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Top Chef: Season 3


KristiB50
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I thought overall the episode was pretty good...minus one bit of confusion...or semantics...

I might get ripped apart for this stance and I know there are exceptions, and I understand that typically BBQ is a really broad term that has regional implications, but IMHO this was not a BBQ challenge...this was a grilling challenge. BBQ takes hours to cook. Anywhere in the US where BBQ is taken seriously (Texas, Memphis, the Carolinas, etc.), one doesn't confuse barbecueing with grilling. I guess to many people the term "barbecue" is a controversial and confusing term, but more times than not, it involves taking a really tough chunk of meat, and smoking it for an incredibly long time over LOW, LOW, LOW, heat until it breaks down and becomes tender. I was surprised at Chef Norman for even commenting that BBQ should be cooked low and slow...they only had two hours to cook! I can't think of any real BBQ that can be cooked in that amount of time. I wanted to point one more thing out. The metal container that allows charcoal to be set inside of it, on which a metal grate is suspended above, is called a grill...not a 'barbecue'. One does not barbecue on a 'grill', one barbecues on a pit...

And what was up with lighter fluid soaked charcoal??? I love it when grilled food tastes like lighter fluid... There are better ways of getting charcoal ready to cook with...

Cheers to Brian for the charcuterie dish. Ruhlman would be proud.

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And what was up with lighter fluid soaked charcoal??? I love it when grilled food tastes like lighter fluid... There are better ways of getting charcoal ready to cook with...

It was called the Kingsford BBQ Challenge :wink:

Thanks for the education on BBQ.

oooh right, right, right, right, right...I missed that...lol.

kingsford charcoal...ew. :wink:

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Welcome, Morgan_Weber, and well said!!

I can't wait to show this post to Chris---he's a purist, a Weber collecter and curator (if you're ever in the Heartland, you can tour our museum --er---backyard of all shapes and sizes---I'm slowly weeding them out, surreptitiously sending an odd one now and then to the city compactor in the interest of my sanity and so the neighbors won't think we're total Snopes).

And I'm from BARBEQUE country, raised just south of Memphis, and nurtured on real pit ribs, along with 12-hour shoulders put sizzly on the pitrungs at daylight every Saturday, commissioned by the first thirty folks to get in line for the manna, with one brown, fragrant hunk brought home to our family in the same little white pan each week, with that one special small soft muscle pulled from just inside the steaming, fall-apart mass, just for me. The creamy-tender smoke-taste of the rich pork is a never-ending childhood memory, and one of the criteria for any barbecue I've tasted since.

(Still grimacing from an episode of Barefoot Contessa, in which she marinated spatchcocked, boned chickens, wrapped them in foil for transporting, and sent them off to the beach party to be started on the grill whilst she finished up the salads at home. She arrived expecting to smell the above-the-coals sizzle of grilling meat, and instead confronted the disappointment of slightly-opened foil packages lying on the grill, steaming the contents like a covered saucepan).

And poor Clay---I hoped a Mississippi chef would show us something, but that pitiful APPLE!! :shock: Looks like he learned that one in Cub Scouts.

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I thought overall the episode was pretty good...minus one bit of confusion...or semantics...

I might get ripped apart for this stance and I know there are exceptions, and I understand that typically BBQ is a really broad term that has regional implications, but IMHO this was not a BBQ challenge...this was a grilling challenge.

That's why Tom's comment about the poached lobster confused me. He complained that it wasn't really barbecue, because barbecue means low and slow. I'd agree with that, but who--except for the guy doing chicken--actually cooked anything low and slow. There were a lot of dishes, so maybe I'm forgetting something.

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

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

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Welcome, Morgan_Weber, and well said!!

And I'm from BARBEQUE country, raised just south of Memphis, and nurtured on real pit ribs, along with 12-hour shoulders put sizzly on the pitrungs at daylight every Saturday, commissioned by the first thirty folks to get in line for the manna, with one brown, fragrant hunk brought home to our family in the same little white pan each week, with that one special small soft muscle pulled from just inside the steaming, fall-apart mass, just for me.   The creamy-tender smoke-taste of the rich pork is a never-ending childhood memory, and one of the criteria for any barbecue I've tasted since.

