This week on Around the World in 80 Plates, we’re down one chef with potential anger issues. After Chaz Brown is voted off, his remaining teammates (Gary Walker and Nick Lacasse) are now the team captains for the two new groups before the group travels to Florence, Italy. They each must choose the chefs for their competitor’s team. Yikes!
Nick of the black team picks Liz Garrett for Gary’s first teammate, which is odd considering she won immunity in the most recent challenge. In turn, the red team’s Gary gives Nick Nicole Lou. John Vermiglio joins Gary’s team, and Nookie Postal is sent to Nick’s team. Nick chooses Jenna Johansen for Gary’s final chef, and Gary is happy as she speaks Italian. By default, Avery Pursell is Nick’s final addition.
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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It’s that time again! The Summer By Bravo trailer. This time it’s Olympics themed and awesome. Frankly, I can’t think of anything I love more than the Olympics and Bravo… so yeah, aces on that one Andy Cohen! Competing to the beat of Madonna’s Superstar, the Bravolebrities are out in droves; each one hoping to win the gold medal in famewhoring!
Below is the Bravo-lympics starring Teresa Giudice (but no Melissa Gorga), Jeff Lewis & the gang, and Patti Sanger (I know.. I’m bummed too!). Plus, NeNe Leakes, Pinot Singer, Kyle Richards in a tipsy wine race!
Also making an appearance was Brad Goreski, amidst rumors that his show has been canceled! Surprisingly NOT present was Bethenny Frankel. Hmmm…wonder what that means!
ARE YOU PSYCHED!? WHO GETS THE GOLD MEDAL FOR BIGGEST FAMEWHORE?
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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After not sending any chefs packing last week, Top ChefAll Stars returns tonight with an all new episode.
On the 13th episode this season titled “Fit for a King,” the chefs set sail for the Bahamas, and each participates in a culinary duel against the person who was crowned the winner during their first stint on the show. Later, they create meals for Bahamian royalty, but it’s a royal pain with limited cooking equipment.
And back to last week’s episode as show judge Gail Simmons revealed this week in her Entertainment Weekly blog that the show’s producers were not too happy with the judges decision to not eliminate anyone. Below is an excerpt -
“When we got to Judges’ Table, we realized there was no way to penalize any of them for what they had made. We, for the first time, were at a stalemate. We just couldn’t think of a legitimate reason to get rid of anyone. But I don’t want anyone to think that this is setting a precedent. This is not the point of the show. It took probably an hour of begging our producers to let us do it. They kept us there for a while, saying “Guys, deal with it. Make a decision.” Then finally, after a long time of hashing it out and none of us feeling comfortable, we decided to bring everyone to the finale. Rest assured, we will be eliminating every single person except one in the finale.”
The new episode airs on Bravo at 10/9c. A preview clip is below.
Meanwhile, Bravo announced this week that Top Chef Masters will return next month with a brand new format and 12 new award-winning chefs hungry to compete for the title of “Top Chef Master” and win $100,000 for their charity.
On the new season, the masters will no longer be judged on a scale, but in elimination style challenges similar to the format of the original Top Chef. In each episode, money will be at stake, with the winners of every quickfire challenge winning $5,000 and elimination challenges winning $10,000 for their designated charities.
As previously announced, celebrity chef Curtis Stone will serve as the newly appointed host of the series along with returning judge and culinary expert, James Oseland, and new series judge, the legendary food critic and author, Ruth Reichl. Season three of Top Chef Masters will premiere Wednesday, April 6 at 11 p.m. ET/PT and will move to its regular time period on April 13 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
A preview clip of tonight’s Top Chef episode is below -
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON TONIGHT’S NEW EPISODE PLUS ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT THE RETURN OF TOP CHEF MASTERS? DO YOU AGREE WITH THE JUDGE’S DECISION TO NOT ELIMINATE ANYONE LAST WEEK?