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I’m sitting on a train heading in the wrong direction – away from home – and I’m going to try my best not to sound testy. As you’ve also just watched the episode though, I’m sure you won’t fault me if I do. In this week’s challenges, the chefs were asked to perform two tasks that home cooks around the country do deftly on a regular basis, i.e., bake a pie and grill something. Watching the episode, I was amazed to hear mutterings of “I’m not a pastry chef” and “I’m not a grill chef.” The line of the week goes to guest judge Johnny Iuzzini for replying to Amanda, “I think it’s kind of a cop-out to say you’re not a pastry chef. My grandmother’s not a pastry chef either, and she can make a pie.”
Exactly. The French term for your basic pie crust is “pate brisee.” It requires flour, water, butter, and salt; that’s it. It’s the easiest thing in the world to make – all you need to know is the ratio and the temperatures (cold butter, ice water). The dough is incredibly versatile, lending itself both to savory and sweet pies, tarts, quiches, and the like. It does not require exact measurements – there are plenty of pastry chefs who make this dough without measuring out the ingredients. I am amazed, frankly, that any chef would arrive to compete in a season of Top Chef without knowing how to whip up a quick pate brisee, as it is not unlikely the chefs would be called upon to use one some way or other. So I was disappointed to hear “I’m not a pastry chef” and see so many of our chefs freeze up and flame out.
And then came the picnic. Where many of our chefs – including our winning chef – showed themselves “not to be grill chefs." I fear that many good chefs aren’t necessarily good cooks. They may do well with administering their own kitchens and may even generate good food from within that comfort zone, but take them out of their kitchens and away from their recipes and they’re lost. We shall see, as this season plays out....
In Think Like a Chef, I tell of a watershed event in my life: To briefly recount that story, I was at my family’s swim club one summer day when I was approximately 10 years old, and after a day of swimming I found myself good and hungry. My father had brought along several club steaks, and had heated the grill but not yet cooked the steaks. I couldn’t wait. I popped one on the grill and, when it seemed adequately cooked, I popped it back off and ate a bite. It was the first time I’d eaten something that hadn’t yet been seasoned and cooked for me, and I was surprised that it wasn’t up to steak’s usual delicious standards. I realized that something was missing … it needed salt. I added some and tasted another bite – and that same steak was suddenly really good. I added a drop more, and wow! It was great! I cooked another and then another, experimenting with the level of seasoning, discovering the fine line between bland and tasty, between flavorful and overly salty. I came out of my reverie to face an angry family: I’d singlehandedly cooked and eaten all the steaks.
Is it just me or do the skills/talents of this season's Chefs fall way short compared to last seasons? Every season's Top Chefs seem to have progressively become more talented up until this season. I feel like I'm back to Season One. No one has stood out as possible Top Chef yet. It just seems that the winner of any particular challenge just happened to get lucky that day.
Just sharing. Thanks.
Enjoying the show, particularly because one contestant has a grandmother who lives near me. I have one question--Why do so many of these chefs smoke? Doesn't smoking inhibit taste and smell sensations? I'm amazed that someone who is a professional chef would risk inhibiting these important senses of taste and smell.
Oh, I *like* Linda Garrett's idea! Especially the surprise twist - and it would have to have the twist!
I agree, I'd prefer to NOT see the smokers smoking. Even on the Top Chef Kitchen (available with a Season Pass on iTunes), was there a reason to show the crew members smoking? There was no dialog at that time and no particular activity.
One other thing. I know you love salt - who doesn't? The only thing is... some of us have to be very very careful. In a past season, there was a low cholesterol challenge. Pretty please could we please have a low sodium challenge? Something that is TOTALLY savory, but low sodium? I cringe every time I hear "it needs more salt". (There's one show on another station where the gal talked about how it was going to be very low sodium - and then she proceeded to dump in a ton of soy sauce... clearly she never turned the label around!)
How about it? There have been low calorie and low cholesterol challenges... is Top Chef up to issuing a LOW SODIUM challenge to the Cheftestants?
PS: To the Chefs in Season 6 - you guys REALLY set the bar high. (And since I have it on iTunes, I watch the season ALL the time.)
Travel safely, Tom. Be well.
I like Linda's idea about the basket. I also loved the competition on Top Chef masters where everyone wanted to win, but wanted to win because they were the best not because they could trick the others.
