Omnivore - Top Chef: Put your heart on a plate and serve it

"It's all about passion, the challenge, creativity, you know, I'm just out there to put my heart on a plate and let people see it." So spoke the anxious, sweating, "Top Chef" auditionee at Sunday's casting call for Bravo's reality show. Casting directors Randy and Danielle thank him, and the four minute interview he waited two-and-a-half hours for is over.

Outside, the line snakes down Peachtree Street from the Hard Rock Cafe. It is 1 p.m., and some of these nervous chefs have been here for hours, the earliest arriving at 6 a.m., for their chance to audition. Some have chef-wear on, chef pants, the names of their respective restaurants stitched on chests, clutching resumes and applications, and all are very anxious, very determined, and very sick of waiting in line.

Randy pops his head out to let the hordes know they will take a 10 minute break to eat. "That OK guys?"

"No, it's not OK," one surly woman toward the front of the line snaps back. Tensions are running high.

Inside, over their anger-inciting lunch, Randy and Danielle know just what they are looking for. "We want someone with passion, drive and talent who is able to articulate food and understand recipes and flavor profiles," Randy says between bites of his hamburger. "Someone who knows what their style is and how they would articulate this on a plate. All our contestants are hand-picked by us. ... We really like Atlanta so far, it's a cool city."

Where to Eat
Food Events