Pack Your Knives

By Count The Dings

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A weekly Top Chef recap podcast hosted by NBA writers Kevin Arnovitz and Tom Haberstroh breaking down Season 16 as it happens on BravoTV. Follow along weekly as the top cooking competition meets top-shelf analysis. Arnovitz and Haberstroh bring their die-hard fanaticism of the hit TV show and combine it with their NBA analytical instincts to draft “fantasy” teams from Season 16, interview Top Chef contestants and talk about America’s food and restaurant trends.

Episode Date
Ep 3 Recap: Yes, You Have
Kevin and Tom recap Episode 3 of Top Chef Season 18: Portland while reminiscing about Friendly's peanut butter sauce and revisiting last week's big trade. One thing is clear: Kevin means business this year.
Apr 16, 2021
Ep 2 Recap: Chefsplainin'
Kevin and Tom recap the second episode of Season 18/Portland and debate the game theory of choosing teams in the Top Chef schoolyard. Also, after much deliberation, a four-chef trade is completed between the two PYK teams.
Apr 09, 2021
The Draft
Tom and Kevin take part in their fourth annual PYK draft. A trade is made. The teams are selected. Top Chef Season 18 has begun.
Apr 02, 2021
Chef Gregory Gourdet
Part 2: Tom and Kevin are joined by Top Chef alum and Portland’s own Gregory Gourdet. The Season 18 host and judge talks about his new restaurant, Haitian food, the infamous back injury and whom he’d want as a White House chef.
Apr 02, 2021
Season 18: PDX Preview!
With the season premiere of Top Chef Season 18 Portland on the horizon, Kevin Arnovitz and Tom Haberstroh set the stage for another round of Top Chef and scout the new 15 cheftestants. What's new? What's staying the same? The new season of Top Chef is upon us.
Mar 25, 2021
Mother Of All Finales (Ep 6 Finale Recap)
Kevin and Tom bust out the scorecards and judge the final courses of the three finalists of Top Chef Season 6. Who deserved to win? Controversy ensues. Finally, a request from our Pack Your Knives audience as we look ahead.
Nov 03, 2020
Viva Napa Valley (Ep 14 Recap)
With the cheftestants leaving Las Vegas for wine country, Kevin and Tom break down part 1 of the finale, discuss wine vs. beer and bid farewell to a stellar chef. Also, Kevin explains his new upcoming diet and asks Tom for some advice.
Oct 27, 2020
Welcome Back (Ep 13 Recap)
Oct 20, 2020
Gambled And Lost (Ep 11/12 Recap)
Kevin and Tom recap the Vegas hotel episode, write a love letter to Thousand Island Dressing and debate the virtues of breakfast in bed. When a certain chef goes home, Kevin and Tom cry foul. Also: chicken wings.
Oct 14, 2020
Eat Your Veggies (Ep 10 Recap)
Tom and Kevin break down the Natalie Portman episode, reminisce about TV dinners and go deep on vegetable protein stats. A controversial chef goes home.
Oct 06, 2020
R3VOLT-ing (S6:E9 Recap)
It's Restaurant Wars! It's time for Kevin and Tom to bring in PYK's Senior Restaurant Wars Correspondent guest Hershy Ash to break it all down. Who should have gone home? Who was right in the Robin-vs.-Michael spat? Plus, halfway through the pod, a surprise guest appearance from one of the cheftestants on the show.
Sep 29, 2020
Revisiting Vegas with Chef Ash Fulk
Kevin and Tom are joined by Chef Ash Fulk from Season 6 Las Vegas. The Hillcountry Barbecue Market chef takes us behind the scenes on the season and reveals the secret breakouts from elimination island, the real story behind the amazing "Oh, I forgot flavorrr" line and takes us on a tour of Texas barbecue lore.
Sep 25, 2020
Candy Pallette Whine (Ep 8 Recap)
Tom and Kevin debate their favorite elevated snack food and break down Episode 8, which bids farewell to a chef that hurt our sides from laughing so hard.
Sep 22, 2020
Chef Jen's Flu Game (S6:E7 Recap)

Kevin and Tom recap Episode 7 with the help of Chef Jen Carroll who talks about her flu game, the surprising beef between Chef Kevin and Chef Bryan, and the lowdown on Chef Robin.

