Top Chef Season 10: Seattle, Episode 1 Recap

This was a weird episode. The producers of Top Chef: Seattle had to figure out a way to axe six contestants from 21 in one episode, so they decided to split them off into four groups. Each group was paired off with a judge and cooked at one of their restaurants. (Whaddup, Wolfgang Puck. Looks like you got yourself a new gig as the fourth judge, eh?) Tom Colicchio, Huge Acheson, Emeril Lagasse, and Wolfie each cut people from their line after a cooking challenge. The show was too fast paced and complicated for one reporter, so Nancy, Bradford Pearson, our Frontburner homeboy, and I tried to make sense of the shenanigans. And report on how well the three Dallas chefs performed. We gTalked our fingers off.

bradford.pearson 9:01 PM : Helllllllleeewwwww. TOP CHEF IS BACK. Nine chefs have won the title; six have deserved it.

Carol: I love Hugh Acheson’s eyebrows. L-o-v-e. I want to snuggle inside them.

bradford.pearson: Eyebrow*

bradford.pearson 9:02 PM : Singular.

bradford.pearson: Maybe Wolfgang Puck should concentrate more on the crappy boxed food he provides Arts District patrons rather than this reality show.

Let’s rip this show apart.

[Tom Colicchio is with five contestants at his restaurant, Craft LA. They have to work the line at Craft. He wants to see how they move in a kitchen. John Tesar draws this challenge.]

Carol 9:03 PM : Tesar’s glasses are amazing.

Nancy: At least for once they are on his eyes and not on his forehead.

bradford.pearson: OHHHH D MAG SON. Look at that moustache on Jorel. Is he named for Superman’s biological father, Jor-El?

Carol 9:04 PM: Does he curl it every morning?

bradford.pearson 9:05 PM: Clearly, shaving his upper lip is his kryptonite. OH WHAT’S UP SWEAT FACTORY

Carol: “I’m a hot sweaty mess,” says Anthony Gray from Atlanta. Sexiest line a man has ever said.

Nancy: A drippy, sweaty chef is not a Top Chef.

bradford.pearson 9:06 PM: You need to go on more dates, Carol.

Carol: Tesar is 54??? He used to disco???

bradford.pearson: Tesar is just listing his profile, I think.

NN: No, Tesar is once again trying to show Anthony Bourdain he’s a Top Chef. He wants the acceptance of his geezer peers. I can totally relate to that. You two don’t know the difference between good disco and a mis en place.

bradford.pearson 9:07 PM : Colicchio just served Micah Fields a plate of humiliation with that filet job.

Carol: Oh, d***. Moustache man not doin’ so hot, either.

bradford.pearson: Maybe shouldn’t have spent that much time on waxing your moooostache, Jor-El.

NN: Poor Tesar, he had to kiss Tom Colicchio’s ass. “Yes, chef.” Must have been painful. I swear I saw The Brad in the background.


[Emeril at Table 10 in Las Vegas with four contestants. They have to make soup in one hour. Josh Valentine of FT33 has to make soup.]

bradford.pearson: This is like an episode of Captain Planet.

NN: Emeril’s face is swollen up like a profiterole.


NN: Josh Valentine is gaga over Emeril. What is up with Emeril’s face? He’s puffed up like poisoned dog ? He, like the soup he requires the chefs to make, needs structure and seasoning. He moves through the kitchen like a sloth.

Carol: Two roommates (Kristen Kish and Stephanie Cmar) on the same show? What what?

NN: Two gals work together, live together, have matching tattoos and then, while making soup, proclaim they are not lesbians. OF COURSE this sets them up to get divided because there is no drama to this boring show. Too many moving parts.

Carol: Jeffrey Jew, the half-Chinese/half-Norwegian man is aiming high with a chilled gazpacho. G’luck with that, buddy.

bradford.pearson: What an interesting looking human being….”If he gives me a hot gazpacho, he’s out.”

Carol: Emeril really isn’t kidding about kicking Jeffrey out.

NN:  I love that this guy decided to make cold soup in an hour. The false drama created by Emeril–“It better not be hot”–was ridiculous. I can do that.

