Top Chef: It's Like They Never Left!
March 20, 2020 12:40 AM - Season 17, Episode 1 - Subscribe

First episode of an all-stars season (set in California) features the classic mise-en-place challenge and cooking with fire.
posted by praemunire (16 comments total)
They definitely sought out some of the more annoying characters, but I'm glad they had the good sense to include last season's Eric without making him wait a round or two.
posted by praemunire at 12:41 AM on March 20, 2020 [1 favorite]

A new season of Top Chef is the shelter-at-home antidote I needed! I think they've picked a good group, with some of my personal favs (Le Ann, Kevin, Jen) and a few I'll be happy to see pack their knives (Malarkey, Sasto).

And they've picked the challenges well. Mise-in-place as the first quickfire is a brilliant choice. It's All Stars, so we know they can all build a dish. But how many of them are still doing prep on a regular basis? And the beach challenge gave us a gimmick that really did make things hard, but still left room for the chefs to make great food.

Out of the gate I'm Team Le Anne (I love her whole TC story) and Team Kevin, and neither got off to a great start. I was really worried Le Ann was headed home first, but I've always thought Sasto got by more on luck than skill, so glad to see him gone. Haven't watched LCK yet, but I'm gonna predict a loss for him -- especially if he tries pasta!

Speaking of which, where have we landed on talking about LCK here? OK to spoil in the comments? I think so, but would like to hear from others.
posted by Frayed Knot at 7:38 AM on March 20, 2020

Yes, you know someone was giggling about the "I have people for that" people having to turn artichokes.
posted by praemunire at 9:52 AM on March 20, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'm definitely excited this is back. Sad to see mustache Joe go, but he had two strong strikes against him so it makes sense. Definitely a strong group, I hope Nini steps up and doesn't get swallowed up, I know those interviews are manipulated, but it's rarely a good sign when you have one contestant talking about how overawed they are by the competition.
posted by Carillon at 10:31 AM on March 20, 2020

(I don't have a strong preference, so nobody hold back on my account.)
posted by praemunire at 12:56 PM on March 21, 2020

Oddly, LCK still isn't up.
posted by Frayed Knot at 1:58 PM on March 21, 2020

Doesn't the LCK have to wait until there is two eliminated chefs?
posted by mmascolino at 10:37 PM on March 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

Sometimes they bring in a person or people from prior seasons to be the adversary in the initial LCK.
posted by praemunire at 12:43 AM on March 22, 2020

I was feeling wishy-washy on whether I would watch this season but was prompted to pop it on by someone else and immediately perked up upon seeing my old TC pals. Tom being charming! Gail being even more charming! Padme making casually and hilariously malicious comments! Loved it.

All Stars seasons of things are so good for the reasons you mention, kanata (well, theoretically: RPDR AS3 turned me off of the whole show for good). Skillful artists who not only understand themselves and their craft, but also the contours, demands, and tricks of the competition. Lotta folks to root for here (personally partial to Eric, Gregory, and Nini) and also wasn't sad to see Sasto--who never quite impressed--out early. Hope the future challenges allow everyone's creativity to glow.
posted by youarenothere at 11:47 AM on March 22, 2020

Yep, that's Lee Ann from the OG season.

*takes a moment to be sad about Perilla closing, still not over it*
posted by praemunire at 1:08 PM on March 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

As soon as they played the clip of Stephanie Cmar getting eliminated I was so furious all over again. Fucking Nick. Did you learn to season your food yet?

I love Melissa and her laid back "I'm a libra" deal but usually that kind of attitude doesn't get you the win. Seemed like they were into her food, though!

Angelo was so Angelo. "I've been really doing some self-work". You were fine before. Just kind of an airhead.

I guess I'm rooting for the flavor boys - Eric and Gregory. And I felt they did Nini dirty last time, so I hope to see her go far and I'd be happy if she won.
posted by Emmy Rae at 6:49 PM on March 22, 2020

Regarding LCK, I think if there was some twist of who the first competitor would be with Joe, Tom would have alluded to it when he told Joe he'd see Joe there.
posted by Emmy Rae at 3:03 PM on March 23, 2020

I'm not sad at all for Mustache Joe to go first. He was in over his head.

Did anyone catch that the finale went to Italy? Anyone know if they got out in time?
posted by chainsofreedom at 4:16 PM on March 23, 2020

When Padma was tweeting to plug the new season, at one point she described it as "filmed in a happier time". So I assume yes.
posted by Emmy Rae at 5:12 PM on March 23, 2020

All the way in Australia and I am super pumped for this season of Top Chef. Given the current circumstances it’s as good as taking a holiday.
posted by arha at 1:01 AM on March 27, 2020

I haven't watched this show since the first few seasons but watched the intro to this episode. It seemed so full of angry energy that I did not know if I would enjoy watching it. But the comments in here are so enthusiastic I will have to give it a go.
posted by Glinn at 11:50 AM on April 10, 2020

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