The chefs of Around the World in 80 Plates are heading to Barcelona, Spain. All of the contestants are talking mad shiz about their cooking skills…and survival skills. Nookie Postal reveals that he and his wife lived for a year there solely on money from his stellar gambling skills. Nicole Lou is hesitant to return to Spain as that is where she married her now ex-wife. Chevin had an experience with a hermaphrodite upon which I won’t expound.
The first challenge pits every man for themselves. The first five people to reach the goal, which is basically a ski gondola, will be teammates, and the players are trying hard to make it to the gondola with people they want to compete with on a team. The first team, red, ends up being Chaz Brown, Cheven Lee, Gary Walker, Nick Lacasse, and John Vermiglio. The black team is…everyone else. For those of you keeping score at home, that means, Nookie, Avery, Nicole, Jenna Hansen, and Liz Garrett. Nookie is the sole dude with the ladies on the black team. Red team member John is worried about the sausage party in which he’s now involved. The red team arrives first to meet Curtis Stone, and one of the teammates yells, “Boys rule, and girls drool.” I’m taken back to my former first grade student Roy who said that. All. The. Time. The teams must sort and prep different seafood for cash. Whichever team wins the most money will win the exceptional ingredient.
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Chaz Brown won first place last week, and while he has immunity, he is able to pick his fellow black teammates to travel with him in first class. I’m excited as some part of me thought the teams would stay the same throughout. Chaz chooses Cheven (Chef Kevin), Avery Pursell, Mrs. GarrettGary Walker, and Nookie Postal. So two of the red team are heading to Lyon in style. The black team castoffs aren’t too upset to not be on Chaz’s team. On the red team, Sai Pituk is upset that her Asian training won’t be helping out her team yet again.
The premise of Bravo’s new Around the World in 80 Plates is following Curtis Stone as he whisks me to amazing destinations…don’t I wish twelve remarkable chefs take over restaurants in all different parts of the world, and compete in team challenges to come up with tasty and exotic cuisine which show their creativity and knowledge of various regions. The critics will be the actual restaurant patrons themselves. The losing team must vote off their weakest link. Curtis Stone and Cat Cora will be along for the ride hosting the worldwide feast. First stop, London!
On last night’s premiere, we meet the chefs, including beef-lover Chaz Brown, private chef Gary Walker who fancies himself like Mrs. Garrett from Facts of Life, and Sai Pituk who strives to be a sexy Thai food personality. Um, okay. Nookie Postal is the executive chef for the Boston Red Sox who caters to the VIPs…he’s not passing out hotdogs in the vending area. Liz Garrett, who never went to culinary school, is hoping her young looks will make her competitors underestimate her talents. It works. When she meets Nookie and Chaz at the airport, Nookie comments that she looks like a twelve-year-old.
Arriving in London as well is Clara Moore who isn’t above fighting to get what she wants…even if it’s just your standard arm wrestling match. John Vermiglio has cooked for presidents and Oprah! Cheven (that’s short for Chef Kevin) Lee fancies himself a celebrity chef from Hollywood. All twelve (some we’ve yet to meet) assemble in a market in London to meet with (swoon) Curtis and Cat. They are given a short amount of time to form two teams. John hopes he’s not the last one picked. Avery Pursell has no clue who any of these people are. Once teams are chosen, they will have a challenge course which could potentially win them the “Exceptional Ingredient” which will help them when they do the restaurant takeover.
Their first challenge is a pub crawl, and immediately the red team hops in a cab…probably a good call as they have Nookie and some girl who takes a spill almost immediately upon losing a shoe. The black team takes a run for it, with executive chef Nick Lacasse wondering why everyone is blindly following a bossy Cheven. Sai is also in the military, so she comandeers the map from Cheven. The red team arrives first. Jenna Johansen is looking at this competition as a way to change the way she cooks for life…very big picture. The team must finish some black pudding hash and a Pimm’s cup (yum!) before heading to the next locale.
Around the World in 80 Plates is set to premiere on May 9th and it looks like the show is going to bring a fun new twist on the cooking competitions of the past. The show’s hosts, Curtis Stone and Cat Cora , chatted with Reality Tea and a few other sites, giving us an inside peek at the upcoming craziness!
The show looks like Amazing Race and Top Chef rolled in some Housewives-style drama! Curtis and Cat confirm that the claws come out.
Curtis Stone: “It was pretty much a love/hate relationship right there.”
Cat Cora: “Oh yeah, definitely. I mean, we definitely witnessed it. I think from the very beginning when it was down to the first elimination. These chefs wanted to be in a competition. They were chosen. They wanted to move on. And they absolutely were going to fight for that role and that position. And I think they, from day one – obviously it gets a little more tense as it goes along and – or a lot more tense I should say. So yeah, we definitely witnessed some strategy and definitely some people fighting for it.”
Curtis Stone: “Which is interestingly representative of how the culinary world actually works. Because in a lot of ways for these guys it was like doing a (stagiaire) which is, you know, the French term given to a short period of time that you work in somebody else’s kitchen to gain a little bit of experience and knowledge. And they got to do this in a bunch of different countries around the world. What you’re really doing when you’re in a kitchen is of course you’re working as a team and you’re supporting that team as much as you possibly can. But the reality is you really are competing for the next position. If you’re a line cook as we call it in America, and you want to climb that ladder or that brigade that, you know, is so hierarchical in a kitchen then you have to outperform them. So you do have to compete and there are little games played in everyday kitchen life. So I think that it’s really a fascinating take on that.”
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Top Chef returns for the ninth season of Bravo’s competition cooking show! This time they are taking the “cheftestants” on a tour of Texas culinary hotspots: San Antonio, Dallas and Austin in Top Chef: Texas!
Returning judges Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi and Gail Simmons will be joined by Emeril Lagasse and Hugh Acheson along with special guests Charlize Theron, Pee-wee Herman, Cat Cora, John Besh, Tim Love and Patti LaBelle.
And proving that all things are bigger in Texas, this season the competition starts out with a record 29 cheftestants whittled down to the usual 16 during the premiere!
Those 16 chefs will then embark on a three-city culinary tour of Texas to compete for $100,000 and a feature in Food & Wine Magazine. The catch? None of the 29 chefs starting out the competition know that 13 of them will be going home almost immediately. Oops! “This season’s raising the level of intensity pretty fast,” reveals contestant Chaz Brown in the preview clip. Fittingly, some of the other contestants don’t take the news so well.
A clip of the season premiere is below! Top Chef: Texas airs tonight on Bravo (10/9c). Are you ready to get your grub on?
ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT THE NEW SEASON OF TOP CHEF? WILL YOU BE WATCHING?