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Top Lines from Top Chef

Just wanted to keep a repository of the best lines from Top Chef. Feel free to add on.

Culinary Boner-Andrew

This is Top Chef, not Top Scallop-Fabio

I'm not your bitch, Bitch-Dave

Tom C: "We went from little prick to big in my mouth." And a wry eye-roll.
Friend of Natalie's: "Yes, that's what usually happens!"

"Who's your dealer is and does he want more customers."-Natalie Portman:

" a perfectly prepared pana cotta should wobble like a woman's breast."- Jay Raynor

"We can serve monkey ass in empty clam shell and still win."-Fabio

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  1. the one liners from natalie last night make me think she loves sex and drugs. Holds some truth to her SNL skit she did awhile back.

    1. Don't forget Wolfgang Puck's line during the puree-heavy episode a few weeks ago about chefs feeling the need to serve baby food.

      actually, there were a few winners from him & Tom C that night.

      there was a Penn/Padma exchange about bull's testicles recently as well.

      1. I dont remember which episode i heard this in but it was funny (it may even have been a special or something).....

        $I was sweating like a mountain goat on a beach"...fabio. Best quote ever.

        1. I'll register my vote for "It's Top Chef, not Top Scallop."

          1. Although I'm getting tired of Michael V., as a younger sibling, I laughed out loud when he told his older bro, "Don't be a d*ck, Bryan."

            The exchange w/ Padma, Toby, and Penn, was pretty good too.

            Quote from Washington City Paper (Tim Carman):

            "Toby Young describes Eli’s pork balls as looking like “a couple of bull’s testicles.”

            To which Padma Lakshmi chimes in: “Believe it or not, I’ve actually had bull’s testicles…”

            At which point, Penn interrupts Padma for a two-word quip: “I’ll bet.”

            And without pausing to reflect on what compliment (or insult) Penn has just delivered, Padma marches right along with her thought: “And these are actually a little big.'"

            1. Fabio: It's Top Chef, not Top Pussy (when he cut his hand & didn't want to stop to take care of it).
              I can't remember the exact words but what about the hairy armpit comment by Toby? I'm sure someone can help me out here.

              1 Reply
              1. re: sparkareno

                And then Fabio's reply to one of the producers/crew when she asked him if he wanted to go to the hospital to treat his cut, he says:
                "Go to Hospital? Please. I'll take my hand and sear it on the flat top, then worry about having four fingers tomorrow".

              2. Hung: Even my monkey can do that.

                I think I remember a couple of other chefs talking about monkeys as well -- Anthony Bourdain and somebody else I just can't recall now. Do chefs have these monkeys that we aren't aware of hiding in their closet like Chris from Family Guy?

                1 Reply
                1. re: Miss Needle

                  You might be thinking of the San Francisco episode of No Reservations when Bourdain says to Chris Cosentino, "You bring the monkey brains and I'm out of here" (or something to that effect).

                2. There was the line taken from full metal jacket that Bourdain gave to Mikey, 'What is your major malfunction?'

                  Gail going on about how she likes, or more specifically doesn't like, her eggs in several episodes.

                  Not so much a line but an obsesed rant when Big Tom could not accept the fact that Cassey used a chicken instead of a rooster in her cock-au-vin. He would not let it go.

                  1. I don't remember the exact line, but my all-time favorite is Bourdain's line comparing someone's lobster, I believe, to doll head. Still makes me chuckle.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: lisavf

                      i'm pretty sure that was the airplane food challenge where he also compared CJ's charred broccolini to prison food (i think there was a Bob Marley reference in there as well).

                      1. re: lisavf

                        I can't remember all of them but Bourdain had quite a few good lines and would be good additions to this thread.

                        1. re: lisavf

                          "That dish approached the consistency of doll head."


                          "They were cleaning Bob Marley's house and found this in the closet." for the broccolini

                          A couple more good ones:

                          "Padma's all like yo, 'Casa, motherf******s' and it's like oh, what? Phatnesssss!"

                          "I made glorified nachos. I'm not proud."

                          "Somebody's gonna throw someone over the bus"

                          "I have one false testicle and I'm ready to cook."

                          And the whole explanation of Hung's Smurf Village quickfire.

                          1. re: beachmouse

                            What in heaven's name, IS the actual consistency of "doll head"? What in the world?

                            1. re: aces551

                              Have you ever squeezed a doll's head? It's plastic and I think it would be difficult to chew. That line is my all time favorite Top Chef line.

                        2. I love the quotes so far, good post. Here's one that makes me laugh, even though it has nothing to do with food. Fabio: "I'm 30 years old and I have to sleep in the bunky beds." I hesitate to add anything by Toby, I would want him or anyone else to mistake it for approval.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: lizzy

                            I loved the "bunky beds" comment, too!