How is it that we see so many chefs smoking? Taste and smell have got to be the two most important senses for a chef .. and smoking ruins both of those (not to mention the smell of smoke that clings to the smoker).
Oh how I wish Jen was on this season, she would kick butt, just as she did last season. Who picked these cooks, the food looks lousy, they are the biggest bunch of whiners TC has ever had. No all stars in this group.
I liked the idea of having the cheftestants perform such everyday cooking tasks like baking a pie and grilling, especially relatively early in the season. It is a great way to separate the wheat from the chaff, as each chef must demonstrate knowledge of the basics. Maybe next season you could have an early quickfire challenge of making such common items as mayonnaise, bearnaise, ketchup, or biscuits.
If any of the chefs think they are always short on time, they should spend a year or too doing short order cooking during the breakfast or lunch rush at any local diner.
If appears these contestants weren't fortunate enough to have family members who could show them how to bake as they were growing up; sad.
One other thing: are there no vegetarian interns in DC? While there was, fortunately, a good variety of grilled vegetables available, none was partnered with any form of vegetarian protein.
Where was the grilled marinated tofu? What about a bean-based veggie burger? Or even a veggie kabob with a macaroni cheese [real or vegan cheese] side dish?
Unfortunately, I guess we vegetarians and our vegan cousins don't quite make it into the producers' target audience. That is also sad.
Tom, absolutely love your blogs, thanks for taking the time to write them. I have to agree with the above who mentioned this is the worst contestants by far! They are truly an embarrassment to the profession. Please, please do not let this show go down the drain by making this a "fox" reality show. This is by far the best show on TV, let's keep it that way by making sure the contestants are up to this level of a challenge.
Do the results of the Quickfire get figured into the final decision of who goes home? It seems like the Quickfires are pretty meaningless for all but the winner.
I am disturbed by Rayne's post hoping for an African-American winner this year, and the not-very-veiled suggestion of racial bias on TC's part.
Why would you want anyone to win based on any criteria other than skill and talent?
If you've read anything in depth about Chef Colicchio you know that for him it is all about the food...something the home viewer cannot possibly judge since we don't get to taste it.
I think that it is too early for us to judge the contestants this year. We need to see a few more challenges before we will know the scope of their expertise.
Looking forward to the coming weeks.
Tom,I love your blog and thank you for taking the time to do it all. I want to respond / comment / question on many of the other posts---because there seems to be a theme (low-talent chefs, smoking, etc)--all of which I've wondered myself!
First, I immediately noticed the footage of the chefs talking / decompressing but smoking. I can't recall in any past seasons smoking being shown. I have ALWAYS noticed on Hell's Kitchen....so is TC trying to be more like them? I know that most restaurant folks smoke---at least in all the places I've worked---and maybe it's something to do with stress, but TC has never shown it before so I'm a little confused as to why they're now choosing to show it (and I guess in previous seasons it was edited out?). I don't really care...I don't smoke but know it's tyical in restaurants. I think it may strike some viewers as really weird because there is NEVER smoking on shows anymore--or rarely anyway--even HBO shows!! I think we are all so used to NOT seeing it on television that when we do, we are all suddenly aware of it.
Second, I agree that no one really stands out--except Kevin. Maybe Angelo. I was really disappointed with Tracy as I'm an Atlantan. Is TC trying to bring in more raw talent? Less experienced chefs?
Thanks again--I really love the show.
Just finished watching the show. I had the same reaction when Amanda made the comment about not being a pastry chef. I turned to my husband and said "isn't it flour, butter, salt and cold water?" I'm surprised that not more of the chefs came armed with a few basics memorized--a basic dessert, a basic pastry etc. That being said, I have loved every season, and while I'll enjoy this season, nothing compares to the professionalism of last year.
Thanks for your great story about grilling--it reminds me of my own family's quest for the perfect seasoning and the perfect steak (my eight year old has the best combination so far).
Is there any way that there can be exciting conversations outside where they do not film all of the chef's smoking? The show occassionally focuses on health and wellness yet shows the chefs outside smoking. It is a nice reminder for my children to not do it as they look ridiculous all stressed out puffing away.
I agree with the commenter who mentioned low salt. Salt is a health problem for *many* people. High blood pressure (associated with heart attack and stroke), kidney disease, diabetes (because of the accompanying kidney issues) and more. There is a reason some people are calling on the industry to use less salt--salt in the food is not tasted readily, while topical salt can be.
