The Only Times Tom Colicchio Has Spit Out Food On Top Chef

There's no question that celebrity chef Tom Colicchio has spent a lot of his life tasting and judging food. Bravo even praises him as being "one of the culinary world's most celebrated figures." With decades of restaurant and food-tasting experience under his belt, the latter is hard to argue with. From Colicchio's first restaurant job as a prep cook at Evelyn's Seafood in Elizabeth, New Jersey, to his roles as the head judge and executive producer of Bravo's Top Chef, this celebrity chef is no stranger to dishing out his expert opinions when it comes to what's good and what's not (via Bloomberg).

Despite his longtime experience, Colicchio has only ever spat out food on Top Chef two times (so far) and, unsurprisingly, with good reason. "We don't get a lot of bad dishes," he explained to The Hollywood Reporter, which is probably why these two less-than-sufficient dishes took Colicchio by surprise. Side note: If you ever happen to be cooking a meal for Tom Colicchio (we can all dream, right?), he's pretty open about the biggest mistakes he thinks people make when cooking. What mistakes made him spit out his food?

The infamous dishes Colicchio couldn't stomach

Although both instances seem to linger in Colicchio's mind rent-free, he describes "the single-worst dish [he's] ever eaten on Top Chef" on an episode of Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen (via Bravo): "I was in a desert in Las Vegas . . . [A cheftestant] made this cod ceviche in the summer that was like 90 degrees and it was horrible and I spit it out immediately. I tried to hide behind a cactus, and I just spit it out." In another interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Colicchio mentions that same experience, noting that he was served "more-than-room-temperature raw fish." "It was pretty gross," he recalled.

Although Colicchio's raw cod nightmare was the only spit-take caught on camera, he told The Hollywood Reporter about a second time he had to ditch his meal. "There was another one that didn't get caught on camera," he said. "It was a clam, and it was kind of warm, as well, with lychee, and something about it just made that gag reflex go off." Our advice? Take note of these common fish-cooking mistakes before presenting a dish to Colicchio. Thank us later.