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Top Chef: Season 3


KristiB50
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So Colicchio couldn't stand the fan heat and got out of the blogging kitchen? Now if only he'd either declare his love for Howie or knock it off, we'd be fine. "It's all about the food." Yes, it should be, in which case, Howie and his Risotto My Way would have been sent packing last night. Perhaps we'll get a double to go next week. Along with unscented candles.

And just wtf is so wrong with black tableclothes? Also, if that douchey diner was a member of the 'society' perhaps he should be concerned, sounds like he's starting to taste all those medals they wear.

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  Madonna's brother-big deal-put his butt up on the line & see what he says!  This challenge was unrealistic & I think they did the best they could.   I'm glad we'll get to see a 'do-over' next week. I hope the competitors have listened to the criticism & learned....
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"If this is a vegetable medley than I'm a monkey."

Monkeyboy is his name. What a pretentious f#*k. Someone like him would make me lose my patience quickly in a restaurant, to the degree I'd probably drive him off, screw whatever friends he tells. They'd probably know he's an ass anyway.

And who cares that a blogger was there? They really did trump that up like it was a big, big deal. Yay.

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"If this is a vegetable medley than I'm a monkey."

Monkeyboy is his name. What a pretentious f#*k. Someone like him would make me lose my patience quickly in a restaurant, to the degree I'd probably drive him off, screw whatever friends he tells. They'd probably know he's an ass anyway.

And who cares that a blogger was there? They really did trump that up like it was a big, big deal. Yay.

True, that smart comment and the right guard bit were way out of line and should have been edited out. Was that really Madonna's brother or did I miss the joke?

Edited by Doodad (log)
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  Madonna's brother-big deal-put his butt up on the line & see what he says!  This challenge was unrealistic & I think they did the best they could.   I'm glad we'll get to see a 'do-over' next week. I hope the competitors have listened to the criticism & learned....

[right][snapback=1453740][/right]

I'm glad they had a guest judge like Daniel Boulud. Seemed to me like some of the guest judges they've had on are no more accomplished than the contestants.

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Yep, it is really Madonna's brother. http://www.nypost.com/seven/08172007/gossi...g__pagesix_.htm

Seems he might be getting a show on Bravo or something.

Regarding the quickfire challenge, did anyone see Casey smashing down her burger with the spatula while cooking for D.B.? I was horrified. That is like burger making 101. I am still not convinced that she can cook.

And as funny as I think Dale is, what chef admits they have a poor sense of smell?

Edited by The Blissful Glutton (log)
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Why was Madonna's brother even there? Who is he besides a guy making bad jokes?

Edited by Fpoint (log)

"You're drunk."

"Just bring out the cakes."

"Cakes and fine wine."

"If you don't leave we'll call the police."

"Balls! We want the finest wines available to humanity, and we want them here and we want them now!"

--Withnail & I--

http://meandmyfork.blogspot.com/

http://booksaboutfood.blogspot.com/

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Yep, it is really Madonna's brother. http://www.nypost.com/seven/08172007/gossi...g__pagesix_.htm

Seems he might be getting a show on Bravo or something.

Regarding the quickfire challenge, did anyone see Casey smashing down her burger with the spatula while cooking for D.B.? I was horrified.  That is like burger making 101.  I am still not convinced that she can cook.

And as funny as I think Dale is, what chef admits they have a poor sense of smell?

My thoughts exactly re" the burger smashing.

And as far as the scented candles goes, Hung was as much a part of the mistake as Dale was, but he just stood there laughing.

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Howie's an ass. I think part of the success of a 'top chef' is being a leader-both in the kitchen as a cook and in leading a team of employees. Howie seems to etiher have great success with his dishes-or utter disaster as in that risotto. And I believe you can be the greatest cook in the country, but if you're an ass to deal with and work with, your ultimate success will be limited.

As a customer, I can sense if there is struggle in the kitchen. It shows up in the food, the timing of the service, the mood of the servers, just about anything. If Howie the 'bulldog' was running the show, I'm not convinced my dining experience would be memorable. Maybe it would, but I doubt it.

Now, in terms of risotto I think Howie failed miserably. As you all know, risotto is not something that should be cooked in three large pots like Howie was doing. Risotto is one of those dishes that should be prepared in small quantities and given the kid-glove treatment-serving it when the rice is just done and hot, making sure the diner is presented a warm bowl of creamy, unctuous risotto. By cooking his risotto in such a large quantity, I think Howie created his own risotto nightmare-pasty risotto. His rice looked like it clogged up into a big sticky rice ball. Had he prepared the risotto in a small sauce pan I think it would have turned out much better.

