Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Little Top Chef Talk

So last night marked the return of my favorite competitive cooking reality show. Yep, Top Chef is back. I hate watching people go home during the first few episodes. I mean, we don't really know who they are and they haven't really had a chance to show the judges what they're capable of. It's kind of sad. 

So last night I cooked Paprika Chicken and settled down for my show. The 17 contestants arrived and were immediately taken to a quick-fire challenge in three parts. We were given little snippet interviews with just some of the contestants, which is always another bothersome issue in trying to remember which of the contestants I actually like right off the bat. 

The first part of the quick-fire was to peel 15 apples with a paring knife. The first nine to complete the challenge were safe to move on to the elimination challenger and the first of those nine would have immunity for the elimination. Next, the remaining 8 contestants had to cut said apples in a brunoise - little even square bits. Four would be safe. 

The final four in the quick-fire had to each make something with the apples. Two of the ladies cooked - one had scallops and one pork chops. The other two made salads. Now, I'm not one to knock a good salad and they did only have 20 minutes in which to make their dish, but 1. I've seen the judges criticize people for not actually cooking on Top Chef before, and 2. you're trying to convince them to let you stay and your best showcase of your talent is a salad?!

The two salad folk were actually classmates, by the way, and the young lady was sent home. 

Then came the actual elimination. Each contestant had to draw a knife that listed a specific area of the Big Apple famous for a certain kind of food. There were two chefs per region, and like last year's showdown with classic dishes, the two with the same region were pitted against each other. The top dish of each pair would give that contestant a running for the winning spot of the challenge and the bottom dish would put them in the category of those under consideration of being sent home. 

Surprisingly, one of the top spots went to the non-classically trained Hawaiian who accidentally made a great Indian dish. The other two were Stefan, one of the only names I know thus far, who won the quick-fire and had immunity anyway (winner of the elimination as well) and the New Yorker who picked Little Italy. 

So, we've now got 15 contestants left and both Boulder chefs are still in the running. 

Now, if you're curious and can remember who everyone is, here's a Where are They Now post from Grub Street. 


Anonymous said...

LOVE Top Chef...of course I haven't seen it this year due to the lack of TV viewing, but still...love it!

Becky LeJeune said...

You're missing out, J. Kaye! I'm a total Top Chef junkie.