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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.

Here’s A Preview Of Bourdain’s Part Unknown’s Upcoming Paraguay Episode (ES)

By Patrick Hieger

[CNN]

[CNN]

Although Anthony Bourdain has visited the beautiful beaches of Southern Chile, made blood sausage by hand in Colombia, and had his fair share of cachaça in Brazil, his love for South America isn’t quite as potent as his passion for the far reaches of Southeast Asia, the decadence of Europe, or even the gritty streets of New York.  However, in this Sunday’s episode of his award-winning CNN series Parts Unknown, Bourdain heads back to South America, to discover a Paraguay that, even for many residents of the region, remains a bit of a mystery.  In the preview for the episode that will appear Sunday, October 12, watch as Bourdain turns down the offer of a cheap shotgun, enjoys the splendor of wild catfish Surubi, and downs some cold ones, all the while seeing a different side of a country that not many are talking about.  It should be a great episode.

Recap: Top Chef Chile Season 1, Episode 2

By Doris Bravo

Last night was another nearly two hour-long marathon of Chilean cookery on the all new, first-ever season of Top Chef Chile.  Our resident pop culture expert and lover of all culinary competitions, Doris Bravo, takes us inside the drama, the sausage, the tears, and more.  If you missed out, get the details below. 

[TVN]

[TVN]

With their second episode, Top Chef Chile is establishing a pattern of random outbursts. This week’s surge of emotion came from Sebastián Araya who, after receiving praise for his team’s dish, could barely contain his excitement and jumped around seated diners as if he were on a pogo stick. The keyword here is “random” because the show is pretty restrained (I’ll no doubt drift into a coma during José Luis Calfucura’s next gloomy confessional). “Random” also in the sense of not fitting into the task at hand: a competition. Any socialized child worth their salt knows how to undertake a game. If you listen to the rules, make sure everything is set up accordingly, and play fair the winner will emerge. Celebrations, Sebastián, come when you’ve secured the win not during the game; that’s just bad form. But by the time Sebastían had his infamous outburst, the whole endeavor had collapsed entirely.

Master Chef Chile Has Been Accused Of Fixing The Casting (ES)

By Patrick Hieger

[image: Master Chef]

[image: Master Chef]

Although Top Chef Chile is already off and running with a wildly popular inaugural episode, not everything is going so well in the Master Chef Chile camp.  After a long, final casting Sunday morning in Santiago, Twitter exploded with comments that the casting had been fixed.  Bio Bio reports that one of the cast members, Maria Jesus Matthei, who was also Miss Chile 2013, was given the chance to compete on the show after she cooked a dish of crepes.  Other competitors are saying the dish is just too simple to give Miss Chile a chance to compete.

Are we already witnessing a #GigiGate before the show even begins?  Let’s not forget that Master Chef is based on amateur cooking skills, and is, at the end of the day, a television show.  We’ll keep you posted with more drama.  Check out the scandalous Tweets over at Bio Bio.

Bolivia’s Gabriela Prudencio Is Competing To Be A Jamie Oliver ‘Cocktail Star’ (ES)

By Patrick Hieger

[Cocktail Star]

[Cocktail Star]

If you haven’t been paying attention, you might not have realized that Bolivia is, very quickly, taking all the right steps to become the next country to watch in South America for all things delicious.  As part of a months long search by Jamie Oliver for the next ‘Cocktail Star,’ La Paz native Gabriela Prudencio has earned a position as one of the five finalists with her Quinoa Colada cocktail, Página Siete reports.  She, along with the four other finalists, are awaiting the results of the open voting via internet, which closes October 8.

The winner of the competition will then be announced October 15.  Other competitors hail from the USA, Greece, Thailand, and Australia.  Take a minute to vote and bring home the win for South America, and quinoa.  Suerte Gabriela!

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: 

And Here’s The First TV Spot For Master Chef Chile (ES)

By Patrick Hieger

[Canal 13]

[Canal 13]

The spring television lineup for cooking competitions is really heating up in Chile.  Although we’re most excited about Top Chef, which starts Thursday, September 25, Chile is also about to premiere its first season of Master Chef, which has caught on all over South America, with versions in Peru, Brazil, and Argentina.  The premiere of both shows at roughly the same time could make for some big changes in Chilean cuisine in the next few months, and will certainly make for some huge ratings.  Since we’ve already beat you over the head with previews of Top Chef, here’s the first TV spot for Master Chef, which should be hitting the screen very soon.  It’s a pretty good take on how the general public views food, and could be pretty representative of what to expect from the show.  Enjoy.