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Top Chef the Cookbook

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  551 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
Top Chef presents the official companion cookbook to the No. 1 rated food show on cable television! Featuring 100 fabulous recipes from the first three seasons of the show, including dishes from the Elimination Rounds and the Quick-Fire Challenges, Top Chef: The Cookbook invites fans into the hottest kitchen on prime time. In-depth discussions with contestants, judges, and ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published April 2nd 2008 by Chronicle Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

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Feb 15, 2009 karen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: eats
honestly, i can do without all the airbrushed glamour-shot centerfoldy pages of the chefs, but i approve of the crabcakes benedict and almost all of the breakfast items are wonderful, many involving eggs and maple syrup. but really - wayyy too many nonfood pages. its disconcerting to get all hungry-worked up by looking at food pictures and then be confronted with pages and pages of people pictures...puts bad ideas in the brain.... brains.....
Chris Webber
Oct 10, 2009 Chris Webber rated it liked it
Shelves: cooking
Top Chef has three seasons of the hit television show. It also has the recipes and pictures of most of the winning recipes from the show. I got this book to get the recipes and found more tidbits from the contestants and judges than the food, which was a bit disappointing.

But still. The food! The food! Whereas most cookbooks attempt to market to the more moderate cook, this is way up over the top. Do not expect to taste these sumptious looking dishes unless you have plenty of mulah in the bank.
Jan 15, 2009 Priscilla rated it really liked it
This book is great if you're a fan of the show bc it has interviews with all the judges (including my beloved Tom C.) and contestants (apparently Marcel is friends with Cliff now (!)), recaps of each episode/season and behind the scenes info (like the layout of the kitchen, food essentials, etc). It also has many, many successful recipes from all the seasons and they are broken up by breakfast, appetizers, poultry, etc so it is easy to find what I want. The thing is though, many of these are rea ...more
Jul 23, 2011 Kurt rated it really liked it
I borrowed this book from a friend and loved it. As only a casual fan of the show (I don't have Bravo at home, so I've seen an episode of season 4 at my dad's house, an episode of season 6 while house-sitting, and all of season 5 on DVD), I was not enthralled by the episode recaps or the goofy little pages about good Bourdain quotes and matching the cheftestants to their hairstyles. The recipes, though, are amazing. They display astounding creativity and have, in most cases, been simplified enou ...more
Jan 19, 2009 Jean rated it it was ok
A funny read for fans of the show but the complex preparations and the amount of cilantro-laden dishes was off-putting. I don't like cilantro as a dominant flavor which got in the way of my usual pure joy in eating. There were some bright spots. Our quickfire smoothee challenge was really laugh-filled.

Here are the recipes I tasted and the cookbook club cooks who made them.

Me - Shrimp Poached in Olive Oil: Loved the infused olive oil and the avocado. Lime syrup was a little much and, of course,
Dec 21, 2012 Sara rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012
I checked this out from the library's ebook catalog. I wanted a cookbook and liked Top Chef.

You have to get more than 1/5 a the way through the book before you get to the first recipe. And then few the recipes that are in this book....are very Top Chef. Full of rare ingredients. Who has a 3 pound octopus in the fridge? The recipes aren't easy or for the everyday cook. They're pretty unapproachable. I think I found about three recipes that made me pause. Maybe I'd make this? Then again, probably
Jun 07, 2013 Dan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a fan of the show, particularly the early seasons, it was a fun romp down memory lane of the first three seasons. There wasn't a whole lot of new info here if you've watched the show, at least in terms of the narrative and interviews, though of course having the recipes, if you're interested, is a nice plus. At least some of the biographical info included in the book is, shall we say, edited, to give some of the judges and contestants more interesting sounding careers (I used to work with one ...more
Johnnie Gee
Feb 25, 2014 Johnnie Gee rated it really liked it
I really like the show Top Chef so I was a little skeptical about reading a book about it. What a pleasant surprise!! I learned things about the show that I didn't know and I have a new found respect for Tom Colicchio and the fine line he walks between mentor and head judge.

