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Top Chef Season 5


Reignking
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Reignking has a good idea. Top Chef Farm where they live on a farm and have to butcher their own animals and use produce exclusively from the farm. Jaime would be lost without her scallops though  :biggrin:

Then the farm would have to be near the ocean...or just stick them on a deserted island. Wait, that's another show.

Top Chef 6 - The Donner Party.

The UFC meets The CIA.....best show ever.

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First Stephan is an ass. If you have immunity don't try to drive the bus.
He may be an ass, but he knows what he's doing.
And what's with the excessive sexual tension they are building up between those two, anyway. I thought I read an interview of a past season's contestant who explained that such things violated some rule.

It's a reality show...what do you expect? The rule, by the way, is that contestants may not employ physical intimidation or violence. There's no rule against consensual displays of affection.
Lost a lot of respect for both Leah and Hosea on that one.

Chefs screw up sometimes. If Tom Colicchio were a contestant, he wouldn't win every challenge. Overall, Hosea has been pretty impressive. (Not as sure about Leah.) Edited by oakapple (log)
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Reignking has a good idea. Top Chef Farm where they live on a farm and have to butcher their own animals and use produce exclusively from the farm. Jaime would be lost without her scallops though  :biggrin:

Then the farm would have to be near the ocean...or just stick them on a deserted island. Wait, that's another show.

Top Chef 6 - The Donner Party.

The UFC meets The CIA.....best show ever.

That would make a great finale for when they go to Aspen to collect their year's supply of Evian and Glad bags...

Edited by RAHiggins1 (log)
Veni Vidi Vino - I came, I saw, I drank.
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Lost a lot of respect for both Leah and Hosea on that one.

Chefs screw up sometimes. If Tom Colicchio were a contestant, he wouldn't win every challenge. Overall, Hosea has been pretty impressive. (Not as sure about Leah.)

I'm more complaining about him throwing Ariane under the bus or at least looking the other way when she was being thrown under the bus and putting himself in that ridiculous "Real World--The Kitchen!" situation with Leah.

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I made a big late-night mistake. Around 3 a.m., I shamefully caught an episode of the Real Lives of the Most Vulgar Bipedal Specimens Ever Captured on Film. Let's just say hurricanes are picking the wrong target. Anyway, one of these narcissistic vipers was hosting a dinner party, and who was the caterer? Why, none other than Bravo's own Brian Malarkey?

And then I remembered someone telling me they did a tie-in with the haircutting show and this OC Nightmare before, also. What's next? As the seasons roll onward into typecasted bland oblivion, Top Chef is just becoming another Bravo promotional snarkfest.

Real Housewives of Orange County, right? That episode was amazing. The one woman (who was flirting with the other lady's son) was more messed up than anyone I've seen on A&E's Intervention, and that is really saying something. I wonder if she's also been hitting the medicine cabinet. If you've got cancer as bad as her husband, you've probably got some interesting stuff on hand.

I agree with those who lost respect for Leah and Hosea. I think they deliberately hung Ariane out to dry. I don't even think it's very good gamesmanship because Ariane would be an easier person to compete against down the road than someone like Radhika, who was a strong candidate to go home this time.

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Pretty sad when you can win by making breaded chicken cutlets, sorry, "paillards".

I don't think deboning a lamb leg is that difficult. I think I could probably do it.

I thought it was sort of stupid to let the chefs do all the planning assuming they were going to Whole Foods, not the farm. I understand the desire to throw in twists, but these guys need all the help they can get.

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Lost a lot of respect for both Leah and Hosea on that one.

Chefs screw up sometimes. If Tom Colicchio were a contestant, he wouldn't win every challenge. Overall, Hosea has been pretty impressive. (Not as sure about Leah.)

I'm more complaining about him throwing Ariane under the bus or at least looking the other way when she was being thrown under the bus and putting himself in that ridiculous "Real World--The Kitchen!" situation with Leah.

Of course, you do have to wonder if Ariane just took the butchering on herself thinking she could do it and the other two thought she was ok. Then, upon seeing the mess she made, distanced themselves from it as much as possible.

--- KensethFan

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Of course, you do have to wonder if Ariane just took the butchering on herself thinking she could do it and the other two thought she was ok.  Then, upon seeing the mess she made, distanced themselves from it as much as possible.

That's what I assumed. As I recall, Leah saw that was a mess and tried to rescue it as best she could, in the time available.

It goes without saying that the cheftestants have clashing objectives. First, they want their team to win. But second, if it loses, they want to make sure someone else goes home. As the first objective trumps the second, I have to assume they believed Ariane was up to the task she had volunteered for.

