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Top Chef Season 4


KristiB50
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It was good to see two good, solid, imaginative chefs in the finale, and the fact that they're obviously good people is a nice bonus.

And Richard's a winner all the way---lovely family, new house, new car, new baby :wub: and a great talent, all prizes life has already dealt him.

Season 1 was OK, Season 3 was sorta Who Cares?, but this year with the two good guys was sorta a redemption for Season 2, which whimpered out with the only choices being the lesser of two weasels. And THEN they missed.

Toques doff to Stephanie!

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  Season 1 was OK, Season 3 was sorta Who Cares?, but this year with the two good guys  was sorta a redemption for Season 2, which whimpered out with the only choices being the lesser of two weasels.  And THEN they missed.

Toques doff to Stephanie!

I've only watched the last two seasons but I was thinking about the personalities of Hung vs Stephanie/Richard. Complete opposites. Blatant arrogance from Hung throughout last season vs complete diffidence from Steph and Richard. I guess it just indicates that the food speaks for itself.

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I too thought the show felt rushed. For some reason it seemed as if they had a 4 night special in PR and had to quickly get it done.

Ted's blog was top notch. He pays an homage to Richard and gives Stephanie the kudos she deserves.

The judging panel was a good mix of judges, however, that Zagat guy! Zagat is overrated in itself and the contrast of him on the panel with Ripert cracked me up. His comments (that were shown) were comments I would hear from a random diner at a random restaurant. I would much rather see a TC finalist judged by a Michelin judge. They are trying to be TopChef, judge them by the best.

"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."
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The judging panel was a good mix of judges, however, that Zagat guy! Zagat is overrated in itself and the contrast of him on the panel with Ripert cracked me up. His comments (that were shown) were comments I would hear from a random diner at a random restaurant.

All he contributed was "I want more."

Go get a burrito as big as your head or something.

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I think Richard's tabasco pearls were meant to go with some shellfish, which he has done before, but he changed his mind on that course.

That judges table must've lasted 8 hours -- you could see the morning light coming up in the background.

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The finale seemed short and I think the final dishes were not as impressive as the past seasons.

But I am so glad Stephanie won, I felt so bad for Richard, Stephanie and Richard both consistently did so well, it was really their ball game. Richard's demeanor on the show, as well as Stephanie's, no matter who was voted Top Chef, will make them both go far, I dont think Richard is a loser in this at all.

Lisa, I dont think it is an edit, all the chefs had pretty poor things to say about her and did not want to work with her. Editing cannot make your co workers dislike you. Or create that scowl that was always on her face, take some smile classes!!

I thought judging was poor this season, Top chef should not be one meal that went well or one meal that misses, it should be consistent good food. If Lisa would have won, it would be because she made one good meal, and her bottom votes that were consistent throughout would have counted for nothing? They should go back to it being two in the finale.

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I thought judging was poor this season, Top chef should not be one meal that went well or one meal that misses, it should be consistent good food.  If Lisa would have won, it would be because she made one good meal, and her bottom votes that were consistent throughout would have counted for nothing?  They should go back to it being two in the finale.

They did kind of take past performance into account. The chefs with the most wins got to pick their proteins and sous chefs first.

Of course if Stephanie choked as well, then.....

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Had this been a final elimination round, Blais still would have ended up 3rd if you go by the portrayal of who won each course. It's scary that Lisa would have survived another round to be a finalist. I was really rooting for Blais, but congrats to Stephanie she held it together.

What I found questionable though was the judges ability to follow each tasting menu's flavors without mingling in the other two dishes in each course. How do you go from Blais's scallop dish to his guinea hen when you have a shrimp with thai chili paste and snapper with truffles crossing your palate in between?

Edited by RAHiggins1 (log)
Veni Vidi Vino - I came, I saw, I drank.
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I wondered about this too. Did Lisa intentionally screw the palates of the judges with her spicy stuff?

Wouldn't surprise me a bit.

But the judges aren't dopes either and would have figured this out.

