Real Time Web Analytics Foodie Gossip: Richard Blais may be the Top Chef All Star but we’re still Proud of Mike Isabella

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Richard Blais may be the Top Chef All Star but we’re still Proud of Mike Isabella

Mike Isabella is a Top Chef
And the Top Chef All Stars Finale is over (finally)! Congrats to Richard Blais for winning the title “Top Chef”!!

But seriously guys, why so much hate for Mike Isabella? His only flaw is that he talks too much and doesn’t know when to zip it. But can anyone say he’s not an amazingly talented chef? And if you move past the hyperbolic chatter and insecurity, he’s actually a good guy that could probably cook circles around some of the best.

Richard Blais may be the new “Top Chef”, but Mike Isabella deserves mucho credit for stepping up to the plate and giving it his all x10. Aside from the verbal diarrhea, I really loved Mike’s energy this season and his will to win. So much so, that I found it really tough to choose between him and Blais.

It’s a given that Mike’s response to Richard’s Top Chef win was less than cordial: "To come in second is tough. I felt like I beat him. I just didn't get the prize." But any other response just wouldn’t be the Mike we know (and sometimes love).

And for those of you who are reading this and thinking “WTF FG?!?”, just take a moment to put yourself in Mike Isabella’s shoes and try to forget all of the crap that has come out of his mouth over the last few episodes. He knows he lost to the best competitor, but have you ever seen any Top Chef contestant’s skills improve that much over the break before the finale?

Mike Izzy may not have a filter, but he did play the game to his best advantage – which is what you’re supposed to do when you’re competing. Aside from stealing Richard Blais’s dish concept in the “Paula Deen Fried Cook-Off” Quickfire, he did exactly what a contestant should do: He brought his best to the table and took the advantages that were offered to him.

Mike Izzy, congrats for making it to the finale. You're a Top Chef in my book!

Stay tuned for the less biased Top Chef All Stars Finale Recap...


  1. I don't think that Richard Blais was the best choice.Shame on you Colicchio.

  2. The judges are so unfair...especially Colicchio.Mike deserved to win.

  3. Loved Mike so much, and sad that he lost, but also wonder: Why don't more women win TC? This article has interviews from a bunch of former contestants explaining why:

  4. are you people kidding? Richard should've won the season he was on, but he more than deserves this win! Mike is great and between the two of them and Carla as fan fave, this was a FANTASTIC showdown!

  5. Mike spent the season "playing the game"- going so far as to steal Richard's idea for a dish and refusing to cop to it.
    Richard, on the other hand, spent the season helping other chefs. Carla, Antonia, Fabio etc etc all said how much he'd helped them, how he'd made them better chefs.
    Richard is the better chef, especially if chef means boss, and the better man.

  6. wait a minute. how do people who didn't eat the food know who deserved to win?

  7. Richard's place will last a couple of weeks. After which those who like eating crap will forage for new places. Seriously foie gras ice cream? Seriously? Mike's place will last for decades.

  8. I ate at Mike's (Andres') restaurant in DC (Zaytinya, and yes he was in the kitchen at the time, I went with my friend who works as a food writer), the food was not the best, I'd rather have Richard's food any day.

    Richard killed it on his season and deserved the win, Mike went home a lot earlier than Richard did on his season.

    Having said that he did seem to do great this season. Congrats for making it that far. But Richard deserved the win! Congrats!

  9. Ok, first off, as mentioned Mike never ate the food that won the prize as mentioned, 2nd Mikes kind of a dick. we all know it. 3rd, do you think Mike would have advanced without theft of an Idea.....Richard's, and last of all, throughout the competition Richard won more challenges and was more talented. Did I mention that Mike is kind of a Dick?

  10. I think it was Mike's douchy tattoos that lost it for him, they were hideous!

  11. Richard should NOT have won his season. Stephanie rocked it out that whole season and won as many challenges as Richard did. Plus she's been nominated for a James Beard award -- don't think Richard has. I was so tired of all of Richard's whining and arrogance. Richard didn't win that many challenges during this season either. Carla was on a streak, and Mike came in during the end.

    This whole season was a big rip-off. More talented chefs (Jennifer, Angelo) getting booted early, and lame and mediocre chefs (Jamie, Tiffany) staying around much longer than they deserved. This has been one freakin long season, and not in a good way.

  12. Anyone else notice when at the judges' table the judges would look sternly at Mike and offer no signs of positive feedback when he was talking to them? Compare that to when Richard was speaking and they're smiling and gushing all over him.

    Richard was always going to be the winner, even before the first episode was filmed. That's reality television.

    I say it's time to reverse the roles and have the past and current "top chefs" critique the judges culinary talents.

  13. Richard is pure class. I relate to his brand of nerdy neurotic genius in the kitchen - and his food looks superb, and from all indications tastes superb. Richard didn't need any propping up from the judges to be considered the odds on fave to win - his work and talent has spoken very loudly and clearly for him. Richard's quirks just serve to humanize him, and make folks like me root even harder for his success, and for him to believe he is more than worthy to be called Top Chef.

  14. Sorry, but I don't find it classy to be nice to people's faces and then bash them behind their backs. Richard did plenty of that during the interviews. Also, he played a whiny victim the whole season, always implying that he deserved to win his original season. Sorry Richard, but the right chef won your season. Go back and tally the challenge wins. Stephanie is a huge success in Chicago and puts out amazing food. You are gimmicky and will be lucky to grow your businesses any more than you already have. Your only hope is that Bravo gives you a chance to host a terrible show.
    PS-Not a huge fan of Mike, either.

  15. Seems like this article is trying to apologize for Mike's crude behavior.

    Or maybe, Mike could just stop being crude.

    Sour grapes!

    Team Blais 3eve

  16. I am glad Richard finally has his redemption. I believe he still should have won over Stephanie in season 4.

  17. Richard Blais is clearly the best, most consistently creative CHEF in the series. He may actually be one of the top 3 of any season thus far! Mike Isabella has complete disregard for truth or integrity as a person, let alone that of a chef. He seems to be willing to do whatever it takes to come out on top (especially ahead of Richard Blais), even if that means blatantly stealing Blais' ideas. Maybe Richard didn't have a "patent" on that dish, but it was HIS creative idea and everyone knows it, including Isabella. ** To me, "Top" or #1 in any profession starts with character and integrity as well as the ability to lead and guide others unselfishly while also being willing to help others to be the best they can be. These are NOT characteristics which Mike Isabella possesses. Richard Blais is the CLEAR "Top Chef All-Star!"

  18. Mike is a tool. He was the crazy character that they keep around for ratings who got lucky in the end. Antonia should have been in the top two. Period!