A 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?"