Top Chef is back (and literally is back in California where it all began), and according to Tom Colicchio, this group is the most impressive yet. We’re inclined to agree. All but one of the seventeen contestants is an executive chef, (though Frances, a sous chef at Buddakan is one of our favorites so far) and there are multiple James Beard award nominees among them. Also, Grayson Schmitz is back this season, and although it’s not her first rodeo, the season is already not off to a great start for her (and yes, the “I made 400 Balls!” line from the promos is in this episode).
The Quickfire challenge revolved around mise-en place. The chefs had to pick one of five Californian ingredients (asparagus, artichoke, eggs, chicken, and oranges). The “sassy” (as she calls herself) Renee finished breaking down her chicken first. Garrett, who was tasked with cracking eggs and separating the yolks was last.
Next was a blindfold challenge– the chefs were split into three groups, and each chef waited blindfolded until it was his turn to take a crack at the dish. Renee, Frances and Amar won, which gave them immunity, by making sweet and sour chicken and slaw. YUM.
And finally, this week’s elimination challenge. The chefs were each given $500 to spend at Whole Foods, and were free to make whatever they wanted for a food-festival style setting for bloggers and critics, who judged the dishes. Garrett struggled again this round, and when Padma and Tom tried his dish, he had burnt his garlic. He “packed his knives” and went home.
We’re looking forward to Part 2 of the season premiere, airing tonight on Bravo. Check back for another recap!
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