'Top Chef All-Stars' Recap: Can You Tell Me How to Get to the Kitchen?
'Top Chef All-Stars' Recap: Can You Tell Me How to Get to the Kitchen?
Laurel Brown
Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
There are several important things tonight. One, there are only seven chefs left in the competition. Two, it's only the top competitors left. Three, and most important of all, there are Muppets on the show tonight! Muppets!

Also there will be cooking. That's important too.

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The episode begins with reflection. Richard wishes Fabio had asked how to make a burger. Carla thinks it would be cool if a woman one. Dale doesn't think losing is OK.

But enough reflection, it's time for the Quickfire Challenge and an awkwardly rhyming Padma. Why is she rhyming? Because there are Muppets! Telly, Cookie Monster and Elmo pop up from behind a table. Everybody laughs hysterically.

In a shocking turn of events, the cheftestants are going to make cookies. Or, as Cookie Monster puts it: "COOKIE! COOKIE, COOKIE, COOKIE..." They have to make whatever they think is the best cookie in the world, to be judged by the world's least discerning cookie critics. Probably some humans will judge too. I hope. They get 45 minutes. If they win, it's $5000. Also, Cookie Monster's approval, which is pretty much priceless.

Mike has never made cookies before. Antonia desperately wants to win with Cookie Monster judging. Angelo hasn't made a cookie in 25 years. Carla makes cookies for a living. Dale doesn't know how to respond to Muppet heckling. The Muppets offer "helpful" advice.

  • Antonia has a Dark Chocolate Cookie, White Chocolate Chips, Fresh Caramel Glaze & Sprinkles.
  • Carla has a Chocolate Chip Cookie with Cinnamon.
  • Dale has a Pretzel & Potato Chip Shortbread Cookie with Salted Caramel Chocolate Ganache.
  • Richard has a Ice Cream Cookie with Chocolate Chips, Zucchini & Mint.
  • Mike has an Almond & Dried Cherry Cookie with Rose Petal Powdered Sugar.
  • Tiffany has a Shortbread Cookie with Lemon Zest, Rosemary, Thyme & Coconut Milk.
  • Angelo has a Chocolate Chip, Belgian Hazelnut Cookie & Chocolate-Banana Milkshake.

Alas, only one cookie gets to win. The Muppets put Richard at the bottom ("Technically, it not quite cookie.") along with Angelo ("bit little dry"). The favorites were Dale (loved the sweet and salty) and Antonia ("Only cookie around here that chewy gooey."). Of course, Elmo compared Antonia's cookies to cow chips. After a Muppet huddle, Cookie Monster announces that the winner is Dale.

I still want to eat Antonia's cookies. They look incredible.

Now, unfortunately the Muppets depart, only to be replaced with Target. That's not an acceptable substitute.

The Elimination Challenge has a prize this week of $25,000. They will have 3 hours in the night at Target to shop and cook. Then they have to serve a meal for 100 employees the next day. After an awkward (again) plug for Target and how everything they need is there. Ah, product placement...

Since the nearest Target to them is probably the one in the south Bronx, it's a long drive in the dark. But they get there and dash their ways through the store. It's like Supermarket Sweep! Only in Target! I think Tiffany may have stolen a purse there... Dale says jerky things about Tiffany. And then he steals three irons. Antonia pretty much grabs everything. Angelo and Mike help each other shop, cementing their beautiful bromance in the process. Tiffany has definitely accessorized by prep time and sports a lovely tag on her cap. Carla wastes time making things pretty when she should probably get food.

As time counts down to zero, some random guy from Target makes the tables look pretty. I guess Carla didn't need to bother so much.

In a sea of red and khaki, the Target employees descend upon the cheftestants. They look tired and their comments don't sound discerning.

The judges show up too, immediately griping about the early hour. Along with the standard judges are Ming Tsai (Blue Ginger) and Thomas O'Brien (home designer for Target and the guy making pretty tables earlier).

  • Richard has Pork Tenderloin with Green Chilies, Apples, Braised Pork Ribs & Corn Pancakes.
  • Dale has Rib Eye Grilled Cheese Sandwich & Spicy Tomato Soup.
  • Carla has a Curry Apple Soup with Tomato Ginger Jam & Cucumber Apple Slaw.
  • Antonia has Parmesan Eggs on Garlic Crostini with Almond, Tomato & Apple Salad.
  • Mike has Spicy Coconut Soup with Mushrooms, Scallops & Lime.
  • Tiffany has Jambalaya with Chicken, Sausage & Shrimp with a Summer Salad.
  • Angelo has Baked Potato Soup with Bacon, Sour Cream, Potato Skins, Scallions & Cheddar Cheese.
The judges note that not everything worked out perfectly. And that there's an awful lot of soup. The insane hour gets a few comments as well.

Time for the Storage Closet of Doom! At 6:20 in the morning? That's just cruel. Antonia has a Target dog, Tiffany still has her hat and everybody has exhaustion. Padma enters to bring in Dale, Antonia and Richard.

Let the praise begin! The judges praise Richard's two proteins, Antonia's audacious runny eggs and Dale's tasty, crispy food. And the winner (of $25,000!) is Dale! Seriously? For grilled cheese? Why do they hate Antonia so much?

Now it's time for the sadness. Those on their way to fear are Carla, Tiffany and Angelo. Somehow Mike's food squeaked by, despite an awful lot of negative comments.

The judges feel that Carla's flavor didn't develop and that it needed protein. Angelo's soup was way too salty and rich. Tiffany's dish suffered from dried spices that highlighted the dish's deficiencies. Only Tiffany rebuts with tears and praise for the experience. Tiffany, wait for the actual elimination!

With criticism flying, one cheftestant has to go home. And the loser is... Angelo!

Sucks when the one bad dish does you in. Poor Angelo. At least he didn't just lose due to sickness this time. Mike is shocked. Like really, really shocked. Much more so than Angelo, when it comes to it. Ah, the end of bromance!

So what do you think? Did Angelo deserve to leave? Is there any chance that we can eliminate Dale for being a jerk, even if his food is awesome each week? Give us your opinion in the comments below!

(Image courtesy of Bravo)



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