                          2. Not sure exactly the quote but it went something like this

                            "I've been kicked in the ass so many times, I'm pooping boots" - Fabio

                            1. I just thought of two more great quotes - two of my all-time favorites.

                              1) "I am actually looking forward to seeing Robuchon in the flesh. I was under the impression that he didn't actually exist, and that he might be a unicorn!" ~ Eli, right before the elimination challenge with a table full of super-famous French Chefs.

                              2) "This didn't happen by accident - it's a personal choice." ~ Kevin, commenting on being fat because he loves to eat and eats a lot.

                              Priceless. They crack me up (again) just thinking about them.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: aces551

                                "What kind of a crack house are you running?"

                                "I love you like a son" to Mike

                                "flinstonian execution" to Mike

                                All from Bourdain on the Thanksgiving episodes, season 2

                                From Fabio: I also loved the "bunky beds" and "Martha Stewart, my grandma would be so ashame of you", when she didn't like the polenta.

                              2. HOW in heaven's name did I miss this thread when it first started? LOL I love all of 'em! A few additions:

                                Ashley (TC6): It's a great, big pile of suck.
                                Carla (TC5): Hootie Hoo!
                                Stefan (TC5): I'm the only cock in the stall.
                                Ted Allen (TC3?): If you want to make people happy, give them bacon.
                                Fabio (TC5): (I think this was the Thanksgiving episode with the Foo Fighters?) - I'm not going home because it rain in my tiramisu, no friggin' way.

                                ETA: HOW could I forget Andrew from TC4? "They will culinarily crap in their pants when they see what we have for them." :-)

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                  one more from Ashley...though it was the reunion show it still counts :)

                                  "There's nothing more 'Vegas' than showgirls or getting married in Vegas...so if two showgirls want to get married in Vegas i think they should be able to!"

                                2. Here's a couple more gems: (this is fun!)

                                  Fabio: "I always said I could do this with one hand behind my back, I didn't mean to." ~ regarding the infamous cutting of his finger during an elimination challenge.

                                  Toby: "...when I'm faced with a beautiful, well reared piece of meat I don't want to stand back and admire it. I want to have full blown unprotected sex. I didn't even get to first base with the pork." ~ after eating a pork dish he obviously didn't care for.

                                  And who can forget Ron shouting out "BOOYAKAH" every now and again.

                                  Here is a link to a video of Ron showing the producers his "hidden talent", which he claims is his smooth dance moves.
                                  You have GOT to see this; it's the funniest thing ever.

                                  And yes, he incororpates the "BOOYAKAH" into his dance routine as well! Hilarious.
                                  (you may have to sit thru a commerical before Ron's dance video starts, but it's totally worth it).


                                  1. I liked Ash's line from this season:

                                    "Ohhh, I forgot FLAVOR".

                                    Ok, not as funny typed out but the way he said it was great.

                                    And also, when Michael Voltaggio was asked why he should be Top Chef, his answer was:

                                    "So Bryan won't win"

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: reiflame

                                      Yeah, that "Ooohhh, I forgot FLAVOR" line is really good when you hear Ash say it.

                                      It's right after he gets back to the stew room after being beat up (again) by Padma about his dish.

                                    2. Tom at Tksgiving dinner with Bourdain: "Mikey made this? OUR Mikey? He should be on drugs more often!"

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: WNYamateur

                                        LOL! I do wish AB would return as guest judge on TC next season. :-)

                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                          Do you remember he subbed once for Tom, and he was absolutely civil?

                                          1. re: WNYamateur

                                            Yes, he took that role much more seriously - as Tom would. I still like his snark as guest judge, and miss him cracking Tom up with his one-liners. :-)

                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                              The best Bourdain line from Top Chef was in the Thanksgiving Special Episode when he commented that it was if Mikey's dishes were from the "love child between Charles Manson and Betty Crocker."

                                              Vintage Bourdain.

                                        2. re: WNYamateur

                                          Actually, that was at the seven deadly sins dinner :) He made a salmon/trout dish while on drugs for his emergency wisdom tooth extraction. And yes, I've watched this series way too much.

                                        3. I'd have to nominate the entire riotous scene that got me hooked on the show in the first place. Season 1, after the blind taste test quickfire, Miguel dominates in "The Fatass Snackmaster Challenge"

                                          1. New entry.
                                            "My grandmother isn't a pastry chef either. But she can make a pie." Johnny Iuzzini, Guest Judge.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: Phaedrus

                                              Oh THANK YOU for reviving this thread - I had forgotten about it!

                                              And we must add Gail's "How does this compare to your grandmother's celery spuma?" from the same episode. (spuma as a word relating to food is just so WRONG!)

