Real Time Web Analytics Foodie Gossip: Top Chef All Stars Episode 16 Finale Preview: Mike Isabella vs. Richard Blais

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Top Chef All Stars Episode 16 Finale Preview: Mike Isabella vs. Richard Blais

Top Chef's Richard Blaise & Mike Isabella
The Top Chef All Stars Finale is finally here!! And there are some AMAZING guests in attendance. Antonia Lafaso’s departure in last week’s Top Chef episode has changed the Top Chef Finale theme from the usual three-chef-showdown to a one-on-one cook-off between Mike Isabella and Richard Blais.

Will Richard Blais take the title with his molecular gastronomy? Or will underdog Mike Isabella use his new-found super culinary skills to blow the judges away?

Mike Isabella thinks he has this one in the bag!
Top Chef All Stars Episode 16 continues where Episode 15 left off and Richard Blais and Mike Isabella only have moments to process what just happened before they’re immediately thrown into their final challenge.
  • Mike says he’s a better cook than Richard is.
  • Richard says he would rather go up against Antonia because he’s beaten her before and thinks he could beat her again. He knows that Mike has come back a better chef (creatively), which was Richard’s strength. It’s clear that the pressure is starting to wear on Richard.

The Elimination Challenge:
Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio want to have a glimpse into Mike and Richard’s future as “great chefs” by each creating the restaurant of their dreams.

The eliminated chefs return to compete in a Quickfire!
The eliminated cheftestants return to play sous chefs for Mike and Richard. And apparently there is a Quickfire in the finale! Only this time Mike Isabella and Richard Blais will be judging the challenge.
  • The former cheftestants much compete in a Quickfire for the opportunity to play sous chef to Richard and Mike. They have 30 minutes to create an amuse bouche.
  • The cheftestants rush around the kitchen in “amuse bouche” preparation while Richard and Mike chill in their hotel suite, talking smack.
  • Mike says his first choice is Jen Carroll because they’re from the same season and they’re friends. And the one person he doesn’t want is Jamie Lauren – not just because she’s “Jamie” but because she’s slow.
  • Richard says “The question is who wants to be there, who wants to work, who’s gonna listen?”. Richard, that’s more like three questions.
  • Both Richard and Mike are acting high and mighty as they head to the kitchen to judge the Quickfire dishes.
  • The cheftestants all clap and cheer as Richard and Mike walk into the kitchen.
  • Mike and Richard must pick their three favorite dishes in a blind taste test, much to their chagrin. And I love that the option to pick favorites is off the table.

Bill Terlato of Terlato Wines and celebrity chefs Hubert Keller and Lidia Bastianich will appear as a Top Chef guest judges alongside Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi, head judge Tom Colicchio, judge Gail Simmons.

More on Top Chef


  1. Ugh. What a disappointing finale. Sexist pig Mike who finished a strong 7th in his season vs. no sense of humor Richard who mistakenly thinks he should have beaten Stephanie. Stephanie btw was just nominated for a James Beard award.

  2. I am happy Richard won. If Mike were the winner I would never watch Top Chef again! After taking Richard's idea, Tiffani cooked the entire Louisiana challenge while Mike walked around acting like a giant ass. Then he received accolades for cooking his Grandmother's recipes. What does he really bring to the table? He should have been eliminated after taking Richard's idea.