Month: May 2014

Hell’s Kitchen Recap: 12 Chefs Compete

“I didn’t even know Jessica was that emotional,” comments Melanie off of the previous elimination.  Neither did I!  Faced with elimination, Jessica sobs to Chef Ramsay that she used to be homeless.  While sad, I don’t understand what that has to do with Hell’s Kitchen.  “I was too,” comments Joy, “Chef don’t know that; he don’t need to know that.”  I think she’s 100% right about that.  This is a competition about cooking.

On to the challenge!  Chef Ramsay is testing their ability to adapt.  Four domes are placed in front of each team.  Under each dome, there are 6 different ingredients: one for each chef on the team.  When the domes light up, it’s a free-for-all to grab a protein, then a starch, then a veggie, and finally a wild card ingredient.

Michelin Star Chef Michael Cimarusti comes to judge with the option to give either one or both teams a point, as the dishes face off with each other based on protein.

  • In the battle of the New York Strips, Ralph’s with couscous, pistachio, and beets goes up against Kashia’s, which is paired with potatoes, turnips, white cheddar & scallions.  Red wins the point.
  • Rochelle’s lobster & polenta faces off with Richard’s lobster, chorizo, and creme sauce over pasta.  Red again wins the point.
  • Jason’s Spanish-infused sea bass battles Joy’s, paired with tangerine and bok choy.  Blue wins the point here.
  • Gabriel’s coriander-crusted chicken and Melanie’s chicken with glazed parsnips both impress.  Both teams pick up a point.
  • Here’s where things get weird: battle ahi tuna.  Apparently, Jessica thought she was cooking swordfish.  Let alone the fact that one of these fish is white and the other is pink, don’t chefs cook with all of their senses?  You don’t have to see anything to know the difference between tuna and swordfish.  These are very different fish, and gives me pause about Jessica… as if her team needed any more reason to doubt her!  Her pepper-crusted baked tuna with roasted beets falls easily to Anton’s seared over pasta with red wine and tangerine sauce.  Point, blue.
  • Scott’s pan-roasted duck with potatoes faces Sandra’s with sausage and egg noodles, and red wins the final point to win the whole thing!

As a reward, Red enjoys lunch on the beach and a volleyball game with Olympic Gold medalist Kerri Walsh.

Later in the day, Chef Ramsay conducts “evaluations” (think: performance reviews at work) with all the contestants.  In each of these one-on-one meetings, he asks who the weakest member of their team is.

I've always loved Gordon's office... at his desk in his chef's coat... very natural, not posed at all.

I’ve always loved Gordon’s office… at his desk in his chef’s coat… very natural, not posed at all.

There is no dinner service in this episode, but what happens instead is super interesting!  Chef Ramsay takes the lowest ranked chef (as ranked by their peers) on each team, and makes them battle.  They are each to make risotto, scallops, and halibut from the dinner menu.  The best dishes mean the contestant stays for service; the worst mean immediate elimination.  Blue ranked Richard as their weakest chef, while Red ranked Jessica as such.

Both Jessica and Richard have mistakes, and just as Chef Ramsay is about to announce the winner… “to be continued.”  I loved this elimination challenge!  Oh, but a cliffhanger… guess we’ll have to see who goes home tonight!

I’m actually thinking it’s going to be Richard.  Who do you think won’t make it to service?

 

 

Megan Problems

IMG_0197

Last Sunday was the first time I have ever watched Mad Men when it aired.  That seems weird to me, but to be fair, I just became a fan of this show last year.  I’ve spent the beginning of this season catching up on the newly Netflix-ed season 6, and also not having cable.  I caught up thanks to OnDemand last weekend, and after Game of Thrones, I tuned in.

When “The Runaways” was over, I felt listless… most likely because that meant the weekend was over and I’d have to stop procrastinating and go to sleep to face work the next day.  I realized later that the reason I wasn’t super happy with this episode was the lack of Joan.  Joan is my favorite, and her absence left us with the other, lesser leading ladies.

