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KristiB50

Top Chef: Season 3

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It was clear that Howie was on his way out. From the portentious commercials featuring his request to address the panel to the first act failure to produce something, anything, in the quickfire at this late stage in the game. He seemed pretty subdued throughout, and Brian holding his hand as he shopped just piled on the impression that the man was out of it. It was just a matter of how spectacular his exit would be. And it wasn't very, with his little fit at the end when he knew he was going to get the cleaver anyway.

While it has been weeks since we saw them in action, the production schedule has to be much more condensed, so for Howie this stage was probably only a few days removed from his Restaurant episode hammerings, his bad cuban sandwhiches, and the Rocco episode with the frozen food disaster. I never thought he had a chance in this thing, but it was clear he was done.

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Anyone else think this thing has gone on far too long.  It's beginning to wear on me, I'm fast loosing intereset and, frankly, at this point I don't really care who wins.  A recap show, a rerun of the reunion show, single eliminations, this thing is in a rut and going nowhere.  It's slow boring and, increasingly, predictable.  :wacko:  I like the concept and the format, but jeez, I'd like to see a quicker. livelier pace.  Or perhaps I've just finally been reduced to sound-bite mentality  :hmmm:

Exactly.

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Anyone else think this thing has gone on far too long.  It's beginning to wear on me, I'm fast loosing intereset and, frankly, at this point I don't really care who wins.  A recap show, a rerun of the reunion show, single eliminations, this thing is in a rut and going nowhere.  It's slow boring and, increasingly, predictable.   :wacko:  I like the concept and the format, but jeez, I'd like to see a quicker. livelier pace.  Or perhaps I've just finally been reduced to sound-bite mentality  :hmmm:

Exactly.

Sad but true. After this week's episode, I really don't care anymore. That said, I will watch next week solely because of Anthony Bourdain.

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I saw the most recent episode last night. I couldn't believe it when the Judges' Table started and there were still 15 minutes to go. Is it always a quarter of the show? Unless the guest judge is scintillating it is boring and unpleasant to watch. The comments tend to be nasty and not very revealing. Someone like Lee Anne Wong said on a blog that it's often a multi-hour process so maybe they are leaving the good parts out in the editing; whatever, it doesn't work for me. This time, I turned the sound off and just took occasional peeks so I could see what happened.

If this was my first exposure to the show I probably wouldn't still be watching.

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I agree, Tess. The judges seem to be aiming more and more as the season progresses into showing snappy impatience, snotty impatience, close-to-rolling-their-eyes-attitude, a singular lack of the sort of style or grace or humor that makes people interesting rather than merely tolerable, and the analysis provided (with the exception of Bourdain's few moments) of "what's going on" and "why I as a judge am impatient" is not shown to the audience in any way that makes the judges table look impressive. It's rather dreary.

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I agree, Tess. The judges seem to be aiming more and more as the season progresses into showing snappy impatience, snotty impatience, close-to-rolling-their-eyes-attitude, a singular lack of the sort  of style or grace or humor that makes people interesting rather than merely tolerable, and the analysis provided (with the exception of Bourdain's few moments) of "what's going on" and "why I as a judge am impatient" is not shown to the audience in any way that makes the judges table look impressive. It's rather dreary.

Perhaps three seasons of judging it too long. Maybe it's time for Tom and Padma to move on.


Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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Perhaps three seasons of judging it too long. Maybe it's time for Tom and Padma to move on.

Mmm. Perhaps 'tis the season of their discontent?

The show did garner an Emmy nomination, but I'm not sure whether that is based on last season or not . . .

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I agree, Tess. The judges seem to be aiming more and more as the season progresses into showing snappy impatience, snotty impatience, close-to-rolling-their-eyes-attitude, a singular lack of the sort  of style or grace or humor that makes people interesting rather than merely tolerable, and the analysis provided (with the exception of Bourdain's few moments) of "what's going on" and "why I as a judge am impatient" is not shown to the audience in any way that makes the judges table look impressive. It's rather dreary.

Perhaps three seasons of judging it too long. Maybe it's time for Tom and Padma to move on.

It could be worse what if the next judges were Rocco and Madonna's brother :shock:

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Top Chef is crashing under it`s own bloated ego. Somewhere during the filming of season 3 the judges decided that they were the real stars. Now each is trying to show that they are the most sophisticated, discerning discriminating, uber cook or critic on the planet. If you listen to Colicchio talk about the challenges, he just dose not get why it`s so hard. "$300 for 500 people, shop for 30 minutes at the local 7-11 and 15 minutes prep? why I could do this standing on my head". OK Tom - go for it.

