Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the society.

Photo

Top Chef: Seattle


  • Please log in to reply
381 replies to this topic

#1 David Ross

David Ross
  • host
  • 3,409 posts
  • Location:Spokane

Posted 08 November 2012 - 07:35 PM

O.K., folks, here we go with season 10, Top Chef-Seattle.

#2 David Ross

David Ross
  • host
  • 3,409 posts
  • Location:Spokane

Posted 08 November 2012 - 07:42 PM

Seattle is a city with a unique geographical setting that naturally gives a cook a bounty of wonderful ingredients. I know I'll be chewing my fingernails in frustration over ridiculous challenges that will have no relationship to the Pacific Northwest. And of course, they'll traipse off to some far-away location for the finale. (Remember, the finale for Top Chef Texas was British Columbia, and I love British Columbia but they could have kept it in the Lone Star State).

Seattle is much more than Salmon and Dungeness Crab, but oh is that seafood delicious.

#3 David Ross

David Ross
  • host
  • 3,409 posts
  • Location:Spokane

Posted 08 November 2012 - 07:53 PM

So a twist this season. Rather than start in Texas and end far North, we'll start in cities across the country, say cooking with Chef Colicchio at Craft, then the fortunate few will end up in Seattle. A different concept from the past. This should be interesting.

#4 Shelby

Shelby
  • society donor
  • 2,683 posts

Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:03 AM

Oh, Hugh, will you EVER tweeze those unibrows???

I was way more interested in this first episode than I was the last years.

Gina Keatley --I'm SO glad she didn't make it. I'll leave it at that.

#5 David Ross

David Ross
  • host
  • 3,409 posts
  • Location:Spokane

Posted 09 November 2012 - 05:37 PM

I've been around Chef Carla Pellegrino a number of times in Las Vegas. What you saw on Top Chef last night is the real Carla--wacky, outspoken, pasionnate and emotional. But in the end, Carla is incredibly likeable and a good Chef. Is she the "Top" Chef of Italian cuisine in America today? Probably not, but shes a very good Chef.

#6 gfweb

gfweb
  • participating member
  • 4,018 posts

Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:41 PM

She looks like a manic Charo.

#7 Shelby

Shelby
  • society donor
  • 2,683 posts

Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:43 PM

She looks like a manic Charo.

Ditto!

#8 IndyRob

IndyRob
  • participating member
  • 861 posts

Posted 10 November 2012 - 08:44 AM

That seemed a very disparate set of challenges. I always like to imagine what/how I would do and I think Colicchio would've sent me packing in minutes - while, on the other hand, I think I'd have a fighting chance at making it through if given 45 minutes to make an omelette.

#9 gfweb

gfweb
  • participating member
  • 4,018 posts

Posted 10 November 2012 - 10:02 AM

Those omelets were pretty gross. Amazing a potential TC can't do a decent looking omelet. In their slight defense it looked like they were given steel pans to cook them in. If you expect teflon, that'd be a big adjustment and would account for the brown eggs.

#10 David Ross

David Ross
  • host
  • 3,409 posts
  • Location:Spokane

Posted 10 November 2012 - 05:30 PM

Those omelets were pretty gross. Amazing a potential TC can't do a decent looking omelet. In their slight defense it looked like they were given steel pans to cook them in. If you expect teflon, that'd be a big adjustment and would account for the brown eggs.

I concur, and I even thought the master omelet that Chef Puck pounded out looked a little marginal.

#11 Brown Hornet

Brown Hornet
  • participating member
  • 144 posts
  • Location:Atlanta

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:48 AM

The Good: I really loved the first episode challenges -- all were solid tests of a cook's skill and no b.s. gimmicks.

The Bad: Still seems like the caliber of cooks is down a little from prior years, and with some irritating personalities thrown in for extra flavor. Did I actually hear one of the losing chefs refer to his Asian competitor as "origami." Classy!

The Ugly: Team omelette. If they only had 15 minutes I might understand, but 45? I particularly loved the steak omelette which consisted of a burnt omelette with a steak slapped on top and looked like something I'd whip up as a hangover cure. Even Puck's omelette looked sketchy.

Lastly, I'm really tired of Top Chef completely ignoring the Southeast, other than the insult of holding the Season 5 finale in New Orleans. What gives? No offense to Seattle, which is one of my favorite places in the world, but to not have a season based in New Orleans or somehwere else in the Southeast after 10 years is insulting.

#12 David Ross

David Ross
  • host
  • 3,409 posts
  • Location:Spokane

Posted 15 November 2012 - 08:43 PM

I'm wiggling in my seat watching these Chefs put fresh Northwest seafood in front of Tom Douglas. I was in their shoes about 12 years ago. Chef Douglas judged me on MasterChef USA on PBS. Thankfully, he liked my Salt and Pepper Prawns with Sugared Walnuts. But that was a competition of amateur cooks, not professionals like Top Chef. When I saw one team over-cook their halibut tonight, I felt sick. It was like flushing gold down a toilet.