Tom, you think a food is well seasoned because it has salt. If you are used to restricting your salt because your ankles swell up like balloons, what is well seasoned to Tom is salty to the diner who never eats salt. Moreover, if I ate salt the way you do for one meal, my feet would be swollen for a week. There are lots of good alternatives to salt, but since most chefs never think to use them, they don't know *how* to use them. And, frankly, most chefs poo poo the health issues of others. It's sad.
It would be great when you do your low-salt challenge if you actually teach your chefs the techniques first then make the challenge about applying them. When I go to a good restaurant I ask the chef to go sparing on the salt--a good chef needs to know how to do that.
Thanks so much!
Hmmm...this season looks "weird". Are these people really chefs?. They don't seem to know basic stuff. Their presentation is kind of poor and by the judges faces, the taste is matching the presentation.
They also seem to have a 'bad' energy as a group. Mean for the sake of being mean?. I might be wrong. I hope this people understand that Top Chef has had incredibly good chefs, and this is not 'I wish I were a Chef' show.
I totally agree with April in the sticks. It is easy to make food tastier by adding salt, but try doing it with a low-sodium, low-fat, low-cholesterol diet! At an early age, my husband had to have those 3 condtions met when he underwent open-heart surgery. To make food taste good under those circumstances was quite challenging to say the least. Chefs could show their creativity in using other herbs to produce taste, and perhaps they could help those of us at home trying to meet those same conditions at home, and it would do a real service to the public as well. High blood pressure is often linked to high sodium content of foods, and like the truth about school lunches, we are also poisoning ourselves with too much salt. They could actually hold this challenge in a hospital cafeteria where they have to meet strict guidelines. I do remember having that type of low-sugar challenge once when Sam related that he was diabetic, but many of the chefs were quite flummoxed about sugar content. Imagine how challenging it would be to limit sodium! Please try it!
Is her hope of an African American chef winning any different from all the comments in seasons 2-4 about a women winning top chef? I can think of countless episodes when both contestants and judges remark on the lack of women in the cooking industry--and I think you find the same thing with minorities. I don't think it means that they don't think women and minorities are lacking in skill or talent, I think she was hoping that skillful and talented women and minority chefs are showcased as there seems to be less of them in the industry.
I'm certainly not a chef, I'm a cook but a good one.I say that with pride because I learned so much from my late Mother and then i went on to make up my own dishes while keeping hers too.The secret is seasoning and tasting as you go along.The only thing worse than underseasoned food is oversesoned food.That's why i season and taste.I'm not 100% perfect, but I like my own food too.Have a lovely holiday Tom...some day I'd like to see you on Top Chef Masters...if you can ever find the time!
I am amazed, in a bad way, that every season the chefs come onto the show unable to bake some basic desserts. Didn't they do their homework, i.e. watch the previous seasons, and figure out that they would likely be called upon to make a dessert?
It was painful to watch them being called out by the guest judge for their failures, which, as he said, any reasonably competant home cook can do. I'm not a great pie baker, by any means, but I can make a reasonable crust and filling-- it doesn't even have to be a dough crust, they could have used ground nuts and pressed the dough into the pan. I always feel bad for the show's losing chef, but that blueberry disaster made me wish that they could send the Quick Fire loser home. She didn't know that you needed to use a thickener in your filling. What's up with that!
Is it me or is this season more "reality TV" driven with emphasis on the rivalries between the chefs and catty comments? I don't know if this is being directed by the editors or camera men, but I don't like the format.
The older seasons of Top Chef emphasized and respected the food, and was about treating the food as an art. Please don't cheapen the show. I watch Hell's Kitchen when it's on, but I actively TiVo and yearn for Top Chef because it's so much better, as the chefs have been likeable and talented. Please don't lower the quality of Top Chef.
"I'm just hoping that maybe this year we could have an African-American win the title. But it seems the way Tom is critizing all their dishes, we won't. I see in a few weeks them being eliminated one by one."
Yup, good thing Tom wasn't on the panel for Top Chef Masters this season otherwise Marcus Samuelssohn really would've been in trouble *rolls eyes*
As with other loyal viewers, my family is really dissapointed in the group this season. We watch the show to see very high-caliber people take their cooking to another level through competition. The lack of professionalism and pure capability in this group is dramatically different than last year.
