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Top Chef: Seattle


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#31 Holly Moore

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 05:10 PM

Enjoying this year's Top Chef, whidh is something I haven't been able to say for a few years. The low point in the series was the Peewee Herman and the bicycles episode. Figured they had jumped the shark at that point. The producers were playing with the chefs like a little girl plays with her Barbie Doll's. All about placing chefs in ridiculous situations and going for the chuckle. At the risk of speaking too soon, it seems this year is more cooking oriented.

My guess is Tom Colicchio got pissed and steered the show back to an actual cooking competition.
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#32 Brown Hornet

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 09:03 AM

I agree with Holly. Although the quality of chefs doesn't seem to be any better (excepting the ringer Tesar), putting more focus on actual cooking than gimmicks in the elimination challenges is a vast improvement. Plus no catering elimintations yet -- Yay!

So far I'd rank this season above Seasons 9 (Texas), 5 (NY) and 7 (Wash DC) but still well below the series high points of seasons 3, 4, & 6 (my favorites). At this point, I'd settle for a solid season.

#33 lindag

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 03:55 PM

I'm thoroughly enjoying this season. I love the Seattle location, nice that it's in the West.
There's something quite different about this year, more interaction with the real Chefs maybe? That's a nice touch.
As usual though there's that blend of really odd characters.
Like everyone else I wish Hugh would have those eyebrows worked on, he looks ridiculous. And I don't know why he's one of the judges anyway but I don't know what his background is.
And Carla! Wow! What a train wreck. Doubly glad she's gone.

#34 huiray

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 04:01 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?


John Tesar was "Jimmy Sears" in Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential".

One reads this-and-that about John Tesar's reputation in Dallas and elsewhere, and that dmagazine story wasn't exactly "neutral". Still, what did you hear the chefs, waiters, cooks etc say about Tesar , both good and bad?

#35 huiray

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 04:11 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 suppose they were expected to make classic French omelets, even though it wasn't spelled out and Wolfgang Puck merely asked them to make "an omelet" for him, and the comments about their being brown, sloppy etc would be meaningful in this sense. I wonder - suppose one of them (say, Chrissy Camba, drawing on her Filipino heritage and extrapolating into SE and E Asian fare) had made something like an oyster omelet ("Oh Chien" in Hokkien; https://www.google.c...lient=firefox-a) or Kuniko Yagi had made a form of "Tamagoyaki" instead? They're omelets - just not a *French* omelet.

#36 huiray

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 04:15 PM

I thought there was a good case for CJ Jacobsen or Joshua Valentine to have been sent home instead of Chrissy Camba at the end of the latest episode.

#37 David Ross

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 05:13 PM

Enjoying this year's Top Chef, whidh is something I haven't been able to say for a few years. The low point in the series was the Peewee Herman and the bicycles episode. Figured they had jumped the shark at that point. The producers were playing with the chefs like a little girl plays with her Barbie Doll's. All about placing chefs in ridiculous situations and going for the chuckle. At the risk of speaking too soon, it seems this year is more cooking oriented.

My guess is Tom Colicchio got pissed and steered the show back to an actual cooking competition.

I agree, it appears that we're in for a more focused season with more emphasis on real-life cooking challenges. That, for me, is a great relief over years of insane challenges cooking with ingredients out of the local 7-11 or catered affairs for debutante coming of age parties. I'm sensing that since were this far into the show, I don't think we'll go down the ludicrous path of past seasons. While Seattle is best-known for seafood, I'm hoping they venture out a little and taste some of the other wonderful products the region has to offer.

#38 Merkinz

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 01:39 PM

I'm glad Carla is gone.


This has made the show so much more watchable! ... She was insane!

#39 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:03 PM


I'm glad Carla is gone.


This has made the show so much more watchable! ... She was insane!

She liked drama and attention, for sure.

