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June 16, 2010

Timothy Dean makes his 'Top Chef' debut

Timothy DeanA new "Top Chef" season begins Wednesday night with Baltimore chef Timothy Dean among the contestants, and I have the inside scoop on the first episode, courtesy of a rough cut that Bravo distributed to the media.

I'm sworn to secrecy when in comes to who's eliminated in the first show, but I can tell you this much: alpha males dominate, a statement that should require no spoiler alert given the outsized personalities of chefs in general, and aspiring TV chefs in particular.

One of the contestants flatly states that he wants his competitors to size him up and conclude, "This guy is truly the alpha male."

As I write in a profile of Dean that appears in Wednesday's Sun, the Prime Steakhouse owner does not come off as having the biggest ego of the bunch. But he doesn't play shrinking violet either.

Before they get down to the business of cooking on that first episode, Dean is shown chatting with other contestants at a getting-to-know-you cocktail party.

One of those he meets is Angelo Sosa, a chef with an Asian-influenced sandwich restaurant, Xie Xie. Dean recalls in a solo interview spliced into the cocktail-party footage: "Angelo is like, 'I got it going on.' And I'm like, 'This is some bull [expletive].' "

Dean has displayed that sort of bravado in real life. Even Prime Steakhouse opened its doors this year, Dean talked about expanding the concept to other markets.

"Emeril and Thomas Keller and Wolfgang [Puck] are doing it," he said. "Why not me?"


Bravo photo

Posted by Laura Vozzella at 5:13 AM | | Comments (12)


Alpha Males? in DC?


I have always liked Top Chef, but I think the bravado and ego is getting annoying. I mean really, what it comes down to is how you do in the moment. Get something wrong and you're gone. Who cares if you're the Alpha Male?

I think that's why I've enjoyed the Masters shows, because the chefs are just truly glad to be there, though I thought 2 of the 3 finalists this year had the ego problem.

Word, Summer.
At least to the part about why I'm enjoying Masters more than the regular show now. Generosity of spirit and kindness (even with competition) aren't lost on those with experience, those who have truly made it. It's how they made it.


Not typically a reality TV fan, but you have to love the drama and "The Situation"-style arrogance of some of the folks on Top Chef Regular.

Masters is okay, but the chick is no Padma, and I need Tom Collichio's misplaced arrogance driving the aspring chefs mad. It is interesting to watch the Jedis do their thing in the kitchen, and Rick Bayliss brought it in the first season, although he is about as creepy a Crispin Glover.

Plus I love the way the show is shot. Hell's kitchen is a similar concept, but falls so short in the editing/shooting/storyline (can a reality TV show have storyline?).

Plus who can't root for a mediocre chef from Bmore who has a $1.2MM judgment against him!? Go TD! See what happens when you try to out-New York a New York chef!

Psyched +1.

expanding the concept of a steakhouse into other markets? that's earth-shattering stuff right there. i think paying off the mounds of debt from failed restaurants should be first on the list timmy.

By the way, I think its time for the Sun to score something other than the Kris Kross-pose stock photo of T to the D.

I'm surprised his shirt/jeans are on facing the right direction.

What a Tool!

Baltimore Liquid, this was, at press time anyway, the only other shot available of Mr. TD from Bravo was this one. We're hoping they'll add some more photos after the show starts. In the meantime, you're stuck with the crossed-arms pose.

Just to make it clear, when LV writes that Top Chef begins a new season on Wednesday, she means TODAY, or tonight at 9 PM.

I guess there's a minor ripple in the space-time continuum when you write in the present for a future blog. Woooooo......

Baltimore Liquid, I have to disagree with your assertion that Rick Bayless was creepy, if that is what you are saying. We adored him! He came off as very talented, yet modest--maybe even humble.

Rick Bayless, very creepy at times and obnoxious. He sounded like a complete ass when he heard that the French chef was making a quesadilla and said, "Puh, what does someone from France know about a quesadilla?"

Uh, Whitey McAnglo from Chicago, that's a stupid racial stereotype coming from you. Yeah, you're the master of the quesadilla. It's not like any 8 year old can grasp the fundamentals of it.

Nah, his faux-humility was barely covering a mountain of hubris.

Ouch, TD. Eric Ripert told you your rockfish sucked. Ow, that has to hurt.

Dean is shown chatting with other contestants at a getting-to-know-you cocktail party.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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