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Tag: Top Chef (61-70 of 108)

Padma Lakshmi blogs 'Top Chef All Stars': Episode 3

Padma-LakshmiGail was off for last night’s Top Chef but will be back next week. For Gail-less weeks of the Bravo series, turn to EW.com to find out which judge will be blogging. This week, host/judge Padma Lakshmi shares her thoughts on last night’s challenges. (As told to Archana Ram.)

Last night we had an incredibly hard Quickfire. I really felt for the cheftestants because what they had to do was very difficult in the time they had. Frenching all those lamb chops is really difficult and it has to be done really perfectly. Turning the artichokes — those are things you have to do with precision and anytime there’s speed involved, the precision suffers. It was really striking a balance between the precision and the clock, which is always an issue on our show. The clock is their worst enemy. They knew the faster they got done, the more the time they’d have to cook and that’s what they’d be judged on, but if they took too long, they were never going to get to cook, and so on.

There were times when David Chang would get close to the chefs to check out their work, and I purposefully hung back because I didn’t want to be in their way. Normally, when we go around for the Quickfire, I’m right there like the guest judge, but I just wanted to give them space because they were so frenzied, and they had knives in their hands. READ FULL STORY

'Top Chef All-Stars': Hidden Truffles of Week 2!

You didn’t think I’d suppress my hidden gem-hunting nature for four whole months, right? Many thanks to the few, the proud, the Top Chef recap-readers who nominated Hidden Truffles this week! After the jump, Tom sprouts pigtails, Happy Dale gets frisky with a tube of Ritz Crackers, Casey wakes up with someone’s patterned-panted butt in her face, and more! I’m like a pig in dirt, now more than ever. READ FULL STORY

Gail Simmons blogs 'Top Chef All-Stars': Episode 2

Gail-SimmonsImage Credit: Kelsey McNeal/Bravo(As told to Archana Ram) The biggest challenge as a responsible adult cooking for kids is you want to make it nutritious and taste great, too. The problem is a child’s palate always wants the sweetest, junkiest foods and that can trip people up, which is what it did for many people in last night’s Quickfire. It was difficult for our chefs to separate what they were being asked to do: Cook something for the kids that would be chosen by the adults — at least for the first half of the challenge.

Joe Jonas — heartthrob, musician extraordinaire — narrowed it to the top two and we let the diners decide, and of course they went for the more sugary dessert, but it was also the most fun. There was no problem with Tiffani’s being sugary because we didn’t tell her not to make it sugary. That wasn’t the challenge at hand. It was supposed to be a fun decadent treat. Hers was fun and played to familiar flavors in a new form the kids probably hadn’t seen before. READ FULL STORY

Gail Simmons blogs 'Top Chef All-Stars': Episode 1

Gail-SimmonsImage Credit: Kelsey McNeal/BravoHi, guys! Welcome to my very first Top Chef All-Stars blog!*

All too often, a fan favorite or a person who we know is really excellent doesn’t win. So I think Bravo thought, “Let’s bring back all those people—who we’re constantly being asked about, who are on our radar, who we know our audience loves—to compete against each other.” This season, there’s nothing separating the best from the weakest.

I have nothing to do with the casting process, but when All-Stars was announced, people were writing and tweeting me about Kevin Gillespie and Brian Voltaggio [from season 6], two of the most compelling characters and the most talented chefs we’ve ever had. It would’ve been pretty amazing to see them compete. And I’m sure Sam Talbot would’ve been a great competitor. There are so many people I would’ve loved to have seen who either weren’t available or perhaps weren’t even asked.

As for those who made it, I was curious to see how the familiarity factor played out. I became friendly with many of the contestants after they left the show, and the culinary world is a small place, so once you’re on Top Chef, you become a part of this family. When we first walked on the set in The Russian Tea Room and I saw them all, I had this instinct to run up to them — “Hey! How are you? How’s your wife? How’s your son?” — but of course I had to stop myself. But it’s almost easier to be impartial because there’s no one who can claim any sort of edge when they’re all that good.

The contestants also arrived in a different head space. READ FULL STORY

'Top Chef: Just Desserts' winner speaks: 'My life has been exploding all around me'

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t yet seen last night’s finale of Top Chef: Just Desserts, do not click any further! But if you’re already in on the news, click ahead to check out our Q&A with the the cooking show spinoff’s first winner.


Under-appreciated Entertainer of the Year: Round 1 rages on with players from 'Parenthood,' 'Grey's,' 'Top Chef,' 'Runway,' etc.

Underappreciated-Entertainers-6BImage Credit: (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Rahim, Anderson, Derry, Guerra) Roger Arpajou; Saeed Adyani; Lifetime Netowrk; David Geisbrecht/BravoI feel under-appreciated. Now girls, help me out, if you know what I’m talkin’ about,” sang Christina Aguilera on the aptly titled “Underappreciated,” a terrific but lesser-known cut from 2002’s underrated Stripped CD. And sadly, that’s a sentiment familiar to the 64 participants in EW.com’s first annual Under-appreciated Entertainer of the Year single-elimination bracket tournament.

