We meet all the players in the third grouping before we get to see the Bubble Group do battle. The Bubble Group is getting restless, with Edward talking about how he’s going to have to kill everyone in the room to get a blue chef coat. I try to send him happy thoughts and remind him that he could really just buy one at chefcoat.com.
Austin Andrew gets mushrooms and looks in-control. But he is speaking authoritatively to his poached eggs… “Aw, you bitch.” Conversations with food often reveal the lunatic in the room.
Paul Q gets cooking with trout. He seems confident when I approach and is creating smart, simpler food, arguably the most difficult food to pull off.
Kim gets lamb, which she is treating with a simple Italianesque preparation. She looks like Dexter’s sister.
Paul gets the coat. Much deserved. The street cart overlord from Austin has massive skills. Good job, Paul. Andrew bubbles through to the next challenge, unless Edward has his way and kills everyone in the Bubble Room. Kim overcooks the lamb and is done. She leaves with honor.
Berenice gets short ribs which is another doozy. Tough muscle. Her dish was fine but one-dimensional. She is honorable in defeat.
Jonathan has Brussels sprouts. I love Brussels sprouts. Jonathan says Tom and I are “lurking around.” I admit it. It’s my job. I skulk too.
Fatty Crab Chaz is doing risotto. I remark to him that risotto has brought down many, many chefs on TC. He doesn’t want to hear this, but the writing may be on the wall. He says that Italians make risotto, “all night.” Twenty minutes seems more accurate, but if you have to caress each rice kernel like they were miniature Padmas, then yes, it may take a while. He also says something like, “Am I a Navy Seal or a GI Joe?” We hope you are just a person cooking risotto. Don’t aim too high.
Exactly what's "creepy" about putting up a picture of a beautiful woman? I mean, it's not like anything that hasn't been done a billion times before.
Hugh might be trying too hard here....
I love reading Hugh's snarky, hilarious comments. He's the new Bourdain! Look forward to reading more of his blog as the competition continues.
And it was refreshing to see the qualifying rounds and to know they will be moving to various locations rather than staying put. The series was starting to feel stale with the same format over and over again. Am actually looking forward to Season 9 now!
I find it interesting that some of these chefs haven't used certain equipment. You'd think that in preparing for the show that they would at least attempt to learn how to use equipment they are unfamiliar with so that it won't take them down during the show. Say like a wok....a pressure cooker.....a microwave....a sous vide. And it is very scary when someone is having difficulties with a pressure cooker.
Love your chef mini-descriptions. I was afraid with so many having to be winnowed out so quickly, it would be next to impossible to differentiate between them. I've never been to Texas, but I think I may have to go.
I wonder if the judges put through chefs in the first two rounds that would not have made it if they were in round three...happy that ed made it through simply because he wants it so badly..good luck Ed.
"I find it interesting that some of these chefs haven't used certain equipment. You'd think that in preparing for the show that they would at least attempt to learn how to use equipment they are unfamiliar with..."
Exactly. I'm continually exasperated by this on many cooking shows. It's obviously possible to get kitchen career without this knowledge - but who would want a career with those weaknesses and not drive to know more? And then, knowing you're weak in at least these areas, show up at Top Chef auditions (or send a video)?
Of course I get the same feelings when I force myself to watch an episode of the singing shows... lol.
Mostly, seeing these things has made me more worrisome about the kitchens of restaurants I walk into.
I'm not a professional chef and I've used a pressure cooker. In fact, I still have the one my parents used oh so long ago. Still works. Admittedly, when I was young it used to scare the $%#@ out of me. Love the blog. Entertaining, yet succinct and to the point.
Kellinger ... Pressure cookers are very different from one model to another. I have used them all my life BUT you throw in a different model that locks slightly differently and add to that competition and time pressure that can really throw off anyone.
I have seen even on shows like Iron Chef and Top Chef Masters seasonsed celebrity chefs struggle with pressure cooker.
great post. its nice to see some new excitement on the show. the challanges and your hilarity should make for a great season. looking forward to it. dont let Tony and is 4 star french side kick bully Emeril; he was one of the first to modernize food tv you know.
Love the competition. But don't understand - Edward cut his thumb, medics rushed in and bandaged; then in presentation of dish to the Judges - no bandage! And later at the house, the badly cut, profusely bleeding, heavily bandaged thumb looks none the worse for wear! What's up with that?
Hugh, I thought you would be boring on the show as I did not see TCM 3. But you are so bright and entertaining... I hope you return for TC 10!
What happened to all the blood and the cut on Edwards hand;when he went up at judges table not a bandaid or finger cot noticeable.And when he shook hands could'nt see any evidence that he had cut himself at all!The magic of T.V and editing?Also glad to see that cocky young Tyler go 1st without even cooking;I have met many of the same types in my 32 yrs. of being a cook.Thanks for Top Chef,Have watched it since the 1st season and still love it!!
Love your blog Hugh. Nice to get more than just a dry summary of what happened on the episode. Keep it coming!
I'm glad that creep who was obsessed with Padma got knocked off. It could have gotten really awkward if he stayed on. I can't believe he had a picture of her in his room. Creepy, really creepy...
Great blog post. It gives me a feel for all the contestants from another angle, and is pretty amusing at the same time.
I have to agree with Kellinger. Who would come onto the show without familiarizaing oneself with basic equipment and speedy cooking techniques? No effort, they deserve to lose.
I have to wonder what kind of risotto that chef had had before. It never takes me more than 30 minutes, including prep, and I take my time.
Rob: I don't think it's creepy until you tell the person in said poster. That can be a little creepy. Not that anyone's ever told me that they once had MY picture pinned up in their locker but, if someone told me that, I think it would creep me out a bit.
Yup, Hugh is no Bourdain. Hugh is way classier. Bourdain's claim to fame is trash talking other chefs. Some might find that entertaining, but it's really petty and low-brow.
I'm enjoying both Hugh's presence on the show and his commentary. I like his sharp and very dry sense of humor. His writing style is very different from Bourdain's. Hugh is not the storyteller that Bourdain is. Hugh writes much shorter, crisper sentences that get right to the point--somewhat reminiscent of Hemingway. Bottom line though is that just like Bourdain, Acheson always tells it like it is. I'll never forget when he told that one contestant on "Top Chef: Just Desserts","...if you worked in my kitchen you'd be fired, because you did NOTHING dude!..."
I am really looking forward to watching Hugh and the show in general this season. I absolutely loved the first two episodes and am really looking forward to the next challenge.
OMG!! I love this blog. Hugh was one of my favs on TC Masters, so reading your blog makes me =D heheh. I was rooting for Edward from the beginning so I'm so happy he made it through! Keep writing Hugh, can't wait to read more!
Have to agree that Hugh seems to be trying just a wee bit too hard to be funny ends up coming across as not so funny, snobbish and wayyy too snarky. Love the new season but Hugh, please tone it down just a little. Every comment doesnt have to be dripping with sarcasm and your constant furrowed brow look does nothing for you except make you look as though you have a uni-brow. Sorry to be so brutal, but I love Top Chef and you are annoying my experience.
Hugh is so funny. He and I havethe same dry wit. The creep over Padma cracked me up! I found him to be so refreshing on TCM 3. My fav commemt that he made was about PDAs. I paraphrase here, ' That so sweet. I am going to throwup into my mouth.' He was referring to a man who was proposing to his girl on the show that night. I am overhappy to seem him judging!