Real Time Web Analytics Foodie Gossip: Top Chef All Stars: A Fire Breaks Out and Carla Hall Goes Home

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Top Chef All Stars: A Fire Breaks Out and Carla Hall Goes Home

Top Chef Carla Hall
Top Chef All Stars episode 13 really heated up this week – and I’m not talking about the warmer Caribbean climate. Am I the only one out there who thought the fryer-turned-fire incident seemed a bit staged? How convenient was it that there was another completely stocked kitchen waiting for the chefs just an hour or so after the fire? Does Top Chef always keep a backup kitchen prepped in case there’s a disaster?

I hate to sound all “conspiracy theory”, but that whole scene left a bad taste in my mouth. What bothered me the most though was that the Top Chef judges expected the chefs to bounce back from something so traumatic – the fire was small, but losing their food was “BIG” – just an hour or so after the fire. Why wouldn’t they give the chefs until the next day to regroup?

Of course the results of the chefs’ dishes didn’t meet the standards everyone was used to. Would any chef be able to whip up a flawless dish just after seeing their sweat and tears burned away? And yes – I meant the sweat part literally. Did you catch Mike Isabella dripping into his food? Yuck… But I digress…

Once again, they send home one of the most talented chefs on the show, based on a flawed challenge (which is my chief point). Dim Sum and Target food were pretty lousy challenges (don’t even get me started on last week’s snack attack) and there seems to be a theme throughout Top Chef Season 8 of sending the most talented chefs home and keeping the less stable chefs on board.

Jamie Lauren hides behind a table to avoid cooking
I love Tiffany Derry, but how did she survive over Carla Hall? Don’t get me wrong – I’m happy she made it to the finale – but Carla Hall can cook circles around her… And Mike Isabella… And Antonia Lafaso. This just brings back memories of the Jamie Lauren saga.

All I can say, is this: Bring on the Top Chef All Stars Season 8 Finale so we can move on to Top Chef Masters! Hopefully the upcoming season Top Chef Masters will have less quantity and more quality…

Just a side note: Was it not amazing to see Hosea Rosenberg, Michael Voltaggio, Kevin Sbraga and Stephanie Izard back in action??


  1. I don't think it was staged, personally. I think it was just poor planning and consideration of the kitchen at Twin Brothers. I just wrote a similar post about this, LOL.

  2. I think we've seen that cooking in a crappy, ill equipped kitchen without adequate prep time or sub par ingredients produces mediocre food, at best.
    Not calling conspiracy either, but how can they cook their best under such dismal circumstances? Look what happens when they get the time to prep, top notch ingredients and nice kitchens- sublime food.