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Top Chef Season 4


KristiB50
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Am I the only one who thought there was an inordinate number of shots of Padma stuffing her face with messy food? They showed the other judges eating, but not the way they showed her. (Or maybe this is a duhhh thing ... of course they are going to show close-ups of her...)

I totally noticed it. I guess the director's rendition of amuse bouche! :biggrin:

I liked the zoo challenge quite a bit, even if it was a bit contrived.

Totally noticed a whole new Andrew. Weird, I think the old one returns next week tough. And, it looks like a dustup for sure next week.

I was quite entertained last night and am still waiting for Padma to ask someone "you expected me to taste it? And you didn't?!!?"

Rick Bayless should notch it up a bit next week.

"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."
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Am I the only one who thought there was an inordinate number of shots of Padma stuffing her face with messy food?

Ugh. HUGE bites and chewing with her mouth open. I had to look away :wacko::wacko::wacko:

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Am I the only one who thought there was an inordinate number of shots of Padma stuffing her face with messy food?

Ugh. HUGE bites and chewing with her mouth open. I had to look away :wacko::wacko::wacko:

Me too. How gross. Reminds me of Robert Redford chewing with his smiling mouth open in various movies. Sexy to some, repulsive to those with a measure of couth.

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You work in a restaurant and don't taste the food you serve? Really? Not everything, of course, no bites out of my food please, but in general, you taste what you present. I taste things as I cook and I'm a mom from MI cooking for kids, for pity's sake. *I* know to taste food. I'm a dope and I know to taste food.

Trust me, while I won't cut into your steak, I would have fingered it and tasted everything else on your plate. The nicer the restaurant, the more fingers that have touched, tasted, etc. your food.

Then again, I don't serve steak, so who knows what I would have eaten off your plate before it goes to you.

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So, I'm watching and playing along with the TCDG (Top Chef Drinking Game) and realize at the commercial break...........I've run out of wine !!  :laugh:  :laugh:

I shouldn't have mentioned this, it is potentially very dangerous unless you are drinking something with a relatively low alcohol content like blini's....er, I mean bellini's. :rolleyes:

Jerry

Kansas City, Mo.

Unsaved Loved Ones

My eG Food Blog- 2011

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No kidding. If it had been "How many times do you want to slap the F*** S*** out of them and shake them till their teeth rattle".................

Frankly, I wouldn't make it in to work tomorrow. I'm glad that isn't the game :):shock:

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Random catch-up thoughts......

Yes, way looking forward to Rick Bayless as the guest judge. I love his food sensibilities, so this should be excellent.

Count me in on the TCDG (Top Chef Drinking Game)©Dockhl. BTW, Dockhl, get a bigger glass !!!! :wink::wink::wink:

And best line of the evening, perhaps in the history of the show, was when Tom Collichio and Wylie Dufresne were discussing the olive "BLEE-knee" and Wylie said something like "it sounds like it should be taste good" and Tom shot back with "sounds". Classic, I fell on the floor for that one.

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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So, I'm watching and playing along with the TCDG (Top Chef Drinking Game) and realize at the commercial break...........I've run out of wine !!  :laugh:  :laugh:

I played also, but I added drinking every time there was a shot of a GE emblem, RAV 4 symbol, Gladware, etc, etc. I'm still hungover.

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So, I'm watching and playing along with the TCDG (Top Chef Drinking Game) and realize at the commercial break...........I've run out of wine !!  :laugh:  :laugh:

I played also, but I added drinking every time there was a shot of a GE emblem, RAV 4 symbol, Gladware, etc, etc. I'm still hungover.

Playing the Logo Game is hardcore!!!

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So, I'm watching and playing along with the TCDG (Top Chef Drinking Game) and realize at the commercial break...........I've run out of wine !!  :laugh:  :laugh:

I played also, but I added drinking every time there was a shot of a GE emblem, RAV 4 symbol, Gladware, etc, etc. I'm still hungover.

Playing the Logo Game is hardcore!!!

No kidding! It's Top Chef, not Leaving Las Vegas!

I did forget to mention how much I would have liked to try the sardine/quinoa appetizer. I too am pulling for our Kiwi buddy......which of course means they'll edit him as a total ass any time now.

Edited to add: Now that I think about it, his little hissy tantrums in the market have already begun the groundwork for his role as one of the "bad guys".

Edited by Zeemanb (log)

Jerry

Kansas City, Mo.

Unsaved Loved Ones

My eG Food Blog- 2011

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God I wish I had a Bloody Mary right now this morning as I write about episode #2. As we've seen in past years, the early episodes bring us two extremes-some amazingly creative dishes and some disgusting mishmash. It seems like we have to weed out the weaker chefs early on before we see the cooking level off on a consistently high level. But it sure is fun seeing the weaklings fall off early on isn't it?

I actually thought that Nikki was the one who would be let go. As the judges said, that poor, little, clump of black gunk looked like bear poop-not bear food. Was Nikki just trying to play with the bear theme and trick us into thinking what looked like bear crap was going to taste delicious?