                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                That one was priceless! Gail is a pistol this year. From last night I also liked this exchange:

                                                Gail: "Where your Puerto Rican friends chefs?"
                                                Contestant: "No"
                                                Gail: "Exactly"


                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                  I liked Gail's line to Amanda's Chicken with Sherry Jus for 10 year olds: " I love vodka, but I’m not cooking with it,”

                                                2. re: Phaedrus

                                                  this week's episode had several great lines! I loved that one. :)

                                                3. “I could eat the ass out of this pig all day!” - Alex, TC7, regarding the pork butt he made in Episode 3.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                    Especially since the pork butt is not from the, er, back end of the animal ;-) He inadvertently sent me to No Reservations Namibia...

                                                    1. re: momjamin

                                                      LOL! Very good point on the location of the pork butt cut. And definitely not one of AB's finest meals. ;-)

                                                  2. "Fifty-six seconds!" "It's about to get ugly, boys and girls!" "It got ugly the minute you walked into this place!"

                                                    "Raw fish at a stadium - that takes some (base)balls!" Rick Moonen

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: Phaedrus

                                                      I was glad I caught those three comments from the cheftestants in my overview of the episode last night. :-)

                                                      BTW, do you know who said the last one re: "it got ugly the minute you walked into this place"? We didn't see anyone saying any of these and I couldn't figure it out - Angelo or Ed? They were doing a lot of joking around last night.

                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                        ""The skewer for me was too long and it was touching the bottom of my mouth and it bothered me""

                                                        when eric ripert said that i almost died. i have a soft spot for frenchmen who say dainty things.

                                                        1. re: celfie

                                                          Oh man, that quote and the hand gestures he was making had me rolling on the floor.

                                                        2. My all-time favorite is still Dave, "I'm not your bitch, bitch." I want that on a t-shirt. Or maybe a tattoo.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: Parrotgal

                                                            Bravo was selling t-shirts of that on the front.

                                                            1. re: Phaedrus

                                                              My wife has one. A birthday present. It looks like a collector's item, as I just checked the website and is nowhere to be found.


                                                          2. Forgot the line, but I laughed so hard when Ed referred to Alex as "Skeletor."

                                                            1. People seem to rip on Amanda but she had a pretty funny line about the Covert Cuisine episode where they were supposed to disguise their dish that was served at the CIA in Langley. Anyway, she had to make French onion soup and disguise it. She said something like "Helen Keller could have figured out my dish".

                                                              1. I love this thread! I don't have anything to contribute but I want to make sure it comes up in 'My Chow'...

                                                                I know we're not voting on funniest TC Contestant, but if we were, my vote would have to be Andrew. He was such a spaz, but incredibly witty!

                                                                1. My favorite is still Richard Blais to Lisa Fernandes : You've won the fucking bronze medal. Congratulations. There you go."

                                                                  1. This is hilarious, I too want to keep tabs.

                                                                    1. In one of the recent episodes Angelo makes a comment about one of his dishes along the lines of "I made love to that lamb" and AB's response is "I don't know what that means, but I liked the dish"

                                                                      (I could be paraphrasing a bit, I couldn't find a clip)

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: TuteTibiImperes

                                                                        S7 Ep12 - Gastronauts. At JT Angelo said he made love to his short ribs (not lamb) and AB made that quip in response.

                                                                        1. re: TuteTibiImperes

                                                                          i think we should be allowed to include top lines from Top Chef *blogs* too...and i vote for this one from AB last week, talking about Angelo:

                                                                          "He's always going on about putting "love" in his food -- and I've never been entirely convinced there's not actual penetration involved. "

                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                            you're right, that's a winner. count on AB for bonnes mots.

                                                                        2. I don't recall the context but several seasons ago Tom referred to a dish as suffering from "failure of imagination." I've always remembered that line and thought that it must have been crushing to the chef it was directed to.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: laststandchili

                                                                            That was Season 5 - he said it to Melissa. It definitely was a big ouch.

                                                                          2. I like Harold's comment to Dave Martin in season 1: "Magical lasagna." And I'm not remembering whether her name was Michelle or Mia, but I do believe she was the one who told Cliff to "put away his dick." And Tiffani was just adorable when she told Harold, "my back just ran into your knife." which made me laugh until I cried because she was never going to win anyway. Then there was the charming wit of Stephen Aspirinio, who told that adorable young lady that she would "not succeed, and you will fail, miserably," which told me everything I ever wanted to know about his (lack of) personal empathy and character. And finally, the Ritz cracker hand job comment still gives me a chuckle.

                                                                            1. does anyone remember rick bayless' comment Re: use of truffles during the Top Chef Masters finale? something along the lines of "anyone can put truffles on a dish and call it special..."

