Commercial Interruption: Get your bloody apples! "Top Chef" is back!
Thomas: Before we digest last night's "Top Chef" bite of the Big Apple, I have to say, re-airing Season Four's "I really should have been congratulated" nonsense from Frumpasaurus Rex was a brilliant move by Bravo. I think I was more infuriated the second time around, but thankfully, all that anger melted away when the Blaiser re-issued his "congrats on winning the bronze medal" blast and ultimately, Stephanie was given the crown. Ah, good times.
So ... onto this year's feisty food happenings. These "Top Chef" fools aren't playin'! Straight off the plane and into a frenetic apple (har, har, Bravo) peeling contest? Yum. I like mine with extra hemoglobin, thank you very much, Queen Richard. Great tone setter, I must say, which is why "Top Chef" and "The Amazing Race" are my two favorite reality shows. We'll get to know these contestants and their personalities in due time. It's business first. Now get crackin', newbies!
Lots to talk about, including Team Rainbow, possible villain Stefan running away with the first two challenges, and Tom Colicchio looking as though he should have put down a cannoli or two in-between seasons.
So, Boyd, any thoughts on who caught your eye, how the ethnic food challenge played out, and whether there's a potential She-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named among this group of ruffians?
Sara: Let me start off by saying, thank the Lord "Top Chef" hath returned!
It's always tough for me to start picking favorites after the very first episode, but really, it doesn't take long at all to start weeding out those who -- based on first impressions -- already annoy me. So let's go straight pessimistic, shall we?
No. 1, I am not a fan of Team Rainbow. Through discussions with Malavika, we've come to the conclusion that creating a clique like Team Rainbow is about as daring as wearing an "I love Bono" T-shirt at a U2 concert. Point being, um, it's "Top Chef" -- there are always gays. And lots of 'em. No. 2, what's the deal with Fabio? First of all, change your name. Secondly, can I get some closed captions up in here? It's like listening to a bad imitation of an Italian accent. Also, can he please dress up like Luigi of Super Mario Bros. from now on? He's a dead ringer.
Not to get completely glass-half-empty, I do enjoy Gene, the Hawaiian. Only for the fact that he looks like he could kill me and fry me up as a delectable, delicious dish -- then claim he had no idea how to make me in the first place. Winner! I also enjoy his large gold chain.
MJ, since Roz peppered me (no pun intended) with questions and I barely answered them, what were your thoughts of episode one? And what did you think of the challenges?
Malavika: Like last night's episode, I'm going to dive right in.
(Sidenote: I'm glad I wasn't the only one who noticed that Chef Tom has grown portlier in-between seasons -- is that what jicama does to a person?)
On the challenges: I thought they kicked off the season well by introducing the chefs to New York City via the cuisine. I liked seeing the chefs actually going to the neighborhoods to find ingredients instead of wandering around Whole Foods in a daze. Many of them worked with cuisines they were completely unfamiliar with and flavors that are not easy to execute such as Russian or Indian.
On the episode: A great way to kick off the season by kicking off two of the more annoying contestants in the first round -- the woman who pulled out the pity "my husband is in Iraq" card way too soon and her partner in culinary crime, Pat.
On the cliques: Euro Duo? Rainbow Team? This isn't "Survivor," folks. Stick to the game, please. However, I do enjoy the potential sparks between Stefan the Finnish wonder and hometown boy Danny.
Also, ENOUGH of the freakin' "Real Housewives of the O.C.," or whatever the stupid name of that god-awful reality show is. I could've really used one of those "Top Chef" knives by the time promo No. 855 with Gretchen and her sugar daddy rolled around during the 10 p.m. hour.
-- Thomas Rozwadowski, firstname.lastname@example.org; Sara Boyd, email@example.com and Malavika Jagannathan, firstname.lastname@example.org.