: San Francisco, and Last Chance Kitchen Season 7)


I hope Jen is looking good. She was a bit rough last time I saw her. She must remember, as Fabio said when she kept repeating a certain protein, “This is 'Top Chef,' Not 'Top Scallop.'”

Image: https://static.parade.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/jennifer_carroll-1-e1577201524289.jpg


Kevin was a runner-up and fan favorite, then went on to huge critical success and awards in the restaurant business. Survived cancer along the way. He'll be a contender.

Image: https://static.parade.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/kevingillespie-1-e1577201693747.jpg


Bryan Voltaggio is a quiet assassin. Not a trash talker; just turns out killer food. I expect to see him do well.

Image: https://static.parade.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/bryan_voltaggio-1-e1577201391206.jpg




Tigertown in ATL
LSU Fan
Georgia foothills
Member since Sep 2009
23147 posts

re: Top Chef: All-Stars L.A. (starts 3/19)
Kevin and Bryan could be favorites.
Jennifer is there for looks.

Thanks for this post. Love Top Chef.


Darla Hood
LA-Lafayette Fan
Near that place by that other place
Member since Aug 2012
9384 posts

re: Top Chef: All-Stars L.A. (starts 3/19)
Thanks for the heads up!


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Billy Mays
Ole Miss Fan
Mandeville
Member since Jan 2009
21298 posts

re: Top Chef: All-Stars L.A. (starts 3/19)
quote:

Bryan Voltaggio (Season 6: Las Vegas)


Might as well just give him the trophy now.


The Egg
LSU Fan
Houston, TX
Member since Dec 2004
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re: Top Chef: All-Stars L.A. (starts 3/19)
Hopefully he uses more salt this time


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L Boogie
LSU Fan
Boston
Member since Jul 2009
3794 posts
 Online 

re: Top Chef: All-Stars L.A. (starts 3/19)
Fabio said that in reference to Jamie Lauren, not Jenn. I only know that because I've been binge watching all prior seasons in preparation for this one...with the exception of Season 9 because I hate those girls so much.

I'm rooting for Kevin but I think Bryan's going to take it.


LSUrme
LSU Fan
CTC
Member since Oct 2005
4137 posts

re: Top Chef: All-Stars L.A. (starts 3/19)
Ate at Jen Carroll's restaurant Spice Finch in Philly a few months ago. There was not a scallop to be had on the menu, which was shocking.


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Twenty 49
LSU Fan
Shreveport
Member since Jun 2014
12896 posts

re: Top Chef: All-Stars L.A. (starts 3/19)
quote:

Fabio said that in reference to Jamie Lauren, not Jenn.


Looks like you are correct. I would have bet $50 that it was Jen slinging the scallops.


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Fun Bunch
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
New Orleans
Member since May 2008
70416 posts
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re: Top Chef: All-Stars L.A. (starts 3/19)
Isn't Voltaggio considered one of the best chefs in the country already?


skullhawk
LSU Fan
My house
Member since Nov 2007
14073 posts

re: Top Chef: All-Stars L.A. (starts 3/19)
quote:

Isn't Voltaggio considered one of the best chefs in the country already?


I think he's had several failed restaurants that have amounted to a load of debt so he probably needs the exposure again.


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CP3LSU25
LSU Fan
Louisiana
Member since Feb 2009
43055 posts

re: Top Chef: All-Stars L.A. (starts 3/19)
Always loved this show. Love the judges even though they are crazy liberals.


Billy Mays
Ole Miss Fan
Mandeville
Member since Jan 2009
21298 posts

re: Top Chef: All-Stars L.A. (starts 3/19)
quote:

Isn't Voltaggio considered one of the best chefs in the country already?


I actually confused him with his brother Michael Voltaggio who dominated the Top Chef circuit during his runs


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30
Tigertown in ATL
LSU Fan
Georgia foothills
Member since Sep 2009
23147 posts

re: Top Chef: All-Stars L.A. (starts 3/19)
quote:

Love the judges even though they are crazy liberals.


Well they are on TV, so this is a given.

Padma is completely lacking in any talent or charisma. She is there for one obvious purpose. But she also seems pretty genuine, so I don't mind the lack of talent.


L Boogie
LSU Fan
Boston
Member since Jul 2009
3794 posts
 Online 

re: Top Chef: All-Stars L.A. (starts 3/19)
I love Padma! I think she oozes charisma and she's hilarious. She knows a lot about food, too, so I don't think she's out of her element.