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I liked Ariane's digs at Hosea (he's a wimp!) and Leah in her exit interview. That schmoopy twosome is growing more saccharine by the episode, and I think Leah especially is the worst culprit of the "playing to stay unnoticed and alive" strategy.

But I can't believe, with such beautiful meats, these were the dishes presented. How could you, with such fresh, delicious pork, get rid of all the fat?

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Fabio should have asked Ariane to cook his lamb, then it would have been a winning dish.

OK, so Fabio is probably GLAD he didn't ask Ariane to cook his lamb....

This season continues to dissapoint. I thought the quickfire dishes over all, looked better than the on the farm, can't get fresher ingredients, elimination challenge dishes. I don't think the chefs gave any consideration to feeding people outside on a hot, sunny, day.

it's probably an easy trap to fall into...the are told the basic challenge, and given time to strategize on a group challenge. so they use that time to make a plan...we'd all do that, especially when dealing with personalities we know can be problematic.

but, then, when the kink gets tossed in, they don't take any time to re-think the plan...they just force the old plan onto the new circumstances, because the looming time constraints are all they can think about. (hence, they take gorgeous meat off the gorgeous bone, so it will be cooked in the time allotted. ouch.).

also, i think that the unnatural circumstances forced on the contestants by the unreality of a reality show can warp their natural sense of "seasonality". remember, they did a whole christmas thing a few weeks back, when it clearly wasn't christmas when they were filming. so perhaps for that reason as well, they discounted the importance of seasonality, which was the whole point of the episode...

i mean, seriously, stone barns and blue hill??? makes me cry to think of the opportunity wasted. this is why i will never be a reality show contestant.

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

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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I liked Ariane's digs at Hosea (he's a wimp!) and Leah in her exit interview. That schmoopy twosome is growing more saccharine by the episode, and I think Leah especially is the worst culprit of the "playing to stay unnoticed and alive" strategy.

But I can't believe, with such beautiful meats, these were the dishes presented. How could you, with such fresh, delicious pork, get rid of all the fat?

To be fair, its easy to armchair quarterback. And they were told that they would be cooking for the chefs and their families, so you might have to take non-chefs and children part of the equation.

I don't think for the guy it was a fat issue with the pork, it was more of a silverskin issue...which I can very much see the reverse of the situation in that context. As in, the judges saying to him "Why did you choose to leave the inedible silverskin on when you could just easily trim it off?"

"I was trying to keep some of the beautiful fat on the meat."

"Thats no excuse--you can always add fat later but serving silverskin is a huge no no."

--or something like that. I suppose he guessed wrong in this case.

Like I said, it's easy to sit and watch TV, but I bet it's a lot harder than it looks.

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I have been a loyal, dedicated fan thru the first four seasons. Never missed an episode and watched many when they repeated. Here's how much this stinker of a season has grabbed me.....I forgot it was even on TV last night and didn't see it!!! :sad:

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I made a big late-night mistake. Around 3 a.m., I shamefully caught an episode of the Real Lives of the Most Vulgar Bipedal Specimens Ever Captured on Film. Let's just say hurricanes are picking the wrong target. Anyway, one of these narcissistic vipers was hosting a dinner party, and who was the caterer? Why, none other than Bravo's own Brian Malarkey?

And then I remembered someone telling me they did a tie-in with the haircutting show and this OC Nightmare before, also. What's next? As the seasons roll onward into typecasted bland oblivion, Top Chef is just becoming another Bravo promotional snarkfest.

Real Housewives of Orange County, right? That episode was amazing. The one woman (who was flirting with the other lady's son) was more messed up than anyone I've seen on A&E's Intervention, and that is really saying something. I wonder if she's also been hitting the medicine cabinet. If you've got cancer as bad as her husband, you've probably got some interesting stuff on hand.

I agree with those who lost respect for Leah and Hosea. I think they deliberately hung Ariane out to dry. I don't even think it's very good gamesmanship because Ariane would be an easier person to compete against down the road than someone like Radhika, who was a strong candidate to go home this time.

And he's cooking for people who really don't like food....that viper can't tell one utensil from another....that dinner at Etoile...I wanted to slap all four of them

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I made a big late-night mistake. Around 3 a.m., I shamefully caught an episode of the Real Lives of the Most Vulgar Bipedal Specimens Ever Captured on Film. Let's just say hurricanes are picking the wrong target. Anyway, one of these narcissistic vipers was hosting a dinner party, and who was the caterer? Why, none other than Bravo's own Brian Malarkey?

And then I remembered someone telling me they did a tie-in with the haircutting show and this OC Nightmare before, also. What's next? As the seasons roll onward into typecasted bland oblivion, Top Chef is just becoming another Bravo promotional snarkfest.

