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Claudia Greco

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Posts posted by Claudia Greco

  1. No, Hawai'i wasn't in the middle of some el cheapo grand-o end of season deal, as far as I know. (I own an acre on Big Island and was visiting it and some prospective builders of my future house - and to go lava-watching.) What made me crazy was the house I rented carried DISH network, which seemed to carry their feeds live from NY - sort off - but with a 6-hour time difference from NYC. Basically, what would be a fresh ep of NR on at 10p Monday was replaced by paid programming, and the 10p show may (or may not) be aired at 5p. Or 6p. Or . . . not. The DISH program guide just listed the show, without telling me what ep it was. And I couldn't tape, either, so I went crazy trying track the Dubai, Kerala, The Making of Kerala, Rome and whatever else I was missing. However, when I got home to NY, good old FIOS on demand had the Rome episode, and I caught repeats of everything else.

    I loved seeing The Ripper on the loose in Paris with Tony, even if his fine dining got chomped on a little - poor Eric! I thought Rome was a little rote, and I'm already over the forays into Italian neo-classic realism, even if Tony DOES look good shot in b&w. I really would have liked to see more color, even if they did fade into a little color on the food shots. The best thing about that episode? Ottavia! Full of existential BS, Tony? "Go wash some dishes, then!" (She's a no-shit hoot in real life, too, BTW (!)) And Spain? It got better as it went on. My eyes were glazing over at the sight of all that jamon iberico by the end of the show (glazing over in a good way).

  2. I, too, am glad the 100th was devoid of stunts, and that Tony reiterated his show's continued homage to iconic films - that was fun. I was on vacation for a few weeks last month, and spent the last week catching up on NR - Dubai, Kerala, the making of Kerala, the Grenadines, the 100th and last night's return to Paris. Did I miss Rome, somehow?

  3. I'm rooting for Susur, too - I think he's creative and talented, and does his best to figure out challenges that are completely alien to him. ("Dionysus? I figured out he likes WINE!") I was sorry to see Susan Feniger kicked to the curb, though. Although I estimate she's made the most for her charity without winning the 100K (I think she was up to $32,500 before she was cut?)

    Rick Moonen looks HUNGRY, though. I think he wants this more even more than Marcus, and God knows HE'S pretty hungry! Well, looks like we're NY-heavy in the final: Marcus of Aquavit (where I've eaten a few times), Susur (who has a Shang here as well as his flagship restaurant in Toronto), and ex-NYer Moonen - although I'd have to go to Sin City now to eat his food!

    Do we have any predictions for the winner?

  4. I think the operative words here are "good judges" - professional or otherwise. The housewives were neither professionals, nor had they good palates for "civilians", and dismissed dishes based on whether they liked an ingredient in them. Which is a damn shame - like I said, I really felt for the chefs (yes, even Ludo!) watching these know-nothings sniff at their food. :biggrin:

  5. I totally agree. I could see the chefs' faces just crumple during the housewives' judging since they had no palates whatsover - "And our food is being judged by these people . . ." (or words to that effect). They didn't get it. You can't dismiss an entire dish because you don't eat or don't like a certain ingredient in it. The brownies (or was it Girl Scouts?) had more discerning palates than the housewives (!!)

  6. These chefs not only cook nightly in their restaurant(s), but own them - unlike the cheftestants on regular TC, I doubt they can commit to an extended length of time, week-to-week. They fly into LA for their first round and then, if they survive the chopping block, they fly back for their semi-final or final. I know they'd all like to showcase their skills and promote their eateries (as well as win for their charities) and have more of a chance to survive their first round, but the reality is - they have kitchens and restaurants - and maybe even culinary empires - to run. Though I, too, would like it if they just culled the bottom 2 every week, not the 4 who aren't the top two.

  7. Me, too. I LIKED all those people. I really liked Zack and the Zamboni family camp - great stuff! Hardy, self-sufficient, salt-of-the-earth folks. Wish we'd have had a moose or two, though (aside from as a breakfast item.) Now I know that I usually make just a "jag" of baked beans, as opposed to a "slew" or a "mess". Ayuh!

  8. I'm hating the product placement. Tony flashed that Chase Sapphire card AGAIN, taking Lin et al. out to lunch. OK, I get that Chase must be buying heavy ad time on the Travel Channel and I get that they want Tony himself in their commercials - AND I get that Tony would rather been trapped on a desert island with a loop of Barry Manilow playing non-stop than to have to shill - but jeeeeeeez! Have Tony do the Chase Sapphire card ads like he did the ones for Bing. He appeared in those, but he never once said the word "Bing" or did any other kind of shilling. Even though Tony is trying to cheeze his way through the product placement like it's a corny in-joke, it's more jarring and disruptive than if just did an actual commercial aired OUTSIDE the show itself. And the shark has been jumped. It might not be a big shark. It might not have been jumped across its dorsal fin. But for the shill-hating Tony, it's still, most definitely, a shark - and he's jumped it. And it PAINS me to watch him try not to have to actually shill but still have to follow the party line of his network and . . . promote a product or sponsor. It really hurts. I actually winced watching him. Oh, Tony . . . !

