Top Chef

Season 2 Episode 1

Into the Fire

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Oct 18, 2006 on Bravo
out of 10
User Rating
29 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

New host Padma Lakshmi introduces a fresh slate of fifteen contestants for Top Chef's second season in Los Angeles.

Guest Judge: Harold Dieterle.

QuickFire Challenge: Create a Dish Using the Flambé Technique.

Elimination Challenge: Create a Dish Using all Five Mystery Box Ingredients.

Round One.moreless

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  • New judge/hostess!

    Well we started the season with a new judge/hostess in Padma Lashkni or however you spell her name. She has more of a personality I thought plus really seem to know food more better. We also have returning Gail Simmons and Tom Coliccho on the show to judge the new cooks. Harold the original winner is back as he is the guest judge and that he seems a lot like a gentleman. Glad to see more newer personalities. Illan is really a wierd dude but still, he won the first challenge as Tom says, Harold won the first challenge and went onto win the first Top Chef.moreless
  • In this episode we are introduced to a new cast of wannabe Top Chefs as well as a new Host Padma Lakshmi. Old favorites Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons return for a second course along with guest judge Harold Dieterle, season one's winner.moreless

    The contest begins again with fifteen new chefs competing for the title of Top Chef. The show begins with the introduction of Betty, Elia, Sam, Marcel, Josie, Marisa, Frank, Otto, Cliff, Michael, Mia, Ilan, Emily, Carlos and Suyai. Their first challenge is to create a flambe dish. Harold Dieterle, the winner of season one judges, and the top three were Emily, Betty and Sam. The bottom three were Elia (who couldn't get her dish to flame) Suyai, and Carlos. Then Harold chose Sam, who gained immunity for the elimination challenge. The elimination challenge was much trickier. The chefs were divided into two teams, and each team was given a set of ingredients to combine for a single dish. The orange team had to use escargot, peanuts, potatoes, artichokes, and American cheese, and the black team had to use frog legs, chicken livers, peanut butter, eggplant, and cornflakes. The top orange were Ilan and Elia and the top black were Betty and Mia; Ilan was declared the winner. The bottom orange were Suyai and Carlos and the bottom black were Marcel and Otto; Suyai was asked to pack her knives and go. The challenges were good, and it was nice to see Harold back on the show.moreless
  • Not as exciting as the last season opener.

    Now I was really anticipating the new season of Top Chef this year because Bravo always does a great job with their reality competition series'. But, when I started watching the epiosde it was not as exciting as the last season at all. I'm not sure exactly what it was, but it just didn't have the spark like the previous one before it. Althought it was still interesting because of the food made in it, the episode was just bland. I may just need time to get used to the contestants and their personalities, but I hope the following episodes will be much more interesting.moreless
  • Good solid season premire

    The 2nd season is underway. It was nice seeing Harold back and on the other side of the Judges table. I thought that the ingredient box challenge was a great way to introduce the new \"meat\" to the world. It allowed us to see how they handled new or rarely used ingredients and how their ability to think on their feet.

    I was not Suyai\'s meltdown. She just did not strike me as having the background or temperment based on her bio at I was suprised that Otto failled as badly as he did. You would have tought that the chef\'s got yhe message from last season, innovate with ingredients on hand.. Don\'t add!moreless

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Elimination Challenge Dishes:

      Carlos - Artichoke potato cake & escargot, coconut sambal peanut sauce.
      Frank - Escargot & American cheese ravioli, potato bell pepper peanut sauce.
      Marisa - Pate brisee tart with snail garnish.
      Michael - Shoestring potatoes with artichoke cheese sauce & peanut pesto snails.
      Elia - Buttery escargot with artichoke & American cheese.
      Ilan - Baked escargot in the shell.
      Suyai - Braised potatoes & artichokes, garlic escargot with cheese sauce.
      Marcel - Frog leg lollipop, chicken liver puree, garlic & parsley sauces.
      Betty - Frog leg & chicken liver cake, salad & peanut vinaigrette.
      Sam - Turmeric & cereal crusted frog leg with eggplant & caper saute & duo of sauces.
      Josie - Frog leg nugget with chicken liver peanut butter & eggplant jelly.
      Cliff - Braised frog leg, eggplant chip & cornflake chicken liver.
      Emily - Cornflake & peanut butter crusted frog leg with grilled eggplant.
      Otto - Frog leg & chicken liver, rice, vegetable sauté & peanut sauce.
      Mia - Chicken fried frog leg with garlic mashed eggplant & wilted arugula.

    • QuickFire Challenge Dishes Shown:

      >Marcel - Banana & avocado tart with corn chips, ice cream, & rum cocktail.
      >Elia - Strawberries with red wine & chocolate flambe sauce.
      >Betty - Spicy coconut curry, steamed mussels & mango couscous.
      >Suyai - Spicy tequila lime shrimp with chunky mango & avocado salsa.
      >Sam - Espresso shrimp flambeed with sambuca, roasted hazelnut & peanut paste.
      >Carlos - Creole shrimp flambeed with Spanish brandy.
      >Emily - Sliced pork chops in apple sauce, red plums, Granny Smith apples.

    • Padma says in her blog for the episode "Seven" that while she has no input in the Judging for the QuickFire Challenge, she does taste all of the food. Then she takes everything she experiences to the final Judges' Table, where each Judge's opinion has equal weight, and tells the other Judges what she thought about the chefs' performances in the earlier Challenge. Tom does the same thing with what he sees during his walk through.

    • Suyai's out.

    • When Ilan wins the elimination challenge, Chef Tom points out that Harold won the first challenge in season one, and then went on to win the Top Chef title.

  • QUOTES (4)

  • NOTES (3)

    • Season two Executive Producers for Bravo:

      Frances Berwick
      Andrew Cohen
      Dave Serwatka

    • Season Two Promotional Consideration:

      Charlie's Fixtures
      New Chef Fashions, Inc.
      Restaurant Depot
      Sointu USA, Inc. and Global Knives
      Toyota Motor Sales, USA

    • In season two, Tom Colicchio's title varies from "Head Chef/Judge" to "Head Judge/Chef," depending on what part of the episode the graphic is shown.