As Day 6 of our first-round matchups continue, you’re going to have some brutal choices to make: Project Runway‘s Mondo Guerra and Top Chef‘s Tiffany Derry already got robbed on their respective reality series this year, yet one won’t even survive the initial duel of this bracket game. Parenthood‘s Peter Krause has done incredible work on a show that’s struggling in the ratings, while Sara Ramirez somehow fails to get the same awards-season love as many of her colleagues on ABC’s hit Grey’s Anatomy. Alas, you can only vote for one of ‘em.

We’re also showing mad love to some musicians and movie actors who deserve bigger commercial and/or critical success than they currently receive. In the former category, we’ve got Ray LaMontagne facing off against The Gaslight Anthem, and in the latter, it’s Tahar Rahim (A Prophet) taking on Joe Anderson (The Crazies).

Click here to check out our entire bracket of 64 reader-picked competitors, then cast your ballot on Round 1, Day 6’s match-ups in our highly scientific polls after the jump.Underappreciated-Entertainers-6AImage Credit: (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Krause, Ramirez, Gaslight Anthem, LaMontagne) Chris Haston/NBC; Adam Taylor/ABC; Ashley Maile Record 20875480 READ FULL STORY

'Top Chef: Just Desserts' poll: Zac's cake wreck

“I just love the whimsy of the water,” Zac trilled in an attempt to distract the celebrated couple from the fact that his cake looked like something out of a roughly handled children’s coloring book called Pirates Just Want to Have Fun. “The white chocolate is a sea foam and kind of a play on your bikini strings,” he told Sylvia Weinstock of Sylvia Weinstock Cakes. (Read full recap.)

Annie on Twitter: @EWAnnieBarrett

'Top Chef: Just Desserts' recap: Bake me a (wedding) cake as fast as you can

Top-Chef-DessertsImage Credit: Kelsey McNeal/BravoIs it just me or has this competition gotten intense fairly early into the season? Usually at this point in a regular Top Chef season, I can’t remember anyone’s names (though Eric’s is still a troublesome one) let alone feel like I intimately know anyone’s skills or talents.

But last week, Seth spiraled out of control into Red Hot oblivion and this week (episode 3, mind you) the Quickfire demanded our hopefuls tackle one of the pastry’s world’s most difficult, time-consuming tasks—making a wedding cake—in 1.5 hours. That’s sheer genius madness.

They were being judged by Mrs. Wedding Cake herself, Sylvia Weinstock, a mixture of your everyday adorable grandmother and the late fashion editor-turned-Old Navy ad woman Carrie Donovan (R.I.P.).

Making something that normally takes days, if not weeks, in less than two hours prompted Zac to ask, “Have they been snorting buttercream?” READ FULL STORY

'Top Chef All-Stars' to debut Dec. 1 with the chefs we loved -- and a new guest judge

Anthony-Bourdain-top-chefImage Credit: Michael Lavine/BravoCall it sweet justice for us fans, but after a snooze-worthy seventh season of Top Chef, the cooking competition is returning Dec. 1 (10 p.m.) for an All-Stars edition in New York City with some of our favorite past contestants, including Richard Blais (season 4), Fabio Viviani (season 5), Jennifer Carroll (season 6) and — the one I’m most excited about — Carla Hall (season 5). Judging by the full roster, Bravo went for talent in the kitchen as opposed to talent for drama, so expect a nail-biter of a season. Check out the complete list of 18 cheftestants who’ll duke it out: READ FULL STORY

'Top Chef: Just Desserts' recap: There's no crying in the pastry kitchen!

Top-Chef-DessertsImage Credit: Kelsey McNeal/BravoI can barely keep track of who’s whom at the start of a reality-show season. There are too many people on screen, faces start blending together like grains of sugar and salt in a white bowl, and names like Heather H. and Heather C. don’t help much, either.

But thank you, Seth, for coming out so early in the competition as this season’s nut-job. (It helps my brain immensely.) Sure, Angelo’s erotic relationship with food on this past season of Top Chef was weird, but bursting into a crying fit in front of a guest judge? Proclaiming “I didn’t do it!” like a five-year-old? And building armor out of baking tools to pass the time? Yeah, we’ve reached another level of crazy.

Seth’s antics actually called to mind the lunacy that Kelly Bensimon brought to Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New York City. In the beginning, we thought, “Wow! What a great, kooky addition to the cast.” Then we began to worry, “This doesn’t seem right.” And finally, it devolved into, “She should probably get off this show for her own good—and ours.”

Similarly, we saw only hints of Seth’s off-his-rocker personality last week (claiming insomnia; speeding through the kitchen), but all was forgotten when he won the Quickfire. This week’s Quickfire, though, was a whole different shebang. READ FULL STORY

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