Another problem I saw with Howie's risotto was that it appeared he sauteed the mushrooms separately and then topped the risotto with the mushrooms. I make lots of risotto at home with fresh, wild chanterelles and morels taken right out of our Northwest forests. I prefer to use only one variety of mushroom at a time. For example, I'll only use morels because I want to only taste morels in a wild mushroom risotto. I don't want to muddle up the mushroom flavor by using more than one variety of mushroom. I'd tell Howie to saute the mushrooms and then stire them into the risotto. That way each creamy bite of risottoe delivers a little burst of wild mushroom taste.

Finally, I disagree with Tom's comments that you never put cream in risotto. I actually sided with Howie's argument that cream is often stirred into risotto. Chef Tom made it sound that it is taboo to stir cream into risotto. Tom said "the starch in the rice is what should make the risotto creamy." True, when the starch in the rice is released that does of course give risotto it's characteristic creaminess.

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I'm a little sketchy on this episode, but was it ever mentioned why Dale and Hung were assigned to the decor and the other two were shopping for food? D and H area clearly (to me) better cooks, and we've seen crucial decisions being made during shopping. I understand Dale being assigned to FOH, but that's about it.

I'd like to find out all the ins and outs of why they decided on a do-over. Was it because everyone knew it would have been unfair to toss someone for an issue like decor? When Tom C. was blogging, you were apt to get at least a suggestion of the reasoning that went on.

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Howie's an ass. I think part of the success of a 'top chef' is being a leader-both in the kitchen as a cook and in leading a team of employees. Howie seems to etiher have great success with his dishes-or utter disaster in the kitchen like that risotto. And I believe you can be the greatest cook in the country, but if you're an ass to deal with and work with, your ultimate success will be limited.

As a customer, I can sense if there is struggle in the kitchen. It shows up in the food, the timing of the service, the mood of the servers, just about anything. If Howie the 'bulldog' was running the kitchen, I'm not convinced my dining experience would be memorable. Maybe it would, but I doubt it.

Now, in terms of risotto I think Howie failed miserably. As you all know, risotto is not something that should be cooked in three large pots like Howie was doing. Risotto is one of those dishes that should be prepared in small quantities and given the kid-glove treatment-serving it when the rice is just done and hot, making sure the diner is presented a warm bowl of creamy, unctuous risotto. By cooking his risotto in such a large quantity, I think Howie created his own risotto nightmare-pasty, gloppy rice. His rice looked like it clogged up into a big sticky rice ball. Had he prepared the risotto in a small sauce pan I think it would have turned out much better.

Another problem I saw with Howie's risotto was that it appeared he sauteed the mushrooms separately and then topped the risotto with the mushrooms. I make lots of risotto at home with fresh, wild chanterelles and morels taken right out of our Northwest forests. I prefer to use only one variety of mushroom at a time. For example, I'll only use morels because I want to only taste morels in a wild mushroom risotto. I don't want to muddle up the mushroom flavor by using more than one variety of mushroom. I'd tell Howie to saute the mushrooms and then stire them into the risotto. That way each creamy bite of risotto delivers a little burst of wild mushroom taste.

Finally, I disagree with Tom's comments that you never put cream in risotto. I actually sided with Howie's argument that cream is often stirred into risotto. Chef Tom made it sound that it is taboo to stir cream into risotto. Tom said "the starch in the rice is what should make the risotto creamy." True, when the starch in the rice is released that does of course give risotto it's characteristic creaminess.

But Tom wasn't totally accurate when he said that you don't put cream in risotto. There are plenty of Italian cookbooks written by Italians that have risotto recipes where cream is used. Some people use cream, some don't.

I don't think the addition of cream was the undoing of Howie's risotto. I think it was his bulldog attitude that he was going to do a risotto no matter what-whether it went within the theme (or lack thereof) in the menu or not. His technique-i.e., make the risotto in too large of a quantity, and not serving the risotto at the precise moment it was done, resulted in a dish of gluey, tepid, sticky rice with some mushrooms on top.