Your team has a big part in this. Your brief interviews with contestants highlighting their selfish and unprofessional attitudes is only telling everyone thats what you want. Your team's failure to quickly address the infighting and lack of professionalism shown by the bottom two teams during the school lunch program judges table was very dissapointing.
Is this your show or Chef Ramsey's?
We are big fans Tom, and expect more from you and your team.
I couldn't agree more with Tom - a great chef SHOULD include how to bake and grill. However, almost all the seasons I have watched, we as viewers have to hear "well, I am not a pastry/dessert chef" - like it is beneath ANY cook's dignity to bake a pie or any other dessert. I am not a cook by any means - in fact, I hate cooking for the most part. However, whenever I have guests at my place, I ALWAYS make certain that there is a dessert because I think everyone loves to eat something sweet after dinner - even if it is just ice cream on a hot day or a cookie or whatever - sure dessert is fattening and most of the dessert is not good for you, but to me dessert is We always got dessert when I was growing up and I have a hard time understanding why any of these chefs that have appeared on Top Chef find it beneath their dignity to make a dessert. Don't they serve it in their restaurants? Don't they serve it to their guests when they are entertaining? A lot of times, when I go out and the entree isn't any good, I almost always overlook it if the dessert is good (depending on if I order a dessert that day or not). As for grilling - again, don't most people grill at least once during summer? Even if they don't have an outdoor grill, most people can grill inside the house - Grilled food is generally good for you too. I can't cook but at least I grill quite a bit inside the house - chicken especially. I love the way grilled chicken tastes. I wish that Top Chef would require the chefs during the final episodes of the season to make a dessert. I also agree with another comment that it was unnecessary for Tom to roll his eyes when the chef apologized for offensive Italian cooking. It was quite rude too - she may have had a bad day and at least she apologized unlike most chefs in the past who would have taken offense to the statement.
My heart jumped a little when Jonathan Waxman appeared for the Elimination Challenge. Then it jumped out of my chest and straight to the TV when Bryan Voltaggio briefly flashed in the previews.
Like many viewers, I miss S6 and its Fab Four. But I'm confident that the show/cheftestants will get better this season once the kitchen gets less crowdy. Next week's double elimination sounds like a good plan.
And Tom, you seemed to have quite a voracious appetite for a little munchkin of 10. ;-)
Seriously? Top Chef is cooking contest, not a morality show. If you don't want to see people smoking, then don't watch. ( I don't smoke, by the way).
I do feel that this group of chefs is not up to par with the other chefs in past shows, but maybe they haven't gotten into the groove yet.
In Response to Linda Garrett,
I am a Black American and I hope the best chef wins period...regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation. I endeavor to become a better cook and love watching so many talented people compete week after week. It is amazing.
Who you cheer for is one thing, we all have our favorites for different reasons, but at the end of the day, the best and most talented should (hopefully) win. Last season's final three was amazing. And even though Kevin was from the ATL (my hometown), I was cheering for Michael all the way because he clearly was an amazing, fearless chef.
Happy 4th all!
Speaking of whiners, why complain about watching people smoke? Is someone worried about catching it from a smoker in the kitchen? I suspect this is a set-up to inform them how evil smoking is and how it ruins your sense of taste. Fair enough. But my goodness when you think of all the antics we have seen over the last few years this is nothing. I like the group, and I enjoy seeing food that is something I might actually cook.
I have to agree with a lot of my fellow viewers. This year's contestants, with a few exceptions, don't seem to have the level of skill and discipline as past years. I'm not a Chef, but I have worked back of house at several restaurants, I've opened three, owned one, and I frequently jump on the line when my chefs need a hand at the events I now produce. Even I know how to make a basic pie crust, and I know to season food before it hits the grill, and how not to under cook fish. I'm really hoping that the chaff and the wheat are separated quickly, so the Chefs with real skill can compete at a the level I've come to expect from Top Chef. Have a great holiday weekend, Chef!
I am a fan, however, I must say that so far I am not impressed. In the past I already had at least one chef I was rooting for, not so this time around. I don't see the talent that has been there before. I shall watch with interest.
I am a fan, however, I must say that so far I am not impressed. In the past I already had at least one chef I was rooting for, not so this time around. I don't see the talent that has been there before. I shall watch with interest.
