Articles for Top Chef Season 5

Top Chef 5 has brought seventeen chefs to New York City for the latest installment of Bravo‘s big name cooking competition. The new group of cheftestants don‘t get any time to get comfortable. No sooner are we introduced to them as they are thrown into a Quickfire Challenge just moments after meeting with judges Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio. And it‘s not just the usual Quickfire Challenge. Immunity is up for grabs…but there‘s an elimination looming as well. That‘s right, not one but two chefs will be heading home from tonight‘s first episode. Read more »
Tonight, Top Chef returns for its fifth season, this time taking on the Big Apple.  Perhaps taking a cue from the current financial climate, the show is bringing using an economy-sized group of cheftestants, seventeen in all.  I‘ll be posting thoughts live throughout tonight‘s premiere, so refresh often, and leave your thoughts in the comments below.  Top Chef is always a pretty fast-paced show, so I‘ve got my knuckles cracked and fingers stretched in order to keep up with what is sure to be a premiere chock-full of drama. Read more »
The logo for Top Chef prominently features a shiny sharp knife. That alone would give you a big clue that this is not a happy, friendly, “Everybody is a winner!” kindergarten kind of competition. Even so, Top Chef still managed to reach a surprising new level of its special brand of delicious cruelty last night. Cheftestant Lauren was no sooner introduced to us through her composed and confident interviews as she was eliminated in the very first Quickfire Competition of the season. Her friend and Culinary Institute of American classmate Patrick landed in the bottom with her in that challenge. He held on for a bit longer, but followed her out the kitchen door at the end of the episode. The two spoke about their experiences today and gave us a bit of dish about the behind-the-scenes world of Top Chef. Read more »
Maybe it’s just because I’m an East Coast girl, born and raised, but I love New York City more than any other. As soon as Top Chef announced that their 5th season would take place in The Big Apple, I was excited. The city is so culturally diverse with some of the best food in the country so I knew that the stakes would be high for the contestants this time around. It turns out that I was right. The pressure was on as 17 chefs from all over the world found out that only 16 of them would be receiving coats and officially moving on to the competition. First, they’d have to survive a quickfire challenge that separated the vets from the rookies! Read more »
In Padma Lakshmi‘s pre-season conference call, she admitted that she gains weight every Top Chef season. Although the portions are small, there were sixteen dishes for the judges to work through in this premiere episode, so that‘s really no surprise. We, unfortunately, can only guess how good something might taste based on the feedback from the judges and the pictures of the final product. So which dishes on last night‘s premiere of Top Chef 5 seemed like they were certain to make your mouth water (Gourmet) and which would get sent back to the kitchen (No Way!) Read more »
On last week‘s premiere of Top Chef 5, we said hello to seventeen new cheftestants and goodbye to two, Patrick and Lauren. And in the flurry of activity, we got a few glimpses into who could be a contender in the Big Apple, and who might not make it there.Fortunes can change quickly on a reality show, but as Padma pointed out, the winner of the first elimination challenge has won the whole she-bang for three out of the prior four seasons. Does last week‘s episode give us a feeling that‘s possible? Read more »
Top Chef 5 kicked off the season last week with the double elimination, sending home Patrick and Lauren. Stefan emerged as the cheftestant most likely to be the confident chef whose skills make his near-arrogance slightly more palatable. This week, the chefs have to face some of the harshest judges possible: chefs who tried out for Top Chef and didn‘t make it. Read more »
On last night‘s episode of Top Chef 5, cheftestant Jill Snyder made an Asian-inspired hot dog and an ostrich egg quiche, but the judges found that her actual food didn‘t match up to her high concepts, and she was sent home.We spoke with the chef today to get her take on the competition, the judges, and whether or not she‘ll ever attempt to cook with an ostrich egg again. Read more »
With Top Chef there is the obvious difficulty of, you know, assessing food we‘ve never tasted. And the early part of a Top Chef season presents another challenge in guessing whose food is good and whose is gross: there‘s just too many of them. With fifteen chefs still elbowing each other for room in the kitchen, the editing invariably can only give us a little bit of time with the best and worst chefs. You know who‘s left in the middle, but how far high and low within that middle is a total mystery. Some chefs in previous competitions have actually complained about this, noting that with the criticism and praise, they are left in a hazy insecurity, not sure what on earth the judges think about their talent. Read more »
