Thursday 22:00 on Bravo
17 Seasons, 265 Episodes

Genre: Cooking/Food / Family / Talent /

Currently Airing

Top Chef is a reality show unlike any other while it searches for the world's next Top Chef. Each week this talented group of chefs, professionally trained and self-taught, will be challenged and judged by some of the best known chefs in the industry. Over the course of the season and endless challenges one chef a week is asked to "pack their knives and go" until there is only more
...one left standing as the ultimate Top Chef.
 
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Top Chef RECAP and REVIEWS (16)

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  • Po' Money, Po' Problem

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    Po' Money, Po' Problem

    Top Chef featured a guest judge this week who was so money, he didn't even know it.

    But before the contestants got to Jon Favreau, they had to deal with Roy Choi, an especially cranky panelist who was not pleased with the po' boys whipped up as part of the Quickfire Challenge.

    The special New Orleans sandwiches were meant to be made based on the life stories of each contestants, but Choi dismissed Nicholas' as too salty… Brian's as too boring… and Carlos' as subpar Mexican food.

    Shirley ended up with the least offensive po' boy and won immunity as a result.

    Enter Favreau. Far more enjoyable as a judge, he challenged the group to come up with a dish that represented a major turning point in their career.

    He went totally off on Carlos for daring to look at him the wrong way and for touching his pots. Seriously, people. Do. Not. Touch. Nicholas' pots.

    Nicholas went on to burn his quinoa, while Carlos kept his he...
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  • Let's Get Ready to Rumble!

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    Let's Get Ready to Rumble! Last week we were introduced to a large number of chefs who had to compete for the final 16 spots in the competition. For most of them that meant that they were gone as soon as we got to know them. This week, we continued this scheme. More new chefs, more eliminations.
    Mushrooms or risotto?

    The third group of new chefs can choose again from an array of ingredients, but with every ingredient comes a corresponding time limit. Which is to say the producers try to screw the contestants. Roast mushrooms in 20 minutes? Almost impossible. Risotto in 40 minutes? "Ask an Italian and risotto takes all night," says Chaz.

    The mushrooms at least means that the cook gets on the bubble. The risotto? Not so much. Time ran out with Chaz not being able to plate anything, so Padma puts on her beaten-dog expression and aspirates: "Please pack your knives and go!"

    Octopus or oxtail?

    Other problems? Oxtail in a pressure cooker by Ashley. And o...
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  • 'Let's party like it's your birthday!'

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    'Let's party like it's your birthday!' "Winning Top Chef requires nerves of steal!" Padma announces ominously at the beginning of the episode. "That's exactly what we're testing today." Which means the cheftestants have to cook rattlesnake in just one hour.
    "I want some motherf####ng snakes on my motherf####ng plate!"

    Apparently it's a very delicate meat and is very popular in Texas. Unfortunately, they don't have to kill their own snake. The meat is provided to them. Bummer. Immunity and $5,000 are on the line and the ingredient Is new to most of them.

    Immediately Richie and Chris J., who work at the same restaurant, conspire, which seems to annoy some and foreshadows some possible drama between candidates later in the season.

    Texas Honor

    Paul announces early on that since he's from Texas his honor is pretty much on the line with this quickfire challenge. Snake meat expert? Not so much. His dish is among the judge's least favorites.

    Dakota ...
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  • 'Dream of heated libation.'

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    'Dream of heated libation.' This week, the heat is on. Literally. For the quickfire challenge, the cheftestants have to create a dish that highlights a chili pepper. They have twenty varieties to choose from. The twist? The hotter the pepper they choose, the more money the magical elves will throw their way if they win (plus the usual immunity, of course).
    "Beverly, shaping up to be one of the more irritating contestants this season, immediately digs in, biting into the peppers to see which one corresponds to her the most, finally choosing a very mild variety "because I'm not doing it for the money," as she says.

    Paul on the other hand goes neck-deep and chooses the hottest "ghost" pepper. Remember, last week he was in the bottom of the quickfire challenge. That's a big gamble he's taking.

    It's Not Where You're From ...

    But first, we have to get the obligatory storyline about Chewy, the contestant with Mexican roots whose father used to grow habanero peppers in his b...
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  • On to the Next One

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    On to the Next One This week the contestants are headed to Dallas. As Ed puts it: "We just got used to this beautiful house and now they're kicking us out." So everyone embarks on their product-placed vehicles and tells one another about their personal lives. Until they get pulled over by a cop who they somehow mistake for being real trouble. "But of course Padma awaits them with their next quickfire challenge: stand on a dry field and create a dish with the ingredients found in a survivor kit -- which is mostly dry food in cans. They have no real utensils, no cutting board and the wind is killing them. Fun all around!

    White Teeth

    John Besh, aka the most luscious-haired and white-toothed man south of Kansas, is guest judge this week. Okay, that was a bad pun but he did look good on that field in the middle of nowhere.

