November 13, 2008

Top Chef NY: First Impressions

How excited was I to see Top Chef waiting on my DVR this morning?  Super excited!  Here are my first impressions as I watch the first episode of Top Chef New York...

First off, I just love Padma.  I don't know why.  I just do.  I feel like I'd like to hang out with her.  

Quickfire Challenge

Round 1: peel 15 apples with a knife,  first 9 to finish are safe.  Eliminating one chef in the first quickfire challenge, that's hardcore.  It must be so weird to do all this work, then get eliminated halfway through the first episode.  I mean, can you imagine thinking, if I'd just peeled that apple better, I could have been on Top Chef?  Richard immediately cuts his thumb.  And Stefan is the first to finish.  I'm glad Richard got one of the spots so he didn't slice himself for nothing!  Ha.

Round 2:  brunoise two cups of apples (brunoise is a small dice), first 4 to finish are safe.  I feel bad for Jill that she finished and then they said it wasn't good enough, but I guess it's okay since she got through in the end.

Round 3:  create a dish using apples in 20 minutes, weakest dish is eliminated.  Talk about pressure.  It's funny that Radhika is going straight to an Indian Chutney even though she said that she didn't want to be pigeonholed for doing Indian food.  I guess you need to go with your strengths on a challenge like this though.  I'm not sure about Lauren...  she's just so cutesy.  I'm not sure Lauren's dish showcased the apples enough.  How funny that it came down to the two friends.  Seems like a pretty big coincidence...  And the judges agreed with me and Lauren was sent home.

Elimination Challenge

Pairs compete to create a dish inspired by the area of New York they drew from the knife block, the pairs will be competing head to head against each other for the best dish inspired by their area.

The team rainbow thing was pretty funny.  They always get such sweet diggs on these shows.  It's interesting to see two European chefs, it's weird it makes me wonder if they got those people applying before and they just chose some this season to change it up.  They've already got the two Europeans portrayed as the cocky/stubborn/hoity ones this season.

Carla just said she wanted to be lead to this dish by her spirit guides.  That does not make me like her.  Melissa is strange looking.  I like Eugene.  He's obviously the underdog here with no culinary school, and I don't always like that.  Sometimes, I'm annoyed by it.  But for whatever reason, I like him, and am already rooting for him a little bit.  What the hell is up with Daniel's freaky beard?

Here's my thing... don't choose something you've never worked with before, or something that you know is very time sensitive (black rice noodles, farro).  Have you never watched this sort of show?  Or cooked with unknown ingredients for the first time and ASSUME that it's just like something else you've used before?  It's just a bad idea.  I don't understand why you would do it.  I understand taking risk and wanting to be authentic to the type of cuisine, but there's a line between doing that and just being a little dumb.

Holy shit Gail, what's up with that dress.  Not a good choice.  You know how sometimes people just rub you the wrong way?  Carla rubs me the wrong way.  I don't know what it is, it's the way she talks, her buggy eyes, her pursed lips.  I just can't deal.  Know what's funny?  Right as soon as they introduced her, I wrote down "I get the impression she's going to have a bit of an attitude".  Yes, I judge, but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

Interesting that 2 people used farro to make a risotto.  One successful, one not so much.  Yay for Eugene and his home run with Indian food!  I thought it was interesting what Padma said about in all but one season the winner of the first elimination challenge has won the competition.  That's an interesting indicator.  And they choose Stefan's dish as the winning dish.  Unfortunately they sent home my cute gay boy.  So sad!

Can't wait for next week.

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