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Top Chef 13 Seasons 2011

Season 8
4.3 out of 5 stars (34) IMDb 7.6/10

They're back and they're ready for redemption -- Top Chef congregates a dream team of 18 past cheftestants who nearly won the title to return to see if they have what it takes. The 2010 Primetime Emmy Award-winning Top Chef returns to New York City for Season 8 with host Padma Lakshmi and head judge chef Tom Colicchio, alongside judges Gail Simmons and new this season, best-selling author and chef, Anthony Bourdain.

Starring:
Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio
Original air date:
April 6, 2011

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Season 8

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1. History Never Repeats (Supersized)

The All-Stars are back in the Top Chef kitchen. In the first Quickfire challenge, chefs from each season work as a team to create a dish for ultimate bragging rights as the best season ever on Top Chef. In the Elimination Challenge, the chefs must recreate the dish that sent them packing the first time around. Anthony Bourdain appears in a recurring role at the judges' table.

CC TV-14 December 1, 2010 55 minutes
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2. Night At The Museum (Supersized)

In this Quickfire challenge, pop star Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers challenges the chefs to create a snack for children enjoying a sleepover at the American Museum of Natural History. For the Elimination challenge, the chefs cook breakfast inspired by a dinosaur's diet for the kids and their parents.

CC TV-14 December 8, 2010 53 minutes
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3. New York's Finest

In this week's Quickfire, the Chef'testants' cooking, speed, and accuracy with a knife will be put to the test. The chefs compete in teams in a mise-en-place relay race to push a big red button starting a countdown clock for everyone else. In the Elimination Challenge, the chefs cook in four of New York's finest restaurants.

CC TV-14 December 15, 2010 44 minutes
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4. Advantage Chef

For this Quickfire, all of the toys in the kitchen are taken away, and for $20,000, the chefs must create a delicious holiday stuffing dish using only their two hands. For the Elimination Challenge, the chefs cater a launch party for the US Open, one of the most prestigious tennis tournaments in the world.

CC TV-14 December 22, 2010 44 minutes
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5. Dim Sum Lose Sum

For the first time ever, Head Judge Tom Colicchio picks up his knives in the kitchen. In this week's Quickfire, the chefs must beat his time in making a dish. For the Elimination, the chefs go to Chinatown and make dim sum for hundreds of locals.

CC TV-14 January 5, 2011 44 minutes
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6. We're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

Hook 'em and cook 'em. The chefs go fishing for their ingredients and serve up the catch of the day at an end of summer beach party.

CC TV-14 January 12, 2011 44 minutes
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7. Restaurant Wars: One Night Only (Supersized)

Anthony Bourdain sets the stage in this week's Quickfire challenge as the chefs face off in a fish fillet contest in one of the best seafood restaurants in the world -- Le Bernardin. The Elimination Challenge is Pop-Up Restaurant Wars -- the Chefs must open "one night only" restaurants under the stars in New York City.

CC TV-14 January 19, 2011 55 minutes
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8. An Offer They Can't Refuse

Internationally acclaimed designer Isaac Mizrahi is the guest judge for this Quickfire challenge. And, for the first time in Top Chef history, the Quickfire will be judged on presentation and plating only - not taste. In the Elimination Challenge, the chefs will prepare a traditional three-course Italian meal in one of New York's most famous and exclusive restaurant's, Rao's.

CC TV-14 February 2, 2011 44 minutes
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9. Feeding Fallon

In this week's Quickfire challenge, the chefs put their own spin on an old classic, fondue. For the Elimination Challenge, the chefs appear on the "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" show and cater the comedian's birthday party where he is the guest judge.

CC TV-14 February 9, 2011 44 minutes
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10. Lock Down

The chefs get in touch with their inner child with the help of Sesame Street stars Cookie Monster, Telly, and Elmo. For the Quickfire challenge, the chefs must make a cookie that pleases the gang. The chefs then take over a Target store in the middle of the night and for the Elimination challenge must make a dish with whatever they can find in the aisles.

CC TV-14 February 16, 2011 44 minutes
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11. For The Gulf

This week, the chefs must use a deep fryer to impress the queen of southern cooking, Paula Deen. Deen is then joined by John Besh as a guest judge in the Elimination Challenge where the chefs provide the seafood at a charity event benefiting the fisherman of the Gulf region.

CC TV-14 February 23, 2011 44 minutes
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12. Give Me Your Huddled Masses

The chef'testants are tasked with making something out of nothing on the open water for this week's Quickfire.The chefs then head to Ellis Island where they are surprised with their family tree and are tasked with creating a dish based on their heritage.

CC TV-14 March 2, 2011 55 minutes
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13. Fit For a King

The remaining chefs are Bahamas-bound for the remainder of the season. For the Quickfire they must go head-to-head with their culinary nemesis: their season's winner. The elimination challenge requires the chefs to cook for Bahamian Royalty with minimal cooking equipment.

CC TV-14 March 9, 2011 44 minutes
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14. Island Fever

The chefs will cater an upscale lunch party for the Nassau Yacht Club's 80th anniversary, which will include the Commodore and his friends as guests. They will cook with the finest Bahamian ingredients including conch, which they must dive for and catch in the ocean. Famed Latina chef Lorena Garcia serves as guest judge.

CC TV-14 March 16, 2011 44 minutes
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15. Last Supper

In the last Quickfire of the season, the chefs will design a challenge for one of their competitors, but there is a twist. For the Elimination challenge, the chef'testants will be making legendary Chefs Morimoto, Wolfgang Puck and Michelle Bernstein, their "Last Supper."