    Whitney with her beer-and-peach-glazed chicken was in the bottom, as was Dakota's noodles and corn and Chris's under-seasoned tofu and crab meat. Ch...
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  • Bring on the Heat!

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    Bring on the Heat! At the very beginning of this week's episode, the cheftestants seem to notice a clear divide between men and women. The men keep getting voted off while the women can just sit back and relax.
    "Ed seems to want to invoke some kind of bro code, but before that happens we get the quickfire challenge.

    Escoffier's Sauces

    Legendary French chef Escoffier had five basic sauces: tomate, bechamel, hollandaise, espagnole and voloute. So the cheftestants are assigned one of the sauces and have to cook a dish with a new sauce that stems from their mother sauce. Or as Padma puts it: "Ready for the mother of all quickfires?"

    Yes they are! Chris concocts a butter poached halibut with voloute, Ed makes a cauliflower bechamel, but it is Grayson who wins the challenge (and immunity!) with her hollandaise sauce and ravioli with scallops.

    200 Plates

    For the elimination challenge, the cheftestants have to act as one team and create ...
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  • The Dirty Dozen

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    The Dirty Dozen This week, the magic elves at Bravo tried to get the very talented cheftestants to screw up over one ingredient. As Ed said, "The best chef doesn't necessarily win. You have one night off and you're gone!"
    "So the producers tried to push the contestants to have that one night off. First up: the obligatory endorsement of the week, courtesy of Don Julio Tequila. The chefs had to choose one type of tequila and create a complementary dish. Grayson and Ed, being from parts of the country where brown liquor is more widespread, were supposed to have the most difficulty, but as it turns out they weren't really in that much danger.

    No Beach Bum

    A lot of fish dishes were paired up with the tequila: salmon, scallops, clams, shrimp, cod, caviar, oysters ... In the end, fish was on the winning side. Chris C's raw oysters, Lindsay's salmon and Ty's "intimate dish created on a beach in Thailand" were successful, with Ty winning the $5,000 at stake. Ty is definitely ...
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  • Big Foot's Coming!

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    Big Foot's Coming! The first order of business this week? A change of location. And from the way the cheftestants cheered when they were told that the next station was Austin, you would think the holy grail was located there.
    "But from what the show let on, it merely seemed like a vaguely generic Texas town. In their product-placed cars some banter was heard, but it wasn't as interesting as seeing all the tattoo-covered people in the same car like last time. But we learned that shy Paul used to sell marijuana. What a bad boy!

    Hashtag Cooking

    During the quickfire challenge, the chefs have to cook after instructions given to them over Twitter by fans of the show. A pretty neat concept! But the first order of business is rather boring: they have 45 minutes to cook something with bacon. So Chris J. fires up some scallops, Grayson opts for shrimp and Beverly gets some pork belly going in the pressure cooker, which is always a crap shoot.

    But there is more! Another...
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  • Tragedy of the Salty Rub

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    Tragedy of the Salty Rub If you'll remember, there was kind of a conflict brewing between Beverly and Heather up until two weeks ago, when Heather was eliminated.
    "So this week, we begin with Ed bad-mouthing Heather behind her back and Sara implying that he has "no balls" to do so. Is there a new friction between the otherwise tight group of chefs? We'll see.

    Modern Cooking

    The quickfire challenge consisted of cooking like chef Nathan Mhyrvold in his apparently seminal five-book series "Modern Cuisine." Which doesn't necessarily mean molecular kitchen but definitely means liquid nitrogene, powders, foams and creams.

    Also: Chris paints nude art in his apartment. And Beverly is socially awkward because growing up, all she had was her work and she couldn't play with other kids. Oooookaaay.

    Impressive Trickery

    Nathan Mhyrvold, the guest judge this week, had not so nice things to say about Paul's dish that had interesting textures but no f...
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  • 'The Hardest Thing for a Chef'

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    'The Hardest Thing for a Chef' Every season of Top Chef needs to have Restaurant Wars, and this season it happened this week. This time it was a battle of the sexes. Or to say it less pathetically: girls vs. boys.
    "Each team needs to prepare a three-course menu with two choices in each course for 100 guests. They have five hours to cook and decorate their restaurant. As everyone keeps pointing out, it normally takes months or even years to open up a restaurant, so this challenge really is very hard.

    Girls vs. Boys

    The guys' restaurant is called "Canteen" and is supposed to have a quirky mess hall look with "elegant touches." The dishes are supposed to feature "simple ingredients, elevated." The girls' restaurant is called "Half Bushel" and is supposed to be "ingredient-driven organic with a homey feel."

    As far as I could see, neither of the restaurants had a veritably distinctive feel to them, the chefs simply sticking to cooking what they know how to do and the...
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