“God, That was Good!”: Top Chef All Stars LA Episode 1 Recap

TOP CHEF -- "It's Like They Never Left!" Episode 1701 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jeremiah Tower, Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons -- (Photo by: Nicole Weingart/Bravo)
TOP CHEF -- "It's Like They Never Left!" Episode 1701 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jeremiah Tower, Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons -- (Photo by: Nicole Weingart/Bravo) /
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Top Chef All Stars LA
TOP CHEF — ” It?s Like They Never Left!” Episode 1701 — Pictured: (l-r) Padma Lakshmi, Marcus Samuelsson — (Photo by: Nicole Weingart/Bravo) /

LAST CHANCE KITCHEN QUALIFIER: On the “strength” of his flatbread that Tom Colicchio said had “too many ideas crammed on one piece of bread”, Joe Sasto was the first All Stars LA cheftestant asked to pack his knives and go.

CHEF DISH: As referenced earlier on, it didn’t take long for Brian Malarkey and Angelo Sosa to remind us why we’ve never been numbered among their fans. Malarkey bordered on whiny, while Sosa looked like he’d rather have been anywhere else on earth than competing on Top Chef again.

Surprisingly, one of our all-time favorites left us rethinking our opinion of him, as Kevin Gillespie appears, at least based on this one episode, to have lost the southern charm that we found so appealing in favor of a bit more attitude and ego.


SNARK ATTACK: Despite moving into a home in the Hollywood Hills that would seem more fitting for the rose ceremony on another show, our friend Malarkey quipped “if you like to cook, you too one day might be able to compete on Top Chef and live in a bunk bed” while checking out the accommodations.



  • Gregory, for obvious reasons as the first Elimination Challenge winner.


  • Jamie, whose inclusion on the winning team inevitably earned him momentum going forward.
  • Stephanie, a chef we consider to be an underdog in the competition and who seems both relaxed and thrilled to be back on the show after unfortunate circumstances sent her home during Top Chef: New Orleans.



  • Lee Anne, who had a rough episode 1 all around, having struggled with her tempura batter during the Quickfire Challenge and over-fired halibut at Cabrillo Beach.
  • Brian, despite the fact that the judges didn’t hate his dish, but because he was on their least favorite team.
  • Kevin, about whose dish Tom Colicchio said “that swordfish was hammered, man”.
  • Angelo, whose oyster compelled Tom to say “your oyster was like a bit of phlegm. It was not pleasant at all”.

And with that, Top Chef All Stars LA is underway and we couldn’t be happier, almost as giddy as Elimination Challenge guest Chef Marcus Samuelsson, whose elation was off-the-charts throughout the meal, but especially after tasting Melissa’s grilled radicchio. His reaction to that component of her dish, “god, that was good!”, echoes our sentiments about episode 1.

Related Story. Meet all the Top Chef All Stars. light

Which Top Chef All Stars LA chefs do you think are en fuego? Has anyone made the mistake by coming back?