So now it's 10:00am and all I can think about after reading that description is getting some awesome BBQ for lunch...

Barefoot Contessa...that gave me a great laugh this morning...

Cheers!

Edited by Morgan_Weber (log)
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Amen to this being grilling and decidedly not barbecue, southerners would be aghast....

I was disappointed by the grilling offerings, I am sure the time, variables, etc limit them somewhat but some of the offerings were just weak.

"A man's got to believe in something...I believe I'll have another drink." -W.C. Fields

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I don't watch Top Chef because I don't have Bravo on my cable lineup.. But I found out from a friend of mine that Tre Wilcox from Abacus is a contestent. He was with me with a bunch of other friends at the Chef's Table at Abacus back in early May. Tre was there in the kitchen, and actually cooking. Great meal. I've got a bunch of pics in my FLickr account. I'll transfer them to eGullet and post them so you can see the type of stuff he does in an actual working restaurant.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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I don't watch Top Chef because I don't have Bravo on my cable lineup..  But I found out from a friend of mine that Tre Wilcox from Abacus is a contestent.  He was with me with a bunch of other friends at the Chef's Table at Abacus back in early May.  Tre was there in the kitchen, and actually cooking.  Great meal.  I've got a bunch of pics in my FLickr account.  I'll transfer them to eGullet and post them so you can see the type of stuff he does in an actual working restaurant.

That would be awesome Jeff. I'm glad to hear that you liked Abacus. I have to say that Tre has been very professional thus far, not to mention quite talented. His plate on last night's episode did leave a little to be desired, it seemed, but my wife and I think he has a good chance of taking this all the way to the end. Not that our opinion means anything. lol.

Looking forward to seeing the pics.

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Amen to this being grilling and decidedly not barbecue, southerners would be aghast....

I was disappointed by the grilling offerings, I am sure the time, variables, etc limit them somewhat but some of the offerings were just weak.

This Southerner IS aghast. I'm glad I'm not the only person who was really irritated bothered by that.

And re: the charcoal point. Kingsford or not, there are much better ways to light charcoal than lighter fluid. A charcoal chimney works every time. I can't believe these guys know monkfish liver, but some of them seemed mystified by charcoal.

Kathleen Purvis, food editor, The Charlotte (NC) Observer

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Ok.. Here we go.. Some pics of my meal at Abacus in Dallas, TX, home of contestant Tre Wilcox (Tre WAS in the kitchen that night cooking)

gallery_31660_4785_91683.jpg

Beet cured smoked salmon

gallery_31660_4785_118716.jpg

Pink snapper

gallery_31660_4785_108936.jpg

Halibut

gallery_31660_4785_90757.jpg

blackberry sorbet

gallery_31660_4785_97874.jpg

pork tenderloin

gallery_31660_4785_2476.jpg

Venison

gallery_31660_4785_93820.jpg

"Kobe" beef with foie gras

gallery_31660_4785_118662.jpg

assorted cheese plate

gallery_31660_4785_65827.jpg

flan

Sorry the descriptions aren't better. I didn't take notes and there was no printed menu available to us.

It's really a great restaurant, and Tre does good things. They are especially good with seafood, which is pretty neat since it's not a seafood place and because Dallas is really big beef town (tons and tons of steakhouses here).

More about Tre here at the restaurant's website

http://www.abacus-restaurant.com//tre.php

I plan on getting episodes from iTunes Store. I've only missed two, it looks like, so I can catch up pretty qucikly.

Edited by jsmeeker (log)

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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The links don't work

I know. Don't know why. I just uploaded them, and was able to get one to work in another test post.

standby please.

Edit: Ok. Fixed now.. Sorry about the messup.

Edited by jsmeeker (log)

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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Amen to this being grilling and decidedly not barbecue, southerners would be aghast....

I was disappointed by the grilling offerings, I am sure the time, variables, etc limit them somewhat but some of the offerings were just weak.

