TOP CHEF RECAP: Welcome To New York! You Lost Already Because Of Apples

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Top Chef: Season 5 — New York Turbo Champion Edition premiered last night on Bravo. The following recap is full of spoilers, so if you haven’t seen it yet, do not read on, unless you want me to spoil which chef was actually dead the whole time. It was the Bruce Willis chef. Sorry about that. Honestly, though, I saw it coming, I swear. On to my episode thoughts (feel free to leave your own in the comments):

Top Chef NY– What a brutal premiere! The episode was solid, but holy sh*t — eliminating someone in the first 15 minutes of the first episode? That blows! I was hoping for some stylistic changes this year, but I was not expecting “Hey what’s up, here’s some apples, alright see ya!”

– I’ll bet they filmed 20 takes of Tom Colicchio yelling “How ’bout THEM apples!” but ended up not using it.

– Incidentally, I hope the Season 5 DVD has a bonus feature with all of the footage of the chefs peeling and dicing the apples in its entirety, and it’s the only bonus feature on the entire DVD. Not even interactive menus.

– Early favorites: Stefan seems like the most technically sound, and even after one week, he’s gotta be the odds-on favorite to make it to the finals. Eugene looks like the super-likable fan fave, Jeff the blond Miami dude seemed good and super confident but I can see him just totally screwing up one week and it costing him, and Leah looks like a quiet, unassuming Finals possibility.

– People with no chance: Ariane and Radhika are the only ones who appear to have zero shot, but I’m sure more will become apparent in the next two weeks.

– Here’s a picture of Patrick’s attempt at a Chinese dish, which got him eliminated for some reason:

Chinese Dish

– Patrick’s explanation for his failure, “I did the best I could with what I had,” basically nailed his own coffin shut. He chose his own ingredients and had no stipulations except to make something in the realm of “Chinese.” If he was struggling at this challenge, how was he gonna survive when he had to cater a meal for 50,000 marine biologists that incorporated a turtle theme and elements from the movie Big Momma’s House 2 in the special “No knives or ovens” challenge?

– Additionally, Patrick is 21 frickin’ years old. He’ll be fine. When I was 21, I thought the world was over when we were eliminated from my college intramural ball hockey playoffs, but it turns out… well, actually, the world was over after that. Bad example. But Patrick will be fine.

VespaFabio will definitely be this season’s Mark. He’s not going to win, but they won’t eliminate him right off the bat because his accent makes for good tv watchin’. Hopefully he’ll also whip out a didgeridoo for some reason (or whatever the Italian equivalent is. Maybe a Vespa?)

– The Bravo Poll: “Which team are you rooting for, Team Rainbow or Team Europe?” Shockingly, the Bravo audience votes 70% in favor of Team Rainbow. Don’t want to stereotype here, but I’m pretty sure a looooooot of leprechauns watch Top Chef.

– I kept thinking it’d be funny if the two people who got “Brighton Beach” were just on a train for like hours and hours and it kept cutting to the other chefs in the kitchen already making their dishes and back to the two chefs on the train going “come on, come ON…” Being able to recognize/understand the geography of this season is gonna allow me to be soooo annoying! I can’t wait.

– With Lauren gone already, I guess the guys in the house are going to have to begrudgingly hit on, I don’t know, Jill? Safe to say this remaining group would not be allowed into a swanky nightclub if they all showed up together.

– The New York Post headline for this week’s loser: “PAT ON THE (NOT COMING) BACK”

Season 5 thoughts so far? Throw ‘em in the comments.

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