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Recap: Top Chef Chile Season 1, Episode 3 or, Gigi Is Coming Back Next Week(!!!)

By Doris Bravo
Last night’s Top Chef Chile featured a challenge of international proportions.  With distinguished guests from a variety of embassies on hand, as well as a bunch of cooks that weren’t exactly sure what to do with the cuisine of a country they’d never been to (really, you can’t make ceviche?!), it was another shit show of bungled dishes and upset egos.  Back this week with a spot-on look at this week’s episode, it’s our own resident pop-culture expert Doris Bravo, unapologetic and, frankly, a little upset with a Latin lack of Latin knowledge.  Damn. 

[Top Chef TVN]

[Top Chef TVN]

There were no hijinks on last night’s episode of Top Chef Chile. Just a world cultures test gone wrong. I should’ve guessed there was something odd to come when Judge Pamela Fidalgo explained the “prueba de fuego” in the first round. The contestants needed to apply the brunoise technique to onions since this vegetable, though not originating in the Americas, is a staple of the Latin American kitchen. Okay, that’s kind of a roundabout way of setting up this skills test, but whatever. I love a good skills test since I can barely hold a knife and admire anyone who can dice an onion into small, uniform cubes. The judges evaluated quality and quantity. Three contestants (Carolina Erazo, Quersen Vásquez, and José Luis Calfucura, the “Mapuchef”) made it to the next mini-round, where they made pebre from their onions. Pebre returns and so it seemed we were venturing again into the familiar terrain of Chilean cuisine.

Watch ‘Mapuche Chef’ Jose Luis Calfucura Explain His Dish From Last Week’s Top Chef (ES)

By Patrick Hieger

[TVN]

[TVN]

Although the lone Mapuche contestant Jose Luis Calfucura did make it through the first set of challenges on Chile’s new Top Chef, his win wasn’t without its challenges.  When he was selected to compete against four other chefs in Carlo Von Muhlenbrock’s pino challenge, he knew that to impress the celebrated judge, he’d have to do something special.  For Muhlenbrock, Calfucura’s dish was a little too special.

As we get set for episode two which airs tonight, watch this clip of Calfucura explaining why he chose to do a non-traditional pino of chicken rather than beef, and why he chose to add the controversial strawberries, which almost cost him his chance to compete.  Calfucura is currently one of the quieter chefs in the competition, but his choices seem calculated, and he’s willing to take risks, two traits that have worked for winners on other versions of the show.  Will he learn from his mistakes and keep his dishes simpler from now on?  We’ll just have to watch and see.

Recap: Top Chef Chile Season 1, Episode 1 or Farewell David Lee Roth

[Top Chef TVN]

[Top Chef TVN]

Today, and every Friday after a new episode of the first-ever Top Chef Chile appears, we’ll be bringing you an in-depth, opinionated recap from the mind of our resident culinary competition lover and pop culture expert, Doris Bravo.  If the premiere episode and the buzz surrounding it is any indicator, the show is going to be a wild success, and will definitely heat up the already hot debate surrounding Chilean cuisine.  Have something to add to the conversation?  Let us know in the comments. 

By Doris Bravo

When Ricardo David (aka “Gigi”) was unceremoniously axed last night from the premiere of Top Chef Chile he did not perform a high-kick befitting his David Lee Roth attire. Instead he took off his apron, tossed it on the ground, said some mean things to the judges, and walked away. Judge Pamela Fidalgo was unsurprisingly offended and felt he was, indeed, the right participant to be nixed given his bad attitude. This moment in reality competitions always makes me wince: a contestant, dismissed and left standing vulnerable, dares to verbally retaliate to the judges panel, a group of people who, drunk on power, take their position way too seriously. But this is precisely the brew that makes for terrific television programming and Top Chef Chile is off to a promising start.

