Top Chef returned last night for its 18th season and this time the reality cooking competition takes place in Portland. Fifteen talented contestants vie for the titular title and much like last year, we’ll be keeping a Power Rankings to see how everyone fares every week.
Since this is an all-new batch of chefs, unlike last season which were all All-Stars, we waited until after the premiere for the first rankings. Positions are determined by performances in the challenges with more weight going towards the elimination. Also, for this week only, the competitors’ honors and awards were taken into consideration since we’re not all too familiar with cast yet.
The current pandemic lingers in the background of Top Chef 18 with references to the impact on the culinary world in the introduction. Also, the modifications the series implemented are very noticeable from the vast kitchen set for social distancing to the mad dash into Whole Foods replaced by online ordering and curbside pick-up.
The quickfire challenge asked the chefs what ingredient they could not do without during the show. They were then placed into teams of three where they created a cohesive dish incorporating their selected ingredients. For the elimination challenge, they had to show the judges who they are as a chef through food. It would be a blind tasting and they had to feature one of the birds Portland is obsessed with: quail, duck, chukar (partridge), turkey, and squab.
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