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Chaz Brown

Last night’s Around the World in 80 Plates treated us to Marrakech, Morocco, although we never really see much of the visited country.  I love the concept of this show, and I LOVE that involves Curtis Stone, but I’ve yet to find a chef for which I’m rooting.  While the chefs voting each other off seems like a good twist, it’s too much like Survivor and not enough like Top Chef, which I love.

As the contestants head to Africa, they share whether they’ve traveled there.  It’s most players first visit.  Not only is will the team that finishes first get the exceptional ingredient, the team will also win $15,000.  The chefs must divide themselves into three teams of three and head on their way in horse drawn carriages.  Black team Nookie Postal, Avery Purcell, and John Vermiglia are the first team.  Red team Jenna Johansen, Nicole Lou, and Liz Garrett are the second.  The final team, white, is Gary Walker, Chaz Brown, and Nick Lacasse.

The teams head to a world famous market where they must locate a spice shop.  Everyone is running around like chickens with their heads’ cut off–so discombobulated.  The black team is the first to arrive and gain the next clue.  They must find the nine most commonly used spices in the native cuisine.

The black team has seven out of nine when the red team shows up at the spice shop to start the challenge.  Nick on the white team is disappointed to arrive last given that Gary speaks French. Chaz uses his West Indian nose, and the white team is actually the first to finish.  Nookie is crowding the white team at the counter and Gary is getting heated.  The white team gets their clue and heads out to find directions to a roof top restaurant.

The women are in last place, as Nookie tries hard to find the way to the restaurant.  The black and white teams are neck and neck.  Once at the restaurant, the teams are schooled in how to traditionally serve Moroccan tea.  The first team to properly pour all their tea will win the money.  Gary is an expert pourer thanks to drinking games.  However, the black team wins the exceptional ingredient and $15,000.  That was super close.

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Top Chef Season 9

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?

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