'Top Chef D.C.' Recap: A Side of Arrogance With Your Chicken Liver Mousse?

Kim Conte

padma lakshmi tom colicchio top chefSeason 7 of Top Chef kicked off last night in -- what one contestant called -- Barack Obama City. It's way too early to get a handle on each of the 17 chefs' personalities or even pick favorites, but one thing is crystal clear from Episode 1: Wow, these folks are arrogant!


Having confidence is one thing, sure, but these chefs act like they already own the GE Monogram Top Chef Kitchen. There's always one or two a-holes in the bunch (remember Michael Isabella from Season 6? Or, better yet, Stefan Richter from Season 5?). But last night seemed to be a competition in which member of the group could display the most cockiness (rather than who could cook the best dish).

Take for example Kenny Gilbert, the chef from Colorado, who in the voice-over during the Quickfire Challenge said the following:

"I wanted to represent not only speed but efficiency and poise and I want everyone to be like, wow, this guy is truly the alpha male."

"Alpha male"??? Ewwwwww. Jerk.

Later Angelo Sosa, the chef from Connecticut, told us:

"I'm confident with my food. Really, I feel like an orchestra with flavors. I really can control every single note. I can tell you when it's going to hit your mouth, why it's going to hit your mouth. That's what I do."

True, he won the Quickfire Challenge and the Elimination Challenge -- both impressive feats right out of the gate.

But, dude, shut up.

And that's only the tip of the iceberg, my friends. Most of the other chefs were more focused on telling us about their resume than actually cooking good food (ahem, low-fat chicken liver mousse) -- a fact which would come back later to haunt them at the judges' table.

The only contestant without a giant ego?John Somerville from Detroit (who I kind of loved by the end of the episode). But he was sent home -- and rightly so. You don't serve pre-made pastry dough on Top Chef! Jeez. Still, his humility was a breath of fresh air compared to the rest of the crew.

I'm excited to watch but I fear it's going to be a long season.

What did you think of last night's Top Chef premiere? 


Image via BravoTV

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