So on to Top Chef! I'll be yapping about this for the remainder of the season and will try to figure out how I keep keep all of the Top Chef posts in one spot here. Anyway, it was a great first episode. The viewing audience was introduced to 16 cheftestants (I saw that word on Ted Allen's Top Chef blog and decided to steal it) and it definitely looks like it will be an interesting series. Of course many of them are very confident, some to the point of arrogance, of their abilities. One especially got on my nerves right away...Andrew, who found it necessary to sprinkle each sentence with at least one $%#&*, and for what, to make himself look cool...gimme a break. This was a first for Top Chef, a lesbian couple who both made it on to the show...hmmmm. I'm guessing that the TC producers thought that would put some more interest into the out-of-the-kitchen stories. I wonder if one of the thousands of other chefs that auditioned might not have been a better fit for the show, but lost out because of the human interest story. They "came out" to the other contestants and while there were a few glances around, one chef said it best, well so they are a couple, do they have an advantage, no...and they can just both go home together too. LOL I liked his attitude.
The first challenge they had was to put their own twist on the classic Chicago-style deep dish pizza. I guess you could see that one coming for a mile with all of the Chicago references mentioned and shown. I felt bad for the guest judge Rocco DiSpirito, who had to sample 16 types of deep dish pizza....aack. I hope he hadn't eaten that day and wasn't planning on it for a few days after. One cracked me up, by Nikki...she had used way too much dough so her result was a massive piece of crust with a tiny amount of filling. The New Zealander, Mark put Marmite on his...yes, MARMITE!!!! It's a strange concoction that Brits put on their toast, but as was advised to me by my father-in-law who even travels with the stuff, a LITTLE goes a long way. My mum found this out the hard way when she put a teaspoon of the stuff on her toast and chomped down... AACK! More like 1/8 of a teaspoon is all that is edible. LOL
Anywhoo, Rocco (rawr), picked his 8 favorite and 8 least favorite pizzas and for the elimination challenge, one least fav chef went up against one fav chef in cooking the same classic dish. The dishes were shrimp scampi, lasagne, chicken piccata, steak au poivre, duck a l'orange, crab cakes, eggs benedict, and souffle. Each chef made their dish and the panel of judges decided of the two, which chef would be in the group possible to win the challenge and which would be in the group possible to be eliminated. There was some great looking lasagne, some pretentiously deconstructed duck a l'orange, overly salted and inedible srimp scampi with some funky looking cauliflower puree, chicken piccata that wasn't piccata at all and two darn right disastrous and funny souffles.
In the end I picked who the eliminated chef would be... Nimma with the inedible shrimp scampi. She also just had this really dour attitude. When she was in the losing group of pizza makers, she said she wasn't there to have fun, therefore wasn't going to socialize in the house with the other chefs. She was only there for business. Well boo-hoo, she doesn't have to worry about socializing anymore with them. Pack your knives Nimma. Congrats to Chicago resident Stephanie who won the challenge with her duck dish. Ok, so she isn't a Chicago native, but that's ok...she lives here now.