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New Top Chef Contestants

So, it looks like we have some repeat personalities from last season. Marcel is quite fond of himself and already pegged as the villian. The quiet, confident winner of the challenge. He was told that Harold won the first challenge last season too...Foreshadowing, perhaps?

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  1. When there are 15 contestants, I find it too hard to really have opinions on anyone at this point. I'm happy the show is back and the new host is a VAST improvement over Billy Joel's daughter, I mean wife.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Muhlyssa

      I agree... at this point, none of them are really standing out to me except, of course Stephen, oops I mean Marcel! ;-)

      I think new host is gorgeous and I like her demeanor MUCH better, obviously!

    2. I just couldn't stay up last night to watch, so it's taped to watch tonight. I did read profiles earlier when first put up on Bravo, and did think there were repeats on the character types.

      1. The challenges were pretty good, especially compared with some last season's.

        Though including industrial garbage like processed cheese food and, to a lesser extent, Jif peanut butter was bogus. And having two different sets of ingredients made for an uneven playing field. Though with the producers factoring in personality, it's not really an even playing field anyway. They'll keep Wolverine around till the end no matter how sloppy and confused his food may be.

        I loved that the Mexican contestant referred to the yellow milk gel as "the American ... product."

        1 Reply
        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Haha, the Wolverine comment made me laugh out loud.

        2. I'm really loving the improvement Padma Lakshmi makes-- it's a wonder what an interesting, articulate host does to improve the show.

          Kudos to Bravo for realizing their blunder and rectifying it so wonderfully.


          NYCnosh* http://nycnosh.com

          1. Yes, couldn't agree more about the hosting change. Pretty AND personable with a nice voice.

            The rest of the show -- well, it's the sophomore curse of reality shows. The self-consciousness about strategy and acting up the rolls is not so interesting.
            Off the bat, I liked the first season better. But then, there was Keller and the drama of the hot and hot-headed Irish man.

            The celeb chefs teased for future episodes were fun -- Suzanne Goin and Bourdain.

            I really like the Mexican woman - both for her "American Product" comment and for liking Marcel's dish when everyone else went after him. I'm feeling some integrity from her, refreshing! The lady from Oakland who worked those frog legs is ready for a cooking show of her own -- she has alot of presence.

            Did Otto remind anyone else of Bill Murray?

            1 Reply
            1. re: pitu

              Bill Murray-Brilliant...Yeah I can definitely see the guy going on about monkey women and gophers.

            2. i am glad the new season is finally here. padma lakshmi is gorgeous and a vast improvement over last years host. does anyone else think that michael (the contestant that was drunk and locked out of his room) looks like a male tiffany (last years finalist)? i think they could be twins :)

              1. I'm betting that SF's Marisa Churchill doesn't last long as she sort of fades into the crowd and was not very visible in the promos.

                A different kind of cheesecake from the usual pastry chef:


                6 Replies
                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  HA! Has to be one of the dumbest things I’ve seen in a while. (for the record she didn’t seem so sultry and seductive when she was running around the kitchen freaking out be cause she didn’t know what she was doing.) It certainly dose not make me want to go out and try her food. The image in fact is quite unappetizing.

                  Once again may I say HA!

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    What is she thinking, she's not even hot - what the fungus!

                    1. re: wingman

                      I don't even remember which one she was on the show, because I certainly didn't remember seeing any contestants that were *hot*!

                      1. re: Katie Nell

                        She's the tall, skinny one with long braids.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          don't forget to add witch nose and recessed chin.

                          I wouldn't have a problem with her looks if not for the ridiculous attitude!

                    2. re: Robert Lauriston

                      What the?!! Is she for real? That is the most ridiculous thing I've seen in a long time. I expected the "photos" section to be all porn.

                    3. good LORD and LOL thx for the link to Ms Marisa
                      I was wondering what she meant about using her sexuality
                      (since, er, she didn't seem to have that working for her.)

                      1. As a pastry chef myself I can't help but hate the image she is portraying. "I get what I want with a smile" Her calender makes me even more uneasy. How about getting what you want by not acting like a helpless kitchen slut?

                        She's a talented pastry chef & some of her desserts are certainly beautiful but ugh! the helpless sex kitten act is not gonna get you anywhere.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: sugarbuzz

                          She doesn't look *helpless*. More like highly competent dominatrix. Nothing very sexy about those goofy poses.

                        2. I checked it out for the first time last night and I found it to be very entertaining. I agree it is hard to tell the personalities and direction the show will take so early in the season when there are so many contestants.

