It's about time Top Chef got to New York, and the Season 5 premiere proved that New York will most definitely be a thrilling line of challenges and drama!
The chefs started out meeting up on a ferry which landed them right in the Tom and Padma no mercy zone. They started up right away with a quickfire challenge where each chef had to peel a number of apples... without a peeler, but with a knife - oh the horror!
This actually did get a little horrifying as one of the poor guys, Richard, chopped right into his thumb during the peeling, but he continued on to get past that round of the challenge, bloody apples and all. But in real life it was not that intense since he had a band aid on his thumb on the zoomed in shots, so clearly, they took a break, bandaged him up, and then let him keep peeling and bleeding. Ew. I actually think Tom passed Richard through because it'd be pretty unsanitary and gross for him to have to go on to the next rounds of chopping then cooking these apples.
But bloody apples aside, the cheftestants had to continue with a few more rounds, which after the first round left the stuffy Stefan the winner who was safe from elimination in the upcoming elimination challenge, and poor Lauren, who was there partly to distract herself from her husband being away in the army, to be the first eliminated.
The chefs then got the utter joy of picking knives already for their first elimination challenge in which 2 people received the same NY neighborhood where they had to go shop and make a dish of that area's cultural cuisine.
Throughout the time with the chefs chilling in their new apartment and their shopping, my favorites became Patrick, Richard, and Danny. Patrick because he is an adorable yet intelligent chef and he seems like he'd be a fun one to keep around, Danny because his ridiculous beard is hilariously shaved in just two little spots right by his mouth and he seems like a good chef, but not a pompous one, and Richard because he is adorable, sweet, and fun plus all that good chefness to him as well. Unfortunately, though, Stefan is proving to be the most butt-kicking chef, but his attitude... well I'm hoping it's just misunderstood confidence, but I just don't have a good feeling about this guy!
So speaking of Stefan, he not only won immunity from the quickfire, but also ended up winning the elimination challenge as well! Look out, chefs - as Padma noted before announcing the winner, in all but one of the previous seasons, the chef who won the first elimination challenge went on to win the title of Top Chef!
The rest of the chefs did reasonably well with the challenge, even those like Gene who knew nothing about their cuisine, yet cooked a great dish with the ingredients they found. Those who did not find success with their cuisines were the adorable youngster Patrick, and the 20-year culinary "veteran," Ariane.
Patrick's downfall was the fact that he tried some black noodles he'd never worked with before for his Chinese dish that ended up far too gooey, and Ariane failed at the basic of properly cooking her grains. This led to Patrick's demise, making him no longer the youngest chef in the competition, but the first to pack his knives and go from an elimination challenge.
He did hit the bottom two in the quickfire, so I suppose that ended up being telling for him, but at least he can go home and call his college friend Lauren who actually was eliminated from the quickfire to not feel so bad because he was gone next... or maybe feel worse?
Nonetheless, he has plenty more time to show the world his cooking skills, so it's not too horrible a Top Chef loss. I'd say we should be keeping our eyes on Stefan, Gene, and Richard among maybe a few others who have yet to really prove themselves in the competition!
Photo courtesy of TVGuide.com