Soggy Biscuits Send Caitlin Home In 'Top Chef' Premiere

Dec 6, 2018

Caitlin Steininger's prayers weren't answered, she told Bravo viewers after being eliminated in the Top Chef season 16 premiere telecast Thursday night.

"I prayed not to be the first chef eliminated. This is pretty much the only thing my boys said don't do. It sucks," says Steininger, whose Cooking with Caitlin brand includes a Cincinnati radio show, Wyoming restaurant and a Sunday Enquirer column.

Steininger was doomed with soggy biscuits in the first major challenge, a Ketucky Derby party filmed in Louisville earlier this year. Her tomato cobbler with salt and pepper biscuits and homemade ricotta was one of the bottom three dishes prepared by the 15 contestants.

Caitlin Steininger preparing her biscuits for her tomato cobbler in Louisville.
Credit Courtesy Bravo

"It was a great idea, but you didn't execute it. You got soggy biscuits," said judge Tom Colicchio.

Judges Tom Colicchio and Padma Lakshmi at Churchill Downs for the "Top Chef" season opener.
Credit Courtesy Bravo

Realizing her failure while facing the judges was "like when you have to look your parents in the eye, when you did something, and you didn't mean to do something wrong," she said.

Awaiting the verdict, she said "there are so many 'Jesus and Mary and Josephs' happening in my head."

Her prayers didn't help.

The judges told her to pack her knives and go home.

Contestant Kelsey Barnard Clark of Alabama watches Caitlin cooking during the opening "quick fire" challenge at Churchill Downs.
Credit Courtesy Bravo

"In this short amount of time, I learned that being a chef is so much more than the food you cook," she told viewers as the show ended.

"I just wish I could have showed you more."

Read more about Steininger, the mother of four, in my October story announcing the 15 contestants for the Top Chef season 16.