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Howie's an ass.  I think part of the success of a 'top chef' is being a leader-both in the kitchen as a cook and in leading a team of employees.  Howie seems to etiher have great success with his dishes-or utter disaster as in that risotto.  And I believe you can be the greatest cook in the country, but if you're an ass to deal with and work with, your ultimate success will be limited.

[ . . .]

Now, in terms of risotto I think Howie failed miserably.  As you all know, risotto is not something that should be cooked in three large pots like Howie was doing.  Risotto is one of those dishes that should be prepared in small quantities and given the kid-glove treatment-serving it when the rice is just done and hot, making sure the diner is presented a warm bowl of creamy, unctuous risotto. 

I can actually see Howie being a huge asset in a production kitchen. As a cook or maybe even as a sous. That bulldog quality can be a useful asset used in the right ways. I'd guess that what it would take to make him effective, though, would be to really hit him over the head with a two by four that he respected in some way. He just seems like one of those guys who will work against everyone sometimes even himself till he's knocked flat to his knees. Then there's a complete turnaround complete with high loyalty, hard work and dedication being given.

There was a difference in this weeks performance by him, though, with his behavior . . . and that is promising for him. It shows that he's thinking not just tossing things away.

The risotto thing was a high-level food experience aimed for being done in a lower-level high production kitchen sort of way. Howie's not the only chef who does this in the restaurant business, making risotto like this. Is it right? Not really. Risotto is a way of life that doesn't translate easily. But I'd guess that Howie learned this method from a chef sometime in his past whom he greatly respected.

I'm a little sketchy on this episode, but was it ever mentioned why Dale and Hung were assigned to the decor and the other two were shopping for food? D and H area clearly (to me) better cooks, and we've seen crucial decisions being made during shopping.  I understand Dale being assigned to FOH, but that's about it.

I'd like to find out all the ins and outs of why they decided on a do-over. Was it because everyone knew it would have been unfair to toss someone for an issue like decor? When Tom C. was blogging, you were apt to get at least a suggestion of the reasoning that went on.

There appeared to be very little focused planning of roles going on at the start of this thing. It was almost haphazard, to my eyes, with not enough real solid thinking going into it in the rush of it all. There was a wariness of personality clashes among all of them, a backing down and softening in order to supposedly create this thing called "team". They already had been dealt the emotional blow of being the ones the primary team did not choose - there was likely the feeling within them of the kid chosen last for the teams in gym class. Debilitating.

I think the do-over was based on the fact that there was a feeling that so much was missing in terms of adequate performance that it needed to be done over just to be able to offer someone a chance to shine a bit. After all, they are supposed to be Top Chefs. This is what the audience wants to watch.

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Howie's an ass.  I think part of the success of a 'top chef' is being a leader-both in the kitchen as a cook and in leading a team of employees.  Howie seems to etiher have great success with his dishes-or utter disaster as in that risotto.  And I believe you can be the greatest cook in the country, but if you're an ass to deal with and work with, your ultimate success will be limited.

[ . . .]

Now, in terms of risotto I think Howie failed miserably.  As you all know, risotto is not something that should be cooked in three large pots like Howie was doing.  Risotto is one of those dishes that should be prepared in small quantities and given the kid-glove treatment-serving it when the rice is just done and hot, making sure the diner is presented a warm bowl of creamy, unctuous risotto. 

I can actually see Howie being a huge asset in a production kitchen. As a cook or maybe even as a sous. That bulldog quality can be a useful asset used in the right ways. I'd guess that what it would take to make him effective, though, would be to really hit him over the head with a two by four that he respected in some way. He just seems like one of those guys who will work against everyone sometimes even himself till he's knocked flat to his knees. Then there's a complete turnaround complete with high loyalty, hard work and dedication being given.

There was a difference in this weeks performance by him, though, with his behavior . . . and that is promising for him. It shows that he's thinking not just tossing things away.

The risotto thing was a high-level food experience aimed for being done in a lower-level high production kitchen sort of way. Howie's not the only chef who does this in the restaurant business, making risotto like this. Is it right? Not really. Risotto is a way of life that doesn't translate easily. But I'd guess that Howie learned this method from a chef sometime in his past whom he greatly respected.

I can see your perspective, i.e., Howie's bulldog attitude could serve him well in a fast-paced restaurant kitchen, albeit after being hit in the head with a two by four. It just would never be in any kitchen if I owned the restaurant. And that's just based on my personal opinion about teamwork. Howie wouldn't fit in on my team.