Sep 15, 2020
Under Deconstruction (S6:E6 Recap)

Tom and Kevin deconstruct the Penn & Teller episode of Top Chef Season 6 and dish about Eli's pressure cooker incident, Toby Young, the Eli line and an unfair linguistic disadvantage.   

Sep 08, 2020
Giddy Up! (Ep 5 Recap)

Tom and Kevin recap a hot ‘n spicy episode of Season 6 and break down Tom Colicchio’s famous spit-out in the desert sand.

Aug 31, 2020
C’est la vie (Ep 4 Recap)

Kevin and Tom break down a French powerhouse episode and debate the benefits of kitchen technology.

Aug 25, 2020
Mess Kitchen: Ep 3 Recap

Tom and Kevin break down Episode 3 of Season 6 Las Vegas and serve up some praise on the challenges. Tom rants about greek salad and offers a mea culpa to Kevin. We look forward to Episode 4, where the real fun begins.

Aug 17, 2020
Let's BroGo: Ep 2 Recap

Kevin and Tom get their bachelor party on and break down an episode full of cringe. Kevin and Tom bid farewell to a cheftestant and debate Top Chef's ability to identify and groom successful chefs. Also, Kevin pitches his new bachelor party consulting biz.

Aug 03, 2020
What Happens In Vegas (S6:E1 Recap)

Kevin and Tom hop into a time machine and rewatch the season premiere of Season 6 Top Chef Las Vegas, starting a new chapter of Pack Your Knives. The hosts break down how all the surprising ways that the show has changed and take in a heavy dose of Top Chef nostalgia. Which chefs stand out?   

Jul 27, 2020
Season 6 Rewatch Teaser

Kevin and Tom preview their upcoming rewatch of Season 6 Las Vegas and discuss their memories of the star-studded season.    @packknives on Twitter packyourknives on Instagram  

Jul 23, 2020
Top Chef's Magical Elves

Kevin and Tom bring in Magical Elves executive producers Doneen Arquines and Tara Seiner to take us behind the scenes on Top Chef. Plus, Kevin and Tom's big announcement about PYK's next chapter.   

Jul 01, 2020
Finalists Roundtable

Tom and Kevin are joined by Top Chef Season 17 All-Star finalists Melissa King, Stephanie Cmar and Bryan Voltaggio to review the epic season, get the inside scoop on their music video and learn about their future endeavors.

Jun 23, 2020
Cooking GOAT

Kevin and Tom recap the Season 17 All-Star finale and debate the winner's placing in all-time Top Chef ranks.

Jun 19, 2020
With Chef Kevin Gillespie

Tom and Kevin sit down with Top Chef Season 17 All-Star Kevin Gillespie to talk about his run on Top Chef, what viewers didn't see about his pork coppa, his Atlanta community service initiatives and his decision to re-join Top Chef after his cancer battle.    

Jun 15, 2020
The Final Three

Kevin and Tom review Part 1 of the Finale, debate the merits of Voltaggio's home game and assess the critiques of the Italian chefs. Plus, Kevin and Tom share their picks for Top Chef Season 17 winner.  

Jun 14, 2020
Duffles of Truffle

Tom and Kevin recap the Tuscan truffle hunt episode and bid farewell to a juggernaut. Uproxx's Vince Manciini, the man behind Top Chef Power Rankings, joins the show and discusses the season and why he loves the show.  

Jun 08, 2020
Champagne Padma

Kevin and Tom go deep on 30,000-foot cuisine, gush about Champagne Padma and discuss Chef Brian Malarkey''s moment of crisis at the judge's table.

May 31, 2020
Let The Games Begin

Kevin and Tom piece together their brains after a mind-blowing week of Top Chef and Last Chance Kitchen and break down the Olympics episode. Later, Top Chef Jennifer Carroll joins the show to dish on this season, the Philly food scene, her past appearances on Top Chef and the Whodunnit mystery of Top Chef All-Stars: Who turned up the heat on her coriander cashew butter?  

May 27, 2020
With Top Chef's Tom Colicchio

An interview three years in the making, Kevin and Tom finally land their biggest guest in PYK history: Top Chef head judge Tom Colicchio. The Emmy award-winning, James Beard award-winning chef reveals his favorite season of Top Chef, explains why Kevin and Tom's Elimination Challenge pitch needs serious work and tells us why he initially turned down Top Chef. Colicchio also shares his food policy reform ideas and reflects on his secret friendship with UNC basketball legend Dean Smith.

