Top Chef Season 10

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Skillet Doux
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From what I understand, word has been out on the street for a while now, but as of today it's official... Top Chef Season 10 is on, it will be based in Seattle, and it premieres November 7th.

For those who are unaware, once upon a time, just for the heck of it, I started doing Top Chef Power Rankings, and then somehow, four and a half years, six seasons of Top Chef and two seasons of Masters later, I was still doing it. But I decided it's time to hang up the TCPR, and I've invited the merry band of Top Chef fans who sprung up around that blog to continue the discussion here. So if a bunch of unfamiliar nicknames start popping up, that's why :-)

Anyway, Top Chef!

Aside from the addition of Wolfgang Puck as a regular judge, it looks like business as usual so far. They've published the list of 21 contestants as well. Anybody know anything about them? Here's a short list, and there's more detail on the Bravo site.

Lizzie Binder - Previously Executive Chef, Bar Bambino, San Francisco, California
Tina Bourbeau - Executive Chef/ Senior Director of Research and Development, FreshDirect
Chrissy Camba - Chef, Bar Pastoral, Chicago, Illinois
Stephanie Cmar - Rounds Cook, No. 9 Park, Boston, Massachusetts
Micah Fields - Executive Chef, The Standard Hotel, Los Angeles, California
Eliza Gavin - Chef and Owner, 221 South Oak Bistro, Telluride, Colorado
Anthony Gray - Executive Chef, Southern Art Bourbon Bar, Atlanta, Georgia
Jeffrey Jew - Personal Chef
Gina Keatley - Dietitian and Founder, Nourishing USA, Harlem, New York
Kristen Kish - Chef de Cuisine, Stir – BL Gruppo, Boston, Massachusetts
Danyele McPherson - Sous Chef, The Grape Restaurant, Dallas, Texas
Daniel O'Brien - Chef and Owner, Seasonal Pantry, Washington, DC
Carla Pellegrino - Executive Chef and Owner, Bacio (Las Vegas, Nevada) and Bratalian Neapolitan Cantina (Henderson, Nevada)
Jorel Pierce - Chef de Cuisine, Euclid Hall, Denver, Colorado
Sheldon Simeon - Executive Chef, Star Noodle, Lahaina, Hawaii
John Tesar - Chef and Restaurateur, Spoon Bar & Kitchen, Dallas, Texas
Joshua Valentine - Pastry Chef, FT 33, Dallas, Texas
Bart Vandaele - Executive Chef and Owner, Belga Café and B Too, Washington, DC
Tyler Wiard - Executive Chef and Culinary Director, Elway’s Restaurant Group, Denver, Colorado
Brooke Williamson - Co-Executive Chef and Co-Owner, Hudson House (Redondo Beach, California) and The Tripel (Playa del Rey, California)
Kuniko Yagi - Executive Chef, upcoming David Myers restaurant, Los Angeles, California
Dominic Armato
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Keryl Raist
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Just wandered over from the Power Rankings. Can't wait for the new season to begin! Thanks for giving us a place to hang out and talk Top Chef.
My fantasy match up: Blais V. Bryan Voltaggio.
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Skillet Doux
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Good grief, this totally snuck up on me!

Guess it's a good thing I'm not doing the rankings this season.

So the premiere's tonight, I'll be curious to see if any of the old TCPR crew shows up. Could be a fun time if they do!
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Skillet Doux
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"Top Chef is missing out. I'm not just a chef and nutritionist. I'm a movement."

Yyyyyyyyyeah, may have dodged a bullet with that elimination.
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Lunchbox
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Is it me or is this guy a little bit of an azhotdish doppelganger?
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Skillet Doux
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I was thinking more an unholy union of hotdish and Travis Nass.
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Skillet Doux
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I'm really glad the play-in is back. That was one of the best parts of last season. Though I think the lesson is pray you draw Puck and not Colicchio.

Incidentally, does it not become more and more clear every season how perfect of a casting decision Colicchio turned out to be? I have a friend who cooked under him (Gramercy Tavern, I believe) and she said he was just completely amazing -- stern taskmaster, wouldn't let you get away with shit, but passionate about instruction and taking the time to really teach his cooks. I'm paraphrasing my memory of what she told me, but that was the take home message. In many ways, he wasn't really fully utilized in the earlier seasons. All he could do was facepalm every time a nutritionist couldn't make a salad. But as they've gotten more and more talented chefs, having somebody like him around has, in many ways, really made the show.

Omelets are freaking brutal. I love that as a test. I love the whole, "Oh, this is easy!" coyness. That's a rough one.
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Skillet Doux wrote:I was thinking more an unholy union of hotdish and Travis Nass.
Yup. That's it.... :mrgreen:
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azhotdish
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Those were some really horrible looking omelets! I'm surprised that chefs of such a high caliber produced such shitty-looking omelets. Even the guy who was so sure of himself - good idea with your bacon grease, but dude, run that it through a chinois first, otherwise you're doomed. Everyone seemed to stack crap on top to hide the fact that their technique was pretty weak. I get it - these guys aren't doing brunch service in their positions any more, but do you forget that quickly? I suspect their culinary instructors were cringing after watching that.

