Top Chef Season 15 Episode 1 Recap – It’ll Take More Than Pot Luck
Man, what a start to Season 15. The delicious show took no time to get off and running and the first Quickfire was a great test for the chefs. I always think the first few episodes are the toughest to watch because there is so much going on! I can barely remember who each chef is, let alone what they cooked. But there are always a few stand outs and this Season was no exception. Let’s jump right in.
Quick Fire Challenge
The Quickfire Challenge was a great intro to the chefs because there were very few limitations: make a dish for a potluck meal in the Top Chef kitchen. The dish should be something that introduces you as a chef to the judges, your fellow Cheftestants, and the viewers. And you have 45 minutes to do it. The twist to this was that after everyone tasted each other’s food, and the Cheftestants chose the favorite and least favorite.
On the top was sweet Tu, who ended up with immunity for the Elimination Challenge. This guy is going to have to toughen up if he is going to last in the competition. You are way too nice Tu! Quit helping everyone, especially if it is at your own expense! Anyway, his Vietnamese chopped salad definitely said something about him as a chef and won him the first Quick Fire. Also on the top was mustache Joe, who made pasta! This guy is good. Everyone who can make quick and good pasta on Top Chef does well. The other favorite was the Amish Soul Food Cheftestant Chris Scott, who did well in the elimination challenge too. All three of these guys are going to be tough competition.
And then there was the bottom. One of the great things about Top Chef is that you can watch the first Quickfire in the first episode and have a good idea of who is tough and who is weak. Melissa. You didn’t cook potatoes well. Then you said you didn’t cook potatoes often. If you don’t like them, why are you cooking potatoes when you don’t have to (it’s not the Elimination Challenge yet). Then Chef Carrie made a weird Blueberry tomato bruschetta, and Tyler burned his chorizo.
I’m just going to say that I think serving food to 200 people at an outdoor market seems really hard. Especially when it is being judged. Apparently, Hollywood Bruce does this all the time so he wasn’t worried. Ok. Anyway, the chefs had to do their own take on a classic: Meat and Potatoes (Unfortunately for Melissa). Their dishes will be served outside at Larimer Square in Denver.
There were a few complications, and of course poor Melissa had a potato challenge again. This challenge definitely showed creativity from some of the chefs, and it was great watching everyone communicate with the judges and each other. I was surprised not to hear anything from the Cheftestants about the altitude, so I am assuming it is not a problem…yet.
Three chefs came out on top. Fatima’s deconstructed samosa looked amazing, and she was the only chef not to use red meat! To me it was creative and showed off her style better than anyone else. Padma agreed. Who would have thought that Amish Soul Food would become a thing that everyone wants? Christopher’s waffle and chow chow seemed to impress everyone, and it looked fantastic. The first winner was Tyler, who apparently has a potato squishing technique that we all need to try. Will he win the whole competition? Top Chef history says yes.
Disappointingly, all three Cheftestants at the bottom were women. Chef Carrie once again made something that just did not look appetizing or really sound appealing at all. She is going to have to rein it in she wants to stay. Adrienne also faltered, serving an overly sweet potato tostone with added caramel. If anyone knows anything about Tom Colicchio, they should know he is not into sweet food. And the very worst of the week, Melissa. She made a potato puree and dry unseasoned pork. Bye bye Melissa. She honestly seemed like the weakest chef and I totally agree she was the one who needed go home.
Random Observations, Quotes
- Tyler quickly became one of my favorites when the chefs picked their rooms at the new house. He had all the “fat guys with sleep apnea” sharing a room now dubbed the “Bear Den.”
- “Time goes so fast on Top Chef” – duh
- If you can’t cook potatoes, you probably are not going very far.
- Also, when you make mashed potatoes for your first Elimination Challenge, you are not creative enough for this show. And don’t try and mask them as something else Sarah asked me “are mashed potatoes and potato puree the same thing?” Yes, yes they are.
- I’m pretty excited to see what Alaska Laura is going to do. She seemed to handle Whole Foods well even though it was her first time! Also, should Amazon be putting a Whole Foods in Alaska?
- So far, we are not impressed with Bruce, by far the most well known chef. He was unorganized and disheveled and had to rely on others for help.
- Fatima’s girl crush on Padma is actually very endearing.
- We love Tu but hopes he gets tougher.
- My boyfriend called Bruce the Top Chef Kevin Smith, and it was my favorite thing all night.
- Both Joe’s are killing it. It is a “true Joe down throw down.”
- I am kind of already annoyed with Carrie. Maybe she will grow on me…
- I really though Claudette would do better.
- Does Padma always have to go with the sexual innuendo? In today’s climate it seems very inappropriate, and Tom looked a little irritated.
Last Chance Kitchen Recap
And finally, Last Chance Kitchen. This season is different because we have old Cheftestants coming back to compete. My thought is that for the first episodes of LCK, we are going to see the former Cheftestants win because the experience is just too much of a leg up. In traditional LCK fashion, Melissa had to battle her potato demon again. This girl cannot cook potatoes! Again, she lost, so we now have Kwame, Marcel and Leanne battling to get back in the competition. I can’t wait to tune in next week!
We are Really Into the Uproxx Top Chef Season 15 Power Rankings.
Find our Top Chef Season 15 Intro here.