This week on Top Chef , the cheftestants will be challenged to make a meal for the Foo Fighters. The chefs‘ attempts last week at nailing “New American” were pretty disappointing according to the judges. Will their efforts at “Gourmet Rock Star” be any better? And even if the group as a whole improves their quality level, someone is still going home. If you‘ve caught the first two episodes, you probably have a good idea who most viewers are betting on as the loser of the third.  Read more »
The cheftestants on Top Chef 5 kicked off the season well, with the judges remarking with pleasure how impressed they were with the overall quality the chefs served up. Unfortunately, the group wasn‘t able to continue the streak, and last week, Tom Colicchio put on his best Disappointed Dad face to admonish the chefs for their lackluster performance – in Tom‘s own kitchen, no less.Can the chefs regain some ground this week? And can Ariane, who had landed in the bottom for the first two episodes, redeem herself and live to cook another day? Read more »
Turkey is, of course, the centerpiece of most Thanksgiving meals. Last night’s episode of Top Chef 5 featured Ariane redeeming herself from being in the bottom two for the first two episodes. Her strong performance was underscored by the fact that she hit a home run with the most important part of the meal – the bird – and that she did it using equipment other than a traditional oven. Whether or not your Thanksgiving turkey was as successful, chances are at the end of the day, you’re going to have some leftovers. Here are a few ideas from the Top Chef universe about what to do with all that extra bird.  Read more »
Last week‘s challenge on Top Chef 5 was one that many home cooks could probably relate to. How do you serve a Thanksgiving dinner that will satisfy the need for traditional flavors while working with the restrictions of time, equipment and budget? Sure, the chefs were doubly challenged by not having an oven to cook in and only one burner, but most home chefs have a similar problem once they start cooking their bird and find their stovetop cluttered with sides cooking.Some of the chefs were able to face the challenges and emerge with a solid dish, and some even brought some creativity to their offerings. Others didn‘t do so well, either for failing to nail a traditional recipe, or branching out with an innovation that didn‘t work. So whose dishes would we head back to the fridge for a midnight snack when we woke up from the first coma? And whose wouldn‘t have made it into the Tupperware as leftovers in the first place? Read more »
For Top Chef 5 contestant Richard Sweeney, the third time was the charm for getting on the show in the first place, but the third episode proved to be his downfall. Due to a banana-based s‘mores dessert that failed to impress the Foo Fighters or the Top Chef judges, the second member of Team Rainbow was sent packing. He spoke with us today about his time on the show, what he thinks about the judges and his competitors, and what he would do differently if he could do it all again.  Read more »
After landing in the bottom for the first two episode, Ariane Duarte pulled out a strong performance on last week‘s Top Chef 5. She‘d previously seemed on a fast track out the door, but with the praise of the judges, perhaps her crisis of confidence has ended. Maybe it was all a case of nerves that caused her early weak performance, and this week, we‘ll have the chance to see how she does after being called out for being one of the best. Of course, with that storyline being derailed, it‘s now back to the guessing game! Who might be the cheftestant sent home on this week‘s episode of Top Chef?  Read more »
Tonight, Top Chef 5 takes a page from America‘s Next Top Model: winning isn‘t just a matter of hitting the mark with your task; in this challenge, personality counts. The cheftestants will have to try their hand at playing “celebrity chef” by doing a live TV-style demo. The chefs who can get their dish done, make it tasty and charm the judges will move on. But will the pressure of the short time frame bring out the prickly temperament of any of the chefs and put them on the chopping blog? Read more »
In last week‘s Foo Fighters Thanksgiving episode of Top Chef 5, Alex Eusebio emerged with a little more screen time than he‘d had since this new season premiered. That could only mean two things: either he was on his way up…or on his way out. Although his performance in that episode was solid, last night things took a turn for the worse and a failed crème brulee sent him packing. Alex spoke with us today about his time on the show, how he felt about Melissa Harrison “throwing him under the bus” and how his fiancée felt about him going on the show so soon before their wedding.  Read more »
Every challenge on Top Chef has some kind of constraint – time, budget, ingredients, equipment – but within those limitations, cheftestants are usually free to let the skills they‘ve gained through education and experience run free. The exceptions are challenges like last year‘s cooking-with-kids or this past week‘s Today Show challenge, where the chefs actually had to scale back the concept of their dish to make it accessible for the home chef.Whether you consider it “taking the easy route” or simply smart strategy, the chefs who kept it relatively simple wound up doing themselves a favor in the competition, and in this week‘s assessment of Gourmet or No Way. Read more »
