Top Chef New York – Episode 1
Stefan the chef from Finland laid down the gauntlet to the other contestants in the first episode of Top Chef New York by winning both the quick fire challenge and and the elimination challenge. In fact Padma came up with an interesting fact at the judges table where she said in the past four seasons bar one the Top Chef winners had been in the top three in the first episode. So on that equation Stefan, Leah or Gene will be the winner of this series.
But first up one of the 17 chefs was not even going to make it into the groovy Williamsburg apartment. The quickfire challenge was not only going to award immunity but also for the first time be an elimination challenge.
In homage to New York it was a three part apple challenge (get it Big Apple), involving peeling, brunoise the apples ( a posh way to say diced up), and cooking a dish with apple in it.
Stefan won the challenge, and Lauren and Patrick two friends were in the bottom.
Lauren one of the more inexperienced chefs at only 24 was eliminated. “I did not even get to see the kitchen,” she lamented.
The elimination challenge was to team up in pairs and sent to different parts of New York to get ingredients to cook a dish that was based on the ethnicity of that area.
You knew Patrick the culinary student, (I thought the show was Top Chef not Top Student) was out of his depth when he bought the black rice noodles to cook.
Stefan won with his middle eastern dish of a tabbouli salad with a lamb chop and a beef onion skewer. While his other team member Ariane a chef from New Jersey was in the bottom with an under cooked cous cous, a yogurt crusted rack of lamb, and a wheat risotto with dates and chickpeas.
However she survived for another week with Patrick eliminated for his chinese dish of salmon with bok choy and black rice noodles. As Tom Colluchio said “putting Bok Choy on a plate does not make it chinese.”
Elimination interviews with Lauren and Patrick are here.