This Southerner IS aghast. I'm glad I'm not the only person who was really irritated bothered by that.

And re: the charcoal point. Kingsford or not, there are much better ways to light charcoal than lighter fluid. A charcoal chimney works every time. I can't believe these guys know monkfish liver, but some of them seemed mystified by charcoal.

Absolutely dead on...I kept saying to myself, where the hell are the chimney starters?

"A man's got to believe in something...I believe I'll have another drink." -W.C. Fields

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Amen to this being grilling and decidedly not barbecue, southerners would be aghast....

I was disappointed by the grilling offerings, I am sure the time, variables, etc limit them somewhat but some of the offerings were just weak.

This Southerner IS aghast. I'm glad I'm not the only person who was really irritated bothered by that.

And re: the charcoal point. Kingsford or not, there are much better ways to light charcoal than lighter fluid. A charcoal chimney works every time. I can't believe these guys know monkfish liver, but some of them seemed mystified by charcoal.

Absolutely dead on...I kept saying to myself, where the hell are the chimney starters?

does kingsford make chimney starters? does kingsford make lighter fluid? i think we have our answer....(i haven't smelled or seen anyone use lighter fliud in yeeeeeaaaars!)

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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I was watching the end of episode 1 again with my wife, who fell asleep during the original showing. Has anyone else noticed that the repeats are heavily edited. Lots of stuff missing (for example, Tre isn't asked about tasting Hung's dish, Bourdain doesn't get to present the prize, etc.).

Does this always happen? Guess that's incentive to watch the original showing.

I noticed that too. Thought maybe I'd lost a bit of concentration because I'd seen it before. I guess they take advantage and just throw a few more commercials in the repeats. :hmmm: After reading further, yep the first epi was 75 minutes. Can't blame the sponsors there.

Morgan_Weber. Exactly! Not a brisket in sight. That would have been my choice. There are many ways a brisket could be ramped up to feed a distinctive crowd and be real barbeque.

Edited by tmgrobyn (log)
"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."
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I was watching the end of episode 1 again with my wife, who fell asleep during the original showing. Has anyone else noticed that the repeats are heavily edited. Lots of stuff missing (for example, Tre isn't asked about tasting Hung's dish, Bourdain doesn't get to present the prize, etc.).

Does this always happen? Guess that's incentive to watch the original showing.

I noticed that too. Thought maybe I'd lost a bit of concentration because I'd seen it before. I guess they take advantage and just throw a few more commercials in the repeats. :hmmm: After reading further, yep the first epi was 75 minutes. Can't blame the sponsors there.

Morgan_Weber. Exactly! Not a brisket in sight. That would have been my choice. There are many ways a brisket could be ramped up to feed a distinctive crowd and be real barbeque.

Yep. They had to cut the first episode for rerunning because it was 15 minutes too long for the regular timeslot. The stuff they cut out was just chaff anyway...

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Some quick thoughts on the episode.

Good: Despite the commercials full of bathing suit shots that looked like Big Bother out takes, the pool scene was nothing but some professionals relaxing after a hard day. As of episode 3, this season has not jumped the shark.

Bad: The attitude of the chefs when confronted with comfort was disappointing. I would think chefs with greater depth would think about why people like this food, and then try to replicate that part of the dish without the less savory (and unhealthy) elements.

Good and Bad: At first, I thought this would be a two man race. Now I'm not sure, which will make the competition more interesting. Overall, this is looking like a group whose talent is deep but not wide. They are all pretty young, so that's not surprising. Ilan was like that last year. Good with Spanish. Otherwise, who knows? I get the impression that the judges (or at least Tom) won't let that happened. Slapping the wrist of the seafood cook with immunity for not branching out is the first sign of that.

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

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

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Good and Bad: At first, I thought this would be a two man race.

Since there are 15 chefs to begin, we've barely gotten to know quite a few of them. It is "too early to call". Last night, I was still saying "Who is that? Where did she come from?"

