Quick! Who won the last season of Top Chef? If you’re reading this blog, you probably remember. Just in case, this was the winner. Sorry, just a little brain teaser before we start.
Why is Dial Nutriskin the supplier of the $125,000 prize? How is that in any way germane to Top Chef? Obviously chefs should wash their hands, but what happened to Glad? I betcha that, at least ONCE this season, we’ll see one of the cheftestants IN the shower with Dial Nutriskin. Oh wait, they’re donating lots of money to Padma’s endometriosis charity. That’s nice.
First impressions of the chefs as they arrive:
Timothy seems very enthusiastic. I like him.
Jacqueline – Cleavaged and gold-jewelried blonde.
Angelo thinks he’s hot, but not in a funny way like Fabio.
Amanda IS hot.
John – Seriously dreadlocked. He looks nice like Carla.
Tiffany – Fun.
Ed – Tries too hard. (Just kidding. How could I possibly know that after 2 seconds? He looks bland.)
Kenny – Big personality. (Remember they haven’t opened their mouths yet.)
Kelly – Witchy. It’s my blog and I can make instant (insane) assessments if I want.
Tamesha – SHE may be the Carla-like sweetie pie. (She blew a kiss to the camera.)
Alex – REALLY full of himself.
Lynne – A serious chef.
Goodness, there are a lot of them!
Kevin – Career chef, but these snap judgments are getting harder.
Tracey – A female Kevin from last season.
Stephen – Could be a lot of fun or really lame.
Seriously, did they just find people out of the phone book? ENOUGH!
Andrea – Fun. Cool hair.
Great shots of DC. We actually meet the chefs. I’ll let you know if I was wrong about anyone.
Kenneth is alot more soft spoken than I thought. Alex looks like a completely different person. I was sooo right about Lynne. She’s a chef/instructor at the CIA and says she may not have any tattoos or be a crazy person, but her food tastes good. I like her!
To prepare for Top Chef,
Kevin turns out to the chef at Rat’s, which is about 18 minutes from my house. Oh goodie, a local chef, I’m psyched. I’ve been there tons of times…BEFORE he became the chef, though. It is a beautiful place, which had pretty good food, but uneven…or worse service. BUT Kevin Sbraga is famous (around these parts). I have my new fav. Cool.
Angelo IS full of himself – big time, but he HAS worked with some great chefs. (So then WHY is he on Top Chef? Why doesn't he just get on with it?) He’s blathering on to Timothy about all these fancy chefs he knows and where he’s worked. Luckily, Timothy is keeping up in the name dropping department, but only in response to Angelo.
Padma and Tom come out. Hi Tom! Why couldn’t you speak up for Rick at the Top Chef Masters finale? They’re at the Newseum. Tom is wearing baggy jeans and huge sneakers. Darn, his soul patch is back. Padma is wearing REALLY high stilettos.
The first Quickfire will test their skills. It’s a mis en place tournament. This isn’t easy. They have to peel potatoes. Then the 12 fastest move on to brunoising (chopping onions into a perfect square dice) 10 cups of onions. That’s a lot. 8 chefs move on to breaking down 4 chickens. The 4 fastest chefs will make a dish from those ingredients which Tom and Padma will taste. THIS is not easy.
The winner of the best dish will receive $20,000 in cold (well, room temperature) cash. They begin. Amanda cuts her hand. Kenny’s the first to finish. Then Angelo. Darn! Then hippie-dippie John. They go so fast I don’t who these folks are. 5 chefs don’t move on. Kenny finishes first again with the onions! Angelo moves on too.
Kenny finishes first AGAIN cutting up the chickens! He’s awesome. My guy Kevin may not make it to final round. Thank goodness, HE DOES! There are four chefs left - Kenny, Kevin, Angelo and I don’t know who the last one is. Oh, Timothy. Good! I like him.
Here are the dishes. Angelo wins with his dish of Roasted Wing And Thigh, Curried Onion Jam, Potato Noodles. (Show off.) I like it when Kenny says he doesn’t see Angelo as a threat, he sees him as an obstacle.
The Elimination Challenge is to cook a dish that represents their regional cuisines. It’s kind of confusing how they’re dividing up. There will be 4 teams, with a winner and loser on each team. The Quickfire top four get to pick the teams.
Jacqueline describes it best when she says (to us), “Who…you think is the worst chef is the person who gets picked first.” (SHE gets picked almost at the end.)
Poor Ed is the last person chosen, but isn’t that good? Doesn’t that mean that the 4 captains don’t want to compete against him? Dunno. Ed feels the need to tell us that he’s a great chef, who has worked with lots of famous chefs - Todd English, Daniel Boulud and Laurent Tourondel.
They have 45 minutes to shop and $300. John is getting a bunch of frozen stuff from the freezer. I’m thinking that’s not a good idea. He also gets about 4 dozen eggs.
Alex was born in
They arrive at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium, where they will be serving their dishes. Only one or two of the chefs is wearing gloves as they’re handling the food.
The judges arrive. Padma introduces them to Amanda. They are Tom, Gail and Eric, who should be a great addition - superb chef, deeply Frenssccchhh accent, hot…what’s not to like?
I like all the dishes they’re tasting, except Jacqueline’s. They’re tasting four at a time and picking a winner and loser from each group. I predict Jacqueline will lose and Kevin will win.
Next four - Stephen, Ed, Lynne, Tracey and Kenny. I love his dish - Black Bean Mole. Tom doesn’t seem to like anything. Kenny will win this group, I think.
Next up are Alex’s Borscht Short Ribs. Tamesha’s Jerked Chicken looks yum. Andrea’s dish sounds weird. Tim makes a fish dish. The judges think Andrea’s and Alex’s are good, but Tim left the skin on his fish. Bad news for him. Next!
Tiffany is friendly, Kelly’s strip steak looks good. Angelo does some frothy deconstructed something. John is freaky, so is his dessert. The judges aren't impressed with the frozen puff pastry. Tom likes Angelo’s. Gail isn’t so sure. Eric likes Kelly’s. Neither Gail nor Tom taste the maple in John’s dessert. I think it’s curtains for him.
Back in the stew room, all 17 chefs are crowded in. Kevin, Alex, Kenny and Angelo are called in. Obviously, they’re the winners of each group. I’m glad I’m rooting for a winner. Eric was pleased with Angelo’s bacon foam. And the big winner is…Angelo. Drat!
Next called in are Stephen, John, Tim and Jacqueline. Tim is shocked to be there. One of them is going home. Stephen’s ribeye was cut too thin, the judges say.
Jacqueline was already in trouble with the judges. They were surprised when she told them, as she was serving, that the chicken liver mousse had no added fat. Jacqueline says she’s SERVED it hundreds of times. Tom says you may have SERVED it, but have you MADE it hundreds of times? Yes, she says, but never without a recipe. Tom cannot believe that she still needed a recipe after making that dish so many times.
Jacqueline would definitely be gone, if John’s dish weren’t so awful. John says he was being stupid when they tell him the puff pastry was soggy. Tom seems to agree. I think it will be John.
Commercial. Good for Bravo viewers, who voted overwhelmingly that Angelo was too cocky for his own good.
Tom is particularly brutal to John saying that dish only showed who he was if he were a first year pastry student. John is gone. Go me! Poor John. He’s disappointed. Of course, he is. I feel bad for him. He seems like a cool cat. I would have liked to have gotten to know him better.
The previews of coming shows seem quite lively. Oh, wait, that’s their job.
Pretty good first show. I love that there’s a local guy. But I do prefer it when the ranks have been thinned a bit and I can remember everybody’s name.