One of the more interesting things was the hard line he sets as head judge that each challenge is to be judged on it on merit! Forget all of the wonderful or not so wonderful meals that came before it, go on or go home on th
Sep 06, 2011 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
I love watching Top Chef, it is one of the few television shows worth my time. That being the case this cookbook is a lot of fun. Although I did not learn about the show until the fourth season and this cookbook covers only the first three (plus a single recipe from season four's Richard) I still enjoyed perusing its contents. Not only does it contain recipes (most of which I have no interest in attempting) it chronicles the competitors with their mini-bios and pictures. Hopefully an updated ver ...more
Jan 23, 2011 Margaret rated it liked it
A great book for TV's (Bravo) "Top Chef" junkies, of which I am one. That said, I borrowed it from the library - read it cover to cover, but unless one really does want to cook the kind of food one sees on "Top Chef" (lovely to see and read about, but on average this really is "fancy restaurant" food), definitely borrow and don't buy it.

Not only do you get the recipes - maybe one or two of which I would actually make in real life - but you get various insights into the show's creation and produc
Feb 09, 2016 x_silversurfer rated it really liked it
A seemingly random amalgam of recipes from the first few seasons with that are very interesting but not very practical. A few of the recipes are easy to make and delicious, but the others have ingredients that may be difficult to find and/or take a toll on your wallet.

Also collects stories behind the scenes, such as off camera antics and a 'giving tree' host. A good read for a fan of the show, but less than usable as a cookbook, and more than comfortable as a coffee table ornament.
Jan 31, 2009 Cecily rated it liked it
It's so funny to me that many of the recipes in this book (and shown on Food Network or Bravo) contain the same staple of ingredients: leeks, celery root, microgreens, scallions, EVOO, truffle of some sort, broccoli rab, scallops, balsalmic anything, etc. I used to have such awe and admiration for so many chefs. I still do--it's just interesting that they are similar. I don't know what I'm saying. Good book. I liked the info about the chefs and Tom Colicchio. Love him.
Aug 16, 2010 John rated it liked it
There is a lot of show coverage (photos of the format and some glossed over stories) but what recipes are here are genuinely tough! If you've never cooked geoduck before and have an adventurous palate, go for it. It'll stretch your wallet, but it'll probably stretch your abilities just as much, so you won't make any dish here every night. Get it because you remember seeing something unique and wondered how it would taste or if you like pretending to be Marcel.
Jun 03, 2008 Beth rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this, because pretty much I'm a Top Chef fanatic, and I just ate up (pardon my pun) the whole book. My only complaint is that there needed to be more pictures of the food. Not that I would ever attempt these recipes, because I can barely handle grilled cheese, but that's one of my favorite things about Top Chef: seeing the plated food. Other than that, it was great. I can't wait for the second one. :)
Feb 09, 2010 Gwen rated it liked it
As a fan of Bravo's Top Chef, I enjoyed reading the quick bios and episode descriptions. I enjoy reading cookbooks and rated this a 3 because I don't think I will use many recipes from this book. Frankly, most of them are over my experience level (thus reassuring me I cannot try out for Top Chef). Since this book only takes the reader from seasons 1 to 3, I understand why they came up with a follow-up book. If you enjoyed Top Chef, you will enjoy this book.
Nov 17, 2008 Dawn rated it did not like it
Shelves: cookbooks
This cookbook is handy if you happen to have any truffles, Chilean sea bass, monk fish, sweetbreads, scallops, or any other expensive ingredient lying around in your kitchen that you can't think what to do with. As a huge fan of the show, I thought that the "inside" info on the show was lame. I'm glad I got this from the library instead of buying it.
Robyn Barreca
Jan 03, 2009 Robyn Barreca rated it really liked it
I'm a die hard Top Chef viewer, it's one of my top three favorite shows, ever. This book certainly brings attention to the knowledge base that a chef must possess. The recipes are extremely complicated to the average cook, but I'm sure they're relatively "simple" for the Top Cheftestants. Bios and behind-the-scenes stuff is interesting.
Mike Ehlers
Dec 29, 2009 Mike Ehlers rated it liked it
Got this because I'm a fan of "Top Chef", especially the creative cooking involved. I was aware it was more of a fan book, which is fine, but I wish it focused more on the recipes. Granted, I will probably never make most of them, but I'd like to see them all the same. But it is a good book for fans of the show and fans of the chefs from the first few seasons.
Jun 07, 2014 Veronica rated it it was ok
This was a book that promised to be more than what it was.

