Episode 1: Amish Soul Food and Mormon Funeral Potatoes
That’s right, Top Chef is back. 15 seasons and the #content is still as fresh as the microgreens atop your harissa pork belly crudo (always take microgreens and crudo on Top Chef bingo). This season comes to us from Colorado, home of… uh… South Park, and… the Denver Broncos (can there please be a Cartman tie in?). They’re coming out the gate hot this season, because within the first five minutes, one of the chefs informs us that his style is “Amish soul food.”
Minutes later, another chef coins the term “Mormon funeral potatoes.” I’ve missed you, Top Chef. But enough intro, I’ve got power rankings to get through and it’s the first episode so there are way too many cheftestants.
Weirdest Sounding Dish
Carrie’s “Summer Bruschetta,” with a jalapeño blueberry jam and sharp cheddar cheese, tossed in a roasted tomato vinaigrette.
Uh… what? Did Bramucci cook this? Next time just say the ingredients out loud before you cook them and ask yourself if that sounds like a disaster. The best part of this was Tom Collicchio’s criticism: “I think You have to be more focused when you’re doing something that simple.”
Well sure. One thing I always ask myself when I’m making a blueberry jalapeño tomato cheddar cheese crostini is “Is this too simple?”
Best Sounding Dish
Chris’s Potato Waffle with Barbecued Beef and Corn Chow Chow. I still don’t know what chow chow is, but a crispy french fry waffle topped with barbecued meat sounds amazing.
Unsung Hero Award
The judges, who had to sample 15 different dishes this week. I had to sample 20-something tacos for a taco contest once and I almost died. Also me, for having to come up with 15 damned chef nicknames for this post. This isn’t easy, people.
Stupidest Looking Judge Award
Graham Elliot wins again, for the third year running! I can’t help it, I find this guy’s whole visual schtick infuriating. This Tucker Carlson ice cream salesman get up is more obnoxious than all of Guy Fieri’s flame cars put together. Fieri is a punchline but this guy gets a pass? There’s no justice in this world.
1: Joe Sasto — AKA Mustache Joey, aka Rollie Fingerlings, aka Freddy Mercurioli
Power rankings are always tough the first episode, but I’m giving the edge to Mustache Joey, who didn’t win the quickfire or the elimination, but seemed to be near the top in both. I’m not sure we needed an entire editing package dedicated to the fact that he has a mustache, but… it is quite the mustache, I guess. Eets a-mustache so big-a you save-a some scungilli for a midnight a-snack! You make-a you papa so-a proud!