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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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I apologize for the delay in this week’s Top Chef recap. That being said, here are my thoughts on this week’s Canadian journey.

Last week, Ed got sent home in a humiliating double loss of not only a chance at being in the finale, but also of a Prius. Sorry Ed, but canned or frozen food does not fly in the Top Chef kitchen.

We open this week with the gang meeting up in the parking lot of the Vancouver airport, all looking refreshed and like they’d finally had something to eat and drink, besides Shiner Bock and barbecue. Sarah talking-heads that she’ll be nice now, and that she’s a totally different person.

And then Beverly gets there. No one is especially mean to her, but it is awkward for Lindsay, Paul, and Sarah, who are war buddies, to even act warm towards Beverly. They pile into the Toyota, and Sarah immediately interrupts Beverly after Paul asks her about Last Chance Kitchen.

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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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Sonja Morgan, the sex-crazed Real Housewives of New York star recently got the opportunity of a lifetime. The Bravolebrity was tapped to play hostess to firefighter models from Nation’s Bravest for Rusk’s “Being Sexy” Product Sneak-Preview! Sonja also promises that the upcoming season of RHONY will be the best yet. I’ll believe it when I see it!

It’s no surprise that Sonja was thrilled at the opportunity to ogle some hottie firefighters. “I have worked over the years with Katherine Kostreva who produces the charitable calendar featuring the nation’s sexiest firemen,” Sonja informed OK Magazine. “I once attended an event of hers with local FDNY firefighters to benefit the ASPCA, a charity near and dear to my heart. I support animals, artists, the LGBT and children. I also admire what these men do to keep our families safe and let’s be honest… they are HOT!” Indeed, that’s the important thing!

And since Sonja is ALLLL about sex, she shared what’s sexy to her. “Intelligence, confidence, power, humility, sense of humor and an ability to take care of his home.”

As for how Housewives is going with the new additions, Sonja is excited for the new season which is currently filming. “Every season is so different because our lives are rapidly changing at all times,” she explained. “This season will be the best season ever. TRUST ME!”

Sonja also shared that she spent her holiday vacationing in Palm Beach, Fl. Lucky lady!

Speaking of holidays, Jill Zarin apparently survived a power outage by the light of her Menora! While she was vacationing in Aruba a Christmas day blackout at the Aruba Surf Club Marriott caused her to grab the candelabra she packed for Hanukkah celebrations and light up!

“My Hanukkah menorah saved me.” Jill told the NY Post, “I have the craziest stories. It’s unfortunate that the cameras don’t follow me anymore.” Right — didn’t she just say in a recent interview that being on reality show turned her into a “monster“?

Jill said she put the emergency lighting in her grandchildrens’ room so they wouldn’t be in the dark. Sadly for Jill the power outage prevented her from hearing her name announced as a guest judge on Top Chef! “I couldn’t even watch myself on ‘Top Chef,’ ” Jill lamented.

Wait — Why exactly is she judging Top Chef? Does this mean La Zarin will be judging this season’s finale? Say it ain’t so!

[Photo Credits: WENN.com]

DO YOU THINK THIS WILL BE THE BEST SEASON YET OF RHONY? WHAT ON EARTH IS JILL DOING JUDGING TOP CHEF?

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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