Real Housewives of Orange County, right? That episode was amazing. The one woman (who was flirting with the other lady's son) was more messed up than anyone I've seen on A&E's Intervention, and that is really saying something. I wonder if she's also been hitting the medicine cabinet. If you've got cancer as bad as her husband, you've probably got some interesting stuff on hand.

I hate the cross-pollenization!!! Are these aging hookers going to be guest judges?

I agree with those who lost respect for Leah and Hosea. I think they deliberately hung Ariane out to dry. I don't even think it's very good gamesmanship because Ariane would be an easier person to compete against down the road than someone like Radhika, who was a strong candidate to go home this time.

And he's cooking for people who really don't like food....that viper can't tell one utensil from another....that dinner at Etoile...I wanted to slap all four of them

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I have been a loyal, dedicated fan thru the first four seasons.  Never missed an episode and watched many when they repeated.  Here's how much this stinker of a season has grabbed me.....I forgot it was even on TV last night and didn't see it!!!  :sad:

Uh oh . . . Bravo doesn't ever re-air these eps so you're going to be behind! :wink:

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I liked Ariane's digs at Hosea (he's a wimp!) and Leah in her exit interview. That schmoopy twosome is growing more saccharine by the episode, and I think Leah especially is the worst culprit of the "playing to stay unnoticed and alive" strategy.
On Colicchio's blog, he gives a good explanation for why Ariane was the one sent home:
The irony of Ariane's losing the Elimination Challenge with the very protein that had won her prior challenges is not lost on us. But the work of each chef is judged anew in each successive challenge, and while I certainly overstated in the first sentence of this blog, Ariane's performance this week made her the clear choice for elimination from the competition. I'm not thrilled that Leah and Hosea kicked back and did nothing while that meat was both literally and figuratively butchered right in front of them, but at the end of the day, she is the one who did the actual damage.
That makes sense. Leah's under-the-radar strategy (if that is her strategy) can only get her so far. At some point, she will have to shine on her own, or get sent home.

By this point in the season everyone left is a very good chef. But even very good chefs make mistakes, just as very good baseball players sometimes commit fielding errors. Sometimes, it's just bad luck. My guess is that in the heat of battle, it was somehow agreed that Ariane would do the butchering, and Hosea and Leah believed she knew how to do it. Given Ariane's success with lamb in past challenges, that wasn't an unreasonable assumption. It was as much her fault for accepting a task she wasn't capable of, as it was theirs for failing to notice what a mess she was making of it.

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I liked Ariane's digs at Hosea (he's a wimp!) and Leah in her exit interview. That schmoopy twosome is growing more saccharine by the episode, and I think Leah especially is the worst culprit of the "playing to stay unnoticed and alive" strategy.

But I can't believe, with such beautiful meats, these were the dishes presented. How could you, with such fresh, delicious pork, get rid of all the fat?

To be fair, its easy to armchair quarterback. And they were told that they would be cooking for the chefs and their families, so you might have to take non-chefs and children part of the equation.

I don't think for the guy it was a fat issue with the pork, it was more of a silverskin issue...which I can very much see the reverse of the situation in that context. As in, the judges saying to him "Why did you choose to leave the inedible silverskin on when you could just easily trim it off?"

"I was trying to keep some of the beautiful fat on the meat."

"Thats no excuse--you can always add fat later but serving silverskin is a huge no no."

--or something like that. I suppose he guessed wrong in this case.

Like I said, it's easy to sit and watch TV, but I bet it's a lot harder than it looks.

You've got to remove the silverskin from a pork tenderloin. I think the mistake was choosing to serve the least flavorful cut of the entire pig when they had an entire pig to select from.

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I liked Ariane's digs at Hosea (he's a wimp!) and Leah in her exit interview. That schmoopy twosome is growing more saccharine by the episode, and I think Leah especially is the worst culprit of the "playing to stay unnoticed and alive" strategy.

But I can't believe, with such beautiful meats, these were the dishes presented. How could you, with such fresh, delicious pork, get rid of all the fat?

To be fair, its easy to armchair quarterback. And they were told that they would be cooking for the chefs and their families, so you might have to take non-chefs and children part of the equation.

I don't think for the guy it was a fat issue with the pork, it was more of a silverskin issue...which I can very much see the reverse of the situation in that context. As in, the judges saying to him "Why did you choose to leave the inedible silverskin on when you could just easily trim it off?"

"I was trying to keep some of the beautiful fat on the meat."

"Thats no excuse--you can always add fat later but serving silverskin is a huge no no."

--or something like that. I suppose he guessed wrong in this case.

Like I said, it's easy to sit and watch TV, but I bet it's a lot harder than it looks.

You've got to remove the silverskin from a pork tenderloin. I think the mistake was choosing to serve the least flavorful cut of the entire pig when they had an entire pig to select from.

