Team Top Chef

The first two groups of three compete for a spot among the final 16 cheftestants.

Nov 2, 20110

Hellooo Top Chef: Texas fans! I should probably introduce myself. My name is Monica and I'm Senior Editor here at Bravotv.com. I'm also a huge "foodie" and Top Chef fan (been working here since Season 3.) I'll be your recapper for the season.

This is what I wore to work today, just so all my colleagues knew what time it was. It's Top Chef: Texas time! I'm finally recovered from a stellar season of Just Desserts, and am ready for a new season, new format, new judges! 

So, let's get to it. 29 -- yes, 29 -- cheftestant hopefuls arrive in San Antonio, the Alamo to be exact.

Watch producer Chris Gallivan explain why we chose Texas:



Thanks, Chris!

The 29 hopefuls are greeted by Padma who tells them how the new season will work. They'll be broken into three groups, competing in different challenges.

21 comments
Cindy Alport
Cindy Alport

Does anyone know who Tom was referring to when he spoke to Bernice and said he knows who she works for? Who does she work for?

babsmodern
babsmodern

To Baseball Mom: My understanding of the story is that Top Chef was asking for concessions and funding from the cities involved, and some weren't interested in it. I was surprised that DALLAS made it, considering the financial problems we've been having. Most of my friends in law enforcement and those employed by the City have had to take "down days" in order to meet the budget. "Down days" = pay cut.

baseball mom
baseball mom

I have been a Top Chef fan for years and was so excited to hear the show was coming to Texas. However, I was shocked to find out the show was not coming to Houston!! How could Top Chef come to Texas and ignore the largest city? Houston is a wonderful restaurant town and, as a Houstonian, I feel we have been snubbed. I don't plan on watching this season.

Alex Beitashour
Alex Beitashour

Huuuuuuuge fan of the show. Tore my acl and have had a lot of spare time on my hands, so learning a few new techniques has been great. First episode was fabulous!

Anton Ego
Anton Ego

I loved the first episode this season. It had me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. Also, I genuinely like Hugh Acheson. He tells it like it is, and he doesn't come across as particularly arrogant to me. Certainly no more so than Tom C. or Emeril.

babsmodern
babsmodern

What I am most upset about is that the opening episode should have been two hours. Y'all keep saying that everything is bigger in Texas, put your video where your mouths are! Also, as a "naturalized" Texan (I've been here since 1966, so don't hate on me, Native Texans), I am really shocked at how WRONG your previews are. First of all, hillbillys are NOT TEXAN. Period. I won't argue that. Second, if you want to get Padma looking "texas", dump the denim dress and just pile her hair on top of her head as high as you can get it. We all know down here that "The Bigger the Hair, the Closer to God." I will be back with more critiques as the season rolls on. And Hugh, although you annoy the heck out of me, I'm gonna give you another chance. You're not half as annoying as Michael Chiarello. Now, c'mon, guys! Get your Noconas on, Let's Rodeo!

Viewertoo
Viewertoo

So far I'm really enjoying Top Chef! Good recaps! I'm sure tonight's show will be good! I'm excited to see Nyesha from Chef Hunter! Already auto tuned it!

Fan in Houston
Fan in Houston

Just wondering why Houston was left out of the line up of cities? There are any number of extremely talented and top ranked chefs in Houston. Is this another diss from the east coast establishment? And, surely there are chefs from anywhere in Texas who can cook at least as well as some of the chosen contestants. For a show taking place in Texas, one might expect to see some chefs from Texas. What's up with all that?

B.
B.

I'm still surprised at the Tyler butchering fiasco. It is hard to believe that he could not butcher that meat. When Tom asked him who was butchering for he said just for himself, made me think that this is not because he can't butcher meat. He was been selfish, and maybe was trying to sabotage, this early in the competition, another contestant. Well, if that was his goal it backedfired horribly.

