A reality competition show in which chefs compete against one another in culinary challenges and are a judged by a panel of food and wine experts, with one or more contestants eliminated each episode.
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Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 2 wins & 53 nominations. See more awards »
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A reality competition show in which chefs compete against one another in culinary challenges and are a judged by a panel of food and wine experts, with one or more contestants eliminated each episode.

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15 February 2006 (USA)  »

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Top Chef All-Stars  »

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Trivia

Guest judges from season two: * Harold Dieterle * Hiroshi Shima * Ming Tsai * Stephen Bugarelli * Suzanne Goin * Michelle Bernstein * Anthony Bourdain * Raphael Lunetta * Kristen Woodward * Lee Hefter * Ted Allen * Mike Yakura * Eric Ripert * Alan Wong * Scott Conant * Wylie Dufresne * Hubert Keller * Roy Yamaguchi See more »

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Referenced in Working Class: Hire Education (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Fairly derivative take on the reality knockout model (aka ANTM) but is entertaining enough for those that likes this sort of thing
15 March 2007 | by See all my reviews

A group of budding professional chefs come together to compete in a contest to see which of them will become "Top Chef". Each week they have a challenge and a "cook off" with the winner lauded by the panel of judges, while the individual deemed the weakest is sent home and takes no further part in the competition.

Yes, here we are in familiar territory with the reality contest model of a group of gradually dwindling people competing for a dream job. Fans of America's Next Top Model will recognise it and I'm sure it has been done many times in other guises in shows I just not aware of. Like ANTM, the contestants want to get a major jump in their chosen career and compete to get it. Each week we have the challenges, the in-fighting, the tensions and then the removal of one of the group. It is a winning approach so I can understand why others have just tried to apply that model to other disciplines – in this case cookery.

As with ANTM, the subject isn't really important because it the show is driven by the tension tensions between the characters. It may be clever editing but the most is made of the minor snaps at one another and the "diary room" comments are used to feed the minor fire. As such it is engaging enough guff that I find easy to watch without actually having to commit any emotion or brain power in watching. Everyone hates some characters and likes others and this is where the entertainment comes from. I confess that I found the judges quite dull and lacking in the sort of character and extremes that other similarly structured shows tend to have.

Overall then a fairly derivative affair perhaps but it is a formula that works and those that like this short of show will enjoy it. For my money though, it is distracting enough nonsense but nothing that I remember for more than five minutes after watching an episode.


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