I can’t even express how much I enjoyed the season premiere of “Top Chef All-Stars.” It was seriously everything I had imagined and more.

I could’ve done without the first elimination winner winning, but the first elimination was like the best reality TV moment in history (for me anyway). I’ll get to that later, however.

At the start, we get to meet all of our favorites, and not-so-favorites all over again. I was most excited to see Carla Hall (Season 5), Marcel Vigneron (Season 2) and Tiffany Derry (Season 7). I was (way) less excited about seeing Elia Abomrad (Season 2), Angleo Sosa (Season 7) and Mike Isabella (Season 6).

And before I get to the challenges, I have to ask a question. When did Jamie Lauren (Season 5) decide she was so amazing? She came in like 7th place her season. Which I think might be the second-lowest ranked returning chef next to Tre Wilcox (Season 3). I don’t know. She just came across as cocky and unlikable in the season premiere.

For the quickfire, the chefs are paired with their fellow season members and are asked to create dishes (or components of one) that represents the city their show was filmed in. Surprisingly, on the bottom were Marcel and Elia (Season 2); Tiffani Faison and Steven Asprinio (Season 1); Jamie, Carla and Fabio Viviani (Season 5); and Angelo and Tiffany (Season 7).

The favorite dishes were Richard Blais, Spike Mendelsohn, Dale Talde and Antonia Lofaso (Season 4); Tre, Casey Thompson, and Dale Levitski (Season 3); and Mike and Jennifer Carroll (Season 6). The season 4 group wins for making a hot dog covered in some weird mustard foam or ice cream or something Richard Blais-ish.

Padma then reveals the first elimination challenge and it’s completely brilliant. Each contest must improve upon the dish they were eliminated for. Brilliant, I told you. So we get to see a lot of familiar dishes while the chefs get to redeem themselves.

There’s not a lot of drama in the kitchen just yet. So far, it’s mostly trash talking behind backs. And it looks like Marcel is probably going to be misunderstood yet again. I like Marcel. I always have. And I’ve always thought he is misunderstood. It’s sad that everyone is going into this game thinking that. And we’ve got Elia and Ilan (Season 2 winner) to thank for that.

It seems most of the dishes have been improved upon. Richard, as always, is the front runner, but since he blew past the timer and kept plating when he shouldn’t he is disqualified (haha!). Joining him in the top were Jamie, Spike and Angelo. Angelo wins.

The bottom chefs are Richard, Fabio and Elia. Elia is sent packing. And I couldn’t be more pleased. I needed that redemption from Season 2. She and Ilan from that season are two of my least favorite reality show contestants in history. They treated Marcel terribly. They made Top Chef feel like high school bully training. And she was the worst because she turned on Marcel. He thought she was the only one on his side, but toward the end, she proved him wrong. So I was happy. Very happy. See ya Elia. Now if we could just figure out a way to get back at Ilan.

So what did you think? What kind of predictions do you have for this season? Even though it sounds terribly predictable, I could really see a Richard-Marcel-Antonio Top 3. But that’s just too obvious. Richard will be there for sure…

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