Of the first eight seasons of the popular culinary show “Top Chef,” the eighth season is unquestionably the best.

Featuring chefs from the previous seven seasons, “Top Chef: All-Stars” premièred 1 Dec. 2010 and concluded on 6 April 2011.

The chefs which were featured in this season did not include any of the seven season winners. The entire point of this season was to give previous season chefs a second bite at the apple.

With a season prize of $200,000 on the line, each of the chefs competing in this eighth season brought their “A” game.

In the first episode, titled “History Never Repeats,” the quickfire challenge was designed specifically with the city where each of the chef’s respective seasons took place. Naturally, the winning team received immunity from elimination. In this case, it was the Chicago Team from the fourth season that won over the judges with their dish.

The Chicago Team, consisting of Antonia, Dale T., Richard, and Spike, crafted for the judges a pork and black pepper sausage with a mustard ice cream. Anyone familiar with the series should not be surprised it was Richard that created the mustard ice cream.

When it came to the elimination challenge, each of the chefs came face-to-face with one of their worst nightmare. The chefs were presented with the ingredients they each used for the dish that got them eliminated from their respective season.

Without departing too far from their original conceptualised dish, each of the chefs had to not only recreate their losing dish, they had to fix whatever was wrong with the dishes and turn them into successes.

Angelo, creating a homemade ramen with sweet glazed pork belly and watermelon, was the winning chef. Consequently, Angelo picked up a cool $10,000 for her efforts.

Unfortunately for Elia, her red snapper steamed in ti leaf with snapper jus was not a hit with the judges. Subsequently, she was eliminated.


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Shain E. Thomas, a contributor to the Handbook of Texas Online, is a University of North Texas graduate student majoring in Library Information Science.