                          Being from Sacramento I am particularily interested in Mia Gaines-Alt who is from Oakdale and her neighbor Michael Midgely who is from Stockton. It will be interesting to see how they do pitted against people from larger well known metropolitan areas. I usually don't root for people solely because they are from a particular geographic region but I am awfully tempted to tune in to give them moral support.

                          1. Yeah I guess helpless is not the right word but you know what I'm saying..right?
                            Don't pull that sex kitten bs in my kitchen. What's sad is that most guys in the kitchen have no respect for someone like that.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: sugarbuzz

                              I respect any woman holding a blowtorch. Though I might offer her an apron and a hairnet.

                            2. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Betty from Grub in Los Angeles. Her restaurant is terrific and cute and has great food, and she is just as likely to hug you or turn a cartwheel in the dining room as she is to be wearing her chef's whites.

                              If she doesn't win this show, she could carry a sitcom for sure.

                              1. Chocolate Chick were we watching the same show???
                                Ilan won the competition...Marcel (the obnoxious one {is that 'marcelled hair?}) was in one of the 4 at the bottom..although he was not the one chucked...

                                1. Yeah, I had to read the original post twice to get that she meant Marcel was one example of a repeat personality, and another example was the quiet confident winner who is like Harold and like Harold won the first challenge. I agree the producers are clearly making Marcel/Wolverine out to be this year's Stephen.

                                  I am only starting to form a few favorites, notably Mia from Oakdale, and Padma Lakshi! It's funny, now hubby lets me watch Top Chef when he's in the same room only because of Padma.

                                  I had guessed Suyai might get booted when they showed her clip of practically bawling to Colicchio how badly she was doing (they love to foreshadow these things for us, though sometimes it's a trick so I wasn't 100% sure). I was surprised that Ilan's "stuff everything into a snail shell" won the Elimination Challenge, I can't belive that packing all those different flavors into something essentially a meatball would work.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: Alice Patis

                                    That's a frustrating thing about these shows, when somebody pulls off a masterful integration of an unlikely combination of flavors by combining a lot of techniques, like Ilan did with snails, process cheese food, etc., I can't really imagine what the judges are tasting.

                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                      It is always difficult to imagine what the judges are tasting unless the dish is a simple, straightforward combination of ingrediants/flavors (and such such dishes can be excellent, of course). The the real proplem with cooking reality shows vs. other sorts, of course, is that you can't experince the "talent" for yourself. The personalities are fun, but if you want to make judments based on the output of the contestents, you can't do it when all you can do is look at a dish.

                                      Some of the guest judges last season were clearly very astute in their judgements, but I was really put off by Tom Collichio. I had wonderful meals at his restaurants when I lived in New York, but man, do I hate his personality on this show, and I find his judging very uneven.

                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                        I can usually imagine what the food tastes like, but that thing Ilan made was just too complicated. Clear enough from the recipe on the Web site but the description in the show was sketchy and misleading.

                                    2. re: Alice Patis

                                      Bravo has the recipe on their website...I'd think that the american cheese would have been so bland it wouldn't have overpowered the snails and artichokes. It also appears by the picture that the "gooey cheese sauce" was plated under the stuffed snails....so you could avoid it if you wanted to. :-)


                                    3. Truthfully, the new season doesn't seem to be too different from last year's. I guess they aren't messing with success! The change in hosts doesn't seem to be so noticible. Beautiful, skinny woman/personality. Ho hum.

                                      1. I think the problem everyone had with the Stepford Wife host of the first season is that there was no reason for her to ever have that job. No credibility. She's just Billy Joel's young wife. Who cares what she thinks.

                                        I think with Padma ,even though she is married to someone famous, there's more credibility in that she is a cookbook author. And..she's not a complete dead fish like whatever her name was.

                                        1. I want to like this show, but every time I watch it I wind up shouting at the television.

                                          It's just too contrived. The challenges, the "rivalries," the comments...

                                          I still watch it anyway, though. I guess that confirms I don't have a real life.

                                          1. I don't have a real life either I guess..cause I look forward to it..and shouting at the tv relieves some tension.

                                            I am from Sacramento too...and Midgley was sort of an embarrassment...but then, he's not FROM Sacramento. (hope MRuth isn't reading...I know I didn't spell everything correctly). I cannot wait for tonights show.

                                            I am still sad cause our local PBS station isn't airing Diary of a Foodie (unless you have comcast..and we have dish). Rats. Sorry, off topic.

                                            Melly http://www.sacramentofoodgroup.org