First Quickfire Challenge on 'Top Chef: Texas' is Rattlesnake (VIDEO)

Has 'Top Chef' (Wed., 10PM ET on Bravo) gone all 'Fear Factor' on us? On last night's season premiere the chefs were given their first quickfire challenge, which was to create a dish using rattlesnake. Yum! (Not.) A very unhappy-looking Dakota confessed that she has "a major fear of snakes," and Ty-Lör probably spoke for everyone in the kitchen when he said, "This sucks!" Host Padma Lakshmi was really harsh on the hapless contestants, using some most unladlylike language to get them going: "I'd better some some motherf***ing snakes on some motherf***ing plates at the end of this!" What has happened to Padma since she got to the Lone Star State? As the nervous chefs gingerly opened the ingredient boxes a giant wave of relief washed over them as they realized that they wouldn't be rassling any rattlers after all: The snakes were all dead and skinned. So that makes it all alright then!

'Top Chef: Texas': Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?

First of all, if you don't get that reference, we're taking away your Indy hat. This week on "Top Chef: Texas," the chef'testants have to tackle rattlesnake as a main ingredient. Shudder. In the first clip, host Padma Lakshmi shows her feisty side, saying, "I'd better see some mother f***ing snakes on some mother f***ing plates!" Wow! Padma. Potty mouth.In the second clip, the chef'testants are baffled by the decision by one of their number to purchase pre-cooked shrimp in a cooking competition. Will this be the mistake that sends them home?One thing is for sure. This show is never boring! Also, we're never eating snake, ever. "Top Chef: Texas" airs Wednesday, November 16th on Bravo....

Top Chef Messes Up in Texas

Yeah, yeah, we know, everything's bigger in Texas, but the new season of Bravo's Emmy-winning reality show bit off more than it could chew by starting off with 29 competitors instead of the usual 16. Not only was the process confusing — the second hour of the two-part season opener began with 11 chefs having made the first cut, 10 yet to cook and four more "on the bubble" — but it made it tough to get a taste of most of the contenders. And some of the most promising chef-testants — like Chaz Brown, with his charming middle-school crush on host  Padma Lakshmi  — were cleaved just as we were getting attached to them. Now that Top Chef: Texas  has nearly sliced the field in half, one can only hope the season improves as it boils down the sweet 16 to a lone culinary star.  What did you think of  Top Chef: Texas ' season opener?

Is Bigger Better? 5 Things to Know About Top Chef: Texas

As we all know, everything is bigger in Texas — and that includes Top Chef . The Emmy-winning series hits the Lone Star State for Season 9 — bigger than ever before with an unprecedented 29 cheftestants. That's not the only difference this season though. Here are five things to know before you saddle up for the premiere (Wednesday, 10/9c, Bravo):

'Top Chef: Texas': Pork poses problems for the new cheftestants

"Top Chef: Texas" premieres on Wednesday (Nov. 2) ,and we've got some brand new video previews for you. Things are quite a bit different this season as we head into the Texas leg of the culinary journey that is "Top Chef." We're starting off with nearly twice as many contestants as usual -- a record 29. The premiere will narrow the field down to the 16 who will compete on a three-city tour of the Lone Star State. The competition will take the series to Austin, Dallas and San Antonio, where scheduled guest judges include Charlize Theron, Pee-wee Herman, Cat Cora, John Besh, Tim Love and Patti LaBelle.We've even go some new judges joining the party. Emeril Lagasse and Hugh Acheson will join returning host Padma Lakshmi, head judge Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons. In addition, Colicchio will be hosting a web series called "Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen," which allows eliminated contestants to compete...

'Top Chef: Texas' Premiere Sneak Peek Photos and Video

Everything is bigger in Texas, including the crop of cheftestants on 'Top Chef.' When 'Top Chef: Texas' kicks off (Wed., Nov. 2, 10PM ET on Bravo), 29 contestants will be vying for a chance to compete for the coveted title and prizes on the popular Bravo reality series. This season, Emeril Lagasse and Hugh Acheson join Padma Lakshmi, Gail Simmons and Tom Colicchio at the judges table.

'Top Chef: Texas': Padma Lakshmi's thoughts on the title and weight gain

  "Top Chef: Texas" premieres Sunday, Nov. 2 on Bravo and we can't wait to get our barbecue on. The new season has a brand new element as well: "Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen" will have a weekly battle between two eliminated contestants, with the winner getting a chance to return for the show's finale. The webisodes will air on and will be hosted by Tom Colicchio.During a conference call, host Padma Lakshmi talked about the complaints about the title has drawn from viewers -- specifically the use of an entire state as opposed to one specific city like in other seasons."You know our producers are working very hard to top each season with the next, and you know Texas is a big state," she says. "And after having spent the time that we spent there this summer, I can tell you myself that Dallas is very different from Austin, which is very different...

'Top Chef''s Tom Colicchio and Padma Lakshmi talk Texas

"Top Chef" returns (Wed. Nov. 2 at 10 p.m.), and this season promises to be bigger than ever -- literally. Boasting a record 29 chefs (though all but 16 will be eliminated in the first episode), the show will travel across the entire state of Texas, touching down in Austin, Dallas and San Antonio for challenges. To further spice things up, this supersized "Top Chef" will be tossing in a new webisode feature, which will allow eliminated chefs to seek redemption. In a phone conference call, host Padma Lakshmi and head judge Tom Colicchio discussed the changes to the show and revealed the answer to a truly mystifying secret -- how they stay in (reasonably good) shape.   Though the mass elimination kicking off the show may be unsettling to fans, Lakshmi and Colicchio think this change is an improvement on past seasons. "The idea is that you have to cook yourself into the competition," says Colicchip. "Which is great, because in the past you'd get these great resumes but you'd sometimes get a clunker. And there were people we were led to believe would be great cooks on paper, and they really weren't. This makes a lot of sense." Read More...