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Everything posted by BuzzDraft

  1. Now I'm hurt... I went through that mathematical exercise a few pages ago and no one looked at it? It showed that James Oseland was "Stingier" with his stars across the board in the elimination rounds. Overall, he gave out fewer stars than the other judges. He simply had a higher threshold for giving out stars. This is fine, as long as he consistently applied it to all contestants, and I believe he did. It's like a baseball umpire who is calling balls and strikes. As long as he's consistent in his strike zone from batter to batter, even if it's low, high, small, or large, it's fair. Judging is subjective, right? Instead of some conspiracy to hurt one charity to help another, maybe Oseland actually liked Rick's food better? Thanks again to all for making the wait between shows so entertaining, and to Jay for participating on this thread.
  2. I really enjoyed this series. The finale was great... allowing the three top chefs to tell their life's biography through their dishes. It was really very interesting to hear their stories. I thought Keller was running away with it, but by the time of judges table, I felt that any of the three could win it. All were certainly worthy. As for Chiarello, he assumed the mantle of underdog towards the end, calling himself "Scrappy". I think it was just good-natured gamesmanship with the other chefs. So he's competitive... it was a competition after all. And a particular thank you to Jay for participating in this thread, the participants always add a lot to the discussion since they saw the context of everything before the edits took over the direction of the story. Also, thanks to all here for making TCM a very entertaining 10 weeks.
  3. Perhaps a better analogy... it would be like watching dough rise.
  4. Sorry Jay, it's what I know. I earned my electrical engineering degree from prestigious Georgia Tech... what else other than data reduction could I add to this community of highly trained cooks and chefs and restaurateurs? Learning all I can from foodie sources has made me pretty good in a kitchen, but as a hobbyist. I'm much better at brewing great beers. I'd love to be a food writer when my engineering days are over. Watch out, I may still add the standard deviation results... Cheers!
  5. SORRY! Of course, after all that, I found a keying error. Chiarello had 19.5 stars, not 18.5. So, here's my equivalent of a pie-chart reward... a ridiculous breakdown of the elimination round results. I added the individual judges' scoring also, so you can see who the strict and soft judges are. I was very surprised that James gave out the fewest stars and Gael Greene gave out the most. Gail Simmons sat in for Jay Rayner for two of the episodes, 4 and 6. Rank Ep Chef Stars Quick Diners James Gael Jay Gail 1t *2 Suzanne Tracht 22.5 5.0 4.5 4 4.5 4.5 1t * Rick Bayless 22.5 4.0 4 5 5 4.5 1t *4 Anita Lo 22.5 5.0 4.5 4 4.5 4.5 4 *6 Art Smith 22.0 4.5 5 3 5 4.5 5t *1 Hubert Keller 20.5 5.0 4 4 4 3.5 5t 2 Graham Elliot Bowl 20.5 4.5 4.5 4 4 3.5 7t 2 Wylie Dufresne 20.0 3.0 3.5 5 4 4.5 7t 6 Jonathan Waxman 20.0 3.5 4.5 4 4 4 9t 3 Wilo Benet 19.5 4.5 4 3 4 4 9t *5 Michael Chiarello 19.5 4.5 3.5 3.5 4 4 11 1 Christopher Lee 19.0 3.5 4 3.5 4 4 12 4 Mark Peel 18.5 2.5 4 3.5 4.5 4 13 6 Michael Cimarusti 17.5 5.0 3.5 2.5 3 3.5 14t 5 Rick Moonen 17.0 0.0 4 4 4.5 4.5 14t 5 Nils Noren 17.0 3.0 3.5 4 3.5 3 16t 2 Elizabeth Falkner 16.5 3.5 3.5 3 3.5 3 16t 3 Ludo Lefebvre 16.5 3.0 3.5 3 3 4 18t 3 Cindy Pawlcyn 15.5 3.5 3 2.5 3.5 3 18t 5 Lachlan Patterson 15.5 3.0 3.5 2.5 3.5 3 20 6 Roy Yamaguchi 15.0 4.0 3 2.5 2.5 3 21 1 Tim Love 14.5 3.5 3 2.5 2.5 3 22 1 Michael Schlow 13.5 2.5 3.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 23 4 Douglas Rodriguez 13.0 3.0 3 2 2.5 2.5 24 4 John Besh 12.0 0.5 2.5 3 3 3 * = episode winner Averages 17.94 3.50 3.73 3.35 3.71 3.66 3.63 And the corrected average stars awarded per episode. Episode Avg Stars 2 19.9 6 18.6 3 18.5 5 17.3 1 16.9 4 16.5 I apologize for the confusion... I wasn't able to edit the original post. There's enough data here to: a) bore the hell out of everyone b) perform all sorts of geeky foodie analyses about judge trends So there it is. Discuss.