  9. "Redemption", indeed. I personally think the word is overused (and misused), but I think that, sure, there might be more than a few chefs who'd like a second shot at the title. All good PR for their restaurants/food empires.

  10. Poor Kev. Lost his wife and Top Chef at the same time. Man, when I saw him being chopped, I could FEEL the shock and pain in his face - it hit him like a ballpeen hammer. I think that was the worst loss I've ever witnessed on TC. It was truly painful, and I really hurt for Kev when he was back in kitchen with his mom. And, no, he didn't deserve to be made "third" - Padma could've just said Michael was TC, and leave it that. None of us need the "heightened drama" at the expense of a well-liked, highly-skilled and totally deserving chef who didn't happen to win. It was declasse - word up, Padma.

    I think Kev is still on the track to culinary greatness, and he left TC with the respect and affection, as a chef and a classy person, of everyone who saw him. Time to make tracks to hisa restaurant in Atlanta, which seems to be producing a lot of classy, well-liked and respected chefs these days. (Chef Blais, anyone?)

  11. I would think sous vide would be a risk if you've never done it before, regardless of how easy it may (or may not) be, or whether you had Bryan V generously talking you through it. Didn't Carla ("Hootie-HOOOOO!") from last season for sous vide-ing in the semi-final (at casey's suggestion), and get booted for it? Kevin is obviously bright, gifted, skilled and all these good things, but he WAS in competition, under pressure and using a technique foreign to him, so I think, yeah, props to Kev - and it was kinda risky.

  12. I was really white-knuckling it for Kevin, but glad he truimphed. I was pretty sure, the second I saw Eli's butchering, that he was going to go home, anyway, but Michael came pretty freaking close, for a Voltaggio. I think it will come down to Kevin and Bryan for the final, and while I truly like Kevin and expect him to win, I really respect Bryan, too, chef-wise - and he is such a class act. How could two brothers be so different? I used to respect Michael, but his sniping is really getting very immature and his skills are beginning to fray a little at the edges.

    I think it might be Michael, not Jen, going home next week.

    Way to GO, Kev - 30 large, a slew of Bocuse/Keller level cookbooks, AND a shot at the Bocuse D'Or! I'd say Mr. Gillispie is already a big winner.

  13. She's doing VERY well for a 50 year-old, actually. But I just thought she looked a little puffy and Octomom-ish in the room service segment. She looked much better in the eliminating challenge judging - could see her cheekbones again. Maybe she had had a few carbs on the way over from the UK - that could make even the best-boned woman look like Winston Churchill.

  14. SO hailarious cranky and snarky - and spot on, by the way - that I just had to comment, too, in between choking in laughter on my lunch (!) Jen's highlights - too funny!

    Nigella IS looking a little pasty and bloated. I thought she, not Padma, was the preggers one for a moment, but I guess it was just jet lag/fluid retention or too much in-flight booze.

  15. I don't mind the ever affable Fabio, and still enjoy his colorful use of English. Marcel is still a defensive, highly strung little putz, no matter how good his cooking. Hung seems to have mellowed, and Stefan is still enjoyably prickly. But it was still a yawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwnn. And where was the infamous Tiffani/Dave "I ain't your bitch, bitch!" clip? Come ON! If you want some video gold, that would be a keeper. I guess Mikey wasn't available, so we didn't get to enjoy Bourdain's infamous "Flinstonian" and "the love child of Charles Manson and Betty Crocker" soundbites all over again. Season 5's volleyball net in the stew room and the Glad Family of Plastic Bags/Wrap mattress were pure genius. And very funny, too.

    The Reunion special did, at least, provide a little mental bubblegum for those who could not bear to watch the World Series, Dinner:Impossible or another hour of Dog the Bounty Hunter - but that's as far as I go.

  16. Awesome. I can hardly wait.

    BTW, I back Mike V on the dessert to-do. I think the team agreed on how the dessert should be plated beforehand, and I think Robin went a little free-form. That being said, I think Mike went into Exec Chef mode and rode herd on one of his kitchen. If he had got that way with anyone else, I don't think his behavior would even be called into question. And had they been in reverse positions, I would definitely have backed Robin, but she is never in a leadership position (!)

    The other chefs seem to hold her in low regard not because she's 43, but because (1) on a professional level her skills aren't up with theirs, and (2) on a personal level, she drives everyone crazy with her non-stop, stream-of-consciousness yapping, even aggravating Jen (who is a lot less confrontational and easy irritated than Mike I, Eli, etc.) The only people she hasn't seem to aggravate are the very mature (at age 26) Kevin and the highly mature and laid back Bryan V. Her being 43 isn't the issue, I think - her chatchatchatchatchat and micromanaging people like she's their mom seems to be more to the point - ON TOP on her lower skill level.

  17. I really hurt for poor Jen. She's a much better chef than she demonstrated during Restaurant Wars, and you could see her breaking down from her failures - not so much because she feared she might be going home, but because she's such a perfectionist, a classically trained chef with high standards. I hope (and am pretty sure) she'll fight back and make it to the final 3, but it was really painful watching her last night. And Robin - delivers! Man, the natural order of things really got turned upside down in this episode!

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