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Top Chef Season 4


KristiB50
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PDC,

If Harold had the backup for his criticism I might be more inclined.  Considering the people Tony knows and has cooked with, I dismiss the charges. 

Not maligning you, I know what you mean.  But I mean....Harold who?

edit to add: link to Harold's menu of unquestioned food credibility.  Note hanger steak and cheek du jour.  Hey, that sounds like bistro food.  Several other items do too (poisson) and 20 years ago his menu would been WTF? IMHO

http://www.perillanyc.com/index.php?page=menus&sec_id=265

My point was not to suggest Harold Dieterle be head judge instead of Bourdain so your argument is irrelevant. The measuring stick here is Collichio. The criticism of Harold's opinion based on his experience vs. Bourdain's is ludicrous; it's like saying that, oh, David Wright can't say Willie Mays was better than Duke Snider because Wright hasn't played baseball for as long at a high level as either of the people he's comparing.

I, on the other hand, don't take the show that seriously. It's just another food competition show so I'm fine with Bourdain as a judge. People who think Top Chef is somehow "better" than any other cook-off might disagree. That's all I'm saying.

Oh, and I've eaten at both Perilla and Les Halles. Have to give the nod to Perilla (knowing full well that will get me crucified here in egulletland). :laugh:

We are all good PDC. I was not implying head judge either.

Collichio as the measuring stick is a perfect point. Tom hangs with Bourdain not Harold.

And I am sure Perilla is very good as well as modern.

Edited by Doodad (log)
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according to this chicago tribune posting, that's exactly what happened.

"The frozen scallops in the walk-in freezer at Tramonto’s Steak & Seafood were part of the challenge on “Top Chef,” said Rick Tramonto, executive chef and co-owner, and not part of the restaurant's inventory.

...

“Their team purchased all the food and put it in the coolers,” he explained, saying he felt that most people realized it was part of the challenge. He just wants to set the record straight. “They put those in the mix to see ... who would use them or not.” And certainly Spike went for them. “It’s interesting that he had first choice and he obviously didn’t have to use them” but he did anyway.""

Oh, SNNNNNNAP! I can't believe a weasel like Spike wouldn't have thought that a greater weasel - like the producer - wouldn't have larded the larder, so to speak, with bad ingredient choices (!) At least Spike finally got bitten in the butt for all his McStrategizing. :biggrin:
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I like Bourdain. I've read all his books with the exception of the Typhoid Mary one. I've had the good fortune of dining with Bourdain. Heck, some of my best friends are Bourdain.

If Tony couldn't write like he does, he'd be a bistro chef with even more beat up knees that none of us had ever heard of. Does that mean he can't be head judge on Top Chef? Hell no.

I did think he looked a little uncomfortable in the chef's coat. Maybe it just didn't fit him right.

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hmm, that's not exactly what Colicchio said in his blog."Along with the high-end steaks they had provided for the show, Allen Bros. had included a variety of other products to round out the restaurant’s existing stock, including frozen scallops, which is how they came to be in Tramonto’s walk-in. I learned later that Rick knew this when we taped the show, but chose not to make a federal case out of it. But as a colleague and fan of Rick’s, I feel it’s important to set the record straight."

I smell.........spin! :cool:

Where did you get that quote?

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according to this chicago tribune posting, that's exactly what happened.

"The frozen scallops in the walk-in freezer at Tramonto’s Steak & Seafood were part of the challenge on “Top Chef,” said Rick Tramonto, executive chef and co-owner, and not part of the restaurant's inventory.

...

“Their team purchased all the food and put it in the coolers,” he explained, saying he felt that most people realized it was part of the challenge. He just wants to set the record straight. “They put those in the mix to see ... who would use them or not.” And certainly Spike went for them. “It’s interesting that he had first choice and he obviously didn’t have to use them” but he did anyway.""

Oh, SNNNNNNAP! I can't believe a weasel like Spike wouldn't have thought that a greater weasel - like the producer - wouldn't have larded the larder, so to speak, with bad ingredient choices (!) At least Spike finally got bitten in the butt for all his McStrategizing. :biggrin:

That's so awesome Spike got owned!!

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hmm, that's not exactly what Colicchio said in his blog."Along with the high-end steaks they had provided for the show, Allen Bros. had included a variety of other products to round out the restaurant’s existing stock, including frozen scallops, which is how they came to be in Tramonto’s walk-in. I learned later that Rick knew this when we taped the show, but chose not to make a federal case out of it. But as a colleague and fan of Rick’s, I feel it’s important to set the record straight."

I smell.........spin! :cool:

Where did you get that quote?

Tom's blog is here.

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I like Bourdain.  I've read all his books with the exception of the Typhoid Mary one.  I've had the good fortune of dining with Bourdain.  Heck, some of my best friends are Bourdain.