A TC special that I would watch is a turn the tables show where the judges get one of these challenges with no prior warning and the contestants get to be the judges.

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A TC special that I would watch is a turn the tables show where the judges get one of these challenges with no prior warning and the contestants get to be the judges.

Now that's something I'd pay good money to see. :laugh:

I have to agree, TC's judges are becoming rather full of themselves, though I should probably narrow my criticism to Colicchio. He does seem to think all the challenges are easy and he could do them drunk, blindfolded, one arm tied behind his back and with Padma sitting on his lap.

As someone else pointed out earlier, the Judgement Segment seems to be consuming more and more time, as opposed to the actual cooking and contestants. Soon, they'll start having to call it Top Food Critic.

Cheers! :cool:

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he just dose not get why it`s so hard. "$300 for 500 people, shop for 30 minutes at the local 7-11 and 15 minutes prep? why I could do this standing on my head". OK Tom - go for it.

Exactly. There's a look of permanent pained disappointment and disdain that seems to have wedged itself onto his face that almost verges on the look some people's mothers can get when the report cards don't come in as well as they hoped.

A TC special that I would watch is a turn the tables show where the judges get one of these challenges with no prior warning and the contestants get to be the judges.

The very first time I watched the show I wished this on Padma so much you can not imagine.

(I have to add that I read what you wrote wrong the first time and thought it said "the contestants get to eat the judges" and thought that was a pretty cool idea too. :raz: )

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so which contestants are still left? i used to watch but have gotten increasingly bored with this season and don't really care anymore...

but i am curious to know who's still in the running - could someone fill me in? thanks! :smile:

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Here's my conclusion: the show we're all hankering for is actually Iron Chef! Seriously...I caught about 20 mins of it last night (Flay vs. Florida chef Johnny Vinczencz, who I never heard of, but I loved what he did), and kept thinking that THIS is what I want Top Chef to be! No budgets--just time working against them. And wow, do you see some creativity come out of these folks, even if they don't win. The rotating group of judges keeps egos low (exception: Steingarten)and the day after it airs, nobody is discussing what Alton Brown wore, or if he and the Chairman are getting it on behind the scenes. :laugh: I have it on semi-reliable authority that Iron Chef participants not only know the secret ingredient well ahead of time, but that they also have a few hours to cook their dishes, but so what? Top Chef is edited to death. I'd rather watch people actually COOK than parade around in this week's episode of "Can you produce better food than the average Bravo viewer?" :raz: And I say this all with the caveat that I think just about everything else on the Food Network has gone to hell in a breadbasket...

ETA: remaining contestants are Brian, CJ, Dale, Hung, Casey and Sara


Edited by Curlz (log)

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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Here's my conclusion:  the show we're all hankering for is actually Iron Chef!  Seriously...I caught about 20 mins of it last night (Flay vs. Florida chef Johnny Vinczencz, who I never heard of, but I loved what he did), and kept thinking that THIS is what I want Top Chef to be!  No budgets--just time working against them.  And wow, do you see some creativity come out of these folks, even if they don't win.  The rotating group of judges keeps egos low (exception: Steingarten)and the day after it airs, nobody is discussing what Alton Brown wore, or if he and the Chairman are getting it on behind the scenes.  :laugh:  I have it on semi-reliable authority that Iron Chef participants not only know the secret ingredient well ahead of time, but that they also have a few hours to cook their dishes, but so what?  Top Chef is edited to death.  I'd rather watch people actually COOK than parade around in this week's episode of "Can you produce better food than the average Bravo viewer?"  :raz:  And I say this all with the caveat that I think just about everything else on the Food Network has gone to hell in a breadbasket...

ETA: remaining contestants are Brian, CJ, Dale, Hung, Casey and Sara

Iron Chefs are given several items that may be the secret ingredient well in advance.

I think we're all getting a little grumpy here.

As far as Collichio is concerned I think he's just exasperated with the unprofessionalism of the young chefs. Wouldn't you be?

I read in a local NY puiblication - the name escapes me, but I think it can be tracked on the New York region in egullet - that Collichio is one of the hardest chefs in NYC to work for. The magazine interviewed a passel of NYC chefs on just about everything imaginable. It's a great read.

