episode 67 :: top chef all-stars

Bravo’s long-running show Top Chef may very well be the most successful food show on television. It has seen great ratings success, Emmy awards, spin-offs, and has launched the careers of several truly top tier chefs. There is no questioning its popularity and position as one of the most successful shows on television.

In my opinion, it is also in its twilight.  After the amazing talent pool assembled for its sixth (and undoubtedly best) season, I had my doubts that the show would ever pique my interest the way it did then ever again. Season 7 was dreadful, and I really wasn’t looking forward to seeing the show try to get its mojo back. It was like sitting and watching your old injured dog walking around the living room dragging his back leg every Wednesday night for an hour.

That is, until they announced Top Chef All-Stars.  Throw every season’s runner-up and a few also-rans into one big kitchen and you’ve got perhaps the best season of Top Chef fans of the show can ever expect.  If the first show was any indication, we’re in for the best season the show has ever seen.  In this week’s episode, we’ll be reviewing the highlights of the first episode of the show, which can be seen every Wednesday night on Bravo.

Listen to episode 67 now

In this episode:
• Vote for My Life as a Foodie in the Food & Drink category at the 2010 Podcast Awards. If I win, you’ll be treated to something special.
• Dogfish Head’s Red & White
Eat My Blog raises $12,000 for the LA Regional Food Bank
• How to make my Coconut Cranberry Chew
• “Sam the Clam” the new children’s book from Chef Nathan Lyon (purchase on Amazon.com or directly from the publisher)
• Saison Rue from The Bruery among Esquire’s top Saisons
• Recapping Top Chef All-Stars
• Burger of the Year – The Umami Burger

Music in this episode from Linkin Park.  Buy their music from their web site or directly from the iTunes Store


  1. Thanks for the shout out and perfect timing, took you on a beach run! Loved the show. Stuffing the ballot boxes from here, good luck with the award. Love those cookies, they go real well with coffee. Like the commentary on TCAS, should play out for an interesting season. Don’t know who I’m pulling for, now that Elia is out of the running. Hate it when they get rid of the hottie this early… Tony did pull some punches on Fabio’s dish but if it’s crap, it’s crap but Bourdain showed his soft (and not so attractive) side on the Bravo blog saying he may had been “a little to harsh on Fabio’s cooking”. Hey bud, I see an Umami road trip in our not too distant future. Sounds like a fun day trip!

    Abarços e ate ja!

    • Thanks man. I agree regarding Bourdain. I had total respect for him speaking his mind on that food. He didn’t like it, and as a judge, it’s his job to say so – regardless of the fact that he knew the chef was back there watching. Fabio was out of line saying “If we weren’t on this show, things would go down differently.” Easy with the threats tough guy.

  2. I finally got a chance to catch the first episode of Top Chef All-Stars this week. It does look like it’s going to be one of the better seasons. Loved your recap.

    Also, I have to say you play some great music. I’ve purchased many songs and albums because of hearing them on your show. I don’t know where you find this music, but it’s always great. Just bought the Linkin Park album too. I love this song.

    I don’t know if this is your last show of the year, but if it is Merry Christmas Phil. You’ve had your best year this year, and I’ve been listening since the 3rd episode. I wish you and yours the best in 2011.


    • Paulie – thanks for your comments man. I’m glad you enjoy the music. The songs are usually only 99 cents or $1.29 on iTunes, and well worth it. But purchasing from their web site (if possible) is always the best way, so the bands get the maximum bang.

      One more show to go, then we’ll say goodbye to 2010! I have a lot of cool things planned for next year, so don’t go anywhere. Thanks again for listening.

  3. Great episode! I also think this may be the “jump the shark” season of TC. It will be interesting to see which of the “also rans” can do it this time. I think Richard has a good shot as well as Angelo. Can’t believe Paula is going to be on there!

    I hope to find Dogfish Head’s Red & White. Sounds like my kind of beer! Of the Saisons mentioned by Esquire (and one that wasn’t a Saison), I have to say that my favorite is Saison Rue from The Bruery. Hennepin from Ommegang would be a close second. I absolutely love this style.

    I look forward to making your cookie recipe…it sounds really good 🙂

    Good luck with the 2010 Podcast Awards. I know it’s a great honor just to be nominated, but you definitely deserve to take home the hardware!

    All the best,

    • Thanks Steve! Nominations end today, so we’ll see how it panned out for us soon enough.

      Make those cookies, dude. You will love them. And congratulations once again on Auburn’s incredible year. I think it’s a no-brainer for you guys against Oregon.

      That is, unless someone from Oregon is reading this. Then, it’s ON, of course. 😉

  4. Vern and I really enjoyed listening to your podcast together this evening! Thanks for the EMB shoutout. And woot woot for Hulu finally releasing full episodes of this season’s Top Chef. I don’t have cable, so this has been a dream come true. I’m rooting for Marcel and Richard — the molecular gastronomy crew!

    • Thanks for checking out the show, Cathy! I had no idea Hulu was showing Top Chef! That is fantastic!

      You’re not alone, not having cable. I know more and more people who have canceled their cable, and Hulu has to be a big part of that.

  5. Nice job again, Phil. There’s a reason you’re nominated for a podcast award. This show is first class every time. The review of Top Chef was amazing. And I missed that episode too, so you made it feel like I’ve totally caught up! If they show them again, I’ll watch them together.

    We don’t get a lot of the dogfish beers here, but hopefully we’ll start seeing them. The beer you had sounds amazing.

    I also love the music. I’m going to buy that song.

    Happy Christmas Phil!


    • Again, thanks for supporting the bands. It’s the only reason I play the music, and I’m glad you are enjoying that part of it.

      Glad you liked the Top Chef recap too. I know it tends to get drawn out, but each segment has so much drama in it I don’t want to leave anything out.

      Have a great holiday!

  6. It seems that the comment I left yesterday didn’t show up! Well, I just wanted to let you know that Vernon and I really enjoyed listening to this episode. Thank you for the EMB shoutout! And I hope this season’s Top Chef just keeps getting better and better. When will Paula make her appearance? Soon, I hope!

  7. Another great one, Phil! Now that you outed my lack of enthusiasm for The Umami Burger I have to get you up here so we can try it so you can decide for yourself. Let’s set a date.

    • Thanks Charles. I didn’t mean to get you in trouble, but I didn’t say you didn’t like it! I said you thought it was good, just not something you would call the Burger of The Year.

      Sometimes I wonder of Richman writes this stuff to get people talking about him instead of the food.

      You name the day and time and we’ll be there. I’d love to try this burger.

  8. What happened to Ripert? Did he not want to come back? Who could blame him if he didn’t anyway. Padma is OK but after a while she becomes intolerable.

    Did anyone else think Katie Lee Joel seemed like she was begging to be let back on that show after last week? She’s equally as pathetic.

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