The year is almost over, and BuddyTV wants to know which shows were your absolute favorites from 2008. We have a huge Showdown featuring 48 of the top shows of the year, from reality staples like American Idol to smash hits like CSI. You can vote for your favorite cult shows like Supernatural, or a small comedy like It‘s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.  We have shows still going strong like Grey‘s Anatomy and shows canceled before their time like Jericho.VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE SHOW OF 2008>> Read more »
This week on Top Chef 5, the chefs will be making the dishes for the bridal shower of none other than Top Chef judge Gail Simmons. It‘s not quite as high pressure as a wedding, sure, but the added tension of trying to please a bride-to-be who will have your fate in her hands throughout the rest of the competition will surely be a little nerve-wracking for the chefs. Who will do well and who could be eliminated this week? Read more »
This week‘s Top Chef 5 featured a favorite Quickfire: the palate challenge. After testing their tasting, the chefs had to cater a bridal shower for none other than Top Chef judge Gail Simmons. The episode was supersized to give us plenty of time to learn about some of the cheftestants‘ own romantic lives. For example: did you know one of the cheftestants has been married twice to the same person?  Read more »
Danny Gagnon left Top Chef 5 last night making a football analogy: the refs made the wrong call on the play. Danny spoke with us today and the football references continued; Top Chef is the Superbowl for chefs, he said, and while he clearly has strong feelings that it wasn‘t his time to go, he‘s still glad he had the chance to play at all. Read on to find out who he thought should have gone instead and what he thought of the judges. Read more »
Last week on Top Chef 5, the chefs had to team up to create a course centered on the theme of “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” for Top Chef judge Gail Simmons‘ bridal shower. Unsurprisingly, old and borrowed were the most successful concepts (after all, tradition and fusion are pretty solid culinary paths to take) while new and blue wound up in the bottom for the judges. But what about where it really counts, namely this column? Who was Gourmet and who was No Way? And it‘s time to bring back that ever-popular third category: “Meh. Read more »
On last week‘s supersized Top Chef 5, Danny Gagnon and his carefully-sculpted facial hair were sent packing, while his teammates Carla Hall and Eugene Villiatora survived the culinary trainwreck that was their deconstructed sushi dish. Meanwhile, Jamie Lauren continued to grump her way through the competition, as yet another victory came close to her grasp before being conferred on another cheftestant. So what could happen on this week‘s also-supersized episode?  Read more »
This week on Top Chef 5, the chefs, judges and guests all had to make merry with a Christmas-themed episode, despite the fact that this was filmed sometime in the heat of the summer. Of course, nature doesn‘t like to be ignored, so some chefs find the heat of the kitchen to be even more of a problem than usual. Martha Stewart makes an appearance, but despite my hopes for a Martha-helmed elimination, it turns out her visit is brief. All is made better by the end of the episode though, when Tom Colicchio delivers an early Christmas present, one only he can deliver: the patented Tom Colicchio stern talking-to. Read more »
This week‘s “Christmas” offerings from the Top Chef 5 contestants were so mediocre, judge Tom Colicchio was forced to reprimand the whole lot of them, not just the bottom three.This was, of course, fine by me. As has been well-documented (because I won‘t stop talking about it), one of my favorite features of Top Chef is Tom Colicchio‘s disapproval. Nevertheless, the chefs were cooking for a worthy event, and no doubt the guests were a little disappointed in the offerings. Let‘s try to muster up a Best (Gourmet) and filter through to the worst (No Way). Read more »
On the last episode of Top Chef 5, Christmas came early to the chefs. Though the episode was probably taped in August, the judges chose not to eliminate anyone in the spirit of holiday giving. But now the holidays are over. So we‘re done with good cheer, and grumpy from being bloated due to holiday excess. It‘s time for some heads to roll, and this week on Top Chef 5, they‘re going to roll in tandem: two chefs are going home. Read more »
Top Chef 5 has been on a hiatus for the holidays but the show is back tonight with actual vengeance tonight. New poison-tongued judge Toby Young is joining the panel, and the risk of being sent home is increased for the chefs tonight: two of them are going home. Last episode, Hosea Rosenberg won again, but Stefan Richter isn‘t concerned, saying he can run circles around him. For two of the chefs in the bottom last week – Melissa Harrison and Eugene Villiatora – the reprieve gave them a chance to reflect and regroup. Both want to redeem themselves with this challenge. Read more »
