As the first ever season of TOP CHEF MEXICO premieres and gets under full swing, dwindling its sixteen original contestants into one talented winner has been captivating television audiences and getting the taste buds sizzling. Watching Mexico’s top chefs battle it out in the Top Chef kitchen is enough to make anyone head to the kitchen and experiment with the items they can find in their refrigerator.
Top Chef Mexico’s Judges
To launch Top Chef Mexico, the franchise has invited some of Mexico’s biggest names in gastronomy to judge the talented contestants in the competition held in Mexico City. Judges include Monterrey restaurateur, Guillermo González Beristain of Restaurant Pangea fame, TV Chef and restaurateur Aquiles Chávez, Juantxo Sánchez from Spain’s Basque country and Mexican restaurateur, Martha Ortíz. The show is hosted by Ana Claudia Talancón who has appeared in movies like Fast Food Nation and Alone. Guest judges are also invited for the Elimination Challenges.
How Top Chef Mexico Works
All of the contestants of Top Chef Mexico live together in one apartment or house throughout the program in a “Big Brother-Esque” setting with no access to the outside world. Judges put Mexico’s top chefs to the test over a six week period with the show’s famous “quickfire” rounds and culinary challenges where the unfortunate chefs are asked to “please pack your knives and go!”.
In each episode the chefs are faced with Quickfire and Elimination challenges. In the Quickfire Challenge, the chefs are given certain requirements that must be met, such as using a particular ingredient or creating a particular taste; alternatively they may be given a tasting challenge or a mise-en-place relay race. In the earlier episodes, the winner of the Quickfire Challenges is granted immunity from illumination in the next challenge while as the series progresses, immunity is withdrawn and real prizes are given.
The Elimination Challenge of Top Chef Mexico demands more complex preparation and the challenges usually require that a whole meal with various courses is prepared according to set criteria. The Elimination Challenge may be individually judged or appraised as a team, and can span over a couple of days or just a few hours. When only two or three chefs remain, the challenge is to create a full-course meal, which is judged on its merits to declare the Top Chef for the season who will take away over $100,000 dollars in prize money. The finalist chefs are also joined by a sous chef to assist in the process, which may be one of the eliminated contestants or a celebrity chef.
Fuelling the tension and excitement that surrounds the competition, before elimination takes place, the constants are asked to answer questions about their performance and culinary creations. Elimination is announced when the host says the famous words: “Please pack your knives and go!”.
Who will be Mexico’s first Top Chef? Watch the series and see. Share your comments about who you think will win.