leave your inhibitions at the door
As if I needed another weekly blog commitment, Bravo’s Top Chef returns for another season. A couple of months ago, I posted about our dinner at Chicago’s Girl and the Goat. This is the place that Saveur, in their first-ever restaurant review, named as best new restaurant in America. The chef is Stephanie Izard who won Top Chef a couple of years ago. At the time I mentioned that I’ve never seen one episode of the show and may try to blog about each new one. Not knowing a thing about the show, I’m not sure what the best format is, so bear with me as this may evolve. Although I still reserve the right to quit this if there’s no eye candy or if I’m too annoyed.
Let’s get it on!
Boom! The first person I saw on the screen is Padma Lakshmi, who I’ve seen around the net.
Well, I definitely can’t use lack of eye candy as a reason to quit now. Although, the first minute indicated that she’s like my old DeLorean – lots of show, not much else exciting to her. Hopefully, she’ll liven up as the season progresses.
This season’s show is based in Texas and Boom Boom’s parents live in Houston. I’ve visited there quite a lot and I can honestly say it’s one of my least favorite places I’ve been to – just like Helena, Montana. It’s just one massive, flat strip mall. San Antonio isn’t bad, especially when you go just north of the city to Boerne, which is where the Texas Hill Country begins. If you go, check out Rudy’s BBQ. Obviously, Austin’s pretty damn cool with the college and culture. It’s kinda like the Ann Arbor of the South, but with a decent music scene. Anyway, I’ll be dropping off this show after 3-4 episodes if they hammer away at this whole Texas thing. One thing I hate about Texas pride bullcrap; it’s nauseating to hear it over and over again. Yes, I dare Mess with Texas.
I see that they’ve enlisted Emeril Lagasse as a guest judge. I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for Emeril. The first time I heard of him was while perusing a book store in the French Quarter. He was autographing his Real and Rustic cookbook and there was only a couple of people in line, so I bought one. Obviously, this was wayyy before his meteoric rise to fame and his fall from grace – aka his sitcom on NBC. Anyone besides me watch more than one episode? I guess he’s my culinary Guilty Pleasure. If he sang, I’d put feature him on a Friday post.
Apparently, they changed things around by starting off with 30 chefs and then doing a quick round of cuts to determine the top 16 who’ll compete throughout the season. There are going to be a few who will be “on the bubble” and will have a chance to cook again to make it on the show. With so many dishes to consider, I’m going to comment on the people for now. Also, since we’re only one episode into the season, there aren’t that many pictures of the contestants out yet. Don’t worry, I’ll still post my usual irrelevant pictures.
One general observation is that I counted 5 of 16 contestants from Chicago. Represent!! I think that Chicago’s been underrated on the national food scene too long. Good to see it well represented here.
First Group’s Assignment: Each uses a different part of a pig.
– That damn, cocky Paul Rudd looking dork is the first to get axed when he couldn’t properly butcher the pig. He was annoying.
– The hippie from Seattle got cut. Guess being a chef at a Vegan restaurant doesn’t help in swine cookery. Too bad, TV-wise it would’ve been fun to see him with his whiny, “Why can’t we all get along” attitude.
– Was digging that Simon guy with the tats – gone.
– Molly is super cute, but she works on a cruise ship. ‘Nuff said. She’s on the bubble.
– Grayson – Attractive, but she trusted the Paul Rudd guy to cut the meat for her. Oops. She’s on the bubble. Hmmm, the best looking ones are on the bubble. Reaching for the remote…
– Nyesha – trained under Joel Robuchon. Of course she made it.
– All four Chicagoans make the top 16. Wooohoo!
Second Group’s Assignment: Each had to cook with the same ingredient – rabbit.
– Chuy! Anyone with that name has to win. And he’s from Chicago! And he made it!
– Dakota – not bad looking, all tattooed up and a little twitchy. She made it, so it’ll be fun to watch her.
– Some Sonny Chiba-looking Korean guy.
On the bubble. Hope he stays only because I loved Sonny Chiba in Kill Bill.
– Nina – cute, but gone. Where’s that remote?
– Chris – eye candy for the women fans. Or Bravo’s usual demographic. Of course he’s staying.
– Bald dude named Ty-Lor Boring. Awesome name – the “o” in Ty-Lor actually has an umlaut. He’s staying.
– Whitney – not so cute, but staying.
– Keith – huge Suge Knight looking guy.
Although Kevin Pang from the Chicago Tribune came up with a better one – the guitarist from TV on the Radio.
He made it.
Overall notes –
– It wasn’t terribly exciting to watch, but interesting enough. Doesn’t look good for the eye candy, so this better get interesting in other ways. Pronto.
– All 5 Chicagoans make it to the top 16. Putting that MBA to use here, I’d say that’s an 85% chance that the winner’s going to be from the Windy City.
– I’ve seen a few reality shows where contestants all live together. There’s usually a calm, cool older person and I think that’s the Suge Knight/TVOTR guy. No one’s going to mess with him because he’s monstrous. And he spent time in the slammer.
– There’s usually at least one really annoying, loudmouth, bossy chick in these shows. But, at least with this first group, I don’t see any of them getting their bitch on. Even though these chefs are pros in the same tribe, there’s bound to be one.
– Like a lot of reality shows they all get holed up in a big mansion. So this means there’s a hot tub, right? And there’s going to be some drunken hookups there? Unless the better looking ones make it, I definitely won’t want to see that happening…