                                                                              it made me laugh so hard when he said it because i always think that when i'm watching top chef or iron chef. i've never had truffles but i cant imagine one single ingredient being THAT transformative of every dish theyre ever put on

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: mattstolz

                                                                                It's hard to believe, and for the most part I agree with you. But until you've had a plate of plain tagliatelle (well, not plain, but with oil and pepper) and then experienced same with shaved black truffle, it's not possible to know. I felt the same way; nothing in the world could be that special. But in this one particular instance, oh yes it could. But I cannot say the same for truffle oil.

                                                                                1. "I am sposed to crash pohtaytoh weeta mai heada?" One guess who.

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                    hee! another great line from the fabulous Fabio who then proceeded to grate cheese on the pot rack, and proclaim his own genius.

                                                                                    1. re: jujuthomas

                                                                                      over and over again. I love him, but he loves himself even more.

                                                                                  2. Oh man, from this last week by Blais:

                                                                                    "We have kind of an odd technique - we're sitting in Marcel's lap holding his rod.....yeah, not good."

                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: reiflame

                                                                                      Anything Fabio says is usually pretty great.

                                                                                      1. re: bobbert

                                                                                        this week from Fabio "psy-yoh-loh-yee-cul (psychological) warfare"!! last week was "the first top chef MIRE-ACLE".

                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                          There should be a seperate post "Top lines from FabioN

                                                                                          1. re: bobbert

                                                                                            We're watching Season 5 on DVD right now, and between Fabio and Stefan, we can't stop laughing. Those two are hilarious.

                                                                                          2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                            That one was great, along with his comment about "having to sleep in bunky beds."

                                                                                      2. I can't get over Fabio's parting comment, "You are the only shadow standing in the way of your own sunshine."

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: occula

                                                                                          Agreed . . .That should be this season's t-shirt motto.

                                                                                        2. gotta add one from this week's extended JT footage. Gail Simmons to Jimmy Fallon, who said they couldn't send Fabio home because he's such a character...

                                                                                          "Unfortunately Jimmy, it's not Top Funny."

                                                                                          1. Edward TC Texas: "I've got balls...and I'm gonna show 'em!"
                                                                                            Patti Labelle TC Texas: "It's Bigfoot!"

                                                                                            1. "She's really book smart, but when it comes to common sense it just seems like she's missing a few chapters."
                                                                                              - Chris Crary (about Beverly Kim)

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: huiray

                                                                                                  And I can't believe I completely missed that one. :-)

                                                                                              1. Anthony Bourdain calling a contestant the love child of Duncan Hines and Charles Manson. He also called the smoked mushrooms Tre made Chernoble mushrooms.

                                                                                                1. What was that Padma Lakshmi said, something like "You want to wipe yourself off while she cleans up"...after Beverly Kim spurts stuff over her and Nathan M. in the QF? (TC-Texas episode 9)

                                                                                                  1. Top Chef Texas...

                                                                                                    Grayson (when describing how their bbq will be): "It will be like sex in your mouth"

                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: meadandale

                                                                                                      It was actually "It will be like sex in the mouth" which makes it all the funnier!! It brings to mind that sort of interlude scene in Full Metal Jacket, "Me love you long time!!" "Sex in the mouth, 10 dollar" just kind of fits right in there! haha

                                                                                                      1. re: meadandale

                                                                                                        On a similar note, Malibu Chris, while he was helping Moto Chris prep his beer can chickens, asked 'Am I putting it in the right hole? It just seems really tight'.

                                                                                                        1. re: TuteTibiImperes

                                                                                                          and I again I find myself looking for the "Like" button....

                                                                                                          1. re: TuteTibiImperes

                                                                                                            They could do an entire line of sexual innuendo t-shirts based on this episode.

                                                                                                        2. i can't remember who said this, but he was looking at Ugly Chris' plumber's butt, and said, sleepily, "Chris, crack kills."

                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                            It DOES kill though, MC2. Last plumber I had in had such a big booty with his little little low-slung pants, I thought I'd have to lay him low with one of his own wrenches!! Who wants to see some dude's hairy buttcrack sticking out from under the garbage disposal?

                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                              Chris Crary (Malibu) said it to him, and i was glad he did - we REALLY don't need to see that!

                                                                                                            2. "We're gonna jam out with our clams out while Tyler does whatever he does." Grayson.

                                                                                                              I think I'm in love with her.

                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                i suspect you've got a lot of company. she's a riot...and hot, to boot.

                                                                                                                1. re: Phaedrus

                                                                                                                  I'm in love with her, and I'm a married, heterosexual woman.

                                                                                                                  1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                    +10 :) She's funny and smart to boot.