Top Chef Season 10 Kick Off

There is a time, every few months, that is filled with magic. A time of incredible excitement, of jolly, and of mesmerizing personality. My friends, Top Chef is back!

Season 10 starts off with just as much promise as any past season. The judges are back (even young Uni-Monster Hugh Acheson), the location is set (Seattle) and Padma is looking beautiful as always - I love you Padma. 

Let's recap episode one! Warning - Spoilers beyond this point.

First, a disclaimer. I don't know all that much about cooking and I am not going to pretend to. I love Top Chef because of how seriously they compete, because I get exposed to this whole cooking culture I know little about, because the food looks so damn good, and because of the characters. I could write a much longer post on how many awesome and interesting people we have gotten to see through the years on Top Chef. I am into it, so to speak. I hope you are too.

Anywho. Like Top Chef Texas, they decided to start off Top Chef Seattle a bit differently. More like a preseason warm-up than a real episode. This season you have to earn your way to Seattle, you must past a test administered by one of the Top Chef Judges.

Tom Colicchio, Emeril Lagasse, Hugh (armed with bad Knight jokes) Acheson, and Wolfgang Puck each get a group of chefs to judge. They choose who gets a jacket and who goes home based on whatever they want, clean and simple. They can also take as many chefs as they want, which is a relief. I was surprised nice guy Puck (man with the world's best accent) was even able to cut one, sending them packing.

To save time, we'll skip ahead to the end and eliminations. After one episode we went from 21 chefs to 15. It's the preseason remember. The chefs that made it through are Bart Vandaele, Brooke Williamson, Carla Pellegrino, Chrissy Camba, Danyele McPherson, Eliza Gavin, Elizabeth Binder, Jeffrey Jew,John Tesar, Josh Valentine, Kristen Kish Kuniko Yagi, Micah Fields, Sheldon Simeon, and Tyler Wiard. Check out their bios linked above. If you haven't memorized everyone names by now, no worries. Here is a cheat sheet to help you figure it out.

If you want more Top Chef posts submit a comment below!

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Joel Keller of Fast Company has a neat post on how Top Chef makes their food so alluring: it's all about the "food porn."

For example:

During both the Quickfire speed round and the weekly main challenge, each cheftestant is asked to make an extra "food porn" plate, which is whisked away as soon as time’s up. "We take them back into an area where we have set up our food porn area and there’s everything there, from Q-tips to Windex, to beet juice, to an entire toolbox full of things that makeup artists use," she said. [...]

The dish is then put into a portable rig the videographers created that allows them to shoot the show’s signature "porn" wherever they may be, and video and stills are taken. Occasionally, a dish gets so screwed up or something gets broken--or, more damningly, the chef either forgets or has no time to make the extra "beauty plate"--and Birdsong and her staff have to re-create the dish themselves. [...]

"In some cases, you don’t have to make the exact same thing," she says. "You can take any kind of doughnut or soufflé and turn it into something else. A sponge cake can be covered with something and turned into something else.
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