The Food and Wine Hedonist

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Top Chef: New Orleans – Season Premiere

For last year’s season premiere of Top Chef: Seattle, I posted the following:

I didn’t know until a couple days ago that it was starting already and, quite frankly, I wasn’t even sure if I was going to recaps this year.  Doing a post on every episode last year was pretty damn hard – and that was when I had the energy of a new blogger and the show itself was new to me… the recaps did bring in a lot of traffic to the blog, so I’m going to go for it again.   Just goes to show that it doesn’t have to be about money for me to be a complete ho.


All of the above happened again for the season premiere of Top Chef New Orleans.  Whew, that’s one less introduction I need to write.   So, not only am I still a ho, I’m a lazy one.  And until one of you regularly readers pimp-slaps me, I’ll wear that lazy ho badge with pride.

I might make some changes to my recaps this year to make things interesting.  I will probably cut down the length of the recaps and not just because I’m a lazy ho.  Don’t hold me to it, though, as I’ve never been good at keeping things brief.  I’m also mulling the idea of actually cooking up a version of one of the dishes cooked up in the previous episode.    And it may be tough when they use ingredients like in last night’s season premiere.

I’m truly excited about this season as they are in one of my favorite food towns in the US – New Orleans.  I’ve only been to NOLA twice, but that was enough to make the food there my favorite regional cuisine in the US.  I’ve always been a fan of Emeril (except for his sitcom) and I cook a mean-assed Gumbo.  In addition, I’m enthused by the possibility of seeing some Girls Gone Wild-style boobage for beads.

Mardi gras flashing pic

Elimination Challenge

Since it was the first episode, there was an army of contestants.  For the first challenge, they had to prepare a small plate using one of three locally popular proteins – alligator, turtle, or frogs.  Tom tossed beads at the contestants with the particular animal they were going to cook on them.  So this was the first disappointment of the season – not ONE of the contestants flashed him in return.

They were to prep their meals in a kitchen and  finish/serve their meals in a swamp for some local culinary society.  The guests would then vote for their favorite dishes by handing them Mardi Gras beads.   Which was the second no-boobs-for-beads disappointment.   Here were the dishes –

Bene – Turtle Croquette with cauliflower puree & shiitake

Nina – Curry Turtle meatball, chayote slaw & chutney with raisins

Janine – bacon & alligator confit with tomato jam & lemon frisee. Yummm tomato jam.

Aaron – pickled eggplant with turtle confit & turtle ragout with tagliatelle pasta

Shirley – Turtle soup with Goji berry & Chinese broth

Carrie – Poached frog legs with oyster emulsion & cold zucchini salad.  Sounds nasty.

Carlos – Alligator rillettes with fennel & pickled red onion relish

Michael – Fried Alligator with sauce piquant & slaw

Sara – General Tso style deep fried alligator with smoked chilis, sweet & sour sauce & pickled vegetables

Ramon – Braised Turtle with Thai Dashi

Patty – Cajun style alligator with yucca puree.  She messed up and this was Plan B

Jason – Frog leg croquette with roasted eggplant, fennel salad & pickled cherry puree

Stephanie – frog leg butter confit with spinach & watercress puree

Michael and Justin are from NOLA and made it into the competition through some webshow challenge that I didn’t watch.  So they automatically got immunity.

Judges table

Judges Table

The judges were Padma, Tom, Emeril and Curtis Stone, that Australian dude who hosts Top Chef Masters.  There was a new feature I LOVE – when the chefs went back to the stew room after cooking, they actually got to see the judges reactions to the food on a TV.   I do think this will definitely boost the quality of the dishes later, especially if they get to see exactly how much the judges hated their dish.  Hopefully it’ll prevent what happened last year when that asshat Josie kept on doing her same annoying antics week after week…   Nahhhh, she would’ve still been an asshat.

Top 3 – Carrie, Nina, Sara

Winner – Nina.  The curried meatballs were a huge success and it looks like she got the most beads.