Mushrooms stuffed with blueberries is not a flavor combination that I think would work. I live not far from the forests where grizzly bears dwell and I know for a fact that they like huckleberries-somewhat of a cousin of the blueberry. And our forests are thick in the Spring with Morels and later in the year, delicious Chanterelle mushrooms. Maybe real bears like berries with their mushrooms but I don't think their human counterparts do. And pecorino cheese? Nope. I just don't think the meaty flavor of mushrooms should be paired with the sweet yet tart flavor of blueberries and the tangy flavor of pecorino cheese. The team admitted the cheese was just an after-thought, added only to add some white specks of color to the black bear poop.

I checked out the site for Nikki's restaurant in New York, 24Prince. The menu is not overly adventurous, but it does appear to be written by a chef who should have a decent grasp of flavor combinations. It seems odd to me that Nikki would not have taken a bit more time to think about the flavor combinations in the stuffed mushrooms before moving forward with this dish. It looked awful to me and tasted awful to the judges. And it was cold. Yuck.

Chef Collichio's blog this week is spot on. He speaks about how he finds it amazing that some of the contestants don't follow the basic fundamentals of cooking.

I agree with Tom. If some of the contestants would just take care of business on Top Chef like they should do in their restaurant kitchens every night, they might be more successful at the judges table-1) taking a few moments to think about the flavor combinations in a dish before racing off to steal a saute pan, 2) avoiding the urge to create a dish that they have never cooked before, 3) serving dishes cold and 4) not tasting the dish before it goes to the dining room. Terrible.

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"I did forget to mention how much I would have liked to try the sardine/quinoa appetizer. I too am pulling for our Kiwi buddy......which of course means they'll edit him as a total ass any time now."

Oh man me too! That looked so good. The other thing I really wanted to taste was that beet stuff Rick made. Both looked very good.

Edited by tmgrobyn (log)
"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."
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I must have been in the kitchen getting more wine at the time-but did Richard do some sort of beef carpaccio? I'd be interested in a description of his dish. Although I castigated him last week over his use of plastic wrap to uncover some smoke on his crab, I still think he's one of the front runners.

He's focusing on the cooking and letting that speak for itself-rather than some of the other guys who seem to think a liberal use of the "F" word somehow enhances their cooking.

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I believe Mark made an anchovy/quinoa appetizer, which I noticed because I love white anchovies and wanted to try it, too. :wub:

And I've got a hunch that when Dale wanted to cheese up those crappy mushrooms, Nikki was glad to be then able to share the blame.

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I really wish I had one of those smokers.  Remember when it was used in Next Iron Chef?  I have to wonder what the effects of a cut of meat sealed in a bag on smoke would be?  I bet fish would be awesome.

I thought the mini smoker was awesome, I must get one! (Actually, if I remember correctly, back in "the day" I think I remember a buddy having something like that to assist in the inhalation of certain herbs, but I may be mistaken. Didn't they call it an electric bong? (scratches chin).

Any who, I thought his use of smoke as a flavor enhancer was genius. Being as our noses and tongues are connected when eating, the smell of smoke would set you up for something yummy. The plastic wrap thing, yeah, a bit tacky, but very functional and the judges didn't seem to mind.

are you thinking of a vaporizer? i know that they use vaporizers at Alinea and Schwa. they both use a volcano. i have seen it used for other purposes, but this thing is one burly machine. and i know that Chef Achatz uses the mini smoker scene on TC for some of his wizardry. they are availabile online. they are called 'smoking guns'

http://www.cuisinetechnology.com/thesmokinggun.html

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"I did forget to mention how much I would have liked to try the sardine/quinoa appetizer.  I too am pulling for our Kiwi buddy......which of course means they'll edit him as a total ass any time now."

Oh man me too! That looked so good. The other thing I really wanted to taste was that beet stuff Rick made. Both looked very good.

Yeah, I was very interested to find out how he put that quinoa together...

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I re-watched the episode (sick kid on my lap and nothing to do, but hold him and watch TV) and if I'd gotten out the booze and played along, I would have been a passed out mess (low tolerance and a cheap date. According to the hubby).

You know, I honestly don't think too much about what goes on a kitchen, as long as the food is good and they are not condemned by the board of health.

I've yet to read Tom's blog, but I'm on my way now. It always offers some neat insight that I love.

Blog.liedel.org

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Am I the only one who thought there was an inordinate number of shots of Padma stuffing her face with messy food? They showed the other judges eating, but not the way they showed her. (Or maybe this is a duhhh thing ... of course they are going to show close-ups of her...)

I totally noticed it. I guess the director's rendition of amuse bouche! :biggrin:

I liked the zoo challenge quite a bit, even if it was a bit contrived.

Totally noticed a whole new Andrew. Weird, I think the old one returns next week tough. And, it looks like a dustup for sure next week.

I was quite entertained last night and am still waiting for Padma to ask someone "you expected me to taste it? And you didn't?!!?"

Rick Bayless should notch it up a bit next week.

Andrew must be taking his meds.

