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ENTERTAINMENT
November 24, 2011 | By Lisa Arnett, RedEye
The competition continued last night on "Top Chef: Texas," and so we continue our own point-based competition for the six Chicago chefs in the cast. Quickfire challenge: Border Grill's Mary Sue Millikin and Susan Feniger (remember them from "Top Chef Masters"?) guest judge a chili challenge in which they are to cook a dish with a pepper ranging in spice from the mild Anaheim pepper to the nuclear ghost pepper. Elimination challenge: Teams of three are to cook chili and serve it at a rodeo.
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ENTERTAINMENT
November 10, 2011 | By Lisa Arnett and 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.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 3, 2011 | By Tracy Swartz and RedEye
The Chicago culinary scene is bigger in Texas. At least five Chicago cheftestants have been awarded the coveted “Top Chef: Texas” jacket in the latest season of the show, which premiered Wednesday night. The final slate of 16 cheftestants, which may include a sixth Chicago chef, likely will be revealed next week. In Wednesday's episode, some of the chefs worked with pig and rabbit to create their dishes. Yawn. It seems “Top Chef” has fallen into the “Project Runway” trap of repeating lame ideas for challenges.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 3, 2011 | By Lisa Arnett
It looks like we're going to see a whole lotta Chicago on "Top Chef: Texas. " In a qualifying round on last night's first episode, five of the six Chicago hopefuls were awarded a spot in the season's cast of 16 cheftestants. That included Sarah Grueneberg of Spiaggia , Heather Terhune of Sable , Chuy Valencia of Chilam Balam as well as Chris Jones and Richie Farina, both from Moto . The sixth Chicago hopeful, Beverly Kim of Aria , has yet to compete in her qualifying challenge and won't appear until the second episode next Wednesday.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 1, 2011 | By Lisa Arnett, RedEye
In past seasons of “Top Chef,” we've had one, two or sometimes zero Chicagoans to root for. On the upcoming ninth season filmed in Austin, Dallas and San Antonio, Texas, we have a whopping half dozen -- but there's no telling how long they'll stick around.   Because everything's bigger in Texas, the producers decided to start the show with 29 hopefuls who have to cook their way into 16 cheftestant spots. In other words, mass elimination on the first episode, airing 9 p.m. CST Nov. 2. Though the bigger group was intimidating, Chicago's hopefuls were ready to bring it.  “I feel … grateful that I'm part of a season that's different than the rest.
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