While I enjoyed the storyline of Maravan, I found the lists of ingredients tedious and unnecessary. I don't enjoy books in which it takes 100 words to put across and idea when 20 will do.

The political aspect/intrigue storyline seemed to be "filler". It didn't pique my interest at all.

Aug 05, 2011 Anne rated it really liked it
I was so excited to get this book! I have been a fan of the show since the middle of the first season. The production of this book is excellent. Great cover, high quality paper and fabulous content. I read this cover to cover but kept forgetting to have a stack of sticky-notes to flag all the recipes I intend to try. Loved the book! But how will I get an adendum for season 4!
Mar 11, 2008 Kim rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who likes the show "Top Chef"
I really enjoyed reading this. I hesitate to call it just a cookbook, because it is so much more than that. I love the show Top Chef, and even though a majority of the recipes are far too fancy for my tastes, I loved looking at them and the pictures. The best part of the book is definitely all of the interviews and inside information on the show.
Camille Turner
I enjoyed this book not for the recipes, but for the background on the show. How it started, how the set is planned, how they picked the contestants. I lvoe that kind of stuff. I loved all the pictures of the food, which is awesome in a cookbook because if I don't like the picture, I probably won't try the recipe.
Sep 15, 2008 Elaine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Not that I could ever pull off most of the recipes in this book (some of the ingredients are hard to find/ridiculously expensive), but I loved the info about the show itself and all the behind-the-scenes stuff. The bit about Brian from Season 3 in the bathroom at the French Culinary Institute was priceless!
Dec 22, 2008 Jennifer rated it it was ok
Shelves: cook-books
Love this show. The cookbook was neat in that it gave cool bios of the judges and contestants. I honestly do not think I would cook any of the recipes. Most of the dishes were cooked with constraints on the ingredients and cooking style. Fun to look at but if you are looking for a great cookbook, this is not it.
Jan 06, 2009 Candy rated it liked it
It satisfied my pop culture curiosity while the current season is on a break. I liked the graphic design of the book - very modern and colorful, with lots of mouth-watering food pix (as you'd hope). I would find it hard to recommend to any but the most sophisticated chefs, due to the obscure ingredients and level of experise required for most of the dishes. Great for fans of the show, though!
Apr 10, 2010 Angela rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
It's great for fans of the show, but I'm not sure if non-fans will love this for just the cookbook/recipes portion of it. It has tons of color photos of the chefs from seasons 1-3 + chef & host bios. Really great recipes from the quickfire and elimination challenges featured on the show. A must for the true Top Chef fan!
Terri M.
Sep 10, 2011 Terri M. rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Foodies
Shelves: cookbooks, nonfiction
A great summary of the first 3 seasons of Top Chef. Entertaining profiles and overviews of the judges and the chef-testants. Not necessarily a cookbook I would keep in my kitchen as most of the ingredients and techniques are beyond my resources.
Dec 28, 2008 Jamie rated it it was amazing
The perfect book for any hard-core Top Chef fan. If you love the show, you'll love the book as it is packed with information about all of the judges and contestants as well as some of the best recipes from the first three seasons! I love Tom and Padma! :)
Tommy Butler
Oct 06, 2010 Tommy Butler rated it really liked it
I just wish I could actually afford to make any of these recipes. You know what? Eff it. I'm buying that 5 gallon tub of duck fat. Bring on the rack of lamb.

Great show, awesome recipes. Silly stories and antics.
Aug 04, 2008 Heather rated it liked it
This book was fun to read, but I wouldn't buy a copy for my myself. If you are a fan of the show, you will enjoy the bios and behind the scenes stuff. I loved reading the recipes, but 90% of them are way to foo-foo for my family of 7. Raw Geoduck? Yuck!
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