I am a little surprised that the coats are been given up this way. How can you give the coats to the people that u like without tasting what the other chefs have made? What if in one group all ten are great? And what about the people in the bubble? It just don't make sense to me. Well, it is Top Chef and unless you have some trick up your sleeve that we are going to find out in the next couple of weeks. Hoping to have fun this season.

Tess Cox
Tess Cox

I'm disappointed that TOP CHEF no longer has full episodes online! It's the only way I can watch the show because of my budget. I have been a loyal fan and follower since the beginning, and this is the first year I won't be able to watch because there are no episodes online! Please make them available! As folks have to tighten their budgets, there are going to be more and more of us who get their TV on the web sites to keep from paying for both internet and TV. Please make episodes available without having to buy cable/Dish, etc....like CBS, ABC, NBC, etc. The only other network I'm disappointed in is FOX who makes you pay for satellite or cable before you can access their content online. It's very disappointing and not fan friendly at all!

schotsea
schotsea

Hugh Haters - give him a chance - I didn't like him initially on TCM, but his sense of humor (which is extremly dry) will grow on you once you come to understand it.

Re judging a Prodege' - one would only hope that as a professional he can be objective in his tasting. If he's not it will show up in comparison to the other judges and I'm sure he knows that.

aydilm1
aydilm1

Love your recap looking forward to reading your blogs.

VanessafromCA
VanessafromCA

I was just wondering - were the groups broken down randomly? Or was there some magic editing going on (which is completely fine by me)? Because what if 16 coats were handed out for the first 16? From Tom's comments, I just assumed that the food wasn't tasted all beforehand, unless this is a third new thing for this season.

Louise Collins
Louise Collins

I am so excited for season 9 i will be watching and voting for my favorite chief. So as my grandma would say put you foot in it.

SN
SN

I love Top Chef but not a fan of Hugh the new judge whenever he shows up.

ralpho
ralpho

Okay, Hello! Monica. I, too, enjoy Hugh Acheson. In contrast to a blogger on his site, I WON'T be using my mute button. The pork butcher should get a shot with Chef Gordon Ramsey on Gordo's amateur competition chef show -- I mean amatuer chef competition show. I enjoy pierogi filled with Idaho mashed potatoes that have been refrigerated then fried up the next day in butter with lots of sauteed onions and four cheeses! Yummmmm! Not much interest so far in Season 9 from the blogs, I see. It will catch on. I enjoy the variety of contestant personalities already! Living about 100 miles from Chicago allows me to frequent those Windy City places -- named after the mayoral speeches of the early 1900's that were just a bunch of wind, not because it's breezy there. But that's true, too, downtown especialyl between the tall bldgs. We have amde a ritual of all Top Chefs. It's a slice of current American culture!

Vieweraswell
Vieweraswell

how the heck did he get on the show if he can't butcher meat properly? that's like one of the basic parts of cooking.

next you going to tell me he didn't know how to boil water :P

Texas viewer
Texas viewer

Ok. First, I don't like Hugh. Second, why is he a judge if his protogee is in the competition. He is arrogant and annoying and in my mind has already ruined the entire season for me...and this is a big deal because I LIVE for Top Chef. Dang, Hugh. Ruining my season.

madmomothree
madmomothree

Welcome to TEXAS ! I hope YA'LL are enjoying San Antonio.. Good luck to all the contestants and judges !

Dave in IN
Dave in IN

I sat in open shock as the first cheftestant was eliminated at just 12 minutes past the hour. I couldn't believe it, and yet I could. I have no ability to break down a primal cut, but seriously - a hacksaw? "I need a hammer." Yeah, like you're really going to be beating on your knives with a hammer. Gimme a break. I'm sure you could have cooked the heck out of that porkchop, and I probably would have loved to see what you cooked, let alone taste. But seriously. Can't break down the meat? No chance. You gotta have *all* the skills.

Speaking of pork tenderloin...what I enjoyed last night was a mustard coated pork tenderloin with a lemon-honey-dill sauce served with dill-balsamic zucchini. Don't doubt it's lunch today too. Mmmm...speaking of that, gotta go get to the fridge...