CC TV-14 March 23, 2011 44 minutes
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16. Finale

It all comes down to this. The final two chefs battle it out to come up with - and implement - their vision for the ultimate dining experience. Only one will earn the title that eluded them the first time around - "Top Chef."

CC TV-14 March 30, 2011 44 minutes
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17. Reunion

The drama is served extra spicy on Bravo's "Top Chef All-Stars Reunion Special." Bravo executive and "Watch What Happens: Live" host Andy Cohen talks to season eight's chef'testants and judges -- host Padma Lakshmi, head judge Tom Colicchio and judge Gail Simmons. Cohen will answer viewers' questions and dish on season eight's good, bad and undercooked.

CC TV-14 April 6, 2011 44 minutes
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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This was one of my favorite episodes of top chef, this season, because of the creativity involved. It is Restaurant Wars! The chefs are divided into two teams. One team, Etch, comprises of Marcel, Angelo, Mike Isabella, and Tiff. The second team, Bodega, comprises of Dale, Richard Blais, Fabio, Tre, and Carla. The teams compete head to head by forming a 24 hour pop-up restaurant, which is a restaurant that literally pops up in the middle of the night to give service for that one day only. This time, restaurant diners vote to decide which team has the best food, service, and concept.

My favorite chefs are Angelo, Richard Blais, and Fabio! This episode featured bits of all 3.
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What better than having the best chefs who almost won from seven seasons get together to compete? You know you're going to see some amazing dishes and cooking techniques, and hopefully at least a little more maturity among the contestants who are presumably older and wiser. In this episode the elimination challenge was very well chosen -- we can tell by the stares of our old friends as they look at what's under that silver lid that they aren't looking forward to cooking this one.
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This episode was a little weird. It started with a bizarre quick fire. Contestants weren't going to be judged on the way their food tasted ON A COOKING SHOW. Instead, the guest judge, a famous fashion designer, would judge the food on appearances. The guest judge basically just went with what he thought looked good, basically something black and icy, like the clothes he wears. It was kind of a bizarre challenge.

Next, the chefs were asked to prepare a traditional Italian meal. Chefs had to draw lots to see if they would have to create the first course, pasta dish, or meat dish. Interestingly, the best chefs in my opinion, ended up together. Fabio, Richard Blais, and Angelo ended up having to go against each other.

I'm a little disappointed in who won because I kind of agree that the person who won shouldn't have. The rules weren't really explained too well. Padma, the host, said that the contestants would be judged on who made the most authentic Italian dish. The guests said the dishes needed to be comfort food and remind people of family. These are very vague concepts.

I thought this episode was just ok.
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I was waiting for this episode to come out for 2 weeks - ever since I saw the preview!

Sometimes I go to Chinatown for Dim Sum. It really is all about fast paced cooking; food that's cheap, quick, and plentiful. These chefs were definitely put to the challenge. They had to cook for a very demanding crowd. The Chinese people love to eat. It is like a national past-time.
There was a lot of tension in this episode as some chefs cracked under the pressure.

My favorite chef is starting to be Richard Blais. Fabio is hilarious. Jamie seems to always squeak on by through the skin of her teeth. There was a lot of drama. Some of the chefs were such pigs. They did little to help their fellow contestants. Others, tried to help and do too much. They ended up suffering for their good deeds.

If you like Top Chef, you will probably enjoy this episode.
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By G. Chen on February 27, 2011
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The wrong person went home!!! The one thing that bugs me about Top Chef is that the episodes are not cummulative. If a chef does really awesome 5 times in a row, but on the 6th time makes a crappy dish, the past doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if the chef is one of the top performers and is overwhelmingly consistent. It just matters how he or she does on the 6th dish. I was really upset to see one of my favorites go.

Otherwise, this episode was mediocre. The QuickFire was basically a Sesame Street Themed cookie making challenge. It wasn't terribly creative or interesting of a challenge. I think the Producers were trying to make something cute with cross-marketing potential, again, like they did with the Jimmy Fallon episode. The chefs were asked to make cookies for muppets.

The Elimination Challenge had a somewhat interesting concept. Chefs would be free to raid Target for food supplies. The catch was they had 3 hours at midight to find whatever they would need in the store to make food for 100 people. I think Top Chef episodes are starting to focus more on different ways they can stress the contestants and different ways of product placement. I didn't mind so much because I thought the idea of a shopping spree in Target was intriguing. I would just like to see more challenges that were actually pertinent to showcasing the skill of the chef. I don't think it's fair to handicap chefs by taking away cooking utensils, sleep depriving them, and then asking them to rise to the occasion.

Maybe, I'm still upset that one of my favorites just left the show... The two that were spared I didn't think should be.
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If you like this show, then you'd want to watch. I was sad to see one of my favorites go. The quick fire and the elimination challenge though wasn't setup that much to create as innovative food as some of the other episodes. This episode seemed more focused on cross-market promoting Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Top Chef than on making interesting food.

The quickfire involved fondue. The chefs all put their own twists on the melting pot. The dishes looked ok, but I think it's hard to make a pot of some mix look appetizing. The quickfire was just ok.

The elimination challenge involved contestants being randomly assigned items to cook, ranging from the weird (beef tongue) to the normal (burgers). Not a lot of action happened. It was not a bad episode, but I just wish there was more focus on the cooking and the chefs than having extra celebrity guests. I like Jimmy Fallon and I think he's funny, but I think that this is Top Chef and I'd rather it have been more focused on the contestants and their cooking. Some of the dishes looked like they were uninspired.
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