Episode 1: Battling in the Big Apple

(Air date: November 12, 2008) Seventeen new and talented chefs try to cook and cut their way to the top.

(Air date: November 12, 2008) Seventeen new and talented chefs try to cook and cut their way to the top.

Read the transcript of this video
Top Chef is back. After San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, and Chicago, we're here to conquer New York City. We've brought 17 of the country's most ambitious and talented chefs to battle it out in the Big Apple. [CROSSTALK] It's the toughest season yet. And here in New York city, their skill. talent and determination will be tested to the limit. It's all about the recovery. Fire in the hole. And sometimes, beyond. I've been like, screwed up my **** already, cooking two dishes. No, no, no. I found that it was almost inedible. Never have I had something so violently sweet in my mouth. This was just conceptually a disaster. At stake to the winner, a feature in Food and Wine magazine, a showcase at the annual Food and Wine classic in Aspen, $100,000 to help turn their culinary dreams into reality, furnished by the makers of the Glad family of products And the title of Top Chef. [SOUND] [MUSIC] My name is Fabio Viviani and I'm originally from Florence, Italy. I never been to New York before. And to be here, to me, is a big **** deal, cuz this is New York, man. My name's Jamie Lauren. I'm the Executive Chef of Absinthe Restaurant in San Francisco. I try to keep the menu really seasonal and really local. I love the freedom to be creative, and I love that nobody tells me what to do. [LAUGH] My name is Eugene Villiatora, originally from Hawaii, born and raised and migrated to Las Vegas. I was not fortunate enough to go to culinary school. I started of as a dishwasher and worked my way up. I'm here to prove everybody that you know what, this little troublemaker from a little rock in the middle of the Pacific ocean. Did something with his life. My name is Jeff Burkinis. Right now I live in Miami. Whenever it comes to something I'm passionate about it's got to be [INAUDIBLE]. It hurts me if I'm not perfect. As far as my looks go, I always comb my hair a little before I go out. [BLANK_AUDIO]
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Episode 1: Battling in the Big Apple


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