Team Top Chef

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

Nov 2, 2011

I'm not going to go into what every chef cooked for every challenge (Hugh does in his blog if you want to check it out), but let's talk about the highlights, shall we?

Step 1: The first group were presented with a whole pig by Tom and new judge Emeril Lagasse. I don't know what it is about Emeril, but he's so calm and cool, it cracks me up. Can't wait to see him at the real Judges' Table. Anyway, the first group's chefs divvy up the cuts. This was a true nose to tail challenge. It actually reminded me of my recent trip to Animal in L.A. Both pig ears -- or "listeners" as the Magical Elves referenced them in the episode -- and pig tails were on the menu, and I opted for neither. I've had pig ears before -- they're just not for me; I find the textrue disconcerting. The main event of this group's challenge was Tyler. Poor, poor Tyler. He was just in over his head and didn't know how to butcher the pig. So, Tom eliminated Tyler right then and there. And Tyler continued to talk a big game post-elimination! He actually did more begging defense than we showed on-air. You can check out that exclusive footage here:

I couldn't tell if he really believed what he was saying, honestly. He's apparently already written a book and accomplished a lot, sooo I'm sure he'll be fine. Colin had some issues too. His soup got everywhere, and I mean everywhere, and the judges wouldn't even try his food. Eliminated. (He was adorable, and kinda reminded me of the lead singer of Band of Horses, Ben Bridwell, so I was sad about that one.)