That was my point, and Jeff's (is that his name?) as well, is the judges were complaining that he cut off all the fat, but under the fat is the silverskin, which should go. So he either leaves on silverskin with the fat, or trims both off. It seems he made the wrong choice, but I was saying how is he to know since he could potentially be admonished for either decision.

BTW, I think it was a pork loin not a tenderloin. But the point is the same. They did manage to work the belly into a dish as well though.

I just think his excuse of wanting to take the silverskin off is a valid one, and he did wrap it in caul fat to replace the fat he took off, so at least he understood what he was doing.

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Of course, you do have to wonder if Ariane just took the butchering on herself thinking she could do it and the other two thought she was ok.  Then, upon seeing the mess she made, distanced themselves from it as much as possible.

That's what I assumed. As I recall, Leah saw that was a mess and tried to rescue it as best she could, in the time available.

It goes without saying that the cheftestants have clashing objectives. First, they want their team to win. But second, if it loses, they want to make sure someone else goes home. As the first objective trumps the second, I have to assume they believed Ariane was up to the task she had volunteered for.

This was my take on it too. Arianne had won previously on the strength of her protein alone (and I got the impression she kind of floundered her way through those wins too) – it sounded to me like all three decided to play on that strength and let her deal with the lamb. I don't think they realized she was in over her head until it was too late to do much to help. Yes, she did ask for help, but not until the damage was done (or at least that's what the editing showed).

I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?

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Assuming we're being told the whole truth as relates to challenge rules, they do get stuck in some difficult situations at times. Planning, prepping and cooking a great meal with the ingredients they had to work with is easy. I'm guessing doing it under a fairly tight time constraint where the reward for failure is "game over" is a different story.

I don't think deboning a lamb leg is that difficult. I think I could probably do it.

I'm sure you could. Anybody can get the bones out of anything. But, if you've never done it before, you might not find it as easy as you think to get a result that would make an experienced butcher happy. Despite popular belief, not all chef's are a master of everything the title encompasses. You may learn all of the essential skills to some degee at some point but if you spend 5 years as a chef at a vegetarian restaurant or a restaurant where the meat is bought in ready to work with you may find yourself with rusty butchering skills.

BTW, no prizes, once again...

There shouldn't be any prizes except the big prize for the finale winner. That should be inspiration enough without having to toss them scooby snacks every time they do something good. Immunity/advantage for the quickfire winner is more than enough reward.

Don't take this the wrong way, I've been as disappointed as anyone with the relative lack of creativity and risk-taking this season. I just see a lot of people assuming that if it's easy to spend a saturday making dinner for the family, it would be easy to do it in 15 minutes without recipes and knowing you're going to be judged by people who really don't care if what they say about it makes you sad.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I agree with what some of you have said so appropriately-that this episode, if not the entire season to date-has been a huge disappointment in terms of the poor decision-making and skills exhibited by some of the Chefs.

If the Chefs would follow some basic guidelines, they might find much more success in their finished dishes-follow the parameters of the specific challenge, create a dish that you can actually prepare within the time limits and present a dish that is unique and would stand-up in the dining room of a "Top Chef." When you break it down into parts it really shouldn't be that difficult.

There are numerous examples I could cite where the Chefs have failed, but I'll use our most recent example, the much-awaited departure of Ariane. (She can apparently can cook a turkey if that accounts for any points).

To say Ariane "butchered" the leg of lamb is being much too kind. She massacred the lamb. Thankfully she wasn't the person responsible for slaying the poor animal or we'd have ended up with wool in our soup! She cut it, scraped it, beat it, pounded it, rolled it up and messed it up. It was awful-as witnessed by the comments of the judges. Awful. She was given a gift of nature and ruined it.

I'm not aware of the equipment in the kitchen at Blue Hill, so I can only second-guess what Ariane might have had at her disposal for cooking the leg of lamb. Did she even consider cooking the lamb in a manner that would have resulted in drawing forth the natural flavor of the meat?

A simple roast, maybe paired with a vinaigrette made from the herbs in the garden? Wouldn't that have been lovely served with a warm potato salad?

Did she consider doing a simple, rustic dish? The same sort of dish that the farmer's would serve at their family table? The farmers who not only raised this delicious lamb but would be eating Ariane's incarnation of their animal?

If the equipment was available, one has to wonder if Ariane considered spit-roasting the lamb over an open fire? If there is a wood-fired oven in the kitchen, would she have considered using it? Wouldn't the smoky flavor of a natural fire give the meat the flavor and scent that would perfectly accent lamb raised on the green pastures just steps from the kitchen?

Seems simple for me to sit back and criticize her judgement, but she gave us so many opportunities to do so throughout her few weeks on Top Chef.

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