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Top Chef 5.1 — Melting Pot Recap

The fifth season of the hit show Top Chef got off to an exciting start. One of the cheftestants was eliminated before the competition officially started and another cut his finger while peeling apples. Jean-Georges guest judged the New York City neighborhood-centric challenge. To discuss the show in more detail — warning there are spoilers —


  1. Didn't it look really hot in the park?
  2. Don't you love the addition of Europeans?
  3. Can you peel an apple with a knife?
  4. What did you think of the neighborhood challenge?
  5. Who do you think will be this season's hottie? Fabio? Jeff? Stefan?
  6. Do the locals have an advantage?
  7. Dear Patrick: why did you choose an ingredient you've never cooked with before?
  8. Did the editing seem a little leading? I knew the second they introduced Lauren that she was getting booted . . .
  9. During the judge's table Tom said, "We don't learn to cook from a book?" But didn't Tom learn how to cook from a book?
  10. Will more quickfires be eliminations?
  11. Finally, what did you think of the episode? Who is your favorite? Do you think Stefan will end up winning?

Wondering what Padma was wearing? Find out on CelebStyle!


Pallas-Athena Pallas-Athena 8 years
I don't care that this is months later, I'm bored. 1. Didn't it look really hot in the park? It did. 2. Don't you love the addition of Europeans? Love them!!! 3. Can you peel an apple with a knife? Badly. 4. What did you think of the neighborhood challenge? I loved it. 5. Who do you think will be this season's hottie? Fabio? Jeff? Stefan? All three! 6. Do the locals have an advantage? Definitely. 7. Dear Patrick: why did you choose an ingredient you've never cooked with before? Dear YumSugar, I'm not Patrick. 8. Did the editing seem a little leading? I knew the second they introduced Lauren that she was getting booted . . . They usually do this. 9. During the judge's table Tom said, "We don't learn to cook from a book?" But didn't Tom learn how to cook from a book? I don't know. 10. Will more quickfires be eliminations? Definitely. 11. Finally, what did you think of the episode? Who is your favorite? Do you think Stefan will end up winning? I loved it. I love Fabio, Ariane, Stefan, Carla, Radhika, Patrick, and Jamie. Nope because Hosea wins.
vjgun vjgun 8 years
Urgh Lauren was annoying from the get go. Thankfully she's gone. I thought Patrick was genuinely a positive kid but c'mon, the noodles were sad. He was the right one to go home. I like Hawaii guy and Absinthe girl. Yay SF!
ann418 ann418 8 years
Did anyone else notice that those were gigantic paring knives?!? I thought it was funny that a few cut themselves. I can peel a knife with (what I thought was) a normal paring knife, not one of those monstrosities. I'm so rooting for the Colorado people (and I love how there are more than one)!!!
fashion4ward fashion4ward 8 years
Patrick was growing on me- but I knew he'd be sent home first. Lauren was annoying- I'm not disappointed she's gone. Stefan seems very talented and cool- I'm betting on him. That lady from NJ with that cookbook line- I can already tell she is gonna annoy me all season.
Entertainment Entertainment 8 years
Thanks Party! She cracked me up with her rainbow T-shirt too. (And I love that the one Team Rainbow guy totally thinks Tom is hot.)
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
I love how the indian girl is all "people look at me and think i am going to make just indian food, but I make other things" So what does she do? A chutney.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
Hehe Yum, I now have an urge to go peel an apple to see if I can do it.
cddlykoala cddlykoala 8 years
I remember during one of the reunion's Tom said something about how it was unfair of them to pit Candice (Season 1) a culinary student against chefs life Harold and Tiffany who were both experienced restaurant cooks. So when they said Patrick was still in culinary school it seemed a little bit of a back track right? I'm pulling for Stefan, he's Nordic (Jeg Elsker Danemark!), and from Santa Monica (my current base). Plus, ultimately I want the best chef to win. It gives the show credibility, and that credibility is really what makes it so good in my opinion. So excited for this season :)
partysugar partysugar 8 years
BuzzSugar the chef from San Francisco is Jaime. I am rooting for her too. I thought that whole Team Rainbow thing was funny.
Food Food 8 years
I love peeling apples with a knife, but it has to be a good knife, so you won't cut yourself. The Chinese have this belief that if you can peel an entire apple in one piece with a knife, then you're ready to get married.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
1. YES - they were all red faced and sweaty - i know that they started filming in the summer - but that's painful! 2. i love when Fabio said that his english wasn't good and that's why he had to read off a card 3. HECK NO!!! 4. i thought that it was a good original one - and an interesting way to pair people up 5. i'm not sure yet who i like the best...we'll have to see 6. i don't think so - even if you know the neighborhoods - you may not be the best at the cuisine - and what about the folks from Chicago last season with the first Chicago Pizza challenge? 7. if you don't take a risk - then you go home. 8. yea - that was a bit of a given - but remember that their editing is always leading - and typically all in the wrong way 9. He's Tom - he can say whatever he wants right? i'm just waiting for one of the chefs to throw it in his face about the michelin star loss 10. i think that it might - there are soo many contestants and i don't think nearly as many episodes 11. i don't have a favorite yet. i think that there are some that are going to coast - but i don't know who's really great....only time will tell.
