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Top Chef All-Stars - Ep. #14 (Finale Pt. 2) - 03/16/11 (Spoilers)

LindaWhit | Mar 16, 201107:26 PM     326

Well, Tom said in an interview this is not a 3- or 4-part finale; just that the competition has moved to another venue (Bahamas). But I say it is a several part finale. So this is Part 2. :-)

After last week's competition, they're sitting around talking about Carla. Antonia is still second-guessing herself, just like she did in her season. Mike is very cocky and confident. Hmmmm...that usually means someone's going home! LOL

As they head out the next morning to the Atlantis kitchen, Richard wonders "will we be cooking with not enough time? Not enough equipment?" Little does he know. :-)

Padma and Lorena Garcia greet them in the kitchen. The Quickfire Challenge will be all about Consistency and Precision - they are to pair up (ends up being Richard & Mike vs. Antonia & Tiffany) and they are to create 100 plates exactly the same for hungry diners in the dining room. Padma and Lorena will choose 2 different numbers from each of the plates they are serving from as "blind" tastings, to ensure they don't plate judges' plates more nicely. They have 1 hour to cook.

The guys go with Pork Bolognese with fresh macaroni and Pecorino cheese. Mike said the guys have the upper hand, and the girls know it. There's that cockiness again!

The women go with Seared Beef Tenderloin Salad with Lentils and Chimichurri Sauce. The guys are going crazy in the kitchen; Richard has a drippy sweaty nose.

The judges liked both the guys and women's food...Mike, cocky again, says the women's dish is way too easy...but Lorena Garcia ends up saying that the women win! Antonia said "The guys are definitely sour grape salty losers!" LOL The ladies get $5,000 for their win. Mikey is ticked off. Awwww, poor baby!

So Padma describes the Elimination Challenge - the Commodore of the Nassau Yacht Club has invited them to an 80th anniversary party lunch for him and his friends. Conch is a signature dish of the island, and Lorena says they should be sure to use it.

Mike and Richard both practiced with conch back on the mainland, so they sound prepared. They meet the next morning at the dock to be taken to a deserted island - and there's Padma in her itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny bikini. :-) Time will start when their feet hit the beach. They'll have 3-1/2 hours to cook.

When they get there, they scramble for the baskets. Lots of great seafood but no conch - and then they see the snorkel masks in a basket marked "Conch". Yup - they have to go out and find it themselves in the water! Here's where Richard says "I don't want to see Mike Isabella topless......and you don't either!" LOL (P.S. He was right!)

They have difficulty getting the conch, but they do. Here's where Richard's lack of swimming ability gets shown. LOL! After pulling up the conch, they then realize there's no electricity, no gadgets, just a wood-fired grill with some pots and pans. Not going to be easy! They know there's going to be the issue of sand in their dishes. Tiffany has major problems removing the conch from the shells...Mike learned to heat them up in the shell and they are more easily removed.

Antonia's in the weeds, and Richard is very nervous with his NON-Caribbean dish.

Richard's dish = Sweet Potato Linguini with Conch and Spiny Lobster - they all said "ingenious!" when they realized it was sweet potato "noodles", although there was some slightly undercooked lobster. But I thought his dish looked superb!

A storm is now coming in - will they all be able to finish?

Next is Antonia - her dish = Seared Snapper with Conch Tartare. Interestingly, Gail takes a bite and immediately reaches for a glass of water - VERY spicy! But the Bahamians love it, as they love their spices! But Tom's fish is overcooked, while someone else's is undercooked.

Tiffany - she ended up plating too early - could be an issue with soup! Her dish = Coconut Chowder with Snapper and Conch. Padma said the soup would have been good if it was warm, and others think it was never meant to be served warm. Hmmm.

Finally, it's MIke's turn. His dish = Banana-Wrapped Grouper with Braised Pineapple and a Warm Conch Vinaigrette. Some felt the dish was overwhelming with the pineapple, but others, including Gail, loved the risk he took.

In the in-between bit between commercials, they compared themselves to the characters on Gilligan's Island:

Richard = The Professor
Mike = The Skipper
Tiffany = Ginger
Antonia = Mary Ann

And Carla would have been Gilligan. Good choices, all! LOL

OK, we're back - they're back in the suite, and Richard is still nervous re: his flavor profile (and Antonia kind of gives him a dig about it!) Back at Judges Table - Tom notes that no dish had any sand - yay!

Antonia's dish had good balance, per Lorena, but the conch needed to be bigger, said Tom. Padma said her dish out of all four, was the "most predictable" - but Antonia takes that as a compliment, because she wants them to know it's her dish.

Richard's "pasta" dish was very much enjoyed - Gail said the flavors weren't typical, but they all worked...but Lorena had slightly undercooked lobster.

Tiffany's dish - they liked her chowder, but it was asked - was the soup supposed to be hot or cold? It was supposed to be hot - Tiffany said the wind kicked up during her plating and cooled it down too quickly. It was also too sweet for some.

Finally, Mike's dish - Tom liked the banana leaf smokiness, but the butter just didn't belong.

Interseting - there was something wrong with each dish, according to the judges. Who's going home? I'm thinking it's going to be Tiffany. But who knows anymore?

And we're back for the elimination - wow - Mike wins again! Damn. I really thought Richard might pull that out. As for who's outta there? It *is* Tiffany who's told to PYKAG. But Tiffany's got some damn fine trips to take with her husband!

So it's going to be Richard, Antonia, and Mike in the finale. And OOOH! It's another "Last Supper" competition for Wolfgang Puck, Michelle Bernstein, and Masaharu Morimoto! Interesting!

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