I confess: I actually didn’t realize when I wrote up my first installment of Top Chef Season 13 power rankings that the premiere episode was a two-parter. That’s two hours and 15 minutes of Top Chef premieres! A duo of premiere episodes! Haven’t any Bravo execs watched Top Chef and heeded its rules? You never make a duo! Ugh. Though to be fair, the two-part premiere was more an obstacle for me the writer than me the viewer. Luckily for all of us, I came to terms with wasting my life long ago, so let’s do this.
Premiere week part two guest starred Ludo Lefebvre, zee coolest Fronch chef een all of L.A. I hear even his baguettes wear motorcycle jackets. Sang Yoon was also there for a few seconds. Remember him? It doesn’t matter. This episode’s challenge? Pop-up restaurants! That’s like a regular restaurant that goes away and reappears somewhere else when you hit it with a mallet. To create their pop-ups, the chefs were split into teams of four, driven to ethnic neighborhoods in different parts of L.A., and forced to appropriate the local culture. The results ranged from “so good” to “Mexican Hamburger Helper.”
PADMA LAKSHMI OUTFIT WATCH
A leather motorcycle jacket made out of one of Eddie Van Halen’s old guitars. She pulled it off (she always does), though it did look like she was trying a little too hard to impress Chef Ludo. I like to imagine wardrobe nixed dreamcatcher earrings at the last minute.
THINGS WE LEARNED
If you use food out of a can, lie about it. Because Tom Colicchio will bitch even if everyone thinks the dish is delicious. Frances got dinged for this, even though her curry was the only dish from her team that the judges liked. “You should’ve used fresh produce, like all your teammates’ dishes that we hated! Idiot!”
Winner: Team Persian (Isaac, Angelina, Marjorie, Amar). Marjorie in the top spot.
Loser: Team Vegan (Phillip, Grayson, Renee, Frances)
Middle: Team Koreatown (Karen, Carl, Jason, Giselle)
Middle Bottom: Team Mexican (Chad, Jason, Kwame, Jeremy)