At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since. ‐ Salvador Dali

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Padma's video blog, unadulterated eye candy. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

**************************************************

Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

--------------------

One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

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Padma's video blog, unadulterated eye candy. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

The only things missing for me is Bourdain's blog, and ALL of the recipes in an episode. Bravo's only posting a few - and none from the quick-fire challenges.

PS: I like the Kiwi, as well - but Richard is no slouch!

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Ok, so Quinoa is a new one to me. So I looked it up. As usual I'll share my findings below. I thought this episode was "eh". Mostly because I liken it to the first 2 months of american idol where they show horrible singers that made it to the judges solely for entertainment value. I am certain things can only take an upward turn as this series progresses. I would like to point out that a lot and I mean a lot of how people seem to be acting is a direct result of the director and his editors attempting to make the show more appealing than 16 chefs in a kitchen.

The following is blatantly stolen from wikipedia.

"Quinoa has a light, fluffy texture when cooked, and its mild, slightly nutty flavor makes it an alternative to white rice or couscous.

The first step in preparing quinoa is to remove the saponins, a process that requires soaking the grain in water for a few hours, then changing the water and resoaking again, or rinsing it in ample running water either in a fine strainer or in cheesecloth. Boxed quinoa typically has been pre-rinsed for convenience.

A common cooking method is to treat quinoa much like rice, bringing two cups of water to a boil with one cup of grain, covering at a low simmer and cooking for 14–18 minutes or until the germ separates from the seed. The cooked germ looks like a tiny curl and should have a slight bite to it (like al dente pasta). Alternatively, one can use a rice cooker to prepare quinoa. To that end, one volume of quinoa should be combined with two volumes of water.

Vegetables and seasonings can also be added to make a wide range of dishes. Chicken or vegetable stock can be substituted for water during cooking, adding flavour. It is also suited to vegetable pilafs, complementing bitter greens like kale.

Quinoa can serve as a high-protein breakfast food mixed with honey, almonds, or berries; it is also sold as a dry product, much like corn flakes.

Quinoa flour can be used in wheat-based and gluten-free baking. For the latter, it can be combined with sorghum flour, tapioca, and potato starch to create a nutritious gluten-free baking mix. A suggested mix is three parts quinoa flour, three parts sorghum flour, two parts potato starch, and one part tapioca starch. Quinoa flour can be used as a filling for chocolate.

Lastly, quinoa may be germinated in its raw form to boost its nutritional value. Germination activates its natural enzymes and multiplies its vitamin content. In fact, quinoa has a notably short germination period: only 2-4 hours resting in a glass of clean water is enough to make it sprout and release gases, as opposed to, e.g., 12 hours overnight with wheat. This process, besides its nutritional enhancements, softens the grains, making them suitable to be added to salads and other cold foods."

Veni Vidi Vino - I came, I saw, I drank.
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After having watched the second show for the third time last night, without the influence of wine, I have a few more thoughts.

I was surprised that Spike spent so much time listening to the guitar player at the market and not more time making sure that he was buying was what he thought it was-beef tenderloin. And by the way Spike, "beef tips," whether they are tenderloin or not, is just an old excuse for using scraps of meat. Beef tips can be delicious-if they are used properly. That mess Spike put forth in the Quickfire challenge looked, and according to the judges, tasted awful.

Hmm. A farmer's market full of fresh produce and meats. As Judge Wylie remarked, "I thought about a steak sandwich." Good idea and one maybe Spike should have considered. Five wonderful ingredients from the farmer's market-beef, artisanal bread, wonderful fresh cheese, greens and maybe some specialty mayonnaise or mustard from one of the vendors? I think that would have been delicious and much better than what Spike put on the plate.

I don't think the future looks good for Dale. Seems to me that one measure of a "Top Chef" is the ability to be the leader of a team and to have the respect and trust of those you lead. Dale certainly isn't showing that dignity to others or demonstrating he even has the will to do so with his comments of "I'm a control freak," and "Working on a team is a problem, I want to do my OWN thing."

Yeah Dale, and while you said that Nikki's mushrooms were crappy and shouldn't have been served, you Dale were a part of that mess. You said that putting the cheese on the black mess of mushroom was like "putting perfume on a pig." Whose the pig here?

Yes, Valerie deserved to go this week, but other's are walking the plank and will fall into deep waters very soon. As some of you have said, Valerie deserved the boot for simply saying "Bellini" repeatedly, repeatedly, repeatedly.

But I'd like to ding Bravo as one of the co-loser's this week. Did you see them show a clip of a hawk just before they previewed the dishes of the "Vulture" team? Wrong bird Bravo.

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He's focusing on the cooking and letting that speak for itself-rather than some of the other guys who seem to think a liberal use of the "F" word somehow enhances their cooking.

Perhaps he was hoping to season his dish by "peppering" his language with obscenities (ha ha ha...) Or perhaps he just secretly idolizes Gordon Ramsay.

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RAHiggins1 - I have quinoa at least three times a week. It cooks up well, matches to about any flavor profile, sweet or savory, I've found. I have used it for vegetarian selections, meat - mostly chicken dishes, and breakfast food. I cook it up for breakfast add dried blueberries and cream. It's great! :smile:

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