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Top Chef Season 4


KristiB50
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I'm a film buff so I really liked this challenge. Although I probably would have gone with a foodie movie like Big Night. The Cook the Thief, His wife and Her Lover would be interesting. :smile:

Thank you to whoever talked Andrew out of presenting his dish as an Ooompa Loompa.

Poor Manuel didn't stand a chance. He should have pushed harder for Like Water for Chocolate.

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I so loved this challenge. This show has become an odd ritual for me. I got a plate with good salami, Serrano Ham, and a Montgomery Cheddar and parked it in front of the TV. I'd have had a glass of wine, but there wasn't anything in the house that sounded good to me. Next week, I buy beer. Not Michelob, either.

I called the elimination early on too. "Like Water for Chocolate," "duh..." :rolleyes:

It was another night of good television for me. I'm beginning to reassess Jennifer. I loved her, but she's starting to bug me. "Zoi's dish was spot on." Yes, it was good, but honey, if she'd not gone before them, you and your funny tasting Tortellini would have. So there.

I also didn't like the general bitchiness about the winners from the rest of them. So you could not come up with that dish and don't think the flavors marry. On the surface, it did not sound good to me, but the whole table loved it, so it might be good.

Blog.liedel.org

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I liked last nights episode- think the right one won and the right one went home. I was on Bravo this morning- Is Padma writing her own blogs drunk or high? Is no one editing her writing....I don't remember her blogs from last season being quite so ill written. BTW What dish did Jennifer make for the elimination? I can't remember it at all. Maybe less wine for the re-runs :wub:

ksoss

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This was one of the better episodes, and I think a lot of it has to do with the number of chefs left. 6 2-people teams and their dishes is a lot easier to follow than 16 going head-to-head, or 2 groups of 7 and all of their individual dishes.

Blais not only won, but came in 2nd in the quickfire. Dale, who won the quickfire, then wanted to work with him because he was one of the best ones there. So far, so good!

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Chefs Blais and Dale seem to have the most talent and imagination, but I prefer Blais' businesslike, get it done attitude. It's like he's so into thinking about the food that he doesn't even register the posturing and drama of the others.

I wish they would show more cooking/prep work and less personal interaction. I get bored and start to read my book when they go into personalities. I guess I am a drone :biggrin: !

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I was working while watching last night's episode, so I didn't pick up every detail, but I was a tad confused on the logic of sending Manuel home. If I heard correctly, it wasn't because he was responsible for the deal-breaking dish, it's because he wasn't responsible? Because he allowed someone else to present that dish? I don't quite understand that reasoning.

I haven't developed any preferences for the players in this season yet, but I did like Manuel if only because he reminded me a lot of an old roommate of mine.

The previews of next week's edition make me fear, however, that we're in for more of the stupid drama Season 2 provided. This group as a whole gives me sort of a bad vibe, and I think Bravo is going to play up the drama.

Great dishes last night, though.

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Apparently, the caffeine just hit my brain pan. I made a mental note to come and talk about this here today.

I read the Rick Bayless blog last week. He mentions that Ryan worked for him and was not a great fit. He said Ryan did not last long. I got the impression Ryan quit, but it was not stated.

Last night, Ryan and Chef Boulud both mention that Ryan worked for him. Ryan played it off that it was a short stint and it did not last long, because he was not a good fit. Again, I got the feeling Ryan left of his own accord, but it was not stated, that I remember.

I'm starting to wonder who else Ryan has worked for and not stuck with? Maybe that's common in the food industry. I've not been in it for a long time and that was as a bartender/waitron. It struck me as culinary fishing. Does Ryan have more than swagger? Does he have a culinary identity, or is it all picking around and looking for a place to shine without the grunt work coming first?

Blog.liedel.org

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Could it be that the level of the contestants has gotten high enough that this week's elimination seemed really nitpicky?

Kudos to Spike & Manuel for refusing to throw each other under the bus.

Manuel - classiest exit ever!

I think it's fortunate that Richard's smoke pipe broke. I'm certain Colicchio would have roasted him for the third use of that trick.

Anyone else hoping to see flaming hog balls when the two girls mentioned their movie was Top Secret? You could tell from the look on Ted Allen's face it was running through his mind.

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I was working while watching last night's episode, so I didn't pick up every detail, but I was a tad confused on the logic of sending Manuel home. If I heard correctly, it wasn't because he was responsible for the deal-breaking dish, it's because he wasn't responsible? Because he allowed someone else to present that dish? I don't quite understand that reasoning.

I saw it as a lack of leadership. An unwillingness to infuse any of his own ideas, or practices into the dish and letting Spike do all the driving. This is not Top Sous Chef, so he went home for not asserting his authority.

I like Manual very much. I was sorry to see him go, but he's not cutting it, so to speak. His tacos...They were not quite up to par. He should have banged that challange out. He works with that food all the time. He was not even in the top three. I expect folks to shine in their individual areas of expertise.

Blog.liedel.org

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Good points, and again, I've hardly "gotten to know" any of the characters in this season yet. Maybe a few more episodes in I will. Right now the ones who stand out are Dale and maybe Mark and Richard.

Zoi looks like she's always about to cry, Andrew like he's gone of his meds, and Jennifer like she can't wait to get in the middle of an argument. Let the posturing begin. I thought Season 3 was thankfully devoid of Season 2's mistakes in that department. Let's hope these chefs watched some reruns to learn the difference.

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Good dishes, which was (finally) nice to see. *Almost* everyone's looked edible!

Nice exit, Manuel. Not great food, but nice exit.

How about Dense Ryan talking to poor Mark?

