Hugh Acheson

Hugh Acheson elaborates on the salads his group created in the season premiere.

on Nov 7, 2012

And so we begin, in the kitchens of Tom, Emeril, Wolfgang, and some strange displaced Canadian with one eyebrow. Talk about wondering whether you have what it takes to be on a team. Aw well, those are my insecurities and I really only talk about that stuff on Twitter. Follow me and you will be privy to my most angst-ridden thoughts. 

You can see from the frenetic teasers at the beginning of this episode that we are about to judge a large group of people. About 21 if my math serves me right. The vista after this first culling will be Seattle and some of these fine chefs are not getting those tickets to eat salmon, drink coffee, wear flannel, listen to Mudhoney and whine about the loss of the Sonics. I for one, would enjoy doing that daily. No joke. You know, me, Detlef Schrempf and Gary Payton chatting about what went wrong over a nice cortado when Shawn Kemp interrupts us asking if we know where he can pawn a gold tooth. 

John Tesar’s reputation has resulted in some pretty bombastic articles about his exploits. Frankly, he’s known as an assh---. I don’t know John from Adam and I am hoping he’s just terribly misunderstood. There is a dire need for the formation of a self-help group for egomaniacal chefs though. Or maybe just a new rung of hell where they can do endless amounts of dishes for eternity. The dirties would be a never-ending stream of copper pots that have an inch of burnt caramel in the bottoms.  We have our villain though! That was quick. 

As is customary, someone says something flirtatious about Tom or Padma. This time it’s Lizzie about Tom. These crushes last an Usain minute and then the gravity of the situation sets in and they realize that they have signed up for a degustation menu of stress and anxiety. The amorous feelings quickly evaporate into fretful prep lists. 

So this is the challenge. It’s a proper culling. We, as the chef judges, are dividing the group up into fourths and having them pass a simple test in our kitchens. Tom is having them do a panoply of things from making pasta, to butchery, to working the line. Emeril is having them make a soup of their choice. Wolfgang is going all French on them and is having them make omelets. I am having them make a salad.