Last night on Top Chef 5, both Eugene Villiatora and Melissa Harrison were sent home in a double elimination. New judge Toby Young joined the panel, and sending home two cheftestants reflected the new take-no-prisoners tone he seems to be striking. Today, we talked with both Melissa and Eugene to get their take on the episode, this new judge, and their feelings about the show possibly being “rigged.” Read more »
This week‘s episode of Top Chef 5 featured a double elimination, as both Eugene Villiatora and Melissa Harrison were dispatched after facing the brutal real-time critique of their dishes from their fellow chefs and new judge Toby Young.The double elimination thinned the ranks, which was needed after the holiday cheer episode ended without a cheftestant being sent home. And, after Tom Colicchio had admonished the chefs to start playing to win, it would appear that they took his words to heart as the general consensus of the judges was that the quality of the offerings was pretty solid. So who ends up in the top (Gourmet) and bottom (No Way) this week? Read more »
We are now down to the single digits on Top Chef 5. Only nine chefs remain: Jamie Lauren, Radhika Desai, Stefan Richter, Carla Hall, Ariane Duarte, Leah Cohen, Jeff McInnis, Hosea Rosenberg, and Fabio Viviani. While there‘s always a chance that a great chef can make a major mistake and go home before a more mediocre one, ideally this should be the time that the chefs who have been riding in the middle can no longer skate by hoping that someone else is worse. With that said, who could be going home on this week‘s episode of Top Chef 5?  Read more »
This week on Top Chef 5, the chefs are going “Down on the Farm,” which means they‘ll have access to some excellent raw ingredients. Of course, that would be way too pleasant all by itself, so we can expect some extra impediments thrown in our chefs‘ collective way. Last week, both Melissa Harrison and Eugene Villiatora were eliminated, and with fewer chefs in the house, the strong personalities have less buffering. What does this mean? Stefan Richter‘s special Teutonically-flavored irritating power is even more concentrated! Read more »
When this season started, Ariane Duarte seemed heading for an early exit from Top Chef 5. She was in the bottom two for the first two episodes. Things started to turn around for her by the third episode, though. Her turkey was the strongest element for her team‘s Thanksgiving Day dinner in that episode, and she landed wins in the Elimination Challenges for the fourth and fifth episode, and the Quickfire in the sixth. She slipped back down again in the Quickfire for the “Focus Group” episode, but bounced back up to the group singled out as the best dishes by the Elimination Challenge. Unfortunately, as Toby Young pointed out to Padma in the judging last night, on Top Chef 5, you‘re only as good as your last dish, and her butchering of the butchering of the lamb got her sent home this week. We talked with Ariane about her time on the show and whether or not she still thinks Hosea Rosenberg is a “wimp.”  Read more »
On Top Chef 5 this week, the cheftestants had an opportunity most chefs would love. They visited a farm know for high-quality produce and were able to select literally farm-fresh ingredients to prepare a special and seasonal meal. In the heat of competition though, most of the chefs were more thrown than thrilled by the twist of not using their usual source, and the results reflected this.Although none of the teams seemed to nail the “seasonal” piece of their challenge, from a taste perspective, it did seem as though there was definitely a clear line between the best (Gourmet) and worst (No Way!) offerings. Read more »
Last week on Top Chef 5, Ariane Duarte was sacrificed for her lamb, while the Hosea Rosenberg and Leah Cohen were spared to spend more time in flirty banter. Previews for the week promise Extra! Drama! when their canoodling goes too far, leading many Top Chef 5 viewers anxiously turning over one question in their minds: who cares? I‘m not saying I want my Top Chef devoid of drama, I‘m just saying if I want to see people behaving badly with each other, I‘ll watch Rock of Love Bus. When tuning into Top Chef, I want to see people behaving badly in a kitchen.  Read more »
As the competition heats up on the fifth season of Top Chef, the show will "kick it up a notch" as it graces the eclectic city of New Orleans where the final contestants will attempt to impress famed chef and restaurateur Emeril Lagasse. A regional James Beard Award winner, Emeril Lagasse is perhaps most notable for his Food Network shows Emeril Live and Essence of Emeril as well as catchphrases such as "Kick it up a notch!" and "Bam!" He has also written several best-selling cookbooks, has a wide range of Emeril-branded products, and is the executive chef and proprietor of 10 restaurants. Read more »