#40 GordonCooks

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 07:03 AM

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


Ask, and you shall receive :)

#41 David Ross

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 07:35 AM

Like so many of the Top Cheftants that have come and gone, (and are in the game this year), fame seemingly goes to their head. They lose all sense of what got them to the point of even being a strong candidate for Top Chef at the video submission stage-the ability to cook.

CJ is a perfect example. Last week during the Canlis "Classics of the 50's" challenge, he put out a tepid dish of Shish Kebab over rice. From the looks of the dish, (and the comments of the judges), the rice was tasteless, as was the lamb. No seasoning, no spice, no heat, na-da.

I'm old enough to have dined at a number of "Continental" rooms in the 60's and 70's and Shish Kebab was always an exotic treat. In all honesty, my Father probably let me order it because it was cheaper than the filet mignon. That didn't matter to me, I thought it was a fabulous dish, often paraded into the dining room spiked on swords with a stunning trail of flame. Apparently CJ not only forgot the seasoning but also forgot to review his history books. Had he traipsed into Canlis with flaming Shish Kebab, he probably would've scored a few more style points with the judges.

#42 gfweb

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:06 AM

I know that teams add drama and variety, but from a competitive sense I don't like them. The argument goes something like a good chef will have to be able to work with people. But not with flaming jackasses that he'd never hire in the first place. This year does seems well-stocked with jackasses BTW.

#43 Jaymes

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:19 AM

I know that teams add drama and variety, but from a competitive sense I don't like them. The argument goes something like a good chef will have to be able to work with people. But not with flaming jackasses that he'd never hire in the first place. This year does seems well-stocked with jackasses BTW.


Well, I suppose the producers, etc., feel like their first priority is to keep Top Chef on the air. So, basically, they're "casting" a show just like all other entertainment. Not sure the series would have so many viewers if all it was was a bunch of dedicated, competent, focused professionals quietly going about their work.

#44 gfweb

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:46 AM

Did I say I was against flaming jackasses? :raz:

#45 Jaymes

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:11 AM

Did I say I was against flaming jackasses? :raz:


With a cheap brandy In a chafing dish, perhaps? :raz:

#46 David Ross

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 07:24 AM

Good for Tom for pulling the $10K off the table for the latest challenge. If you get past the touristy aspects of flying fish, Pike Place Market in Seattle is fabulous. It's literally a seasonal smorgasboard of local ingredients and hand-crafted products. Any one of us would have come up with more creative dishes than what we saw.

I can always spot it ten miles away-Cheftestants with attitude and inflated egos, coupled with any sense of manners and treating other people with a whit of respect are the Chefs who often stumble along the way. Cookery skills are supposedly the primary trait that garners a win on Top Chef, but that can only take you so far, especially when you are paired on a team or in a group. CJ was just the most recent example. His "I'm the best Chef" in this competition attitude obviously cast a haze over rational thinking. In his mind, a ground pork burger on a crumpet garnished with a fried pickle would easily reward him with a win and a culinary medal. He's more of a joke than that joke of a burger. And then there was his teamate Tyler. He suffered the indignity of being paired with an egotistical ass who didn't craft a good burger, but Tyler trumped CJ because he left with grace, class and professionalism.

Of course, knowing the dramady that Bravo pushes on us, I won't be surprised when they announce CJ won in the Last Chance Kitchen and raises his ugly head back in the competition.

#47 eternal

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 08:53 PM

they alll seemed to phone it in on that last challenge. I'm sure there's a bit of "i just don't want to be last so lets keep it simple"strategy going on. also, it looked like the challenge started at about 6am. probably not a ton of creative juices flowing that early. still, i'd be sad if i was one of the producers of the ingredients, excited for an amazing meal and then got that.

#48 gfweb

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 10:29 PM

Boy those ingredients were pretty lame. Rose water? Pickles? Come on. Fine dining doesn't see that stuff used... ever. Top Chef needs to be careful of the foolish tests if it wants to stay interesting.