#13 David Ross

David Ross
  • host
  • 3,409 posts
  • Location:Spokane

Posted 15 November 2012 - 08:52 PM

Salmon is a simple fish gifted with natural beauty---but it's not forgiving when you cook it.

#14 gfweb

gfweb
  • participating member
  • 4,018 posts

Posted 15 November 2012 - 10:19 PM

Salmon demands gentle poaching. Everything else is risky.

#15 David Ross

David Ross
  • host
  • 3,409 posts
  • Location:Spokane

Posted 16 November 2012 - 05:33 AM

Salmon demands gentle poaching. Everything else is risky.

I agree. I once heard a Chef say the best way to cook fish was in the same environment in which it swam--water.

#16 Brown Hornet

Brown Hornet
  • participating member
  • 144 posts
  • Location:Atlanta

Posted 16 November 2012 - 10:16 AM

The overcooked halibut actually made me mad. Why on earth would you pan saute Halibut -- on both sides no less! -- 15 minutes before service? With 47 minutes to cook, oil poaching was an option and I was surprised only one team went that route.

#17 eternal

eternal
  • participating member
  • 282 posts

Posted 16 November 2012 - 03:44 PM

Made me want to poach cod in chili oil. Every once in awhile you actually learn something from top chef

#18 annabelle

annabelle
  • participating member
  • 1,957 posts
  • Location:Grand Lake o' the Cherokees, Oklahoma

Posted 16 November 2012 - 07:16 PM

That does sound tasty.

I am pleased to see the return of Stefan who was robbed last time around. And CJ, the world's tallest chef. Josie, not so much. She still laughs like a donkey. And the Texan with the elaborate facial hair can hit the road anytime soon. He's grouchy, bitchy and curses too much even for this crew.

#19 David Ross

David Ross
  • host
  • 3,409 posts
  • Location:Spokane

Posted 16 November 2012 - 08:12 PM

I've said it before so I'll add it for the flavor of Season 10 of Top Chef--it's especially egregious that apparently talented, experienced Chefs don't demonstrate the skills on Top Chef that one would think they have to display every night during service in their restaurant. I mean really, how difficult is it for a team of three Chefs to put together an entree in less than one hour? Sauce-Chef #1. Fish-Chef-#2. Vegetables/Garnishes/Plating-Chef #3.

Has anyone ever heard or used a #2 pencil? Wouldn't that be the simplest tool to use to write down your timing? Think of it as reversing the clock. Just take a deep breath and resist the temptation to start romping through the kitchen like a delirious idiot. Hmm. Let's see. We have 45 min. to prepare our dish. So if we serve at 7pm, we get the green light at 615pm. So writing down and all agreeing to the timing, working as a team, with one leader calling out the instructions and overseeing the dish, we should be able to do it, right? Right? If we serve at 7p? When should we call out firing the fish? And should we make accomodation for the few minutes from plating to walk the plates into the dining room? Gosh, that's a good idea. Oh yeah, it's not that hard, we do it every night, don't we?

I've seen far better planning, execution and timing at a Heartland Gathering of eGullet Members than I sometimes see on Top Chef. Get it together Cheftestants.

#20 jsmeeker

jsmeeker
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 2,505 posts
  • Location:Dallas, TX

Posted 28 November 2012 - 07:41 PM

John Tesar is in this thing. Kinda surprising to see someone like that in this show. He's pretty much reached the levels most of the typical Top Chef contestant dreams of reaching. Oh, sure, he's had his issues. But still, I don't really get why he things he needs to prove something in this manner.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org


#21 David Ross

David Ross
  • host
  • 3,409 posts
  • Location:Spokane

Posted 28 November 2012 - 08:02 PM

So Jeff, being from Dallas, did the local community really once call Tesar the most-hated Chef in Dallas? And what could the guy have done that was so egregious that it earned him that woeful title?

#22 jsmeeker

jsmeeker
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 2,505 posts
  • Location:Dallas, TX

Posted 28 November 2012 - 09:48 PM

So Jeff, being from Dallas, did the local community really once call Tesar the most-hated Chef in Dallas? And what could the guy have done that was so egregious that it earned him that woeful title?


D Magazine gave him that dubious title in cover story. I suppose he is most noted for taking over at the Mansion On Turtle Creek after Dean Fearing left, totally revamped the place, and won rave reviews. (he left RM Seafood in Las Vegas to take the gig). That didn't last long. But I think most of the hate comes from other chefs, cooks, waiters, etc. and restaurant owners, and probably less from the general public (though I suppose some hated that he changed the Mansion in a major way). He even gets mentioned by Anthony Bourdain in 'Kitchen Confidential'.

