Minxeats on facial hair: "You know, this season could have been great. It could have been the season of the Mustache. Sure, only two of the competitors have mustaches, but both are impressive. The other dude not only had the lip toupee, but he was also named Jorel. Yeah, like Superman's dad. Only skinny and pale and not played by Marlon Brando. I could have had fun spelling his name differently every week, as I did with fellow Kryptonian Ty-Lor last season. I might have even called Jorel 'Ty-Lor' just to see if you were paying attention."
Grub Street on Blessed are the Soup Makers: "Jeffrey, meanwhile, prays his gazpacho will be cold enough in time for the tasting. It’s kind of crazy, when you think about it: One guy is worried his soup is too hot, and the other guy is worried his soup is too cold. It reminds me of a famous story called 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears,' a bone-chilling tale about ursine obsessive-compulsive disorder."
Atlanta Journal Constitution on better than last season: "Much like Texas, we start off this season in the last phase of tryouts, with some more fat to trim before we have our final line up. Fortunately, instead of starting with a small army of cheftetants and wasting two episodes on their mass eliminations, we have 21 chefs split into 4 groups, their fate in the hands of one of the four celebrity chef/judges."
Reality Tea on The Ego: "John pimps himself as the 'most hated chef in Dallas.' Then, in case we're too dim to realize, he tells us that 'hated' basically means "awesome." John says he has a natural talent, and he's the best. Well, there you have it, Top Chef fans. Should we just call it a season and crown him the winner now? Eh, what fun would that be?"
Hit Fix has an interesting idea: "Josh also has a silly mustache, though somewhat less silly than Jorel's. I guess that hipster trend has infiltrated the food world, though I kind of hope these guys wear little tiny hair nets on their facial hair."
Mary Alice of Charm City Cakes for the Baltimore Sun on The Ego, Part II: "John Tesar begins our introductions with a fabulously arrogant start: He declares he's been given a 'natural talent' and 'Anthony Bourdain says I'm probably the best natural chef he's ever worked with.' I think I speak for everyone when I say: BARF. Anthony Bourdain hates name dropping sycophants and I think you're one, John."
Eater on Puck's Challenge: "Chef Wolfgang Puck auditions his pack of young bucks at his restaurant Cut in Beverly Hills to see who makes the 'cut.' Oh man, that is extremely clever, but I am afraid I cannot take credit for that. Bravo is responsible for that graceful and subtle bit of juxtaposition. I was excited by Chef Puck's challenge, as he asks everyone to make an omelet, and you always hear how many great chefs consider a well-made omelet the mark of a worthy cook. I make some pretty solid eggs, and I was eager to see how these presumably professional chefs tackled the challenge. The answer is terribly. All of these bozos make a bunch of clown omelets. Their omelets look like compost piles. 'My dish is finished with a touch of coffee grinds and garnished with pieces of shell.' Compared to how slick the competition looked for Tom and Emeril, these guys are an embarrassment."
Entertainment Weekly on miscast? "Carla Pellegrino, ex-wife of Frank Pellegrino and chef/owner of Bacio, looked as though she took a wrong turn in the Bravo offices on the way to a Real Housewives of New Jersey audition. She declared out of her puckered mouth, 'I am loud. I'm pretty sure if you ask some people they would call me a bitch when I turn my back. I would call me a bitch, too, sometimes.' I'm pretty sure Teresa Giudice has been heard saying the exactly same thing at least 37 times over the course of Real Housewives. Her Mediterranean omelet got a little messed up, but she covered it with an arugula salad, prompting Wolfgang to say, 'It looks like a woman with a lot of makeup on.' Actually, Carla was the sole target of Wolfgang's borderline misogynistic comments all night, including, 'This stove is like a woman, it never does what it's supposed to do.' Carla looks like she could cut a bitch, so tread lightly, Wolfgang. You may have saved yourself by letting her through."
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Posted on AllTopChef.com