Team Top Chef

Keith Rhodes thinks he was thrown under the bus by his teammates.

Nov 15, 2011

Welcome back, my little rattlers! This week, we finally see the 16 cheftestants in the kitchen together, and they're ready to compete. 

First, we get a little glimpse into their sequestered homelife. Hugh gives Chris a lot of crap in his blog about his all-white outfit, so I'll let it go, but y'know by even mentioning it, I'm not letting it go.

Is it just me or does the house vibe just feel different this year? The chefs' maturity just emanates from them. These are serious, experienced chefs, and I'm not getting a feeling from any of them that any feel intimidated by another, something some chefs have expressed in the past.

Padma presents the Quickfire Challenge alongside San Antonio chef Johnny Hernandez. The chefs are presented with their ingredient -- rattlesnake! Love how much fun the Magical Elves had with tricking the chefs into thinking they had to kill their own protein! The thought of seeing them do this actually made me vomit in my mouth a little. Fortunately, it was all a prank! They're such pranksters! They're like George Clooney on a movie set! Anyway, the chefs pretty much had to just make the best rattlesnake dish they could think of. As we've learned in other challenges in past sessions, snake can be pretty rubbery, and Chef Hernandez reiterates how "delicate" the meat is. 

It's nice to see how much these chefs try to help each other (for now), like Sarah telling Richie he should cut his pieces smaller into filets so it's easier to cook. Honestly, when Richie was shaking whatever spice he was shaking (I'm sure I should know what that kitchen gadget is, but I don't), I thought he was trying to figure out a way to incorporate an aural element to his dish, where the dish would not only taste like rattlesnake, but it would sound like it too! He does work with Hamaru Cantu after all -- anything's possible. I mean, Dakota admitted to cooking barracuda! P.S. Chris and Richie have the cutest bromance ever. Richie obviously respects his chef, and the feeling is mutual.