I have some Megan problems.  Trust me, I like Megan way more than Betty, (more on her later,) but especially now, Megan is proving to be a ridiculous choice of a wife.  She is awkwardly threatened by Stephanie and, though polite, does not provide an aura of hospitality.  She makes sure Stephanie is gone before seeing Don.  When Don does arrive, Megan only cares about her party.  Here are my Megan problems:

  • Where did she get all that hair for her look that night?  Megan’s hair is not that long or full.
  • What WAS that threesome scene with Megan, Amy, and Don?  You KNOW Amy and Megan have done that before.
  • I honestly think the last thing Don Draper ever needs is drugs.  Megan, this is not what you’re here for!

If I were Don, I wouldn’t go visiting LA very often either.  As for our other leading ladies, Betty sucked as usual.  I am disgusted by how mad she was at Sally for her nose.  Sally didn’t purposely mutilate her face.  She didn’t even end up breaking her nose.  Sally’s insinuation that somehow her genetic gift of a nice nose was something she willingly bestowed upon her daughter was absurd.  Sally’s pretty awesome these days, eh?

Peggy was pretty good.  Her life is quiet right now, which is eating at her more than we see, I think.  The whole computer cracks me, honestly.  Why would anything ever need to be so large?  What on earth does that computer do that it needs to be so enormous?  Sorry, I love 2014.

Just some thoughts.  I want more Joan.

Amazing Race Recap: Hei Ho Heidi Ho

Teams leave Seville, Spain for Liverpool, England. There, they make their ways to Anfield Stadium, home of Liverpool FC, to score two goals each against a goalie.

Leo and Jamal take a detour and make it to Anfield first.  Jamal’s knee is still messed up from the bullying bulls.  They finish up as Dave and Connor arrive.  “I hope Dave and Connor go home!” says one of the Afghanimals.  Me too, buddy.

Jen and Caroline are terrible at soccer, but the Brenchels are pretty good!  They finish up next, just as Dave and Connor take the field.  You’d think Connor has a bad knee too from his kicks.  Oof.  Jennifer and Caroline manage to make their goals before the father-son team.

The next clue takes them to one of my favorite places I’ve ever been, WALES!  The drive shakes up the order of the teams, but at the aqueduct the teams encounter the Road Block: Poetry in Motion.  On the 15 minute boat ride, a teammate must learn a Welsh gypsy poem and recite it for a language specialist on the other side of the aqueduct.  If you didn’t know before, Welsh is a crazy language!  I really loved this challenge and found myself trying to recite the poem along with them.

Picture 2

Here’s the poem:

Y Sipsi!

Hei ho Heidi ho!

Fi yw sipsi fach y fro

Carafan mewn cwr o fynydd

Newid aelwyd bob yn eilddydd

Rhwng y llenni ger y lli

Haf neu aeaf waeth gen

Hei ho Heidi ho!

All the teams had to repeat the Road Block, but Brendan was the first to complete the challenge, followed closely by Caroline.  Jamal and Connor struggle a bit longer, but finish up in that order.

Now the teams are back to England for the Detour: Shoot It or Boot It.

In Shoot It, teams shoot at clay pigeons.  They must hit 16.  Caroline is surprisingly great at this!  The beat Dave and Connor through this side of the Detour.  In Boot It, the teams fill up a pair of Welly boots with water and throw them.  (I’m… not sure why…)  They must use size 9 or 11.  It actually looks pretty fun.  Brendan’s throws get the Brenchels through this pretty easily, until they realize that they’ve used size 10 Wellies instead of 9 or 11.  Jamal and Leo finally arrive as they are restarting.

The pit stop comes next, which determines the three teams racing for the million dollars.  The teams finish in this order:

  1. Dave and Connor
  2. Jennifer and Caroline
  3. Brendan and Rachel
  4. Leo and Jamal

So, arguably, the strongest team was eliminated!  The navigating ended up doing them in.  I’m going Brenchel all the way in the finale, but really, anyone but Dave and Connor would be great.  (Can he please. stop. mentioning his achilles?)