If Tony couldn't write like he does, he'd be a bistro chef with even more beat up knees that none of us had ever heard of.  Does that mean he can't be head judge on Top Chef?  Hell no.

I did think he looked a little uncomfortable in the chef's coat.  Maybe it just didn't fit him right.

As far as I am concerned, right now his principal qualification towards being interim head judge is that he has eaten more different foods in more different places than most of the rest of us combined. I bet he has a hell of a palate. Since they are supposed to be judging primarily on the taste of the food, I think he is perfectly qualified.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Coming from a trip where I tasted their food and visited with some of the "Top Chefs" in America today, I can say by comparison that most of the cheftestants, (not all), that remain on Top Chef have a very long way to go to even be close to cooking, (and conducting themselves), at the level of what some of us consider to be a top restaurant kitchen.

Have you ever been in a real kitchen? The way they've conducted themselves doesn't strike me as that unusual- swearing, drinking, etc..

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hmm, that's not exactly what Colicchio said in his blog."Along with the high-end steaks they had provided for the show, Allen Bros. had included a variety of other products to round out the restaurant’s existing stock, including frozen scallops, which is how they came to be in Tramonto’s walk-in. I learned later that Rick knew this when we taped the show, but chose not to make a federal case out of it. But as a colleague and fan of Rick’s, I feel it’s important to set the record straight."

I smell.........spin! :cool:

Where did you get that quote?

Tom's blog is here.

The reason I asked is that was not there at this time yesterday. It was added during the day.

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Anyone know what the remaining schedule looks like? (Can't find anything on the website).

With 4 contestants headed to PR, how many episodes are we looking at for the finale?

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I'm going to shock myself by defending spike: he dissed Tramanto, and then apologized and went to shake Rick's hand, and then berated himself for saying that. The utter stress and misery of being up there must make you do crazy, have-to-be edited out things. the producer were probably happy to get something they could leave in to make us feel good about his heading home instead of Lisa (who wisely bit her lip-- hard.)

It must suck to slip up and have it on tape forever. At least he saw it the moment it left his mouth and owned it.

I miss Dale too, but Lisa has made some standouts that make it clear she can cook a tasty bite. she's just not consistent enough to make it to the top.

However, the fact Richard has blown a few has got me nervous. Being a gentleman does not make you a top chef. He can shine, but he looses it sometimes, and if Lisa has a good rest before Puerto Rico, and gets her sh*t together, well... we could have an all-girl show. If he gets it to the final two, I think he can take it. But there will be some dumb challenges like make eggs on a grill before that....

Finally the Bourdain/Harold thing is silly. Les Halles+eating everywhere on the planet and being articulate to express what you know and see is a perfect combo for head chef. There are better chefs, but as a judge you also have to know how to turn what you see into meaningful, useful criticism, especially when bringing it back to the table. I think he's got that one nailed. But I can imagine Harold would have rather seen one of the big guys like Bernardin doing it; a hero we never get to see at work.

Could of been worse... could have been Rocco!

(editing for a complete inability to type)

Edited by et alors (log)

"Gourmandise is not unbecoming to women: it suits the delicacy of their organs and recompenses them for some pleasures they cannot enjoy, and for some evils to which they are doomed." Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

MetaFooder: linking you to food | @foodtwit

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I've never had sweetbreads-are they really like McNuggets as Stehanie said?

Better, actually, and there's a funny story involving sweetbreads and Blais to illustrate it.

Blais worked for several years for a group of restaurants here in Atlanta called Concentrics. The driving force behind the group is Bob Amick, who has been big on the dining scene here in town for many, many years.

Blais' main gig was at One Midtown Kitchen, but he also consulted at other restaurants in the group as they were being launched, and one of those was a very groovy restaurant called PieBar. It's since closed but opened to much fanfare, in large part because it was located in a very cool building, a bank that had been built during the '60s or '70s and looked like a flying saucer.

When first launched the menu featured a lot of very inventive things (include a sort of flatbread pizza with lots of cool toppings), and clearly reflected Blais' involvement in the menu (though he was never listed, so far as I know, as chef or executive chef---others occupied those positions, at least on paper). One dish was described as "veal parmesan on a stick". It was one of the least expensive things on the menu (which was comprised of small dishes at different price points), and so although we're not big fans of the traditional dish decided to try it.

Imagine our surprise when it turned out to be sweetbreads (and really delicious sweetbreads at that, prepped like veal parmesan and skewered on a bread stick). We asked the waiter what response of the diners to the dish was and he pretty much shrugged and said that people liked it. I asked if he warned people that they were eating sweetbreads and he answered no (and likely didn't know what I was talking about).

Two different dining critics here in town (one professional, one not really) mistakenly described the dish as being very tender, very delicious veal. And though that's not technically wrong, most people do not lump thymus (or pancreas) and skeletal muscle in the same category.