Entertainment Entertainment 8 years
I was so sick of Lauren by the middle of the quickfire that I felt relieved she was going home. It's interesting they had Patrick on the show at all considering he's still a student — I wonder what made them think he had the experience/skill to hack it in the competition? So far I'm rooting for Leah and the San Francisco chef whose name I forget, but we'll see. And I agree, Ariane really needs to step up her confidence, because this isn't a show where you can be tentative!
mswender mswender 8 years
I like the European addition, though not so keen on Fabio, I think Stefan looks really strong, although they both are a little arrogant, but as long as they can back it up. I usually peel apples with a knife, but it still takes forever. It is one of my least favorite chores and the poor guy who sliced his thumb. Having lived in New York, I thought the neighborhood challenge was fantastic. My favorite thing about New York are the different neighborhoods, I lived right next to Little India for awhile and recognized the spice shop, it is like heaven in there! Shouldn't most chefs understand the basics of most cuisines? I don't think the locals will have an advantage, the Chicago locals didn't really have one, although Stephanie won. Patrick was a little to green for this whole show. I don't think he would have made it much further. But how do you choose an ingredient that you have never worked with before?! I made a stir fry on Monday night that would have been more Chinese than anything these guys made. I knew she was going home right away. I think Tom was self taught from books, but also experiences and soaking up as much as he can which she has not, apparently. I think Stefan is promising and tattooed hawaiian guy. I have had Jill's food before and although she didn't seem so exciting, her food is delicious and innovative and I am excited to see what she does in the future.
masonsmama masonsmama 8 years
While in theory, I think it's great to include non-Americans, the attitude of the Europeans really annoyed me. Arguing details of what is or is not an emulsion? Really? Last season, Richard was a little arrogant, but still polite and friendly PLUS he backed it up with amazing dishes. To be so rude to the other chefs after one quickfire seemed a little ridiculous.
Rabbit88 Rabbit88 8 years
i am pulling for the hawaiian guy with all the tattoos... can't think of his name... but i already love him! i think carla seems like she is out of her mind ... nutty. ariane is too insecure.. i find her a little annoying. last time they had a chef from ireland he got the boot the first week... so this should be interesting. and my father never used peelers... i've always peeled things with knives.
shoneyjoe shoneyjoe 8 years
I'm solidly behind the Europeans. Attitude or not, they look like they can cook. I've never tried to peel an apple with a knife, though you'd better believe I'm going to try this weekend. And likely slice through my hand and die.
verily verily 8 years
I winced when Patrick chose the rice noodles. My first try on rice noodles resulted in such a horrible gummy mess that I had to toss them out. I admittedly rolled my eyes at Team Rainbow and the European Duo. Is it really necessary to be so cliquish so quickly? They'll probably all be at each other's throats in a few episodes.
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 8 years
Patrick was stupid and chose noodles he NEVER cooked with before. I have to admit, both chinatowns were a mess! I like the europeans but the attitudes need to stop. I am glad there was not that much smoking. I never understand how a chef can taste food if he is smoking all the time!
tralaladdy tralaladdy 8 years
Yeah, the editing made it clear that Lauren would be out. I'm sad about Patrick, though. He seemed like such a cutie. I agree, tlsgirl, that Ariane seemed really insecure. "Maybe I really am as good as everyone says I am." Blech. I sort of wanted her to be out, though I knew Patrick would be out. So sad. The two friends both out. And Team Rainbow has already lost a member! How funny was it when (can't remember his name) said that Tom had really nice eyes and that he would buy him a drink--3, even! I liked him. And I liked Carla. She seemed very spirited. I'm excited about this season.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
So obvious from the editing that Lauren was history. That's gotta be embarrassing...out before the competition even really starts. And I can definitely peel an apple with a knife, mostly because I don't actually own a peeler. Also a little obvious from Patrick's choices that he was a goner. Plus, he did say something like "how hard can it be" in reference to cooking noodles. Don't choose something brand new! I sort of disliked Ariane. She seemed really insecure and like she would become the whiny one really quickly. Blech. I don't know that the locals have an advantage. Maybe for this first challenge, but it seems unlikely that they that will continue.
wren1 wren1 8 years
Stefan does seem like an obvious front runner. I thought both challenges were pretty good, and got the season off to a fun start. I do like the addition of Europeans. Why not? I agree about the editing of Lauren. They kept featuring her so I said to my bf "She's gonna be history" and sure enough... Why did Patrick choose those noodles? I hope they don't have any more quickfires as eliminations because then the season will go by too fast!
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