Who do you think will win it all?!

Clone Club Catch-Up: S is for Saucy

In “Governed As It Were By Chance,” we pick up at the scene of the car crash– Daniel was making Sarah drive herself back into captivity, but it seems that Cal has crushed his truck into the passenger side.  Daniel is possibly dead, and Cal pulls Sarah out.  She snatches his phone.  They try to cover up the smashes car to buy some time.  Cal sets them up in an RV so they can ditch the truck associated with him and the scene.

Alison wakes up in a stark room, amazingly with her high heels still on her feet.  After falling off the stage in her drunken rendition of “Blood Ties,” she’s broken her arm and apparently checked herself into rehab.  Fe comes to see her and tells her to stay throughout her week of rehab to avoid Donnie, her monitor.  Unfortunately, Donnie does pay her a visit and tells her he’s keeping the kids away unless she completes the program.

Helena wakes up woozy, wondering what the creepy farm folk did to her.  Farmer’s daughter Gracie still thinks she’s an abomination.  “Gracie needs to open her heart,” her father says of her.  Guess she really does, because she tries to smother Helena with a pillow and send her “back to hell.”  We all know Helena wouldn’t go that easily.  She grabs Gracie from behind, “shhhh, you sleep now.”  She encounters the laboratory.  Seeing the equipment triggers her memory about the procedure.  Enraged, she makes her escape, running right by a very confused Art, who’s been camped outside the Prolethean farmland taking photos.

Art's all, "Another one?"

Art’s all, “Another one?”

“Update pls.” comes a text from Rachel to Daniel.  Sarah texts back assuring her, again, to buy time.  She video calls Cosima, who offers her perspective on Project LEDA, referencing the Greek myth Leda and the swan.  In this myth, Zeus comes to Leda in the form of a swan and seduces her.  Their children are half human, half god.  Sarah decides she must leave Kira and Cal for a bit to find Mrs. S.  Cal tells Sarah he needs to know what he’s dealing with.  Sarah gives him the name “Dyad Group.”  Not sure why she says this an not “Institute;” not sure if it’s even significant…

Daniel fights his way out of the wreckage.

Mrs. S meanwhile finds Benjamin and asks for papers to London; she needs to go to see someone.  Benjamin says that if it’s who he thinks it is, she doesn’t need to go anywhere.  “Carlton is here.”  She finds him in a bar, where they reunite (if you know what I mean) in the back hallway.  Super classy, S, you saucy minx.  I am seriously loving her lately!

bow chika bow wow

bow chika bow wow

Unfortunately, Carlton only knew what he needed to know, and S is going to have to follow a trail if she wants to put the pieces together before Sarah does.

Sarah goes to Mrs. S’s house to search for information, where she encounters Fe.  He catches her up, “Alison’s in recovery.  Cosima and Delphine are locked in some kind of transgressive lesbian geek spiral, bound to end in tears.”  Ohh, Fe.  The two work together to uncover an article about scientists killed in a lab accident in a research study headed up by Susan and Ethan Duncan.  Fe connects Rachel Duncan to them, revealing that S has possibly known the whole time.  Daniel’s phone gets another text from Rachel.  Sarah and Fe decide to go to her hotel room (more information as revealed by Daniel’s phone) to do some further investigating.

In the hotel room Sarah discovers that Rachel is living with a boy toy.  She also views a video tape revealing Rachel’s childhood– a playful and loving upbringing with the British scientists Susan and Ethan Duncan.  Her viewing is interrupted when boy toy comes home– Daniel!