The dish and just about everything else that was any good was gradually edited from the menu and it eventually closed.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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Who wants to lay odds on whether or not Lisa will wash her hair for the next episode?  Anyone?  Anyone?

In the previews it looked like she got it buzz cut for the heat.

Damn, reading through this week's posts just now I was hoping I'd be the first one to scoop this little tidbit.....

All I know is her stylist must have told her to go to the doctor, then go to the mountains, look to the children and drink from the fountains.......but what I'm looking forward to most is how the new cut will look when she's making that sour face where it looks like she's trying to touch her navel with her chin.

Jerry

Kansas City, Mo.

Unsaved Loved Ones

My eG Food Blog- 2011

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I've never had sweetbreads-are they really like McNuggets as Stehanie said?

Better, actually, and there's a funny story involving sweetbreads and Blais to illustrate it.

Perhaps even closer to the mark, as part of a tasting menu at OMK, Blais once served me something he called -- well, I can't remember what it was called, but it was a riff on "Chik-Fil-A." It was a dead ringer for the Chik-Fil-A nugget, except that it was impaled on a plastic syringe filled with an analogue of the Polynesian dipping sauce that accompanies the Chik-Fil-A product. You put the nugget in your mouth, squeezed the syringe and ate it. Of course it was sweetbreads -- a typical Blais food joke referring to the long-running Chik-Fil-A cows ("Eat Mor Chikin") ads.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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I'm pretty surprised at all the comments about the females' appearances in this thread. Aside from making fun of Spike's hats the guys' looks seem to be off limits or not cared about? Are we really that concerned about Lisa'a hair and some unflattering pants and that Gale's clothing isn't what you might have chosen? I don't get it. Tom's not very thin, Tony Bourdain has bad teeth and strange legs, and a number of guest judges have been downright portly. Why so harsh with the girls? Is there a specific reason, or is it plain old vanilla sexism?

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I'm pretty surprised at all the comments about the females' appearances in this thread. Aside from making fun of Spike's hats the guys' looks seem to be off limits or not cared about? Are we really that concerned about Lisa'a hair and some unflattering pants and that Gale's clothing isn't what you might have chosen? I don't get it. Tom's not very thin, Tony Bourdain has bad teeth and strange legs, and a number of guest judges have been downright portly. Why so harsh with the girls? Is there a specific reason, or is it plain old vanilla sexism?

Ohhh, I don't know - Tom caught in in spades for his "homey" look (beret turned backwards), Marcel's hair was a running joke all season 2 (and beyond), and plenty of other men have caught grief for either their sartorial or physiological failings. It's just that Lisa is ALWAYS sour-faced, and she's been pretty greasy for the last few episodes. I can excuse the greasiness - they might have interviewed her for her sound bite right after she got off the line. Having said that, though, Steph and Antonia have always looked good for their close-ups. Even Nikki managed to pull herself together.

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I'm pretty surprised at all the comments about the females' appearances in this thread. Aside from making fun of Spike's hats the guys' looks seem to be off limits or not cared about? Are we really that concerned about Lisa'a hair and some unflattering pants and that Gale's clothing isn't what you might have chosen? I don't get it. Tom's not very thin, Tony Bourdain has bad teeth and strange legs, and a number of guest judges have been downright portly. Why so harsh with the girls? Is there a specific reason, or is it plain old vanilla sexism?

Nobody's picking on fat people, or people with bad teeth, or weird legs, or jagged arm scars. But people on TV make choices about how they will appear on TV. When those appearances catch your eye, commenting is fair I think. The Spike/Tom/Malarky hat tragedies have elicited plenty of comments. I won't go back into the thread, but I'm sure that one guy who always wore ties in whatever season that was got comments based on it. I thought Tony looked odd in the Top Chef jacket. One of the reasons Padma is on the show in the first place is that she generally looks fabulous in anything she wears. And Gail has a unique style that I can't figure out. TV is a visual medium. What people see matters. It's plain old vanilla human nature.

Edited because how did I forget the trump card? The Faux Hawk: an oft commented and inexplicable alternative hair-style choice that knows no boundaries of gender or sexual orientation. For two seasons and counting....

Edited by Dignan (log)
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I'm pretty surprised at all the comments about the females' appearances in this thread. Aside from making fun of Spike's hats the guys' looks seem to be off limits or not cared about? Are we really that concerned about Lisa'a hair and some unflattering pants and that Gale's clothing isn't what you might have chosen? I don't get it. Tom's not very thin, Tony Bourdain has bad teeth and strange legs, and a number of guest judges have been downright portly. Why so harsh with the girls? Is there a specific reason, or is it plain old vanilla sexism?