Carol:  Josh is making a coconut corn soup with mussels! Josh, you better bring it for your unborn daughter, especially if you miss her birth.

bradford.pearson 9:13 PM : She’s going to hold it against him his whole life, natch. Daddy issues from the womb. I think that’s something to look up on UrbanDictionary. “The Hot Gazpacho.”

bradford.pearson: If he can’t make a soup, at least he’ll be there for the birth of his daughter. I hope he names her Gazpacho or Bouillabaisse.

NN: So far this is the most potty-mouthed episode of TC. Bleeps abound. I like Josh ’cause he swears like a Portuguese sailor.

bradford.pearson: What’s with all the Handicam shots? It’s like the Blair Chef Project.

Carol: Uh oh, Emeril is going to choose only one of the roommates…STRIFE.

bradford.pearson (9:21 PM): Cold-blooded! Do you think the other roommate is still going to cover her share of the rent?

Carol: She might bail out of jealousy. Now it’s down to Kristen and Josh. I’m shakin’.

[Wolfie wants his group to make him an perfect omelet. His behavior is arrogant.]

NN: Wolfgang ‘I’m a pig’ Puck suys, “I was a young chef. I was 18 and confident. A chef said, ‘Make me an omelet and I did. He said, ‘This is like shitting in your own bed.’ Now I will judge you the same way I was judged.” THEN HE PROCEEDS TO MAKE SEXIST REMARKS TO WOMEN.

NN: Puck says,“The stove is like a woman. It never does what it is supposed to do.” WTF? I could say that about Spago in the ’80s.

bradford.pearson: Tyler Ward, just go grab an omelet from Denny’s, you got time. And this Carla woman looks like the villain in a Lifetime movie.

Carol: Definitely the villain who cheats with her best friend’s hubby.

bradford.pearson (9:32 PM): Also, maybe a middle-school teacher who sleeps with her students.

bradford.pearson (9:33 PM): Everyone’s trick just seems to be to cover overcooked eggs with microgreens.

Carol: Hey, look at Kuniko’s fancy chamomile milk omelet.

bradford.pearson: “I used chamomile…” (SNOOOOOOOZZZZZEEEEEEE) D***, THAT LOBSTER ONE with bacon, caramelized onion, and fennel by Chrissy Camba.That’s my jam.

NN: Puck the pig says, “It looks like a woman with too much makeup on.” Methinks Wolfie’s Botox has blown his brain.

Carol: Wolfgang Puck just told that pompous Daniel O’Brien: “If I had eaten it in the dark and not seen it, I would like it.” Ouch. His high Yelp scores are about to take a plummet.

bradford.pearson: Carla’s Italian, right?

NN: Love the feistsy Brazilian Carla Pellegrino. She’s got street cred, a potty mouth, and a divorcee decree form the owner of Rao’s. She’s a live wire. The collagen in her lips will melt before the end, but before she goes, she’ll mix it up with somebody. I’d like to see her walk up to Padma in the parking lot after they’ve kicked her off the show. All of the judges could wake up to find a slaughtered pig in their bed.

[Hugh Acheson loves salad. He wants his contestants to make a salad in 45 minutes.]

Carol: Here comes Danyele!  I love her curly red hair. And so does one of the commenters on her refrigerator post, apparently.

Carol: Holy grail, there’s a knight in the kitchen!

bradford.pearson (9:45 PM): The Brewer’s Guild knights people? I feel like if I was going to ever be knighted, it would be by a group dedicated to beer.

bradford.pearson: That kale salad by Brooke Williamson looks like the pile of grass clippings on the sidewalk.

Carol: It’s perfect for a rabbit. That woman, Gina, is a nutcase.

NN: Yes, Gina, was  the salad b*tch. She jumped all over Danyele for flaming those tomatoes on the grill. Acheson is a wimpy judge. What the hell does this mean? He said of Danyele’s salad, “It tastes like propane, how very Texas.” WTF? Is that a good thing? It must be, there are three people from Dallas on the show, a**wipe. Gina’s dramatic departure was so awesome, I bet the judges wish they had a mulligan. She flounced through the doors, looked into the camera, and said, “I’m a movement. He’s wrong.”

Carol: Hot dang. Hugh let Danyele in, so that’s 3 for 3 Dallas chefs in Seattle!

bradford.pearson: Hawaiian guy is our household favorite. Winter hats in a hot kitchen? GENIUS.

NN: Hawaiian guy is toast next week. He’s too nice. And no health inspector would allow him to wear that hat in a kitchen.