Articles for Top Chef Season 7

So many chefs, so little time many chefs. I have faith that this season will pick up, but tonight‘s episode didn‘t offer much of a "wow factor."  Like, remember when they did the Mise en Place Quickfire in Miami and those two people were eliminated immediately? That was exciting and I loved it! This Quickfire just established that Kenny and Angelo are kind of a-holes, and will butt heads for the rest of the season. They‘re also bringing back the "High Stakes Quickfire," which I thought was only a Las Vegas thing. Shouldn‘t it be more . . . patriotic or something?  I guess there was a little blood, but not enough to make it exciting. And if there is blood, it might as well be from everyone sacrificing themselves to Kenny: God of Knife Skills. The final leg of the Great Top Chef Knife Race Quickfire seemed a little like Chopped, but without the one horrible/crazy ingredient. Read more »
Normally at this point I would show you some food porn from last night‘s episode, but I was looking at the plates and I had a hard time imagining that they tasted good. I guess we should come to expect that with 17 chefs starting out this season. I think judges have said in the past that we first eat with our eyes, so let‘s have an eye-taste of some of these plates from the Top Chef DC premiere.Alex‘s Deconstructed Short Rib Borscht with Creme Fraiche (Russia and California)This dish was in the top, I think. I guess it tasted good, but it looks like a model for a post-apocalyptic Jurassic Park landscape.  Read more »
There are still too many chefs to keep track of (insert "too many cooks in the kitchen" joke here). Sam Kass, White House chef guy, stands next to Padma and we all knew this day would come, so why not sooner than later?  For the Quickfire, the chefs make "bi-partisandwiches" for Padma and Sam . . . wearing aprons that are tied together! Tim and I both love this, and he puts it best: "who got high and came up with this idea?" Angelo, my least favorite sandwich shop owner, is teamed up with Tracy, one of my favorite contestants. They prove to be a two-headed chef to be reckoned with by winning (Angelo is three for three now, and growing on me).  Sam Kass says that this challenge shows how difficult it is to form consensus. No, it showed how difficult it is to make a sandwich tied to someone else with only one hand.   Read more »
Last night on Top Chef, the drama began to unfold like we were back in middle school. But we WERE back in middle school, for a challenge! Here‘s a look at last night‘s "healthy school lunches," accompanied by what I think a middle schooler would say about them.Alex, Andrea, Kevin, and Tim: BBQ Chicken, Cole Slaw, Mac n Cheese, and Melon Kebab"Yay, BBQ, Macaroni and Cheese, Cole Slaw! All things we like! But what is up with fruit as a dessert? We‘re getting ripped off. You are pulling a ‘Kanye-interrupting-Taylor-Swift-at-the-VMA‘s‘ on us. Can I hug Padma?" Read more »
Despite how many chefs are left, some personalities are starting to develop. Spoiler alert: these chefs are not all sweethearts. Kenny is pissed because this is Top Chef, not Top Angelo. Speaking of Top Chef spin-offs, Gail is going to host Top Chef: Just Desserts (and some guy named Johnny who talks too fast will be the judge)! Are you excited? I am, I watch every single cake show I can get my hands on on the Food Network.So the Quickfire Challenge is a dessert (pie) challenge. Some people feel more confident in this challenge than others. Angelo, perhaps over-confidently, makes a curried yam pie (what? gross). This week we‘re getting to know Arnold and Alex better and I knew I would like Arnold and dislike Alex. Alex looks like a villain from a childrens‘ movie.  Read more »
Last night the cheftestants grilled on Mount Vernon and made some really disgusting-sounding pies. Let‘s take a look at some of the plates that succeeded aesthetically (and one that really didn‘t). Mind you, I can‘t taste these dishes (and sometimes can‘t even imagine what they would taste like) so I‘m going strictly on plating appeal.Kenny‘s Harissa Marinated Pork Loin, Quinoa Grilled EggplantOverall, this season has been heavy on drama and light on plating technique, but at least Kenny tried to stack some stuff on top of other stuff here. Read more »
In an ever-changing world, it‘s strangely comforting to know that some things, even if they are trite and stupid and aggressive and needless (all rolled into one!) things, will always stay the same.I‘m talking, as you can tell by the headline (unless you are a reality TV contestant, in which case we can assume you‘re a little slow), about how, no matter what they‘re competing for and whom they‘re competing against, reality TV competition contestants will always say "I‘m not here to make friends." It‘s a rule.Last year, blogger Rich FourFour noticed this rule and compiled the supercut to top all supercuts: an "I‘m Not Here to Make Friends" montage for the 2008 TV season. For reality TV fanatics (that‘s me) and general fans of awesomeness alike, it was a game-changer. They even did a little segment about it on This American Life. (That‘s legit!) And then he made another one for the 2009 season. These reality stars just cannot keep from saying how not there to make friends they are, and, in turn, these videos just cannot keep from being hilarious. Read more »
For this week‘s Quickfire Challenge the judges will create and adult dish and a pureed version for a baby dish. What? Babies don‘t care! Maybe Tom and Padma‘s babies care, I don‘t know. Alex is already annoying the crap out of me with his comments ("I‘m gonna get a hooker!" "I practice making babies but not making baby food!"). Alex, please go to an open mic and get this out of your system.I don‘t totally understand this challenge. It‘s not Top Chef for Babies! And why isn‘t this challenge more patriotic? I guess arbitrarily awarding money to people is sort of American. Tamesha and Kenny (sigh) win the Quickfire and $10,000 each. "Thanks, Dial NutriSkin!" babies cheer everywhere. Read more »
Let‘s take a look at some of last night‘s dishes and play a game. The name of the game is "Would You Order It?" The chefs created dishes to be put on the Hilton hotel menus to go or to eat in. I assume it‘s a step above your average motel‘s complimentary breakfast of stale bagels, tiny cartons of milk, and a plastic box of Raisin Bran. So, let‘s play "Would You Order It?"Dish #1: Ed and Alex‘s Breakfast: Prosciutto Potato Cake, Egg with Lemon Pancake, Bellini CocktailWould You Order It? Only if I was dining in and could ensure that everything made it onto the plate (AHEM). Also, it looks like it would be messy to go. Read more »