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Over twelve seasons of our award-winning show Top Chef, head judge Tom Colicchio has had his fair share of food served by some of America's greatest culinary talents. But if you were to ask him who is the most talented Cheftestant to appear on the show, one competitor comes to mind.
"Paul Qui, who won [Season 9], I think is the most talented chef that we've ever had on the show," Tom told the Huffington Post.
Actually, Colicchio revealed that he was even better than what viewers got to see on-air. "In fact, we had to dumb down how good he was," says Tom, "because it would've been pretty obvious that he was running away with everything."
It might be an understatement to say that Paul Qui is having a big week. In addition to high praise from Tom, Paul was just named Chef of the Year on Esquire's The Best New Restaurants In America list for 2014.
While speaking to the Huffington Post, Collicchio also opened up about what he looks for while judging the chefs on the series. "You look at certain things: you look at whether or not they're cooking everything properly, whether or not something's seared nicely, how they're handling the ingredients, and then sort of how it all goes together, you look at proportions," he said. "But ultimately, it comes down to taste. And if it doesn't taste good — the worst dish is always going to go home."
Top Chef's season 12 kicked off this week, taking fans to Boston every Wednesday. Judge Gail Simmons recently opened up about taking the show to New England. "Almost everyone in the city of Boston, I think, was really happy to have [Top Chef] there, and we were really excited to give the show a new look and feel," she told the Boston Globe about the show's 12th season. "We went from New Orleans last year, where everything was Cajun and super-Southern, to New England, which couldn't be more different. It just gave us a whole new set of ingredients to work with. We had a lot of fun there."
•First Look at Top Chef Season 12!
•Gail Simmons: How 'Chef' Is Different Than Last Season
•'Top Chef' Season 12 Is Heading To…
•Paul Qui Named Chef of the Year!
•Gail Simmons Reveals Her Worst Top Chef Dishes
[Sources: Huffington Post]
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