Big Tom fan, too...and I have a woman-crush on Gail Simmons. I served her a drink at Austin Food + Wine several years ago and she is even more beautiful in person. I ADORE Eric Ripert, he is one of my all-time favorite judges, second only to Tony Bourdain

Oh man, can't wait for this season.


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barbapapa
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Member since Mar 2018
1282 posts
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re: Top Chef: All-Stars L.A. (starts 3/19)
I would say she has talent, well a set of "talents"


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nolatiger92
LSU Fan
Member since Apr 2008
721 posts
 Online 

re: Top Chef: All-Stars L.A. (starts 3/19)
The Vegas season was so stacked


Saskwatch
Ole Miss Fan
Member since Feb 2016
7892 posts

re: Top Chef: All-Stars L.A. (starts 3/19)
Anyone know what time this comes on tonight?


L Boogie
LSU Fan
Boston
Member since Jul 2009
3794 posts
 Online 

re: Top Chef: All-Stars L.A. (starts 3/19)
8 pm CST.

That means it will be 9 here and I may or may not be asleep...I'm trying to power through but we'll see. I should be able to watch On Demand tomorrow just in case I miss it.

ETA: My bad, I accidentally lied. Looks like it's on at 9 CST, 10 pm my time.
This post was edited on 3/19 at 8:03 pm


Twenty 49
LSU Fan
Shreveport
Member since Jun 2014
12896 posts

re: Top Chef: All-Stars L.A. (starts 3/19)
Episode 1: Spoilers ahead

Pornstache Joe always has to do his pasta. His quickfire contribution of Tortellono with artichoke barigoule in pancetta brodo caused Padma to exclaim, "That was a strong brodo!"

That struck me as funny. Maybe it was because I had no idea what brodo was. Turns out it's just Italian for broth. I would know that if I had been on board the big bone broth bandwagon, but it has seemed to me to be a gimmicky fad designed for people like Gwyneth Paltrow.

I think the winning team members got to pick a team for the elimination challenge, but I wasn't paying attention. Did the winning team get an actual prize? I don't recall. Maybe a bottle of Purell valued at over $9,000.

On to the elimination round. When they chose teams, Nini Nguyen was one of the last taken. She may get overlooked because she is quiet, but she was a damned strong and creative competitor in her season. She mentioned that she wants to open a restaurant in New Orleans, so she is also brave or crazy.

They have to cook seafood over fire on the beach. Lee Anne is all like, "I live in Hawaii, so cooking on the beach is no big deal." You know what that foreshadows on this show.

She cooked halibut on the grill about as well as a rookie Girl Scout on her first camping trip. Forgot to oil the grate, so the fish stuck, then glugged oil on the grate (and open fire!), which guaranteed a nice flame up that charred the fish. It looked awful, and the judges thought it tasted like the bottom of a bag of Kingsford.

But pornstache Joe was apparently even worse. He let Malarkey bully him into making flatbread with sea urchin, clams, and an aioli, which they showed him adding more and more of (foreshadowing). Well, guess what, the judges hated it and said there was way too much aioli and other wet "stuff" that made the bread soggy.

Joe said the aioli was “the glue” that held everything together. “Glue is not a good word when it comes to food,” Tom replied.

Joe's glue pizza got him sent home, but I thought Lee Anne's scorched halibut looked worse. I also wanted Lee Anne kicked off so I don't have to see her damned baby pics every week.

There were some really crap dishes on teams that were safe from elimination, but Tom did not spare them his zingers. Kevin and Angelo got brutalized in front of everyone.

Angelo made oysters with rice porridge that one judge said was like babyfood.

Kevin bragged that last time he competed he was just a cook, but now he's something beyond that. Jeremiah Tower said Kevin “forgot he was a cook” (burn!) after Kev turned in visually beautiful but overcooked swordfish. Tom said the fish was "hammered." Kevin looked shocked.

Gregory's charred salmon with grilled peaches and roasted chili dressing was the winner.

They also loved Jenn's tuna. Judge Suzanne Goins sexily commented, “I would eat Jenn’s dish for lunch any day.” Get a room, ladies.

It looks like a very strong bunch, as you would expect from former competitors who did well.

Please pray for the health of the contestants' families. I'd rather eat burned halibut on soggy flatbread than listen to a bunch of teary phone calls about a sick grandma or pregnant wife. But you know it's coming.


Darla Hood
LA-Lafayette Fan
Near that place by that other place
Member since Aug 2012
9384 posts

re: Top Chef: All-Stars L.A. (starts 3/19)
I thought he looked more like a Super Mario Joe than Pornstache Joe.

Could be an interesting season.


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