"He started talking and all I heard was wah....wah....wah"

and

"He's from New Zealand, or New England, somewhere...."

Mark: To Kill a Mockingbird?

Ryan (completely confused): Dumb and Dumber was one of my FAVORITE movies...

(YA THINK??) :wink:

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I liked the creative editing, because it was obvious that instead of Padma saying "Manuel, please pack your knives and go", in reality the whole line HAD to be "Manuel, you're too nice of a guy and Spike just makes better TV, please pack your knives and go".

And with last night's scruffy brimmed hat, Spike is no longer K-Fed, he's one of the Pussycat Dolls. :raz:

Jerry

Kansas City, Mo.

Unsaved Loved Ones

My eG Food Blog- 2011

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Apparently, the caffeine just hit my brain pan. I made a mental note to come and talk about this here today.

I read the Rick Bayless blog last week. He mentions that Ryan worked for him and was not a great fit. He said Ryan did not last long. I got the impression Ryan quit, but it was not stated.

Last night, Ryan and Chef Boulud both mention that Ryan worked for him. Ryan played it off that it was a short stint and it did not last long, because he was not a good fit. Again, I got the feeling Ryan left of his own accord, but it was not stated, that I remember.

I'm starting to wonder who else Ryan has worked for and not stuck with? Maybe that's common in the food industry. I've not been in it for a long time and that was as a bartender/waitron. It struck me as culinary fishing. Does Ryan have more than swagger? Does he have a culinary identity, or is it all picking around and looking for a place to shine without the grunt work coming first?

Ummmmm . . . seems Ryan is not a good fit at a lot of places. Maybe he did quit of his volition, but it's equally possible he was . . . encouraged to move on? Or, at least, his decision to move on were enthusiastically supported by each of his exec chefs of the moment? To have no less than three judges not only know him but to be rather underwhelmed by him, both culinarily and personally, doesn't sound good in terms of Ryan's rep, even in an industry where cooks do move around. If he had moved around and they all remembered him fondly, that would be another thing entirely. Just thinking out loud here. Edited by Claudia Greco (log)
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Zoi looks like she's always about to cry, Andrew like he's gone of his meds, and Jennifer like she can't wait to get in the middle of an argument. Let the posturing begin. I thought Season 3 was thankfully devoid of Season 2's mistakes in that department. Let's hope these chefs watched some reruns to learn the difference.

From the trailer for next week, it looks like we're in for The Long Night of Raging Lesbians - looks like one of the guys baited Jennifer. And I think we can count on Andrew irrevocably melti ng down or blowing an o-ring at least once, before he gets eliminated. Good times, folk. Good times (!)

:biggrin:

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I've decided I'm a complete neophyte on these shows. I was cringing every time they had Team Clueless (Ryan and Mark) on the screen because it seemed they were really going down in flames and completely botching the concept. I was stunned that their food got a pass and even fit the movie.

Both competitions were good and I really liked the Quickfire. I like when they skip the gimmicky stuff and just test basic technique or food knowledge. It's one thing to scoff at a chef who botches making a 3 course meal out of breakfast cereals, but these technique-based challenges to remind you that, yeah, these people pretty much know what they're doing in the kitchen.

Blais is a consummate professional as always. That shot of him helping out the Talk to Her Team was everything you needed to know about him. And I liked that Dale hopped on Richard's team without blinking when he was told it was his choice.

Stephanie though appears to be the real stealth candidate. She's won two and was in the winner's circle again tonight. Add another thing I was spectacularly wrong about: I though for sure they would get penalized as a group for having 6 courses with no dessert and that the last team went too "heavy".

Poor Manuel never got a break it seems. Spike should have gone before him. Isn't it usually the practice to let the leader of the team go when the team botches something as a whole?

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Me thinks Spike threw Manuel under the train. I expect to see more of the ruthless Spike sacraficing others for his own errors and faux leadership.

Raoul

"I drink to make other people interesting".

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Stephanie though appears to be the real stealth candidate.  She's won two and was in the winner's circle again tonight.  Add another thing I was spectacularly wrong about: I though for sure they would get penalized as a group for having 6 courses with no dessert and that the last team went too "heavy". 

Stephanie is strong. I'm also still impressed with Mark.

I thought for sure their dish was going to be a disaster when they couldn't get duck at the grocery store. The dish looked really nice. A good use of cranberries for the holiday look and taste, plus I really like the touch of the egg roll to remind the diners that it was a Chinese restaurant.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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I was on Bravo this morning- Is Padma writing her own blogs drunk or high? Is no one editing her writing....I don't remember her blogs from last season being quite so ill written.

The written blog is simply a literal transcript of her video blog, hence the somewhat strange delivery. Can't fault her for that.

All in all, a very classy episode. Good looking food. It was unfortunate to see Manuel go when he's probably more talented than a good number of the remaining cheftestatnts. And Blais continues to be a baller.

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I was actually excited by Richard's dish. White chocolate is an ingredient that works surprisingly well in savory applications, basically any thing that you would add both a fat and sweetener to; which is a lot of dishes. I served a dish I stole from Heston Blumenthal for Valentine's Day (white chocolate with caviar) and my wife was blown away with how good it was. Somehow I'm going to try to figure out how to make that sauce!

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I was also excited about the white chocolate, mostly because my favorite restaurant in town here recently introduced a "scallops with white chocolate dill sauce" starter. I was nervous at first, but it was fantastic. I think it'is really one of those combinations one has to try before dissing.

When what's-her-face started bashing the salmon dish so HEAVILY, I was turned off completely. She was rude and insulting, especially for never tasting the dish.

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