Notice how the two worst dishes were from foreigners? They were at a severe disadvantage, and I think this should've been taken into account. Too bad they couldn't boot the guy that flaunted his immunity by using lobster.

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Good and Bad: At first, I thought this would be a two man race.

Since there are 15 chefs to begin, we've barely gotten to know quite a few of them. It is "too early to call". Last night, I was still saying "Who is that? Where did she come from?"

Yeah, I think maybe it was edited to look like a two man race. And me, I fell for it.

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

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

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Notice how the two worst dishes were from foreigners?  They were at a severe disadvantage, and I think this should've been taken into account.  Too bad they couldn't boot the guy that flaunted his immunity by using lobster.

I agree that the chicken a la king chef (see, I can't even remember anybody's name yet--they need to eliminate a few more) deserved a little handicapping. I'm a born and bred American, and I've never tasted that dish. It's a real throwback. The meatloaf woman, though, really blew it. It's not like ground beef loaves or patties are such a uniquely American dish. She should have been able to understand it.

More than anything, she seemed to no longer have her heart in the competition.

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

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

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Oh I watched episodes 0, 1 and 2 yesterday. It was so cool to see Stephen back! :biggrin:

In ep. 0 I just wonder if some stuff wasn't really staged or if it was just a happy coincidence to have Stephen x Marcel and Harold x Ilan.

Ep.0 props:

Stephen: I can't help, I'm his fanboy and I loved his dish.

Marcel: I like the guy and I admire him for having the balls of keeping serving foam after all the bashing he's gone trough, even from the hosts/judges. IMO, foam goes well with seafood and I think it was a correct choice.

Casey: She's the cutest chef from all seasons. When I had a glimpse of her sitting on the table I thought Jennifer Aniston was a guest for the show! :laugh:

Ep.1 props:

Hung: The guy is so good and it was awesome to see him cleaning the geoduck! I think that he just didn't win because some judges weren't fans of geoduck, specially raw.

Howei: He failed to deliver the whole dish but he was awesome when he quoted Bourdain.

Bourdain: His comment on Clay's dish was priceless :biggrin:

Ep.2 props:

I didn't like this episode :sad: But it was cool to see Sara raising from the bottom to top. I liked her dish in ep 1 and she does seem to be the kind of people that has great potential/skill and screw up once she let the nerves get on her. Maldon salt was a clever choice for instantly turning BBQ into gourmet BBQ :laugh:

Ep0 Slops:

Gail: She seems to be a foam hater. Padma commented that the foam was really good and the people around her table loved it too. So, what's the point of bitching? Will she bitch about people putting sauces in the dishes?

Ilan: Gosh, the guy indeed wanted to wash up the diced mango? :blink:

Ep1 Slops:

Joey: This guy started to reveal his inner bitch. He seems to think he's better because he lives in NY. I wonder if this is a common standard in US...Please tell me it isn't!

Padma: She picked on the fact that Brian fried the snake. Camille fried abalone, which is a much deeper sin, IMO, specially with Bourdain as a judge.

Ep2 Slops:

Joey: Again "If you do this in NY you're out" or something like that. He ate his own words. The guy doesn't know how to lose and he sucks.

Edited by pimptenshi (log)
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I did a little research this morning when I got to the office. Last night Colicchio and the judges made such a huge deal about the cholesterol in lobster. Check these two links out.

The first has to do with the cholesterol in chicken:

http://www.annecollins.com/cholesterol/cho...rol-chicken.htm

The second has to do with the cholesterol in lobster:

http://www.annecollins.com/cholesterol/cho...imp-lobster.htm

Now, I understand that a roast chicken breast might be a bit larger than a lobster tail, but the thing to notice is that they are extremely similar in their cholesterol levels (lobster coming in under chicken respectively). IMHO, the difference is not nearly enough to warrant calling Brian in to scold him during the judges table time. As one of my friends pointed out, had Brian not held the immunity, he could have very well been sent home because of the lack of knowledge on the judge's part.

I would make the case that the myth of lobster being loaded with cholesterol comes more from poaching it in butter, than from the lobster itself.

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