Did you watch the first episode of Top Chef season 9? I was super duper stoked about Louisville cheftestant Edward Lee, the head chef and owner of 610 Magnolia restaurant. If you didn’t see the episode, do not read below. ***SPOILER ALERT***
Photo courtesy of Ron Bath | Business First
This season takes place in Texas and with 29 chefs being picked with only 16 moving forward, odds were already stacked against Chef Lee. But this is a guy who in 2010 took on Iron Chef America Jose Garces and whipped his butt 53-48 in a tongue-and-cheek ingredient showdown. Plus I’ve been stalking the rumor mill about Chef Lee and a Whole Foods employee with a knack for pissing off Bravo- so I was both hopeful and tipped off.
For the 9th season all judges were returning, Tom, Gail, and denim dress loving Padma, plus Chef Emeril Lagasse (BAM!) Tom Colicchio proves he still has brass balls by immediately sending home Tyler for being a terrible butcher, without even letting him cook. Not only did the arrogant Tyler try to explain to Tom how to butcher a pig (cringe-worthy) but he royally screwed Grayson by leaving her with 3 ounces of tenderloin to work with. His hack job was not Top Chef material.
The next chef to have his dreams shattered was vegan Chef Colin, whose soup spattered plates made his presentation a disaster. He was instantly sent home. Talk about soup Nazi’s!
Chef Lee made his debut in group 2. Rabbit was the meat of choice during the second wave, and Chef Lee chose to battle with a vac machine to give his meat a water bath. But that dang vac machine proved difficult to use and he had to ditch his efforts. #$%@! So Lee was forced to detour the obstacle by giving the rabbit a traditional butter poaching instead. He ended up presenting the judges with a duo of rabbit with butternut squash puree. Unfortunately, Chef Lee had the technical skill to impress the judges but they all agreed that he did not have a well cooked wabbit.
Another oops moment came from Mina, who forgot to plate the rabbit and was instantly sent home. Ouchy.
This being a 2-part show, we did not get to learn Chef Lee’s fate. Next week all of the chefs “on the bubble” compete in one more challenge to earn a Top Chef coat. But you know who I’m pulling for… #TEAMLEE Who were your favorites?