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What did Richard ever do with his frozen Tabasco?  I don't think he ever used it.  But it sure was cool seeing Chef Riepert  learn something from him.

I remember reading about this before on a blog that was reviewing his restaurant 'Home" last month (I think).

We sampled a good bit of the menu that evening. A delicious basil martini took the edge off of the drive there in Atlanta traffic - driving in Atlanta is often a character building exercise. We started off with a group of starters. The fried green tomatoes with Ranch ice cream was typical Blais - savory ice creams are something he excels at. The Tabasco "dippin dots" on the raw oysters were eye-opening, both in their novelty and their heat. The deviled duck eggs come topped with changing toppings - ours were salmon tartare, short ribs, and pickles & cornichons.

All sounds good to me but the oysters with Tabasco dippin' dots sound especially fascinating.

I'd be thrilled to eat at either one's restaurant and was happy to see two class acts get their due.

Congratulations, Stephanie ! :smile:

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That judges table must've lasted 8 hours -- you could see the morning light coming up in the background.
Because Gale was fighting for her girl Lisa? (She ran to her right after Stephanie won and it looked a little " BFF, I voted for you." to me.)

I've got to call bullshit on their positioning of this single Meal of Your Life deciding the winner. How about a cooking cage match, then? 10 chefs enter, only one walks out.

Funny how they were pretending there was a chance the title was going to someone who's been on the bottom 5 times. Really? Lisa's food looked good, if not spectacular and the editing seemed to be trying to cram some drama into this finale, what with Richard "choking" and Stephanie looking like the clear winner.

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I loved the finale, only because it was simply about cooking and flavor and ingredients -- no BS product placement or see what you can do with one hand. That said, it seems to me that the judges were more blown away with last year's finale meals.

Any word on where they are filming the next one? It was this time last year that they were still casting, I believe, and filmed in the early fall.

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http://www.tvweek.com/news/2008/06/top_che...h_to_junior.php

Bravo’s “Top Chef” is cooking up an offspring.

The network said it is developing “Top Chef Junior,” an eight-episode series in which teens will take on culinary challenges, just like their grown-up counterparts on the top-rated cooking show.

The network also picked up a untitled project that will follow Jean-Christophe Novelli, named the world’s sexiest chef by the New York Times, as he moves to Los Angeles to set up a cooking school.

"With 'Top Chef'' as the No. 1 food show on cable comes the natural expansion in our food domain," said Frances Berwick. executive VP and general manager of Bravo Media. "With 'Top Chef Junior' we're reaching a growing market and are developing a series that will teach and test the skills of younger aspiring chefs and appeal to the whole family. We feel that Jean-Christophe Novelli's reputation, personality and expertise will prove incredibly enticing to our passionate core audience."

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What I found questionable though was the judges ability to follow each tasting menu's flavors without mingling in the other two dishes in each course. How do you go from Blais's scallop dish to his guinea hen when you have a shrimp with thai chili paste and snapper with truffles crossing your palate in between?

I completely agree with this sentiment and I really think they need to go to some format similar to how they did it in the first season where they experience each chef's full progression before they move on to a different chef. hell, spread it our over a few days if need be. For example, I would be pissed if I was Stephanie and I am serving a delicate, refined dish and the judges tasted it after eating a mouthful of hotsauce on Lisa's shrimp.

Ditto everyone that said this finale felt rushed and was anti climactic. I also agree that the dishes seemed less exciting than previous finales, or at least last year and season 1.

Congrats to both Stephanie and Richard. I think it was a lot less close than it seemed on TV.

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

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What I would have liked to seen were the contestants simply getting to cook. No curve balls no disappearing sous chefs. They've done all of that to get to this point just let them create their own menu with their own ingredients. Let them shine on their own terms they certainly have earned it.

Edited by Fpoint (log)

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Funny how they were pretending there was a chance the title was going to someone who's been on the bottom 5 times. Really? Lisa's food looked good, if not spectacular and the editing seemed to be trying to cram some drama into this finale, what with Richard "choking" and Stephanie looking like the clear winner.