  6. OK, I'm an engineer so I'm really good with numbers. This Bulletin Board code isn't able to display in tables, so please forgive the Code box. Here are the final standings for all 24 master chefs using the elimination round rules. Rank Ep Chef Stars 1T * 2 Suzanne Tracht 22.5 1T * 3 Rick Bayless 22.5 1T * 4 Anita Lo 22.5 4 * 6 Art Smith 22.0 5T * 1 Hubert Keller 20.5 5T 2 Graham Elliot Bowl 20.5 7T 2 Wylie Dufresne 20.0 7T 6 Jonathan Waxman 20.0 9 3 Wilo Benet 19.5 10 1 Christopher Lee 19.0 11T 4 Mark Peel 18.5 11T * 5 Michael Chiarello 18.5 13 6 Michael Cimarusti 17.5 14T 5 Rick Moonen 17.0 14T 5 Nils Noren 17.0 16T 2 Elizabeth Falkner 16.5 16T 3 Ludo Lefebvre 16.5 18T 5 Lachlan Patterson 15.5 18T 3 Cindy Pawlcyn 15.5 20 6 Roy Yamaguchi 15.0 21 1 Tim Love 14.5 22 1 Michael Schlow 13.5 23 4 Douglas Rodriguez 13.0 24 4 John Besh 12.0 * = episode winner Also, for comparison, here are the rankings of episode by average stars awarded overall. These can be used to normalize the chef scores by the "difficulty" of each episode if you're interested. Episode Avg Stars 2 19.9 6 18.6 3 18.5 5 17.0 1 16.9 4 16.5 The biggest surprise here is who finished last. Discuss!
  7. I had forgotten about this show until I opened this thread. Hulu has episodes 1-7, and I had to go to nbc.com for the final episode 8. MPW came across as a pompous preacher in suspenders, Gene Wilder/Young Frankenstein hair, and checkered Vans with no socks. Every time he started wagging that finger at the camera, acting as if each word was the most important thing said in human history, all I could think of was Clinton's "I did not have sexual relations with that woman", or Raphael Palmero's "I did not take steroids. PERIOD!" Either is a reason to cancel the show. It followed the same formula as other cooking reality shows, didn't do it as well, and had an unlikeable host.
  8. First off, to Jay: It's great to have actual participants in the show sharing their experience and insight here. I remember exchanging thoughts with Michael Ruhlman about the "Cooking Under Fire" show from a couple years back, so please, continue your dialog here. One thing I notice in Top Chef Masters is that the chef-testants have all pretty much established their national reputations and success already, so there is clearly a lot more respect and camaraderie between them in the kitchen challenges, rather than the "I'm so much better than these other hacks" attitude from chefs who are still desperate to get national exposure. Reminds me of how colonels in the military behave, vs. generals once they've reached their career objective (and maybe feel some guilt). The master chefs really come across as having a hell of a lot of fun with each other, versus the Do-or-Die-and-screw-the-others chance to get some much-needed publicity. And finally, I'm just an engineer who cooks as a much-needed artistic outlet with my hands, not a professional, and can appreciate the technological approach to cooking when it's as sincere as Wylie Dufresne's... but is it wrong for me to picture this guy - Link to Mr. Kidd every time I see Wylie on camera?
  9. I liked the show. I respect the comments from some of the cheftestants who were judges on prior TC series, that they kind of felt obligated to put the shoe on the other foot and see how it felt to go through the challenges and be on the receiving end of the critiques. Turns out to be not as easy as it looked. However, due to it being for charity and having big name chefs, the critiques certainly are a lot softer than regular Top Chef (Collichio, Toby, etc. - do you think Rocco would dare guest judge on this?) It will make them much more knowledgeable judges in the future. The Chopped format to get quickly down to the final 6, meaning 18 of the 24 chefs will only make a brief appearance on a single episode, is disappointing, but then it would require 23 episodes to do single eliminations. This will only take 11 or so. I enjoyed the friendly camaraderie, and the dorm room challenge was a great way to constrain the talents of chefs. The cluelessness about how to work the microwaves was really funny, but also a positive reflection on their craft that they had rarely, if ever, had one in their own kitchens. I gotta try that drying the newspaper idea.
  10. Everyone on this site needs to wake up and stop putting their foodie heroes and favorite TV hosts on some sort of religious holier-than-thou pedestal. She isn't some saint to be worshipped, she's a TV entertainer whose main claim to fame and biggest career break is that she was once married to Salman Rushdie. I laughed out loud watching the blatant cuts to cleavage, the licking tomato juice off the leg, the tongue lapping up the side of the bun, and the provocative pose that pulled the dress up her thighs. It has this site talking about the Hardee's Thickburger, so mission accomplished! Hey, she's got a great bod, and someone offered her a bunch of money to apply it. She pulls it off a hell of a lot better than Rachel Ray does. Anyone who is disappointed in her holds TV personalities in way too much esteem. They're just people looking for their next job, like all the rest of us. Good on her, I say. With all due respect... edit : And I'll wager even Saints Bourdain, Keller, Adria, Dufresne, Pepin, Ripert, and even Trotter have indulged in fast food at some point. The quality depends on the context of when it is eaten.
  11. maybe it's that contestant that he was going to send to culinary school and then have back on the show..forget her name. ← Great concept! I never thought of that. I figured it would be the girl who quit two weeks ago after the burn. I hope it turns out that way.
