New chefs must introduce themselves through their food.

PREMIERE: Jun 12, 2007, 12:00 AM
First Impressions

Top Chef didn't waste any time on formalities in its super-sized season premiere. The newest contestants were surprised with a Quickfire Challenge that demanded the preparation of an amuse bouche. Something that told Tom and Padma a little bit about their culinary personality. All of the chefs rose to the challenge, but Chef Tom found the taste and story behind Micah's morsel the most appetizing. A few of the chefs felt they had something to prove when they got to the Elimination Challenge where they had to work with exotic proteins--some the chefs had never even heard of. While Hung's adventurous duo of geoduck and black chicken impressed guest judge Anthony Bourdain, Tre's classical take on his unorthodox meats - ostrich fillet and abalone--was the best, and built his confidence back up after a disappointing Quickfire showing. Meanwhile, whether it was nerves, or lacking "fundamentals" like the judges suggested, Clay's Southern style just never found its place in the Top Chef kitchen.