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Top Chef

January 3, 2013 | By Jenn Harris
On Wednesday night's "Top Chef," the remaining nine chefs sharpened their knives -- literally. Master bladesmith Bob Kramer acted as guest judge for a knife-slinging quickfire challenge: Show your knife skills and tourné 50 potatoes, then french a rabbit. L.A. boy Micah Fields proved the sharpest of them all and walked away with immunity and one of Kramer's signature knives. For the elimination challenge, Padma Lakshmi took the chefs down memory lane and assigned each chef a Kindle Fire loaded with a memorable dish and moment from the show's past 10 years.
December 27, 2012 | By Jenn Harris
Bravo TV, thank you, thank you for not making your day after Christmas episode a Christmas episode and for introducing us to Josie's tree -- more on that later. I feared Santa outfits and Christmas music, but instead the chefs began their quick-fire challenge picking fresh oysters, then teasing viewers by shucking them right on the farm and slurping them up. Did anyone else feel the urge to lunge at the TV and grab one? Back in the kitchen, each chef was tasked with making oysters on the half shell for judge Emeril Lagasse.
December 20, 2012 | By Jenn Harris
The women are proudly killing it on this season of "Top Chef. " In Wednesday night's episode, Kristen Kish, a.k.a. Twiggy, smoked the competition in both the quickfire and elimination challenges -- and looked way too good doing it. For the quickfire challenge the chefs were asked to cook whatever they wanted with one catch:  All the pantry ingredients were covered in foil and once you opened an ingredient, you had to use it. And just to make things...
December 17, 2012 | By Rene Lynch
There's a two-in-three chance that the winner of "The Next Iron Chef" will be a woman. Cause to celebrate? Chefs Amanda Freitag and Alex Guarnaschelli are now duking it out with pitbull chef Nate Appleman for the Season 5 title of "Next Iron Chef" and a shot at sweet, sweet redemption. Ousted this week was Marcel Vigneron, who no doubt earned some redemption of his own after being bounced from that other competition ("Top Chef"). Like a challenge thrown down by the chairman himself, Marcel transformed from a foam-enthralled kitchen cut-up into a thoughtful chef who no longer stands as sidekick to Spike Mendelsohn or anyone else.
December 13, 2012 | By Jenn Harris
On Wednesday night's "Top Chef," a new, local front-runner emerged in the competition. Brooke Williamson, chef and owner of Hudson House in Redondo Beach, was like a silent sleeper ninja awakening with her knives sharpened. After being in the bottom last week, she surprised everyone, including herself, by winning both the quickfire and elimination challenges. For the quickfire, the chefs were asked to cook sweet and savory dishes inspired by their family holidays for guest judge Marilyn Hagerty.
December 6, 2012 | By Jenn Harris
Wednesday night's episode of "Top Chef" was by far the worst performance I've seen from any contestants in the history of the show. The words "hate" and "disappointing" were thrown around so often by the judges I found myself slumping in my chair, grumpy when the show ended. So what happened?  It started at Pike's Place market with Padma Lakshmi in some questionable striped pants and local chef Daisley Gordon acting as guest judge. The chef teams of two butted heads as they built a makeshift outdoor kitchen and created breakfast on a stick for the market vendors.
November 29, 2012 | By Jenn Harris
In the first 10 minutes of Wednesday night's "Top Chef," contestant John Tesar solidified his status as the "most hated chef" on the show. Not only does he captiously insult Kuniko Yagi, who went home on the previous episode, he spars unrelentingly with C.J. and 'The Stache' Joshua Valentine. He goes so far as to call Valentine "Oklahoma" and disrespect him with "Oklahoma has no tact. " Arrogant much?  Tensions are high when Padma introduces guest judge and "Top Chef Masters" alumni Naomi Pomeroy and gives the chefs their Quickfire Challenge: Butcher a cut of beef and create a dish.
November 26, 2012 | By Russ Parsons
There's been another change at the top of the normally placid Thomas Keller Restaurant Group . David Breeden, formerly the executive sous chef at Per Se in New York, will be moving west to replace Timothy Hollingsworth at the top of the French Laundry in Yountville, Calif. Breeden will be the fourth chef de cuisine at the landmark restaurant in the last decade. He steps into the position once filled by Eric Ziebold (chef at CityZen in Washington, D.C .) and Corey Lee (chef at Benu in San Francisco )
November 15, 2012 | By Jenn Harris
In a surprise twist, "Top Chef" veterans Josie Smith-Malave (Season 2), Chris "C.J. " Jacobsen (Season 3) and Stefan Richter (Season 5) returned to the competition Wednesday night. Padma Lakshmi announced that, after serving as judges on the Quickfire Challenge, the three chefs would join the existing chefs to compete for the next "Top Chef" title. Josie is still a fireball; C.J. is timid, though with a little more confidence; and Stefan is as arrogant as ever. "There isn't one person I've met who hasn't said, 'Stefan, you should have won,' " Stefan told the camera.
November 8, 2012 | By Jenn Harris
Season 10 of Bravo's "Top Chef" premiered Wednesday night without a bang. Twenty-one contestants visited four of the judges' restaurants: There were no crazy ingredients, extreme weather conditions or impossible cook-from-a-vending-machine challenges. And it was incredibly refreshing. This season takes place in Seattle, but in order to get there, the contestants had to pass basic tests to earn their chef's coats. Chef Tom Colicchio brought his team into his Craft kitchen to see how they performed during a real night of service with a kitchen staff; Emeril Lagasse challenged his group with making soup at his restaurant Table 10; handsome uni-brow-donning chef Hugh Acheson tasked his contestants to create salads at Empire State South; and new judge Wolfgang Puck, who proved a bit of a softy, asked his chefs to cook an omelet at Cut.  It's too soon to tell who will be the last man, or woman standing, but it's never too early to give the contestants some hard-earned nicknames.
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