Back to where I started.

let's just have fun with this, people. We seem to crab at the producers and the judges no matter what they do.

It's Entertainment!

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Eh. My philosophers hat must have been pinching my brain earlier. I just re-read an incredibly long post that apparently I wrote sometime earlier this evening and damn near bored myself to death.

So I removed it. Save your eyesight for the TV set. :wink:


Edited by Carrot Top (log)

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It's Entertainment!

Maybe my aging brain is wrong but it WAS, and it is increasing becoming NOT.... :angry:

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Oh dear, another silly Quickfire Challenge that has absolutely nothing to do with anything any of the Top Chef contestants will ever do in their cooking after-life when the lights of season three fade.

Unless Guy Savoy is going to open an upscale American cereal joint inside Caesar's Palace-Hung will sadly never again have at his fingers the colorful toys to create a Fruit Loops village.

Really-is sending talented young chefs down the cereal aisle a creative challenge? (Tre-God are you in a better place this week. I hope you are sipping cold beers and eating barbecued brisket in Texas).

Oh Howie-if only we had gotten to know you better-uhhhhh, wait a minute-we did get to know you and you were an ass-now I remember. And you still are.

Howie sort of admitted in his closing comments, just a wee bit, that teamwork is important to be being a successful chef. Do ya think so Howie? Buddy, you just shot yourself in your foot after you put it in your mouth one too many times.

A lot of influential people in the food world watch Top Chef for better or worse and I have a sense Howie's foot and mouth disease has infected his future chance at taking his career really, really far. Maybe I'm wrong, but like we saw, when that pressure cooker valve on the top of Howie's head blows, it really blows and people scatter so they can get as far as possible from the splattering muck of Howie. For his sake, I hope he can calm down so people don't run for cover when he walks into the kitchen.

Sure Howie, be a tough guy, say "I don't give a f@#%$^& what they (the judges) say, I thought all the dishes tasted good." No Howie, they didn't. The guests said the puff pastry holding your insipid mushroom duxelle was pasty, gluey and greasy. And were those Black Trumpet Mushrooms? Boy did that dog pile of sewer muck look bad.

I thought it was a choice moment when Colicchio asked Brian if he had tasted Howie's mushroom duxelle. It was like Brian was frozen in time and couldn't answer for fear of letting Howie down and coming off as an ungrateful team leader. I don't think that was the reason Brian didn't say anything. I think he had 'that feeling' urping up into his throat and the more Colicchio reminded him of that awful Howie mushroom mess the sicker Brian got. Best to take your mind off greasy, soggy puff pastry and dog crap mushroom paste so you don't barf on tv.

Say Howie, I have a few questions about your other little bites of asparagus. Howie I didn't know you were a jokemeister. Are you? Why else would you cut long spears of asparagus into short tubes and call them cigars? Do the Cubans make little stubby cigars like that? C'mon Howie, give us a few truthful answers about your asparagus cigars.

I haven't thought much about Casey in the past, nor did I take her talents as a chef very seriously, but she appeared to hit a home run this week with her beef tenderloin tartare. As opposed to some of her competition who correlate the greater the budget with the better their final dishes will be-Casey used some sense to plan out a creative little appetizer bite using a high-quality cut of beef. It was quick, fairly easy to make and didn't break the bank.

Sara has really been hitting her stride lately-she's shown she can stay calm, focused and meet the challenges but at the same time show some creativity as in this week's tomato tart.

God knows who will win Top Chef this year. I could care less, but I sure do like all this funny business. I've got so much wicked stuff to write about. I just won't have Howie to kick around for material anymore.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall

Tom, Padma, not even Ted, not all the King's Horses,

nor all the King's men,

Couldn't put Humpty together again.

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Dale Levitski is coming to our fair town to guest chef at Hank's Haute Dog's - Hank has challenged him to create a Kobe dog featuring Australian Waygu beef on Sunday Sept. 16th. Hank of course is Henry Adaniya of Trio in Evanston, IL fame. Looking forward to this event! a hui hou :smile:


"You can't miss with a ham 'n' egger......"

Ervin D. Williams 9/1/1921 - 6/8/2004

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Is there no one left in the ranks of walk-on, movie-extra, face-in-the-crowd who could provide a warm body at the tables when they need "customers" or "party guests?" WHERE ARE THEY GETTING THESE PEOPLE???