Tonight on Top Chef 5, it‘s Restaurant Wars! Restaurant Wars!, a concept that, if written, should always be followed by an exclamation point, and if spoken, needs to be accompanied by jazz hands, or little shooting guns motions, or something else that expresses what a big deal it is. Because it‘s a Big Deal! It‘s an extra-15-minutes-of-Top-Chef Big Deal!And this season, we have the extra-added spice of Hosea Rosenberg and Leah Cohen and will they or won‘t they take the flirtation too far?Well, let‘s get on with it and see if they get it on. Read more »
If BuddyTV readers were Top Chef 5 judges, it would have been Leah Cohen, not Radhika Desai, heading home from last night‘s Restaurant Wars episode. As of the publishing of this article, about 65% of you would have sent home the Hosea-snuggler rather than Radhika. But alas, you all were not her judges, so Radhika and her knives were sent packing for the failure of her team in Restaurant Wars. We talked with the chef today about her experience and about how much she knew about the canoodling going on with Hosea Rosenberg and Leah.  Read more »
While Radhika Desai lost the battle to remain in the competition last week on Top Chef 5, it was Hosea Rosenberg and Leah Cohen who lost the most on that episode. Their indiscretion earned the ire of many viewers and no doubt created havoc in their personal lives, not just with their partners (Hosea later posted a response that he and his girlfriend have since broken up) but also with all of the people that saw the show and formed an opinion about their actions. Will the stress from what they‘ve done be either chef‘s undoing this week on Top Chef 5?  Read more »
Anticipating his cameo on tonight‘s Super Bowl Chef Showdown on Top Chef, season 4 alum Spike Mendelsohn tells fans of the shows to watch tonight‘s episode if they want to see how different – and better – last season‘s contestants were compared to the new guys, reports “You will see the electric energy some of the prior contestants have…compared to these new guys!” says Mendelsohn, who placed fourth on Top Chef‘s last season.  “These guys don‘t have enough…style, humor, bravado… Where is the fun?!  They‘re too bland for my taste.” Read more »
All season on Top Chef 5, watching Jeff McInnis has been a chance to see how one‘s will or ego can sometimes get in the way of the one‘s own innate talent. This isn‘t using “ego” in the usual sense of the word, i.e., conceit or arrogance. More the Eastern take on the concept: the idea we have about ourselves and how the world should be that sometimes prevents us from seeing how the world actually is. In Jeff‘s case, it seemed like his fixation on presenting a complex dish that would showcase his broad range of skills and ideas sometimes meant the underlying quality of his flavors was lost to the judges in the noise. In the episode last night, that battle was finally lost according to those judges, and he was sent packing. Jeff spoke today about his time on the show and what he‘s doing next.  Read more »
Tonight on Top Chef 5, cheftestants from previous seasons return to challenge this season‘s chefs in a Superbowl Chef Showdown. But of course, the pressure isn‘t only there to make a good showing against the veterans. There‘s an elimination looming, per usual, and so the chefs might be going head-to-head with some old favorites, but they are still really competing against each other. Before they get to that challenge, though, they have to face the Quickfire, and also per usual, it‘s a Very Special (Branded) Quickfire. Read more »
Chef Jeff McInnis was kicked off last week on Top Chef 5, and we are now down to the final six: Carla Hall, Fabio Viviani, Jamie Lauren, Stefan Richter, Hosea Rosenberg and Leah Cohen. For a while on this season, it looked like Ariane Duarte was going to be the comeback kid, bouncing back from the bottom to the top spots. Now that she‘s gone, could Carla be taking her spot? Or was it just some good gumbo mojo and will her luck run out this week?  Read more »
The season of Top Chef 5 seems like it‘s been the most seafood-heavy season yet. Tonight will take the chefs further out into the ocean as they have to cook for one of the most revered seafood chefs in the country, Eric Ripert of New York City‘s Le Bernardin. Will Carla Hall continue her comeback kid ride? Will Stefan Richter‘s brief trip to the bottom shake his confidence? And will Leah Cohen finally slump her way out of the competition or get herself back into the game?  Read more »
Well, I, for one, was shocked last night when cheftestant Jamie Lauren was kicked off of Top Chef 5. It‘s always a possibility for the stronger chefs to be eliminated before their time on Top Chef, since you are only as good as your last dish.  Nevertheless, it‘s hard to let go of the mindset that the strongest overall performing chefs will make it all the way to the end. But braised celery did the chef in, and we talked to her today about her elimination, what she thought about the judges, and Stefan‘s hopeless crush.  Read more »
