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'Top Chef: New Orleans' Recap: Soiree In the Swamp

By / 10.03.13

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“This is so New Orleans, it’s unbelievable.” -Emeril Laggase introducing the new season of the world’s best and sometimes worst reality television program.

It’s Top Chef. In New Orleans. It’s going to be gimmicky. It’s going to be infuriating. And ultimately, it’s going to want to make you lick your television and move to the French Quarter. I love this show. You should love this show. Just know that sometimes it’s awful. With that said, what follows are the random thoughts that came to mind last night as I watched the show.

The first cheftestant we meet is Sarah. Her style is rockabilly and she works for Wolfgang Puck. I will pay so much money to hear Wolfgang say “rockabilly.”

Now we’re meeting a whole bunch of chefs and I can’t keep up. There’s Jason Chiconski, AND OH HE SEXY. He was named Philly’s sexiest chef. People think he’s a douchebag, until he throws down in the kitchen. Oh, and he’s wearing pink shorts. He wants people in his dining room to like what they see in addition to liking what they eat. I hate him so much I can’t even remember what Josie did to annoy me.

He immediately runs into his friend Nick. BRO HUG!

“You look like you just got off of a yacht, man.” -Nick

“You look like…your wife just picked out your clothes.” -Jason

Burn.

I will bet everyone in the world a dollar that Nick secretly hates Jason. Or maybe it turns out that they’re both awful. They are from Philadelphia, after all.

Jason is really CRUSHING his bottle of designer water. But wait, there’s more reality show eye candy coming!

“My name is Janine Booth, and I’m originally from Pert, Australia.”

Oh god, she’s pretty AND she talks all funny.

“The fact that I’m not so ugly, usually it’s a something that I have to get people to overcome.”

Yeah, maybe don’t say things like that ever again?

Bene is a New Yorker who could become the first Top Gay Chef (Remember, Kristen is adamantly not gay despite having short hair and a matching tattoo with her also not gay roommate and appearing in all of those dreams I had). Also, I’m pretty sure he was a sous chef on Top Chef Masters.  Regardless, my fingers are crossed that he tsks Hugh Acheson’s eyebrow grooming at some point this season.

Meanwhile, Bene shook Janine’s hand and there was all kinds of boob shaking going on. The space below this is just words because I don’t know how to GIF.

Bene moves on and introduces himself to a lovely Chinese woman.

“Where are you from?”

“Las Vegas.”

“That’s…strange.”

“That’s strange?”

“Uh…I’m just thinking about this weekend, and not about how you’re obviously not from Las Vegas.” (not a direct quote)

Shirley Chung actually grew up in Beijing, but she’s not your typical little Chinese girl, which is good because she was allowed to live. OHHHH, THAT’S NOT COOL, JACK.

Shirley has run kitchens for Thomas Keller, Mario Battali, Jose Andres and probably ten other people whose cookbooks cost more than two entrees at your favorite neighborhood restaurant. Seriously though that’s a great resume that will probably put the other cheftestants on tilt.

Everyone is milling about on their awesome New Orleans balcony talking about how nobody there is actually from New Orleans. I wonder if the next chef who walks in…yeah he’s from New Orleans. It’s Brett from La Petite Grocery. Another Beard nominee, and the winner of the pre-season Padma Picks cook-off that was available On Demand and that nobody else on the planet watched besides me because I live a sad sad life.

There are two chefs from Chicago. They don’t know each other, but they know each others restaurants. That’s because they both have Michelin stars. Hmmm, maybe nobody will be intimidated by Shirley’s celebrity stacked resume.

By my count there are now 37 people talking uncomfortably amongst themselves in the common area of this house. Somebody mentions that there are 19 beds, so my math may be off. Regardless, this season is already looking interminable. Unless they cut five people immediately for not being attractive enough and/or not possessing a requisite level of industry credibility. We’ll probably find out soon. In the meantime, everyone looks like they really want a cigarette. Wacky chefs with their black lungs and tainted palates.

Finally, here’s Padma and Tom. And no sign of the fire marshall. Probably off collecting po’boys filled with cash and remoulade. Get your sh*t together, New Orleans. This house is on the verge of collapse.

What do you make of this development, Stephanie Cmar?

“Sh*t was real and then sh*t got really really really real.”

stephanie

Oh, Stephanie. You’re high.

Janine announces that she has to pee. Damn it, Tom, that’s not supposed to make you aroused. Besides, it’s time to cook.

Tom wants everyone to tap into the culture of New Orleans. This could mean literally anything other than Hurricanes on Bourbon Street.

No quickfire, right to the elimination.

“You’ll be cooking in the heart of the Louisiana swamp.”

Noooooooooooooooo. Save some awful for the finals, you guys. This challenge is already the worst thing possible.


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