After a good game of cat and mouse, Daniel knocks Sarah out and zip ties her up in the shower.  She correctly guesses that he is Rachel’s monitor.  Though he can’t kill her, he’s very willing to hurt her badly.  Her screams echo through the hotel room, but there is another sound.  Daniel goes to investigate and out of the din he stumbles, bloody, and falls.  Helena steps out, covered in Daniel’s blood.  Sarah’s screams resonate louder, “Helena!  Stay away from me!  I shot you; you were dead.”  But Helena pleads for her help, “they took something from me,” she says, and hugs her sister.

IMG_0519

Back at the Prolethean homestead, we see that a new life has begun…

* * *

Well, looks like this is Helena’s in to the Clone Club!  I finally like her in this episode; I actually really like her now!

Who I’m really curious about is Rachel.  We haven’t seen her in so long now.  Is she really a self aware clone?  And why, if she grew up loved, is she so clinically frigid?

I say this every week, but Tatiana Maslany absolutely blows me away every single episode!  Can’t wait for next week!

Charizard, Hoenn, and the most excited I’ve ever been

TGIF, guys!  Seriously, it has been quite the week.  I need me some weekend in the worst way.  Amidst some unpleasantness this week, the Pokémon Twitter feed made me smile by announcing it was Charizard week!  Charizard is my first favorite, and perhaps still is the ultimate.  Seeing this awesome Charizard pokémon card collage made the stress temporarily melt away.

as tweeted by pokémon

as tweeted by pokémon

The best news, however, came on Wednesday… and by best news, I mean best freaking news I could think of.  I’ve been wondering when a new pokémon version would come out for a while now.  I didn’t expect anything, but I was itching for a new adventure.  It’s also worth mentioning that Gen 3 is my favorite generation.  Of course I loved the original, but the Hoenn region was just so appealing to me– the range of geography, the imaginative towns!  Gen 3 also features the remakes of the Gen 1 games, so that helps boost its status with me, but really it’s Hoenn that I want.  The Gen 4 remakes of the Gen 2 games made me love them more, but I still love Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald more than anything. On Wednesday, crazy pokémon fanatics like me got news of a dream come true: HOENN REMAKES!!  OMEGA RUBY & ALPHA SAPPHIRE!

I can’t wait to see Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire!  There’s like no information on them yet, but they are reservable at Game Stop and you can bet I will be reserving them both!  I will be counting down the days until November! Thanks, Pokémon for making my entire week! Any Hoenn trainers as excited as I am?!

Hell’s Kitchen Recap: 13 Chefs Compete

Last week’s episode was in classic Hell’s Kitchen format.  Girls of the Phi Mu sorority come out for the challenge.  Hell’s Kitchen is hosting a dinner to celebrate the 160th anniversary of their sorority.  The party planning committee came forward to vote on the dishes they wanted for their menu.  Since Phi Mu was founded in Georgia, the ladies requested Southern cooking.  Chef Ramsay had each team prepare a chicken dish, a seafood dish, and a beef dish.  The winning dishes make it to the next night’s menu.

IMG_0508

Phi Mu sister Kayla picks her favorite dishes

Chicken:

  • Red presents fried chicken with mac and cheese and collard greens
  • Blue presents twice-battered fried chicken with a mushroom sauce

Blue wins the point.

Seafood:

  • Red presents shrimp with grits
  • Blue presents blackened catfish with green beans and grits

Red wins the point.

Beef:

  • Red presents a ribeye with sautéed string beans
  • Blue presents a ribeye with candied yams and collard greens

Red wins the final point!

As a reward, the ladies head off to Las Vegas!  Their reward includes a $500 shopping spree at the Caesar’s Palace shops, dinner cooked by Chef Ramsay’s mentor Guy Savoy, and a pep talk from past Hell’s Kitchen winner Christina Wilson.  Blue gets the pleasure of setting up the dining room for Phi Mu, including glittering their letters for the event.

The next night’s dinner service is a bit rocky… both teams struggle with chicken!   Kashia keeps saying “flustrated,” an accidental portmanteau of “flustered” and “frustrated.”  She said this in a past episode and I let it go, but she says it so many times in last week’s episode that it’s entirely clear that she does not know what the word is.