The thing that gives Top Chef its suspense is the thing that can be most annoying about it. Sure, it would be more fair if each judging looked primarily at a cheftestant‘s overall performance. But without the “You‘re only as good as your last dish” guideline, you might as well crown dominating players like Richard Blais from Top Chef 4 or Stefan Richter from this season winners midway through and not bother with the rest of the competition. This is television, after all, and creating drama is, in fact, the goal of making the show in the first place – not being fair. So while many feel like Jamie Lauren‘s overall performance should have saved her last week, her mistake in the challenge overrode all her previous success and sent her home.  Read more »
From Bravo‘s official press release:It‘s time for the knife off.  The final five chef‘testants learn who will be cooking the last supper on Top Chef: New York.  It‘s their last chance to impress the judges before the finale and things get heated as the chef‘testants pull out all the stops to avoid being cut. Read more »
Bravo recently revealed some details on how the Top Chef spin-off will look like, among them, its host and the general premise.  Top Chef Masters, set to debut this fall, will feature 24 contestants from all over the world who will compete in a series of weekly events, including a twist on the current quick fire challenge and a “more involved” elimination challenge.  Essentially, it‘s going to be a more uppity version of the "regular" Top Chef.In addition, Kelly Choi, host of weekly restaurant show Eat Out NY will host Top Chef Masters, while New York Magazine food critic Gael Greene, culinary expert James Oseland, and British journalist Jay Rayner will make up the judges. Read more »
Last week‘s episode of Top Chef 5 had Jamie Lauren, one of the stronger competitors, packing her knives for some poorly-executed celery. Meanwhile, Carla Hall, who had started out the competition struggling a bit, has continued to improve and impress. It all just confirms that the fate of a cheftestant can change abruptly, and as competitors are felled, some others can come to the fore. This week will determine which four chefs will make it to the finals in New Orleans, and which – Carla, Leah Cohen, Stefan Richter, Hosea Rosenberg or Fabio Viviani – will be serving his or her last supper on the show.  Read more »
It‘s hard to know if it was the dalliance with Hosea Rosenberg, her apparent loss of steam towards the end, or just the whims of the Top Chef 5 audience, but it appears that not a lot of viewers were heartbroken last night when Leah Cohen was told to pack her knives and go, being denied a spot in the final four. It appears that she might not have been entirely heartbroken herself by the ouster, and she talked to us today about her time on the show and how she was feeling by the end of it.  Read more »
Okay, so now we know. Our final Top Chef 5 four: Hosea Rosenberg, Carl Hall, Fabio Viviani, and Stefan Richter. There are so many ways to frame the matchups: Europe vs. the USA! The arrogant vs. the humble underdogs! The baldies vs the non-baldies! The hooties vs. the whos! What is interesting about this final four is that for once it does actually seem like it could be anybody‘s game.  Read more »
On the last episode of Hell‘s Kitchen, a marching band woke the contestants up early in the morning.  They were also greeted with garbage bags containing food they wasted.   They used the fish scallops for the challenge, which the blue team won by one piece, 36 to 35.  The men, except Robert, took a helicopter to ride to Catalina Island, as the girls stayed to prepare a raw bar for the night‘s service.  It was during the raw bar preparation when it happened.  Ji sprained her ankle, prompting her to later withdraw from competition, saving Colleen and Lacey who were nominated.Meanwhile, in a recent interview, Gordon Ramsay says Hell‘s Kitchen presents a very delectable opportunity to all the contestants, while taking a barb at a similarly themed Bravo reality show. Read more »
From Bravo‘s official press release:The remaining chefs take their skills outside New York City to compete in the final challenges that will determine who takes home the title of Top Chef. Read more »
One of the final four contestants on Top Chef, Carla Hall was one of those who started out on the wrong foot but quickly gathered strength and eventually became one of the frontrunners.  The Nashville, Tennessee, native admits that her husband does get upset whenever he reads negative comments about her performance on the show on blogs, but at the end of the day, she‘s confident of her skill.“My husband would get upset when he read the blogs, but I still don‘t read them.  I wouldn‘t necessarily disagree with some of them.  I knew I could cook better.” Read more »
Last night on Top Chef 5, we said a sad arrivederci to Fabio Viviani. In the true sense of the word, though, he told us to get used to his face because we would be seeing it again. Today we spoke with Fabio about his time on Top Chef 5, his prediction that Stefan would take it all, and the special connection he had with Padma Lakshmi. Read more »
Four chefs – Carla Hall, Hosea Rosenberg, Fabio Viviani and Stefan Richter – have successfully run the gauntlet of Top Chef 5 in New York City, and can officially say: they made it there. Now that they tackled the Big Apple, it‘s time to try the Big Easy, and the chefs head down to New Orleans to cook for the Top Chef judges and Emeril Lagasse. Of course, there has to be a twist, and this one brings back some familiar faces. Read more »