Nobody's picking on fat people, or people with bad teeth, or weird legs, or jagged arm scars. But people on TV make choices about how they will appear on TV. When those appearances catch your eye, commenting is fair I think. The Spike/Tom/Malarky hat tragedies have elicited plenty of comments. I won't go back into the thread, but I'm sure that one guy who always wore ties in whatever season that was got comments based on it. I thought Tony looked odd in the Top Chef jacket. One of the reasons Padma is on the show in the first place is that she generally looks fabulous in anything she wears. And Gail has a unique style that I can't figure out. TV is a visual medium. What people see matters. It's plain old vanilla human nature.

Steve Aspinio (?) (Asprinio?) was the dude who always wore a tie - and didn't he get mercilessly ragged for it. One or two eps with, say, a bad hair or clothing day, OK - but if someone is unremittingly greasy, dorky, tacky or otherwise, shall we say, "not on" - well, yes, they're going to hear about it.

I think they handed Tony the official TC "head judge blue", for his head judging gig. His own chef jacket is more fitted and customized for HIM. The TC blue jacket is bigger, boxier, and more appropriately roomy for the beefier Colicchio. (I'm not saying I think he wore Tom's own jacket - I'm saying I think they have a certain look to the jacket, and when Tony stepped in for Tom, they issued him a TC jacket in Tony's size. But not his style. Definitely not.) Since no other chef has guest HEAD judged before, no one has ever had to wear the blue TC head judge jacket before. All the other guest judges (chefs or otherwise) wore either street clothes or their own whites. (If Tony was asked to cook, like Rocco was, I bet he would have worn his own whites). That's my theory of day, anyway.

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I'm pretty surprised at all the comments about the females' appearances in this thread. Aside from making fun of Spike's hats the guys' looks seem to be off limits or not cared about? Are we really that concerned about Lisa'a hair and some unflattering pants and that Gale's clothing isn't what you might have chosen? I don't get it. Tom's not very thin, Tony Bourdain has bad teeth and strange legs, and a number of guest judges have been downright portly. Why so harsh with the girls? Is there a specific reason, or is it plain old vanilla sexism?

Nobody's picking on fat people, or people with bad teeth, or weird legs, or jagged arm scars. But people on TV make choices about how they will appear on TV. When those appearances catch your eye, commenting is fair I think. The Spike/Tom/Malarky hat tragedies have elicited plenty of comments. I won't go back into the thread, but I'm sure that one guy who always wore ties in whatever season that was got comments based on it. I thought Tony looked odd in the Top Chef jacket. One of the reasons Padma is on the show in the first place is that she generally looks fabulous in anything she wears. And Gail has a unique style that I can't figure out. TV is a visual medium. What people see matters. It's plain old vanilla human nature.

Steve Aspinio (?) (Asprinio?) was the dude who always wore a tie - and didn't he get mercilessly ragged for it. One or two eps with, say, a bad hair or clothing day, OK - but if someone is unremittingly greasy, dorky, tacky or otherwise, shall we say, "not on" - well, yes, they're going to hear about it.

I think they handed Tony the official TC "head judge blue", for his head judging gig. His own chef jacket is more fitted and customized for HIM. The TC blue jacket is bigger, boxier, and more appropriately roomy for the beefier Colicchio. (I'm not saying I think he wore Tom's own jacket - I'm saying I think they have a certain look to the jacket, and when Tony stepped in for Tom, they issued him a TC jacket in Tony's size. But not his style. Definitely not.) Since no other chef has guest HEAD judged before, no one has ever had to wear the blue TC head judge jacket before. All the other guest judges (chefs or otherwise) wore either street clothes or their own whites. (If Tony was asked to cook, like Rocco was, I bet he would have worn his own whites). That's my theory of day, anyway.

Yes, point taken, to the extent we are distinguishing between commenting on appearance and mercilessly ragging on it.

Tony's jacket was too short.

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Tony's jacket was too short and billowy. Is that a word?

I have to say that I would not mind if Anthony Bordain took over Tom's job as head judge. Tony's job these days is to be a chef that taste's everything that he can good or bad. Who better to judge? Trust me he knows good from bad and also what is exceptional. I can think of no one else with a more well rounded palate.

Veni Vidi Vino - I came, I saw, I drank.
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Not sexist at all. I'm a girl and I snarked at the other girls mostly because they have put themselves up as "professional icons". Yes, this is TopChef and not Project Runway but still, they have a budget and I expect more from the presenters. I guess if I'm honest, I have to say I may harbor just a bit of jealousy regarding their positions and would hope if I were in their position I'd try my best to look good. ;-)

I haven't picked on the chefs other than the sour face Lisa usually has and that is because she has a sour face all the time. If one of the guys had a bad attitude and was angry like that all the time I'd have mentioned it. Well, and have in the past.

"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."
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