Top Chef All-Stars Shines

With the uneven Just Desserts spin-off just a falling soufflé of a memory, the cooking competition got back on the front burner last night with its much-hyped All-Stars edition. Jammed with vets from seasons past, most awesome and only a few awful (Stephen from season 1, you remain a supercilious hobbit), it's clear that a real food fight is on...and on fire.

As Padma said at the outset, more is at stake for these also-rans than ever before. Not only is there a buttload of prize money on the line, so too is their pride. And from what we saw last night, a few of the cheftetsants returned with plenty of that. Marcel still sees himself as season 2's victim, round 5's usually adorable Fabio dared to give it back to newly semi-regular judge Anthony Bourdain, and Angelo is still using the flu he contracted during the Season 7 finale as an excuse for losing. We'll see how boastful they are after Tom, Padma and company cut them down to size at the judges' table a few more times.

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