After getting the boot on Top Chef, it‘s perhaps expected of Fabio Viviani to make light of the situation by commenting that the night was “the saddest moment in reality TV for the United States.” “Everybody was crying and the tears.  I was laughing my ass off,” Fabio says, referring to a viewing party he recently had in New York.  “I‘m happy to make it that far.  The fact that I didn‘t go home with the title of Top Chef is not going to break the camel‘s back.” Read more »
Well, here we are. It‘s the Finale of Top Chef 5, and we are about to learn who will take the title. Will it be Stefan Richter, who helped along the dramatic arc of the show by totally blowing off the last two Elimination Challenges and ending his steamroller dominance? Or will it be Carla Hall, who‘s been steadily picking up her own steam, who will roll into the final challenge on a high from her recent streak of success and snatch an underdog victory? Or will it…oh right, Hosea Rosenberg? Who has been...good?  Read more »
From Bravo‘s official press release:The final chef‘s battle it out to cook the best meal of their lives and earn the prestigious title of Bravo‘s Top Chef in the final episode of Top Chef: New York. Read more »
As everything is set for the season finale of Top Chef tonight, one of the contestants Carla Hall seems to be geared up for the final showdown.  Commenting on her status as the underdog during the whole competition, she said it is pure skill that got her to the finals.“I think what held me back was having the confidence in myself to actually do what I knew I could do.  A lot of times in competition you are assessing others, you look at what the person has done and judge it.  I just wanted to be able to feel confident.  For me, my biggest competitor was myself and to actually feel comfortable and feel good about what I was putting before the judges.”Hall, who was an accountant and a model before becoming a chef, also confirms that Stefan really is the Top Chef’s villain, and it wasn’t just in the way the show was edited.“I actually like Stefan, and I think that he’s portrayed as a villain, but that’s how he plays the game. He gets to know his competitors. He may see a weak spot, he may manipulate that, but not to be undercutting.” Read more »
Tonight on the final episode of Top Chef: New York, the final chefs battle it out to cook the best meal of their lives and earn the prestigious title of Bravo‘s Top Chef. Will it be Carla Hall, Hosea Rosenberg, or Stefan Richter who takes home the prize when they cook tonight at renowned and historic New Orleans restaurant “Commander’s Palace”?  With Carla having gained serious momentum in the last couple of challenges, Hosea feeling intimidated by Stefan’s ego, and Stefan without his “Team Euro” sidekick, who will be able to withstand the judges expectations and hone their skill to become Top Chef?Read on for exclusive sneak peeks of the exciting finale... including a twist! It wouldn‘t be a finale without a twist! Read more »
Here we are!  Okay, so Top Chef 5 didn‘t exactly keep us on the edge of our culinary seats, but at least we did meet some colorful characters, some of whom even made it all the way to the finale.So tonight we will learn who will take home the title of Top Chef and the $100,000 prize.  Will it be one of the bald rivals, Hosea Rosenberg and Stefan Richter?  Or the underdog chef Carla Hall? Read more »
For some Top Chef 5 viewers, Stefan Richter was the prototypical reality contestant they loved to hate. To them, his cockiness seemed abrasive and off-putting. To other viewers, like this one, his relentlessly cheerful arrogance was sort of endearing, especially since it seemed to be paired with some genuine affection for his competitors (you know, when he wasn‘t blustering about how much better he is than they are). We talked with Stefan today about his experience on the show, what he thought about losing, the very special offer he has for Jamie Lauren, and how he feels about some of his harshest critics: bloggers.  Read more »
Last night, a new Top Chef was crowned in New Orleans. Hosea Rosenberg, a 26-year-old executive chef, took home the bacon after cooking a three-course meal and a surprise appetizer, not to mention his venison served over wild mushrooms and carbonated blackberries that blew the judges away.  Aside from earning boasting rights over 44-year-old chef and fan favorite Carla Hall and 35-year-old chef Stefan Richter, Hosea ultimately won the $100,000 cash prize. "I‘m kind of in shock right now, I‘m so happy, it feels pretty damn cool," Hosea said after claiming his title and the cash prize.  "This is one of the biggest accomplishments in my life, I know a lot of people are going to be proud of me for this and I couldn‘t be happier.  Things are going to change, for sure." Read more »
