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KristiB50

Top Chef Season 4

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

No, he just let her draw first -- it was 50/50 no matter how you slice it.

I don't dispute the statistics at all. It was certainly a 50/50 chance.

However, I would personally feel better if I was controlling my own destiny going into the final challenge. If he did pull knife #1 and he selected Ripert rather than Barber, he wouldn't have had the pork belly, he would have had other ingredients... although I suppose they didn't have much time to analyze which ingredients the sous chefs offered. I'm thinking maybe I would have tried to do something with Barber's venison although pork belly is usually always a winner.

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I was excited when Blais got his basket -- I thought it was the most interesting, because of the pork belly and foie gras.

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We saw a lot of pork bellies this season. Trust me, I'm a whole hog kind of girl, but jeez. :biggrin:


Edited by pax (log)

“Don't kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he'd eat you and everyone you care about!”

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I like Stephanie and was glad she won (go Chicago!), but certainly would have liked to see Richard be closer in at for the finale. I wonder if Season 2 taught them that it was better to have 3 finalists, to have a better chance at building up viewer suspense. Not that Marcel necessarily choked (I still wish he'd won) - but when you have chefs taking risks with more unusual preparations (e.g., Richard, and to some extent Marcel), it can go wrong. Especially if they're up against chefs who appear to be making variations of dishes they've made any number of times (which I've heard re Ilan, and appeared true with Lisa, at least with her much-praised soup). If you have three contestants in the finale, there is a better chance that at least two will be competitive enough to make it suspenseful.

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First of all, I have to echo the sentiments of all of the posters, Stephanie and Richard were the best; I only wish both could have won.

That being said, I've watched all four seasons of TC. There are chefs for whom I will make every effort to try their food, if I get the chance. Those are chefs Harold Dieterle, Tiffani Faison, Tre Wilcox, Casey Thompson, and Hung Huynh. Hell, I am interested to try Marcel Vigneron's food and, even though he's an ass, I made Ilan Hall's fideos recipe and it was good.

This season, I just haven't felt compelled to try to make any of the dishes nor do I really feel that I need to try the food of the good chefs.

Am I just jaded or did the food look a little less delicous this season?

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I really, really want to try that lamb with braised pistachios and olives. That looks like a winner, right there.

I was so happy that Stephanie won (although sad that it meant that Richard hadn't) because her food has been consistently good and interesting.

What struck me was that the dishes Lisa cooked looked like dishes she'd made a hundred times, where it looked like Stephanie took more risks. She could cook outside of her comfort zone and produce something good, but that seemed like more of a challenge for Lisa.

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A collection of thoughts:

I suspect Lisa cooking her food her way did indeed make a meal that almost took Top Chef. No matter what she did through the contest, when finally doing her own thing she did it. And any cuisine can be great if done masterfully -- no reason Thai couldn't blow away a French or California meal in the right hands. I loved Chef Colliccio saying that a chef sometimes does need to have to have a little attitude to make it. I have found her deeply annoying and rude throughout the season, but in this episode though she was cocky she was fairly pleasant. She didn't even seem to mind losing to Stephanie.

I think the hint to the win was in something Ted said "We liked it better, but how much better?" Just as one mistake can throw you under a train, one transcendent dish can overwrite the rest of a solid-to-good meal. Stephanie's adequate cake was lifted by her magical lamb, and that beat 4 good courses from someone else.

When a boy from Atlanta blows pork belly, well, something ain't right. I do wish he'd brought all he has, but Richard just didn't have it that day. ARGH! I was so looking forward to work like I've seen in the magazines and youtube. poo.

I really wish TC hadn't pulled their sous chefs the next day-- this is supposed to be the one meal where they stop messing with you. That was just wrong. I'm certain it handicapped Richard, who has elaborate food and suddenly had to recalibrate. Is the food less good because you have to plan it carefully and it takes more than one person to assemble? Is leading others make it easier or harder when you are trying to express yourself?

I think they should have a system that takes into account the overall season performance in the last episode. Everyone has a bad day, and to truly be a top chef it should reflect all of what you've accomplished. Maybe give 30% to overall, and 70% to the last meal? But then, Lisa wouldn't have had a shot for the win, and the drama would have been reduced. The "advantage" given for the wins this time wasn't much: was there a bad choice among the three baskets and sous chefs?

Also agree with those who said the finale felt rushed, and having head-to-head plates was a very bad idea. You can't orchestrate the progression; it's too hard for anyone to have a sense of the complete meal no matter how brilliant a diner you are. What might be a restful and desirable pause in a planned meal becomes a dull dish when compared to the plates next to it. Not to mention someone else's chili peppers will blow out the judges palette.

I have no problem with a demanding a dessert though-- if you don't have a dessert or two up your sleeve, you haven't been watching top chef. Nor do you deserve to be a top chef-- dessert is an integral part of the meal, it's the last flavor note and it is as crucial as the first.

Sorry for the long post: i was very excited. :raz:


"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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First of all, I have to echo the sentiments of all of the posters, Stephanie and Richard were the best; I only wish both could have won.

That being said, I've watched all four seasons of TC.  There are chefs for whom I will make every effort to try their food, if I get the chance.  Those are chefs Harold Dieterle, Tiffani Faison, Tre Wilcox, Casey Thompson, and Hung Huynh.  Hell, I am interested to try Marcel Vigneron's food and, even though he's an ass, I made Ilan Hall's fideos recipe and it was good.

This season, I just haven't felt compelled to try to make any of the dishes nor do I really feel that I need to try the food of the good chefs.

