Top Chef: It'll Take More than Pot Luck
December 8, 2017 8:02 AM - Season 15, Episode 1 - Subscribe

A diverse group of chefs enter the Top Chef kitchen in Denver and are immediately put to work, tasked with making a pot luck dish to introduce themselves to the judges and their fellow competitors. Then the cheftestants prepare their modern take on a meat and potatoes dish for a blow-out block party in Larimer Square with 200 diners and Denver's biggest culinary names, including Hosea Rosenberg, Troy Guard, Frank Bonanno and Gregory Gourdet. The chefs learn the importance of the phrase 'first impressions are everything.' (Summary from Bravo)
posted by duffell (10 comments total)
First impressions and random thoughts:
  • I will be calling Moustache Joe "Joestache" on here. He lost serious points making a BJ joke about Padma. Slimeball City.
  • For some reason Kevin Smith is in this season and he's going by the name "Bruce." Sure, Bruce.
  • Connecticut Man's "chorizo" made me suspect he's the dude behind this shit right here. Hopefully he's never asked to make jollof rice.
  • Everyone thinks Brother Luck's name is really cool. I'm just waiting for it to come out that he was raised in a cult.
  • I'm paraphrasing, but "I don't really know how to cook potatoes" is not a statement that portended especially well for a Top Chef contestant.
  • I rarely crave deconstructed anything, but damn, Fatima's samosa made my mouth water.
  • Former cheftestant sightings: GREGORY, yaaaaaay, I like that guy. And I guess we all knew we were going to see Hosea sooner or later, but I didn't expect a sighting on the first episode.
  • Last Chance Kitchen, y'all. Looks like it might be a mini Iron Chef challenge of sorts!

posted by duffell at 8:51 AM on December 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

This was a good start to a promising season. I was worried that Fatima's chicken was going to be a bad choice, and even though she didn't win I was glad to see her make the top three.

which brings me to a crucial point - DID THEY NOT SHOW WHAT SHE MADE DURING THE QUICKFIRE/POTLUCK? I guess I get that there are a lot of cheftestants at this point in the season so coverage is by definition thin, but we were excited for her to be on the show and then when she wasn't covered at all in the quickfire we were really surprised/confused.

I may be misremembering but I thought the potato line was that she didn't really eat potatoes, not that she didn't really know how to cook them, but in either case we weren't surprised to see her go.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 12:21 PM on December 8, 2017

We enjoyed watching this but were yelling at the TV for Tuesday to be less helpful. Not that you shouldn't be nice, but you gotta look out more for your own food too here. I will say that I gotta check out his pop up in Oakland.
posted by Carillon at 9:40 PM on December 8, 2017

Hosea!?!? Whelp, this season is ruined.

More seriously, the producers have got to know how polarizing Hosea is, I wonder how much they will use him? I didn't realize he was a CO dude, so was shocked to see him show up, at all.

I'm with you, duffell, in really wanting to taste that Samosa, which is not often my reaction to even the very best food on the show. It just looked really, really delicious!

I just went back and checked, and you're right Exceptional_Hubris. Fatima's food was completely absent from the Quickfire. She was there, but got no talking head while cooking, nor did she present her food at the table. That's beyond weird. Legally this is a game show, so she must have cooked. Maybe something out of her controlled ruined the dish, like the crew dropping it or some such? Would love to know!
posted by Frayed Knot at 8:49 AM on December 9, 2017 [3 favorites]

He lost serious points making a BJ joke about Padma. Slimeball City.

I hear you, and yeah my first thought was "I can't believe the producers actually aired that".... But then the next shot was Padma herself also making a "meat" double entendre while at his station, so I think maybe she might be ok with it?
posted by dnash at 8:23 AM on December 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

I mean sure, maybe she was, maybe she wasn't, but either way I'm pretty sure if you're an attractive literally any woman in show business the world, you end up needing to develop a pretty extensive toolset for dealing with shitty, leering behavior from the men around you. Padma's gonna do what Padma's gotta do, and I'll still take Joestache's "put your mouth around my meat Padma, hurrr hurrr" joke as a slimeball remark.
posted by duffell at 9:08 AM on December 11, 2017 [3 favorites]

I agree, I was shocked that they aired that joke. She asked if she should eat it all in one bite and Tom and Joe were the ones who laughed. She laughed after that, but blech.
posted by soelo at 1:27 PM on December 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

I mean, the giggling that Tom and Padma did at the booth was kinda funny, pretty juvenile, but also not, like, blatant. Then Joestache literally talks about putting his meat in Padma's mouth during the interview. Ew. Ew ew ew. Mr. Freedom and I were both skeeved out by the interview in a way we weren't about the at-booth joking.
posted by chainsofreedom at 10:41 AM on December 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

I am distrustful of any human who says they don't like potatoes. To hear a chef say it... * narrows eyes *.

I have to wonder though if that's just one of those things you say after the fact to make excuses for cooking a terrible dish.

Why on earth would you make a potato chowder as your first dish?
* If you watch Top Chef, you know that any time someone makes soup, they comment, "wow it was brave of you to make soup since you have to make it so perfectly for it to be better than that guy's leg of lamb."
* If you watch Top Chef, you would know to be prepared to at some point make a dish that represents you, with almost unlimited ingredients. Why were you not prepared for that?
* Why would you make a dish you personally don't want to eat?
posted by tofu_crouton at 6:28 AM on December 15, 2017

Mormon Funeral potatoes was my "Now You Know" moment of this episode. We cooked and entire week of "mormon funeral" dishes the week after this one aired. Mormon Funeral Chili, Mormon Funeral Barbecue Chicken and Mormon Funeral minestrone were all delicious.
posted by mumblelard at 3:03 PM on December 31, 2017

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