  12. Gordon Ramsey was on Conan O'Brien last week. He came off very polite, personable, and funny, although he dropped a couple bleeps when he was describing how Conan did the last time they did a cooking demo on the show. He is a very intense person even when in a relaxed situation. After the first segment, they did another cooking demo, giving Conan an opportunity to take a few slugs from a tequila bottle, and Gordon threw the spring roll Conan purposely screwed up against the curtain. It showed his funny and human side. I like the guy, even with the Hell's Kitchen editing. Maybe even more so because of it. He's paid to present an attitude on the show, and he does it about as well as anyone.
  13. OK, I had Emeril Live on last night. It was a rerun of his casserole show. At one point, Emeril hollers out, "How are you guys in the back doing?", and they cut to the bleacher section, and I SWEAR Corey was there in the bleachers, wearing her chef jacket. I don't know when this was filmed, but I saw the same casserole show a couple months ago. Maybe she was trying to lure Emeril into the hot tub.
  14. Yeah, the guy who played "Big Pussy" certainly lived up to the name that day.
  15. Before you ridicule some one else's technical shortcomings, and embarrass yourself, try the home page, not the frame link provided above. Link All the information is there.
  16. Oh for God's sake... a so-called "Lawyer" is quoting "evidence" that was posted on Wikipedia??? Does no one understand what a Wiki is? And the guy is trying to weasel out of a release he signed himself? Isn't there an ambulance running around this lawyer would like to chase? This deposition is yet another black eye on the American courts system, and why Americans hold lawyers in the LOWEST esteem and respect. I can just picture the C-student law clerk who wrote that crappe on his behalf.
  17. It has nothing to do with "Unfortunate". He is a grown man and is accountable for his own VERY poor decisions. Stop enabling these people, sheesh! The only good I saw from The Restaurant is that I found and became a member of eGullet. Other than that, Dispirito made his own bed and must lie in it now like all the rest of human society must. -- THE TomH
  18. Oh good, someone throws the race card. Rock was selected ONLY because he was the one bitching the loudest about it. He exposed his Achilles heel by telling Ramsey he has a problem with going through the garbage, and the producers pounced. The other losers accepted their punishment, with resignation. I wouldn't be surprised if the producers came up with that twist after Rock went over the top with his temper tantrum.
  19. I never watch any other reality shows, but I can't imagine a person less suited for weathering this sort of high-pressure situation. I worry about his health, especially after seeing the previews with the ambulance. If he got any de-boning training, it may be on the cutting room floor, too. THE TomH
  20. It's part of the strategy. Who would you prefer to compete against in future episodes, Aaron or Josh? I'd want the three weakest chefs and me to make the final four. I'd never nominate Aaron, because I know he would not be a threat to me winning. You want to eliminate your chief competition every chance you get . If they survive the trip to the carpet, though, they're going to come after you hard when their chance comes up - kind of Soprano-like. That's why Ramsey gets a choice opf two to eliminate - to counter balance that sort of back stabbing strategy. And I've read here many times that Ramsey is a screamer, but on this show he's playing it over the top. You also won't see his moments when he encourages... that's not good for dramatic ratings. THE TomH
  21. How is this a surprise to anyone who watched the first two seasons? This is the show. The "diners" are all people who have an agenda of some sort to get on camera. Anyone remember the two bimbos who walked up to Ramsey at the service station to complain and get on camera? He asked them to get their ta-tas off his counter and put them in their places quicker than he does the cooks. The interesting part to me is the dynamic in the kitchen, who can handle the pressure and get the food out even though they want everyone else to fail. They have always assembled the cooks from a diverse background at all levels. I couldn't do it. I don't think I'd even want to try. Anyways, let's watch and see how it develops. These are the preliminaries to set up the later episodes. It's only tv. IMHO.
  22. My condolences and God bless to the Buxbaum family, friends, and loved ones, and also to all who were fortunate enough to know him beyond the pages of eGullet. I regret I never got to meet Bux, but I have enjoyed his posts over the years as a mostly lurker/sometimes poster, and I managed to engage him a little and exchange some messages with him. I guess the finest thing that can be said about a person is that he will be missed by many, including many who never even met him, and I hope his inner circle can take some comfort in that during this time of grief. He meant something to us all.
  23. My free copy arrived yesterday. I had given up. Thanks very much for the tip way back in September. (edited for typo)
  24. I'm re-watching it as I type here, and you're right. That guy is a more than Joe Pesci, he's a characature of Joe Pesci like the old SNL skits. At first I had to check I wasn't watching "Easy Money". Is the Cheese Whiz part of the legit Philly cheese steak? Everyplace around here uses melted cheddar. No disrespect to the "Any rebroadcast of this event without the expressed written consent of major league baseball is strictly prohibited" thing, but the independent thought and creative music from your music guy really makes me re-live my Batman days. I even had the cowl and cape. Chick magnet it was... well, for an 8 year old. If I wear that stuff now I get a free night in jail. Can I use my one call to reach you as a character reference?
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