The majesty and glory of the greatest cooking show on TV is once again upon us! Top Chef has returned with it’s fifth season from the culinary epicenter of the known universe; New York City.
17 contestants were welcomed into the new season, but with only 16 spots to fill, someone had to be eliminated right away. Slow knife skills proved to be the undoing for Lauren, the CIA grad. Sorry about your luck, but Jags still rocks. Having eaten there, I can say with all confidence that for someone to be able to cook there means there’s serious talent in them yet.
With 16 remaining contestants, I really don’t have the memory to have something to say about them all. That said, let me hit the highlights…or lowlights as the case may be.
Stefan- Got skills, but seems like a dick.
Fabio- Mediocre skills, but seems like a dick.
Ariane- Really? The best thing you can think to say when facing elimination is “when I’m cooking something I don’t know I have a book to look at”? Maybe you’d be better off commenting on something that doesn’t illustrate your utter lack of ability? Perhaps the glare coming off Tom’s head? Retard.
Patrick- Picking your first elimination challenge to use an ingredient that you’ve never worked with before was just not smart. You don’t have to have gone to CIA to know that. Also, adding steamed bok choi doesn’t automatically make something Chinese. Don’t need CIA for that either.
Radhika- It takes you 20 minutes to get your knives out and your spices arranged? Sweetie, you are on the wrong show.
Danny- Aside from the oddly cut facial hair, I liked this guy right away. But Tom caught him in a very uncomfortable situation. I know that with as many variations on this, that, and the other in cooking these days, fewer and fewer dishes are completely original. But the higher up the ladder of haute cuisine you go, the more likely you are to find these truly original dishes. Tom looked at the salad Danny put together, had a taste, and immediately said “I recognize this salad. Wolfgang Puck has been making it for 20 some-odd years.” At least he took his inspiration from the very, very best.
There are two caterers on this season, Stefan and Carla. Carla got a little kooky with her “spirit guides” statements. And while she’s entertaining, I don’t think she’s going to have the chops to hang around until the end. Stefan, however, seems to have some pretty sick skills, winning both the Quickfire and Elimination challenges. His kung fu is strong. However, previous contestants Brian Malarkey (season 3) and Richard Blais (season 4) have said in their blogs that a caterer will never win this competition. I guess we’ll see.
Personally, I like Hosea. He seems like a pretty even-keeled guy with strong knife skills and a good eye for presentation. After the first night, he’s my pick to win it all.