Am I just jaded or did the food look a little less delicous this season?

I would like to dine at a place Richard was involved with.

I've actually experienced Tre Wilcox's food. Once before Season 3 even started and once after it was all over. Got to meet him on the second visit, too. I haven't had been to the place where Casey works, though. But I think she is still there.


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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First of all, I have to echo the sentiments of all of the posters, Stephanie and Richard were the best; I only wish both could have won.

That being said, I've watched all four seasons of TC.  There are chefs for whom I will make every effort to try their food, if I get the chance.  Those are chefs Harold Dieterle, Tiffani Faison, Tre Wilcox, Casey Thompson, and Hung Huynh.  Hell, I am interested to try Marcel Vigneron's food and, even though he's an ass, I made Ilan Hall's fideos recipe and it was good.

This season, I just haven't felt compelled to try to make any of the dishes nor do I really feel that I need to try the food of the good chefs.

Am I just jaded or did the food look a little less delicous this season?

I would like to dine at a place Richard was involved with.

I've actually experienced Tre Wilcox's food. Once before Season 3 even started and once after it was all over. Got to meet him on the second visit, too. I haven't had been to the place where Casey works, though. But I think she is still there.

Does anyone have a burning desire to eat at Stephanie's future restaurant?

As worthy as she was as this season's TC, I don't feel compelled to try her food.

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CDRFloppingham,

As one who has actually eaten Izard's food, I'd happily go check out her new venture, where'er and whene'er it opens.


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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And poor Richard. Going into any competition as the favorite adds to the pressure of the situation.

He was favored by whom? You?

"Of our final three, Richard had the most experience, the most imagination, and by far the most technical proficiency. He had consistently wowed us during the season, and frankly, this was his competition to lose."

Tom Colicchio's blog

I thought that was obvious by watching the show ... although I was pulling for Stephanie from the beginning. Blais grew on me, though. I would have been happy with either one winning.

And I'd definitely jump at the chance to eat Stephanie's food. I'm envious that you had a chance to do so.


Edited by Dieck (log)

My blog: Rah Cha Chow

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CDRFloppingham,

As one who has actually eaten Izard's food, I'd happily go check out her new venture, where'er and whene'er it opens.

Same here. There was much sadness when Scylla closed. I can't wait until she opens her new restaurant.


-Josh

Now blogging at http://jesteinf.wordpress.com/

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I think there is a difference between cooking in a restaurant - particularly one that serves hundreds of people a night - and cooking in a competition. Some chefs might be good at one or the other - but not both. When I caught some episodes this year - I found myself wishing that Richard had cooked some of his competition dishes for me instead of what he actually cooked when I dined at one of his restaurants. I hope he uses the competition experience to produce consistently better meals in his restaurants. Robyn

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I think the reasoning above (by TC and posters) is selling Stephanie short. I belive her technical skills are at least on par with Richard's, they just are aligned more with traditional french cooking.

Her starter in the finale was absolutely stunning in presentation and was also very very good in taste according to the judges.

Sure, it was in a "modern but still rooted in tradition" french style rather than "cutting edge modern" style, but there are loads of michelin starred restaurants still doing that kind of food.

Exactly the same could be said for her lamb main course.

(And she is cute!)

Go Stephanie!

On the other hand, her dessert was shockingly bad. When was the last time you had a layer cake in a fine dining restaurant? What was she thinking? Was the salted banana cream supposed to be the twist that turned the cake into a modern dish with just a wink towards traditional home cooking?

I'm definitely not a chef, but I'm even less of a pastry chef and I would have made a better looking and more contemporary dessert. (Although not while making three other courses for 12 people in too little time...so ok..)


Edited by TheSwede (log)

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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.

Thanks for the information on Lisa's win.

I know I'm biased against her, but is a group win as good as an individual win? I'm sure Dale doesn't think so.

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Did anyone watch the reunion? Not much exciting there though there were a few interesting tidbits. Namely Tom C disagreeing (based on viewing alone) of Dale's offing. Obviously a lot more goes into the decision but I thought that was interesting. I wish there was more rehashing of the competition and judging, especially the finale, rather than just rehashing of the drama and fights.

Andrew continues to be hilarious, I wish he would have won fan favorite.

Finally, I can't believe I am actually saying this because I have been super anti Lisa all season but I almost felt a little bad for her last night, especially wen Coliccio twisted the knife with a comment to her.


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

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i watched last night. this year's group just weren't as likeable as last seasons. so the reunion show was kinda flat for me.

some obseravtions:

i get the distinct impression this crowd really didn't like each other that much.

i still think andrew is probably a better chef than he was able to show.

i don't necessarily agree with tom c's estimation that this was the most talented crew yet. there were alot of misses this year and the meals presented at this season's finale looked pretty average. i'd take hung, dale, and can't remember her name right now, over richard, lisa, stephanie.

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Oookay, I'm just curious if someone else heard Andrew say the same thing I did at the end of the "cussing chefs" segment, because I was literally laughing my ass off.

Was it something along the lines of "butterscotch waterfalls made from unicorn ***"? Because if it was, then I think they picked the wrong t-shirt slogan for this year. :biggrin:

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he said it. i heard it too.

i want to party with that guy.

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I thought the best line was "im not gay but I'd probably let him bang me"


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

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I thought the best line was "im not gay but I'd probably let him bang me"

Who said that about whom?

Spike about Mark. Cause Mark was the coolest guy there according to Spike.


Veni Vidi Vino - I came, I saw, I drank.

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I thought it was Andrew about Spike. ???

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