This is my 3rd or 4th season (who’s counting) of blogging about Top Chef and obviously, with DC being the location, the hopes and dreams for what the episodes will bring were sky high. So much so that I sat and watched it at midnight last night (after a delicious night of eating delicious food @ Buck’s Fishing and Camping) BECAUSE I JUST COULDN’T WAIT TILL THIS MORNING. COULDN’T AND WOULDN’T.
Having said that-I’d like to get this comment out of the way: this is not going to be a love at first sight kind of season.
There are no Kevins or Fabios here. There just aren’t.
Hell, I don’t even see any adorably neurotic Jens or silently strong Voltaggios. Even the cocky ones don’t wear jaunty hats like Spike did or make hilariously unaware sexist statements like Mike Isabella. I don’t think they even have a token lesbian around like I’ve grown accustomed to.
Instead, this season we get the ANNOYINGLY megalomaniacal Angelo (I know he is good, but come on dude, its the first episode), the ANNOYINGLY queeny Arnold (motivational dance for the staff!), the women all look and behave the same to me (insecure and humorless-sorry), a couple non-descripty MidWesterners and, granted, some more African Americans than usual (kudos, albeit predictable, considering the setting) and one obviously crazy 6’8″ Bob Marley/Willy Wonka character who, also predictably, did not get to stick around.
Anyway, the season opened with everyone on the rooftop of Newseum eyeing each other suspiciously. Then Padma (looking curvy and lovely post-baby), and Tom (looking bald and glowing post-Padma’s-baby) showed up and made everyone do one of those mis-en-place quickfires which, I feel, are there just so someone can cut themselves within the first 2 minutes of the show (Amanda, who reminds me so much of that whiny Leah girl, I am already not going to care enough about to even remember) and there is some drama before it all even begins.
In the end the ethnic fourfecta of Angelo (the cocky one), Kenny (the hard working one), Timothy (the DC born and raised one) and Kevin (the other one) was left standing with Angelo and his over manicured eyebrows winning (20 000 dollars included) and him looking the camera dead in the eye and announcing that HE WILL BE THE FIRST PERSON ON THE SHOW TO WIN EVERY SINGLE CHALLENGE.
Then they were given the task of cooking a meal that represents WHERE THEY COME FROM (seasonal and regional being the buzzy buzz words here) for 300 young DC professionals (vom) and picking teams: one person from each team was to be up for winning and one person was to be there to possibly lose. So-while, of course, this is a competition for all of them, this created mini universes of competition.
So-they set out to cook, and, lets face it, it is impossible to remember what all 17 of them made but it seemed obvious from the start that Jacquelyn (the blonde Brooklyn caterer) and her mealy pate and John (the dreadlocked Michigan gentle giant with a mild case of Aspbergers and the only person with a visible personality in the first episode) and his haphazard maple dessert were in trouble.
And they were.
The young professionals (incl. Amanda McClements of Metrocurean and Dr. Andy Baldwin who was apparently on “the Bachelor”) and the judges (incl. “the succulent” Gail Simmons and Eric Ripert who was not given too much to do this episode) ate the food, none of which looked particularly inspired to me (lots of meats and messy looking fishes, and “throwbacks to Wolfgang Puck” and deconstructed borschts?) and while I loathe to admit it, it was instantly obvious that Angelo and his arctic char spoon were going to win on sophistication alone and they did.
The top four consisted out of 3 people who placed in the top after the quickfire (Kenny, Angelo and Kevin) and Alex who is (menacingly?) bald and Russian and a little crazy eyed making for possibly promising character development and with Angelo winning it only fed his megalomania a little more and made me want him to fail A LOT MORE.
The bottom four were (predictably): the haphazard maple dessert dude, the mealy pate girl, the meat and potatoes guy and Timothy (the DC born and bred one) who I am pretty sure was put there just for the sake of anxiety and drama and not real suckage.
Anyway, the Marley/Wonka hybrid dude was sent home AND HE CRIED. Which is a bummer because he had bigger hilarity potential than most.
Oh well. It is still only the beginning, so I will be back next week with hopes still high for maybe a Ben’s 3am quickfire challenge and other things that make life and Top Chef worth watching.