Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >
Dec 23, 2011 05:21 PM

Top Chef Really Important Things To Do Before You Start the Show

This seems to happen in every season (and in Masters as well), so I am going to state it for any prospective competitors who happen to read this blog..

IMPORTANT TIP #1: if you are going to be on Top Chef, learn how to use a pressure cooker (and that includes intensive lid locking and removal practice.. )

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. IMPORTANT TIP #2: Have that person you hired as your Pastry Chef teach you one good dessert recipe you can memorize and have under your belt. If time permits spend a day making souffle. These will give you a leg up on most others if you need to use them.

    3 Replies
    1. re: chris2269

      YES! Ever since the season finale where Hung came back with a mastered chocolate dessert I've been saying that anybody prepping to go on Top Chef MUST come ready with several dessert options. Even if they're basics - if they're good, they'll get you through to the next round.

      1. re: chris2269

        This lack of dessert knowledge kills me every season. Learn to make crème anglaise, or pastry cream. They are so similar and basic, and if you know how to make them you can make ice cream, flan, crème brulée.. anything....

        1. re: Marianinha

          Most, if not all contestants on the show actually do know how to make custards among other pastry items. The problem is that creme brulee is sort of passe now so I wouldn't make one unless I was asked to.

      2. IMPORTANT TIP #3: If you're a primarily a seafood chef take the time to learn basic meat butchery. Conversely, if you're a chef in a steakhouse learn to clean and bone fish.

        1. IMPORTANT TIP #4: Look into cuisines beyond your own specific take on whatever you are cooking in your restaurant.

          1. IMPORTANT TIP #5: Don't shave other people's heads.

            4 Replies
            1. re: ipsedixit

              IMPORTANT TIP #5A: If you do attempt to shave someone's head, let's say Marcel for sake of arguement, go ahead and finish the job, because you will be sent home anyway.

              1. re: James Cristinian

                IMPORTANT TIP #5B: Leave your douchiness at home if you are Marcel for the sake of arguement, to prevent your head from being shaved/

                  1. re: huiray

                    Sure is! Edited to reflect! LOLOLOL

            2. If you get really homesick and can't wait to get home to the fam and that new baby you miss so much, go ahead and pack your bags then cook a risotto for the elimination challenge. That's pretty much a guaranteed PYKAG dish.


              1 Reply
              1. re: khintx

                Ah, but you still CAN'T go back* to the farm until filming for the whole thing is in the can. :-) And in future TCs (judging by this current one) you can't even call your folks or talk with them.
                So -
                IMPORTANT TIP#6: You will be away from anybody you may miss for the entire duration of the filming for the show so *be prepared* -– and practice not blubbering in loneliness before you get there and have those cameras shoved into your face All. The. F**king. Time. that you will be there.

                *excepting really, REALLY serious accidents or major, MAJOR, **Force Majeur** type incidents of some sort affecting you.