Top Chef Season 18 - Portland

Heads up - Top Chef is returning April 1st.

StG

This should be interesting in Portland. I suspect there will be at least one food truck challenge.

Anyone watch last night?

I had to wait until this morning. I don’t have cable, so I watch the next day online. Too many chefs right now for me to sort out, but I’m sorry the older guy was auffed. I was sort of surprised it wasn’t the “chukka-fried chukka” guy.

StG

I didn’t instantly hate anyone and I liked a few of them, including the person who lost. But it’s so confusing the first few episodes.

I am tired of Blaise, though. I think I’m alone in that.

No, same. He doesn’t seem to be able to convey that he’s interested in food more than in his own image. He’s a fine enough guest judge, but his Top Chef clock has run out for me.

He tries so hard and I enjoy either someone who is serious (Kevin, Voltaggio bros) or someone who is carefree (Carla).

Wasn’t surprised who was eliminated. I’m afraid the returning contestants are going to try to have something to say too much while judging, but it’s early and so good to have it back.

I really enjoyed tonight’s episode. I thought both challenges were the perfect top chef balance where there’s enough gimme/surprise/twist to make it entertaining, but not so much that it becomes about the gimmick, not about the cooking. I also think having all stars has judges is a great idea. It’s so nice to have these familiar faces with built-up affection around… but whenever they bring vets back to compete against newbies, it’s just a slaughter. So this is a good compromise. And I really like many of the competitors. Of the six who were on the top tonight, I think five are pretty clear favorites, with Avashar yet to impress. But maybe he’ll pull it together.

I liked the Quickfire a lot. I think breakfast is a perfect quickfire type challenge and something that should make a return appearance in some form, in some season.
I was fine with the elimination challenge in general, kind of meh on the twist. I think it’s early enough it would have been interesting just to see them deal with beer or coffee, but I also didn’t think the twist hurt anything.
I’m starting to think the overall caliber of the chefs is lower than most seasons but haven’t locked into that yet.
And the returning guest judges are fun even though it’s a little tough to get 10 opinions on each dish. Producers are doing a decent job balancing that so far.

I really liked the contestant who went home, so that was kind of a bummer. I agree it was a great QF idea. I hated what Blaise did, BUT I don’t blame it on him because I can imagine where that would be producer shenanigans.

What did he do?

He requested a much larger, complicated breakfast than anyone else. It was definitely tv theatrics.

What was great is that both chefs made everything he ordered!