Anyway... whole story is here.

http://www.dmagazine...in_Dallas.aspx?

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org


#23 Shalmanese

Shalmanese
  • participating member
  • 3,528 posts
  • Location:San Francisco

Posted 29 November 2012 - 01:56 AM

Of the 6 chefs who cooked an omelette for Wolfgang Puck, 4 have already been eliminated and Tyler is holding on by a fingernail. Wolfgang was way too generous to his omelette chefs, the only one he should have passed is Kumiko.
PS: I am a guy.

#24 GordonCooks

GordonCooks
  • participating member
  • 2,550 posts
  • Location:Rochester, NY

Posted 29 November 2012 - 06:02 AM

I hope CJ gets the axe.....and he will judging by his cooking.
How did he get so pompous?

#25 annabelle

annabelle
  • participating member
  • 1,957 posts
  • Location:Grand Lake o' the Cherokees, Oklahoma

Posted 29 November 2012 - 01:55 PM

I'm glad Carla is gone. Passion is one thing. Psychosis is another.

#26 David Ross

David Ross
  • host
  • 3,409 posts
  • Location:Spokane

Posted 30 November 2012 - 06:42 AM

I'm glad Carla is gone. Passion is one thing. Psychosis is another.

Exactly. Whenever I've been around Carla when I'm in Las Vegas I always leave sort of shaking my head. Very talented but also, I sense, incredibly insecure. I think that's why she over-compensates with her intentional "psychosis" and a craving for attention. The insecurity clouds her ability to understand that if she just cooked the great Italian dishes she grew up with, people would laud her for that--not for the fact she's injected her lips with Botox and she wears heels in the kitchen. I think there's a shard of truth here that she realizes. You could see it in her face when they told her to pack her knives and go. I sort of felt bad for her. It was like the pretty girl at the party being told that nobody liked her--and she knew it.

She just opened a new meatball restaurant in a mall in Las Vegas, (the venture at the Tropicana suddenly closed this Fall), so hopefully someday she will realize a better balance between her cooking and her "image."

#27 rickster

rickster
  • participating member
  • 765 posts
  • Location:Chicago Suburbs

Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:45 AM

Of the 6 chefs who cooked an omelette for Wolfgang Puck, 4 have already been eliminated and Tyler is holding on by a fingernail. Wolfgang was way too generous to his omelette chefs, the only one he should have passed is Kumiko.


so where then would they find the chefs to fill up the rest of the pool? Or would they cut the season short? This is TV, and things are somewhat structured in advance. I'm sure each of the judges was given a narrow minimum and maximum number of chefs they could pass.

#28 David Ross

David Ross
  • host
  • 3,409 posts
  • Location:Spokane

Posted 01 December 2012 - 06:11 PM


So Jeff, being from Dallas, did the local community really once call Tesar the most-hated Chef in Dallas? And what could the guy have done that was so egregious that it earned him that woeful title?


D Magazine gave him that dubious title in cover story. I suppose he is most noted for taking over at the Mansion On Turtle Creek after Dean Fearing left, totally revamped the place, and won rave reviews. (he left RM Seafood in Las Vegas to take the gig). That didn't last long. But I think most of the hate comes from other chefs, cooks, waiters, etc. and restaurant owners, and probably less from the general public (though I suppose some hated that he changed the Mansion in a major way). He even gets mentioned by Anthony Bourdain in 'Kitchen Confidential'.

Anyway... whole story is here.

http://www.dmagazine...in_Dallas.aspx?

After watching that deplorable effort on Tesar's part to act as the expediter in the pass I'm now not suprised that his contemporaries in Dallas say nasty things about him. He'll probably get far in this competition just based on his cooking talents, but in the end I predict his disregard for others and ignorance of the negative vibe he sends off will catch him and that will trump him up.

#29 David Ross

David Ross
  • host
  • 3,409 posts
  • Location:Spokane

Posted 01 December 2012 - 06:13 PM

Don't tell me that a "Top Chef" can't properly roast a squab. If you can't, you don't deserve to stay Carla. I know one highly regarded Italian Chef in Las Vegas who is noted for his delicious treatment of game birds. Carla's inference that an Italian Chef wouldn't know how to cook a squab was laughable.

#30 MissAmy

MissAmy
  • participating member
  • 508 posts
  • Location:Austin, TX

Posted 02 December 2012 - 12:17 PM

The squab thing was weird. I would assume, as a chef, she has at least cooked small birds at some point in her life. Why not just apply those techniques to the squab?

I was left wondering if the "I've never cooked a squab" thing was set up by producers for "drama."
-Sounds awfully rich!
-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!