Top Chef's sick relationship with Whole Foods (SPOILER ALERT if you haven't seen episode 2 of Top Chef season 13)

So in the pop-up challenge the teams were assigned:

  • Korean restaurant with shopping at a Korean grocery
  • Persian restaurant with shopping at a Persian grocery
  • Mexican restaurant (not sure where they shopped)
  • vegan restaurant with shopping at Whole Foods

Seriously, if they’re going to handicap one team by giving them vegan against three traditional cuisines, couldn’t they at least have let them shop at a farmers market, like any actual vegan chef would? This was a double handicap.

I presume they were either told they couldn’t say a bad word about Whole Foods or they edited that out.

I believe the vegan team was able to source some of their ingredients from the garden at their pop-up restaurant.

That aside, you don’t seriously mean that vegan chefs only shop at farmers markets do you? What if she needed rice, or dried pasta? How about wine? Or, gasp, salt and pepper?

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To do great vegan food the single most important thing is great produce. There was a little good stuff in the garden, but not in quantities to feed that number of people. One of the things the judges liked most was a sauce using some herb from the garden, but they complained there wasn’t enough of it.

Besides produce, the judges gave one chef shit for using canned chickpeas, but she didn’t get to say she used them only because that Whole Foods didn’t have dried.

I believe she said she preferred dried because she made them for (was it?) Indian royalty and they loved it.