Top Chef
Into The Fire

Episode Report Card
Keckler: C+ | Grade It Now!
Food, Fire, and Frog Legs
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Now that I've had Duran Duran's song, "A View to a Kill," in my head all week, shall we get to the new season?

Our new host, Padma Lakshmi, drones to us about what Top Chef is all about. She also introduces Colicchio and Gail, and I am psyched to see glimpses of an upcoming episode where Gail will get to say, "That dish made me nauseous." Heh. Padma (how long before I can start calling her "Queen Amidala"?) introduces herself as "Judge, cookbook author, and a lifetime lover of all things culinary," as we get cutaways of the first Indian Supermodel shoving stuff in her mouth. She might as well add that she's the lifetime lover of all things Rushdie as well. We learn that this year's finale will be in Hawaii and, having returned from a nice long trip to Big Island and Oahu last month, this makes me irrationally excited. I wonder which island it is. The other prizes are still a kitchen full of Kenmore appliances, a feature in Food & Wine magazine (which, having seen last year's feature, is no big), cooking at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colorado, and $100,000 to "kick start their culinary career." This year, the prize money comes from GladWare kitchen products. $100,000 gets you a lot of Tom Bosley.

We get the same opening as last year: the song without words that the Evil Dr. Mathra was humming all summer while I caught up on season one recaps, interspersed with shots of the contestants. The captions call it "upbeat techno."

We're in LA, and it's all so unfamiliar to me! Sad. Oh well, let's meet the cheftestants. Josie (if you want last names, go to Bravo and read the unreadable bios) arrives at the airport. She's from New York, where she's a sous chef at Marlow and Sons in Brooklyn. Dipping into Josie's application video, we get shots of Josie's girlfriend, Caitlin, so we know Josie's A LESBIAN. You know, just in case that fierce mod-Asian mullet didn't give it away.

We move on to Betty, who tells us she used to be an actress. Cutting away to Betty's application tape, we see Betty doing really unfortunate jumping jacks. Betty goes on to say she's already a cook and happens to own an "award-winning restaurant in Los Angeles." Her restaurant is Grub, and Betty thinks the prize money would really help her out. Looking at her menu, I think that the money could go a long way towards buying her some creativity. Truth be told, I just don't see the next Top Chef being one who does tap-dancer jumping jacks in her application video. It's just a hunch.

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Top Chef




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