Posted by: ohmypuddin | November 10, 2011

Top Chef Texas

So. Top Chef Texas.

Before this season started airing, I had such emotions. I heard over the summer when they were here that they were filming. Everyone knew. It was the worst kept secret in Top Chef history. Contestants were spotted at Whole Foods, the Culinary Institute, everywhere. I was almost on an episode.

I’m saying, everyone knew. And it was exciting! Texas was getting a whole season! San Antonio was being recognized as a culinary city!

And then the promos started. Oh the promo

Look, I get it. I’m not stupid. I’ve lived in Texas my whole life. I know that people fall back on horses, steers, cowboy boots and jeans to represent Texas. I know what people think.

But it’s kind of disappointing that, even after coming to Texas and seeing what the state has to offer, they still chose to present Texas that way. It’s so typical, and just kind of deflating.

That was my thought going into the premier. The new format seemed like it would be promising – 29 chefs compete for 16 spots. But the challenges to get there weren’t on level ground, really. Three sets of chefs had different challenges with different time restaurants, proteins, and parameters. Hardly a fair shake. I also found it annoying that they made the chefs introduce themselves, because there’s no point in anyone getting attached to them because 13 of them would be gone by the third episode.

So that didn’t work so well. But I’m glad that one Texas chef made it through – Paul Qui from Uchiko, where John and I had our anniversary dinner earlier this year. He’s the only Texas chef, but if he makes anything half as awesome as the food at Uchiko, he’ll go far.

There’s a lot of speculation about where the Top Chef kitchen was in San Antonio, but everyone’s sure that the house they’re staying in is in Monte Vista.

For those of you who don’t live in Texas probably think it’s pretty hot here. And it is. And they’re going to talk about it A LOT on Top Chef, because they filmed during a 60-day heat streak, where it was over 100 for…ever. It was so hot that you just didn’t go outside at all. Sweating became the norm. Air conditioning was necessary and vital. So you can expect a lot of talk about that.

Other than that, I’m not sure what to expect from this season. I hope they highlight local chefs and restaurants in each city, although part of me kind of doesn’t because then they’ll be harder to get tables at.



  1. You are so right about the weather. It was a brutal summer. I can’t imagine running around in a chef’s jacket in 100 degrees. When they showed the promos, I noticed the melting ice cream and cheftestants passing out…I think that says it all.

    Glad Paul Qui made it in. His food is amazing. Wish Andrew would have made it, but it looks like they bring him back for a second shot.

    Any idea where they filmed? I’m still trying to figure it out.

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