The night’s dinner service was all about team work, but the kitchens lacked the sisterhood and brotherhood that Chef Ramsay was hoping to achieve.  He declares Blue the winners and has Red make nominations.  When Kashia mentions that she wants to put Jessica up for elimination, Jessica throws a hissy fit.  How old is this chick?  It’s a show on which people get eliminated… did you not see this coming?  Now, I do think Jessica is a strong chef, but she did not keep it together with the chicken!

Red nominates: Bev, who couldn’t keep it together on garnish & Jessica, who starts pouting again immediately

Rightfully, Chef Ramsay eliminates Bev.  She complains about the red team being a bunch of cry babies as she exits.  She’s right, to an extent, but at least they can cook.  Bev’s been lagging for weeks.

Do you think Chef Ramsay made the right choice?

With the teams now even, who do you think will be the next to go?

TV Black Hole: Alien Invasions

If you’re following me on twitter, you might know that I got cable installed last week! In the four years I’ve lived in this building, this is the first time it’s been available to us. I’m super excited to play around with On Demand and live tweet again. After Orphan Black this weekend, I got stuck in one of those cable black holes and caught a very interesting program on BBC America: The Real History of Science Fiction. It brought up so many things I love, and reinforced how much I really love this genre.

The episode that played this weekend, Invasion, chronicled the history of alien invasions in our science fiction. It all started with the H.G. Wells story, “The War of the Worlds” and the radio broadcast that made it so famous. This plays on the fear of an alien invasion of earth and inspired movies such as “Independence Day.” The episode touched on a couple of my favorite shows, Doctor Who and The X-Files.

It never hurts to see David Tennant on TV!

It never hurts to see David Tennant on TV!

In Doctor Who, we have maybe the only example of aliens that do not look like humans in costumes: the Daleks. The iconic Daleks are virtually indestructible, ruthless killers without a shred of humanity. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Doctor Who gives us the Cybermen. Cybermen want humans to become them— they replace everything that makes you human until you become a Cyberman. This is a similar concept to “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.”

This idea of science going too far ties in with Godzilla, and even Jurassic Park— why isn’t that on Netflix? I want to watch Jurassica Park now! This was one of many Steven Spielberg movies brought up in this program, as he sort of pioneered the next generation of the invasion movie with “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” This explores the concept of aliens as a friendly pursuit, not for malicious invasion purposes. This was explored from a child’s perspective with “E.T. the Extra Terrestrial,” a little alien far, far from home.

The show brings up another movie that I randomly loved to explore the idea of aliens living peacefully among us, “Men in Black.” I didn’t realize how much this concept of invasions was integral to the science fiction genre I love!

I’m thinking I’ll be watching this program again next week. If you like Sci Fi, I recommend you check it out.

 

{photo via BBC America’s website}

Amazing Race Recap: Bullying Bulls

I’ve now watched their original season plus Unfinished Business, and my love for Jet and Cord has reached its peak. I was totally Team Cowboys going into Sunday’s episode.

The teams left Zurich for Seville, Spain. Since last week was a non-elimination leg, the last place team, Jennifer and Caroline, have to complete a Speed Bump along this leg. They seem to actually have a skill set in Spain, one of them having lived there in college and speaking enough Spanish to get around.

Roadblock:

Paying homage to The Barber of Seville, (and a song that instantly brings me back to the intro scene of Mrs. Doubtfire,) one teammate had to shave a balloon covered in shaving cream with a straight razor within 60 seconds. If the balloon popped or they could not remove all of the shaving cream within the allotted time, they’d have to start over. A man belted out songs from the aforementioned opera during the Roadblock, just to help improve concentration.

