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Top Chef Texas

We’re not out of the woods yet with Top Chef Texas! Like our beloved housewives, Top Chef also gets the reunion treatment, only the difference is the cheftestants don’t wear Loubies and there’s a distinct lack of satin prom-style dresses among them. But still, omnipresent Andy Cohen makes them all hang out together and relive all their old fights, because they’re contractually obligated to show up.

The most exciting piece of information to come out of the reunion was the rumor that Sarah told judge Emeril Lagasse to “eff off” during a heated moment. Per Andy, this was a rumor from the crew. Sarah claims she doesn’t remember saying that, but the camera immediately pans to an awkward “yikes!” look by fellow judge Tom Collicchio, indicating the rumor is most likely true. Sarah begins to cry, like we are supposed to feel bad for her, and starts rambling about how much she loves Emeril.

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Judging from your comments, I think we can safely say that this season of Top Chef was a dud. Whether, it was the lack of any stand-out “personalities” on the cast, or the heavy amount of advertising for Texas, something was off about the show’s ninth season. It lacked the show’s usual addictive quality and there was no one to root for.

On last night’s finale, the reliable Paul and the talented but prickly Sarah went head to head, creating a four-course menu and “restaurant of their dreams” in Vancouver. They were given sous chefs for the task, which both chefs correctly guessed, were their former contestants. It turned out that not only was it their former rivals, but it also included three contestants that didn’t even make it into original sixteen and two master chefs, Barbara Lynch and Marco Canora.

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Our time with the approximately 15-week long commercial that was the ninth season of Top Chef ,is almost over. Next week, we’ll see our last two competitors battle it out for the $125,000 furnished by Healthy Choice, as Padma has lovingly reminded us in all the credits.

This week’s episode featured, what I think must be, the most crushing elimination of all, the one where you almost make it, but fall short, the bronze medal. While it must suck to be the first let go, at least no one remembers you. But here, we’ve watched the eliminated contestant for weeks, so we might feel some attachment.

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Previously on Top Chef: Grayson gets sent home, and there was a lot of sweaty bike-riding.

We open this week’s Top Chef: Yee-Haw on last week’s cliffhanger, and surprise! Beverly is back, having cooked for her life on the web show, Last Chance Kitchen. Sarah is not happy, because Beverly is in her “own Beverly world” and she doesn’t want to go there because it’s too hot and we all know what happens when Sarah is in very warm weather.

The chefs get a doozy of a quickfire challenge, and have to shop in the pantry blind-folded, and they must use everything in their basket. What if the chefs grab some Gladware, saffron, and peanut butter? What then, Tom Colicchio!? The real issue at stake are the prizes: either a brand-new Prius, or a guaranteed spot in the final round. It’s the Sophie’s Choice of Top Chef! Sorta.

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Previously: Chris gets eliminated for the crime of not making his tofu-emulsion chicken salad sandwiches to order.

We return to the Top Chef house with Grayson missing Chris, and the reveal that Ed sleeps in a button down shirt and boxers. Business up top, party underneath! There’s no time to ponder this because it’s time to head back to the kitchen, where Padma awaits them with my dream: a table of 80,000 pancakes. The chefs wonder who the guest judge will be, with Grayson guessing Miley Cyrus, which is incorrect because if it were Miley, the pancakes would be replaced with a giant bong.

Instead, the guest judge is Pee Wee Herman, who non-zygotes may remember from his TV show, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. They have 20 minutes to make pancakes for Pee Wee. Paul has inherited the liquid nitrogen throne from Chris and is making some kind of champagne concoction with it.

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Top Chef Season 9

Previously on Top Chef: Beverly gets sent home and Charlize Theron was awesome and beautiful.

We return to Top Chef:Texas with the chefs in the stew room going over Beverly‘s departure. Grayson talking-heads that she’ll miss her while the other chefs are either hiding their feelings or just don’t seem to care.

All of a sudden an angel walks in, a.k.a. Charlize Theron, and she thanks the chefs and calls herself a “huge nerd.” No, Charlize, people currently on their 98th consecutive hour of playing Skyrim while on a Mountain Dew drip are huge nerds. You are a pretty actress.

With the stew room properly blessed, we move on to the rest of the episode and the quick fire challenge, this time being judged by Padma, Emeril Lagasse and Cat Cora, who also has a new Bravo show coming up soon, Around The World In 80 Plates (Bravo doing cross-promotion, SHOCKING!!)

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Previously on Top Chef: Beverly wins Restaurant Wars and Ty is eliminated. Oh noes!

We rejoin the chefs who are still in the stew room with Sarah still, well stewing about Beverly’s win. In a very poorly edited scene, we see Tom come in and announce that the gang is heading back to San Antonio, mixed in with Sarah gasping. That, mixed in with Padma‘s strange voice-over at the opening makes me think the show is being edited on iMovie on someone’s Macbook. Get it together!

The chefs go home in cars separated by gender and Lindsay is still complaining that her job during Restaurant Wars was hard and that “others” (i.e. Beverly) dropped the ball except they kind of didn’t. Winning the challenge is the opposite of dropping the ball.

Eventually, we land back at the kitchen. Hottie and Top Chef semi-regular Eric Ripert is back! The chefs spy a conveyor belt in the back of the kitchen and Ed, master of stating the obvious, says this is going to suck. Chef Ripert adorably reads his lines and Padma lets us in on the quickfire challenge: they must make a “sophisticated dish” using three items from the conveyor belt. But, the longer they wait to get their three items, the less time they will have to cook. See? It’s a riddle. The winner gets immunity.

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Previously on Top Chef: salty grits, Padma eats ribs, and cookware gets thrown!

The chefs walk into a completely empty space, followed by Padma Lakshmi and Hugh Acheson who tell them that their elimination challenge this week will be to open and manage an Olive Garden location. Whoever can make the Tour of Italy the fastest will win access to the coveted breadsticks recipe. Finally, a challenge for us normal folks!

Actually, that never happened, but it was kinda close. Padma tells us it’s that time of the season again — for the restaurant wars challenge. Yay! This time, they will be separated by gender, which means we are in for some wonderful talking head commentary on girls ruling and boys drooling. Or, the opposite as Edward kicks off the trash talking by saying that the men are stronger chefs. You’ll want to remember that statement, folks.

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