May 21, 2020
Straight-Up Hunger Games

ESPN's Mina Kimes joins the show and breaks down the Summer Camp episode with Kevin and Tom. The trio assess the favorites for the rest of the competition and debate Voltaggio's stock.  

May 18, 2020
Comfort & Chaos

Kevin and Tom battle on the merits of this Restaurant Wars and break down the jewel episode of Top Chef with special guest Season Colorado winner Joe Flamm, who tells us about his new Croatian restaurant.

May 11, 2020
On The Double

Kevin and Tom recap Episode 7 of Top Chef All-Stars and get on the phone with cheftestant Eric Adjepong to talk about this season, that damn mood board and the promising future of West African cuisine in America.

May 04, 2020
Monkeys On Crack

Tom and Kevin bid farewell to a Top Chef fan favorite, crown the greatest of all-time six-episode start and argue, once again, about Brian Malarkey.

Apr 27, 2020

Kevin and Tom recap the loved-ones episode of Top Chef All-Stars, assess the virtues of Malarketing and sketch out the tiers of remaining cheftestants.

Apr 20, 2020
Now I Get / I Get What I Want

Tom introduces Kevin to Kelly Clarkson before breaking down the first contentious episode of the season. A mid-round juggernaut emerges from the group while Kevin loses another cheftestant in Last Chance Kitchen.

Apr 12, 2020
'Jus Eat?'

Kevin and Tom get their art history on and break down Episode 3 of Top Chef All Stars. Also, a cheftestant gets picked up off the waivers and a trade is proposed.

Apr 05, 2020
Wicked Oops

Kevin and Tom recap Episode 2 of Top Chef All-Stars and pay tribute to culinary legends Jonathan Gold and Floyd Cardoz. 

Mar 30, 2020
The Fire Next Time

Tom and Kevin recap the season premiere of Top Chef Season 17.

Mar 22, 2020
Draft Day

After the long layoff, Kevin and Tom are back for Top Chef Season 17 All-Stars. Ahead of Thursday's premiere, it's time for their third annual Pack Your Knives draft of cheftestants. Kevin and Tom make their picks, break down each contestant, tweak the fantasy scoring system and review the Los Angeles cast as we await the star-studded return of Top Chef.

Mar 16, 2020
"Congratulations, you are Top Oyster and Buttermilk"

Tom and Kevin review Season 16 and recap the surprising finale in Macau. Per PYK tradition, the finalists --- Chef Eric, Chef Kelsey and Chef Sara -- join the show to answer all our burning questions about the finale -- Eric's menu, what was in their luggage and the things they couldn't say on air. 

Mar 18, 2019
Durian and Spirit Animals

Kevin and Tom recap the Final Four episode of Macau and discuss the virtues of durian and the game theory of cooking with the stinky fruit. Chef Michelle Minori joins the show to explain why she's the quickfire champ, fava bean prep and of course, her admiration of a certain Golden State Warrior.

Mar 12, 2019
High Top Chef IQ

Kevin and Tom discuss Macau, this season's darkhorse and chef Eric's performance. For the second half of the show, cheftestant Kelsey joins the show and dishes all things Top Chef including the one rule she'd change, the Restaurant Wars fiasco and the secrets of the party boat challenge.

Mar 05, 2019
Bye, KY

Kevin and Tom are joined by Top Chef superfan and ESPN personality Mina Kimes to recap the Kentucky finale, handicap the remaining chefs and reflect on Season 16's drama (or lack thereof). Who's going to win in Macau? One chef or the Field?

Feb 27, 2019
Kentucky TKO and WaffleGate

Tom and Kevin recap the Muhammed Ali episode, discuss fried chicken spots and bid farewell to a juggernaut on the show. Cheftestant Sara Bradley joins the show to discuss WaffleGate, being a Southern Jew, Paducah cuisine, her sensitive nose and what it's like to be the Kentucky representative. 

Feb 19, 2019

Tom and Kevin analyze the most contentious episode of the season with the help of cheftestant Eric Adjepong. What's the best food? Who's to blame for WaffleGate? Is Eric a big, bad bully? We also talk Ghanaian cuisine, Eric's beloved Knicks and what really happened at Rupp Arena.