I agree with you that this week he did show a glimpse into a 'softer side.' He appeared to realize that for him to succeed on Top Chef he needs to make more of an effort to work on a team. I noticed that on past episodes that when the chefs were awaiting their fate, Howie would sit off by himself in the kitchen, throwing out rude comments to the other chefs.

This week he actually hugged his teamates. Not a first for Howie-after he and Joey nearly came to physical blows they patched things up and appeared to become friends. So your analogy may be true-Howie needs to be knocked down a bit by other strong personalities until he realizes he isn't the only tough dog in the competition.

We can probably debate risotto until the cows come home, but Howie's utter failure at that mushroom risotto certainly didn't endear him to the judges. Boulud looked like he wanted to spit it out.

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Howie wouldn't fit in on my team. 

[ . . .]

Boulud looked like he wanted to spit it out.

Sometimes in life one has to work with what they are given, and this happens often enough in professional kitchens. A kitchen staff is there when you walk in as chef, and things being what they are it can take more energy of a negative and disruptive sort overall to try to terminate those who do not "fit" than to find a way to manage them so that they do fit. :wink:

The silver lining is that this conversion of type when it happens well can be sort of like a wonderful religious experience for all involved. :biggrin:

.......................................

Yeah, Boulud's face was a beautifully sort of funny at that moment. :laugh:

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As you all realize, I am not a fan of Howie's. However, what may surprise you is that I actually would tab Howie as my favorite to win the competition. Some of you know how much I love Las Vegas, and if I was at Caesar's Palace at this precise moment, I'd go to the Sports Book where they take wagers on all things-not just sports. I'd put money down on Howie to win.

Not only has Howie added that element of unpredictability that reality tv show producers crave, he is and can be a talented cook. Few probably thought that last year Marcel would end up in the finale against Elan. Marcel's crappy attitude and bitchy personality certainly didn't portray him as a likeable fellow, but he could cook and his difficulties with the other candidates played right into the producer's hands-the conflicts Marcel created with other contestants helped Top Chef garner a growing audience each week and they were justified in passing him on each week because he could cook. I see a similar comparison this year with Howie.

I'd actually prefer that Tre win. He's got the personality-a cool sort of hip vibe that exudes confidence, yet with a good measure of humility. Tre has never appeared to have a conflict with anyone, and he seems to be genereally well-liked and respected. Aside from that smoked potato disaster this week, he's consistently shown good execution in his cooking skills and a talent for designing creative dishes.

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I'd actually prefer that Tre win.  He's got the personality-a cool sort of hip vibe that exudes confidence, yet with a good measure of humility.  Tre has never appeared to have a conflict with anyone, and he seems to be genereally well-liked and respected.  Aside from that smoked potato disaster this week, he's consistently shown good execution in his cooking skills and a talent for designing creative dishes.

I think a lot of us would like Tre to win :smile:

One thing I've notices is that Tre, Brian and until last week CJ, all appeared to be pretty much under the radar. THey haven't been very involved with as much of the dramedy as have most of the others. Now, this could be due to the way the program is edited, in fact on second thought, it probably is. But it also made me wonder if the lack of focus on them was because they were going to be the final cheftestants and the producers were saving there camera time until the end.

Edited to add - Hung is growing on me and I think he's toning down the arragance meter. I liked Howie at first because he was fiesty but now he's just a PITA.

Edited by kalypso (log)
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One thing about Hung I've always wondered is what his employer, Chef Guy Savoy, is thinking if or when he watches Hung on Top Chef.

They label Hung as a sous chef at Guy Savoy in Las Vegas. I doubt Chef Savoy would ever tolerate the attitude that Hung has displayed on Top Chef in his kitchen in Las Vegas.

Maybe Hung is a quiet church mouse in the kitchen at Guy Savoy and he only allowed his true self to come out when he got into the finals of Top Chef. Maybe a little arrogance on a tv show doesn't matter even if Hung went back to the kitchen at Guy Savoy after the show. The publicity probably was good.

Last year I always wondered what Chef Joel Robuchon thought of Marcel's display on Top Chef. I couldn't imagine that Chef Robuchon would have hired Marcel to work in his restaurant at the MGM if he knew what kind of a rude little man Marcel was. Maybe it didn't or wouldn't matter.

I've just always wondered what the employers of the candidates thought of their on-screen antics.

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