Really solid first episode - great way to start. I dug that they all got to choose how they were going to test them.
---
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Waves Hi!

I always enjoyed your power rankings. So I know I will miss them, but I'm excited about this forum. Although I think Dom will have more fun this way, no pressure. I can just enjoy the season.

Hope it turns out to be a good one.

Just some thoughts.

I would not want to be on Tom's team. I'm not a professional chef by any means and would do poorly for sure but if for some reason I was I would prefer to make some Soup for Emeril. I did think Tom was pretty rough on his team. I wonder if the producers helped pick who got placed where?

Carla is a bit crazy - I wonder if she'll continue to get that edit.

That chorizo and seafood soup looked tasty but it got that girl sent home. Did I miss Emeril's critique of it?

While we've seen watermelon salads on Top Chef before I liked Danyele and not just because she's a redhead. She has a young spunkiness to her and maybe a bit of raw unpolished talent. I'd like to see what she does.

I thought at first Kristen was on the wrong reality show, She looks like she should be auditioning for America's next top model. She is beautiful. But never mind that She seem talented and really rocked it.

Brooke, That kale salad must have been amazing. She kept it more simple that some of the others and was Hugh's first pick.

I don't think I could have handled both those mustaches on one show. Too much stache, so one had to get cut.

Daniel - the look of his omelet was gross. I wouldn't have served it at home to my husband. I'm pretty sure he used bacon grease which caused him some issues. I thought Wolfgang was very nice to him considering what he has done in the past with critquing some doughnuts.
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azhotdish wrote:Those were some really horrible looking omelets! I'm surprised that chefs of such a high caliber produced such shitty-looking omelets. Even the guy who was so sure of himself - good idea with your bacon grease, but dude, run that it through a chinois first, otherwise you're doomed. Everyone seemed to stack crap on top to hide the fact that their technique was pretty weak. I get it - these guys aren't doing brunch service in their positions any more, but do you forget that quickly? I suspect their culinary instructors were cringing after watching that.

Really solid first episode - great way to start. I dug that they all got to choose how they were going to test them.

You are right. They all were pretty bad. The one girl even admitted to adding the food on top to hide the technical faults of her omelet.

Poor Wolfgang had to judge more based on taste and plating than the omelet itself.
momjamin
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Skillet Doux wrote:"Top Chef is missing out. I'm not just a chef and nutritionist. I'm a movement."

Yyyyyyyyyeah, may have dodged a bullet with that elimination.
A movement, huh? Reminds me of Andrea from S1...
Libster
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So John Tesar is "Jimmy Sears"

This could be interesting. Although it's too bad Bourdain won't be a judge.
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Skillet Doux
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Libster wrote:So John Tesar is "Jimmy Sears"

This could be interesting. Although it's too bad Bourdain won't be a judge.
Oh, man... it's probably been eight years since I read Kitchen Confidential. How did he portray him? I don't remember. Might have to reread that part.

In any case, it's kind of hard not to see Tesar as a ringer this season.
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Skillet Doux wrote:
Libster wrote:So John Tesar is "Jimmy Sears"

This could be interesting. Although it's too bad Bourdain won't be a judge.
Oh, man... it's probably been eight years since I read Kitchen Confidential. How did he portray him? I don't remember. Might have to reread that part.

In any case, it's kind of hard not to see Tesar as a ringer this season.
I've got to get my book back out and read it. I remember that Bourdain got pissed at him and threw a metal pan at his head. John had a drug problem back then so I believe that played into the character of Jimmy Sears.

John did Amazing at Tom's challenge and it's easy to see him sticking around for a while. I wonder how he'll interact with others.

If I see any Jimmy Sears stuff worth mentioning. I'll post it here. I wonder if it will get mentioned on the show. Not sure john wants to relive that infamy.
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Whoa!!! Stefan, CJ, and Josie are back! I didn't see that one coming!!! I loved watching CJ cook and I have a new favorite to root for this season...
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Skillet Doux
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This. Is Awesome.

As far as I'm concerned, Stefan is the single most flat-out entertaining contestant the show has ever seen. If you had asked me which alum's return would make me most stoked about the rest of the season, I would have said Stefan before you even finished the question. If he'd gone home after just one episode, that would have been absolutely soul crushing.

So, so stoked.
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While Stephan is highly, highly entertaining, I'm still rooting for one-ball (CJ) as far as alums are concerned. Really great start to the season!
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Skillet Doux
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I didn't know that CJ had been working at Noma. That's kind of huge.
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Hey, Dom. Anon Man, aka Doug,here from your blog. Miss the rankings, and the season isn't complete without a place to muse over the show. I don't know why Stefan would do a comeback tour. The guy is held in high esteem from his first run (and he drives a Porsche!) and unless he wins, it's all downhill. But, yes, very entertaining guy.

It pains me to wish for the downfall of the Italian chef, but Carla has hit maximum annoyance for so early in the season. Loving Kuniko's quiet competence. Hope she sticks around, although I get the feeling she isn't going to get a ton of screen time.

Best,

Doug/Anon Man