Hosea Rosenberg‘s ascent to the top spot on Top Chef 5 was certainly not a smooth ride. From the stress of a father ill with cancer, to the poorly-timed dalliance with Leah Cohen that seemed to rattle his focus, to several brushes with the bottom, it was never a sure thing that he would emerge with the win. But he did win, and he spoke with us today about the competition, what he thinks about the reaction to his victory, and what exactly is going on with Leah Cohen now that the show is over.  Read more »
The season finale of Top Chef was disappointing on so many levels, and not just because Hosea Rosenberg won the top honors after a completely bland season. The only joy I got out of Hosea‘s win was that Richard Blais, Hosea‘s sous chef and a runner up from season 4 of Top Chef, helped him win. (I was hoping to see some more bacon ice cream, though. Yum!)All throughout the season, I was pulling for my girl Carla Hall, and watching her struggle in the kitchen was difficult and stressful to watch, especially when it seemed like she was taking more advice than she should have from her sous chef, Casey Thompson from season 3. When, at Judges‘ Table, the judges immediately took Carla out of the running because of the disastrously tough sous vide beef and unplateable bleu cheese soufflés (both Casey‘s ideas), my interest in the outcome of the season waned dramatically. Read more »
On Wednesday, we‘ll learn who the fan favorite is for Top Chef 5. If our readers are a good barometer of the general Top Chef viewing audience, then Carla Hall is the main contender for that title. At first on Top Chef 5, it seemed like maybe she was on track to be the goofy comic relief of the season, but not a serious contender. But it seemed like she gained confidence as she continued in the competition, and by the end, her talents and abilities were clear. We spoke with her about the time on the show, what she thinks about Casey Thompson and Stefan Richter, and her future plans.  Read more »
Apparently, huge names watch reality shows.  Right after wowing the judges and the Top Chef fans, season 5 ultimate winner Hosea Rosenberg says no less than Martha Stewart called him. “She wasn‘t calling me out before this,” the Jax Fish House chef says.  “It‘s been a helluva ride so far.  Well, my life has changed more than I can even measure; I got flown out to New York the day after and haven‘t been back since.” Read more »
Usually, when the chefs are sitting across from the panel of Top Chef judges, it‘s a nerve-wracking experience. Tonight, though, it‘s different kind of encounter, as everyone – judges and competitors alike, have returned to take a look back at the season, see which catchphrases have been memorialized on a tee-shirt and learn who was voted fan favorite of Top Chef 5. Read more »
With Top Chef, the behemoth of all culinary competition shows, over for the season, televised-cooking addicts have a tough choice to make: wait it out for next season, or take a taste of something different? Probably the best known contender is FOX‘s Hell‘s Kitchen--but can Hell‘s Kitchen really satisfy fans of Bravo‘s Top Chef? Allison Waldman at TV Squad contends that no, Hell‘s Kitchen can‘t compete, because these shows have even less in common than you might initially expect. The two shows are bothabout aspiring chefs who compete for a top position, but Top Chef rewards who can best work alone to show their individual skills, and Hell‘s Kitchen rewards who can best run a restaurant kitchen with several other chefs in tow. Top Chef rewards its winner with $100,000 to start his or her own business venture, and Hell‘s Kitchen winners get a one-year contract as the executive chef at a Gordon Ramsay restaurant. In short, Hell‘s Kitchen is all about Ramsay‘s talents, not his trainees, with challenges consisting of having them cook his dishes, his way. Top Chef puts all its focus on its chefs‘ unique styles, techniques and flavors. And as such, Waldman claims, "in terms of quality competition, food expertise and cooking skills, Top Chef is superior to Hell‘s Kitchen." Read more »
Top Chef will officially begin its 21-city tour in New York on Friday, March 27 at the Flatiron Pedestrian Plaza. The announcement was made by Bravo yesterday, along with the exciting festivities in store for the city stops. During the event launching in New York City, three finalists will compete in the first-ever Quaker Oats Viewer Quickfire Challenge where they will prepare an original dish featuring Quaker Oats.  Dishes will be judged by Top Chef season 5 winner Hosea Rosenberg and season 4 cheftestant Nikki Cascone, with the grand prize winner receiving the chance to attend a future Top Chef taping. Read more »
It‘s official! Bravo has finally announced that it has renewed its reality cooking series, Top Chef, for season 6. The news doesn‘t really come as a surprise since the network already announced open casting call dates and locations for the new season in February. Still, it‘s comforting to know that Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi, lead judge Tom Colicchio and judges Gail Simmons and Toby Young will all reprise their roles for the show‘s upcoming season. And similar to previous seasons, season 6 will also feature a group of "cheftestants" competing for a grand prize to help them launch their own restaurant. Read more »