Friday, November 14, 2008

Top Chef NYC: Week 1



I was ecstatic when Top Chef was backed on this week. After looking through the 17 contestants, I was trying to pick out a favorite or maybe figuring which guy/gal which be the villain and last his/her way to the final (ie Season 3's Hung or Season 4's Lisa). There were some contestants that looked mousy and boring to care about. Then there were just some that was cast because what...they would looked incompetent and make a mess of themselves.

This season featured three local guys, but two European imports. Damnit all to hell, all three looked to be jerks on the show. The first guy is the winner of the quickfire and Elimination challenge by the name of Stefan. He supposedly used to work at Drago before going off on his own being a consultant. He looks like the favorite to win it with the show stressing that winner of the first Elimination challenge had won 3 out of last 4 seasons (big whoope!).

The other guy is Alex, who is a partner and executive chef at Restaurant 15, who last year was famous in LA for offering a $15 tasting menu (now increased to $19). Don't know how that guy was going to last, but I can sense that they are hiding his LA's status by stressing his NY's roots instead. He is going to be the token New Yawker on the show.

The final guy is Fabio, who has too thick of an accent just like the guest judge Jean-Georges Vongerichten where you can't quite make out the words coming out of their mouth. Thank you very much for the closed caption subtitles! He is trying to play the hot head villain. Let's hope he last a good 5 episodes before he gets the boot.

Overall, the show is very predictable in the first episode. The only quirk was that they added an elimination on the quick fire challenge. Other than that, you will usually have no doubts that the least experienced chef will always be the first to be eliminated in the contest. Every season except the first season (where Candace should have been eliminated, but wannabe jerk who pissed off the guest judge got canned instead) have always picked on the newbie who haven't quite worked the ladder of culinary world are the one to go.

No except for this season as the kid who didn't know how to cook Chinese food with exception of he took a class that deals with "Asian cooking" as his reference guide to Chinese cuisine. Damnit all to hell, I wish it was that easy to cook Chinese food. The kid's dish was to put a bokchoy on a black noodle and he called it a day. It was funny how Tom Colicchio (master judge) called it a "santized version of Chinese food". hehe!

Easy call, but the chef with 20 years of experience that failed miserably at cooking Middle Eastern dish should go too. No harm done on the show as the two who got eliminated are classmates at the same culinary school. That blew hard for them. Funny that the show didn't mentioned which school both have attended. Save the embarrassment for that poor institution.

My fav so far are Leah (in the top 3 this episode) and Stefan (winner of both challenges). My guess on next to go have to be the incompetant chef of 20 years in culinary world, Ariane. If she doesn't get the heave ho, then I'm picking Radhika (she looked terrify).
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