Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Live Blogging - Top Chef Season 5: Episode 1

Ok, so we've learned that inspiration is more important than execution, and Patrick is eliminated second, although I'm sure that the judges will contradict that at least six or seven times this season. The season preview looks fantastic, with appearances from Martha Stewart, and Philadelphia's own Stephen Starr, or so I hear. Padma wraps things up with "That rice was appalling." I can't wait for next week.

I'm calling it now, Stefan is going to be the cocky success story of this season, at least one of them, as there are usually more than one. I mean just look at that smug grin as Gail tells him that she adores his lemony hummus. I think that they're being a little harsh on Ariane; only one aspect of her dish was off. Patrick should be a goner, thanks to those gooey black rice noodles. Uh oh, Ariane may have just done herself in with that book comment. Master Tom is not happy.

God, the first sight of this food makes me hate my daily meals at Commons that much more. Three teams down, and no huge disasters yet. Come on people, it's early so feel free to crash and burn. Ok, Jeff's plate looks just pathetic. He might have considered spending less time on his hair and more time on his plating, but apparently his dish still tasted good, because he won his duel. Where was Padma's "This is not risotto" from the preview? She needs to throw down a little more if she wants to recapture my affection.

10: 40
Nice opening elimination challenge, taking advantage of the plethora of ethnic neighborhoods in New York. Carla the caterer, preparing to cook a Russian dish, decides to "let the spirits guide [her.]" Ok, you just do that Carla. I'm also thinking that some of these groups got a little screwed. Most of them would probably have a wider knowledge of Middle Eastern or Italian cuisine than Jamaican...right? I'm surprised that there are so many salads coming through, as I thought that some of these chefs would want to bring out the big guns from the get go.

Well I was wrong, big surprise, but I'm relieved that I don't have to listen to that grating accent for an entire season. The digs are nice, as usual, but I'm convinced that they just live in the same place every season and teleport to the challenge sites. At least that's what it looks like. And we're not even halfway through the first episode and some of these egomaniacs are already arguing about the differences between a vinaigrette and an emulsion. Oh how I've missed this.

10: 15
Woohoo, it's finally back! After a little bit of getting to know the contestants, Padma and Tom wasted no time in laying down the law with the first quickfire challenge. At first the thought of watching the chefs peel apples seemed pretty mundane, but the combination of incredible speed and a little bit of blood quickly got me interested. I'm predicting that Patrick is going to go after the break, but both of those dishes looked pretty lackluster.
PS - I'm excited to know that they were as excited about seeing Padma as I was.

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