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Top Chef Episode 1 Recap – The Really Important Stuff

August 20, 2009

Unless you have no access to any of the weekly papers, live under a rock, or just don’t care about food or reality TV, if you’re an Atlanta resident then you’ve no doubt seen all the recent media about our three local Top Chef’testants (Eli Kirshtein, Kevin Gillespie, and Hector Santiago). Getting the disclaimer out of the way, I happen to know all three of them through my husband—Kevin a little less personally, Eli the most—so I thought rather than weigh in on this year’s chef’testants skills or performance, I’d have some fun and examine the aspects of Top Chef that people really pay attention to, you know, like haircuts and tattoos.

So each week (if my schedule permits it), I’ll offer up some commentary on all the things the foodies don’t care about. Or at least won’t admit to. Watch what happens!

Best hair: Gonna go out on a limb for this one. I like the short-haired, transgendered look on the ladies. Robin, Preeti, and Ashley all have that goin’ on. But I’m going with Preeti. Her haircut might not be the preeti-est, but combine her ‘do with her small stature and you’ve got a gal who’s most able to go all aerodynamic on us as she makes her way around the kitchen. That’s gotta help her out at some point, right?


Best accessory: Oh, such a tough one. I love Ashley’s glasses. But Mattin’s kerchief? Those are the sorts of things that make one instantly into a characterchure of himself, which makes for some good TV, or at least bides him a few more weeks (although he does seem pretty skilled).


Biggest douche: Now let me get this out of the way. For much of last night’s episode, I found Michael Isabella tolerable and even liked him at times, until he made one too many condescending comments about the girls on the show (and aimed at Jennifer C. of all people?!?). And perhaps “douche” is a little strong, but he’s no doubt set himself up to be this season’s villain, at least in the eyes of women viewers. Regardless of how he may or may not have been edited, every season has one, so for now it may as well be him.


Most insightful quote: No contest, Jennifer Z’s “The hardest part about shucking clams is knowing how to do it,” was some unfortunate foreshadowing for sure. I actually liked her, and didn’t mind her tats. And her son is adorable. But dang. The hardest part about sounding intelligent is keeping your mouth shut if you don’t really have anything to say.

Best kitchen wound: And ditto for Jennifer’s shucking incident. Ouch!


Best tattoos: Are there more tats this season than in previous seasons? Sure seems that way. I had to reference the Top Chef site for this one, because I wasn’t able to get enough of a detailed view of the tattoos last night (other than Jennifer’s), but for now I’m going with Jesse Sandlin. Her lip piercing annoys me, but her tats are really pretty. Nice colors on her chest piece, but the one I’m most fond of is on her right leg, looks to be some sort of skull. Wanna see more of that one.


Best accent: I’m a bit biased towards Hector’s Puerto Rican accent, but the cheftestant who seemed to benefit the most from his accent was Haitian Ron Duprat. I could hardly understand a word, but I think that adds to his gentle giant charm.


Most likely to go all the way: OK, here’s where I get a little more serious. Based on my feelings on last night’s episode, I’m picking Jennifer Carroll to be left standing at the end. She might have the strongest pedigree, being hand-picked by Eric Ripert to lead his kitchen at 10 Arts. She also seems to be a bit of a firecracker; I’m looking forward to seeing that bitchiness come out in future episodes!


Most likely to be axed next week: I felt sure her “confusion” would send Eve packing her knives this week. Next week, she’s history.


6 Comments leave one →
  1. August 20, 2009 1:14 pm

    Excellent recap! I feel a little more strongly than you do about Mike – complete douche, editing or not – don’t open your big fat mouth with offensive comments if you don’t want to be considered a douche. 🙂

    I’m so excited that there are 3 Atlanta chefs this season – it’s actually my first season to watch the show. Can’t wait to see how it plays out and read your weekly updates!

    When are we getting your Baby on there anyway?

  2. August 20, 2009 2:51 pm

    This cracked me up! Can’t wait to follow the blog through the season. Ditto on getting your Baby on the show to kick some bootie and take some names.

  3. August 20, 2009 2:56 pm

    LOL let’s make Baby the most popular cheftestant who’s not a cheftestant. Hell then he can just skip the TC BS and get his own show. We can call it Baby Food!

  4. August 28, 2009 11:22 pm

    OMG, Baby Food! 🙂 I LOVE IT! What can I do to help? Shall we start a twitter campaign. 🙂


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