Thursday, November 13, 2008

Top Chef Season 5, Episode 1

The first episode of Top Chef and I had to decide -- to blog about it or not?

Well, I decided to do what I did last year: post some random thoughts and have a little discussion. I'm not up for writing a full recap each week. Consider my posts on Top Chef to be like an amuse bouche -- just a little taste.

Anyhoo, last night...
- The first QuickFire challenge was BRUTAL! First, it was long for some of them -- peeling apples, dicing apples (they said brunoise ... whatever) and cooking apples. And those who were dicing and cooking were doing so in front of a lot of the other chefs. AND it was an elimination! Killer! I felt bad for the gal (although I knew it would be her -- they showed her saying something very confident). She didn't even get a "Top Chef" coat as a souvenir! And for the gal whose husband is in Iraq, no less ... brutal, I say...
- I liked the first (well, second...) elimination challenge, which was to cook a dish inspired by a neighborhood in New York City.
- Am I the only one who thought of Brighton Beach as a Jewish area because of Brighton Beach Memoirs? Anyway, it's Russian -- stupid me. I thought that neighborhood was especially tough -- how much Russian food have you eaten?
- How about the chef who got Little Italy and hadn't cooked Italian. Huh, really? I would think every chef would be able to pull off a dish inspired by Little Italy.
- They gave the chefs overnight to think about the challenge, and then two hours to prepare the dish. (They didn't reveal a food budget but it seemed to be plenty.) Bravo! Maybe this season will be about good food instead of wacky challenges.
- A culinary student on the show? And one that looked to be about 12 years old? Seriously ... a fork in the eye of the casting person that made that decision. Ridiculous.
- Carla -- woo, is she an odd duck. Behind those thick glasses are some seriously weird bug eyes. And she says something about spirits guiding her... she'll be an interesting one to watch, at least for the episode or two she's bound to last ...
- The blonde dude that talked about needing a mirror before he leaves the kitchen -- I'm not a fan already. Chefs are supposed to be badass, not pretty boys.
- How about the tattood dude who hadn't cooked Indian, but did some tasting and pulled it off -- for Padma, no less -- and got in the Top 3? Impressive. His tattoos are pretty cool, too. See, that's an example of a badass chef. Hope he lasts.
- The European guys are being painted as the obnoxious ones. We'll see how that pans out (so to speak).
- I liked Stephanie from the beginning last season (of course, she was a Chicago gal) but nobody really caught my eye this time.

OK pals, what do you think? Any early favorites?

P.S. I have to add that David Dust's recaps of Top Chef are way beyond hilarious. But I warn you, his blog is not for the homophobic ... here's his from this week.


Patsyk said...

We thought Brighton Beach was Jewish area as well... And Carla is definitely an odd one with the spirits guiding her. I'm curious to see where it all goes as the season goes on.

Allie said...

I agree with your comments. The only guy I see that's standout so far is the tattoo guy. At least there's not a bunch of sucky dishes that they all started out with this year. Can't wait to see how the season unfolds!

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