Speed Bump:

Jennifer & Caroline’s Speed Bump was to deliver six hams to a shop in Seville. While this slowed them down a bit, the Cowboys were having trouble with directions and were slowed down as well…

Detour: Spanish Steps or Running with the Ballz

Both detours were visual joys for me! In Running with the Ballz, teams slide themselves into these adorable, cartoon-y, inflatable bull bumper balls. What happened next was not so adorable…

Picture 1 As “bulls” the teams had to run through alleys looking for posters with the motto, “A matador never thinks about his own death.” While looking for these words, other bumper bulls play human bumper cars at full force. They sent racers flying, rolling, and one (Rachel) whining! It was quite hilarious. The Brenchels, Afghanimals, Cowboys, and Dave & Connor chose this Roadblock.

In Spanish Steps, the teams had to learn and perform a flamenco dance. Jennifer and Caroline chose this, and the Cowboys were U-Turned by the Afghanimals and had to complete it too.

These outfits totally work for them! …who knew this did it for me?

Well, that U-Turn sealed the fate of my beloved Cowboys.   I’m officially bad luck, because I declared my allegiance to Jet & Cord right before the episode in which they were eliminated. I’m so bummed at the results:

  1. Dave and Connor
  2. Brendon and Rachel
  3. Leo and Jamal
  4. Caroline and Jennifer
  5. Jet and Cord

I just though that Jet and Cord really deserved the win. They’re the least drama-filled team I’ve ever seen on the race while still being exciting and endearing. “Can I ride your horse?” Cord asks as they make it to the mat in Seville.

This horse was great.  It bowed!

This horse was great. It bowed!

I’ll miss these guys a lot for comments like that, and this, their final sound bite:

“Oh my gravy, I’ve been around the world three times!”

Clone Club Catch-Up: Who’s Your Daddy?

The latest episode of Orphan Black, “Mingling Its Own Nature With It,” gives us two important answers– (1) we get to find out what the hell Alison’s musical is all about, and (2) we learn who Kira’s father is!!  We also (kind of) meet another clone.  Here’s what happened, clone by clone:

 

Sarah:

Sarah and Fe are on the road and pull a con job with Kira so she can have something to eat.  Sarah knows she needs a proper bed and knows of a place they can stay.  They break into a house, kind of cabin-like and off the beaten path, to stay for the night.  As Sarah and Kira sleep, Fe hears the someone coming home.  In walks Cal, who we learn is Sarah’s old boyfriend slash mark from a con job.  Perceptive as ever, Kira comes out and asks Cal if he’s her father.

We find out that cute, bearded, and flannel-clad Cal is indeed Kira’s father.  Fe gets upset, knowing Sarah came here purposely so Kira could get to know her father.  He feels that there’s no place for him there, and leaves to support Alison’s opening night.  Sarah and Cal rekindle some romance at a completely inopportune time, and the little family seems to be getting comfortable with each other.  When Kira goes out to feed the chickens, Daniel, who has been snooping around, comes and grabs her.  She yells for her mother, and Sarah trades herself for her daughter.  Daniel forces her to drive.  He’s pleased having Sarah in captivity, but needs Kira too.

Alison:

Alison's antagonistic vacuuming might be the highlight of this episode.

Alison’s antagonistic vacuuming might be the highlight of this episode.

Angie is on Alison’s case, but thankfully Alison is suspicious.  She thinks she’s a second monitor now that she’s figured out Donnie.  Even when Angie comes out as a cop, Alison is evasive.  Good girl, Alison.

Opening night of “Blood Ties,” an apparent murder musical, is upon us.  You’d think Alison would be able to really connect with this character, but of course, she is drinking heavily.  She stumbles through her lines, and stumbles right off stage, collapsed onto the floor.

Cosima:

Cosima and Delphine are at work at the Dyad Institute.  We learn, as does Cosima, of Jennifer, another clone who had been living in the US.  She was the first to show symptoms of respiratory troubles, even before Katja.  She died three days prior, but left behind hours of video footage from her time undergoing treatment at the Dyad Institute.  Cosima and Delphine autopsy her body to investigate the sickness.