Did Lisa ever win an elimination challenge? I can't recall. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

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http://www.tvweek.com/news/2008/06/top_che...h_to_junior.php
Bravo’s “Top Chef” is cooking up an offspring.

The network said it is developing “Top Chef Junior,” an eight-episode series in which teens will take on culinary challenges, just like their grown-up counterparts on the top-rated cooking show.

The network also picked up a untitled project that will follow Jean-Christophe Novelli, named the world’s sexiest chef by the New York Times, as he moves to Los Angeles to set up a cooking school.

"With 'Top Chef'' as the No. 1 food show on cable comes the natural expansion in our food domain," said Frances Berwick. executive VP and general manager of Bravo Media. "With 'Top Chef Junior' we're reaching a growing market and are developing a series that will teach and test the skills of younger aspiring chefs and appeal to the whole family. We feel that Jean-Christophe Novelli's reputation, personality and expertise will prove incredibly enticing to our passionate core audience."

Maybe Hell's Kitchen will do the same - give Ramsey a bunch of teens to mess with. We can watch Ramsey tear asunder their self esteem - scarring the kids for life. Fox TV - you owe me a development fee.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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I think Richard's tabasco pearls were meant to go with some shellfish, which he has done before, but he changed his mind on that course.

Oysters, he said. But he was still sort of playing around on the first day. My guess is that he realized if he served an oyster the judges would come back with that whole "but you didn't cook anything!" argument they sometimes use.

Poffertjes, Lisa was on the winning Team Fire in the elements challenge and was awarded the individual win for her miso bacon. (Angering Dale, although apparently that's not exactly difficult.)

I prefer a head-to-head war between two great chefs for the finale, Tiffany v. Harold style, but since I'm pretty darn thrilled with the winner I will take what they gave us last night, happily.

Cooking and writing and writing about cooking at the SIMMER blog

Pop culture commentary at Intrepid Media

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Congrats to Stephanie!  I was pulling for Richard, but am still very pleased with the winner. She's was one of my favorites from the start.  Lisa surprised me. She seemed to do pretty well.

What did Richard ever do with his frozen Tabasco?  I don't think he ever used it.  But it sure was cool seeing Chef Riepert  learn something from him.

i too was pleased to see stephanie take it. but richard is def a class act, and this will only help his career. i think my fav moment of all the seasons was the one where richard was playing with the liquid nitro, and ripert and barber were crowding around like schoolboys with the chemistry set. that was richard's win, right there. as tired as he looked, he was showing the big guns how it's done,and they were his enthralled students. that's big. that's huge.

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

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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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They did kind of take past performance into account. The chefs with the most wins got to pick their proteins and sous chefs first.

Right.

After all of the posturing about the rules and TC's blogs about how they absolutely can't take past performance into account; they certainly threw all that to the wind when deciding who should draw knives and pick sous chefs.

And then Richard immediately gave the first choice to Stephanie, wonder if he ever regretted that act of chivalry?

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i too was pleased to see stephanie take it. but richard is def a class act, and this will only help his career. i think my fav moment of all the seasons was the one where richard was playing with the liquid nitro, and ripert and barber were crowding around like schoolboys with the chemistry set. that was richard's win, right there. as tired as he looked, he was showing the big guns how it's done,and they were his enthralled students. that's big. that's huge.

YES! I LOVED watching Ripert keep peeking over at Richard. Even though he didn't win (and I felt sooo bad looking at his sad little face,) he definitely displayed his culinary prowess, which is sure to help his career. I think this is the first time I didn't have a definite favorite--I was pulling for Richard AND Stephanie. I didn't think they would really let Lisa win, but I started getting nervous towards the end, especially with Steph's dessert snafu.

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Did Lisa ever win an elimination challenge? I can't recall. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Lisa won the challenge with Ming Tsai as a guest judge. She made a miso glazed bacon strip to go with Stephanie's grilled shrimp and Dale's Pickled chilies. She won a trip to Italy. What sticks in my mind is Dale saying, "she goes to Italy for cooking BACON??"

haha. I felt the same way.

Edited by cathrynapple (log)
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