I was really looking forward to Top Chef in D.C. as I'm from the area--actually literally next door to Mount Vernon. So far, I'm really not enjoying it very much. What the heck happened?
#1. The chefs don't seem all that good. I see that I am not the only one who has noticed. Or are we all spoiled from last season? BTW, are these not the most back-stabbing, whiny, snotty jerks ever assembled on one show? Not only is there no stand-out cooking-wise, but there is no stand-out personality wise, either. Nobody to root for, so far.
#2. What's with all the smoking? Gross! How can a chef--who depends so much on his/her palate, sense of taste and sense of smell, piss it all away by smoking?
#3. Chilean Sea Bass? Are you freaking kidding me? What happened to promoting sustainability? Did no one pay attention to that show? And then, adding insult to injury, the chef totally ruins it?
But thanks for introducing your viewers to D.C. and Mount Vernon in the Spring. And yes, it really does look that good. George says hi and come for a visit.
Well I for one don't mind the scenes showing the chefs smoking, mainly because that IS how it is in real life. If anyone has ever worked in a professional kitchen you'll know that more often than not the staff is smoking. Why? I have no idea, I think most people realize now that smoking is detrimental to your health. I think it has something to do with the stress level though, and maybe more Type A personalities are chefs than Type B?
At any rate, keep on keeping it real TC. Those of us that know, also KNOW, that smoking is going on behind the scenes in most kitchens!
After 6 seasons, I cannot believe that these guys are still pulling the "I'm not a pastry/desert/whatever chef. You know that at some point someone is going to have to make a desert or a pastry crust or something.
Be smart and have a few recipes under your belt when you get to the Top Cheg kitchen guys . . . sheeez
Tom, I can appreciate that seasoning is very important. However, I hope that you and the other TC judges will take to heart the idea of a low-sodium challenge. High sodium diets are a major contributor to increased blood pressure, which in turn leads to a higher risk of stroke - cutting salt early can save brain tissue later.
I enjoy the Top Chef shows very much but one thing really disturbs me. WHY are so many of the young chefs featured smoking cigarettes? I find it very distasteful and can't think of any logical reason for doing it except that the show's producers may have been bribed by the cigarette companies to do this. I hope that you can prevail on them to stop this in the future. I'm not a prude and am a former smoker - this just doesn't make any sense!
I'm wondering if you can comment on the number of chefs shown smoking. Doesn't smoking harm the palette? I would think this would be the worst thing a chef could do to themselves? What are your thoughts on this? I'm kind of appalled.
Hey Tom why did you and the editors at Bravo choose to edit out Andrea from the show. She seems like a strong competitor but you guys felt it necessary to leave her on the cutting room floor??
are the contestants interviewed/reviewed before they are selected for the show? yes, i agree that they should have basic skills, which i think you should verify before you hire them.
I'm a long time viewer of TC. Chef Colicchio, thank you for the insight and techniques you share. I've learned a great deal from your comments. I want to echo the concerns expressed about this season. DC has been very disappointing. The chefs are not memorable. Many dishes have been poorly made or bizarre (Sherry in a school lunch should have been scratched immediately; the dish was embarassing). There are many fine chefs in the world. TC should be the cream of the crop. We've seen frozen dough, poorly made rice and beans, no thickener in fruit pie filling, undercooked bacon, undercooked sausage, mealy tomatoes, 2 lbs of sugar in pudding, and a ton of very bad excuses from the chefs. Based on previews of next week, canned beans will also be used. These are TC contenders? As Gail Simmons mentioned during judges' table, step it up! Usually I'm excited by the creativity and skill showcased on TC. LV was an absolutely stellar season for TC. There's no reason that DC should be terrible. I hope the level of competition improves.
Top Chef is my absolute favorite show but I could almost never try any of the recipes on it. Why? Because like some other viewers mentioned - salt. I was diagnosed with kidney disease two years ago and had to change my diet. Like you, I loved salt. If I had the choice between salty and sweet - salty always won. Now, I have to have a very low sodium, low protein diet. How about a challenge that addresses this?