Helena:

The Proletheans are intent on making Helena part of the family.  There’s some sort of handfasting ceremony, and the creepy indication that they want to see if Helena can get pregnant.  Well, this is certainly a different situation for Helena.  She’s not a threat anymore, for now anyway.

 

I find myself continuously forgetting that the talented Tatiana Maslany is playing all of these characters!  If next week’s episode is true to the preview, it’s sure to be an amazing one!  And guys, are you following Orphan Black on Twitter?  Whoever runs that account does an amazing job!

What did you think of “Mingling Its Own Nature With It?”  Any theories?  Let me know!

Top Chef BOSTON, baby!

The best judges: Emeril, Padma, Gail, Tom, (with the best dance moves,) and Hugh!

The best judges: Emeril, Padma, Gail, Tom, (with the best dance moves,) and Hugh!

When I first heard the rumor that Top Chef season 12 would be set in Boston, I was excited.  However, you have to take that as what it is: a rumor.  This week, though, my wildest dreams came through when it was confirmed!

To have one of my favorite shows in my favorite city, the city I live in, is news I can’t even begin to comprehend.  When the confirmations were coming out left and right on Wednesday, it was literally all I could think about all day.

Now I’m working on how I can eat the cheftestants’ food this spring/summer…

In light of the good news of what I’m hoping will be my new favorite season, I wanted to revisit my other favorite Top Chef locations, in a top 3 list.

 

3. Season 11 – New Orleans

American Horror Story and Top Chef were both on at the same time, and both were set in New Orleans, so I was all about New Orleans!  I had a couple of favorite contestants this time around including my hometown hero, the wonderful and kind Stephanie Cmar.  Humble brag: I’ve had the pleasure of having coffee with her, and she personally introduced me to season 10 winner Kristen Kish.  Stephanie is awesome in real life and on screen.  My other favorite was the adorable Janine Booth, who I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting but I have tweeted back and forth with her, and that’s nice too.  The great thing about the New Orleans location was the utilization of new-ish judge Emeril Lagasse.  New Orleans is where he made a name for himself.  Emeril, who I used to watch on TV with my parents when I was growing up, gives me a nostalgic feeling that’s nice.  Also, he kind of looks like my uncles.

2. Season 8 – New York City

The second time Top Chef made New York its home was for the All-Stars season.  That it itself is enough to make this one of the best seasons.  Most of my favorites are all thrown together in one season including the  fierce Jen Carroll, hilarious Carla Hall, the joyous Tiffany Derry, and a man whose quotes liter my twitter feed endlessly, Fabio Viviani.  These are literally some of my favorite cheftestants period, so seeing them all in one episode is pure magic.  Fabio is always pure magic and watching his budding bromance with Richard Blais is fantastic.  I laugh every time I rewatch this season.  Actually, all of the contestants on this season were people I liked, so it can sometimes be a bit hard to watch your favorites pack their knives again.  But with so many fan favorites on one season, what’s not to love?

1. Season 6 – Las Vegas

Love those Voltaggios!  Forever my favorite season, Vegas is tied to my memories more so than any other season.  I can tell you what year of college I was in without looking up the year; I can tell you exactly where I was living.  This is the first season of Top Chef (and maybe the first show ever) I live tweeted.  Twitter has been instrumental in my Top Chef experience, and I tweeted through that finale like a fiend!  This is the first time my chosen contestant won the title of Top Chef.  Yes, I cheered for Michael Voltaggio.  The man is unstoppable!  Really, so was Bryan.  The two brothers both had such consistent success throughout the season, and it was amazing to watch.  Vegas, like New Orleans, opened my eyes to a culinary city I never would have expected.  Now whenever someone mentions Las Vegas, I say, “I want to go there!  But to eat!”

 

Here’s hoping Boston is the best season ever!  We have three cheftestants here– Tiffani Faison, Kristen Kish, and Stephanie Cmar.  I’d love to see them pop up on the new season.  I’d also love to see another Boston chef vying for the title.  Mostly, I hope to see Padma or Tom in my city soon!

 

photo via Bravo