I cannot imagine choosing such folks if there were alternates available. The restaurant "critics" and the yacht hangers-on seemed a greedy, unpleasable group, all teeth and grab, eager to broadcast their expertise and cleavage to the airwaves, and having no other seeming use in the scheme of things.

And that pompous snippet they chose for guest of honor? Camera time away from the chefs, from the cook and prep process sheerly wasted on such drivel.

Maybe that's the rub, especially to all of us who only stand and wait. And observe. The sheer pomposity of the entitled-to-be-there, to partake of those gloriously-arranged bites of ambrosial flavors---far too few of the cast seem to be taken from real life. A calm, smiling woman who voiced her enjoyment of a dish; the couple who shared their meal in a small bubble of togetherness, those are the hoped-for guests we would all aspire to set our best efforts before.

The judges' own noses seem perpetually lifted in disdain, from beginning to end, and what kind of expectation is THAT to try to live up to in fifteen minutes?

I'll still watch. I WILL begrudge the time wasted on peripheral bores and royal pains whose legend fills their minds, to the loss of all else. The contestants deserve much better.

WE deserve better. But we'll watch anyway. Especially this week. AB :wub:

ETA an errant "o". What I shoulda done was take out some a the TACKY.

Nah. I ain't as sweet as I useta be.

(Thanks, Oiuser, for a credo we can all live by)


Edited by racheld (log)

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You're in fine fettle this morning, Rachel. :smile: It is Sunday, indeed, and time to Testify. :laugh:

The restaurant "critics" and the yacht hangers-on seemed a greedy, unpleasable group, all teeth and grab, eager to broadcast their expertise and cleavage to the airwaves, and having no other seeming use in the scheme of things.

Yeah. But my problem with them was that the promise was that we would be shown the most glamorous crowd in Miami. I kept waiting, looking, seeking and desirous of such a thing.

'Nuf said.

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Some of these posts are hilarious.

Let's criticize Bravo or Tom Collicchio or Ted Allen.

They are criticized because the challenege is stupid or the poster speculates that Collicchio couldn't have executed it better, or the judge is unqualified.

1. These challenges are stupid and irrelevant. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is TV entertainment. Bravo is a corporation, trying to generate advertising revenue. The "chefly" relevance of whether Hung can make something good from a grocery store aisle is unimportant. It makes for good television and is fun to watch. Who wants to watch some line cook bone 50 chickens then chop a crate of onions? Not me. Those are clearly "relevant" professional cooking skills though. :laugh:

2. Collicchio couldn't do these challenges any better than the contestants. That's conjecture. The bottom line is that Collicchio is a successful chef and restauranteur. A poster on eGullet is more qualified to judge this than Collicchio?

3. Ted Allen is a nobody in the food world and shouldn't be so critical. That could be true. However, before asserting such, please state your qualifications as a television critic. Someone at Bravo thought Ted Allen had what it takes to be a Top Chef guest judge. Maybe that has more to do with the entertainment value then his culinary bona fides. Did anyone invite (and pay) you critique the production values of the television show? Someone thought enough of Ted Allen to pay him.

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2.  Collicchio couldn't do these challenges any better than the contestants.  That's conjecture.  The bottom line is that Collicchio is a successful chef and restauranteur.  A poster on eGullet is more qualified to judge this than Collicchio?

Well, I was one of those posters you mention so I'll answer for myself. :smile:

You must have misunderstood if you thought I conjectured that Colicchio would not be able to do it better. I commented that it would be fun to see him try it. :wink:

I also do not think that I said I was more qualified than he to judge it. However, I have been a professional chef functioning specifically as an Executive Chef in a fine-food situation so decided to risk saying what I said, which was said in good fun, to another person whom I understand is also a professional chef.

I do agree that some of these posts are hilarious, though. Entertaining and funny. More appealing to me at many times than the show has been. So let's hear it for the peanut gallery! A resounding cheer to all funny posters! Yaaaaay!

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Actually, upon further thought, if it weren't for this thread and the truly amusing commentary held within it I would have stopped watching Top Chef a long time ago.

So thanks, all those whom have contributed not only to my own fun :biggrin: , but also to adding that one person extra viewing who will increase ratings of the show. :wink:


Edited by Carrot Top (log)

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