Top Chef Chicago – Week 2: Lions, Tigers, and….Penguins? by phattyjboy

Tom Colicchio

Now on to my favorite show on television. And since I’m fat as can be, I am a licensed authority on food and watching people cook on TV. I burn more calories sitting here thinking about eating the food than jogging. Trust me. This week’s show started off with an Quick Fire challenge at a Chicago Farmers Market. The challenge was that the chef’s could only use five ingredients from the market or the kitchen (along with salt, pepper, butter, and oil). Last week, it looked like my sleeper pick, Mark, would be headed back down under, but he redeemed himself with a win in the Quick Fire despite leaving ingredients behind. One of my top picks, Richard, failed to impress one of his molecular gastronomy idols, Wylie Dufresne, with a eucalyptus-scented chicken leg.

There seemed to be a focus on both Chicagoans, Stephanie and Valerie, as they headed into the Elimination Challenge. They end up on the same team for the Zoo Challenge, which consisted of six teams of three. Each team had a different animal named assigned to them – Bear, Vulture, Penguin, Gorilla, – and they had to cook using the diet of their animals. They were to make four courses and cater a cocktail reception at the Lincoln Park Zoo.

Andrew from Team Penguin won the Elimination Challenge with his yuzu glacier gelee and squid dish (which impressed Mr. Dufresne). Team Vulture also stepped it up as we saw Mark shine once again. His anchovie dish was easily the second favorite among the judges. The hometown girls failed to impress on Team Gorilla except for Antonia’s dish. Team Bear also suffered with another one of my favorites, Dale, on the team; however, his dish was the only good thing to come out of that team.

The judges decided to send Valerie home for her horrendous blini dish. So now with the total down to 14 contestants, here are how my favorites stack up:

– Mark
– Andrew
– Antonia
– Manuel
– Dale
– Richard
– Stephanie (even though she had a bad week)

During next week’s preview, we learn the contestants will go on a field trip. And yes, Tom Colicchio does resemble a bear. A bald bear. Like in “The Great Outdoors”.

Top Chef: Season 4 – Chicago, Baby! by phattyjboy

Season 4

Thank god this show came back on TV. And its in Chicago so you know its going to be good. They started off this season with having everyone meet at Pizzeria Uno (not my favorite Chicago-style deep dish, but it’ll do) and sample some of their pizza. Then the first Quick Fire Challenge is to have them create their own versions of deep dish pizza.

My first reaction is that there is no way they can make the dough the right way, but then they have a pile of dough on a table so this is going to be easy. Ummmm not so. Some of the pizza’s that come out look absolutely atrocious. And the pizza made by Richard actually had peaches in it. Judge Rocco DiSpirito actually ended up liking it, but I was only appreciating anyone that had sausage on their pies. This is Chicago, baby. Not California or Georgia.

They moved on to an Elimination Challenge where the winners of the Quick Fire got to pick who they went up against head-to-head, but then the losers of the Quick Fire get to pick which dish to cook. The challenge was to pick a classic dish off of a chalkboard that the lovely Padma Lakshmi flipped over for us. Did you see that dress she was wearing? Damn, girl.

Anyways, I was just amazed by how many people were on this show and didn’t know how to cook these classic dishes. How the hell do you not know what Chicken Piccata is? I did really feel for the people who got stuck with the souffle though. And I just felt bad for the girl, Nimma, who couldn’t make shrimp scampi. She just looked like a lost deer. You have to have confidence on these shows, Nimma. And a faux hawk apparently.

The big conspiracy in the first episode happens to be that two of the contestants, Jennifer and Zoi, are actually lesbian lovers. I think that actually makes it harder for them because they have to compete against each other. And girls are so catty and bitchy. Are lesbians catty and bitchy? I’d assume the ones that don’t look like boys are. Hmmmm…..

Anywho, here are my early predictions for contestants who will make it into the Top 7:

– Richard
– Stephanie
– Antonia
– Andrew
– Dale
– Jennifer
– Mark

This season will definitely be just as exciting as Season 3. Lots of pottymouths though. I hope my mommy doesn’t hear the bleeps on the TV and turn it off. I gotta move out of the parent’s house. Just for Top Chef.

If you want to check out a Season 4 Preview or a recap of this week’s show, visit

Watch Top Chef. Trust Me. by idontknowmuch

Top Chef’s new season is being shot in Chicago, so let’s hope we see drunken pictures of the host Padma Lakshmi around town. There is something about her that sort of puts me off until I see pictures like this:

Pad Lakshmi

I’m a bit of a bit food nut and I can normally watch cooking shows without bringing sex into them (unless Giada DeLaurentiis is on), but now I get to enjoy both on Top Chef. And not only can the girl look incredibly hot when she wants to, but she’s also got a brain, she can cook, and she likes old fat guys. Now all I need to do is get old and I’ll have a perfect little woman to take care of me. That and make a couple million dollars.

Bonus pic:

Padma Lakshmi ass