Feb 11, 2019
Grand Ole Opportunity

Kevin and Tom review the season's cheftestants after yet another first-time winner steals the show. We also hash out our hypothetical songs of inspiration, handicap the favorites and scout the next episode at Rupp Arena. 

Feb 03, 2019
Soiree or Kegger?

Kevin and Tom analyze all things Boat Party Wars -- Eddie's draft, the jiggle juice and whether their souls belong to Team Blue or Team Green. The hosts also pay tribute to the late Fatima Ali, a PYK and Top Chef fan favorite.  

Jan 28, 2019
Carne! Brother!

Kevin and Tom dissect Episode 7 like Dario Cecchini on a Decca patio. Kevin parades Eddie while Tom laments Brian. Also, Kevin and Tom talk to old friend Brother Luck about his up-and-down year on Top Chef and Last Chance Kitchen

Jan 21, 2019
Brian And Justin

Top Chef cheftestants Brian Young and Justin Sutherland join Kevin and Tom for a recap of Restaurant Wars and the latest Canapé episode 1606. Why did the cheftestants go on a hunger strike? Which cheftestant practice quickfires before the show? What are they up to now? On the latest episode of PYK.

Jan 16, 2019
The Forgotten Crudo

Kevin Arnovitz and Tom Haberstroh take you behind the scenes at Restaurant Wars and reveal what it’s like to attend Top Chef’s signature event. Special guest Hershy Ash re-joins the show to analyze this season’s three-restaurant twist and assess the performance of Third Coast, North East and Thistle. 

Jan 07, 2019
The First Restaurant War of 2018-19

Tom and Kevin are joined by restaurant consultant Hershy Ash to break down the first of a 2-part special, 12-contestant Restaurant Wars. 

Dec 31, 2018
Naughty and Nice

Tom explains to Kevin the workings of Quick Fire White Elephant Gift Exchange, and the hosts debate whether Nini or David should be the early favorite and wonder if Natalie has the goods to run the table in Last Chance Kitchen. 

Dec 24, 2018
Ask For More Lemons

Kevin Arnovitz and Tom Haberstroh break down a stunning exit, the infamous $500 lamb tab and handicap the frontrunners for Season 16 Kentucky.

Dec 17, 2018
With The 1st Pick ...

  Kevin and Tom recap the Season 16: Kentucky premiere while conducting a live draft of all 18 contestants, including the Last Chance Kitchen field. Who will go No. 1? Who is the villain? Which contestants have the biggest trade value? 

Dec 07, 2018
Top Chef Season 16 Preview!

Kevin Arnovitz and Tom Haberstroh are back for Season 16 of Top Chef. Gearing up for this week's season premiere, Arnovitz and Haberstroh preview season 16, scout the bios of the 15 contestants and share their favorite Kentucky spots and cuisine.

Dec 04, 2018
The Finale

Tom and Kevin break down the exciting finale of Top Chef Season 15, and are joined by the finalists, Adrienne Cheatham and Joe Flamm to recap the season, what went into their dishes, and what's next in their journeys.   

Mar 14, 2018
Gone Fishing

The episode before the finale. Tom and Kevin break down the penultimate episode. 

Mar 07, 2018
The Final Four

Tom and Kevin break down the final four episode of Top Chef 15, including the rocky mountain oysters quickfire and family recipe elimination challenge, then visit with chef "Mustache" Joe Sasto. 

Feb 27, 2018
High End

Tom and Kevin are joined by ESPN's Mina Kimes to welcome back the Last Chance Kitchen winner, break down Episode 11 and scout the remaining Top Chefs as we approach the final.

Feb 20, 2018
Return of the Curse

Tom and Kevin break down Episode 10 of Top Chef with the help of special guest and father of Baby Jude, Bruce Kalman. Kalman goes behind-the-scenes to explain why he went on Top Chef and why he ate candy bars out of a baby diaper.

Feb 13, 2018
The Risotto Curse Returns

Kevin and Tom recap the Super Bowl episode, mourn Team Kevin and geek out about Top Chef myths with Lynn from the essential

Feb 05, 2018
Restaurant Wars

Tom and Kevin recap Restaurant Wars with the help of restaurant fixer-upper Hershy Ash and check in with Top Chef’s Fatima Ali about her cancer battle, being a Baby Bear and cooking Pakistani cuisine.