Bottom – Patty (knew she fucked up), Aaron (overcooked pasta), Ramon  (dashi cooled down with ice and became watery)

Gone – Ramon.  Patty’s looked awful, but his sounded downright inedible.  At least he admitted that he screwed the pooch on it.


Random Thoughts

– No cooking of any of these meals next week.  I’m pretty sure I can get frog legs at this Asian market and KNOW I can turtle meat from my son’s room.  Just not feeling it.

– Cooking at night in a Louisiana swamp.  That place had to have been swarming with mosquitoes.  And inbreds.

– I hate when they don’t show some of the dishes.  I wonder if they were just meh or whether they’re doing some editing trickery so that someone comes out of left field later on.

– They sure brought the eye candy this year, but mainly the guys.

Bravo TV

– Shirley came from China but claims she doesn’t favor Chinese food.  Which is why she made turtle “tea” with goji and Chinese broth.

– Aaron is the chef at Slurping Turtle in Chicago.  I hear it’s absolutely fantastic and it kills me that everyone – including my mom – have been there and I haven’t.   Thankfully they are opening their second location here in Ann Arbor – I think this month.  You can bet I’ll report in on it later.

– I’d like to thank the producers of the show for the ass shot of Janine –



– Though I wonder if it’s going to be distracting to the other contestants.

– Nahhhhh.  In addition to bringing the eye candy, they brought the gay – at least two are openly gay and I think there are others to be announced later.  This year’s gays are last year’s hipsters.

– Bene said that he’d rather cook for what he thinks is good, not what the judges  or other people want to eat.  Um, let’s see how that strategy lasts.

– Stephanie Cmar, who didn’t make the cut last year, is back.  She worked and was besties with last year’s winner – Kristen Kish.  She even said that they were rumored to be lovers.

– I’m still getting  a lot of hits to the site on people Googling to see if Kristen Kish is a lesbian.  I don’t think the world knows yet and, in general, I don’t think the world cares.  But the first thing Bene said onscreen was that he was going to be the first gay Top Chef.  So maybe he knows something about Kristen we don’t?



About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

12 comments on “Top Chef: New Orleans – Season Premiere

  1. reversecommuter
    October 3, 2013

    Here comes another awesome season!

    October 4, 2013


  3. rachelocal
    October 4, 2013

    I’m liking this, but I can’t read it as I haven’t seen the first episode yet. I’m always two or three behind.

  4. PinotNinja
    October 4, 2013

    Ugh — JOSIE — that chick is, was, and will always be the worst. I think bringing her back was a move that the producers had to have regretted immediately.

    I’m so pumped that Stephanie Cmar is back. It broke my heart when she got cut last time around.

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      October 4, 2013

      I wanted to stick a knife in my palm every time she appeared on screen with her constant self-promottion and cackle. But…. it did make for interesting TV.

      Not sure what to think of Cmar… Her food is probably really good, especially if she worked closely with Kish. But she seems kinda dry

      • PinotNinja
        October 8, 2013

        I still haven’t watched the premier ep — its collecting dust in my DVR but I hope to get to it this week — so I haven’t seen Cmar in action this season. I just felt so horrible for her last season that I’m glad to see her get a second chance. As much as I’m sure she loves Kristen, its got to sting to see your roommate/best friend take home the prize that you didn’t even really get a shot to compete for.

  5. Hyacinth
    October 4, 2013

    I totally just spoiled the show for myself, but I don’t give a shit! Yay for your recaps!!

  6. Foodoofus
    October 5, 2013

    Janine= Top Chef’s New Awlins’ ‘Dat Ass’ this season lol. She’s a looker for sure.

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      October 5, 2013

      Yeah! Who cares if she can’t make ice. Just keep her there for a few episodes.

      • Foodoofus
        October 5, 2013

        A to (all the men who co-signs) on this statement!. Great choice of Aussie talent indeed!

  7. Pingback: Top Chef NOLA Episode 2: Rebuilding New Orleans | The Food and Wine Hedonist

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This entry was posted on October 3, 2013 by in Ann Arbor, Television, The Chi and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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