Having just watched a lot of season 4 because Bravo had a marathon, I’ve decided I like this show more than I thought. Top Chef Masters just gave me a bad impression because its beginning format is different and less appealing. (Rather than follow the same group of contestant from the start, the first 6 episodes consisted of six different chefs and the winner from each of those episodes went on to compete in the finals.)
In both Hell’s Kitchen and Top Chef, there is often a presentation of some dishes the chefs have created. In Top Chef this is usually the end of the episode and serves as the elimination challenge while on Hell’s Kitchen this is generally a challenge. The difference in format makes sense, as the end goals of the show are different. Hell’s Kitchen is finding chefs to place in high positions at big restaurants so working on the line and running a restaurant are the things they are judged most critically with while Top Chef is just about finding the best chef in the group so creativity is a big one.
Just a note, it’s odd that in the same week both Top Chef and Hell’s Kitchen both use craps tables for their challenge of the week. (By the way, for this season of Top Chef, quickfires garner money not immunity. Not sure which is better.) At least they use them in slightly different ways: in Hell’s Kitchen they roll letter dies that determine the ingredients based on the first letter whereas here it’s number dies for how many ingredients to use.
Things to look forward to this season: sibling rivalry, battle of the sexes, tattoos, relay races, misogyny, and more
Also, I would recommend checking out the <a href=http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/blogs/jamie-lauren/i-was-on-the-wrong-season>blog</a> from previous Top Chef contestant Jamie Lauren, available on the Bravo site. It’s interesting to see the show from an insider’s perspective.