Top Chef: Pop Up Pandemonium
December 7, 2015 7:01 AM - Season 13, Episode 2 - Subscribe

To better introduce the Chefs to the city of Los Angeles, Padma challenges them to create and open four distinct pop-up restaurants reflecting the culture of the respective neighborhoods they land in. Tom, Padma, Gail and guest judge and Pop-Up King Ludo Lefebvre eat their way through Mexican, Persian, Korean, and even Vegan cuisine to pick the best dish that celebrates LA's mosaic of cultures.
posted by smackfu (18 comments total)
 
Grayson makes me so annoyed. I guess she is a pretty perfect early season contestant since she is clearly not going anywhere but has a lot of good sound bites.
posted by smackfu at 7:02 AM on December 7, 2015


I really liked that they held the vegan team to the same standards as the others. I've seen time and again on Top Chef and other cooking shows like Masterchef that some chefs' attitudes towards vegetarian challenges are "get it done and that will be challenge enough". All of the vegan dishes were things I could make at home, which isn't really what we watch the show for.
posted by tofu_crouton at 7:58 AM on December 7, 2015


HOW DID I NOT KNOW THERE WAS A NEW SEASON OF TOP CHEF OMG.

*ahem*

I will catch up with OnDemand and report back.
posted by chainsofreedom at 8:03 AM on December 7, 2015


WHAT CHAINSOFREEDOM SAID
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:11 AM on December 7, 2015


The was promoted as a Restaurant Wars Lite, and it was anything but. The chef's didn't have to do ANY of things a pop up really has to do, like find the space, get the equipment, etc. Really, it was just the old 'take over this restaurant's kitchen' with a 'cook this kind of food' twist.

Would love to hear the backstory on how Grayson got this second go 'round. She is just annoying as all get out. And I don't mean Hate Watch annoying, either. I mean Get Her Off My Screen NOW Annoying.

Sorry to see Renee go, she had great screen presence. But can't really cook apparently.
posted by Frayed Knot at 10:24 AM on December 7, 2015


I'm really surprised the LA guy didn't do better on the vegan challenge since he really does have a vegan restaurant: The Gadarene Swine
posted by smackfu at 12:34 PM on December 7, 2015


Interesting how the teams match the popups--each team has one person the theme is tailored for, one who's a total opposite, and two in the middle. Very clever balancing.

Way to go Marjorie! Nice winning with a dessert.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:48 PM on December 7, 2015


Has another dessert ever been the overall winner? I really think that might be a first.
posted by Frayed Knot at 2:39 PM on December 7, 2015


I feel like it's happened before but googling isn't getting me anywhere.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:44 PM on December 7, 2015


On a very quick search, Kristen Kish won for a dessert in Season 10, Ep. 7: Matcha Goat Milk Custard with Macerated Tayberries. It was for a challenge that had to feature berries though, but several other chefs made entrees/savory dishes.
posted by primalux at 9:31 PM on December 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Stephanie Izard in Season 4, Ep 3 also: Mixed Fruit with Oatmeal-Pine Nut Crumble, Cinnamon Whipped Cream, and Fried Wonton Dough
The Wikipedia articles for each season are surprisingly thorough.
posted by primalux at 9:37 PM on December 7, 2015


Grayson needs an attitude readjustment. Seriously, I remember liking her a great deal on her original season. In fact, she was one of the only likeable people on that season (that was the god-awful Texas season full of awful toxic bullies). I'm kind of blown away by her behavior this go-around

GO MARJORIE for kicking ass with that dessert!

The scenes with Padma, Gail, Ludo, and Tom in the car traveling from pop-up to pop-up were ridiculously staged.

Padma: Hey, can I take a selfie with you guys?
Gail: Yes.
Padma: And we should tweet where we are going so other people will come.
Gail: Yes, I am going to tweet to my followers about the restaurant. That is a good idea.
Padma: We have to talk about social media so we seem hip, that's what Andy Cohen said.
Gail: I am tweeting right now.
Tom: Pop up!
Ludo: (looks like he wants to punch everyone and run away from the car)
posted by thereemix at 6:54 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Stephanie Izard in Season 4

Good lord, was Stephanie's season really that long ago? OLD OLD OLD I AM GETTING OLD...

Meanwhile:

Team Vegan definitely felt like they punted on this. I get that it was outside their wheelhouse (at least, for some), but they went for some very obvious and not inspired options, and that seems to have been their downfall. LA dude in particular baffled me on this, because he supposedly has experience in this (and should have helped his team, since the best way to not get eliminated is to not be on the team on the block in the first place).

Team Mexican, meanwhile, should be thanking their lucky stars that Team Vegan screwed the pooch so badly. I can't even imagine the hubris of being asked to cook a specific cuisine, at a restaurant known for that cuisine, with access to the person responsible for that restaurant, and being like "thanks, but we got it" when asked if you wanted to talk about your plan. This goes doubly so when you consider that members of that team outright said they didn't have good Mexican food where they're from, or that it was different from where they're from. You're in LA. Ask the guy who has a Mexican restaurant in LA what LA Mexican is all about. This is not rocket science!

I was really happy for Marjorie. The whole team she was on seemed like they made tasty stuff, but that dessert sounded so damned good.

As for Grayson, I hope that either she is knocked out or gets her shit together within the next episode or two, because I do not want to listen to another 10 episodes of her current mopey state.
posted by tocts at 8:12 AM on December 8, 2015


Eh, I think they overplayed the "why didn't you just ask your expert?" bit. They seemed to have no problem making Mexican dishes, including a play on posole which is a pretty authentic dish. It just wasn't very good, and a discussion wasn't going to help that.
posted by smackfu at 10:16 AM on December 8, 2015


Grayson isn't going anywhere anytime soon, I think. She's either the heel or a redemption arc. Wesley's also going to last a while, I think.

I reallyreallyreallyreally want to see Frances go far. And Amar. I'm pretty confident that Jeremy will be a monster throughout the competition and will likely make it to the top few, if not the win.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:32 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


thereemix, I had a very different read on that scene; I just thought Padma was super stoned.

My wife and I are already nicknaming several of the contestants. Garrett was "Franzen." Grayson is "Dorothy" (because she acts like she wants to go home more than anything else). Wesley is "Sweaty Buzzkill." Phillip is "Awkward Hanson."

Annnnnd as I type these, I realize none of the nicknames are very nice.
posted by duffell at 2:26 PM on December 8, 2015


Wesley reminds me of a guy who was on Hell's Kitchen one year, Petrozza. Total messy bugger in the kitchen, and his plates were perfect.

Still, I think he's not long for the competition. I can be a disaster when I cook and I've never seen a station looking like his did.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:15 PM on December 8, 2015


duffell, I figured it was common knowledge that Padma is always super stoned. ;)
posted by thereemix at 5:36 AM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


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