#49 lindag

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 07:47 AM

Boy those ingredients were pretty lame. Rose water? Pickles? Come on. Fine dining doesn't see that stuff used... ever. Top Chef needs to be careful of the foolish tests if it wants to stay interesting.


I totally agree. You've gotta use more realistic ingredients if you want stellar results.

#50 Lupinus

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 04:50 PM


Boy those ingredients were pretty lame. Rose water? Pickles? Come on. Fine dining doesn't see that stuff used... ever. Top Chef needs to be careful of the foolish tests if it wants to stay interesting.


I totally agree. You've gotta use more realistic ingredients if you want stellar results.

Sure.

But "we're gonna make a bad burger on a bad bun and throw pickles on it!"

Really? Seriosuly? The best you can do with your pickles is fry and toss them onto a burger?

#51 jsmeeker

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 05:00 PM

I don't know what else to do with a pickle other than eat it with a sandwich on on a sandwich or a burger. Or a garnish for some pate or something like that.

What would a true "Top Chef" do with a pickle?

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#52 David Ross

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 05:02 PM

I don't know what else to do with a pickle other than eat it with a sandwich on on a sandwich or a burger. Or a garnish for some pate or something like that.

What would a true "Top Chef" do with a pickle?

I would have coated the pickles with cornmeal and fried them. Then I would have made a sauce of parsley and pickle. Then I would have served the whole lot with crispy fried frogs legs. Then I would have.....

#53 annabelle

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 05:35 PM

What was that? Top Chef meets Chopped?

#54 David Ross

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 05:42 PM

I did have to laugh when they brought out truffled popcorn and made it sound like it was founded by a merchant at Pike Place Market. Yeah right. It was a rip-off of a rip-off of somebody elses idea and the guy got the money to sell it at a booth at the market. What a culinary revelation.

#55 gfweb

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 07:12 PM

I'd have used pickle juice t o flavor a cole slaw to serve with pulled pork that had pickle bits in it.

RE Truffled anything: way over done to my taste. Truffle oil is an abuse waiting to happen.

Edited by gfweb, 09 December 2012 - 07:13 PM.


#56 David Ross

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 11:26 AM

Now I'm starting to yawn a bit. I was so glad that the Producers seemingly got rid of a lot of those stupid challenges from the past and were serving us more food-focused challenges. So the Cheftestants are given great products and they put out boring food and the show is boring. I wanted to hope the new direction would be more interesting than this......

#57 eternal

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 12:24 PM

Now I'm starting to yawn a bit. I was so glad that the Producers seemingly got rid of a lot of those stupid challenges from the past and were serving us more food-focused challenges. So the Cheftestants are given great products and they put out boring food and the show is boring. I wanted to hope the new direction would be more interesting than this......


Really? I thought the homecoming party was pretty good. THat seafood chowder looked amazing and I plan on making that sometime in the near future.

#58 David Ross

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 12:36 PM


Now I'm starting to yawn a bit. I was so glad that the Producers seemingly got rid of a lot of those stupid challenges from the past and were serving us more food-focused challenges. So the Cheftestants are given great products and they put out boring food and the show is boring. I wanted to hope the new direction would be more interesting than this......


Really? I thought the homecoming party was pretty good. THat seafood chowder looked amazing and I plan on making that sometime in the near future.

The seafood chowder did look good, but I just wish I was seeing more creativity. The creativity on "The Next Iron Chef" is better than what I've seen on Top Chef recently.

#59 annabelle

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 12:58 PM

I'm really starting to dislike this John whatshisname who wears his eyeglasses on his forehead. He's rather too self-important to suit me.

*sigh* I miss watching the British cooking shows. Everyone is calmer.

#60 pastrygirl

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:30 PM

I have to admit I am enjoying it, maybe just because I am a Seattle native and it is exciting to see places I know. I can't say who stands out for me out of the remaining chefs. I liked CJ, hope he does well in last chance kitchen.