I love Top Chef and have watched it since day one. I must say, I am sorely disappointed in this season's contestants. No one jumps out at me with the creative ingenuity that says "Taste my food- i will blow you away". I also question the state of their palates as many of them smoke which does lend itself to "dull taste buds" if you will. Do they not taste their product before serving? I was shocked when i saw the fish wrapped in bacon--- what was he thinking? And you were absolutely correct in sending Tracy home-- it was a disgrace to Italian cuisine. I give you and the other judges credit for enduring one culinary disaster after another. With all due respect, I hope none of you suffered food poisoning this season. Best wishes to all.
Hi Tom, Thanks for the grilling story! I also wonder how is it that many of these chefs freeze up when it comes to pastries and/or any kind of dessert? I miss some of the antics from early seasons of Top Chef - loved season 3 with Dale, Casey, Brian, seems like they had more fun! Actually I think it's getting way more serious although Jen was a hoot last seen, and Stephanie previously. I also miss the dramatics of Dave from (was it season 2???)
Anyway looking forward to a great new season of TC - wondering if Angelo is going to be just like Marcel????
I'm happy with all of the "cuts" so far . Goofy dreadlock guy and his maple mousse . Jacqueline and her 2 pounds of sugar in her dessert and unstrained liver mousse. If Tracy was voted one of the top 25 chefs in Atlanta then the state of cusuine there must be in shambles . Chicken burger for the school lunch ? Sausage burger for the cookout ? Clarivoyant huh ? I wonder if she was able to predict her own demise. These shows early on have a way of leading to the next obvious cut . Steven and Tim keep hitting bottom . If it continues then both sould be gone by the next show . (they did say 2 cuts next show , right ?)
Tom, I loved the look of Arnolds corn salad for the cafeteria challenge so much that i got the recipe off your site. As i was making it i was thinking man.. that is a lot of limes and juice so i cut it in half.( 3 rather than 6) After tasting the dish i realized that maybe it was not cut down to size. MAYBE the 6 limes was to feed 200 kids.. because the final product was terrible i was so upset. All i could taste was LIME! how is it that you guys loved this dish.. i did all the other ingredients and procedures exactly the way the recipe called for. My opinion, way less lime more cilantro..
I am always annoyed when ANYONE on this show says they are not a "pastry chef" or "such n such" type of chef.
I propose the next person who says that, get slapped upside the head with a fresh fish and sent packin'!
This seasons Chefs seem to be a big group of also ran's...Last season had exciting vibrant motivated chefs who made some fantastic looking dishes. This group reminds me of the type of chefs that are on Hells kitchen...Fast food chefs..what a disappointment to wait all year for the new season and then have this bunch arrive...I believe it was Kevin who said last season that none of the chefs would want to win because their opponent had messed up or lost on a technicality, these guys are already resorting to shady deals and throwing challenges just to get ahead. The winner of this season should just walk away and say thanks for the 15 minutes of fame...I don't think you will ever hear anything from any of these COOKS....except maybe an autograph signing at the new local fast food joint...although I'm not sure who would want an autograph from any of these zeros! what a shame, hopefully we will have better luck with Just Desserts!!!
Love your blog! However I have to tell you that I'm a little unimpressed with this seasons cheftestants.
Some of the dishes they have made are some of the things I've made in my first year of culinary school. And coming off such a strong season such as last year, I would have thought that this season would have surpassed that, sadly it hasn't.
I was super excited to see that it was filmed right here in my back yard of DC. I just hope that we get so see some of the great chefs we have here in DC.
Oh and Rayne, do you really need to put the race card into play here? The fact that there are black chefs this season is irrelevant. They all made it to the show based on their skill set, not the color of their skin.
Tom, I just recently discovered your blogs and I have read everything. You are a joy! I have enjoyed you on the show - your professionalism, your kindness, your honesty - everything about you is very real. NOW, your blogs!!! I love reading them! I enjoyed your 10-yr old grilling story! Thank you for a wonderful show and a wonderful blog. One day, I'd love to try your restaurant!!
I'm rooting for Kenny or Tim (even though I'm a white southern conservative, Rayne, imagine that!), but overall a really weak bunch this year. Last year, you could tell within a few weeks that it was a really great group of chefs. This year, and maybe it's because of the specific challenges, the chefs haven't really impressed anyone (judging from the comments). Angelo seems like an older Marcel. Kenny has some crazy skills, is bold, and has an aggressiveness that should take him far. I like hometown Tim though, and hope he gains the confidence to win, but I don't think he's as technically skilled as the Angelo or Kenny.