Top Chef Duels,
Bravo's latest incarnation has memorable-for reasons both good and bad-former Top Chef
and Top Chef Masters
contestants going head-to-head in three rounds of "extreme culinary challenges." Each episode is sure to be packed full of surprises, especially since the cheftestants can call each other out to prove their chops. That should be irresistible to some of these culinary egomaniacs.
The winner of each round on Top Chef Duels
will move on to the finals and the chance to become $100,000 richer and receive a spread in "Food and Wine" Magazine.
Yummy Curtis Stone will act as both a host and judge. Joining him at the
judges' table will be Gail Simmons while Wolfgang Puck, Hugh Acheson
and assorted surprise guests from culinary superstars to celebrities who
will fill the remaining seats throughout the season.Eighteen chefs
will face off, some winners, some losers, all eager for bragging rights.
premiere episode pits Top Chef All-Stars
champ and all-around nice guy
Richard Blais against Top Chef
Season 1 Runner-Up and perennial
pain-in-the-ass Marcel Vigneron. Who has the best shot at winning? Let's take a closer look.Richard Blais
All-Stars victory, Blais wrote his first cookbook, hosted Cook Your Ass
Off on the HLN network and opened a new restaurant called Juniper &
Ivy in San Diego.
Why He'll Win: Blais views molecular gastronomy
as a science; a way to make food taste better. It's not just about the
bells and whistles. He's dedicated his career to putting new twists on
old favorites but keeping dishes accessible to home cooks. Blais is
bound to wow the judges with his creativity and deliver great food.
He'll Lose: Aspects of the competition remain a question mark which
could mean all of the competitors could find themselves out of their
comfort zones. Blais has cracked under pressure in the past, and some of
his concoctions have worked in theory but not in practice.
has spent the last few years honing his skills, even taking classes in
Barcelona, Spain. He scored his own show, Marcel's Quantum Kitchen, on
Syfy which lasted six episodes.
Why He'll Win: His arrogance can
only work in his favor. There are no team challenges, so his
personality flaws aren't likely to affect the outcome. He's continued to
compete on shows such as the Food Network's Iron Chef, so he's still
got his competitive edge. He's definitely about showmanship and keeping
up with the latest cutting-edge techniques, so depending on what rabbits
he pulls out of his hat, he could outshine his competitor.
He'll Lose: Unlike Blais, Vigneron has yet to open his own restaurant.
Although he does have a catering company. He's more style than substance
and seems more interested in a television career than making a
significant mark in the culinary world. He can soon be seen on Food
Fighters, America's Best Cook and Cutthroat Kitchen Superstar Sabotage.
Top Chef Duels
the exact format still a little fuzzy, I'm flying a bit blind on this
one. But, I still have to go with Blais for the win. It could be a risky
choice if he's become too complacent. I'm counting on the fact that
Vigneron will forget flavor profiles in favor of flash.
he gets the boot, Vigneron will get a chance to participate in the
finals. Eliminated chefs will compete in The Knockout, a digital video
series hosted by Wolfgang Puck. Losers will battle it out until there's
one standing whose reward will be a coveted slot in the championship
airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on Bravo.
(Image courtesy of Bravo)