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Chicago dominates "Top Chef: Texas"

All 6 Chicago hopefuls selected for the show's final cast

November 10, 2011|By Lisa Arnett | RedEye

Last night, the 16 cheftestants for "Top Chef: Texas" were finalized, and this season is 37.5 percent Chicago. That's right: All six of the Chicago-based chefs included in the group of 29 hopefuls made the final cast.  

With five of the six Chicago chefs having completed their first round of competition in the first episode, our eyes were on remaining local chef Beverly Kim from Aria in last night's second episode.

Each chef in her group was asked to choose an ingredient to cook with, and each was secretly matched with a preparation time ranging from 20 to 60 minutes. Beverly chose octopus, saying that it reminded her of her mother's cooking. Though she received the longest time -- one hour -- to prepare, it was clear she was taking a risk when she admitted that octopus typically arrives at her restaurant already cooked.

But Beverly continued Chicago's winning streak by impressing the judges, and Tom Colicchio called her dish "comforting" and "souful."

Most entertaining moment: Our Moto duo, Ricky Farina and Chris Jones, are bunking up together. No really, they're sharing a room with bunkbeds with two other guys.

Most frightening moment: The end-of-episode teaser that showed both Beverly and Sarah Grueneberg crying. Are we in for some drama or what?

Bonus: Chicago Tribune's Kevin Pang interviews two Chicago cheftestants, Sarah Grueneberg of Spiaggia and Chuy Valencia of Chilam Balam, at Chicago Live tonight.

Pictured above left: Sarah Grueneberg, Chris Jones and Richie Farina

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