Bravo’s Top Chef Masters is really fun to watch. What makes it enjoyable for me is watching these “master chefs” stand over a hot stove, when you consider that many of them haven’t done any real cooking for years.
All of the chefs that compete on Top Chef Masters are accomplished chefs and restaurateurs, and it’s fascinating to see who can withstand the pressure of the competition each week.
The last 3 seasons of Top Chef Masters have featured a bay area chef in the finals. Traci Des Jardins of Jardiniere nearly won Season 3, and Chris Cosentino of Incanto was the winner of Season 4.
In the lead up to the finals, I made no secret of the fact that I was pulling for bay area uber chef Douglas Keane to win, and prevail over chefs Jennifer Jasinski and Bryan Voltaggio.
On the final episode, the chefs had to create something old, something new, something borrowed and something sous (a dish created by their sous chef).
It’s hard to comment on the food and the preparation when you see so little of the cooking, and the judges do such a bad job describing what they are tasting. Regardless, Cyprus chef Douglas Keane was the winner! And it looked like Jasinski and Voltaggio gave Keane a run for his money.
The conclusion of Top Chef Masters - Season 5 meant that Bravo’s Top Chef New Orleans - Season 11 was going to premiere the following week.
I won’t be writing much about the first couple months of Top Chef, because we spend the first 6 to 8 weeks getting to know the chefs, and it’s hard to have an opinion or draw any conclusions based on the first episodes.
Season 11 of Top Chef premiered on Bravo last Wednesday night, and after watching the first episode, I was thrilled that 3 female chefs had the best preparations, and was glad that the cast includes 2 gay chefs this season (one likes pasta and the other likes rice), and that Last Chance Kitchen is returning online.
I was reminded that the one time I tried turtle soup in New Orleans that I liked it, and when I tried frog legs in France I didn’t like them. I have no desire whatsoever to taste alligator. Ever.
Watching Top Chef and Top Chef Masters should be required watching for anyone who likes food or enjoys cooking. When a cook is confronted with cooking a protein that they’ve never worked with, they have to rely on their instinct, experience, and training, to see them through. That’s why an excellent culinary education, working for a great mentor, and years of experience honing one’s technique, is a requisite to compete on Top Chef, and this season’s competition is no exception.
Bravo’s Top Chef New Orleans Season 11 can be seen on Wednesday night at 10pm EST and 9pm CDT.
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