Sorry this is so long, there is a lot to cover in the season premiere.

After what seemed like a two week hiatus, a new season of Top Chef is upon us. This season the crew heads to Chicago, a city famous for ridiculous hot dogs, artery destroying steaks and monstrously fat people. My kind of town. We begin, as do all season, by meeting our chefs.

Immediately, I was disappointed to not see a Casey-level woman in the cast. I realize that Bravo takes enormous pride in not making this show about sex, fighting and the other bullshit on which most reality shows focus, but c'mon, you can't give me a beauty like Casey one season and nothing the next. That sounds cruel but, well, I'm a heterosexual guy watching a channel mostly given over to female and gay programming; throw me a bone, Bravo, and not in that way.

The noobs all meet at Uno Pizzeria, a restaurant with such consistently shitty service that I've vowed never to step foot in one again so long as I live (once, my waiter tried to convince me that pesto came on all their pizzas and that he had to make each pie himself). I would make an exception to visit the original though which happens to be where the Top Cheffers were currently slamming down slices. In that hallowed setting we meet our contestants, or 'cheftestants' as some douchebag marketing manager at Bravo decided to call them.

Most are fairly accomplished in the restaurant world but, for all their experience, a few just seem like petty dickheads. Last season we had to deal with Hung, the hyper-annoying, bitchy Asian chef who ended up winning the whole thing. This season we have Dale, an equally Asian and equally arrogant and annoying contestant. We also have our first Top Chef couple, Jennifer and Zoi, who made a very awkward announcement to the other contestants that they're a couple. They talked about how good it felt to finally get it out there in the open, which is strange considering they had been keeping this secret for all of a few hours at most. Oh lesbians, you confound me!

Anyway, the chefs have their first quickfire challenge in which they must each make their own deep dish pizza. Like an army of ants they busily set out creating strange pizzas I would never order in a thousand years: peaches, marmite, etc. One chef, Manuel I believe, just made a meat lovers pie. And then we had the pleasure of meeting the two contestants who will be bickering and hating each other the whole season (or as long as they last): Andrew and Richard. Andrew is a scruffy, manic tweaker who looks to be jacked up on coke all the day long and seems to have a penchant for swearing. Richard is a "progressive" chef with a mohawk who stole Richard's deep dish pan. These two will have words, mark mine.

Rocco Dispirito, who my girlfriend proclaimed 'bone-able' and I proclaimed 'a mousey smug shithead…still bone-able though', was guest judge this week and separated the winners from the losers in the quick fire. We then see the chefs settling into their new house. In typical chef fashion they all start getting drunk and smoking cigarettes, all except Nimma, the show's only African-American, who declares that she isn't there to have fun and promptly goes to bed. Oh well, I guess we know who is going home this week.

The elimination challenge pitted chefs from the winning team in the quickfire against the losers. They had to choose from a list of classic dishes and each prepare their own version. I won't go through each one because a) that would be boring and b) I don't remember them all. I do remember, however, that Erik (who looks like a white supremacist) garnished his cheese souffl