The Top Chef Effect Has Hit Chile

By Patrick Hieger

[TVN]

[TVN]

Later today, we’ll be bringing you a recap of last night’s first-ever episode of Top Chef Chile from our resident pop expert and cooking competition lover Doris Bravo

Last night was a big night in Chile, as the first-ever version of Top Chef hit the Southern Cone, bringing a whole new level of culinary competition to South America.  Social media exploded in anticipation of the show’s premiere with people sending good luck and congratulatory messages more than eight hours before the premiere.  For many, it was a chance to see their friends and loved ones on television for the first time ever, all vying for one of the coveted 11 spots.

Overall, it seems like Chile is as fascinated with the program as the United States has become over 11 seasons.  Whether the food was good, bad, or even ugly, a conversation has started, and the public wants more food.  Here’s hoping the conversation turns into action.

While most everyone was pleased with the the show, the judges, and the competitors, it wasn’t all five stars.  Below, we’ve compiled a selection of the buzz the new show created, from good to bad: 

Top Chef Chile Starts Tomorrow. Watch This And Get Excited. (ES)

By Patrick Hieger

[TVN]

[TVN]

If you can’t tell yet, we’re pretty excited about Top Chef Chile.  It starts tomorrow, and it’s going to be incredible.  The haircuts, the glasses, the bitching, the challenges.  It’s all there, and it’s just a day away from taking over our lives.  Are you as excited as we are?  If not, you should be.  If you’re in need of a little motivation to get your ass on the couch tomorrow night at 22:05, watch the video below and get ready.  Chilean cuisine may never be the same.  Stay tuned Friday for our recap of Episode 1.  Your time starts now!

Top Chef Chile Will Premiere September 25 On TVN (ES)

By Patrick Hieger

[TVN]

[TVN]

Oh, baby.  Get ready, Chile, because the biggest thing to hit TV since the telenovela, is a telenovela mixed with a cooking competition.  TVN officially announced today that the first-ever season of Top Chef Chile will premiere on Thursday, September 25.  This could be a big game changer for Chile and its cuisine.  Are you as excited as we are?

Although a full list of the competitors has yet to be released, the majority are now listed on the show’s official website.  The cast includes restaurant owners, a sous chef from Boragó, pastry chefs, a former television star, and more.  For now, check the partial list on the website, and see if you can pick out the others from the picture.  Primetime Chilean TV drama will never be the same.

Top Chef Chile’s First Contestants Have Been Revealed (ES)

By Patrick Hieger

[TVN]

[TVN]

By now, at least in the United States, if a new season of Top Chef were coming, there would a great deal of anticipation surrounding the new crop of participants and where they come from.  For now, though, the buzz in Chile hasn’t quite caught on just yet.  Either way, we’re excited because it’s the first version of Top Chef to hit South America, and it could be a big game changer for the role of gastronomy, particularly in a country like Chile, whose cuisine is rarely given much attention.

A few videos have been released about the panel of judges and what they’ll be expecting from the participants, but as of yesterday, we know who the first four contestants will be.  In a quick, one-minute video, we get to see Juan Morales of the newly-inaugurated D.O., José Luis Calfucura, otherwise known as Mapuche Chef, Víctor León of Harina Gourmet, and Alicia Rodriguez of Pastichef, giving us their game faces, their mantras, and a look at their knives. As season one prepares to roll out with some of the leading names in Chilean cuisine, the show looks like it could be a huge success.

The music is there.  The sound effects are there.  And now we have chefs.  Top Chef Chile is about to start, and we couldn’t be happier.  Follow them on Twitter at @topcheftvn.

Here’s (Yet Another) Video Promo For Chile’s Top Chef (ES)

By Patrick Hieger

[TVN]

[TVN]

The producers over at TVN do certainly know how to bait an anxiously-awaiting audience.  Although reports indicate that the Chilean version of Top Chef isn’t set to air until some time in late October or November, TVN has been busy creating video promos to get everyone ready.  In this latest clip, the head judges give us their stern faces and toss knives while talking about their own individual likes and dislikes.  For you fellas out there thinking that Pamela Fidalgo might make one hell of a catch, she makes it very clear that not even her husband was enough to keep her from the kitchen.  And don’t serve soup to Ciro Watanabe–he won’t eat it.  The moment we have information on the lineup of chefs, we’ll let you know.

Watch the promo here.