Jan 29, 2018
The "Olympics" Competition

Tom and Kevin break down Top Chef's high-intensity, super-tense "Olympics" competition, and debate whether cliquey-ness is a good thing. 

Jan 20, 2018
Cilantro vs. Claudette

Tom and Kevin break down the High German elimination challenge and negotiate a blockbuster trade of chef-testants. Then they chat with Chef Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins about the dynamics on show, regional Mexican cooking, and their hate of cilantro. 

Jan 15, 2018
Ep 6: Chef Amish Soul Food

Kevin and Tom recap Episode 5 with the help of Top Chef contestant and proprietor of Amish soul food Chris Scott. Warning: strong language and stronger recipes.

Jan 06, 2018
Ep 5: Bye-Bye Bear, Hello Blais!

Kevin and Tom recap a shocking Episode 4 of Top Chef and talk to special guest Richard Blais of Top Chef fame and the Starving For Attention podcast about possibly starting a Top Chef camp and other behind-the-scenes topics too fire for TV.

Jan 02, 2018
Ep 4: The Chilito

Top Chef contestant Tyler Anderson joins Kevin Arnovitz and Tom Haberstroh on the pod, taking us behind the scenes at Top Chef and breaking down the food truck episode with details you can't get anywhere else.

Dec 23, 2017
Ep 3: The Bear Den

Kevin Arnovitz and Tom Haberstroh break down Episode 2 of Top Chef and re-visit their draft picks after a surprising elimination. (Promo Code: Healthy)

1:10- Intro

1:45- Quickfire Challenge

9:55- Team Challenges

10:35- The Farm

12:20- Menu Creation

14:25- Elimination Challenge

20:45- Kevin’s Tyler Anderson Experience

SeatGeek (Promo Code: Healthy)

27:15- Elimination Challenge contd.

31:00- Last Chance Kitchen

34:00- Elimination Challenge contd.

40:45- Draft lookback

44:40- Pack your Knives and go

49:30- Dish they wanted to eat most

51:30- The Big Number

Dec 16, 2017
Ep 2: The Draft

Kevin and Tom draft their fantasy teams and dive into the Season 15 premiere. Who went No. 1? And should you help a fellow Top Chef if it isn’t team play? Is this season too nice?

01:00- Rock, Paper, Scissors for 1st pick

02:00- Pick 1

09:00- Elimination Challenge Winners statistics

10:15- Confidence impact on Top Chef competitors

11:20- Pick 2 announced by David Stern

12:30- Ballsiness in dish choice

13:40- Helping other Competitors

17:00- Pick 3

18:40- Pick 4

19:50- Why do people do Top Chef after “Making it”

22:20- Specific Skills for Top Chef vs Real Life abilities

24:40- Pick 5

27:00- Pick 6

28:30- Winning Quickfire wins as a future predictor

30:20- Pick 7

32:05- Pick 8

32:30- Michelin Stars

33:40- Cooking Pedigree

34:30- Red Sauce and Pizza

36:20- Pick 9

37:50- Pick 10

38:45- Pick 11

39:40- Purple Potatoes(Pack your Knives hack of the week)

41:05- Pick 12

42:20- Pick 13

43:30- Pick 14

44:40- Pick 15

45:30- Pick 16

46:30- Pick 17

47:15- Episode 1 closing thoughts

47:40- This seasons Villain

48:40- Recurring Mistakes by competitors

49:35 Top Chef Strategy

52:20- Scoring System

Dec 08, 2017
Ep 1: Welcome to Pack Your Knives

NBA writers Kevin Arnovitz and Tom Haberstroh profess their love for Top Chef, name their favorite seasons and preview Season 15's contestants with analytics and scouting.


0:00- Intro/How this podcast got it's start

1:30- Top Chef fantasy quick rundown

2:30- QuickFire appreciation

5:10- Favorite Seasons

20:00- All Time Favorite Chefs

26:05- Season 15 Cheftestants

37:30- Choosing a Chef based on bio

42:30- NBA Restaraunts

48:25- Bojangles Nutritional Trivia of the week

50:25- The Big Number(Top Chef Style)


Follow us on twitter @PackKnives

Dec 05, 2017