Most Overused Phrases on Top Chef

Top Chef D.C. cast

Bravo just recently announced the new season of Top Chef. Season 7 will take place in Washington D.C. and have seafood master Eric Ripert on the judges table. I am excited to see what new and surprising challenges they come up with. I’m also hoping the judges and contestants will drop some of their overused phrases. Here are a few of my favorites I think should be retired.

“Spot on”
For being such accomplished chefs and judges, these people sure can’t think of many ways to describe a perfect dish. Padma, Tom, and several of the contestants seem to think that “spot on” is a sufficient description for us.

“There’s no room for error.”
In the first few seasons, it took several episodes before this one came out. But as more and more talented chefs join the show, the contestants are saying it earlier and earlier. But even with the most talented cast so far (season 6), you apparently can make several errors and still make it pretty far in the competition (Robin).

“This is Top Chef, not Top _______.”
Tom Colicchio loves this one. “This is Top Chef, not Top Sous Chef”, “This is Top Chef, not Top Waiter”, and of course Fabio’s famous “This is Top Chef, not Top Pussy.”

“I’m not a pastry chef.”
Pretty much every season, the chefs are required to cook some kind of dessert. And 99% of the contestants will remind us that they are not pastry chefs. You’d think that these chefs would practice a couple desserts before coming on the show as it’s going to be expected of them. The one exception was Marisa from season 2 who actually WAS a pastry chef and never let us forget it.

“This is a competition.”
In the tradition of overly obvious commentary from the contestants, another favorite is “This is a competition.” This one is usually dropped right after a contestant does something particularly awful to another contestant. “I don’t normally ruin someone’s dreams, but this is a competition.”

“I’m not here to make friends.”
This gem is usually dropped later on in each season after a particularly bitter argument. It is the mantra of those contestants that actually can’t make any friends. Sorry guys, but saying “I’m not here to make friends” doesn’t make us forget about your shitty personalities.

The one exception to this was Nimma, who in season 4 came right out and said it in the first episode. She mentioned in her monotone speech that she “will have fun once she reaches her goal.” Unfortunately for her, she was eliminated that same episode. I wonder if she’s still not having fun and not making friends.